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I have read Roberts Liardon’s popular Christian literature “God’s Generals (Volume 1)” a few times, and the most astonishing part for me was William Branham’s chapter. In fact, I studied that magnificent-cum-heartbreaking section, which talks about his rise-and-fall story, with mixed feelings. And as a motivational writer, I am compelled to enlighten my cherished readers on some lessons we should learn from.
Interestingly, the honourable author described William Branham, whom he named one of God’s Generals, as a man of notable signs and wonders. Roberts Liardon wrote, “Simple in his reasonings and poor in his command of the English language, Branham became the leader of the Voice of Healing revival that originated in the late forties. There were many healing revivalists who came to the forefront during this era and each had his or her own uniqueness. But none were able to combine the prophetic office, the supernatural manifestations, and divine healing as William Branham did.”
Indeed, Branham was a prophet of God, a divine healer, and a performer of sings and wonders in an extraordinary manner. Unfortunately, he eventually fell as an anointed man of God – the Messengers or Branhamites strongly disagree though. He had an appalling end in ministry due to his disobedience to the Spirit of God on his life. Therefore, here are 5 motivational lessons from the rise and fall of William Branham, a man of notable signs and wonders.
(1) Are you living your God-given purpose in life?
Sadly, a minute percentage of folks on Earth are truly living their God-given purpose in life. Most people are yet to discover and live their individual purpose. The reason is simple: they have not discovered themselves. However, William Branham’s God-given purpose was revealed to him in his childhood, though he was so ignorant to understand it. Through supernatural occurrences in his early life, Branham realised that God had anointed him to speak His mind, preach the Gospel, perform signs and wonders, and heal the sick. That was his divine calling or God-given purpose, which he ended up pursing with utmost passion.
(2) Purity is an indispensable requisite for supernatural greatness:
Notice that I used “supernatural greatness,” and I emphasise “supernatural.” There are two kinds of greatness; they are natural and supernatural greatness. Most successful people obtain natural greatness because they lack purity, but very few experience supernatural greatness. Branham had a divine encounter when he was a little boy, and God told him that, “Never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way, for I have work for you to do when you get older.” He actually obeyed God’s command until he was spiritually empowered to start his ministry, which was “out of this world and beyond ordinary…far-fetched and incredible,” as Gordon Lindsay once remarked.
(3) Stay within your specialised calling and don’t go further:
This is the greatest lesson we can learn from William Branham’s fall in ministry. He did not stay within his specialised calling as a prophet, divine healer and miracle worker, but he went further to become a self-acclaimed teacher. “Branham had an incredible healing gift. But having no Bible knowledge to match it, he turned into a doctrinal disaster” (Liadorn, 1996). Also, Roberts Liardon emphasised that, “Branham took the office of the teacher by his own will, not by the command of God.” Surprisingly, Branham’s former ministerial manager, Gordon Lindsay, even warned William Branham to focus solely on his specialised calling, but Branham insisted that he desired to teach also.
(4) Beware of sycophants!
It is so safe to have haters and have no sycophant, but it is very dangerous to have sycophants and have no hater. Always remember me for that. Sycophants are people who praise a powerful person too much, because they want to get something from him. The second greatest reason why William Branham fell in ministry was due to the fact that he had hardened sycophants around him. After Gordon Lindsay left Branham’s ministry, “Eventually Branham found that a cult had formed around his personality. As other healing evangelists began to come to the forefront, these men would pacify Branham’s ego. They encouraged him in his weird visions, claiming him to be the new Elijah, the forerunner of Christ’s return, and the head of the seventh Church age” (Liardon, 1996).
(5) Cultivate a great literary culture:
Roberts Liardon wrote that, “God didn’t call Branham to be a teacher, because he didn’t know the Word. As a result, disturbing doctrines were taught and emphasized through his ministry.” Besides, William Branham could have avidly learnt the Word of God as a really dedicated student, and also allowed the Holy Spirit to grant him supernatural insight into it. He probably never did that; he chose to understand the Word through his prophetic anointing and not a teaching anointing. He had a rarely anointed spirit, yet he lacked a great literary culture. Remember, a reading culture is a very powerful tool in the life of any professional.
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