Episode 55 – An interview with Cindy and Anna Bergen (Part 1)

In this installment of Off The Shelf, Rod interviews his wife, Cindy and his daughter, Anna, about their experiences in the message.

External links:

Music – You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker from the album 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Cocker (2000) – Available on iTunes

 

Episode 54 – An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Pollen (Part 2)

This is the conclusion of the interview with former message follower Dr. Gabriel Pollen of Zambia. Dr. Pollen recently received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of London.

Dr. Pollen was raised in the message but recently came to grips with the problems in William Branham’s ministry.  This is his story.

Music – Love Education by Jon Gibson from the album Love Education (1995) – available from Amazon.

Lyrics for Love Education

So here I am in solo fashion
I sit alone inside my passion
Counting my years, all of my tears
I’ve cried a million, conquered my fears
The battle’s won, over and done
And yet I know that I’ve only begun…

Love education
Graduation from sin
That’s all it really is, baby
Love education
Graduation from sin

So there you were, your heart was broken, oh, yeah
Burdened with pain, words left unspoken
Don’t worry none, daughter nor son
Love’s many lessons, this is just one
Love saw you through, made you brand new
And it’s an honor to welcome you to…

Love education
Graduation from sin
That’s all it really is, baby
Love education
Graduation from sin
That’s all it really is, baby

Oh, baby, sweet love
Talkin’ ’bout love, love, baby
That’s all it really is
That’s all it is
Love, love, love
You know we all need it
Love is a healer and it saves
Oh, love is amazing, my dear

Somebody sing with me
Love is very patient
Love is very kind
Love is never boastful, baby
Love is never proud, haughty or loud
Love is very peaceful
Does not demand its own way, baby
And it bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things

Love is amazing
And it keeps getting stronger
Every time you smile
I think you better just hang on
For a little while longer, my dear
Paint a pretty smile each day
Love is a blessing, oh…
My dear

Episode 53 – An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Pollen (Part 1)

Rod interviews former message follower Dr. Gabriel Pollen of Zambia. Dr. Pollen recently received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of London.

Dr. Pollen was raised in the message but recently came to grips with the problems in William Branham’s ministry.  This is his story.

Music – Songs That Answer Questions by Gaither Vocal Band from Lovin’ God & Lovin’ Each Other (Sep 9, 1997) – available from iTunes.

Off The Shelf has moved to a monthly format

I want to share with you a significant change in our podcast .

The Off The Shelf podcast is something I do in my spare time, primarily on weekends.  It was born out of a love for those who are still in the message and for those who have left the message but still have a lot of questions.

But what many of our listeners aren’t aware of is that most of my time is spent with Power to Change, the Canadian affiliate of Campus Crusade for Christ International.  

The mission of Power to Change is to help people know Jesus and experience his power to change the world.  We have 11 ministries which include our Student ministry, Athletes in Action, FamilyLife, LeaderImpact, our humanitarian arm, the Global Aid Network (or GAIN), Christian Embassy, Connecting Streams, DRIME, the Women’s Heart Engaging Network, or WHEN, our women’s ministry, The Life Project and the Jesus Film Church Planting Strategy.

I think you can imagine that this takes virtually all of my time and, as a result, the Off The Shelf podcast will be going from a once a week format to once a month.  I would love to continue this on a weekly basis but I simply do not have the time.

I appreciate all of the emails that have come in and all of the comments that have appeared on the website.  

Please pray that God would continue to help us reach those in the message as well as non-Christians around the world with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

Episode 52 – An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 3)

Rod continues his interview with former message pastor James Manuel of Cape Town, South Africa. James was in the message for almost 40 years.

Since leaving the message, James has embarked on a mission to expose the lies, deception, fraud and corruption in the message wherever and whenever he gets an opportunity.  He has challenged message ministers all over the world to prove the message correct and as a result has had some threaten his life.

James has stated that he is willing to publicly repent, recant and return to the message if anyone can convince him with hard evidence that his claims are false.  Likewise, if you fail to disprove what he claims, are you willing to turn your back on the message and follow the Lord Jesus Christ?

External links:

Music – Amazing Grace by Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Paul Simon, from the album Journey Of Dreams (1988) – available from Amazon

Episode 51 – An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 2)

Rod continues his interview with former message pastor James Manuel of Cape Town, South Africa. James was in the message for almost 40 years.  He believed it, he lived it and he preached it. The message was all his wife and children knew and it was all he knew.

