Video available here: http://youtu.be/C6_oohM94gQ
When I was a child, I pretty much kept to myself. High school was a dangerous place for me —
according to the indoctrination from a cult, I was programmed to believe that I
was alone, without my parents, in "Satan's Eden" — a world that Satan had the
ultimate power and control.
I was somehow led to believe that we were somehow trapped in
this "evil" place, and that somehow the work that Jesus did on the cross was
not as powerful as that of Satan. Christ
rose into power, but this world was filled with Satan's "agents" rather than
potential converts to Christ.
Keeping to myself, I made no enemies, and made very few
friends. And most were friends until I
voiced my opinion about this "Satan's Eden," and you can imagine what happened
after I let them know all other Christians in denominational churches had taken
the "Mark of the Beast!"
I remember very clearly a time when I walked alone, sat in a
group of people pretending they did not exist, and listened to the teacher
speaking as if she were one of the non-voiced teachers in the Peanuts
cartoons. I wanted to go home! â€¦ not my home made of brick and mortar, but
home to another world and leave all of these people to their DOOM!
I can remember walking between classes one day, and three
other teen agers were walking together, laughing. I was watching them in awe, thinking about
how nice it would be to have a group of buddies that I knew and could trust and
that were NOT marked with the "Mark of the Beast."
The problem was that I was staring — which breaks "rule
number one" in the teenager code of conduct.
The guy in the middle caught it, walked up to me, and punched me solidly
in the gut! It caught me by surprise — I
was completely relaxed — and so it took the wind completely from me, and I fell
helpless to the floor gasping for breath.
I didn't know this boy.
In fact, this may have been the first time I had seen him. But I was curious — I wanted to know WHO
punched me in the stomach! So I started
asking around, got a name, and tried to find out a little more about him.
But before I could learn too much more, this boy who had
punched me in the stomach was dead!
Running along the train tracks, he got a little too close, and was
ripped apart by the force of a freight train loaded with cars and cars full of
I can't really describe my emotions on learning of his
death. I wasn't angry with him — I
didn't even know him. Yet I felt some
sort of unusual justice in knowing that this guy who punched me in the stomach
got his just reward!
I quickly remembered the scripture that I was taught, one
that seemed to have applied to this situation:
"It would be better to have a
millstone tied around your neck and be drowned than to offend one of these
Thinking on that, and specifically how I had been taught to
interpret that verse, I held my head up.
I had some sort of superpowers, power that those other people in
"Satan's Eden" did not have. I was some
sort of wizard! A sorcerer that could
conjure up death to any who would oppose me!
William Branham used that verse all throughout his ministry,
specifically applying it to any who would question his authority. He would use it in examples of conversations
— that only he could confirm, of course — of those who would say something
against his guessing names and addresses off of the back of prayer cards.
Typically, he would combine it with snippets of other
verses, leading the listener to believe that all of these verses, taken out of
context and blended together, was a magic spell that made them all untouchable!
"Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that
believe, and it'd be better for you that a millstone would hanged at your neck
and drowned in the deeps of the sea, than to even to offend one of such."
God, when He brings His children in a place, and ordains them and overshadows
them, and positionally puts them into the place that they are suppose to be,
and then fools say such remarks as that" --58-0209A HEAR.YE.HIM
But as long as you're His child, the world better keep their
hands off of you (That's right.), for He said, "It's far better for you
that a millstone was hanged at your neck and you were drowned in the depths of
the sea than even to bring an offense upon one of these little ones that
believe in Me." That's right. What is that judgment going to be? - 59-1223
Much later in life, in a director's position for a large
firm, I had an employee that SHOULD have been fired. In fact, I tried to release him from his
position, but unfortunately his esteem with the owner of the firm was much
greater than my own.
This employee had a gift for trying to get ahead by causing
others to fall, and I had watched it time and again. He was in a supervisor's position, a man that
should help uplift his team and give them motivation and support — but if the
opportunity presented itself, he would throw any one of them under the bus to
lift himself up even higher.
