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John Collins06/21/2013

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I recently received an introduction to a website for a cult church in Trinidad called the Bethel “House of God.”  The site thought enough of me to give me a full-page spread on the work I’m doing with Seek Ye The Truth, and decided to embellish the story a bit so that their congregation would fear the evil forces of “John.” 

I got a few good chuckles reading the article, how they added a fictional addiction to drugs to my testimony and seemed to think that a person could be saved by drugs.  “Salvation from Drugs,” they titled it.  And how they thought I was a prophet because I expose the lies of a false prophet.   Like so many trapped in the cult of William Branham, they have confused “sorcerer” with “prophet,” and have not came to terms with the fact that the failed visions of William Branham make him a FALSE prophet.  And the stories Branham invent, such as the “Man from Windsor,” (the man that Branham said fell paralyzed, but yet ran screaming, fell dead, but yet was still living and suffering from cancer) were an attempt to present himself as a sorcerer.

I got interested to see what this cult church believed, since no two cult churches in the entire world believe the same thing.  One page caught my eye.

Seek The Truth was not their only target for condemnation – the website seemed to enjoy condemning plenty.  On this particular page, the entire article condemned sports!  ..and the ENTIRE CULT, who is now enjoying SPORTS!  This is a PARADOX, because even their cult leader LOVED the … sport … of hunting!  There is even a picture from South Africa of the false prophet wearing a pair of shorts – which he hypocritically condemned – during one of these sporting events behind his rifle.

I read through the article, and found many quotes condemning sports – but not one single quote from the Bible on the subject!  And many were quotes I was familiar with.

Many who are young in the cult of William Branham do not realize this, but cult life now in the United States is absolutely NOTHING like it was during the times not long after William Branham died.  When he left the scene, there was no new “manna from above,” as they called it.  The people were so unfamiliar with reading their Bibles, and so programmed to following new “word from the false prophet,” that they began to re-scrape the old sermons and come up with new rules. 

Dresses, for instance, are much longer today than the photograph of William Branham’s wife and children.  In fact, I watched a poor girl blasted from behind the pulpit at Jeffersonville, IN for wearing one of these “scandal skirts,” as the pastor called it, when the tiny little bit of ankle showing was NOTHING compared to the knobby knees of the great and powerful Branham’s children!

My father was best friends with Joseph Branham, William Branham’s son, and was alive to spend time with the boy while Branham was still alive.  They’ve parted ways and have nothing to do with each other after the love of money set in, but were always found together according to the stories my father and grandfather tell.

Both my father and Branham’s son were avid sports fans.  To this day, both men (though never talking to each other) love to talk about sports.  I can remember visiting the buildings rented out by Joseph Branham here in Jeffersonville, and the children rushing in eager to enjoy a good game of basketball or foosball.

And I know now that Joe’s motives are different, trying to capture the hearts of the young men and women who will one day send their donations – but back then I saw this as a very kind and generous act.

But you see, after William Branham died, men not only added to his teaching, they invented new rules.  As they scraped the recorded sermons to find the “fresh nuggets,” they would find Branham condemning or even disliking this or that.  I’ve known people who will not own a cat, because Branham didn’t like them.  Others who force themselves to pretend to like the … sport … of hunting just because their fearless leader did.

These men, tossed by the waves, search the words of the false prophet without consulting the Word of God.  Each new “revelation,” like this condemnation of sports on the Bethel website, becomes more and more like the Bible stories of the lawyers that worked with the Pharisees.

You see, in the days of Jesus, the Pharisees were the “popes” of the Jewish people.  They were considered to be the “holy ones,” and the “ultimate authority” of handling the Law of Moses – just like the pastors do with William Branham today.  Forget about what the Bible says about something – let’s hear what the “prophet says!”  Forget about quoting the Bible when we condemn sports – let’s show what the “prophet” says!

But the Pharisees themselves were unwilling to take the challenge of learning the entire law for themselves.  Had they actually read the Law, and understood the purpose of love behind the Law, things may have been different.  There would have been no need for a Messiah if the people were walking in perfect love. 

So these Pharisees worked closely with men who examined and studied the Law of Moses.  They were called “Lawyers.”  As the men and women who study governmental law today are called Lawyers, the governing Law in that day came from Moses, and they were called “Lawyers” back then.

Like these pastors who invent new “rules” that not even their own prophet promoted, the Lawyers invented new “laws” that were not found in the Mosaic Law.  And they twisted laws that were actually written to “bend them” a little bit as they saw fit. 

During the time when William Branham was alive, and the “divine healing” movement was going strong, song services were entirely different from today.  The powerhouses in divine healing believed that the song service should be very soft and slow, using only a piano and an organ.  This is common with practically any religion – even pagan – for entering into a healing ritual.  If you distract the patient from the work of the elemental spirit, no healing can occur. 

William Branham instructed my grandfather, pastor of the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, IN to ONLY allow the piano and organ into congregational worship. 

This clearly is extra-biblical.  David had hundreds if not thousands of instruments, and we find worship and praise – even dancing – all through the Bible.

Cult pastors today realize this, and some of them are music lovers.  This Bethel church is no different.

I watched a few of their music videos – very good music, by the way – and noticed that they did not practice the instruction by the false prophet.

So this creates a problem. While condemning other churches for not following Branham’s “teaching,” they themselves are breaking his rules in other areas.  It reminds me of the words of Jesus: “how can you remove the speck from your brother’s eye without first removing the LOG from your own eye!”