James has stated that he is willing to publicly repent, recant and return to the message if anyone can convince him with hard evidence that his claims are false.  Likewise, if you fail to disprove what he claims, are you willing to turn your back on the message and follow the Lord Jesus Christ?

External links:

Music – Jarusalema by Johnny Clegg & Juluka from the album African Litany (April 16, 1995) – available from Amazon

Episode 50 – An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 1)

James Manuel

Rod interviews former message pastor James Manuel of Cape Town, South Africa. James was in the message for almost 40 years.  He believed it, he lived it and he preached it. The message was all his wife and children knew and it was all he knew.

Since leaving the message, James has embarked on a mission to expose the lies, deception, fraud and corruption in the message wherever and whenever he gets an opportunity.  He has challenged message ministers all over the world to prove the message correct and as a result has had some threaten his life.

He has stated that he is willing to publicly repent, recant and return to the message if anyone can convince him with hard evidence that his claims are false.  Likewise, if you fail to disprove what he claims, are you willing to turn your back on the message and follow the Lord Jesus Christ?

External links:

Music – Leaning On The Everlasting Arms by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
From the album Two Worlds One Heart – available from Google

Episode 49 – A Biblical view of the Seven Church Ages – An Interview with Andrew Loza (Part 2)

Rod and Andrew Loza, a former police detective, continue their discussion of the doctrine of the seven church ages.

External links:

Music – Wishful Thinking  by MercyMe from Welcome to the New (2014) – available from iTunes

Episode 48 – A Biblical view of the Seven Church Ages – An Interview with Andrew Loza (Part 1)

Rod and one of our listeners, Andrew Loza, a former police detective, discuss growing up in the message and  what led him to leave the message.  They also begin a discussion of the doctrine of the seven church ages.

Sermon quotes played in this podcast:

  • William Branham, The Invisible Union Of The Bride Of Christ, 65-1125, para. 240.
  • Chad Lamb, Believers Christian Fellowhip, The 7 Seals, part 14, Sept. 27, 2017
  • Chad Lamb, Believers Christian Fellowhip, The 7 Seals, part 16, October 8, 2017

External links:

Music – Rock of Ages  by Amy Grant & Vince Gill from Rock of Ages… Hymns & Faith – available from iTunes

Episode 47 – How to defend William Branham… poorly (Part 5)

Rod & John continue to examine Wisper Gwena’s defence of William Branham.  In this episode, Pastor Gwena’s defense of William Branham is challenged on the basis that:

  • All of William Branham’s prophecies are “after the fact” and even some of those he gets wrong.
  • William Branham made no valid “before the fact” prophecies on any of his publicly recorded sermons.

External Links:

Pastor Gwena is from Waltham Abbey (North London), UK where he is the pastor of Spoken Word Ministry church.  Joining Rod is John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Music – Doctor my eyes from the album, Jackson Browne, by Jackson Browne – available on iTunes

Episode 46 – How to defend William Branham… poorly (Part 4)

Rod & John continue to examine Wisper Gwena’s defence of William Branham.  They examine what cognitive dissonance is and discuss Pastor Gwena’s claim that he is not the one suffering from cognitive dissonance, rather it is John and Rod that are the ones that are experiencing cognitive dissonance.  But is this really the case?

External Links:

Pastor Gwena is from Waltham Abbey (North London), UK where he is the pastor of Spoken Word Ministry church.  Joining Rod is John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Music – Cognitive Dissonance by Brad Wray – listen to the entire song on YouTube.

Episode 45 – How to defend William Branham… poorly (Part 3)

Rod & John continue to examine Wisper Gwena’s defence of William Branham.  Pastor Gwena is from Waltham Abbey (North London), UK where he is the pastor of Spoken Word Ministry church.  Joining Rod is John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

External Links:

Music – The Word of God from the album, Choose Life, by Big Tent Revival – available from Amazon

Episode 44 – Christmas in the message

Rod and his daughter, Anna, share stories from our listeners about their experiences with celebrating (or not celebrating) Christmas in the message.  Rod ends the podcast with a description of what Christmas is really all about.

