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Our Stories - A Sigh of Relief

12/06/2012 I stumbled on this site by chance, and am finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. I haven't 'lived' the Message in years, but still believed and have been quite a nervous wreck. I wasn't born in the Message, I married into it (and later divorced.) I've had a sense of religion my entire life. Even as a little girl, I knew there was a God, but was confused and disappointed with the Methodist and later Baptist churches we attended. I would see people come to church and smile & congregate, then leave and backstab and steal each other's spouses (including my aunt leaving with the preacher.) I couldn't understand why it made no sense. I remember asking my mother (I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old) why God never speaks to people or does miracles anymore. She said he does, just in a different way/those days were over because the people asked God not to speak to them anymore since it frightened them. "Church" felt dead and I hated going...they were only going to make fun of me in the 'fashion show' on Sunday, anyway. There HAD to be something more. I knew God had to be somewhere, and he was still as supernatural as he was back then. When my father was a baby, my grandma contracted TB and was placed in a sanitorium in Phoenix. They weren't big church members, and they weren't pentecostals or Message...but she believed in God. She was left there to die, and she begged Jesus to spare her so she could raise her babies. She said Jesus came to her bedside and healed her. She WAS healed, raised her children, lived to see grandchildren and great grandchildren. She passed away a few years ago. I wanted to know- Where were the healings and miracles today?

I married into a Message family and found the book on BB's life story. That was it! There was the Lord speaking to people, sending visions, healing, and a preacher who actually corrected his flock instead of patting them on the back and turning a blind eye. It wasn't a difficult leap, I always preferred to wear my hair long, I liked skirts, and I've always been a little too lazy to enjoy primping and makeup, anyway. I was sure I'd found what I'd been looking for.

Before too long, I'd see things which confused me, but I was terrified of questioning anything, because I didn't want to be damned/punished/struck dead like several of the stories I'd heard. I was disgusted to start seeing how women were treated by their husbands. I'd heard men LAUGH about a brother punching out his wife in front of the brothers, a pastor that announced a TSTL healing (the sister died anyway), a preacher who had a son that was hiding from the law for child support because he'd abandoned a couple of wives & children and was being hidden by his family.

My own EX turned out to be a shady guy, and he'd show up and shout and sing the loudest on Sunday. He'd get into lengthy arguments, supporting the tent, a bear, the plane, BB being shot 'for the Message' on the steps of the White House... There were a few ill mannered folks who'd show up for dinner unannounced, and would eat huge portions (I always made enough that if someone stopped by, I could offer them something, too...but I was amazed at the audacity of people who not only imposed, they ate like pigs and weren't embarassed at all! I'd have to go eat a little instant rice in the kitchen. I'm still a little angry because they weren't even good friends! Of course, my EX would have to puff up and loudly exclaim in front of them, 'I've told you to keep plenty of food available, WIFE!' Blah.) I finally decided I'd take my chances on God forgiving me and I kicked my EX to the curb, filed for divorce and moved on. I remarried a few years later and life has been peaceful and wonderful, with the exception of the terror and depression because I was told I'd be going to hell for remarrying, and especially for not living the Message. I despised the whole 'can't hug anyone because they'll lust after you and you'll be responsible for sending them to hell.' My ex brother in law was just as ridiculous as the rest of them. My daughter was 19 or 20 and she hugged her family 'hello' on a visit. My BIL yelled at her and told her that only whores do that and it causes improper thoughts (in an uncle? EWW!) He later yelled at her and told her he 'was turning her over to Satan.' My blood is STILL boiling over that. First of all, NOBODY, and I mean nobody needs the permission of a family member or a pastor or whatever for salvation! JESUS is the ONLY means of being saved, and its up to the Lord God Almighty as to whether anyone is saved or goes to hell. Who do people think they are, saying they're 'handing someone over' or 'taking them out from under the protection of the Blood'?! And don't even get me started on the whole 'You offended me, now God don't (sic) hear you when you pray.' I lost count of the times that happened- and 9 times out of 10, the 'offense' was all in their head. If something bothers someone, talk to the person about it- not everyone else!

