The September 2020 Debate - Part 5
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Click here to listen to part 5 of the Debate on the Off The Shelf podcast.
The September 2020 debate was released in seven parts as listed below - you are currently in the category that is in bold:
- The Debate - Part 1
- The Debate - Part 2
- The Debate - Part 3
- The Debate - Part 4
- The Debate - Part 5
- The Debate - Part 6
- The Debate - Part 7
Jay Cox: It is Rod's turned for a fourth question, I believe. Is that correct?
Rod Bergen: Question number four.
Jay Cox: Okay. So yeah, yeah. If everyone is I'm content with the time and all that, and being fair and all that, then we can move forward with fourth question. Sure.
Jesse Smith: Yes, sir.
Rod Bergen: Good by me, Jesse.
Jesse Smith: Yep. We're good. Thank you.
Jay Cox: Awesome.
Rod Bergen: William Branham stated that he received what he taught from God. He received revelation on the scriptures from the Holy Spirit and this formed the basis of his unique, quote unquote, teaching. One of them is particularly troubling to me. William Branham taught that if you did not follow the messenger for your age, you could not be saved.
He also taught that the doctrine of the Trinity was satanic. This leads one to the conclusion that in virtually all of the church ages, one had to believe a satanic doctrine in order to be saved because the messengers were clearly Trinitarian. How can you justify from scripture that God would require someone to believe [00:01:00] false doctrine in order to be saved?
Jay Cox: And you have five minutes, brother Smith.
Jesse Smith: Okay. Thank you. First of all, I'll say not all of Brother Branham's teachings were from God, as far as I understand. In "He cares. Do you care?", 1963, brother Branham said always be careful what you're listening to. He said so much of it is the human side, but ever if it will speak it from the Lord, it'll speak it thus saith the Lord. Now from my listening to brother Branham, I've never heard brother Branham say you were lost if you didn't follow the messenger of your day. So brother Rod, maybe you can look that quote up for me. Please share that with me.
Rod Bergen: I will.
Jesse Smith: Okay. But I have quotes where brother Branham says, people are saved, who don't agree with him. In Questions And Answers, part one, 64, they asked brother Branham, will they be saved if they don't preach your message?
He said, yes. If they believe the Lord. He said, if they disagree with me, he said, that shows where they're headed for, perhaps the tribulation, if they disagree with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He said, but those who can [00:02:00] accept the word in its fullness, not me preaching it, but because the Bible says so. So brother Branham never put it on him.
He was just the messenger of the message. Jesus Christ, revelation for the end time.
Rod Bergen: So Jesse, let me just give you this. This is a quote.
Jesse Smith: OK..
Jay Cox: Real quick rod.
If I may we do have to, just to keep the timeframe a little bit. I do want to let pastor Smith get out his full five minutes first, and
Rod Bergen: I'll do this in the follow-up.
Jay Cox: Okay. And I appreciate you being okay with that, by the way. Pastor Smith, go ahead. Jesse Smith: Sure. Yeah. I appreciate that. Both of you. Thank you. Also brother Branham taught, according to the Revelation of the fifth seal with which was thus saith the Lord, Jews can deny Jesus Christ as Messiah today, but as long as they're true to the word of God, the Old Testament, as long as they're true to their Old Testament, there'll be given white robes.
He taught that in the fifth seal, paragraph228-256, it's not important that I read it, but I'm just saying Brother Branham in numerous cases said people can be saved, even if they don't believe in him, because it's [00:03:00] not based upon him, it's based upon the word of God. I do believe that Trinitarian doctrine is satanic, ' cause it's not the word of God... because it contradicts the word of God. Anything that's a lie would be of the wrong spirit. But God, because God never said he was three co-equal distinct persons, but we know, I believe they can be saved cause it's not the salvation issue. It's a mystery issue because Paul calls the godhead a mystery in Colossians two verse two, it's a mystery.
It's got to be revealed by God. And if people can't get it, I know God's merciful, 'cause that doesn't pertain to salvation. You said, how can you justify from scripture that God would require someone to believe false doctrine in order to be saved? If I understand this right, I do not believe God requires anyone to believe false doctrine to be saved.
