The Message is Greater than the Bible
This article is one in a series looking at the issue of whether the message of William Branham is a cult. You are currently in the article that is in bold:
It is clear that some followers of William Branham believe that he was Jesus Christ. Many followers of William Branham put his sermons above that of the Bible because they believe that he was infallible. These groups would include most of the followers of Joseph Branham.
But some message believers say:
While such people may think that they place the Bible above William Branham's teaching, is this, in fact, the case?
This is an important question. One of the key characteristics of a cult, is that there is a religious leader whose authority is viewed as being equal to or greater than the Bible and whose teachings are in opposition to the doctrines of biblical and historic Christianity.
Whether the message is a cult turns on the issue of whether William Branham's teaching are viewed as being equal to, or greater than, the Bible.
The view of message followers
Message minister Tom Rae speaking at Cloverdale Bibleway stated:
If the Bible is a dead book without William Branham's message, then it is at least equal to the Bible, if not greater, in the eyes of Tom Rae. Sadly, this is the view of virtually all message followers.
Tim Pruitt, the pastor of Evening Light Tabernacle in Minden, Louisiana, confirms this view:
Jason Watkins, the pastor of Bethel Tabernacle in Beaufort, South Carolina, also holds this view:
In the eyes of these message ministers, the Bible is dead without William Branham's message; the church has no power without William Branham's message; and, William Branham's message is Christ. Obviously in their view, one cannot be a true Christian without being in the message.
The message of William Branham must, therefore, be categorized as a cult.
We should also add that we have specifically challenged Jason Watkins regarding the non-biblical nature of some of William Branham's doctrines but he has failed to respond to us.
Questions to ask message followers
Here is a list of questions that you can ask a follower of William Branham to test whether they put the message ahead of the Bible:
If they answer "yes" to any of these questions, they are actually putting William Branham's message above the Bible, whether they admit it or not.
How can we say that?
As a result, it is clear that the vast majority William Branham's followers hold his teachings above that of the Bible.
In the Psalms 138:2, David says:
Anyone that exalts William Branham or his message above the Bible goes against God himself.
Examples of the Bible taking a back seat to William Branham
In a well known racist diatribe, Donny Reagan, the pastor of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ, stated publicly in a sermon that if Moses was alive today, he would have to follow William Branham's message. This comment clearly shows that Donny Reagan holds William Branham's message as superseding the Bible. He specifically makes this comment in respect of William Branham's teaching that biracial marriages are contrary to God's plan.
But what does the Bible say about biracial marriages?
A Cushite is from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia, where the people are known for their black skin. We know this because of Jeremiah 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian [the same Hebrew word translated "Cushite" in Numbers 12:1] change his skin or the leopard his spots?""
In response to Miriam’s criticism, God does not get angry at Moses; he gets angry at Miriam. Then God strikes Miriam with leprosy. Why? Consider this possibility. In God’s anger at Miriam, Moses’ sister, God says in effect, "You like being light-skinned Miriam? I’ll make you light-skinned." So we read, "When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow" (Num. 12:10)
God says not a critical word against Moses for marrying a black Cushite woman.
So according to the Bible, there is no proscription on biracial marriages. William Branham preached against them. Donny Reagan's comments thus prove that he holds William Branham's message as a higher authority than the Bible.
The following video is a look at interracial marriages from a Biblical perspective by John Piper:
Are William Branham's doctrines in opposition to Biblical Christianity?
We believe that some message believers are Christians. This is because some message churches do believe in and teach the core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, that does not mean that the message represents true or restored Christianity.
To the extent that William Branham preached doctrines that agreed with the Bible, his teachings are acceptable. However, he taught a number of things that are in clear disagreement with the historic Christian faith and the Bible.
Many of these false doctrines actually were solely designed by William Branham to point to himself as God's supreme prophet for the end time:
Other doctrines were simply incorrect if a person reads the Bible in an honest fashion:
Finally, William Branham's teaching on the Godhead was very strange:
Again the answer is "YES", William Branham's teachings contain significant Biblical errors.
As a result of the above, it is clear that "message believers" are members of a cult.