Since very early childhood (what I remember of it), I have always served God to the best of my ability according to the progression in my knowledge of the Bible and the Bible’s teaching. Many Christians can remember a specific time when they were “changed”, and they took on the New Life, putting on the whole armor of God. I have no recollection of the time in which I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, though I know that it did indeed happen at some point. For me, it has just always been.
I was brought up with the teachings of the doctrine of William Branham from birth, and always accepted those teachings without wavering in my faith in his Message. I would proudly defend those teachings throughout my adolescent years, very vocal of the special insights and knowledge that I had been born into, as though they were some type of royalty to me because of my bloodlines.
My walk with God was very close. He was not only my Lord and Savior, He was my best friend and Counselor. When I was in need, He provided. When I was down, He lifted me up. When I was in trouble, He rescued me. I could sit and talk to him as a close friend sitting in the seat next to me, or I could bow my head and worship him in His Majesty in Glory.
Our family was very mobile throughout my years, and my surroundings changed often. At each of the cities of the states we lived, from South Carolina to Arizona, I can still create a mental image of one person at each location that I chose to attempt friendship with in distant memories, but have very little recollection of most of them and do not even remember their names. Over time, it was in my best interest to avoid getting too close to those around me, because we could move to another state in a moment’s notice, essentially severing all contact with those I would see from day to day.
We were not military or government, and I really cannot attribute any specific reason to our relocation on any occasion other than simply: things change. I’m sure there were very good reasons for each change, and our best interests were in consideration, but it was troublesome for me so I simply avoided contemplating the changes as they would happen.
I am even told that my father was a pastor during either one or two of the cities, preaching or introducing recorded sermons by William Branham, but because my memories have no solid foundations to associate with, this memory has been erased from my childhood.
During this very emotional time, God was there for me to give me comfort and help me to stay strong. I could pray to Him daily, speaking to Him as though He were holding my hand and walking with me as I went through life, or sitting as a father would, watching
his children playing toys on the floor. If I lost a toy, I could simply ask Father God to help me find it, and it was not long before it turned up. If it were broken, Father God would fix it. Over time, it would amaze me how great an electronics repairman God actually was!
God as a consolation to my troubles gave music to me. From early childhood, tunes even with lyrics would flow through my head constantly. At times, the music would flow through my mind even when speaking to people, and I learned to concentrate on the speech, separating the music from the voice so that I would be able to fully understand and comprehend what people around me were saying, and have the ability to give an intelligent and responsive reply. At first, this was very difficult, and I struggled with it, but over time, I would have full symphony orchestras of Gospel music flowing through my mind while I was speaking, studying for school, or simply meditating.
My first guitar was given to me sometime between age 11-13, and it was the most wonderful thing that happened in my childhood. Within just a few minutes of holding it in my arms, I realized that this was the answer to the music within me, and that I would now have the ability to audibly hear some of the things that were flowing through my mind.
I prayed to God that day that He would help me to learn the instrument. I promised Him that if He would teach me to play, I would only play His music. That night, in the late hours of the night, I couldn’t lay still; I had to play it. I carefully sneaked out of my room to the family room, and started playing it quietly until caught. Within just a few minutes, “I’ll Fly Away” was ringing through the air. I was so excited that I played a little too loudly, and was asked to return to bed.
Satan was not happy with this in the slightest bit. Not long after, the family instructed me that this instrument was “of the Devil”, and that Rev. Branham did not agree with this instrument (even though I later found a picture of Rev. Branham himself playing one.) I was greatly troubled and confused at first: how could God have given me such a gift, presented me with such a wonderful instrument, and was this “of the devil”? Unfortunately for my troubled mind at the time, I was not familiar enough with the scriptures to recognize the fact that David himself played a great number of stringed instruments.
My mother, and my grandfather (her father) would take a stand for me, though at the time they did not realize the significance that this instrument had in my life. While other family members would try to put a stop to it, recording telephone conversations with other followers of Rev. Branham to describe Branham’s negative statements about the instrument, my mother and grandfather would teach me the importance of true worship of Christ through music. Music was healing, it had an effect on me that was greater than I even realized at the time.
