Kenneth Hagin is the founder and pastor of Rhema Bible Church and founder of Rhema Bible College in Tulsa Oklahoma. Three of the most well known names of people who received their teachings from Hagin are Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and Rodney Howard-Browne. From these three, many more have followed in their footsteps.
Hagin was inspired by a man named William Branham, who most consider to be the main figure that influenced the beginning of the Pentecostal healing and miracle meetings that began in the late 40's and grew in intensity through the 50's. During this time period, the healing and miracle meetings were widely accepted by many Pentecostal Churches that began to cross denominational lines that was then dubbed the Charismatic movement during the 60's.
From here, we had a barrage of people claiming to be modern day Prophets and Apostles (spokespeople for God that are hearing directly from the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders following.) that are still increasing by the numbers to this very day. By 1950, it was reported that over one thousand evangelists gathered at one of Branham's Voice of Healing conventions who acknowledge the great influence Branham's healing services had upon them. Of this number were Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Gordon Lindsey, Morris Cerullo, A.A.Allen, Paul Cain, Jack Coe. T.L. Osborn, Franklin Hall and many others. These men later influenced others such as Marilyn Hickey, John Wimber, Jack Deer, Bob Jones, Peter Wagner, Earl Paulk, Rick Joyner, Rod Parsley, Fred Price, TD Jakes and many more to numerous to even list.
I am not saying all the people on this list are teaching the exact things that Branham taught but they all were directly or indirectly influenced by the teachings of Branham.
Probably the best well known Television network that promotes the teachings that stemmed from the teachings of Branham is TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) founded by Paul and Jan Crouch. Many of these people mentioned by name are frequent guests of TBN and TBN certainly promotes each and everyone of these people and this network is the main unifying catalyst to promote these teachings nationally as well as world wide.
Many para churches such as the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship also evolved from this movement in the late 50's. Other movements branched out from this movement such as the Manifested Sons of God movement, the Latter Day Rain movement, the Kansas City Prophets also called Joel's Army also stemmed from this movement. Perhaps the best know movements today are called the Five Fold Ministries, Dominion Ministries, Deliverance Ministries, Spiritual Warfare Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, Apostleship Ministries, Prophetic Ministries. Healing Ministries and others that all fall under the umbrella of what is called Kingdom Now or the Word of Faith movement.
New churches also prang from this movement that have their roots deeply embedded in the teachings of William Branham. One of the best known Churches that sprang from this movement is called the Vinyard Church. The Vinyard Church is best known for the Toronto Blessing movement that has been dubbed the laughing revival that was carried over to the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola Florida. Most Churches that have their teachings based upon the teachings of William Branham more often than not are churches that generally characterized themselves as Charismatic/Pentecostal non-denominational or inter-denominational Churches while some are simply called "Word" Churches.
The emphases on such churches is generally placed upon beginning the services with music that fluctuates from loud and lively to soft and reverent that generally leads up to an heightened expectation of signs and wonders with miracles of healing and deliverance. (Generally instigated by the worship leaders then followed up by the preacher or guest preacher by saying such things as, "Don't you feel the present of the Lord here today" or "I feel that something great is going to happen tonight." or " I feel there is going to be a new fresh move of the Holy Spirit tonight." and other such things said along those lines.) Baptisms of the Holy Ghost followed with speaking in tongues, slaying in the Spirit by the laying on of hands and deliverance from demons are also common.
William Branham claimed that a light appeared over him and his mother when he was born and that at 18 months he had a vision. He further claimed that at 3 years of age he heard a voice that spoke to him that he called an angel of the Lord. He had several other encounters with this voice but said he resisted the Lords calling on his life but finally yielded after several visitations from this angel that he referred to only as an "angel of the Lord" up and until his death in an auto accident in 1965. Branham also claimed to have had many visions from God throughout his life time as well.
Eventually, Branham became a intern preacher in a Missionary Baptist Church but he then became involved with and influenced by the teachings of a local Oneness Pentecostal Church. His subsequent beliefs reflected the beliefs of Oneness Pentecostalism in all of his writings and teachings until his death.
Branham later claimed that he was the second Prophet Elijah who was a messenger sent by God to warn of the pending judgment and to turn the hearts of man towards God before the return of Christ that would occur no later than 1977. Not only did Branham claim to be the second Prophet Elijah, he also claimed to be the seventh angel in Revelation 10:7 that opened the seven seals and was given the mysteries of the seven seals that came to be known as his "Message". (Time does not permit going in all of this at this time.)
Branham taught that a prophet of God can be recognized through his perfect obedience and sinlessness and through the working miracles of signs and wonders. The signs and wonders that convinced many that he was a Prophet of God was the manifestation of what was called a Pillar of Fire that was seen lighting up a podium during one of his healing services and also a light that appeared over his head at another time. (Any time you see a picture of Branham, it is a picture of him with this light above his head that he said was his angel that actually did the healing.) Supposedly miraculous healing took place at these services such as the lame walking, the deaf hearing, the blind seeing, cancer cured and even supposedly a few raised from the dead.
As the word of these signs and wonders began to spread, thousands flocked to his services and supposedly witnessed the same things. Many viewed this as a re-establishment of the five fold ministry returning to the church that had long gone apostate. Many were convinced that God was re-establishing the offices of Prophets and Apostles just as it was in the early church and that this was the beginning of the last great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many called this the latter day rain that would happen just before the return of Chris. It was also believed that there would be evidenced of great signs and wonders just proceeding the event of the return of Christ and that this was it.