But to the Lawyer in the Old Testament, it was no different, really.  They scoured through the old Law, taking things in and out of context like it was some sort of switchboard to turn Laws on and off.  And to twist laws to fit their situation. 

None of us really like sports!  But music?  Let’s bend the rules here just a bit!

The ways of the Pharisees and the Lawyers resulted into asceticism, which is condemned all through scripture.  Asceticism is the belief that you can make yourself more holy by forbidding yourself earthly things of this world.

Paul condemns it all through the scriptures.  Paul asks this (paraphrased) all through his letters: If our earthly bodies have died to this world, and we now live in the spiritual, how can the things we do for our earthly bodies have any effect on our spiritual bodies?

It is very interesting, because Paul himself references sports in his comparisons for the church all through his letters.

To Timothy:

An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
2 Timothy 2:5

To the Philippians:

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 

To the Corinthians:

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1 Corinthians 9:25

Again to the Corinthians:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 9:24

So what was the Apostle Paul doing, referencing this “evil” thing called sports? 

You see, these cult pastors do not reference the Word of God when they invent new rules for their congregations.  There is no set of checks and balances – they aren’t balanced in the Word.  If they were, there would not be a single cult church!

Everything taught must be brought back to the Word.  If the teacher does not filter his teaching through the Word of God, then he is a false teacher. 

It is comical reading the Bible stories about these Lawyers in the days of Jesus.  Picture the scene.  Jesus openly condemning the Pharisees for their following the “letter of the law,” and completely forgetting WHY the law was written.  Then, during this rebuke, he throws a few jabs at the Lawyers.  They sit back in their chairs, looking at each other, shocked.  What?  Did he just …?

Listen to the words of Luke 11: 

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table.  The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.  And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 

You see what he was saying here?  It’s not the rules that you apply to your outside!  There’s no Biblical Law against sporting!  It’s what is on the INSIDE that counts! 

But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

In other words, you openly condemn sports, and think you are clean by this, but you neglected the Word of God!  Where is the Love of God, if you deny his word to uplift the words of a prophet?

Here’s the funny part, speaking of the Lawyers:

Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.  Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”  One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.”  And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.  Woe to you!

That’s exactly what we see in the cult of William Branham!  The pastors have taken the rules Branham gave FAR BEYOND what Branham himself did!  They are placing more and more weights on the shoulders of their congregations.

I saw some old men enter the building in those videos, and the pastor who looked like he had not been involved in sports in quite some time.  These men are OLD, and have no desire for sporting!  But what about the children?  Just because this weight is easy for them to carry, they really think that they can place the extra burden on the children?

Jesus does not have good things to say about the Lawyers:

For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.  So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs.  Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.  Woe to you lawyers!

When these men invent new rules after Branham’s death, they are not only following the letter of the law – they are adding to it.  And not the Law of the Bible, because there is no scripture that forbids enjoyment of sports.  They are adding to the letter of Branham’s Law.

In this, they mistakenly think they are increasing their knowledge in holiness – but they do not realize that they are doing the exact opposite.  Jesus says that they have taken away the key to knowledge. 

For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”  As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

Now, I realize that by showing others the error of this condemnation of sports, these people behind this website will blast me for something else.  In fact, when they published it, you can visibly see them lying in wait to see my response to their long, fictional article condemning me for my walk with Christ.

But here’s the thing.  While they focus on my past as their target of condemnation, I focus on the future of my walk with Christ.

The Apostle Paul did not have a good past.  He mentions participating in the stoning of Stephen.  He persecuted the Jews and was not a good example of the perfect Christian in the eyes of men.

But Christ did not come to save the saved – He came to save the lost.  Paul WAS the perfect example in God’s eyes.  He was lost as lost could be, but one day came in contact with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and his life was changed forevermore. 

I’m not proud of my past, and regret having the disease that plagued me day and night.  That “serotonin” that the Bethel mistakenly accused me of taking as a “drug,” is a chemical found in the healthy body.  When the body stops producing it, bad things happen.  It leads to loss of sleep, chronic depression, and ultimately to loss of life.

Condemning me for the disease I had when enslaved by the cult is like condemning a diabetic for his body’s failure to produce insulin.  If he does not receive insulin by some other means, his body will shut down and die.  If that insulin is not readily available, he will go to extremes to find it.

But we were taught in the cult that these medicines for depression were “of the devil.”  One pastor told me that time and again, he’d watch someone take medicine for their depression, and not long after that, they were no longer believing in William Branham.

That is a problem.

If the medicine that helps your mind return to health causes you to leave the teachings of a false prophet, then could it be those teachings that caused the disease in the first place?

I’ve been medicine free for several months now, having left the cult of William Branham and finding new joy in serving Christ without the filter of a man’s law.

I hope that since this Bethel website has now advertised my site for me, that many in its congregation will also find joy in serving Christ.  After watching the massive surge in traffic from Trinidad, it’s easy to see many who were never told of the visions William Branham had that never came to pass are now seeing this for the first time.

I’m hoping they will also check out and also.  There is enough evidence on those sites to condemn William Branham in a court of man’s law – not to mention in a court of God’s Law.  Hopefully Branham repented for all of this on his death bed.

I’ll gladly be condemned by others if it will help one single person find Christ.  I already look like a fool – so it doesn’t really matter to me if another person sees what I look like if it can point them back to Jesus Christ!

God bless.