Knowing what I know now, I suffered depression from a very early age. Some of it was due to the moving, some of it was the things I was hearing about the evil world around me on the recorded sermons, and most of it was simply the fact that I could not understand how any respectable Christian could thing that any instrument could be evil, when every instrument known to man can be used to produce praise and worship to the God of Heaven.
I struggled with my depression, not fully understanding even what it was. There were hours of time that went by that I would sit alone in my room with my guitar, playing and crying. All the while I was sure in my heart that the tears were because of my devotion to worship, I did not realize that my body was fighting to produce serotonin.
At an early age, the lack of serotonin would play a large part of my growth in music. As with several people I know who follow the doctrines of William Branham, sleep is problematic. When the body does not produce serotonin, it first starts leading to insomnia. Throughout middle and high school, I would wake at sometimes around 4:00 AM and struggle to get back to sleep. Once time had reached a reasonable hour, such as 5:00 or so, I was usually trying to play my guitar quietly in my room – hoping that others were not disturbed. I’m told now that I had evidently not been as quiet as I thought.
My study in the sermons of Branham progressed quickly once I entered high school. My father had a copy of every recording available at the time, and I engulfed myself into the study of the Message. Many of the sermons were of special interest to me, as they described the “World Falling Apart”, or “Satan’s Eden”. I was awestruck at some of the Christian people around me in school that would openly profess their faith in Christ, yet had taken the “Mark of the Beast” by having joined a denomination.
Mother and Father truly did not believe this way, looking back on the situation. We lived in a city with very few followers of Branham, and there was not a church that followed the doctrines for well over a hundred miles away. Some of their best friends were not followers, and they were well respected. Unfortunately, I did not catch this. While I was listening to these sermons of Rev. Branham screaming “COME OUT OF HER” (speaking of denominations and organizations), I was watching my mother an father avoid church on Sunday because there was not a church that followed the doctrines.
Eager to hear more, I learned about a church in the Ozark Mountains that was following Branham’s message to the Bride of Christ. I started going as often as possible, riding with friends until I was of an age that I would be able to drive myself. It was about an hour and a half journey one-way, and we would leave early to reach the little church on time.
Excitement flowed through me when I heard this minister preaching God, the Bible, and Branham. He truly was a man of God, and he believed God as the Bible described Him. To this day, I have no doubt that the pastor will have his special place in Heaven because he followed the message exactly like my hero, Paul preached it. I never remember hearing the pastor condemning anyone, but he pointed souls to Christ. He did it using words from the King James Bible as well as the sermons from Branham, and he did it accurately.
Depression had really started setting in to my body, and I was forced into extreme guilt that would plague me for years to come. The body’s lack of serotonin would eventually send signals to the brain that it was going into “red alert”, and would activate every means necessary to respond to the lack of the vital chemical of the brain.
Though it pains me to say this, I know of many others who have experienced the same problem and have been plagued by it throughout their lives: depression leads to sexual addiction. The heightened state of emotions during the arousal will cause the body to produce the much-needed serotonin. Though my walk with Christ was as close as humanly possible for me, sexual addiction started at a very early age. I would conceal this with fear and crying, but my body was begging me for something that it could not produce by itself. Pornography had entered into my life.
Daily, I would pray for forgiveness. This was increasingly painful for me. Branham said that when we receive the Holy Ghost, we have no desire to sin! I knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that I had the Holy Ghost, and my Comforter walked with me daily. It was a shame and a disgrace that my willpower was not strong enough to battle Satan against this very evil thing; I knew I was doing wrong, and I did it anyway. My body begged me for it.
Over time, my head would hang in shame. I would go through prayer lines at the little church in the Ozark Mountains with an “unspoken request” to God, because I could not let anybody know that I could not control my sin. I had even begun to question my faith itself, knowing that those embodied with the full power of Christ, according to Branham, have no desire to sin. Paul said, “Repent and sin no more!”.
Every church service from early high school until several years after my marriage, I would have an “unspoken request”. Every baby that was dedicated, I would pray a very tearful prayer that the child would not suffer from the same sins that I suffered from, and that God would protect them from this sin that plagued me.
Some say that there are certain followers of Rev. Branham are legalists. Knowing what I know now, I can truly say that all followers of Rev. Branham, who have studied his doctrines, who have intently tried to follow everything he preached, and who have compared it to his view of the Bible are legalists.
