Home > Charismatics, Collateral Studies, Cults > OVERVIEW OF OCCULTIST WILLIAM BRANHAM


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Dr. Mike Johnston

The Azusa Afterglow

Not everyone at the time considered Azusa Street “revival to be the blessing Pentecostals have lead us to believe it was. In fact, even the originator, Parham, repudiated the Azusa Street activities when he visited them. G. Campbell Morgan described it as “the last vomit of Satan.” R.A. Torrey declared that it was “emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite.” [1] H. A. Ironside said in 1912 AD both the holiness and Pentecostal movements were            “disgusting . . . delusions and insanities. Pandemonium’s where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes (were causing a) heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity.”  Clarence Larkin wrote:       “But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement’s of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in “Perilous Times,” and that all about us are “Seducing Spirits,” and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray.” [2]

I wish I could tell you it ended there, but it didn’t. A rabid spiritualist named William Branham [3] surfaced in the middle of the 20th century laying the groundwork for some of the most damnable heresies in church history.

Branham’s Bedlam

It is important to invest a few words here exposing the false prophet William Branham [4] because he is often spoken of by word of faith teachers in glowing terms as if he was a church father. [5] He was not. He was- if you will forgive my bluntness- a heretical exclusionist[6] clairvoyant kook who was such a rabid anti-Trinitarian he actually labeled it as a “demonic” teaching. God help those who follow him! [7] Branham was a self sanctioned maverick quoted as saying that everyone involved in a denomination had taken the mark of the beast. [8] He also regularly practiced occult spiritualism including clairaudience,[9] divination (word of knowledge), and psychic mind reading. He maintained all his life that he was Elijah the prophet reincarnated and those who wouldn’t accept him as such he labeled as anti-Christ. He hated Israel, and he taught the serpent seed doctrine that anti-Semitic scoundrels like Arnold Murray [10] pound the pulpit with today. Though not exhaustive, his noteworthy heresies include: the divine equality of the pyramids, and zodiac with the Scripture; fathering the word-faith positive-confession doctrine we find still taught by his past and present admirers and followers today; passing on his spirit to others (impartation) by laying on of hands;[11] the ongoing practice of necromancy; and a lifetime of instructional meetings with an angel he claimed had given him his healing ministry. [12] May I ask, who but a flaming heretic would follow him? And yet millions are by way of his word of faith protégés.

And while all of this is ghastly to say the least, by and large, his grandiose bilge-water heresy is the Latter Rain [13] with the Manifest Sons of God, a movement that has now merged with the New Age under the banner New Wave, and is supplanting sound doctrine in otherwise orthodox churches everywhere. After Branham grabbed the Latter Rain ruse from the teachings of the heretic Montanus, he quickly pitched it to Assemblies of God leadership who wisely rejected it and him. However, in the 1950s an impressionable young Paul Cain was by Branham’s side learning everything he could about the dark mysteries of the Latter Rain he would one day use to forge the bedrock heresy for he and his cohorts in the Kansas City Prophets. [14]

Here are its tenets:

– A New Form and Standard for Christianity is emerging. It will change our entire understanding of what Christianity is. In 20 years it will be entirely different. Change will be so dramatic, the Christian church as we know it will oppose it. The change will come from outside the church.

– Rapture is for the “wicked” (Not of the saved!).

– God is to be revealed when he takes his throne in the temple.

– (True) Christians cannot be deceived.

– City Churches: One church leadership per city. Other churches are to join the under the apostolic authority of one man or group of men and transfer membership to them (or associated churches in other cities), and ultimately close down their churches).

– Joel’s Army/Kingdom Now/Dominion theology: the church is to conquer and subdue the earth in order to bring in the millennium.

– New Breed/manifest Son’s of God: We will be perfected into our glorified bodies prior to Christ’s return. This will allow us to subdue the earth.

– The restoration of “the fivefold ministry” as enumerated in Ephesians 4:11, with particular emphasis on the offices of apostle and prophet. (Branham was widely touted as the prophet Elijah reborn).

– Christians become “gods”. We have the “divine” nature.

– Christ comes into us as a “seed” and grows into a “prophet”. Christ therefore returns “within us”.

– Jesus was sent as a “pattern” for the corporate church (Corporate church in this context means that the church becomes Christ. Christ is not complete without us because he is the head and we are the body).

– The current churches have the spirit of “Antichrist”.

Does this sound like anything you want to be associated with my friend? For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 29:8-9).


            For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24).

[1] Among most Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, Azusa is revered as a genuine move of the God in restoring the Church to true power and authority. However, it is also true the Azusa street meetings were also filled with spiritualist mediums, hypnotists, and others who had a deep interest in the occult. In 1907, Parham was arrested and charged with sodomy in Texas and lost all credibility with the neo-Pentecostal movement he started! http://www.bible.ca/tongues-neo-montanism.htm

[2] Above found in Brown, Michael; From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire.

[3] http://www.truthwatch.info/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=119

[4] Among his most well known failed predictions is that the Millennium would begin in 1977. Guess what?

[5] Some of his greatest admirers include Paul Cain, Marilyn Hickey, Earl Paulk, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Rodney Howard Brown, Benny Hinn etc. More info on all these people free by googling them.

[6] He taught virtually every denomination was anti-Christ and unless you accepted his teachings you could not be a member of the Body of Christ.

[7] TD Jakes, and Tommy Tenney both deny the trinity.

[8] William Branham, Footprints on the Sands of Time: The autobiography of William Branham, Part Two (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, 1975), pp. 627, 629, 643, 648

[9] The practice of supernaturally hearing audible voices

[10] You may write PMI for The Truth About Arnold Murray.

[11] Todd Bentley from the Lakeland “revival” gave rebirth to this heresy which caused hundreds of pastors to fall under the power of his errors. Bob Jones who fell to sexual sin imparted to Todd Bentley who later fell under the same sin. Impartation works for evil.

[12] Prophetic imposter Bob Jones (KCP) and his protégé Todd Bentley have similar experiences with an angel named Emma that sounds like this demon.

[13] The Latter Rain ruse was rejected around 1948-49 by the Assemblies of God, but resurfaced in the Charismatic movement in the 1960s. We have a booklet explaining all the implications of this godless ruse.

[14] They may not hold to every point, but they believe enough of them either as presented or in some off-shoot hybrid.

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