A response to Pastor Wisper Gwena

From BelieveTheSign

The Off The Shelf podcast did a 5 episode series commenting on Pastor Wisper Gwena's defense of William Branham. Pastor Gwena is a pastor of a message congregation in North London, UK.

Pastor Gwena responded in a series of comments on the podcast website, which we have provided for our readers below. We have also included our comments below.

More importantly, we have added Pastor Gwena's use of red herrings to our article on the subject which you can read by clicking here.


A response to Pastor Gwena

The following are Pastor Gwena's comments followed by ours, as well as some of our listeners comments, from the Off The Shelf website. Pastor Gwena's comments are in italics, ours and others responses are in regular font.

January 4, 2018

The clip you played in your recent episode on the scripture on Israel sojourning in Israel for 400 years, you took an extract that leaves your followers thinking I was teaching our congregation to not believe the bible yet that is not the impression that anyone who listens to the full sermon will ever get. I find the way you are extracting clips without giving the full context of the argument most misleading and typical of a red herring. John Collins in his comments tries to reinforce the same by emphasising that I was doing the bible down which is far from the truth.
The simple point my sermon was making in giving these examples was for us to learn from scriptural precedents. Anyone that takes the bible on face value will see the difference between 400 years and 430 years as a contradiction. Bible critics cite this as one of the contradictions in the bible. But we bible believers all know there is NO MISTAKE in the Word of God. It follows there is a revelation that is behind the difference between the 400 years and the 430 years which unless it is explained to you or revealed to you, you will not know.
As you can see from a comment from one of our listeners who did listen to the entire sermon, the excerpts we took from your 2 hour sermon were representative of thesermon. The reason we must conclude that you were throwing the Bible under the bus in front of your congregation is that in your extremely long sermon, you gave no reasonable explanation for the two discrepancies you highlighted (Abraham and Elijah). We provided a reasonable explanation on our podcast for both.
You also gave no reasonable BIBLICAL explanation for the discrepancies that we see exhibited in WMB’s ministry. That is why we must conclude that your use of the erroneous biblical “discrepancies” must be considered red herrings. You say that you applied biblical precedents in your sermon but you did not. There was no attempt on your part in your sermon to explain why or how the examples you used (Abraham and Elijah) had anything to do with the message discrepancies. This is the sign of a red herring. You do not use proper logic in your argumentation. Yelling and screaming that something is a biblical precedent does not make it so.
I find it most strange that you people are happy to dig up explanations to defend the bible (which I also do because I believe the bible is 100% accurate) but you cannot accept when we use the same concept on defending the message. You brand this as cognitive dissonance and red herrings. We defend the bible on the basis that it is the absolute Word of God and we stand against ALL bible critics on the revelation that the bible is true. Critics of the bible take us to be crazy when we take such a position and consider us to be heretics who are deceived and lost but we are happy to be branded whatever they may because we have a revelation that the bible is right.
But you did not say that in your sermon. You did not even try to explain why there was a discrepancy between the 400 years that Abraham prophesied and the 430 years in Exodus. Isn't the job of the pastor to help the congregation understand why there was a discrepancy?
You did give an explanation for the failure for the brown bear vision but your explanation, which will be covered in Part 4 of our series, is not biblical. You give A message pastro's excuse, a pastor who lied to his entire congregation on several occasion, and the excuse would never have worked in the Old Testament. Can you find me an explanation where a prophet says "Thus Saith The Lord" such and such will happen and then it didn't happen OUTSIDE OF THE ALLOWABLE REASONS IN SCRIPTURE? (Jeremiah 18:7-8)