I personally was an avid studier of the teachings of Rev. Branham, and would instantaneously quote not only doctrines and statements by the man I considered to be a prophet of God, and his interpretations of the Bible great and small. I personally knew that I was living wrong, and no doubt I was, but I knew that if I could not overcome, I would be going to hell. Though my name was on the Lambs Book of Life, Rev. Branham told me that it could just as easily be wiped off of that book.
I can remember the first day I brought my lovely wife home and the excitement that flowed through young lovers. It was the greatest day of my life for two reasons: I knew that this was the woman that I would spend the rest of my life with, and I loved her with all of my heart, mind, soul, and body. And also, I knew that because I would now have a woman to live with, this sin would quickly leave me.
When it did not, I was devastated.
Not only did it not leave me, it had increased. Though marriage is the greatest thing that can happen to a couple, there is also a certain amount of stress that is involved. Will I be able to support this woman? Will I be able to support children when she wants them? Am I in the right career for our future? Will she find out about my secret sin?
Again, I engulfed myself further into the sermons preached by Rev. Branham. At the time, we were then living in New Albany, Indiana, just a few miles from Rev. Branham’s home church in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Never once did it cross my mind that I should seek help for my situation; this was my fault that it was happening and I would have to conquer it myself. I knew that in the prayer lines that Rev. Branham would tell not only sick and afflicted, but sinners as well that they should go forth believing. Do not disbelieve, or the thing would come back on them worse than before! I put my whole heart, mind, and soul into conquering it, but the more I struggled, the worse things became.
This continued for several years, all completely hidden from everyone but my God and myself. All considered me a strong believer, and truly I was. Unfortunately, though, I had finally given up hope. I caved in, because I finally realized that I could not fight this “demon” that had possessed me.
I’ve now learned that depression can cause serious brain injury, and even damage. Though I did not know what they were at the time, the headaches started. It was a direct correlation between the times that I was struggling to sleep and the times that my depression would cause the pain to become so severe that my skull would physically hurt.
I was very emotional. Not just emotionally sad, but floods of emotions. When serious situations would arise, I would struggle to keep laughter inside, and thought it was ridiculous that I could have any amusing thoughts during painful events. Emotions would rise to such an intense degree that normal situations would become happy, sad, funny, and angry all at once. Crying became a part of my daily routine; for me, this flood would usually end in crying. Me, a grown man, bawling like a baby! I just knew that it was because I had given up hope in conquering my sin.
God began to do a strange and mighty work in my life.
At the time, it was the most difficult thing I have ever endured. Looking back, it was a it truly was the most wonderful thing that God has done for me in my entire life, but at the time, it was awful. Afterwards, I realize that this was the one thing that would change my life. I can finally look back unashamed because Jesus Christ has set me free. Finally broken from the chains of sin, finally washed in His blood, and finally living life un- condemned!
God started with my father, in more than one way. My mother and father were constantly moving growing up. Though I had spent my entire life with them, they would be migrating to a city that was over twelve hours driving time away from me. I was strong, I had a small family, and we would survive this hardship. On the outside I was as solid as a rock, but on the inside I was as weak as wood rotten from floating in the ocean.
We helped move them from Indiana to Louisiana, and helped them to setup in their new home. I can remember driving alone as we helped bring their belongings, crying so hard that I could barely see the road. Depression had overtaken my life at this point, and any slight sadness would cause uncontrollable crying for me. It was a way of life, and I had learned to adapt – driving through tears could be accomplished by squinting.
They were in their new home for some time, and I was coping back in Indiana when God again started moving. A misunderstood disagreement over money and old friends led to the harshest argument between my father and I since the day of my birth. I was confused, and did not fully understand why it even started, I had been simply trying to help a friend as they purchased a new product. Looking back now, I realized that God was in control, He has a purpose and a reason for everything that happens in our lives. This was the start of the turning point in my finally conquering both my depression and my addiction, though it would become exponentially worse before the end.
I lived life in pain. I felt rejected, cast out. When it first happened, I went days without sleep, and struggled to eat. According to what I now understand, the lack of serotonin will cause the brain to physically swell, and push itself against the skull. When it does, it is excruciating pain and agony.
