The Serpent and the Tree

First, here is a summary of the story of the fall:

In the garden of Eden, God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Later, a creature called the serpent gives the fruit of the tree to Eve (Adam’s wife), and she eats.  Eve then gives the fruit to Adam, who eats as well.  Immediately, Adam and Eve realize they are naked and make clothes for themselves.  That evening, God talks with Adam, Eve, and the serpent and curses them all.  God them makes clothes of skin for Adam and Eve, and sends an angel to guard the way to the tree of life. (Summary of Genesis 2:15 – 3:22)

The characters in the above story are God, Adam, Eve, the serpent, an angel, two trees, and fruit, while the setting is in the Garden of Eden.  The mystery deepens (or opens) when you look at other scriptures in the Bible where these things resurface together.

Here are some examples of where a tree and a serpent appear together:

1) In Exodus 7:8-13, Aaron throws his staff down in front of Pharaoh, and the staff turns into a serpent.

2) In Numbers 21:4-9 God sends “fiery serpents” among the children of Israel.  To stop the plague, Moses makes a brass snake and wraps it around a pole for the people to view.

3) Isaiah 14:29 says, “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper, And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.”

Strangely, the word for “fiery serpents” in the above scriptures is the  Hebrew word “Seraphim”, which are also winged angels.  Here are some examples of scriptures where angels and trees appear in the Garden of Eden:

4) In Ezekiel 28:11-19, the King of Tyre is called a cherub that was in the Garden of Eden,

5) In Ezekiel 31 Pharaoh is called a tree that was “exalted above all the trees of the field” in the Garden of God.  Yet, Pharaoh is prophesied in this scripture to be slain by the sword, and to lie in the midst of the uncircumcised.

In these scriptures the Prophet Ezekiel is speaking to kings and calling one a tree in the Garden of God, and the other an angel in the Garden of Eden.  As neither of these kings could have physically lived in the garden with Adam, Ezekiel was really identifying the spirit that possessed these men, exposing “that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan” (Revelation 20:2).  Satan, a fallen angel, was the only enemy present in the Garden who knew the principle that “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).

There are other instances in the Bible when trees and fruit do not refer to just botanical trees, such as:

6) Solomon is said to have been like “an apple tree” with “fruit” in the Song of Solomon 2:3

7) Agur the son of Jakeh said, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wickedness.”   (Proverbs 30:20)

If you read Genesis with Solomon’s interpretation of trees and fruit in mind, the story goes way beyond the story of a snake holding an apple.  This makes sense as the tree of knowledge could not just be a botanical tree as “knowledge” is not a tangible article like an apple.

So why all this symbolism?  The Bible is written in such a way that a elementary school child can read it and not ‘get’ anything, but at the same time an adult can read the same scripture and blush.  So, what Moses (who wrote the book of Genesis) described in the Garden of Eden was literal, yet “family friendly”.

Finally, the Tree of Life is also an allegory for Jesus Christ.  Though this tree is a spiritual allegory, its manifestation was the sacrifice of a man on a cross – a very un-supernatural event.  Jesus Christ became the antidote for the serpent by being lifted up on a tree, just as Moses lifted up the serpent on a pole in the wilderness.  So whereas sin came to man through a serpent and a tree, life comes to man through the Son of God and the cross.

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Virgin territory

On April 12, 1961 the USSR launched the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.  The U.S. quickly followed, sending Alan Shepard into space on May 5, 1961.  Once the space race began, the USSR and the United States successively challenged and passed each other in achievements until the U.S. put a man on the moon on July 20, 1969.

In the 1950′s and 60′s, men like William Branham, Oral Roberts and Billy Graham seemed to have the backing of a spiritual superpower that gave them immense insight into the workings and power of God.  They were the spiritual astronauts of the 20th century.

William Branham said, “We are living in the astronaut age. Just as sure as God has testified by the natural happenings there, so is He testifying now that, if we’ve achieved an astronaut, God has achieved what He promised to achieve in the last days, according to Malachi 4. Only thing He has to do is get somebody in His hands, that can cut loose from the airplanes and automobiles, and whatmore. Not look back to what it was, but more power to lift him higher, lift him into the Presence of God, lift him up there where all things are possible.” (Sermon: Countdown February 9, 1964)

In the 1960′s, it took a superpower to put a person in space.  But fast forward 50 years, and the same feats that were once performed by governments and daredevils will soon become the domain of anyone willing to pay the price.

