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Spiritual Sickness

John Collins04/18/2013

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A few years ago, I joined a close friend and business associate for a meal at a restaurant that was well-known in this area for being very good food.  Big-name government officials and even the Secretary of State had dined at this restaurant, because its fame spread for miles and miles around.

The meal was tasty, sweet as it entered into my mouth.  But for both my business associate, and myself the after-effects would last days.  I honestly felt like I had swallowed death itself – the most horrific food poisoning that I have had in my life, and likely the worst that I will ever have! 

For my associate, it was the same experience.  We both spent the next few days between the bed and the bathroom, and the momentary sweet taste in our mouths was long forgotten by the time we suffered through.

Afterwards, I commented to others about our experience when the restaurant was mentioned.  Others also had similar stories to tell, and the general consensus was that the food tasted really good, but it made you really sick.

Others, however, had known that restaurant for years, and had good memories of visiting that restaurant.  While so many people described food poisoning, these that were living on old memories would argue that we must have “just had a bad experience.” 

What they did not realize is that they were not seeing the underlying problem, and they were basing their entire argument on days gone by.

This is much like the cult pastors of today!

I have heard about multiple pastors in the cult of William Branham who are trying to hold onto that last brick as the wall falls down say the very same thing to anyone who questions what is going on in their churches.  “They left because they had a bad experience.”  Typically, I’m prime example, since I came out of the cult church in Jeffersonville, the most legalistic among the entire following.

What they do not realize is that I did not grow up in Jeffersonville.  I did not grow up in Macon, Georgia, or Tucson, Arizona.  I went to these churches, but I went to others as well.  My father was a “wanderer,” and we went to many cult churches.  We went to cult churches that lived grace-filled lives, those like in Jeffersonville that denied grace for law, and others that simply did not understand the two at all.  I tasted the sweet dessert of the Branhamite cult, and it tasted good.

But sometimes, like the restaurant experience, the taste can never be good enough to make you want to endure the sickness!

I use the word “sickness” here with multiple meanings.  Those of you who have taken the time to read my testimony in Seek The Truth know that this cult that has strayed from the Gospel led me into deep depression – just as it has led many others into the same.  But even that sickness is just like the first warning signs that I had just received food poisoning from the restaurant – the worst is yet to come.

The worst is spiritual sickness.  Denying the Truth to believe a lie.

What the cult pastors do not realize is that the quickly growing number of people now standing up against the false doctrines and failed prophecies of the cult have absolutely NOTHING to do with “bad experiences.”  If it were as simple as that, I don’t think that a single one of us would waste a moment’s time making bitter enemies with two to four million people around the world.  There is no reward for what we do here on earth – there is only pain. 

These cult pastors have studied the sermons of William Branham so much that they have forgotten the words of the Bible.  They have forgotten the many, many stories in the Old Testament of how the Children of Israel continually fell into idolatry, and how with repentance came a stand for the Truth.

When Hezekiah became king, his fathers worshipped the brass serpent.  It was setup by Moses, directed by God, and brought healing to the people who were complaining in the wilderness.  But though it was setup by God, the people began to worship the serpent more than God, and it became an idol. 

Year after year, the Children of Israel made offerings to the serpent, and Hezekiah could see that this brass serpent – though good things came to the people through the serpent – was making the people sick.  Spiritually sick.

I’m sure that the people did not see the brass serpent as an idol.  They remembered the serpent from days gone by, how it healed the people.  The serpent had a healing ministry that would have dwarfed William Branham’s ministry – because this brass serpent needed no prayer cards with the names and addresses written on them.

And I’m sure that the old-timers told Hezekiah that he just had a bad experience.  There were probably groups of people that had fallen further into idolatry than others – and so maybe they told Hezekiah that he just needed to experience one of the other groups of people worshipping the idol.

But they were spiritually sick.  Hezekiah could see it. 

This story continues over and over throughout the Old Testament.  The names change, the situation changes, but the story remains the same.  Mankind falls into idolatry, someone learns the Truth, and then spreads the Truth to others. 

But it doesn’t stop with the Old Testament.

The cult pastors have forgotten the entire New Testament.  Every single person who converted to Christ – from the least to the greatest – told others once they learned the Truth. 

It started with John the Baptist.  When he learned the Truth, he proclaimed it – even before he knew who Christ was.

Luke 10 describes seventy-two people who learned of Christ, and their primary ambition – their ONLY ambition – was to tell others what they learned. 

My favorite in the New Testament is the story of Paul.  He was a sinner, guilty of persecuting Christians – to the extent that he even approved the stoning of Stephen.  In most cult churches of today, Paul’s past sins would be so great that he would never be allowed to stand behind a pulpit!

Paul’s conversion was nothing less than fantastic, however there is one thing that is for certain.  Paul did not learn the Truth and then keep it to himself – otherwise we would have very little Christian Churches today.  It was because Paul decided to tell others the Truth that the Gospel was spread to the nations!

Heretics infiltrated the churches, and the books of the New Testament all have warnings against those who teach false doctrine.  The entire book of Jude is nothing more than a warning of the Gnostic teachings – the same teachings that influenced William Branham.  Had Jude learned the Truth and decided to keep it to himself, there would be NO book of Jude!

And while some argue that we should ignore Branham’s including heretical teachings from the Gnostics because “he was just a man and made mistakes like a man,” remember Jude.  We don’t see Jude proclaiming to others, “Ah, just ignore those Gnostics, because they are just men and they made mistakes.”

Let’s examine Jude’s writings on false teachers like William Branham:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.  And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”  But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.  Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion.  These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Ask yourselves:  Does Jude sound like a man who got a little bad taste in his mouth from a bad meal?  Does Jude sound like someone who is looking back to the old days at how “sweet things tasted” in the Pagan world? 

Or is Jude sick to his stomach with the excruciating pain of spiritual sickness?

Oh, and to those of you who might feel discouraged in your stand for the Truth:  that restaurant I mentioned?  It’s no longer in business!

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