I worked in a consulting job that had been a mistake. The company that hired me had not fully explained that I would be a contractor, and they had in a sense tricked me into a job that I learned sometime later was not what I had agreed to. I worked with my mind, focusing on computing as I built computer code and solved programmatic puzzles. Though my brain was physically hurting, medication like Ibuprofen and Tylenol would help me to make it through the pain. When I struggled with a puzzle, it would worsen, giving me such pain it was sometimes unbearable. God helped me, though, I was able to do the work without flaw, and was congratulated on multiple occasions.
When I realized that this job was a mistake, I objected harshly. Even my contract had large markings that stated that I was not under the clear understanding that I would be working for this contracting agency, and I had recommended other people to work at the client – not knowing that they would more than likely be tricked as well. I found others employed with this agency who were fed the same lies, and was very upset about it.
This enraged me. My anger increased my depression to an almost unbearable level. My addiction increased. My crying increased. I struggled to make it through each and every day.
During the course of my employment with this company, I would witness other employees facing the same situations, other clients who also were signing contracts with the same false pretenses, and all the while, I was at a director-level position. Once I found out, I began to take a stand. I refused to let this happen on my watch, so I took over as much of the process as I possibly could, being as truthful and honest as humanly possible. My clients to this day respected me for it, they knew that what they saw on the outside, with me, was what they would see on the inside.
When it finally reached the point that I could no longer control it, the economy was at the very lowest and was quickly getting worse. I did not know what to do, but God had his hand in it all the time, preparing me for what was to come.
I finally decided to leave and work for one of the clients that I had found to have similar interests as my ambitions. The non-compete portion of my contract was crossed out and initialed, so I was not under any obligations, but so that there was no appearance of evil, I spoke with the owner of the consulting firm and told him of my ambitions. He followed up with internal meetings wherein they congratulated me and sent me on my way with the intent that they would be a vendor for me in the future.
Before my first day in the new position as CTO of a growing medical company, my previous boss had a meeting with my new CEO. I was given an aftermath of the situation, and they described his threats with very clear accuracy as details were brought forth that would have came only from my previous boss. I knew that this was the beginning of a very bad situation.
Within a few days of being in my new position, I began receiving threats by phone and email from the old company. Since there was little trust, I severed all ties. Within a few weeks, this led to very harsh conversations between the two companies; some that I was a part of, and some that I was not.
Talk was spreading about interest in a class-action suit against my former employer, which would put me at the primary witness seat of several million dollars. I was terrified. I knew very little about the legal process, but even worse, my depression was so bad that I knew that I would make a very poor witness.
Luckily, my previous employer struck first, putting a halt to everything. Though my contract was clearly marked with a big ‘X’ through the non-compete section of the agreement, they chose to file suit against my new employer, my friend that worked there, and myself for breach of contract.
For most people struggling with depression, this would have pushed them over the edge. My father and mother were no longer there to help me through it, my father was still in strong disagreement with my stand against the love of money, and I stood to lose everything that I owned in a lawsuit that I knew was unjust. I was strong willed, however. My addiction increased exponentially, and my depression became much more powerful, but I hid it with a firm disposition like many would view Stonewall Jackson taking his stand.
My youngest son was on his way, and we were very excited. At the time, I did not know that this was also a stress factor, and was very glad that I would be a new, proud father. None of these problems were a concern to me outwardly, and I was able to conceal them inwardly (or so I thought). My emotions were growing stronger, though, and the door to my office would be closed often so that I could conceal the constant flow of tears through my eyes.
Then, it happened. The mighty hand of God, who has the power to move mountains, began to put an end to my sin and affliction. I didn’t know it, but the sin that I had struggled with, the addiction that most people have to be extensively counseled for was about to be put to rest.
My brother’s son had a fall, and the side of his face began to swell. It did not go down after several days, so he was taken to a dentist for examination to see if some tooth was infected. The dentist sent him directly to Kosair Children’s Hospital for a complete and thorough examination, because it was suspected that he had cancer.
The examination at Kosair revealed that my nephew indeed had cancer, and that the cancer was life threatening. I watched as the cancer was described, displayed in the x- rays, and listened as the doctor described the low chances of success.
I felt like I was the only one there for my brother. With our parents so far away, I knew that I would have to be strong for him. I also knew that there was something preventing me from being strong, and still at the time did not know what it was. My nephew’s condition worsened and worsened.