VSS Enterprise, under the Mothership VMS Eve. (Photo: Jeff Foust, Flickr, Creative commons attribution)

Heaven is Virgin Territory

The front-runner in the private space race is Virgin Galactic.  For $200,000 USD (which is a lot less than it took to put an astronaut in space in the 1960s), Virgin will safely take you into space and back.  The date of the first paid flight will only be named once testing of its spacecraft is completed.  If the preparations go well, Virgin Galactic will be fully operational in 2011 or 2012 from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

It may be more than a coincidence that a company named Virgin is opening the door to space.  If natural types the spiritual, then the doors of heaven will also be open to a virgin.  In the Bible, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins.  Five of the virgins in Jesus’ story were wise, and were invited into the marriage feast.  The other five virgins had not adequately prepared for the Bridegroom’s appearance, and were left outside the marriage feast.  William Branham said, “It’ll take an astronaut faith to fly you off this earth to meet Jesus. That’s right.  You don’t want to be left a [foolish] virgin.” (Sermon: Countdown, November 25, 1962).

The other direction is Virgin Territory too

The only time a living person has ever descended to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (and returned) was on January 23, 1960.  Again, in the 1960s it took a superpower to achieve this feat.  Beginning in 2011, Virgin Oceanic (another member of the Virgin Group of Companies) is planning to make manned dives to to the five lowest trenches in the ocean, starting with the Mariana Trench.

In other words, people first descended into the lowest depths of the earth, and broke free from its gravity during the closing years of William Branham’s prophetic ministry.  Starting with Virgin Oceanic, it will no longer take a superpower to take a return trip to the bottom of the ocean. The depths of the abyss, and the heights of heaven, will soon be explored by a group of Virgins.

Every Christian has a choice

William Branham said, “When the great Eagle, powered by the Holy Ghost and Fire, begins to spread Her wings, the astronauts will take off into the sky, to go to meet the Bridegroom;

50 years ago the population of the world could only stand and watch, as others chosen by superpowers flew to new heights.  Today the world is watching with great anticipation as Virgin is busy making herself ready, and the astronauts will be those that have decided to pay the price.  Possibly as early as the end of 2011, heaven will be Virgin territory.  Are you ready to go?

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Bobbed Hair

William Branham was of the outspoken opinion that Christian women should not cut their hair, based on I Corinthians 11, and often preached against “bobbed hair”.  We got the following comment in an email, and thought it was a good invitation to bring up the topic of whether Christian women should cut their hair.

The Comment: “…it is good to discern between what is dated (bobbed hair, whatever that means, I think my mother had that…) and the principles behind it which are as valid as ever of course (like long hair is godly and nice).”

Our reply:

Bobbed hair is actually a technical term (see  It is typically cut straight around the head just above jaw level.  Variations on this include the A-line Bob, which is longer in the front and shorter in the back, and the Buzzcut Bob, which is shoulder length at the front and close to the scalp at the back.

William Branham teachings are based on I Corinthians 11, but practically are a reaction to popular culture defining Christian behavior. I Corinthians 11 teaches that:

1) Hair is a covering (I Corinthians 11:15)

2) Men should not cover their heads when they pray (I Corinthians 11:4)

3) Women should cover their heads when they pray. (I Corinthians 11:5)

4) Covered/uncovered heads (i.e., uncut/cut hair) is not a fashion statement, but is an outward expression of how God relates to people. (I Corinthians 11:3, 7, 10).

Hairstyles can be used to express on the outside what a person feels on the inside.  For example, if you saw someone walking down the street with a pink mohawk, you would likely come to a quick conclusion that they care more for 80′s rock than they care about your opinion of them.  Likewise, William Branham was increasingly faced with people who cared more for popular culture than they cared about I Corinthians 11.

