What Did I Believe Immediately After Leaving the Message?
A Statement of Faith in March 2013
I have often been asked what I believed when I left the message. Leaving the message didn’t include a wild desire to run from God, nor was it founded on a bitterness towards people in the church. I couldn’t think of any enemies I may have had whatsoever. I simply had strong issues with the premise of “The Message of the Hour”, and the apparent issues surrounding Brother Branham and the idea of Malachi 4 / Revelations 10:7 being accurate or true.
I wrote this in March of 2013, within a week of when I decided I no longer wanted to associate myself as a “Message Believer” (based on my opinion of things at the time I left the message).
My views have further evolved, but to a large degree they remain similar. The views I have on doctrine have definitely further evolved – but I didn’t specifically go into those details then as “doctrine” was something I knew I needed to examine. The point I want to make with this post is just to encourage you that we will all start somewhere in our walk away from the message; and it doesn’t have to match anyone else’s view. It might be a good idea to record your ‘personal statement’ too and watch how you progress.
Here is what I wrote back in March 2013:
1. I acknowledge that I do not believe Bro. Branham’s message like I once did.
I made him an absolute, to the point that I would exalt him above scripture. I would sooner believe Bro. Branham than I would the Bible.
Now, I will choose the Bible above Bro. Branham.
2. I do not believe all Bro. Branham’s visions & prophecies came to pass, or that he was flawless in “Thus Saith the Lord”.
His accounts are often unverifiable, wildly inconsistent, and unreliable. Circumspect discernment casts a shadow of doubt on aspects of his ‘vindication’. Blind faith is not acceptable to us. Yet we DO KNOW there are accounts which are true, and thus, we know he was used of God.
3. I do believe Message Believers are Christians.
So long as they are depending on Jesus Christ as the source of their life, the redeemer of their souls, their Bridegroom, the Truth, the Way – we are brothers and sisters, and co-heirs with Christ.
4. I believe the election of God is God’s Choosing.
The rapture is for those who are in a relationship with Christ, regardless of denominational ties. God simply wants to know this:
- Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
- John 3:5 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
- Luke 18:8 – “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
- Matthew 7:19 – “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
- Fruits of a Christian Life – Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
- Does He Know you? Relationship with the Person of Christ: Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
5. I DO believe:
- that there will be a spotless Bride.
- there is no system or organization that can produce ‘life’ – it is the Life of Christ that brings resurrection and redemption.
- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
- The days of miracles are not passed.
- Paul laid the foundation of the Christian church, which we believe and follow. We follow any man only as they follow Christ.
6. I believe the criteria of being the Bride does not consist in believing the “Word of the Hour” (that is unfounded in scripture).
The Bride is:
- Chosen of God, and God alone knows His own.
- Made clean and righteous by the blood of the Lamb.
- Overcomes by a Christian testimony.
- Has been washed by the Word, and thus, can be espoused to God ‘clean and spotless’.
- Is required to fulfill the Law of Christ, not the law of Moses. The Law of Christ is simply this: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, Love thy neighbour as thyself.
7. Sadly, I believe the Message of the Hour is a system that largely results in fruit of fear (by nicolaitanism / pharisaical priesthood).
It often does little to promote relationship, but enforces strict obedience to doctrines, teachings, and mosaic law. Believers are afraid to seek genuine, heart conversion – they fear confessing a ‘lacking’ and rather rest in association with ‘the prophet’, in knowledge (called revelation) and appearances. We largely sought the evidence of a polished sepulchre (burial place – resurrection and genuine life are not required with a little polish), and are satisfied with performance and obedience rather than freedom in Christ.
8. I do not believe the standards of Bro. Branham are necessarily supported by scripture. In fact, the only way we can make some of them work at all is by “just believing”.
9. The “Mysteries” of God are not required to be a member of the elected body of Christ, except for the mystery of Christ and the Church.
10. I simply want this for our Christian testimony, after receiving our Salvation in Christ:
- Our fruits to be evident.
- Our faith to active.
- Our love to be perfected.
- We want to be found with the ‘samaritans’, and fellowshipping with the ‘publicans’ and the ‘common’ folk.
- We want to be serving in the body; not in the box.
11. Malachi 4 may or may not be fulfilled by William Branham.
To us, that isn’t vital as we simply want to determine to be found faithful, seeking God and labouring in His field when He calls us to meet Him. We do not reject Brother Branham; we thank god for his ministry and gift to the Body of Christ. But our trust is in Jesus Christ to save us, and lead us as a guide.
Just as many came to Christ without the Baptism of John, many will come to Christ without the message of William Branham. The GOSPEL STANDS.
12. Regarding Standards
It is the Weak who live by meats / special holy days / legalism.
But do not mock one another. Do not offend one another. Respect one another.
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
The Kingdom is not meat & drink but Righteousness, Peace & Joy in the Holy Ghost
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things (righteousness, peace, joy) serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
God Decides What is Clean
Peter related “clean” vs “unclean / common” to his own view on meats. He refused to see God’s view, though God told him.
God rebuked Peter saying “Do not call unclean and common what I have made clean”, and applied this principle/teaching to Peter’s willingness & ability to approach a ‘gentile’.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
14. I refused to discount, and disfellowship anyone.
And in choosing this path, we are choosing to step from the comforts of a “message community” and to put our faith and Christian heart in application. We feel we need to do this to grow further in Christ. Our hope is to serve the Body in a manner that causes us to grow in love, with no respect of persons or fear of men.