All God requires for salvation is repentance. Ephesians 2:8 and 9 says we are saved by grace through faith. It's a gift from God, not of ourselves. The thief on the cross is a [00:04:00] prime example of Ephesians 2:8, he was saved by grace through his faith in Christ. A lot of people don't know this.
I don't know if you know it right or not, but in Matthew 27 verses 41 to 44, the thieves, both thieves were casting the same in his teeth. So that's Matthew 27, 44. The thieves were casting, mocking, and hurtful words. So this thief came to the cross against Christ, but within a matter of, how many hours were they on the cross?
I can't remember. Thank God our Lord suffered on the cross. But in a matter of hours, the Holy Spirit comes to him. And he's convicted and he tells the other thief. He said, we're both sinners. He said, we deserve this, but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, remember me and Jesus said, you'll be with me in paradise.
Now that's... talk about grace, that's saved by grace. It didn't matter what he believed before. It didn't apply to salvation. Didn't matter what he did. He trusted. He must have repented and trusted in Jesus Christ as his [00:05:00] savior. Now as for messengers believing the Trinity, again, God doesn't save by the Godhead doctrine.
He saves by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ. I've already mentioned all the restoration scriptures. Those scriptures, Matthew 17:11, Acts 3:20 and 21, Daniel 12:4. And there are so many others. They all speak of the Gentiles. And Paul calls this the times of the Gentiles and Romans 11, the Gentiles are going to lose some revelation, because they have to be restored. He said, all things need to be restored. The fellowship, the doctrine, the power, everything has to be restored. Well that if it needs restored, something must have been lost. And so that comes down to the point of it had to be lost because that was God's story through the seven church ages, even in the fourth age, which was the darkest age, they had to combat the depths of Satan.
That's what Jesus Christ said himself. So it got to the depths and then it sprang forth. And the reformation. The more I study it, the more I can see it. [00:06:00] And it comes down to this here. It comes down to this. There were wise and foolish virgins of every age. For example, David and Saul. Samuel said, he told Saul, he said, David is better than you are. Now, not exalting David, but he had a heart for God. He was, he obeyed God more. And so you have there's...
Jay Cox: Time, brother. I apologize. I completely spaced on the one to calling out the one minute Mark. So I'm going to let you finish your thought real quick, but I just wanted to say we did just hit time.
Jesse Smith: Okay, so I'll just close with this in the church age book, brother Branham it brings out four classes of believers.
I know he said three all along, but he changed in the church age to four. And that scripture in Matthew 13, there's four grounds. There are four vessels in second Timothy gold, silver, wood, earth. In Revelation 22:11, there's four conditions you can be in, holy, righteous, filthy, unjust. It's a completely scriptural doctrine.
There's two kinds of saved. There's two kinds of lost. There's two destinies, but there's two of each kind. [00:07:00] Jay Cox: Thank you very much, brother. And then Rod, you have three minutes to respond there.
Rod Bergen: Wow. You're implying a lot there, which I don't think that the scripture says. Anyways, William Branham said "all that believe, all that believe the message of that age come in and was saved. So will it be in any age, all who did not believe the message and the messenger perished. Now I'd ask. This was from 1964. I don't know if you're familiar with William Branham's vision of the plum and Apple trees. In it, while William Branham tells of a vision that he said came from God.
He states of this vision... "there's many Trinitarian people setting there. There's many oneness and there's many different ones. But how little you would be to fuss about, because if that part of the vision was true, the other parts true too. Both fruits was found in the cross. He's talking about plum trees, Trinitarian. Apple trees, oneness. He's saying that whether you're a oneness or Trinitarian, doesn't matter with respect to your salvation. Then, many years later, in 1965, he [00:08:00] states that if you believe of the doctrine of the Trinity, quote, you are lost, unquote. And in another sermon, he says Trinitarianism is of the devil, I say that, thus saith the Lord.
How could what William Branham said was true about the doctrine of the Trinity, if the vision of the plum and Apple trees were true? They can't. William Branham didn't get his revelations from God. He made them up. He changed things. Back, back when he first had this vision, God gave him a vision, Trinitarians, Oneness, you're all good. You're all in the cross, both found in the cross, he said.