SO LET THIS BE WITH US WHO HAVE A REVELATION ABOUT WILLIAM BRANHAM’S MESSAGE. We are not ashamed to say that we apply exactly the same precedents on the message of Brother Branham because we believe that the message is the truth. There are things that on face value can be criticised in the message, but just like there is an explanation behind the 400 years, there are also explanations about those things you raise criticisms on with the message. Just like you are satisfied with your explanations on the bible, I am also satisfied with my own explanations of such bible scriptures as the 400/430 years which though my explanations may not match yours but still I defend the bible. In a similar way I am also satisfied with my explanations about the message though they may not fit your critic’s position. Not only do my explanations fit me, but we have a whole message community that is very satisfied with the same explanations even after going through your website. You may call us deluded and deceived, but bible critics have called us thus for years and we are unmovable on the bible. In the same way, message critics can call us thus and we remain unmoveable because we have a revelation on what we believe.
BUT YOU FAILED TO STATE HOW THE PRECEDENTS ALLOW YOU TO GET AROUND DEUT 18:20-22. You point out the Biblical discrepancies and then you talk about how WMB said that visions worked (although WMB's illustration never explained how a vision failed). But you never state how the Biblical discrepancies you used somehow exempt WMB's failed visions from Deut 18:20-22.
The “message community” is not "happy" with the explanations because most message pastors avoid any explanation like the plague. As one ex-message follower told us, “I thought my pastor had examined these issues and that he had our best interest in mind. But I came to learn that was false.” These issues are not examined. I do applaud you for trying to do so but when you hide your sermons behind the security of your website, it appears disingenuous.
The explanations we have heard are at best grasping at straws, which is what happens according to cognitive dissonance theory. Have you read Festinger’s landmark study in “When Prophecy Fails”. If not, then I don’t know how you can attempt to speak knowledgeably on the issue of cognitive dissonance.
Coming to the scripture of God asking Elijah to anoint Hazael and Jehu, again the point in my sermon was for us to learn from scriptural precedent which you try and dismiss as being red herrings. How can scriptural precedent be taken to be red herrings when God says my ways are not your ways? For us to learn the ways of God we have to get into His way of looking at things and not use our ways. We can ONLY learn God’s ways from scriptural precedent. God clearly asked Elijah to anoint Hazael, Jehu and Elisha which we know Elijah died without anointing Jehu. Applying the way you critics of the message would look at things, you would have concluded that Elijah died with a failed vision. In your episode 3 you try to give an explanation saying that Elijah was a ‘disobedient’ prophet but NOT a false prophet. That is your way of trying to defend the bible. As I said earlier, I might not agree with your explanation in defending the bible BUT I agree with the concept and the objective. My point in my sermon was we have a scriptural precedent of things said to a prophet which a prophet does NOT fulfil and yet we still accept him to be a prophet because we know the bible is 100% right. Whether we understand the reason behind Elijah dying before fulfilling what God asked him to do or not, we still defend the bible. We are NOT called to ONLY understand the bible BUT we are called to ONLY believe the bible; by and by we will understand the reasons. SO LET IT BE FOR US WHO BELIEVE THE MESSAGE.
