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The Case for Christ

John Collins06/29/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/AQqEljDDdtg

Lee Strobel is a Christian author, journalist, and pastor from Arlington Height, Illinois.  His name is recognized by many Christians, even from within the boundaries of the Branham cult.  His book, "Case for Christ," is one of the books that motivates and rejuvenates the faith of Christians around the globe.

In "Case for Christ," he describes his journey from atheism to Christianity, and declares to the world his reason for becoming a Christian.  He also describes some of the many reasons people avoid Christianity based on his own personal experiences.

When Strobel started his journey, he was ONLY willing to look at part of the reasoning that had convinced him there was no God.  Of himself, Strobel says this:

As far as I was concerned, the case was closed. There was enough proof for me to rest easy with the conclusion that the divinity of Jesus was nothing more than the fanciful invention of superstitious people. Or so I thought. - Lee Strobel

But over time, as he continued to investigate the Bible, the evidence became overwhelming.  And like any person seeking their salvation should do, Strobel started with what could not be denied: factual, historical record.  What have we learned from history about Jesus Christ, and is it accurate?

When I was enslaved in the cult of William Branham, Lee Strobel was a name I was familiar with, and there was a respectful atmosphere surrounding the evidence found in the book, "A Case for Christ."  Strobel was a hero of the faith; he was a man who went against all odds to prove Christ and stand on absolute truth that Jesus is Lord!

And this was always odd to me.  If Strobel went so far as to turn his heart and mind to Christ, why did he not continue all the way into Branham?  How could he not have known that William Branham was the "messenger for the hour," if Branham's ministry was so widespread?

I remember those stories about the light that shone from the heavens, and the voice of God that spoke through the clouds as William Branham was baptizing the people, and I believed it when Branham told me that all of the newspapers ran an article about God speaking. 

I remember thinking, "How blind can people be?  Even the newspapers proclaim that Branham was sent!  Why does nobody know about this 'Seventh Angel Messenger?'"

Having read several times through the historical information that has now surfaced on the Searching For Vindication website, www.searchingforvindication.com, I am now starting to realize exactly WHY the name William Branham is unknown to so many in the Christian faith.  What we believed was not exactly true.  Much of it was not true at all.

After their website launched, Christians from around the world are starting to leave the Branham cult, and are forming private support groups for those who spent so many years in bondage.  I am active in several of these groups, watching with excitement as each person starts pouring their hearts out and getting back into the REAL Voice of God — the Bible. 

For me, it's like watching a good boxing match with the underdogs fighting the champion.  The champion may have a big fist that knocks the little guy to the ground, and he may stand over him pounding his face into the ground.  While he is down on the ground taking each blow, he's not going anywhere.  And the longer he stays there, the more it hurts -- If he lays there long enough, HE'S NOT getting back up!  But if that little guy can muster enough strength to get back to his feet, he's still in the match.  My favorite match is when the little guy — the one that everyone is against — overtakes the champion and claims the title!

Strobel's "Case for Christ" is a good recommendation for anyone who has been enslaved in the worst cult churches affiliated with the "Message of the Hour" — the churches that they call "tape only."  Those are the churches that have no scriptural teaching whatsoever, and typically are filled with people who have no idea what is between the bindings of that shiny leather book they carry with them.  "Case for Christ" will challenge you, make you want to study the scriptures for yourself, and see for yourself whether Christ is the Son of God.  And if you dig deep enough, I can assure you that you will come to the exact same conclusion that Strobel came to:  Christ is the Son of the Living God, and is soon returning to take His Bride to be with Him!

One person in the support groups recently brought up this subject, and quickly recognized the similarities between Lee Strobel and Searching For Vindication.  And while I never really stopped to think about it, the similarities are phenomenal!  Yet in opposite directions!

Searching For Vindication were not atheists, they were enslaved by the cult of William Branham.  Like me, they believed every word that was spoon-fed from behind the pulpits without question.  But compare this to Strobel's teaching and his associates in the atheist crowd.  Many atheists use SOME recorded history in their attempt to prove that Christ is not the Son of God.  Once they find that little shred of evidence against Christ, rather than continuing on to examine ALL of the evidence, they feel that this little bit of evidence is enough to deny the Christ.

But Searching For Vindication was not satisfied with just a small portion of evidence that their "prophet" was the "messenger for this day."  They chose to continue on to examine ALL of the evidence — good or bad. 

There are many things that William Branham CLAIMED to have prophesied, from Marilyn Monroe's death to egg-shaped cars, to the fourth term of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, even to the end of the world.  Some things that Branham CLAIMED to have prophesied seems to have came to pass.  Other things — like Armageddon — are easily found in scripture for all to see.  Of course there will be an end of the world!

But when the atheists told Strobel to stop searching for Christ and listen to bits and pieces, Strobel continued.  When the cult pastors told Searching for Vindication to stop "searching" and rely on what they DO know, the authors of the website did not rest until they had all of the facts.

William Branham could have had five hundred prophecies that came to pass.  But if there was one single prophecy that did not come to pass as God had spoken through him, then God did not speak.  And if God did not speak, then Branham was a false prophet!

Searching for Vindication chose two well-known events described in the cult that SHOULD have had a mountain of evidence to support.  With this evidence, anybody who denied William Branham SHOULD have been satisfied in their hearts and minds that William Branham was a "vindicated" prophet.  They started with Branham's alleged prophecy that sixteen men fell from the Clark Memorial Bridge, and the Voice of God that spoke through the heavens to announce the "seventh age messenger." 