External links

Music – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing from Christmas Cookies (2005) by The Oak Ridge Boys – available on iTunes

Episode 43 – How to defend William Branham… poorly (Part 2)

Rod & John continue to examine Wisper Gwena’s defence of William Branham.  Specifically, they examine a number of significant problems with William Branham such as the lack of newspaper articles which William Branham said appeared across the US and Canada; his lies about travelling around the world seven times; his visit to Pigalle; the problems with Congressman Upshaw; William Branham’s first commission which he stopped talking about after he changed his story; and the failed healing of Donny Morton.  Detailed links are below.

External Links:

Pastor Gwena is from Waltham Abbey (North London), UK where he is the pastor of Spoken Word Ministry church.  Joining Rod is John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Music – Jesus is the Answer by Andraé Crouch from The Definitive Greatest Hits  (2005) – available from iTunes

Episode 42 – How to defend William Branham… poorly (Part 1)

In this episode, Rod  responds to a defense of William Branham that was presented by Wisper Gwena, pastor of Spoken Word Ministry church, Waltham Abbey (North London), UK.  Rod is joined by John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  John is also the author of two books, “Stone Mountain to Dallas: The Untold Story of Roy Elonza Davis” and “Jim Jones – The Malachi 4 Elijah Prophecy”.

In this episode, Rod & John discuss the following:

  • Personal accusations made by Pastor Gwena.
  • Is there a difference between facts and the truth?
  • Is the research contained on the Seek The Truth and Believe The Sign websites error-free?

External Links:

Music – The Cold Hard Facts by The Del McCoury Band from The Cold Hard Facts (1996) – available from iTunes

Episode 41 – Recovering from the message

Several weeks ago, we received an email from a listener.  Here is an excerpt from that email:

In a nutshell, I feel like I am in the very beginning stages of “Message Recovery”… terrified of attending “any church”, still struggling with fear of “damnation” and “total confusion” of who/what God is vs. the Indoctrination of the Message.

Your Podcasts were my turning point….thank you so much for putting them out there…. 

Thank you, I wait every Sunday for a new one to be released….they are my Lifeline right now. Struggling with severe depression, but the Podcasts have helped immensely.

I am looking forward to the subject of “Message Recovery, you have decided to leave….now what….where do we go…what do we do…where in society and the non-message church world do we fit in?”

I FEEL LIKE AN ALIEN, I never felt comfortable and like I measured up or fit in at the Message Church or among the people….and felt like a person caught in between worlds outside…always awkwardly never finding the place for me…and always critical, filtering other churches against Message standards….so I just want to sit down in the middle of the street a cry….I am a lost sheep.

One thing I discovered….when you push WMB out of the way….it is startling that behind him the entire time there was Christ on the Cross…!! WMB was impeding and interfering with my ability to function or having a relationship with Christ. I was too busy trying to meet the Message Criteria, and give reverence to the Message and the Prophet….which seemed to totally exclude the Simplicity of God’s Love and the Salvation Christ alone offers!

We have reached out to a number of people that have left the message and asked them for their thoughts on the question posed by our listener – “You have decided to leave….now what….where do we go…what do we do…where in society and the non-message church world do we fit in?”

This podcast seeks to answer our listener’s question.

External Links:

Music – One Day by Matt Redman from Glory song (2017) – available from iTunes.

Episode 40 – Interview with Paul & Kathy Jenkins (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the interview with former message followers, Paul & Kathy Jenkins.  Paul’s father, Lonnie Jenkins, was a well known teacher in the message and Paul was also the worship leader for many years at Believers Christian Fellowship in Lima, Ohio.  Paul is the brother of Jeff Jenkins, who we have interviewed several times on Off The Shelf.

External Links:

Music – Freedom by Josh Garrels from The House of Worship Project (2012) – available from Bandcamp.

Episode 39 – Interview with Paul & Kathy Jenkins

In this episode, Rod talks to former message followers, Paul & Kathy Jenkins.  Paul’s father, Lonnie Jenkins, was a well known teacher in the message and Paul was also the worship leader for many years at Believers Christian Fellowship in Lima, Ohio.  Paul is the brother of Jeff Jenkins, who we have interviewed several times on Off The Shelf.

External Links:

Music – Freedom by Josh Garrels from The House of Worship Project (2012) – available from Bandcamp.

Episode 38 – Interview with John Collins (Part 4)

This is the conclusion of our interview with John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website.