Here are some short comments on why William Branham’s teachings on hair are scriptural, and practical.

i) The “Wycliffe NT” translation of I Corinthians 11:15 says “if a woman nourish long hair, it is glory to her”.  The word “long hair” in this scripture means “to let the hair grow” (i.e., a verb, not a noun).

ii) If the Bible describes hair as “glory” and “power” to a woman, then getting rid of it is the equivalent of saying, “God, I know your scriptures promised me peace, but I don’t need it right now.  I’ll have peace later when it comes back in style.”  The glory and power in these scriptures become a direct benefit to the wearer that can be attained or abandoned.

ii) The “Amplified” translation of I Corinthians 11:16 says that “we hold to and recognize no other custom [in worship] than this”.  As I was not born to a Greek speaking family, the Amplified is a good source of the broader meaning of the original text.  Based on the Amplified, this scripture is not saying that the “hair culture” is optional, but rather that it is not optional.

iii) Having uncut hair is not weird.  Most people style their hair (and dress nice) before going to see someone important.  In I Corinthians 11 Paul is describing how God prefers his children to look when they pray (come before him).

iv) Having long hair is not restrictive.  It is simply a covering available to everyone that never leaves the wearer uncovered.  The turban (Sikhism) and the hijab (Isalm) are forms of head coverings that are more restrictive than long hair, and may leave an individual uncovered at times.  I have friends who adhere to both of these religions, and to the shame of many Christians they are more righteous in keeping the faith.

v) Married Orthodox Jewish women are still required by Halacha (Jewish law) to cover their hair.  The rules are slightly different, but their culture continues to be defined by the scriptures rather than their interpretation of the scriptures being defined by their culture.

vi) Bias is a perspective often inherited from society. If God honoured the teachings of Paul enough to perform miraculous signs to support his teachings, the issue is probably not Paul’s bias, but our own bias.

vii) Jesus condemned the Pharisees for tithing while omitting the “weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.” He did not say that the Pharisees should stop tithing, but that they should attend to the principles of the heart first, and “not to leave the other undone.”  I know Christian women with cut hair who have lived solid Christian lives, and others with uncut hair who have led grossly immoral lives.  While the topic of hair may not be one of the weightier teachings of the New Testament, it still remains a New Testament teaching.  Because of this, I would encourage Christians to focus on Jesus’ sacrifice and his message of love, but not to leave the other teachings (like I Corinthians 11) undone.

This blog was to support William Branham’s teachings on I Corinthians 11, rather than passing it off.  Why should anyone rob themselves of a very attainable promise of God?  Letting God define our acceptable behaviour is an interesting challenge that I believe was at the heart of William Branham’s teaching.

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The Face in the Cloud

Hofmann's painting of Jesus

It all points back to Jesus

In 1889, Johann Heinrich Hofmann painted a work of art entitled “Christ and the Young Rich Man”.  This painting was purchased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and eventually donated to the Riverside Church in New York City.  In 1963, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s second son, Nelson Rockefeller, appeared on the cover of the May issue of Life Magazine with his new wife.  This same issue of Life magazine contained a picture of a mysterious cloud over Arizona on page 112.

The cover of the May 1963 Edition of Life Magazine.

On January 17, 1955, William Branham said that the face of Jesus from Hofmann’s painting “Christ and the Young Rich Man” was the most accurate picture of Jesus that he had ever seen, and that it looked very much like the vision of Jesus that he had seen as a young man.

On April 18, 1965, almost two years after the May 1963 issue of Life Magazine was released, William Branham turned the photo of the cloud to the side and announced his discovery that the cloud fit neatly over Hoffman’s 1889 painting of Jesus’ face like a white wig.  Five years before this, in the sermon “The Patmos Vision” (December 4, 1960) William Branham described Jesus as the “Ancient of days” with a white wig – as a judge.

The Cloud from page 112 of the May 1963 Edition of Life Magazine

The painting of “Christ and the Young Rich Man” captures one of the saddest moments in the Bible – it is a picture of the rejection before his crucifixion.  This painting is connected to the May 1963 issue of Life magazine for two reasons: first, because of William Branham’s discovery that the face of Jesus from this painting fit into the photo of the cloud on page 112, and second, because the son of the man who purchased the original painting appeared on the front cover.