I soon found myself spread very thin between a job that required 80-100 hours per week or more, frequent hospital visits to see my nephew during treatments, starting tests for the birth of my child, meetings at the District Attorney’s office, and threatening phone calls.
One day, I received a call from the District Attorney’s office in the hallway, a threatening phone call in the elevator, an angry past client in a new hallway, watching my child as he started to be cared for by the hospital, and crossing the river into Louisville, KY to help my brother through what I thought at the time to be the death of his son.
I cracked. This was the very height of my depression, the very worse of my addiction, the very worse day of my life, and quite possibly the very worse day I would have for the rest of my life. My depression took over my body, mind, and control. I could no longer drive through the tears, but would get out and walk it off. My body was craving the serotonin so harshly that I could not control my actions. I could no longer concentrate on anything, job, nephew, son, lawsuit. I was broken.
Not long after, I found myself in jail. No longer in control of my actions, I would find myself releasing all control to the addiction, no matter where it took me. Luckily, I remained true (in a sense) to my wife and never touched another woman. It was in the hard concrete bed of that jail, I finally felt release. God had taken over. I was no longer in control. I no longer had to fight. Nothing mattered any more.
I learn now that depression is a very deadly disease. It has clamed the lives of many people, similar to many other chronic illnesses. I never fully understood why people would take their own lives, commit hideous crimes, be unfaithful to their wives, lie, cheat, or steal. Once I let go, everything made perfect sense to me.
God was fully in control of my emotional release, my recovery, and my freedom. I realized for the first time that the sin I had battled against was not from anything I could control. It was not because I had rejected the prophet or the “message”, and it was not because I did not walk with Christ.
Not only was my sin a direct cause of my lack of serotonin and increased by addiction, it was God’s perfect plan for the salvation of my soul. Though I walked with God daily, it was the “experience” that I would have to tell about, how God brought me out.
My recovery was a very long process. At first, I had no job or income, so I would try to research depression myself. I could take too much of the medication and turn into a vegetative state, or I could take too little and be forced into the bed for days at a time. I spent several days in a row simply staring at a wall.
I had told less than a handful of people what I went through that day. My pastor knew everything, and a few others knew part of it. I realized over time that since I had been absent from church for a few months, those that I knew and held close to my heart would not even question why I no longer attended. Not one phone call would be made to even ask how I was doing, or if I was OK. Family, friends, brothers in Christ, none would come to my help with the exception of a couple of family members.
One day, I received a phone call from a true man of God who did not follow the doctrine of Rev. Branham. At the time, he was an acquaintance that I knew well, but I did not realize the true friend he would become. He told me that he and his family were praying together the night before, and my name came up in prayer. Out of the blue! He took me to lunch, and I told him most of my story. We prayed together, and he would continue to call me, pray for me, and ask me how I was coming along as my healing took place.
I still held everything Rev. Branham said with absolute confidence. I would try as I was being healed to minister to him, and he would listen passionately. He never once disagreed with me or tried to argue with me, but would simply tell me what the Bible said. I would look it up, and he was absolutely correct each time.
This confused me. How could this true child of God know God’s word so vividly and not be a follower of Rev. Branham? How could he suddenly have my name in prayer, when he had never heard the Message Rev. Branham gave? I just pushed it aside in a corner of my mind and went on.
My healing continued. I would start to see the medicine working, finally after over a year. I still had the addiction, but was watching it become much, much less dominant in my life. Days would start to go by where I felt normal, even on top of the world at times, but then a few days in a row where I was forced into bed with pain in my head that I could not bear. The good days started outnumbering the bad days. I started being able to concentrate with clear and concise thoughts like I had never experienced before. A dark cloud that seemingly hovered in my mind since childhood was suddenly starting to lift away and I could start to see and understand why I had suffered so.
As I lay there during the bad days, I began to have this sudden thought on my mind: If Branham could not see anything past 1977 as he said, why is California still standing and Billy Paul, who he said would not be an old man before it happened, such an old man? It kept going through my head, over and over. I’d start praying about it. Still believed every word, but did not understand.
Over time, I started searching. I found that Jesus said to “Search the scriptures”, and I quickly realized that I had always read my Bible according to the way that Branham had taught it. A common statement by ministers in the Branham following would often use a description of a rifle, wherein the Bible was one of the sights, and Branham’s doctrine was the other sight. Meaning, clearly, that you must have Branham to understand the Word of God.