Things started getting very difficult for me at the
firm. The favor I once had with the
owner started to diminish, and for seemingly no reason. My work there had increased profit
considerably, projects were going well, and most people there seemed to like
But I found out that this employee — under me — had started
throwing ME under the bus! He was
privately speaking with the owner, telling many things that were not true — and
combining them with just a little bit of truth so that it sounded real. And the owner started eating what he was
It didn't take long,
Less than a month after I found out, this man took his team to a park
for a victory celebration for a project that went very well. I'm told that he put on his swimming shorts,
took one dive into the lake, and never came up.
Just that fast.
He dove feet-first instead of head-first, and there just
happened to be some cabling at the bottom of the lake. Somehow in one single dive, he entangled
himself into that cabling, spent all of his breath screaming, and drown within
just a few minutes.
Again, I remembered that verse, and this time I was
definitely angry with this man. Even
after his death, I felt power over him with the power that was in me. I was the mighty sorcerer, untouchable with
my power and might that I thought God had given me. My enemies crumble, my foes fall at my feet!
Looking back, this is very painful. I almost can't number the sins I committed
during this time, and all because of my programmed response to a situation that
was meant to be a trial. I failed my test
I was filled with pride, one of the sins listed in the new
testament. I was angry, another
sin. Christ said that when we are angry,
we have committed murder.
Matthew 5:22 says, "But I say to
you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment"
But the worst sin committed, although slightly
unintentional, was sorcery! What if my
belief that my enemies will die had actually invoked some spirit? What if I WAS using power from some elemental
spirit — and thought it was from God?
Many cult pastors are now starting to tell their
congregations that the Bible is FILLED with conflicts. For me, this seemed to be the case.
What I had been programmed to believe SEEMED
Matthew 18:6 does say: "But
whoso shall offend one of
these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone
were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
How can I reconcile this with the fact that Christ sent us
to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of MANY people who were GOING
TO be offended?
And He didn't say that we should go be offended so that our
enemies WILL DIE!
We are supposed to be forgivers, not killers. We are to be filled with love, not hate. We are supposed to bear our cross as He bore
his, against a world that will persecute us until He returns!
When asked how many times we should forgive, Jesus said, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times
seven." — Matthew 18:22
If the Bible is to be our absolute, and it is to be our code
of conduct, then that code must not disagree with itself. We can't take two opposing stands if we are
going to stand at all — especially when they seem to be arguing directly with
The problem with my training on hanging millstones around
the necks of my enemies was not a fault of William Branham's, other than the
fact that he refused to study beyond the notes of Scofield and Charles Taze
Russell. He was reading from the King
James Version, and the words he read seemed accurate. â€¦and they were!
The problem is not even the King James Version. At the time it was written, this single
statement that conflicts with other scriptures and gives us power to kill, did
not have the same meaning!
Few people in the cult realize this, because they have been
programmed to believe that the King James Version is the ONLY Bible that God
had His Hand of protection over. And
many are falsely taught that William Branham ONLY studied from the King James
Bible, when in fact Branham promoted other bibles. Even false bibles, like the version written
by George Lamsa — a man who denied the deity of Christ!
In the Elizabethan English, the dialect that was predominate
during the time of the translation for the King James Bible, this word "offend"
has a much different meaning than today.
The number one meaning listed in the Merriam Webster
dictionary is this:
"To transgress the moral or divine law : sin"
Shakespeare wrote this:
If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul
alive â€” Shakespeare
But in today's English, and even in the understanding during
the 40's, 50's, and 60's, the word "offend" has a different meaning. We do not currently understand this word to
mean "causing us to sin." We now
interpret this word as "causing us great dislike," or "distress." The word "offend" has somehow blended over
time with the word "disgust."
William Branham's teaching on this word, though misguided by
the outdated translation in the King James Bible, is stranger than you realize.
