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To Whom Shall We Go?

John Collins07/09/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/Wa_zTu1QPfY

We are receiving phone calls, emails, contact submission from the website, and private messages daily from those that are fleeing the cult of William Branham.  It is a brave new step, one deserving of the thoughts and prayers of all who have been set free.

And new apologetics sites are launching.  Just last night, we received notification that a new Branham cult apologetics site was launching in Romania (http://www.mesajul.blogspot.com).  Many are starting to realize that not only were they following a false prophet, they were tricked into false teaching.

One statement found on the site made a very strong point.  As one person realized they were deceived, it sent them into a state of shock with physical effects.  Difficulty eating, head aching, and extreme stress because of the sudden realization that the man they once thought to be a humble, gentle servant was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The astounding point was that they realized that they had received Branham into their hearts INSTEAD of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If they had received Christ into their hearts, this would have not bothered them so badly — their focus was in the wrong place!

With each new person that makes an exit from this cult of bondage, the same question is asked:  "Where do we go from here?"

This reminds me of the words spoken by Simon Peter in the Bible:

"Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" -- John 6:68

You see, we were taught that something ELSE was the "Voice of God," and that the Bible now had an additional "Spoken Word."  And it was not the Voice of God from the Bible, it was the voice of a man who SOUNDED like a soothing, gentle peacemaker in the beginning, but showed his true colors towards the end of his life.

Having been taught that this set of sermons filled with a man giving fictional stories about himself, false prophecy, and false teaching are the "New Voice of God," it makes the question more difficult.  To whom SHALL we go?

To make matters worse, many of the angry cult members who sit watching each forum post and social thread confuse the matter.  Their argument is that "if William Branham was not the 'Elijah' for this day, then WHO is?"  ...and then they continue to fill the thread with the mistakes of fallen soldiers in who once spread the Gospel.

In fact, we had one gentleman on our forum (assuming it was a man), who started filling the forum with post after post after post of men and women of the new "Health and Wealth Gospel" variety who were still preaching while filled with sin.  They didn't even realize that Branham himself was a founding father to this movement! 

Others, who are unwilling to study the scriptures or the many in the line of "Malachi 4 Prophets," use the argument that they are expecting a new "Elijah."  And William Branham is the only man they can find still alive who claimed to be this new "Elijah."

It doesn't take much to see that William Branham was just one of the branches that bore this "Elijah fruit."  The man Branham, F. F. Bosworth, and many of Branham's associates respected was also believed to be a "Malachi 4 Prophet," John Alexander Dowie.  William Sowders, who Branham seemed to have copied his "Baptismal Commission Story" from, was another Malachi 4 prophet.

One man took a single verse from Matthew 17 — the cult's programmed response — where Jesus said, "Elijah DOES come, and he will restore all things."

But they didn't even read the rest of the paragraph! 

But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands."  Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The Bible foretold the coming of Christ — all down through the prophets.  This was a BIG event, one that was announced.  John the Baptist WAS the last announcer for the first coming of Christ. 

But you must add to the scriptures if you try to teach that there is an announcer for the second coming!  Even Jesus Himself says that it will be a sudden coming that will catch many unaware.  If it is going to be a surprise, there cannot be an 'announcer!'

But the question, "To Whom Shall We Go," is a difficult one.  The answer is different for every single family, in every single city, in every single country around the world.  And it is not a decision that any of the apologetics websites can make for you, this is something that must be received through prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

Some have felt led by the Spirit to STAY in the Branham cult — knowing that it is a cult of false teaching.  Their decision, though prayer, was based on a strong feeling of pain for the people trapped into the cult.  They want to help them to be set free, and want to work directly WITH the people they are trying to help.

And this is dangerous grounds.  It reminds me of Sean Connery riding with Indiana Jones into the "lion's den" of Nazi Germany, when he said, "We're pilgrims in an unholy land, Indy!"

I have heard other apologetics against this, because they are eating tainted spiritual food — but I can't disagree with their leading by the Spirit.  God will never fail us, never let us fall beyond reach. 

In the cult, we were afraid of outside spirits.  The "spirit of question" was the greatest fear — that spirit might just drag you down to HELL!"

The Bible is very clear that when Christ sent His Spirit to all flesh, we were given power over the spirits, and there is no spirit that Christ has not been given authority over.

The same thing was argued when Paul was preaching to the men and women in cities filled with pagan temple worship, and they were even afraid to eat the meat used in the pagan sacrifice — unclean meat according to the Mosaic Law under the Old Covenant.

Paul makes it very easy for us in Colossians 2:

Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.  Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind

Colossians 2

Just because the cult is under guidance by a sensuous mind, a man who without reason elevated himself into authority under worship of "his angel," there is no need to fear.  And we cannot judge those who feel led to 'brave the elements' to help extend a helping hand for these people.

But there are many who are made sick to their stomachs when hearing sermon after sermon after sermon by cult pastors now trying to defend fabricated stories that have no defense.  Those are the ones who are asking, "To whom shall we go?"

Especially the families with children still of an age to be molded into the men and women that they are to become.  The anger and hatred of outsiders is very damaging to a personality, and the programming that is being applied to their minds is actually quite dangerous long term.  Those families, for protection of their children, are fleeing — once they become brave enough to flee.

But before becoming brave, and before moving on, they have to know WHERE they are going. 

For my family, it was very easy.  We knew that the Branham cult was wrong, and that our children were at stake.  But we also had the same question: "To whom shall we go?" 