Page 113 of the same Magazine featured a picture of a moon rainbow over Honolulu.  This second picture is immediately behind the photo of the cloud (not beside it), so that when the page 112 is held to the light, a rainbow appears around the cloud.  When the face of Jesus from Hofmann’s painting is set within the cloud, the words of Revelation 10:1 come to life, which says,“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head”

In the end, everything points back to Jesus Christ.

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A Simple God – Part 5

Back to the Temple

Dividing God into three persons would be like dividing the tabernacle into three temples. Over-unifying God (denying his three-fold being, or saying God is one like your finger) is like having all of the pieces to the tabernacle in one big circle.  Both of these ideas may have great intentions, but are out of order with God’s original design.

God’s original design given to Moses was that the Court surrounded The Holy Place, through which the high priest could access the Most Holy Place.  In the same way, it is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (the Court) that we have access through his Spirit (the Holy Place) to the head of Christ, which is God (the Most Holy Place).

Here is a more detailed description of the operation of the tabernacle and its parallel to Jesus Christ:

  • The Court is where the sacrifice was washed and slain – which corresponds to the body of Jesus Christ, which was baptized and crucified.
  • The Holy Place is where incense was burned, bread was offered, and the candlesticks were lit – which corresponds to the work of the Spirit of Christ in the Christian era through the prayers of the saints, communion, and the fire of the Holy Spirit that fell on the church in the book of Acts.
  • The Holy of Holies held the Ark and the Judgement/Mercy Seat – which corresponds to the work that Jesus Christ will accomplish in the future, fulfilling the will of the Father at the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10) as he stands as the judge of the quick and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1).

Here is a pictoral example of the tabernacle:

The Tabernacle of God is with Men

At the end of the Bible, a voice speaks from heaven and says “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3).  At the start of the Bible, Moses built the first Tabernacle using the instructions God gave him.  After Moses finished this job, God showed himself to Moses in the form of a man, saying “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:23)  In otherwords, after Moses built the temple on earth, God showed him a vision of the tabernacle of God in heaven.

When Jesus walked through the land of Israel, he used stories to teach about God.  Jesus began one parable by saying, “the kingdom of heaven is like a man…” (Matthew 13:24).   In other words, when Jesus was on earth, he taught that something as common as our own identity was a perfect type for his heavenly kingdom.

When Paul travelled around the Mediterranean teaching about Jesus Christ, he said “And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.” ~ I Corinthians 15:49 (NIV, 2011) In other words, the mortal temples of the Holy Spirit (more commonly called “Christians”) will become eternal temples of the Holy Spirit (following the example of Jesus Christ, the same “heavenly man” that Moses saw).

William Branham said the following about the tabernacle in heaven:

“the Son that was with the Father in the beginning was the Logos that went out of God. And it was the Theophany of God that went out, the human form that didn’t have eyes like you see: a better eye. It didn’t have ears like you hear, but a far more hearing. …Moses saw It when It passed through the rock like that. He saw the back parts.” ~ William Branham, Sermon: Questions and Answers, October 2, 1957

Bringing the words of Moses, Jesus, Paul, and William Branham together leaves us with a startling realization: God has a plan for the Tabernacle, God has a plan for Jesus, and God has a plan for you.

The plan that God has for you is that you might become a son (or daughter) of God: which is simply an individual led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). That is how a person can become a heavenly man like Jesus Christ.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” ~ I John 3:2

“Those, then, are the perfect who have had the Spirit of God remaining in them, and have preserved their souls and bodies blameless, holding fast the faith of God, that is, that faith which is directed towards God, and maintaining righteous dealings with respect to their neighbours.” ~ Irenaeus against Heresies, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Chapter VI, Book V

The more we learn about the design of God’s tabernacle, the more we can learn about God’s plan for his only begotten son Jesus Christ, and the more we can learn about God’s plan for our lives.

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A Simple God – Part 4

Doctrines Today

The doctrines you read about in textbooks are not necessarily the same doctrines that people believe on the street or in the church.  This shouldn’t have to be the case, but is primarily due to the long “boring” definitions of God that most people can’t understand.

