Video available here: http://youtu.be/O20CThDmFEY
As I began to untangle my mind from the cult of William
Branham and enter Christianity, I quickly realized that my life was a living
example for other Christians of what NOT to do.
Unknowingly, and molded together with like minds in common beliefs, we
had become the very thing that Paul warned us not to be.
Pride is a sin that is seldom mentioned in the cult of
William Branham, and it is a sin that is very damaging to the people around
you. And while living what the cult
taught as a “humble life,” you’ll quickly realize once deprogramming that we
were quite the opposite. The Christian
life is far more difficult that cult life.
My pastor gave a sermon on Sunday on the type of Love God
wants for His Church as described in 1 Corinthians 13:
is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
proud. It does not dishonor others, it
is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of
wrongs. Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always
hopes, always perseveres.”
And through the course of this sermon, he pointed out a
striking observation that had previously gone unnoticed in my understanding of
scripture. All of these attributes Paul
mentions about “Love” are not adjectives pointing back to the word “love.” These are actions pointing to our
hearts. We have to put our love into
action, or we do not truly have love in our hearts.
If we are living, breathing examples of Christ, we will be
patient towards others, even when they disagree. We will be kind to others, even when they are
firmly against us. We will not show envy
to another, which turns into covetousness.
But then, this morning, it hit me:
“It does not boast, it is not proud.”
I was reading in 1 Timothy 2 about how Paul tells us to pray
for all people, and my mind drifted off to the Senate hearing yesterday about
call to action in Syria for the slaughter of innocence. Paul does not tell us to stand up with picket
signs of opposition, and plaster our Facebook pages with hundreds of cartoons
making President Obama look like a fool during this time of decision.
I thought about how wonderful our new church was, filled
with people concerned enough to pray for those poor people in a far off and
distant land – even though they have no idea who they are or what they believe.
Paul says we are to be in prayer, offering prayers of
intercession for “all people, for kings
and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life,
godly and dignified in every way”
My mind went back to my cult life, and my cult belief system
that was based around the idea that our cult leader could peer into the
future. Once he got the people to
believe that he had this crystal ball in his mind, then everything the man said
that could be twisted into some new idea became prophecy – even things that he
never intended to be.
Many of the fear tactics, taking aim at political unrest of
the current events during his ministry have turned into prophecy for
today. When Russia was the threat,
Branham warned to watch Russia, and we now have programmed minds driven by fear
during every future national conflict looking for ways that Russia can become
an enemy to bring death and destruction.
Once Russia was no longer the threat, Branham preached against those ministers who were
speaking out against Russia – literally preaching against himself! And with that, we have ministers of today
doing the same – but they only do it after they are trapped into that same fear
that Russia will bring impending doom.
During the unrest, they are trapped in fear.
But where is God in all of this? Where are the churches filled with people on
their knees, praying that Obama will make the right decision? Where are the churches who are filled with
people mourning over the thousands of innocent children that have been
Then, I thought about myself during times like these when I,
too, was just like them. I never once
offered prayer for the leader. I never thought
one second about what it would be like to watch your small child inhale an
innocent breath that would rip his life from his body. I never offered prayer that our government
would make decisions that would be pleasing before God.
Instead, my mind would focus on the negative. I would think about things like Senator John
McCain playing poker on his iPhone during the senate hearing, and offer my
thoughts of condemnation towards his lack of concern. All while I, myself, was showing no concern!
Our minds were programmed to make little things seem much
bigger than they were, and while doing so, the big things were moving over our
heads unnoticed. Our focus was on our
“little Bride,” not God’s children. We
looked at our small cult as the “chosen few” rather than looking at the world
as opportunity filled with potential converts to Christ.
What if the entire nation fell to its knees and begged God
for His Hand of mercy? What if God chose
to bring the entire nation of Syria to faith in Jesus Christ by the actions of
I stand in repentance for my past. For a time, after leaving the cult, I looked
at the superficial sins that plagued my mind during my cult life as very
damaging – and it was. But it was
damaging to myself. How much worse was
my sin of pride, which is damaging to those around us?
The first half of Timothy tells us that our prayers of
intercession are not intended for uplifting ourselves, they are a loving hand
reaching out to others. That Hand
reaching through prayer is far more powerful than our own outstretched hand.
Paul says that God desires all people to be saved. Remember, Christ did not come to save the
saved; He came to save the lost.
of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings
be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we
may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is
good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people
to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God,
and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave
himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For
this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am
not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
But again, something that I never noticed before in
Scripture. This that we read from Paul
is in a letter, a letter sent to Timothy.
It was intended to read from start to finish – not simply taking a
paragraph here or a paragraph there.
Paul is speaking about calling on the Name of the mediator
between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus.
He is telling us to humble our pride and offer prayers on the behalf of
And in the rest of this chapter, he continues that example,
showing how we are supposed to eliminate all traces of pride from our lives.
Devious minds have twisted these things. Branham followed the example of others, and
made some of these statements out to be statements of sexual nature – which
seems to be the case with many of the twisted scriptures.
But listen to the words of Paul, telling us about
humility. Let’s break it down, sentence
“I desire then that in every place
the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”
Notice the word “then,” connecting this to the first section
of the chapter. It continues the thought
about praying the prayer of intercession for others.
Remember his words in Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is
kind?” Paul is telling us to put our
love into action. Do not argue, do not
show anger, show love with hands of praise and prayers of faith!
also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty
and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,”
Paul just spoke to the men about their pride, now he speaks
to the women. That word “Likewise” joins
the two sentences together. As I speak to
the men, “likewise” I speak to the women.
And notice while the Pentecostal movement teaches “modesty”
as covering skin, Paul teaches modesty as avoiding pride. He tells the women not to dress in gaudy,
costly attire. He even tells them not to
braid their hair, which was a status symbol during the time this letter was
In other words, do not present yourselves as better than
others according to the custom of the world around you; lift others up above
He continues that exact thought in the next sentence:
with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”
Paul just told the women the very same thing that he told
the men: Put your Love into action!
The rest of the chapter gives a summary of the thought before
proceeding into the qualifications for pastors.
It maintains the same focus on humility.
Many cult pastors can quote this passage by heart, but have
paid very little attention to the words preceding. They teach this exactly as Paul has intended,
word-for-word, continuing the thought of humility as it applies towards women:
a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather,
she is to remain quiet. For Adam was
formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived
and became a transgressor. Yet she will
be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness,
But ask yourselves this:
If they read this passage correctly, and as was intended, why do they
twist the passage before into a sexual argument rather than pride? And why do they ignore the beginning of this
Cult members will tell you that they do not ignore. They will tell you that they read this, agree
with this, and heed the words of Paul.
But like the chapter in Corinthians about Love, they believe
this only by pointing to the words – not by putting it into action. Like myself during my captivity, these
passages were taught to apply to ourselves – not an action of Love towards
others. We were focusing on what made us
happy in our way of life, not what we could do to uplift others and humble
I beg you to put all of this aside for the time being. Forget what we’ve been taught, and think of
the world around you. Think of the
mothers ripped from their homes as they make their exodus as refugees from a
land where evil has started to reign.
Think of the fathers, not knowing how to provide from their family as
they leave their way of life behind.
Let’s offer prayers on their behalf. Let’s not look at ourselves as the “eye” of
the Body while looking at other Christians as the “dirty foot.” Without the feet, the eye cannot be carried
and put into action.
And let’s remember that the “action” should be Love.