I started realizing that this was not true. The Bible was of no private interpretation. The more and more I read of the Bible, the more questions I had regarding the life-long study I had put into the Message. I knew practically each and every doctrine by Branham, no matter how big or small, and listened to pastors tell how his sermons did not contradict themselves or the Bible – it lined up exactly like the hind site and the fore site of a rifle. Yet, the more I read of the Bible, the more I found that not only did Branham contradict the Bible on several occasions, he contradicted himself even more.
I started researching California. I listened to every quote. I started searching the sermons, comparing it to the Bible, and actual history. I found an excellent article about the “spiritual cloud”, and found that not only was Branham not there when it happened, but his description of the event did not match the various accounts of the event. And he never claimed the cloud until after it was printed!
I studied the vision of the destruction of California, how God gave him such harsh words of such an evil place. And God speaking, said that Capernaum was at the bottom of the sea. And I found where Capernaum was never at the bottom of the sea! This did not make sense!
Still, I was a believer. I knew there must be some explanation. I studied each and every vision, church age, and church angel intently. I knew that it was me that was wrong, not the Message of William Branham. I hid my searches from my wife, because I did not want her corrupted by these things. I knew that it would take a strong-willed Message believer to resist the devil trying to pull them away from the Message.
About that time, I thought of the man who disbelieved Rev. Branham during the prayer lines. I started to fear, because he did not believe, questioned the prophet, and was struck down on the platform in an instant. I started studying on this. Though the bible says we are to test the prophets, I knew this had happened; Rev. Branham said it!
I quickly searched everything said about the man. I found the city of the event, and searched for news articles, something to confirm it. Suddenly, I was very shocked! The retellings of the story did not match! He could not have been struck down paralyzed on the platform and ran screaming from it! He could not have been dead a few weeks later and still be “bedfast ‘til this day”! This was very wrong.
I began to search more and more, looking for all of the many things that I had studied in the recordings of Rev. Branham, one-by-one. No matter how big or small it was, no matter how insignificant, I wanted to know the truth!
Having been taught that every single word was infallible by the ministers in Jeffersonville, I was starting to be very shocked. I found a sermon where one of Branham’s sons said that the Message was his Absolute ... not the Bible. The Branham.org website started putting out web pages for children with a topic of “Did you Know?”. These pages would give silly things that I have always known to be false, but for some reason, I was blind to it. I could not realize that the prophet had spoken anything untrue, science must be wrong.
Man actually has been to the moon. I knew this already, but never considered that the prophet said they’d never make it there. Women do not have one more rib than a man, though I clearly remember this statement in my childhood as someone tickled my ribs. Animals do not get their color from the dirt of the plants they eat. The great pyramid of Giza has a shadow. Mars is not a million light years away. I was shocked at how blinded I was! All of these things were false, yet I both knew them and was blinded to them at the same time!
I thought within myself: none of this really matters. The Bible is my absolute, not any man, preacher, saint or sinner. If Branham was truly the vindicated prophet of God that was described in Malachi 4 as I had been taught, then his visions and revelations would be proof enough. I actually felt that if I researched all of them out fully, it would take me right back to the Message where I started.
I started by taking each of the seven visions that he claimed to have had in 1933, and studied every instance he spoke about them and every description he made of the event. I compared it to actual history, and what the Bible said about it. I quickly realized that not one of the seven that were supposed to have already happened according to Rev. Branham was prophesied before the actual event. Even worse, each prophecy was a moving target! Over time, they would change completely to fit the current events or proven history as they knew it at the time. A woman that would rule the country changed from a president to a dictator to a vice president to the Catholic Church to a voter who would elect Kennedy to office. There was no way to prove any of them; they changed constantly.
I was devastated. I had studied each of these events throughout my life, and had preached them to several people along the way. Some would laugh at me, but I’d simply pat myself on the back that I had witnessed to them and would hopefully someday save their lives because they knew the mysteries given by Rev. Branham.
Things really started getting scary when I went through the Church messengers. I found that Rev. Branham had copied the dates of each age from books and studies by Clarence Larkin. From these dates, he had assigned a “messenger” to each age who he considered to be the “angel” for the age.
