To Be Absent From The Body:
If I were to begin the phrase, "To be absent from the body is to be ___", most normal (non-programmed) Christians would without hesitation follow up, "to be present with the Lord." This is an often repeated phrase, taken from 2 Corinthians 5, usually referenced when speaking of the resurrection of the dead. Funeral processions often use this passage to bring encouragement to the mourning family, that though the deceased body lies in the ground, the soul is with Christ Jesus.
But to programmed cult followers of William Branham, this phrase does not hold the same meaning. Branham often told his followers that hidden in the Bible were "mysteries," written "between the lines," that normal (not programmed) Christians could not know simply by reading the text of the Bible. In Branham's esoteric view of Scripture, one must strain their understanding to read unwritten words and accept his own revelations as to what the Bible authors should have written but chose to hide.
One such "revelation" is directly related to this passage. Should I begin this phrase, "To be absent from the body," the cult followers of William Branham are trained to believe "To be present with William Branham until they are present with the Lord." This, according to Branham's "vision" of the "other side," is esoteric mystery hidden down through the ages.
Most cult followers are familiar with Branham's description of this place, in-between heaven and earth, where Branham's "bride" would meet Branham before they were judged according to which man they followed. Branham described several beautiful men and women, unmarried and sporting new bodies, running up to greet him as he made his entrance. And the multiple retellings of this fable include Branham's assuring them that he had preached "the same Message as Paul preached." Branham's followers fully expect to be absent from their bodies and present with Branham. Some followers make the connection, referring to Branham as "Lord" to fulfill this passage of scripture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF3syrRhPvk https://youtu.be/xF3syrRhPvk