Your "biblical precedents" ARE red herrings because of the way you use them. Or rather, don't use them. You never state how the fact that some people misunderstand that Abraham's prophecy was actually correct applies to the brown bear vision. Abranham's prophecy was correct. God's instruction to Elijah was not a prophecy, it was a command. The difference is quite easy to see UNLESS you are suffering from cognitive dissonance and then otherwise intelligent people accept things that don't make sense.
There are things you brand as failed visions which for us we have explanations for. If you don’t accept our explanations it does not mean we don’t have explanations. You simply want to dismiss our explanations just like bible critics dismiss our explanations about the bible; it’s the same spirit.
This has nothing to do with a spirit. This has everything to do with inadequate explanations.
You make statements that are not based on scripture. The Bible is my foundation. That is the foundation of the CHRISTIAN church. The message trashes the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
Let me conclude this portion of my response to your episode 3 comments by this; if the message of William Marrion Branham (OUR PROPHET) was just a written message, we could have been confused by your criticisms. However, God in his infinite wisdom made sure that the message of WMB was recorded on tape. Whilst listening to the tape, we are all able to discern the SPIRIT behind what we will be listening to. We are all able to make our individual choices on whether Brother Branham was trying to bring us to himself or to Christ. We are all able to judge whether his gift was fake or real. As for me, every time I listen to them tapes I come up with one conclusion, THE SPIRIT THAT BROTHER BRANHAM OPERATED UNDER WAS THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Even though I may fail to explain some things BUT the Spirit I discern coming from those tapes is the SPIRIT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and I can’t deny that. To me the ultimate test of the message is the type of Christianity it has produced in my life. I have lived the highest form of Christianity in my life in THIS MESSAGE. This message has made me a more solid bible believer and has brought me closer to the Lord Jesus Christ – HOW CAN I FIND FAULT WITH IT WHEN THAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED IN MY LIFE?
God did not ask WMB to shoot a brown bear! WMB said THUS SAITH THE LORD that I WILL shoot a brown bear. As soon as he did that, he opened himself up to be judged according to Deut 18:20-22. Based on your explanation of how to apply that passage, it could never be applied because any “prophet” with a failed vision could give the same lame excuse that you provide for WMB… “sorry I messed up.” That excuse is not valid for Deut 18:20-22.
You cannot discern whether his gift was fake or real if you have not talked to the people who were the subject of the gift. Have you read the testimony of Alfred Pohl. Have you read the comments of Walter Hollenweger who was WMB’s interpreter in Europe? He concluded that WMB’s discernment gift appeared amazingly accurate but actual healings were RARE. Of course you won’t believe that because of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance.
WMB operated under a spirit which pointed to WMB and not to Christ. Colossians 2:18-19 applies to WMB: Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Finally, what has been achieved in your life? If WMB’s message caused it you should be worried. Jesus Christ changed my life. It is him who I serve and none other. God will not share his glory with anyone. The spirit of God does not come through the tapes, but certainly, the spirit of WMB does.
I am aware of Muslims who have been delivered from drug abuse and thus give praise to Allah and they say what you say – HOW CAN I FIND FAULT WITH IT WHEN THAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED IN MY LIFE? But that does not mean I should accept Islam.
What matters is truth. Truth agrees with the facts because truth is a quality of factual evidence. If you have problems with our evidence, we will be happy to state publicly where our evidence is not factual. But making intellectually dishonest statements that you should ignore the facts is not something that we are prepared to overlook.

