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Click [ here to listen to part 7 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: I guess we'll try and make it. I was gonna say about, five minutes each. If that's okay with you. That'd be an extra about 10 minutes. Give or take maybe 15 considering some of these, side talking and stuff.
But is that short enough? Excuse me. Short enough amount of time.
Rod Bergen: We don't have any follow-ups we just make a statement I think, and just end it. I think that's good. I'm happy with that.
Jay Cox: Yeah, absolutely.
Jesse Smith: That's fine.
Rod Bergen: Go ahead, Jesse.
I'm sorry. How long was the closing? Just a couple minutes or...
Jesse Smith: what do you want to do?
Jay Cox: Just about five minutes.
Jesse Smith: Okay. Yeah. I just want to in closing, I just want to thank rod and I respect his sincerity and Tim and Jay and the format. I like this format of the debate, using respect and giving people time. I would just say Brother Branham was not a scholar. His schedule didn't permit it.
God called him to travel constantly. Pray for the sick. Our lives are more closely together. We can write everything down and, if he was a genuine prophet, he said he lived a lot of his life in the other dimension. It's hard to, it's hard to remember all that. If he doesn't have time to write it all down.
So again, I'm giving [00:01:00] him the benefit of the doubt. I take everything you said back to the word. I do not believe there's conflicting prophecies. I believe each one has a different time period. They fall in. And in Christian Love, I just want to tell this to you Brother Rod, I listened to your podcasts.
The authors of searching for vindication spent all those hours for you. And I appreciate their sincerity. I feel like my YouTube channel is the same for you. After I saw your humble pie, one of the main motivations was just to check myself, Rod. Do I believe what the Bible says and that's where, through that, I just found Bible.
I believe I found Bible foundations for the major doctrine of brother Branham. Not all of them because there's minors and majors. But that was my way to show you that I care about you. And so I caught that same thing. That's the same thing I've done for you. I've tried it. I've invested hundreds, maybe thousands of hours in my YouTube channel to try to prove that Brother Branham was pointing us to the word of God. And I humbly invite you to view those videos, if you [00:02:00] like. I'll be praying for you, Rod, in the Holy name of Jesus Christ. Please pray for me that I can serve God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
And I want to cast the net to any listener. If you are not saved, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Really repent, repent means change your mind, make amends for sin and abhor your past sins. That's according to the Greek lexicon. Leave your past sins behind. Get sanctified. Get as close to God as you can. Jesus taught the baptism of the Holy Ghost in Acts 1:5. So love God. Serve God until you get the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And then I believe, it's my humble opinion, if you get the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you'll eventually wonder where does this great Revelation come from?
It will guide you to God's prophet of our day. The Ephesians weren't born again until the prophet Paul came and prayed for them and he laid their hands on them and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. It'll lead you to listen to Brother Branham's sermons. You'll find a local [00:03:00] church. I know there's not many that are true, but you'll find a good one.
God will guide you. You'll gather more as you see that day approaching, Hebrews 10. You'll recognize the gifts of the spirit in your life. You'll invest in them. You identify your ministries. You'll pray. You'll fast. You'll give alms. You'll find the perfect will of God for your life. You'll witness to others.
You'll save souls. You'll send missionaries and you will love the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart soul mind, and strength.
Jay Cox: Brother Rod, go ahead and give your concluding statements here.
Rod Bergen: I also want to thank you, Jesse, for having the courage to discuss these issues in a public forum. And I also want to thank Jay. Thank you, Jay, for putting this discussion together.
It's interesting that Jason Watkins and Donny Reagan, two well-known message pastors, have both issued public challenges. But when Tim Kraus called them on their challenges, they put their tail between their legs and ran. I really do appreciate you doing this, Jesse.
Second. I want to challenge everyone listening to this discussion to have the intestinal [00:04:00] fortitude to do what the Bereans did in Acts chapter 17. Luke said that the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
If someone is willing to pattern their behavior after the Bereans, they should listen to the Off The Shelf podcast, as Jesse said he's done. Take a deep dive into the evidence available on the BelieveTheSign website, and think about the hundreds of questions that have been raised about William Branham and his message.