In practice, a church member may describe the Trinity as being like “three grapes in a bunch” or like “ice, water and steam.”  I have heard both of these analogies used to describe the Godhead by Trinitarian Christians – because these are the kind of explanations taught in Sunday Schools.  What is interesting is that the first analogy is Trinitarian, while the second definition is Modalist.  As you may recall from the last blog, Trinitarians view God in three persons, while Modalists view the Father and Son as different expressions of the same person.  Usually Trinitarians view Modalism as a heresy, and Modalists view Trinitarianism as a heresy.

Differences exist within Oneness beliefs as well, teaching different variations of Modalism.  For example, one Apostolic church has posted the following description of the Godhead on the internet, under the “what we believe” portion of their website:

“We believe in One God, the creator and sustainer of all things, who manifest Himself as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit) in the New Testament church.”  ~

Beyond Oneness: a Modalist shirt from

In contrast to this, a discussion thread on an internet forum at calls the Apostolic doctrine identified above as ‘false’ or ‘successive’ Modalism, as it confines God so that he “cannot exist in more than one mode of being at a time.”  William Branham often said, “God is not one like your finger” (Sermon: Lord, Show us the Father, Sept 7, 1953) – probably because this is what he was hearing among the people at the time, even though this is not the official UPC definition of the Oneness doctrine (the UPC is the largest Oneness-believing denomination).

As another example, a friend of mine had a conversation with a person who, excited by the fact that he believed that God was here, now, reached the conclusion that God could not be in heaven at the same time.  Although this person did not believe he was Oneness, he was in fact much more Modalist than most Oneness-professing believers.

In other words, the complicated definitions of the Godhead are not what most people actually believe.  Rather, people will only understand a simple God.

Finally, the biggest problem with saying “I believe God is in three persons” or “I believe in Oneness” is that these doctrines relate to significant denominations, and may change over time – just like the meaning of the word “person” has changed since the third century A.D.  The Bible, however, will not change.  As a result of this, I believe that the most essential elements in maintaining correct doctrine is access to an accurate translation of the Bible, prayer, and fellowship (not wars to exterminate the opposition, or theologians to do our thinking for us).

Godhead and Kindness

So how should Christians treat other Christians who have different views of the Godhead?

I believe that it is appropriate to discuss differences, pray, learn from the scriptures with each other, and let those differences be known without inciting hatred or slander.  If you look back in history, dominant denominations have routinely persecuted heretics (“heretic” is a term that can loosely be applied to anyone who doesn’t agree with you on a particular religious topic).  The treatment of the Cathars at the hands of the Catholics, most notably in the massacre in Beziers in 1209, is a historic example of this persecution.

Persecuting heretics is like stoning the Good Samaritan.  The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 1 about people who hold the truth in unrighteousness.  He describes in this chapter people who understand the Godhead correctly, but still choose to live a life of corruption.  Paul’s final description of these individuals is translated into English as ‘unmerciful’, which is an apt description of Arnaud-Amaury, the Catholic ambassador to the Cathars of Bezier, who declared “Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own.”

“…hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” ~ Matthew 23:27-28.

Jesus’ zeal for the condition of the heart was matched only by his zeal for the Temple of God, driving out the moneychangers and saying, “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13) The temple was a place designed by God for worship, and is a symbol of Jesus Christ – through whom we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.


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A Simple God – Part 3

The last blog looked at the design of the Temple.  This blog will look at the design of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Man Designed the Trinity

The concept of the Trinity primarily evolved over the course of 1,000 years, from 200 A.D. to 1,200 A.D.  As evidence that the Catholic Church has not always believed the Trinity, the doctrine of Callixtus I, the Bishop of Rome (i.e., Pope) between 217 – 222 A.D. and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, is summarized as follows:

“For the Father, who subsisted in the Son Himself, after He had taken unto Himself our flesh, raised it to the nature of Deity, by bringing it into union with Himself, and made it one; so that Father and Son must be styled one God, and that this Person being one, cannot be two.” ~ Hippolytus, the Refutation of all Heresies: Chapter XXIII

While a familiar phrase to describe the Trinity is “God in Three Persons”, Callixtus I declared that God is one Person, not more.  The origins of the phrase “God in three persons” instead traces back to a man named Valentinus, who was recognized as a heretic by the early church fathers.

