Video available here: http://youtu.be/Uew8MIWeCus
As a parent, we want what is best for our children. But we have a great deal more experience in life, and often they don’t understand why we do the things we do.
For instance, we can set a cookie jar on the table before dinner, and the child may ask for a cookie. And ask. And ask. And ask. The child does not understand that the cookie will spoil the meal, and continues to ask.
A good parent will redirect focus. Setting the cookie jar high on a shelf, taking the child by the hand into another room, and playing toys with him will take his mind off of the cookie.
If a parent left the cookie jar on the table, and constantly scolded the child not to eat or ask for a cookie, a room full of visitors would eventually scold or instruct the parent. Most understand the mind of a child, and want to help the child rather than break him or her down over a silly cookie.
Cult pastors are the exact opposite of this scenario. Lining up cookie jars along the altar, they pound the rules into the minds of their captives. One cookie jar might have drinking. One might have smoking or television. Each cookie jar on their platform contains some rule that they wish to enforce, and they drive a nail through each one into the hearts of the people. Were it a piece of lumber, they’d drive the nail all the way through the board and into the ground.
I often wondered why it was this way. I sincerely doubt that there is a single person in one of the Branham cult churches that do not know the rules by the second or third service. I kept waiting for the “Good Stuff,” but they always lingered on the rules and not the blessings. It was almost as if I were the “oddball,” the eagle who thought that he was a chicken story that Branham plagiarized from Rev. Franklin! I was hungry for the Gospel!
In fact, I visited a cult church in Louisville, Kentucky where a “forced altar call” took place. The pastor, following Branham’s footsteps, said that he had the “gift of discernment” and proceeded to walk down the aisle to point out those that had sin in their lives – standing there pointing at them to go to the altar and repent.
Now, I had more sin in my life than any person in that room. In fact, according to the scripture, we all were sinners, saved by Grace alone. But his “discernment” was mostly for the sister that wore a little color on her face. …or the man whose hair was a touch too long. I honestly felt that the man was a little insane, because I was the least among them! Why did he skip me?
You see, these pastors keep you FOCUSED on your sin, just as were the intentions of the Mosaic Law. Christ came to fulfill the Old Covenant, showing us that we were ALL sinners – and the Law just magnified the sin. Under the New Covenant of Grace, we are not supposed to focus on the cookie jars, like a dieting, overweight person standing in a house of chocolates! We are to look beyond those things to Calvary, where the Savior paid the cost!
By experience, I can honestly say that men in this cult have a difficult time. Women who have been deprogrammed often say that it was degrading for them, but they have NO idea what a man goes through.
William Branham said that a woman that cut her hair was a “prostitute” according to the Bible. He said that women that wear pants or shorts were prostitutes. Cult pastors take this further to toes, knees, shoulders, and more – forgetting the Christians in other cultures around the world in warmer climates!
For a man, you almost can’t step outside your door without seeing what you “think” is a “prostitute!” In fact, a shopping mall or grocery store is practically a bordello! Why do you think that pornography and other sexual addictions are so widespread in these cults? The pastors have decided to belittle you by keeping the cookie jars in front of your faces, blasting you weekly for even thinking about them! I’m learning that many of us may struggle for YEARS as we deprogram ourselves from these false teachings.
Hebrews 6 condemns the very thing these pastors are doing. Paul says that they are “crucifying Christ once more!”:
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings [Baptism in some translations], the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Let’s break this paragraph down, and compare it to William Branham’s doctrines:
• Laying another foundation of repentance from dead works – He did that.
• New instructions for faith – He did that.
• Instructions on baptism – Check
• Laying on of hands - Possibly
• Resurrection of the dead – Definitely
• Eternal judgement – I’m still dumbfounded about this one. …why?
Does this mean that Branham crucified Christ again, and pastors do it weekly or bi-weekly? These are Paul’s words, not mine!
If we continue on to Hebrews 8, we find that all of these things being pounded into our heads are worthless and obsolete according to Paul:
Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.
God reigns on His throne – these earthly priests are supposed to be teaching us the New Covenant, not the Old one!
For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
The Old Covenant failed! Paul just said so! If it had been any good, there would be no need for a New Covenant! This is MUCH different than Branham’s claim that Christ came to make the Old Covenant stronger!
For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
Think of this! The children of Israel ASKED Moses to go back up the mountain and get the rules! They ASKED Moses for the cookie jar! And God gave them their wish, because they were so persistent!
God was not teaching children – God was teaching men and women to be parents of the Gospel. He was teaching them how awful it was to have the cookie jars in their faces.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
God just said that he was putting the cookie jars away. And those who kept begging, those who sneaked around the corner to grab one, all were forgiven.
Paul repeats himself, begging people not to get caught up with these brutal pastors:
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
As Christians, we should consider this:
God took the “cookie jars” out of our faces. He placed them on a shelf that we can easily access – if we want to, and then told us not to eat them because there would be a Wedding Supper.
We can eat the cookies – He said that we would still be forgiven. But by wiping out the Old Covenant and dying on the cross for us, He has shown us a better way! Now, they are sitting on the shelves, and we have matured to adults, and are more excited about the Feast that is coming than a few small cookies!
Isn’t it about time that we start showing the pastors the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they can mature to adults? Isn’t it time that we show them that the New Covenant replaced the one that became useless and vanished away? Isn’t it time that we tell them about what the Savior did on the cross, so that they can receive Christ into their hearts?