Reading the King James — in context — we find that the
summary of the chapter is exactly what the true meaning of the word actually
defines: a warning to those who would cause others to sin.
In fact, the very next verse says this:
Woe unto the
world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to
that man by whom the offence cometh! —Matthew 18:7
It's funny now that I think about it. "WOE UNTO YOU FOR CAUSING DISGUSTED PEOPLE!"
Had I read this verse in context — even in the King James
Version — I would have likely understood it as it should be translated today.
But the really strange part is that William Branham himself
understood the meaning of the word in the upcoming verses. This next verse is one that has been
correctly understood by William Branham AND by cult pastors for YEARS:
thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is
better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands
or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
I have heard ministers preaching from their King James bible
and change this word "offend" to "sin."
And it makes much more sense than trying to interpret this verse like
they do the other verse — why would anyone cut their foot off if it disgusted
them? And why would their foot even
disgust them — unless they hadn't cleaned between their toes for a very long
The Greek-to-Latin word translated for "offend" is "skandalise,"
with the root word "skandal." The root
word we use today is "scandal," which means to stumble morally.
The incident surrounding a "scandal" disgraces or damages
the reputation of the offender, which is EXACTLY the most damaging thing to the
testimony of a Christian. Many good
soldiers have fallen to scandals — many of which were unjustly accused. Once the scandal has made it into the minds
of the people, however, there is no avoiding the thought. So it is a discredit to any who would try to
continue their mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
translations of the Bible use the correct translation of this word. And when you read the entire section — in
context — you'll find that the translation fits like a glove around this word
that we have been falsely taught to make us sorcerers!
himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name
receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to
sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his
neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world
for temptations to sin! For it is
necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation
comes! And if your hand or your foot
causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter
life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the
eternal fire. And if your eye causes you
to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with
one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
There is another word that has lost its translation over the
years, and it goes hand-in-hand with this word "offense." That word is "curse."
In today's English, we view "cursing" as "cussing," or we
picture some witch standing over her pot of brew casting spells on other
But the Old-English version of that word is much like we
find in our false teaching of the word "offense." A curse was the idea that you can cause evil
or misfortune to befall upon another person.
Cursing is widely used in the cult today. Many ministers will describe how evil will
befall you if you question or if you leave.
Many of us that have now left have been "cursed" by ministers telling
their congregations how they were doomed to die. I think one minister down in Georgia even put
a timeline on mine — describing how souls in prison had escaped his cult and
died within a month.
This is no different than our misuse of the word
"offense." Causing evil to befall upon
someone, whether by word or by deed is a curse.
And it is an abomination before the Lord.
Cursing is not something that you would find the Jewish people
doing during the time of Jesus and the Apostles. Under the Mosaic Law, this hideous crime was
punishable by death. It was one of the
sins listed that resulted in stoning the offender — God did not want people
within his people destroying each other from the inside.
I look back on these two men that I cursed, and I beg
forgiveness from Christ. No, I did not
directly cause their death, and I did not summon up demons to attack them. But I did not have the love and forgiveness
that Christ wanted me to have. I did not
forgive these men seventy-times-seven — by not mourning their lost souls, I was
actually rejoicing in their deaths!
What if I had endured the test, and those two men would have
been led to Christ? What if by my
persecution, these men would have seen God in my actions? What if I had conducted myself completely
differently, not thinking that they had taken the "Mark of the Beast," and
instead I viewed them as potential converts to Christ?
I ask myself: how many more people could I have led to Christ
while I was programmed with the false teaching from a cult? How many did I turn away because they were
not part of "God's little bride?" How
many did I offend — in today's English — because I disagreed with their outward
Friends, it's not too late to lead others to Christ! Jesus did not say bind yourselves together in
communes for I will come and wipe out the majority of mankind!
Jesus said this: "The
harvest is great, but the workers are few."