“Valentinus, the leader of a sect, was the first to devise…the notion of three subsistent entities and three persons – father, son, and holy spirit.” ~ Marcellus of Ancyra, On the Holy Church, 9

Callixtus I, by Richard de Montbaston

According to the Online Catholic Encyclopedia,, the Latin word for person (“persona”) was originally used to denote a mask worn by an actor.    This article then uses the words of Boethius (480 – 524 A.D.) and St. Tomas of Aquinas (1225 – 1274 A.D) to explain how the Latin language evolved so that the word ‘persona’ did not refer to a mask worn by an actor at the time of the First Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., but instead meant an individual.  It was this Council that officially endorsed the doctrine of the Trinity.

Early Christians who did not follow the doctrine of the Trinity are often referred to as ‘Modalists’ by Trinitarians. describes ‘Modalists’ as those who “exaggerated the oneness of the Father and the Son so as to make them but one Person.”  However, the problem with the use of the word “person” is that its Latin meaning changed drastically over the course of history, as explained above.  Actually, while the English definition of the word ‘person’ relates to a physical individual, the English definition of the word “persona” still relates to a character or role in a literary work.  The reason for the lengthy definition of the word ‘Person’ on is critical, because if ‘persona’ had meant a mask worn by an actor in the year 381 A.D., the members of this council would have been Modalist rather than Trinitarian.

The New Advent article also states that Boethius description of the word “can hardly be considered a satisfactory one…[as it] can be applied to the rational soul of man, and also the human nature of Christ.”   In other words, using Boethius definition of the word “Person” may lead you to a doctrine such as I have been describing in this series of blogs.

Callixtus I doctrine was further recorded as follows:

“And Callistus…acknowledges that there is one Father and God, viz., the Creator of the universe, and that this (God) is spoken of, and called by the name of Son, yet that in substance He is one Spirit. For Spirit, as the Deity, is, he says, not any being different from the Logos, or the Logos from the Deity; therefore this one person, (according to Callistus,) is divided nominally, but substantially not so.” ~ Hippolytus, the Refutation of all Heresies: Chapter XXIII

Logos is Greek for “Word” (see John 1 for more on this topic).  When Callixtus I describes the Spirit as “not any being different from the Logos” he is saying that the Spirit and the Logos are the same being.

By this definition Callixtus I was an unorthodox Modalist, saying “this Person” in reference to the Father and Son, while a man recognized by the early church fathers as a heretic (Valentinus) might now be considered orthodox in his understanding of the Godhead.  Based on Colossians 2:9, “God in one person” is a more fitting description of Jesus Christ, the temple of God.

The next blog will talk about why the average Christian may not be as Orthodox as the clergy.

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A Simple God – Part 2

God designed the Temple

The story of the virgin birth is a description of how God designed his temple, placed his temple in the middle of his chosen people, and created a way for his people to worship him in Spirit and in Truth.   This worship could only begin with the coming of the Son of God.

An artists rendition of the Tabernacle

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. ” ~ John 4:23

But God dwelled and tabernacled in this body called Jesus, and He was Emmanuel: God with us. And there’s no other God besides this God. ~ William Branham, Sermon: Questions and Answers, June 28, 1959.

In the Old Testament, God gave Moses a clear design of how to build the tabernacle, which was the original version of the temple.  The tabernacle was split into three parts – the court, the Holy place, and the Most Holy place: three parts, but one Temple.  In the Old Testament, God would meet the high priest in the Most Holy place.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul teaches that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Paul also teaches that every person has a body, spirit, and soul (I Thessalonians 5:23), and that we should think of our own creation, as the offspring of God, when we think about the Godhead (Acts 17:29).

Saint Irenaeus died in 202 A.D.

In the 3rd century A.D., Saint Irenaeus wrote about the division of man into three parts, referring to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 in saying:

“Now what was [Paul’s] object in praying that these three–that is, soul, body, and spirit– might be preserved to the coming of the Lord, unless he was aware of the future reintegration and union of the three, and that they should be heirs of one and the same salvation? For this cause also he declares that those are “the perfect” who present unto the Lord the three component parts without offence. ~ Irenaeus against Heresies, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Chapter VI, Book V

William Branham taught that your body is the court, the Holy place is your spirit, and the Most Holy place is your soul: three parts, but one temple of the Holy Spirit.  These are the three component parts that both Paul and Irenaeus wrote about, and are designed by God to create a fully functioning human being.