January 6, 2018

JANUARY 6, 2018

Your explanation on God asking Elijah vs WMB saying I will kill a brown bear has a fundamental flaw. Your explanation can only be valid under the assumption that another Prophet came and told Elijah God’s instruction and then Elijah was disobedient to God’s instruction. We have no record of God using another Prophet to bring this instruction neither do we have any basis for such an assumption. As a Prophet, God would have spoken to Elijah directly in a vision or in dream or any other way. It follows then that at the time of God’s instruction to Elijah, it was ONLY Elijah who would have shared the instruction. This then becomes the same as when WMB saw a vision and shared it as God’s Word to Him. Applying your critics perspective, Elijah dying without his vision being fulfilled would have been a failed vision in your standards. That’s the scriptural precedent that you fail to see and yet it was very apparent to our congregation.
Sorry, Pastor Gwena, but your explanation makes no sense in the light of the plain meaning of scripture. Who said he received a vision? We read in 1 Kings 19:
...and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:  And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.  And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay..[1]
How can you confuse the Bible saying that God spoke to Elijah in a STILL SMALL VOICE being a vision? This is the result of cognitive dissonance. You give the appearance that you can't even read scripture for its plain meaning. Is defending WMB more important than taking scripture as it clearly reads?
As I said in my previous response, I find it most strange that you do not brand your process of justifying this Elijah scripture as cognitive dissonance but yet when we apply the same process on justifying our Prophet you brand it as cognitive dissonance. It’s strange how you cannot see that in both situations there is harmonisation of cognitions. I think it’s time you become honest with yourself and accept that you have been taken over by a spirit that seeks to just drag God’s Prophet WMB under the bus at all costs.
You question whether I have read Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory, you don’t know my educational background neither do you know how well read or unread I am, so it’s safe not to make assumptions. However, I believe the gospel is supposed to be presented in simple plain language which the common man can hear gladly.
I asked whether you had read it. So why duck the question. The Gospel should be presented clearly but your approach to explaining things can best be described as obfuscation - the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.. That is what I made of your "explanation" of the brown bear vision. It was not clear and did not tie into either the Bible or the biblical discrepancies you highlighed.
I notice you try and delude people with theories, psychological explanations and dictionary definitions that try and confuse a simple issue. A typical example is when you tried to define fact and truth in your episode 1 by dictionary definitions when the example I gave was simple and straight forward and could be followed by any common man. Your whole evidence gathering to disprove God’s Prophet is based on finding facts. John questions WMB’s birthday based on documental evidence which is exactly the same as the example I gave of my birthday. There are many reasons why a document can have different information to the TRUE position. You are putting a man (WMB) that is no longer here on trial when truth could only be established from him. I wonder how you even believe the bible if your belief system is based on evidence. What evidence do you have that Moses saw a burning bush?
I confuse people with dictionary definitions? LOL! Your explanation provided a FALSE definition of a fact. Whereas we explained the difference clearly. You birth certificat is FACTUALLY INCORRECT. The fact is that your government documents are not factual. So how can they be presented as facts? Your explanation was meant to mislead people away from the truth.
You mentioned that I cannot discern whether WMB’s gift was fake or real unless I talk to people who were the subject of the gift. Has spiritual discernment been reduced to interviews now??? Where then is the Holy Spirit I wonder? I tell you, any genuine Christian with the Spirit of Christ if you get them to listen to the Tapes of WMB they can tell you what Spirit was on the man. Even TL Osborne saw Christ in the man and called it his second vision of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit led me out of the message. T.L Osborne simply used WMB to help justify his own ministry. And to be honest, most charismatics are not particularly discerning. Whether T.L Osborn believed WMB or not is irrelevant. Walter Hollenweger and Alfred Pohl raised significant questions about WMB. Yet you ignore them. The problem is one of confirmation bias. You like those things which agree with your position but ignore those that highlight WMB's problem. I have looked at both and come to the understanding that WMB's lies and failed visions cannot be ignored. Yet you and your fellow message preachers choose ignorance.
You quote “discernments were accurate but healings were rare”. With your 40 years that you spent in the message, have you forgotten that the Prophet said the discernment does NOT heal you? Be that as it may, we no longer go by just the testimonies of healings on tapes only. We have many healings and testimonies among believers which came after discernment BY TAPES. We have testimonies of the PILLAR OF FIRE that you dispute coming down on a tape being played. We have countless miracles that have taken place because of this message. SO YOUR EVIDENCES OF HEALINGS BEING RARE IS TOTALLY MEANINGLESS TO US. God has done proved to us the reality of this message.
Finally, what has been achieved in your life. If WMB’s message caused it you should be worried. Jesus Christ changed my life. It is him who I serve and none other.
Whatever I have accomplished in my life was not because of WMB but rather the Holy Spirit working. I choose to give God the glory. Let God be true and every man a liar.
I find it strange that you cannot believe that God uses a MAN ministry to bring people to Himself. What happened to the Scriptures like Rom 10:14-15 – how shall they hear without a preacher; 1 Corin 1:21 – it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe; 1 Corin 11:1 – be ye followers of me even as I follow Christ. How can it be worrying to be brought to Christ through a message of WMB. Unfortunately in this case of what has been achieved in my life, I am the judge because it happened to me and I speak for myself. The Message of WMB brought me to my LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST and I am not ashamed to say were it not for WMB, I would not know Christ the way I know Him today.
Finally Rod, we can debate about facts and evidences and visions etc, BUT the ultimate test is in the life. The bible tells us a tree is known by its fruits. My testimony is THE MESSAGE OF WMB PRODUCES A CHRISTIAN LIFE IN PEOPLE. That I am a witness of and NOBODY can tell me otherwise. I wonder what type of a life the so called people who left the message are now living? We hear of former deacons now alcoholics – lets give it time and by their fruits we shall know them.