I've always had a 'quirk' (I don't know that I'd call it a gift.) If I get an immediate, ugly, uncomfortable feeling upon meeting someone, there's almost always been a reason. Anytime I've ignored that feeling, bad situations tend to crop up and things have turned nasty. I met Billy Paul, and that feeling hit me. I was terrified- TERRIFIED of snubbing the prophet's own child. It really disturbed me, but I steered clear. I had asked where Sister Sarah Branham was, and everyone said, 'oh, she's odd.' So? Where is she? Then I read her letter a couple years ago- she wrote it in the late 80's, and it was swept under the rug???! Nothing more on her, since... Meanwhile, I still waited to see the Lord doing great works in the church that so many folks had testified to.

While I was disgusted and bothered by the self righteous judgemental attitude of many Message people towards other denominations or girls who didn't dress for the Message (girls with makeup were whores or putty faces, and any woman who wore anything other than a potato sack dress was a prostitute), I reasoned that perhaps God has a way of dealing individually with people. Just because folks attend church doesn't mean they're Christians. Many of those 'putty faced whores' were sweet people with a heart of gold...I'd rather have that for a friend than several of the pompous, mean spirited, unchristian like Message folk I'd been exposed to.

I told myself the Message wasn't about the Branhamites, and it wasn't about the crazy false messages floating around (like the people who worship BB as the Savior.) It was about the very Elect, right? I'd just have to follow from my heart and not pay any mind to how others were behaving and not worry about the 'little mistakes' I had noticed in the sermons.

I told myself the world not ending in 77, didn't matter. The astronauts might not have REALLY landed on the moon- I wouldn't trust the gov't to not have set up a movie set for the 'landing.' It bothered me, but I kept saying it must be me that is misunderstanding. There were little things- things changing from sermon to sermon...Samson was described as a little bitty, sissy boy, shrimp with seven little curls (many times), then in other sermons Samson was big strong, in all his bulk, all his framework...things he'd deny saying, when I'd JUST heard or read it in another sermon...the 'pretty Catholic woman who died a horrible death, screaming for BB, body steaming, bowels and kidneys voided' after several different means of 'not feeding religion to her cow or shooting her cow if it got that religion' after he'd asked her to cover up her immodest apparell with his jacket during a service/while she was walking by on the street/while she was talking to a friend...Another thing that has always been a 'huh?' moment, and I can't find it anywhere- was when he was talking about the death of his daddy, he mentioned something about a 'red angel.' Anyone know what that was about or has anyone else seen it? I'm unable to find it now. Was it edited out in another blank spot? (WHAT IS WITH ALL THE BLANK SPOTS???) They're all such small things, but how do I know that the big things that matter are right? I've always made excuses, gotten depressed about the whole thing, and wondered what happened. Also, it doesn't help that I live in CA. Billy Paul IS an old man, and I lose alot of sleep at night praying God doesn't sink it, yet (its not a funny issue and I take no joy in claiming 'false prophesy'- it still terrifies me.) I mentioned it once, and was told I was mistaken. It meant that it would be after Billy Paul died. As long as he's still alive and an old man, its safe...My husband had such a facefull of the Message and what he considers to be some of the most crooked people in the world, he won't even discuss anything to do with the Message. I feel bad for people who leave the message and have problems because their spouse won't...my issue isnt with my spouse, its trying to untangle the jumbled mess inside my own head.

I always looked for those fabulous things people witnessed to, but those things all seem unable to prove. Who were those people who died so horribly after not believing or questioning? What about the big, scary man who came up on stage and told BB he'd kill him, and BB didn't flinch, but told him his body would nail BB's feet to the floor (and sure enough, he fell dead across BB's feet/ he was knocked unconscious at BB's feet) Was any of that caught on tape or names published in any papers? Surely that would have stood out as news?

Until I read this site, I'd never heard of any other Message people questioning anything he said. It was a relief to finally know there are others and to see facts presented so that others can decide for themselves.