We don't ask people to believe us or follow us. We simply ask that you pay attention to what Luke said in the first chapters of the books of Luke and Acts. Luke one, we read, many have undertaken to drop an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye witnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write [00:05:00] an orderly account for you most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you been taught.
If we are like Luke, we will carefully investigate what William Branham said and did. We need to look at the evidence just like Luke required of his friend, Theophilus. We need to have certainty on these things.
In Acts one, we read that, after his suffering, Jesus presented himself to his disciples and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. If Jesus gave the disciples convincing proofs, he had them examine the evidence for the resurrection, then how do we get off not examining the evidence as to whether the message is true or false? We're told to only believe, but that is what Mormons and JWS are told. Jesus and the apostles cared about the evidence. Our faith in Jesus is not blind faith. It is. In fact, reasonable faith. There is evidence behind what I believe as a Christian and that evidence has stood up for over 2000 years. [00:06:00] On the other hand, William Branham is fading into oblivion. Very few know who he was, and he even less care anything about him.
That is the opposite of what happened 2000 years ago, when the church was growing at an incredible pace. The evidence shows that:
First... William Branham was not a prophet. His visions failed. He failed the test to Deuteronomy 18:20 to 22. The Bereans were called to examine the evidence to see if these things are true or false.
Second, william Branham was not credible. The BelieveTheSign website contains over 50 instances, which proves that William Branham was not honest. Look at the evidence.
Third, William Branham did not preach what Paul preached. Our website contains almost 100 examples of where William Branham's teachings were in error from a plain reading of the Bible.
Donny Regan asked recently in a sermon why we can't just leave the message alone? Why can't we just go away? The answer is twofold. First, we love the people in the message. They were our dear friends, and we still [00:07:00] love them. We're compelled by the love of Christ and the word of God to reach out to them with the gospel of truth.
Second, the followers William brand are being deceived by ministers in the message. Some of that deception is willful. I found out from George Smith, William Branham's son-in-law, that no one had died in the construction of the municipal bridge. That information is still being withheld from people. Some of that deception is willful ignorance.
We found that there are many ministers in the message who say they have checked out the errors that we have pointed out, but the truth is they've never looked into them. They say they have, but they aren't telling the truth. And some ministers mean well, but are themselves deceived, they're blind leading the blind.
There are people in the message who are Christians. I was one of them, but the message hinders and stunts the spiritual growth of those that are Christians.
There are people in the message who are not Christians, those that follow the teachings of Lee Vayle, for example, deny the deity of Jesus Christ and, therefore, can't be considered true followers of Christ. I fear for their souls. And all of their [00:08:00] doctrines are based on the teachings of William Branham.
God created us with the most complicated thing in the entire universe, the human brain. Paul reasoned with the Jews in their synagogues. He reasoned with the most sophisticated philosophers in the ancient world, the Areopagus in Athens. God invented logic. In fact, the word logic comes from the Greek word, Logos.
Almost all message ministers preach a message of fear. People are afraid to ask questions, but God is not afraid of questions. Don't be afraid. Look at the evidence. Ask the Holy spirit for guidance, direction and protection, as you look at the evidence.
Follow Jesus Christ. Don't follow a man. Thanks very much.
Jay Cox: I want to thank the participants very much for this. I believe that this is one of the more vital conversations that can be had. I know that it's not huge in the Christian world, because there's not a whole lot of people who are dealing with the [00:09:00] message. But just as anybody who believes anything else of this magnitude. Which in the magnitude we are discussing is that a prophet of God has come to the earth. Either a prophet of God has indeed come to the earth, in which case we need to submit and follow him. Or, there is somebody who is essentially leading what is an offshoot cult and people, who are genuine, need to be saved from that.
Regardless of which side you fall on there, whether you're in the message or out the message, this question is absolutely vital because of those facts. And so I hope that this will not be... I believe this is the first conversation of this nature in the English language. Unless you want to count my own appearance on Rod's podcast. I don't know how...