January 8, 2018

I don't know how you people had believed the message if you did not know your bible especially the Old Testament like John says. For us we know our bible yet we are in the message. I have personally gone through the entire bible from Genesis to Revelations a few times. Just this December I completed another round of the entire bible from Genesis to Revelations on a program to finish the bible in 90days. I do this yet am STILL IN THE MESSAGE. So don't take the way you had believed the message as a standard, you had missed something.
Spending that much time in the Bible is dfeinitely unlike most message pastors. But I know the Bible as well and have studied and read it since I was a child. The fact that protected me and led me out of the message is that I hold the Bible above WMB. Do you? Here's the test - Please let us know the issues where you disagree with WMB's interpretation of scripture. If you have no disagreements with him, then it is clear that you hold WMB's message above the Bible.
You said here the only excuse for a “failed” vision is repentance. In my comments on your episode 45 (part 3) below I gave you a scripture on Elijah dying without fulfilling what God told him to do on anointing Jehu. You tried to explain this by saying Elijah was a disobedient prophet as opposed to a false prophet. But follow my arguments in my comments and you will see your explanation does not hold water. You then try and throw a red herring to divert attention to words vision vs still small voice when the point of the argument is God spoke to Elijah directly. PLEASE READ MY COMMENTS ON EPISODE 45 on Elijah dying without fulfilling what God had told him.
I am surprised that you are unable to see the difference between WMB saying "Thus Saith The Lord" I WILL KILL A BROWN BEAR and Elijah saying that God told him to do something and he didn't do it. The difference is simple but if you can't see it, I am not surprised because THAT IS WHAT cognitive dissonance does to a person. They must accept the position that justifies their beliefs and are unable to see even simple contradictions.
Coming to cognitive dissonance, this is a well known psychology theory. This theory is not about message believers trying to defend the Prophet as you almost try and make it sound. The theory suggests that people have an inner drive to hold their beliefs (cognitions) and attitudes in harmony and avoid disharmony (dissonance). This belief spoken of here is ANY belief NOT just a message belief as you try and potray. You people now hold a firm cognition (belief) that Bro Branham was a false prophet. This belief is so deep entrenched in you that you think anyone that does not see what you see is deluded. You fight for your belief so much until you have dedicated websites, podcasts, hours and hours of time to try and defend your belief and spread your beliefs. Anyone that comes against your beliefs you accuse them of cognitive dissonance YET YOU DON'T REALISE THAT YOU YOURSELVES ARE IN COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. You say where are we in dissonance, deep within you there are somethings that you know that these were supernatural in the life of Bro Branham. Your website Rod carries the testimony of Charlie Mitchel who Bro Branham discerned accurately in the sermon This Day This Scripture Is Fulfilled. No prayer cards had been given in that service so Bro Branham could not have been reading prayer cards as some may be deluded to want to say. People went to ask Charlie if they had a previous encounter with Bro Branham and he confirmed there was none. People then asked him what he had done to be called out in discernment and he said in his own words “I just gave up this whole world and take Jesus”. His lung cancer was instantly healed and he went to 2 separate specialist who confirmed he no longer had cancer. THIS TESTIMONY IS ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE ROD. So you know there was a supernatural that was undeniable in the life of WMB. This knowledge is there at the back of your soul but because you now hold a firm belief that Bro Branham was false, you now go into cognitive dissonance. The result is you dedicate a life to try and disprove God's Prophet. Those are the TYPICAL SIGNS OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.
The title of Dr. Festinger's book is "WHEN PROPHECY FAILS" which describes EXACTLY what has happened to you. One of the things required for more fervent belief to occur is this "undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur." That is what our evidence with respect to the failed visions is - disconfirmatory evidence. By definition, it creates cognitive dissonance.
Let me drop this here – Charlie Mitchel said he gave up the whole world and TOOK JESUS. When he took Jesus, Bro Branham was directed to him in discernment and his cancer disappeared. Charlie TOOK JESUS and that Jesus responded through a prophet whom you now want to call FALSE – Please let's be honest in heart !!! If there are things we don't understand let us just say there are things we don't understand and wait for God to clear them for us.
If someone was healed by Jesus Christ, that is wonderful. But that requires me to glorify God and not WMB. A gift of healing is not the sign of a prophet. You are simply grasping for straws.
I REST MY CASE
But you have not proved a thing. An independent jury would not be convinced. In fact, they would look at you quizzically and wonder where your evidence is. And that is precisely the reason that you should appear on our podcast. Let the people hear your explanations and our and let them judge.