Now, if you believe that Trinitarian doctrine, you're lost. it's confused to me. How can you say he got that from God?
Jay Cox: Is that a, is that the rest of your time?
Rod Bergen: Yup.
Jay Cox: All right, brother. Jesse, you have three minutes.
Jesse Smith: Okay. Again with this Brother, rod, I take everything Brother.
Branham's said back to the word. When brother Branham said in 1965, they're lost Trinitarians, it wasn't thus saith the [00:09:00] Lord. There's no scripture that says someone's lost for being a Trinitarian. And he never said that's thus say the Lord. brother Branham was a very dogmatic person. He said he was more dogmatic than Brother Neville .
He said, there's dogmatic. There's nice. There's kind people. He was very dogmatic and he was very convinced. He was right many times, but we got to take everything he said back to scripture. I'll have to look up that all believe the messenger pear or that didn't believe, perished. I'm not familiar with that one.
I'll have to look that up.
Rod Bergen: You can find it if you go onto the Believe the Sign and type in "Christians that were required to believe satanic doctrine", you'll find it.
Jesse Smith: Christians that were...
Rod Bergen: ... required to believe satanic doctrine. We've got a whole article on the issue.
Jesse Smith: Okay, I'll look that up. And again, with that quote, just from you hearing it, I'd have to take it back to the word because he could have made a mistake. He could have been just overzealous. I've not studied the plum tree vision Brother, but I do believe that. I believe Trinitarian oneness can find a place at the cross.
I believe all of us that are saved find a place at the cross of Jesus Christ. Yeah, [00:10:00] that's just my reply. I'll stop right there.
Jay Cox: And then, rod, would you like to add anything else or if you do then of course, we'll give Jesse the last word.
Rod Bergen: I'm good. I'm good.
Jay Cox: All righty. So then Smith, you now have your fourth question and yeah, let's just go ahead and jump right into that.
Jesse Smith: Fourth question. Brother, you stated in numerous podcasts you have proof brother Branham was a liar, but I've never heard you share any real proof. So aren't you wrongly assuming this and jumping to conclusions based upon your own opinions.
Jay Cox: And Rod, you have five minutes.
Rod Bergen: So this question is quite easy. When you said you never heard us share any real proof, I don't think you really listened or read what we published, or maybe you haven't read enough. Here's the list to start. There's way more. I could go on for an hour.
1953- first William Branham stated that he had visited the graves of the founders of many of the world's religions, including the grave of Mohammed, the grave of Buddha and [00:11:00] Confucius and many others.
Just a flat out lie. He stated this, "I've been to the grave where the white horse has changed every four hours, where Mohammed, a great priest and leader right after Christ, was supposedly to be a prophet." Guess what? There is no white horse that's changed every four hours. William Branham wasn't there. This doesn't exist.
Second, William Branham stated on several occasions, he had been to the Vatican and seen, with his own eyes, the words, "VICARIVS FILII DEI" on the papal triple crown. So another lie. These words have never appeared on a papal crown. I think he got that from Seventh Day Adventist Uriah Smith. Who got it from somewhere else. And William Branham admitted he read Smith.
Third, the story of the baptism on the Ohio river in 1933. In 1950, William Branham said that there were thousands standing all over the bank of the Ohio river facing Louisville... paper carried a big article of it.
It's a lie. Graham Snelling was there and stated that there was not over a hundred people. There was one article in the newspaper that said there were [00:12:00] 14 converts in a tent meeting. Only article. Thousands were not standing on the bank of the river. And there were no newspaper articles about the baptism.
William Branham was not telling the truth.
Fourth, William Branham stated on several occasions that he saw mother eagle stretch out her wings in the nest and the young eagles all climbed onto her wings. And she flew down into a valley with the chicks on her wings. They jumped off her wings when she landed on the grass and they played for a period of time. And then she later descended back into the valley, stretched out her wings.