That voice, remember, was recorded in several newspapers.  It was published and printed all the way from Jeffersonville, Indiana all the way up into Canada according to William Branham!  It should be easy to find, right?

And those sixteen men that fell from the bridge would be quickly identified — it just so happens that a coast guard station kept daily logs to record every single event, big or small, that happened during the construction of the bridge.

But here is where the story SEEMS to have turned from what happened with Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ."  Strobel was atheist, and in his journey to investigate the truth, he stumbled into evidence that was solid proof that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. 

Searching For Vindication, on the other hand, stumbled onto some evidence that was strongly against their research.  While the cult pastors told them Branham was the "vindicated prophet," they suddenly learned that he was not so vindicated.  In fact, he was proven to have lied about the entire event.  Not just the event described as prophecy when the bridge supposedly fell, but also the "Voice of God" that spoke through the heavens.  The "Voice of God" that was the inspiration for the name of the cult headquarters.

It seems as though there was no voice.

Without a voice speaking from the heavens, Branham's entire "1933 commission story" is invalidated.  And with no commission, we have no messenger.

Without sixteen men falling from the bridge, we have no "vindicated prophecy."  And with a single failed prophecy, we do not have a "vindicated prophet."  Instead we have a false prophet.

But even still, Searching for Vindication did not stop there.  Learning from experience, evidence that does not include ALL of the facts is not evidence at all.

So now, Searching For Vindication is examining the Branham Tabernacle itself.  This is the building that seemed to have started it all.

The Branham Tabernacle, the scary looking building that sits on the corner of Eighth Street and Penn Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana, is the key to this entire cult.  It is the "cornerstone" so to speak.

This is the building where many were supposedly converted to Christ and led down to the river to be baptized when the faked "commission story" was given.  This was where five hundred converts were supposed to have been led to Christ, baptized, and all while ten thousand people were watching from the banks of the river.

But it is really deeper than that.  The Branham Tabernacle is the building were the cult leader, William Marrion Branham was supposed to have secretly hidden the six (or seven) prophecies of 1933:

And, God in Heaven knows, that lays right there in the corner of that Tabernacle stone since 1933, wrote on a page of a Bible, laying right there.

65-0718E  SPIRITUAL.FOOD.IN.DUE.SEASON

Even though it is obvious that this is just another fabricated story — the first time William Branham even mentions these prophecies is the year 1953 — almost a hundred recorded sermons into his ministry!

But Searching For Vindication is not stopping with the failed bridge prophecy.  They are not stopping with the fabricated "commission" story. 

They want the facts.  We already have a false prophet.  But do we have a single prophecy?  Was the church even BUILT in 1933? 

Both "Searching For Vindication" and Lee Strobel remind me of the story of Hezekiah in the Bible.

Hezekiah was only twenty-five years old when he began to reign as king in Judah, and I'm sure that he faced some opposition.

They did not have any false prophets like William Branham to worship back then — religions dedicated towards worship of something other than God while seemingly associated with God.

In the days of Hezekiah, the people worshipped the bronze serpent.  Moses had made the serpent, and that serpent brought "divine healing."  The people of Judah gave offerings to it, just like the people in the cult of William Branham pay their offerings to Voice of God recordings.

But Hezekiah, though very young, did not listen to the elders who opposed him by giving a small part of the facts.  He stood for Truth, and that Truth was found in the Word of God.  Hezekiah tore down the bronze serpent.  He tore down the worship of divine healing, just as Searching For Vindication is doing today. 

I have had several writing in to ask us: "Why do you continue?  Why do you keep focusing on the tearing down of Branham's fictional ministry when I could leave that and focus only on spreading the teachings from the Word of God?"

This must have been very similar opposition for Hezekiah.  "Why don't you leave the serpent there and let us worship it?  Just read from the Book of the Law!  It's ok if we worship that snake!  Moses put it there!  Don't you remember Moses — he's the one that spoke with GOD!"

I'm thankful that history has preserved the story of Hezekiah.  It's led to many people like Searching For Vindication that are tearing down false worship.  I'm thankful that the history was preserved so that Searching For Vindication could help lead others out of the cult and back towards Christ.

I recently read a summary of the words of Jesus in Matthew 10 as he sent out the twelve apostles.  Unlike the old English words in the King James Version that are so difficult for many to understand, this is a summary in today's English.

Many in the cult are afraid of this sort of thing, because they were taught to worship the words — as they are — in the Bible rather than the meaning behind those words.  But this summary is what we would be hearing if we were standing there in front of Jesus Christ as he spoke directly to the twelve.

I thought it would be fitting to end with that summary.  I urge you to review Matthew 10 for yourselves.  Be like Lee Strobel and "Searching For Vindication."  Search these things out personally — this is a personal relationship with Christ, not some boring history lesson in grade school!  This is your life!  This book, the Bible, should be the air you breathe, your entire WORLD!  It is the Word of God!  The REAL Voice of God, and it's speaking to YOU!

Here is the summary, and you can find it in the version of the Bible with the name that should be very fitting:  "The Message."

"Don't be naïve. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don't be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they've done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words."

"When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors!"

Matt 10:16-23

God bless you!


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