Listener comments

Hi Wisper,

Its great to see that you are willing to stand for the message. I don’t agree completely with your line of argument. The bible doesn’t say the God gave Abraham or Elijah a vision. It says God spoke to them. In the same way the bible doesn’t tell us that Elijah said ‘Thus saith the lord I will anoint Hazael. Its often difficult for folk to follow a written debate so I am really looking forward to your podcast with Rod and John. One of the main concerns I have about the message is that nobody would ever give me scriptural answers to my questions. I was told that things were correct as long as the prophet said them. I am genuinely looking forward to see you give a valid scriptural account of what makes brother Branham a prophet.

Thanks and God bless you

Tony B.


Pastor Gwena, I advise you to read your Bible more closely. Please!

1 Kings 21:27-28: Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

Verses 28-29 eloquently explains why Elijah never got to anoint Jehu. God postponed execution of plan A.

God heard Ahab’s plea. It’s a shame you insist on this futile mission of bashing the Bible, Pastor Gwena.

What’s now in question is your competence in regards to rightly handling the word of truth. Prophecy lays out intentions of God. This was to remove Ahab and his family (! Kings 21:17-28) Teaching heresies, making the Bible lie.

Take off those message goggles; you'll read The Bible more clearly.

Tony M.



Wisper Gwena,

I have listened to the full sermon sent to me by one of your church members. To be honest no one will have the time to listen to some of what you say in there as it is irrelevant to what you were addressing. Your sermon was long and not to the point. I agree that the clips were representative of the points you raised. Your congregation would say Amen even to things which were your own perspective and not the actual facts. I will be happy to hear of your responses too.

Norman

Original comments of Pastor Wisper Gwena

The following are Pastor Gwena's comments from the Off The Shelf website:

JANUARY 4, 2018 AT 11:32 PM

The clip you played in your recent episode on the scripture on Israel sojourning in Israel for 400 years, you took an extract that leaves your followers thinking I was teaching our congregation to not believe the bible yet that is not the impression that anyone who listens to the full sermon will ever get. I find the way you are extracting clips without giving the full context of the argument most misleading and typical of a red herring. John Collins in his comments tries to reinforce the same by emphasising that I was doing the bible down which is far from the truth.
The simple point my sermon was making in giving these examples was for us to learn from scriptural precedents. Anyone that takes the bible on face value will see the difference between 400 years and 430 years as a contradiction. Bible critics cite this as one of the contradictions in the bible. But we bible believers all know there is NO MISTAKE in the Word of God. It follows there is a revelation that is behind the difference between the 400 years and the 430 years which unless it is explained to you or revealed to you, you will not know.
I find it most strange that you people are happy to dig up explanations to defend the bible (which I also do because I believe the bible is 100% accurate) but you cannot accept when we use the same concept on defending the message. You brand this as cognitive dissonance and red herrings. We defend the bible on the basis that it is the absolute Word of God and we stand against ALL bible critics on the revelation that the bible is true. Critics of the bible take us to be crazy when we take such a position and consider us to be heretics who are deceived and lost but we are happy to be branded whatever they may because we have a revelation that the bible is right.
SO LET THIS BE WITH US WHO HAVE A REVELATION ABOUT WILLIAM BRANHAM’S MESSAGE. We are not ashamed to say that we apply exactly the same precedents on the message of Brother Branham because we believe that the message is the truth. There are things that on face value can be criticised in the message, but just like there is an explanation behind the 400 years, there are also explanations about those things you raise criticisms on with the message. Just like you are satisfied with your explanations on the bible, I am also satisfied with my own explanations of such bible scriptures as the 400/430 years which though my explanations may not match yours but still I defend the bible. In a similar way I am also satisfied with my explanations about the message though they may not fit your critic’s position. Not only do my explanations fit me, but we have a whole message community that is very satisfied with the same explanations even after going through your website. You may call us deluded and deceived, but bible critics have called us thus for years and we are unmovable on the bible. In the same way, message critics can call us thus and we remain unmoveable because we have a revelation on what we believe.
Coming to the scripture of God asking Elijah to anoint Hazael and Jehu, again the point in my sermon was for us to learn from scriptural precedent which you try and dismiss as being red herrings. How can scriptural precedent be taken to be red herrings when God says my ways are not your ways? For us to learn the ways of God we have to get into His way of looking at things and not use our ways. We can ONLY learn God’s ways from scriptural precedent. God clearly asked Elijah to anoint Hazael, Jehu and Elisha which we know Elijah died without anointing Jehu. Applying the way you critics of the message would look at things, you would have concluded that Elijah died with a failed vision. In your episode 3 you try to give an explanation saying that Elijah was a ‘disobedient’ prophet but NOT a false prophet. That is your way of trying to defend the bible. As I said earlier, I might not agree with your explanation in defending the bible BUT I agree with the concept and the objective. My point in my sermon was we have a scriptural precedent of things said to a prophet which a prophet does NOT fulfil and yet we still accept him to be a prophet because we know the bible is 100% right. Whether we understand the reason behind Elijah dying before fulfilling what God asked him to do or not, we still defend the bible. We are NOT called to ONLY understand the bible BUT we are called to ONLY believe the bible; by and by we will understand the reasons. SO LET IT BE FOR US WHO BELIEVE THE MESSAGE.
There are things you brand as failed visions which for us we have explanations for. If you don’t accept our explanations it does not mean we don’t have explanations. You simply want to dismiss our explanations just like bible critics dismiss our explanations about the bible; it’s the same spirit.
Let me conclude this portion of my response to your episode 3 comments by this; if the message of William Marrion Branham (OUR PROPHET) was just a written message, we could have been confused by your criticisms. However, God in his infinite wisdom made sure that the message of WMB was recorded on tape. Whilst listening to the tape, we are all able to discern the SPIRIT behind what we will be listening to. We are all able to make our individual choices on whether Brother Branham was trying to bring us to himself or to Christ. We are all able to judge whether his gift was fake or real. As for me, every time I listen to them tapes I come up with one conclusion, THE SPIRIT THAT BROTHER BRANHAM OPERATED UNDER WAS THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Even though I may fail to explain some things BUT the Spirit I discern coming from those tapes is the SPIRIT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and I can’t deny that. To me the ultimate test of the message is the type of Christianity it has produced in my life. I have lived the highest form of Christianity in my life in THIS MESSAGE. This message has made me a more solid bible believer and has brought me closer to the Lord Jesus Christ – HOW CAN I FIND FAULT WITH IT WHEN THAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED IN MY LIFE?