Our family was deeply involved with the home school program put together by members of the cult.  When it started, we could feel the love and respect that you would expect from any Christian.  But when elders of the church — high ranking elders — got involved, ONLY those in the cult were welcomed.  Some were asked to leave, because they did not believe in William Branham — even though they were CHRISTIANS!  Christians with enough respect that they even dressed like the cult so as not to offend!

We left seeds of hatred, but found an alternative.  A local church had put together an outreach program for children of the city.  They freely allowed any child to participate in a basketball program, offered them a gymnasium with seating and accommodation for families who were able to let their children play with the children of the church.

And though it was basketball — a sport instead of preaching — they were showing the Love that Christ displayed to other people.  Some of which had never known the Love of Christ!

New faces started filling the church, eager to hear more about this Jesus that died for the sins of the world.  Through the program intended for children, new souls were led to Christ!

For our family, this was amazing!  We had never even SEEN an outreach program while in the cult.  In fact, it was quite the opposite — "Don't go around those outsiders, you'll 'yoke yourself' with unbelievers!"

If the early Christians had done the same, there wouldn't be a single Christian church remaining.

The question, "To Whom Shall We Go," is easily answered.  Go to Christ.  Let Christ be your Prophet, your Counselor, your Pastor, and your Savior.  Let Christ be your everything.

The Holy Spirit will guide you, and protect you in your decision.  And you can't make a bad decision — those are called "learning experiences."  If the Spirit is offended, He will tell you about it.

My advice would be to find a healthy church. 

A healthy church is essential, especially having been programmed with teaching that is not found in scripture.  You need people willing to show you what the Bible says, and help you to deprogram — which is a very lengthy process. 

To this day, I still find bible stories and scriptures that are not found in the Bible, and others in my church are confused when I make statements that I later find are extra-biblical.  To counter this, I find myself reading my bible over and over and over, trying to cleanse out the fiction.

You will find many articles and books on what makes a "healthy church," but you will also find that these are for new converts to Christ — not people who have been programmed to follow a leader.

Religious cults have one powerful hand of control: closely knit groups of people.  Normally this is a good thing, but in most cults, the bonds are so close that they become unhealthy.  Minds start to think alike, thoughts seem to become unified.  The "One mind, one Spirit" that is referring to Christ is changed to apply to the individuality of personalities.  Even personalities start to match over time, and the people do not even realize it until they make their exit.

First and foremost, a healthy church glorifies God.  You won't find a pastor in a healthy church going on and on about stories in his past life, stories that lifts himself in respect for the people.  A healthy church pastor lifts Christ.  God is magnified above all others.

A healthy church pastor admits faults and shortcomings.  All men sin, and for this reason, Christ was slain on the cross.  Christ came to save the sinners, not the saved!  If you have a pastor who tries to convince you that he is close to perfect, then you have a pastor who is filled with the sin of pride. 

A healthy church pastor will ask himself before each statement:  "Will this glorify God, or will this magnify myself?"

A healthy sermon is one that is based solely upon the Bible — in context, actual chapters of text.  The new term for this is "expositional preaching."

Expositional preaching adds nothing to the scriptures, and takes nothing away.  "This is what the Bible says, this is how we live it, these are some examples in life where this applies, and this is what we need to look for in our daily lives." 

You won't find any new or extra-biblical doctrines in expositional preaching.  If it is not in the Bible, don't touch it!

A healthy church promotes fellowship.  You will find many churches now that split into small groups of people, and meet in each other's houses like the early church did in the days of the book of Acts.  Each person helping one another grow in faith, learn more about Christ, and bearing each other's burdens. 

These groups promote confession of sin, because prayer requests are no longer like you find in the cults: "how many have an unspoken request?"

Each person discusses their needs, big or small, and all pray for God to intervene in the lives of each other.  Each person has compassion for one another, and offers a helping hand wherever possible. 

A healthy church reaches out to others.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a secret that we can put into a bottle and hide in the cupboard.  It is a Gospel that makes us YEARN to tell others about.  It is the Good News that God sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we do not have to.  It is the most wonderful story since the beginning of time!

If a church does not reach out to others, it stands a chance of becoming a commune.  Churches that do not grow must be filled from the inside.  To survive, it must place barriers against anyone who attempts to leave.

Look at the cult churches today, now that word is spreading that Branham is a false prophet.  They are in big trouble, because they have no outreach programs!  As families are leaving, one-by-one, this is one more empty seat that is not likely to be filled.  And the more empty seats found in the congregation, the more those remaining become unsettled.

Most of all, a healthy church is contagious.  Its members are not embarrassed to invite others, and when they do, others are curious to see what makes these people in healthy churches SO happy!

Instead of outside members saying, "well, I'm not sure — that's not in MY Bible," they are eager to go hear some good old-fashioned preaching of the Gospel!"

And the Gospel is the fundamental element.  In my thirty-seven years of sitting on seats in those hard pews, I can't honestly say that I had ever heard WHAT the Gospel of Jesus Christ actually was!  I knew all of the elements, but I didn't realize that the GOSPEL was the doctrine we should be spreading — not some 'mystery' that was hidden from the world!

Acts 2:42-47 describe the characteristics of a healthy church:

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

If your church is not like this, and God is not adding to your number day by day, then you might just have a problem. 

We will continue to pray for everyone who is now leaving and searching for a church that preaches the Gospel instead of the continual memorial service of a man.

May the Holy Spirit guide you into your decision, whatever the situation!


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