But, could Branham really be a man of God? Did anybody check out what he believed? This I don't know. Did they know what he taught but dismissed it because of the signs and wonders and that it didn't matter because they were following the signs and wonders as truth instead of the written word of God? I believe it was both.
Before I post a few quotes from Branham, think this through. If a man believes in another gospel other than the gospel given to the Apostles, can this person be representing the God of the bible? If a man teaches another Jesus, can it be the Jesus of the bible? If a man teaches another Spirit other than the Spirit of the bible, can his power be coming from the Spirit of God? And if no, then by who's power would these working signs and wonders be coming from? Before I get to the quotes from Branham, lets first look at 2 Cor.11:13-15 that states; "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
Branham: "What is God? God is a great Eternal. At the beginning, way back before there was a beginning, he wasn't even God. Did you know that? A god is an object of worship, and there wasn't nothing to worship him; He lived alone. And in him was attributes. What is an attribute? A thought." (The Spoken Word, Vol. 3, p. 79)
Branham; (Speaking of Christ) "In Jn.1 in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and was God. and the word was made flesh , and dwelt among us. Now, in the beginning was the word. A word is thought expressed. In the beginning He wasn't even God." (THE MIGHTY GOD UNVEILED BEFORE US, p.11)
Branham: "The Holy Spirit is the 'Word-Manifested Thought'." (W. M. Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 155).
Is this the God of the bible? Is God a manifest thought who was not even God in the beginning? Is the Holy Spirit a Word-Manifested Thought? Ok, perhaps you are already getting the connection with the Word/Faith movement but if not, let me place another quote from Branham.
Branham: -"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt with us . . . " God dwelt with us in flesh. He was the Word. Before a word it's a thought, and a thought has to be created. All right, so God's thoughts became creation when it was spoke by a word. That is when He presents it to you as a thought, your thought, and it is revealed to you, then it is still a thought until you speak it. "(The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.242)
See how the word "Word" is not associated with Jesus who is the Word, the eternal Son of God?
The Word is a "thought" that was "manifested" as the Holy Spirit who is the Manifested thought. So, the "Word" created God the Holy Spirit and this is what he meant when he earlier stated that "God is the great Eternal, but back before there was a beginning, he wasn't even God".
In order to understand what he is even trying to say, you need to understand from where he received his beliefs. He received his beliefs from Oneness Pentecostalism that believes that Jesus was that Eternal Spirit who manifested himself as the Father who then manifested himself as the Son who then manifested himself as the Holy Ghost. Branham's slight twist on the beliefs of Oneness Doctrine is that there was no God in the beginning but that God was just a manifested thought from this mystical "Word of God" that he calls the Holy Ghost. When thought through this makes "Words" a power that created God.
This is basically what Word/Faith teachers believe and this is the root from which it sprang..
One more quote from Branham that makes it clear that he taught Oneness Pentecostalism beliefs.
Branham: "MY REVELATION by the Holy Spirit is: Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the self same person, only in a different form... I Now, that is one of the mysteries of the last days, how that Christ can be the three persons in One. It is not three different people--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--being three gods as the trinitarians try to tell us it is. It's three manifestations of the same Person, or you might call it three offices....Notice now, the Holy Spirit and the revelation and Christ is another form That's right. " (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p.156-157)
Sorry but that was not a revelation, that was Oneness teachings he received previously. One more quote from Branham to show the connection between him and the present various movements that I listed in the beginning of the article, then I will finish with a follow up.
Branham; "In them days it was God in a man, His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe that. Not just a prophet, not just an ordinary man, ordinary human, It was God In Christ, God, in a man, the fullness of the Godhead bodily In a man. God, in a man; now, it's God in men. See? The fullness of God in the Godhead bodily in His entire Church, manifesting Himself, fulfilling His Word." (THE MIGHTY GOD UNVEILED BEFORE US, p.20 ).
What is being said is that man can be as God and that Jesus was just a man who was the fulness of the Godhead bodily in a man. He is saying the church is his body and we can have the same fulness that Christ had and we can do the same things as God did through the power of the spoken Word. This is what the manifestations of the signs and wonders are all about, speaking God Words that is a power that creates the various manifestations. If you are not experiencing the same things, then you must not be filled with the fulness of the Godhead or either lack faith or have sin in your life.
Now, why do most of those people that I listed in the beginning of this article hail William Branham as the greatest modern day prophet that ever lived and give him the credit for the success in their ministries? It can be explained in only three ways. One explanation is they believe what Branham says about who God is and believe his teachings to be truth, or, (2) they overlook his teachings and focused only upon the manifestations of signs and wonders as evidence that he is a Prophet of God, or, (3) they are ignorant of Brahmans teachings and take the workings of signs and wonders as evidence it is of God and the signs and wonders are the evidence it is truth.
People, please check out the teachings of your church and be sure they
line up with the truth of the bible and do NOT seek after signs and wonders
as evidence of the truth. Most all on the list of names consider themselves
either modern day prophets or apostles who have a special anointing. Another
common denominator is that almost all have made false prophesies over
and over. Isn't it worth checking out to make sure you are not involved
in such a church who follow after the teachings of these people?
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