Again, the chicks. Jumped onto her outstretched wings, and she then flew back up to the nest with the eaglets to honor wings back to the nest where they jumped off. We can state without doubt that William Branham never saw this take place. He was lying and we challenge anyone to send scientific evidence that this actually took place with any eagles in real life.
Fifth, we've talked about the infamous cloud over Flagstaff, and it's just a flat out lie. He was nowhere near the cloud on February 28th, [00:13:00] 1963. And his daughter Rebecca admitted that in an article she wrote in the Only Believe magazine. The cloud was not supernatural, but was formed from the explosion of a Thor rocket.
The rocket started to veer off course and was intentionally destroyed and an altitude of 45 kilometres, which surprisingly is the same as the mystery cloud. Wiliam Branham's stated several times he'd been around the world seven times. It's a lie. We know. And even Owen Jorgensen describes the trips he took.
William Branham has stated the municipal Bridge vision was fulfilled. He stated that 16 men had fallen from the bridge and died. But we know from newspaper reports that only two men died in the construction of the bridge. One from being hit in the head with a crank and the other from falling off the bridge on to barge, William Branham was not truthful when he said the prophecy was fulfilled.
Eighth, William Branham stated that with respect to Donny Morton, a young boy that he prayed for, "...the Lord healed him, made him well. The boy was wearing shoes the next day after we prayed for him," William Branham said [00:14:00] "it got so he could run, meet his daddy and everything." William Branham said, Thus saith the Lord, the boy will be healed.
But we read in a Reader's Digest article that Donny never began to improve even slightly after the operation. Donny was never able to walk or run. The best he was able to do is stretch out his arms in bed to reach his parents. Donny Morton died the same year, unable to recover.
Finally, I was in contact with Donny Morton's sister and she confirmed Donny Morton was never healed. Jay Cox: One minute.
Rod Bergen: I could go on with other examples. William Branham has stated these things to make himself look like a prophet. He tried to create the persona of a prophet. One of the ways he did this was by stating things that were not true, but which his followers held onto and still hold on to, even though they are false. William Branham lied, he failed the test of a leader in the church has outlined in Titus one and first Timothy three.
Jay Cox: He should simply be ignored. And then Brother Jesse, you have [00:15:00] three minutes.
Jesse Smith: Okay. Yeah, I don't think brother Branham was a habitual liar.
He lied to the IRS. He admitted that he exaggerated And I just say this humbly, I, the only way to know if brother Branham didn't go to the graves and all these things would, around the world seven times is either to ask them about it or to have followed him around his entire life. A lot of these really can't prove it unless like he admits it on tape or says it. Because the danger is if you take the newspaper on on some of these.
Newspapers can be wrong. And as you probably heard, like with I've watched the documentary patterns of the Exodus, there's no proof of Moses in Egypt. In other words, the government records don't recognize Moses. They have, there's no record of Moses. So does that mean it wasn't right. So I think we just gotta be careful not to exalt these things and I know it's hard.
It's hard for me. I know there's a lot of questions. No doubt about that. The only way I know is if I would followed brother Branham around, [00:16:00] but remember the Cloud could have been by vision. Ezekiel went by vision to a place. He could have visited there by vision. There's a possibility. And even with brother Branham around the world, thus saith the Lord seven times.
And was that, did he say that was Thus saith the Lord?? I don't think so. I don't think he said thus saith the Lord. I'll go around the world seven times. So there's times he may have miscounted, forgot. I don't know. Exaggerated. The bridge, I don't know about that, but it's possible. Yeah I just don't know what to say.
I wasn't there. There's no one that was there that watched every single day. And I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but we know there are, like JFK's assassination, there's just, there's some real conspiracy theories. The world trade center, we just passed it yesterday. There's a lot of questions people have, and I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but in order to disprove some of these, we would have had to been there the entire time.
And none of us were, so again, many of these things it's. It's our word or, you know your word Brother Rod, against Brother Branham's and I think it's wrong to call him a liar. [00:17:00] Flat out.
Jay Cox: One minute.
Jesse Smith: I think that's wrong. Now the one thing I'll say Brother Rod with Donny Morton, that's a serious one. That's one. I have never studied. I heard about it before, but I just don't have time to study all the Brother Branham's life so much. I got to preach the doctrine. So I will look into that. I'll probably go to your website. That's the great place to start. But again, I personally don't believe he was a liar habitually.