“Now, remember, you’re in a cycle of three, but you’re one person. Like Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, cycle of three, but one Person. …And you are: body, spirit, and soul. Now, the outside body has five inlets to it, to contact your earthly home: see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. The inside, which is a spirit, it has five senses: conscience, and love, and so forth. But the inside of that, the soul, has one thing. That’s where you live.” ~ William Branham, Sermon: Works is Faith Expressed, November 26, 1965

Since man is made in the image of God, Jesus also had a body, spirit, and soul.  Who else could so perfectly fulfill the scripture “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind”? (Matthew 22:37)

“Jesus is the Son of God, that is the body, and God was the Spirit that dwelt in that Tabernacle that He created for Himself, a virgin body. God… That’s the reason He said here, ‘I’ve been so long with you and you don’t know Me? He that’s seen Me hath seen the Father.’ In other words, ‘You see the Father working through Me.’ God is a Spirit.” ~ William Branham, Sermon: Show us the Father, July 22, 1962.

The next blog will take a closer look at the doctrine of the Trinity.

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A Simple God – Part 1


First of all, the following is written with respect.  These next few blogs are meant to be a bridge between various perspectives of the Godhead and the Scriptures, and are not meant as an attack on any particular perspective.

Godhead means “the nature of God”, but in practice is a term for “what” God is, rather than “who” God is.  At its greatest depth, knowing about someone is much less rewarding that knowing someone.  For example, your doctor may know more about you than anyone else, and yet not know you at all.  Yet it is this topic of “what” God is that has divided Christianity for centuries.

While a member of another religion may not regard these differences as important, professing Christians have in the past killed each other for holding different interpretations of the Godhead.    That is why it is more important to know God than to know about him.

Although I anticipate that some of the statements in the following blogs will be met with criticism, my intent is not to yell, hate, start any wars, or bring persecution on anyone.  Rather, what you will read in the following pages is a layman’s interpretation of the Godhead as taught by William Branham, a man approved of God through many documented miracles.

Putting a Name to the concept

The following is a very short summary of what will be discussed in the following blogs:

First, to differentiate William Branham’s teaching on the Godhead from concepts such as “Trinitarian” or “Oneness”, I will refer to his doctrine with a unique name: the Doctrine of the Temple.   This title is based on the union of the following three scriptures:

1) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Genesis 1:26)

2) “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19, 21)

3) “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” (Hebrews 9:23 & 24)

In other words: God made man in his image, Jesus called his body the “Temple”, and the temple on earth is an image of what exists in heaven.

The New Testament starts with an Angel’s visit to a virgin named Mary, who tells her that she will give birth to the Son of God, and call his name Jesus.  The name of the Temple we will be talking about is Jesus – both on earth and in heaven.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” ~ John 3:13

Jesus is the Name. And the Name was placed in a Man; not a church, not a denomination, not a creed, but a Man. He chose to place His Name in Jesus Christ. Now we find out that then He becomes the place of God’s worship, where you worship Him. ~ William Branham, Sermon: God’s Chosen Place of Worship, February 20, 1965.

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Message Books Now Available on the Amazon Kindle

Recently, Voice of God Recordings issued a 14 volume e-book version of the Sermons of William Marrion Branham for the Amazon Kindle. 

These e-books generally cover one year of messages per volume, with the exception of the earliest messages which constitute one volume of sermons from 1947-1952.

Using the Kindle is a great way to read as it allows simple searches, which some other e-book readers (such as the Sony Reader) do not.  VoG has set a fair price for the entire set at just under $30 ($1.99 per volume).  You can also purchase various Bibles and biblical commentaries at reasonable prices.

The Message volumes and books you purchase for the Kindle can be used on up to 8 other devices, such as the iPad (under the Kindle for iPad), the iPhone (Kindle for iPhone) and/or a PC (Kindle for PC) or other Kindles.

It is hoped that the sermons transcribed by Rev. David Mamalis will also be made available on the Kindle and other e-book readers.

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