I found books and writings by each one of them. The first problem I ran into was Irenaeus: he wrote a book entitled “Against Heresies” that was condemning the largest threat to Christianity at the time, which is Gnosticism. I had no clue what Gnosticism was, so I started researching that first.
I found that the Gnostics preached that Jesus was the only One Supreme God. This did not sound right to me, why would Irenaeus condemn a group that said they followed Jesus only, when Rev. Branham preached that Irenaeus was Jesus Only? Even worse, they put focus on mysteries instead of the scriptures. Did I do that?
I learned that during time of the ministry of Rev. Branham, new copies of scrolls found in the Dead Sea by two children playing in caves were starting to be translated to English. The most interesting of these books to me was a Book of Enoch, which contained portions of a Book of Noah. I found in these books the hidden revelations that Rev. Branham claimed to have, such as the duration of Enoch’s life and other revealed stories.
I read the Gnostic texts, such as the Gospel of Judas – which clearly were not scripturally accurate. But in these texts, I found where they taught that the Zodiac was the original Bible, just as Branham taught. Even though the Bible preaches against worship of the stars!
I started reading everything, from works of Plato to Josephus to Gnostic texts. I started to quickly realize that the ministry Rev. Branham taught with these hidden “revelations” was merely things that he had read in these lost texts. ...many of which were clearly occult.
I started researching Saint Martin of Tours, who was definitely a man of God. As Rev. Branham said, he stood up to the evil emperor until death. I read what Rev. Branham said about Martin, however, and found that Rev. Branham said that Martin of Tours had stood up to the emperor for the “spirit filled saints”. Knowing nothing about these people, I studied and found that they were Priscillianists, or a group of Gnostics so filled with the occult that they were even rejected even by the Gnostics of the day.
Priscillianists, as Gnostics, were a blend between Pagan ideas and Christianity. They took the Pagan standpoint on all things, and translated them to their version of Christianity. They believed incantations, vegetarianism, and astrology. They believed that lies could be told for the greater works of God. ...and then it sunk in. Lies for God?
I started studying Columba. I was very shocked when I found that he was dead before his church age even began. I had listened to the Church Age preaching over and over, but never even considered questioning whether or not the man was alive!
I studied Martin Luther. He was born before his “church age”, and during the portion that was within his church age, he was a very violent man. He would quickly oppose the Jewish religion, burning their homes and destroying their synagogues, which was clearly not Christ-like. I studied what Rev. Branham taught about the Jews, saying that the Gospel was not for them! Clearly contrary to Paul’s preaching!
I read works by John Wesley, who clearly believed in the Trinity contrary to Rev. Branham’s teachings. Though he was a good man, he would protest the very foundation of the message that Rev. Branham taught.
Then came the Laodicean age. I had nothing to research other than Branham himself. This is no easy undertaking, especially when you have viewed the Bible through Rev. Branham’s eyes for over 30 years. Luckily, I found others who are starting to see the truth, and their research helped me quickly get a kick-start. I could easily make a list of what Rev. Branham said, what Rev. Branham said that contradicted the Bible, and what the Bible said that contradicted Branham.
Through reading the works of these who had done as I had, sought out the truth, I quickly found that I was not alone. I had been in a cult, brainwashed to be oblivious to the truth that was right before my very eyes. They were also in this cult, and experienced the same thing. Stories of depression, stories of addiction, stories of helplessness and worthlessness all started making sense to me. Many who leave the Message leave religion altogether. Others live in fear because in the back of their minds, they will always have false teachings of the evil world around us.
For the first time in the 36 years of my life, I worshipped at a local Baptist church. Within two visits to the church, I quickly realized that I had never been in a “real” Sunday school. We studied the Old Testament in a way like I had never before, and I learned things that I never knew. Using Branham’s special “insight” or not, I should have known these things, they were in my Bible!
My children had the same experience. Rather than curl up in a ball in the seat counting ceiling tiles or sleeping through a recorded sermon from years gone by, they entered the room with wide eyes and interest. After their first visit, instead of begging not to go back, they asked, “Daddy, can we come back here next Sunday?”.
I am very glad that I took the time to seek out the truth. It has opened up a new excitement for God, like never before. My Bible is a new book, and my life is a new and encouraging life.
I hope and pray that you do the same.