Rod Bergen: That was the first.
Jay Cox: Hopefully it's not the last. Hopefully it's not the last. I think this is a very important thing. Hopefully we'll get Donnie Reagan, Chad Lamb, others involved. I know there's some opposition on the anti-message side as well. Willard Collins doesn't seem interested in these dialogues. Hopefully we can change their minds. I [00:10:00] know there's lots of bad blood, and bad blood can hopefully be buried, but in the name of Jesus Christ.
So I appreciate everybody being here. Love you both in the Lord. This was an absolutely great conversation. I'd like to end with a brief prayer, if I may,
Rod Bergen: Just before we do that, I want to thank Tim for being here. Thanks very much, Tim. And would ask if you have, a 30 second closing statement.
Tim Kraus: Yeah, here's my closing statement. Pastor Smith, I really admire you for stepping up to this and for doing the research. Much more than that, as we sat here and listened to what you had to say and your responses and your questions, they are incredibly genuine. I'm convinced that the genuineness of your faith and your belief in the scripture.
I just want to tell you, I love you for that. We meet a lot of people who basically tell us that we're past the point of no return, out in outer darkness, for goodness sakes. And that we'll never ever... we're reprobate and living reprobate lives and all of this stuff that they say.
I really want to tell you, I appreciate you coming and basically the spirit in which [00:11:00] you came and and the willingness just to, to be genuine, and to be honest. I really want to tell you I appreciate that. Jay, I also appreciate your time putting this together for us. Thanks a lot for letting us do this.
Jay Cox: Absolutely. It's my pleasure. This is honestly the very thing that got me into this in the first place. The whole reason I am on YouTube and, of course, it's gotten a lot bigger than that now. And I thank the Lord for that, that I'll actually be able to make a career out of this. But the reason I got on this on the first place was December, 2017, a conversation with... it might've just been somebody who worked for Believe The Sign, it might've also been Rod himself. I don't know, but it was a conversation on Facebook about the graves and Mohammed and all that. And so to a large extent, by the way, Rod, thank you for that. Cause I guess, that, that is, like I said, in the end led to the beginning of the entire apologetics channel.
I want to go ahead and conclude with the prayer for everybody is I'm okay with that. And then we'll go ahead and get you out of here. I know pastor Smith, you've got some places to be.
Jesse Smith: Yep. I just want to say, I love you all in Jesus name. I [00:12:00] respect you. I'll pray for all of you. Thank you, Tim.
Very nice words. I feel the same way. I just want to love Jesus Christ. Love his people. And I appreciate everybody's time today. I really do.
Rod Bergen: Yeah, agreed!
Jay Cox: Heavenly Father, I just want to thank you for allowing us to have this conversation here today, Lord Jesus. I want to thank you for having the opportunity, lord, we have so many opportunities in the modern age that provide us an opportunity to have this in a way nobody else could, Lord Jesus, without persecution, with full access to knowledge, with things like the internet that allows us to speak with each other, despite being thousands of miles away.
And I just thank you for all of this Lord's users. And thank you for the usages of these things for the glorification of your kingdom. Lord, I pray that this video is enlightening to those who are lost, Lord Jesus, regardless of which side it turns out is actually lost, Lord Jesus. I pray that we all in good honest Christian Love, and search for truth, come to know you greater, Lord Jesus, and to put aside any sort of presuppositions we have come into this conversation with, Lord Jesus, to just find truth. And [00:13:00] specifically truth that leads us to repentance and to service of you, Lord Jesus. I ask these things in Jesus Christ's holy name. I'm going to give you all the glory. Lord Jesus. Amen.
Tim Kraus: Amen
Rod Bergen: Amen! Thanks again.
Jay Cox: Absolutely. And thank you guys very much and I'm gonna have a good rest of your evening.
Tim Kraus: Thanks, Jay. Thanks pastor Smith. Talk to you later.
Jesse Smith: Yeah. Thanks. Thanks Rod. Thanks Jay.
Tim Kraus: Bye bye now.