He didn't lie on occasion. He admitted it. He made mistakes. But I still... On many of these. It's just your word, brother Rod against brother Branham's word.
Jay Cox: And then Rod, if you'd like, you also can have a, another three minutes there. Rod Bergen: So here's something that really troubled me when I found it. On April the 12th, 1959, William Branham relates what happened in the service on a prior evening.
"So they were telling me of a woman that I had called back somewhere in the audiences, but she couldn't understand me because she was from another country. A Finnish woman. Then the Holy Spirit told her to bless God. Spoke in a language that [00:18:00] I didn't know and call the women and give who she was and something about the Lord's blessings upon her, something other in Finnish language. I don't even know English, let alone Finnish."
So I searched through some prior sermons and found the place he was referring to. Sure enough. He was telling the truth. Here's what he told the woman...
"Right straight back, the back of this place, about middle ways of this aisle. There's a woman. She's suffering with high blood pressure. She's not from here. She's a Finn. She's from Finland. If you believe sister, you receive your healing. "Jumalan rauhaa," Rise up to your feet and accept your healing and be made well. God bless you. "Kiitos Jesus." Hallelujah! What was I saying?"
So here's a couple of words in there that definitely aren't English.
And if you enter them into Google translate, it turns out that they're Finnish. They're in the Finnish language. Was he speaking in Finnish to the person? A language he did not understand. This would be a clear demonstration of God's power. Wouldn't you agree, Jay? Jesse?
[00:19:00] Now here's something. So I went and searched back. And here's what William Branham said on January 22, 1956, a couple of years earlier.
"And I was passing through here the other night and the custodian said he was from Finland and his people was from Finland. I spoke a few words of Finnish to him. I said, "Kiitos" and "Jumalan rauhaa". And he looked at me and said, "Kiitos," thank you. And "Jumalan rauhaa" is God's peace be upon you. Turns out the William Branham knew a few Finnish words.
Seriously. William Branham was faking speaking in tongues and said he didn't have a clue, but he did. He was lying. And if you look back, he was in Finland, as you're aware, prior to 1950. He learned a few Finnish words.
Jay Cox: One minute
Rod Bergen: God doesn't need my help. And he doesn't need William Branham's help.
There's no way that I would ever follow man who would fake something like that. As Frederick Nietzsche wrote, "I am not upset that you lied to [00:20:00] me. I'm upset that from now on, I can't believe you."
I could keep going on with examples. I can't believe William Branham anymore. He was not a prophet. He lied.
Jay Cox: All right. And then pastor Jesse, if you would like to respond again, you can have another three minutes. If you do, though, of course we have to give the last word to... Or wait... Was this your question or...
Rod Bergen: This was my follow up. Jesse gets to, he gets three minutes to answer.
Jay Cox: Okay. So yeah, no. Okay. Go ahead and Pastor has three minutes. I'm losing track of the time here. So I apologize.
Jesse Smith: Yeah. I I wasn't familiar with that one, brother Rod, so I'll have to look that up. I personally wouldn't believe he would fake speaking in tongues. I just, I wouldn't have a hard time believing that. I have to go study all those myself
Rod Bergen: It's on our website.
Jesse Smith: Okay. What's the name of the page?
Rod Bergen: Oh, let me see.
Jesse Smith: I thought you might know it right off hand.
Rod Bergen: No, I don't. It's yeah, "Branham's speaks in tongues". That's the name of the article.
Jesse Smith: Oh, yes, sir. I'm sorry. We have somebody here at the church. Yes, sir. I'm still on the recording Brother. [00:21:00] That's okay, buddy. It's okay. Sorry. Sorry Brother. Speaks into it. That's okay. We'll leave.
Jay Cox: We only have two questions left, right? Is it two or three?
Tim Kraus: We should just have one.
Jesse Smith: Yeah. That's all I have to say on that one. Like I said, I've talked to me. So I'll go study that out. Jay Cox: All right. Awesome.