JANUARY 6, 2018 AT 2:44 AM

Your explanation on God asking Elijah vs WMB saying I will kill a brown bear has a fundamental flaw. Your explanation can only be valid under the assumption that another Prophet came and told Elijah God’s instruction and then Elijah was disobedient to God’s instruction. We have no record of God using another Prophet to bring this instruction neither do we have any basis for such an assumption. As a Prophet, God would have spoken to Elijah directly in a vision or in dream or any other way. It follows then that at the time of God’s instruction to Elijah, it was ONLY Elijah who would have shared the instruction. This then becomes the same as when WMB saw a vision and shared it as God’s Word to Him. Applying your critics perspective, Elijah dying without his vision being fulfilled would have been a failed vision in your standards. That’s the scriptural precedent that you fail to see and yet it was very apparent to our congregation.
As I said in my previous response, I find it most strange that you do not brand your process of justifying this Elijah scripture as cognitive dissonance but yet when we apply the same process on justifying our Prophet you brand it as cognitive dissonance. It’s strange how you cannot see that in both situations there is harmonisation of cognitions. I think it’s time you become honest with yourself and accept that you have been taken over by a spirit that seeks to just drag God’s Prophet WMB under the bus at all costs.
You question whether I have read Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory, you don’t know my educational background neither do you know how well read or unread I am, so it’s safe not to make assumptions. However, I believe the gospel is supposed to be presented in simple plain language which the common man can hear gladly.
I notice you try and delude people with theories, psychological explanations and dictionary definitions that try and confuse a simple issue. A typical example is when you tried to define fact and truth in your episode 1 by dictionary definitions when the example I gave was simple and straight forward and could be followed by any common man. Your whole evidence gathering to disprove God’s Prophet is based on finding facts. John questions WMB’s birthday based on documental evidence which is exactly the same as the example I gave of my birthday. There are many reasons why a document can have different information to the TRUE position. You are putting a man (WMB) that is no longer here on trial when truth could only be established from him. I wonder how you even believe the bible if your belief system is based on evidence. What evidence do you have that Moses saw a burning bush?
You mentioned that I cannot discern whether WMB’s gift was fake or real unless I talk to people who were the subject of the gift. Has spiritual discernment been reduced to interviews now??? Where then is the Holy Spirit I wonder? I tell you, any genuine Christian with the Spirit of Christ if you get them to listen to the Tapes of WMB they can tell you what Spirit was on the man. Even TL Osborne saw Christ in the man and called it his second vision of Jesus Christ.
You quote “discernments were accurate by healings were rare”. With your 40 years that you spent in the message, have you forgotten that the Prophet said the discernment does NOT heal you? Be that as it may, we no longer go by just the testimonies of healings on tapes only. We have many healings and testimonies among believers which came after discernment BY TAPES. We have testimonies of the PILLAR OF FIRE that you dispute coming down on a tape being played. We have countless miracles that have taken place because of this message. SO YOUR EVIDENCES OF HEALINGS BEING RARE IS TOTALLY MEANINGLESS TO US. God has done proved to us the reality of this message.
Finally, what has been achieved in your life. If WMB’s message caused it you should be worried. Jesus Christ changed my life. It is him who I serve and none other.
I find it strange that you cannot believe that God uses a MAN ministry to bring people to Himself. What happened to the Scriptures like Rom 10:14-15 – how shall they hear without a preacher; 1 Corin 1:21 – it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe; 1 Corin 11:1 – be ye followers of me even as I follow Christ. How can it be worrying to be brought to Christ through a message of WMB. Unfortunately in this case of what has been achieved in my life, I am the judge because it happened to me and I speak for myself. The Message of WMB brought me to my LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST and I am not ashamed to say were it not for WMB, I would not know Christ the way I know Him today.
Finally Rod, we can debate about facts and evidences and visions etc, BUT the ultimate test is in the life. The bible tells us a tree is known by its fruits. My testimony is THE MESSAGE OF WMB PRODUCES A CHRISTIAN LIFE IN PEOPLE. That I am a witness of and NOBODY can tell me otherwise. I wonder what type of a life the so called people who left the message are now living? We hear of former deacons now alcoholics – lets give it time and by their fruits we shall know them.


Footnotes

  1. The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Ki 19:12–17.


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