The Returned Ministry Sect
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
The followers of William Branham refer to themselves as being in The Message. However, this is not a homogeneous group. There are many sub-cults within the cult that is the Message. This article is one in a series on the sub-sects that comprise the Message - you are currently on the topic that is in bold:
- Don Parnell and the Third Testament
- Golden Dawn Tabernacle
- Lee Vayle and the Parousia
- Returned Ministry
There are some Message Believers that recognize that there were visions and prophecies relating to William Branham that were not fulfilled in his lifetime.
The Returned Ministry Sect is a group within the Message that believes that William Branham will rise from the dead to "ride this trail once again." At the time of his resurrection, he will:
- Hold a large tent meeting
- Speak to 300,000 people in Africa in a single meeting
- Shoot a large brown bear
- Speak things into existence.
Apparently Evan Moseley held a large plane on standby for years waiting for William Branham's return. It is ironic that William Branham mocked the religion of Islam for holding a white horse as they waited for the resurrection of their prophet.
Why must William Branham Come Back?
The Returned Ministry (also referred to as "Return Ministry") sub-cult admits that there were unfulfilled visions at the time of William Branham's death. However, they are not prepared to admit that William Branham was not a true prophet. Their method of dealing with the unfulfilled visions is to hold to a doctrine that William Branham will return from the dead prior to the rapture to fulfill all of the visions that remain unfulfilled.
This is an example of Cognitive dissonance in action, as believers try to lower the importance of certain critical facts to rationalize unfulfilled prophecies.
What does the Bible say?
- ...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (KJV)
- ...it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. (ESV)
- Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. (GNT)
There is no scriptural basis for William Branham or anyone else to return from the dead years after they have died. What this explanation does demonstrate is the reality of cognitive dissonance in message believers.
- And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
The Signs of His Coming, April 7 1962
- He said here was the test of a prophet: if a prophet prophesied, and that what he said come to pass, then hear him. But if it don't come to pass, then God hasn't spoke. That's all. So don't--don't fear him. That's right. "If there be one among you who's spiritual or a prophet, I, the Lord God, will make myself known unto him in visions, speak to him in dreams. And if it comes to pass, then I--that's Me speaking." Sure, God ain't going to lie. You know He can't lie there's nothing in Him to lie. He's the Fountain of all purity, all truth, is God. So it can't be a lie come from God. He's perfect, pure.
There were a number of prophecies or visions which William Branham told that did not come to pass. How many false visions or prophecies is a true prophet of God allowed to have? The answer according to scripture is "none".