The Supernatural Force of Love:
The Healing Ministry of William Branham Pt 1
By Linda Josef
William Branham is considered by many to have been one of the greatest of the healing evangelists of the 1940’s and 50’s. Through him God gave life back to the dead, restored blindness, cured cancer, and cast out devils. Documentation exists showing that he healed almost every disease you can name. He had visitations by angels and operated under a powerful anointing that others could sometimes see as a light about his head.
Although William Branham operated through supernatural ministry gifts, the hallmark of his ministry was deep, loving compassion for those who suffered. His booklet The Eleventh Commandment describes how loving compassion moves Heaven to create miracles. The following are excerpts in Branham’s own words:
“I think if one thing is needed in the great universal church, it is love. We may have all gifts, but if they are not ruled by love, they are not effective. Love is the strongest force in the world and instead of resting our faith on some emotion or some gift, we should rest our faith on God’s love for us. Love first, then everything else.”
Rev. Branham described one situation where the gift of compassionate love operated to bring about healing:
“In one of my meetings an old, blind man came forth for prayer. A feeling rose up in me, as of deep calling to deep. Oh, how I loved that stone-blind old man and felt so sorry for him. Then I saw his poor feet - no shoes, and his pants so ragged. My heart gave way to a great surge of love and sympathy, and I cried to God above, ‘Jesus, please have mercy on this old blind daddy. Will you help him, Father?’ As I was still praying, I heard the old man shout ‘Glory to God!’ His full sight had come back.
“What was it? What brought this miracle? It was entering into that fellowship of His suffering. You must do it! If ever I have had success in praying for someone, it was when I could enter into fellowship with them, feel their infirmities, feel their condition: then something in you goes down beyond reason and prays the prayer of faith for the sick.
“You’ve got to feel for a man, you’ve got to be with him before you can help him then you enter into some sort of deepness it’s the love of God that’s beyond human love. Love is a powerful force, and when love is projected and it comes to the end of its strength, then sovereign grace will take it up from there and will grant the object that love has asked for.
“That is the reason we have a Savior. God wanted so much to see you whole that His love went out toward you, and produced the atonement for your sicknesses as well as your sins. Nothing is greater than love.
“Now love has two different meanings, with two different words to describe it. In the Greek one word is called “phileo” that is the natural love you would have for your wife, but “agapao” means divine love, and those two loves are very contrary to each other. For example, with the love that you have for your wife, if a man should threaten her life, you might (act from your human instincts and) kill him on the spot; but if you were moved with agapao divine love - you would, instead, pray for the man’s lost soul and bring God’s power into the situation.”
Branham taught that God’s love is quite different human love. There is nothing that we can earn or deserve. God’s love is based on who God is, not who we are. When we lay hold of this truth in our hearts, we lay hold of the supernatural.
Rev. Branham said,
“And I tell you this, my friends, when the love of God comes into your heart, you won’t go around hurting or being hurt. When you believe God - really believe Him and get married to Him - you die out to the things of the world, then God projects His love and His love makes you what you are. Love is the strongest force in the universe, and nothing can resist it. Faith is produced when you really love with God’s love.”
“I’m going to tell you something else you may class me a fanatic after this, but I’ll tell you anyhow. All of my ministry has been wrapped around love if I can love, or be in sympathy with whatever is before me something happens!
“Many years ago, I was walking across a field to visit a sick friend. When I was about 200 yards from the fence, I saw a great black bull rise up before me then I remembered it was a killer bull that had been taken from a neighbor’s farm and put in this field. I was too far from the fence to run. As the bull charged toward me, I knew I had no place to run, and I knew it was my death. Then I thought of my Lord and said in my heart, ‘I’ll walk to my death just as brave as I CAN walk, trusting Jesus Christ.’ Then something happened.
“Always in these cases, ‘that something’ happens. Instead of hating that bull I found I sympathized with him. I loved him, and I was no more afraid of that animal than I am standing here with my brethren. All fear had left, and I thought ‘Poor creature. I am on your territory you are an animal and you don’t know any difference you only know how to protect your rights.’ Then I said aloud to the bull, ‘Oh, creature of God, I am a servant of God, and I am on my way to pray for my sick brother. I am sorry I disturbed you, but in Jesus’ name, go lie down.’ With that, the bull threw his hoofs into the dirt and stopped. That great killer bull had stopped his on-coming charge to kill me only 5 feet from me. He looked bewildered, then turned around and laid down. I passed by in safety."
Most of us will never have the occasion to stop an on-coming bull in its tracks, but this episode illustrates the power of agapao love that Branham experienced. There are several moments described by the Gospel writers in which Jesus also worked great miracles when moved by compassion - agapao love. We enter into that same force when we lay down our self-doubts and fears and allow ourselves to intimately know God’s love for us.
“When love is put to the test, it will defeat every enemy and torment that there is on earth. The God that closed the lions’ mouths in the den still lives today! God IS love. When you become one of His children, you become part of that love, part of His economy and a subject of His domain. You have a relationship with Him so much so that you are a child a son or daughter. Where is your soul standing with God? Do you really know that you are His child? That is my question.”
Linda Josef is a Christian psychologist who is working on a book about supernatural healing with Messianic Vision. The book should be available in the next few months. If you have a story of healing that you would like to share, or wish to ask questions or make comments, you can write to Linda at email@example.com.