In this episode, John talks about, among other things:

  • William Branham and the Ku Klux Klan (the KKK)
  • William Branham and Roy Davis
  • William Branham and Jim Jones
  • The Latter Rain Movement
  • The Manifest Sons of God

External Links:

Music – Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself by The Louvin Brothers from Preach The Gospel (2015) – available from iTunes

Episode 37 – Interview with John Collins (Part 3)

This is part 3 of our interview with John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website.

In this episode, John talks about, among other things:

  • His views on the message street preachers in London, Ontario – Steve Ravbar and Matthew Carapella.
  • Were William Branham’s derogatory statements only against women that were not his followers?
  • Would William Branham condone the type of things that Matthew Carapella and Steve Ravbar are saying and doing?

External Links:

Music – Try a Little Kindness by The Oak Ridge Boys from Try a Little Kindness (1974) – available from Amazon

Episode 36 – Interview with John Collins (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the interview with John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website.

In this episode, John talks about, among other things:

  • Are people who leave the message bitter or angry towards people in the message?
  • What led him to start seekyethetruth.com in early 2012.  
  • The new direction in his blog

External Links:

Music – New Pharisees by Charlie Daniels from Steel Witness (1996) – available from iTunes

Episode 35 – Interview with John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website

In this episode, Rod talks to John Collins, author of the Seek The Truth website and grandson of Willard Collins, the former pastor of Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  John is also the author of two books, “Stone Mountain to Dallas: The Untold Story of Roy Elonza Davis” and “Jim Jones – The Malachi 4 Elijah Prophecy”.

In this episode, John talks about, among other things:

  • Growing up in the message (followers of William Branham refer to themselves as being “in the message”).
  • How is being born into the message different from those who came into the message later in life?
  • Is the message a cult?
  • His recent interview on CBC Radio regarding the message street preachers in London, Ontario;
  • Are people in the “Message” isolated? 
  • The sub-cults of the message.

External Links:

Music – Questions by Matt Redman from Glory Song (2017) – available from Amazon

Episode 34 – Abdu Murray (part 3) – A former Muslim discusses the doctrine of the Trinity

In this episode, Rod concludes his interview with Abdu Murray, North American Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

For most of his life, Abdu was a proud Muslim who studied the Qur’an and Islam. After a nine-year investigation into the historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views, Abdu discovered that the historic Christian faith can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart.

In this episode, Rod and Abdu discuss the doctrine of the Trinity including:

  • whether analogies are useful in understanding the Trinity:
  • baptism in the name of Jesus Christ;
  • whether a person is required to believe the doctrine of the Trinity to be considered a Christian; and
  • what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.

External Links:

Music – Praise the Father, Praise the Son by Chris Tomin (2008) – available from Amazon

Episode 33 – Abdu Murray (part 2) – A former Muslim discusses the doctrine of the Trinity

In this episode, Rod continues with part 2 of his interview with Abdu Murray, North American Director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

For most of his life, Abdu was a proud Muslim who studied the Qur’an and Islam. After a nine-year investigation into the historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views, Abdu discovered that the historic Christian faith can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart.

In this episode, Rod and Abdu discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, including:

  • the biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity;
  • the logical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity;
  • how the doctrine of the Trinity proves God to be the Greatest Possible Being over and above a Oneness or Islamic conception of God;
  • the concept of persons in the Trinity and perichoresis;
  • Specific issues raised by Oneness Pentecostals or modalists, including:
    • Isaiah 9:6
    • John 10:30
    • John 12:45
    • John 14:9; and
  • the charge made by modalists and Islam of tritheism.

External Links:

Music – I Believe by Charles Johnson and the Revivers from I Believe (1995) – available from Amazon

Episode 32 – Abdu Murray (part 1) – A former Muslim talks about the doctrine of the Trinity

In this episode of Off The Shelf, Rod talks to Abdu Murray, North American Director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and the author of two books, including his latest, Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews.

For most of his life, Abdu was a proud Muslim who studied the Qur’an and Islam. After a nine-year investigation into the historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views, Abdu discovered that the historic Christian faith can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart.

Abdu has spoken to diverse international audiences and has participated in debates and dialogues across the globe. He has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs all over the world.

Abdu holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. As an attorney, Abdu was named several times in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyer. Abdu is the Scholar in Residence of Christian Thought and Apologetics at the Josh McDowell Institute of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

In this episode, Rod and Abdu discuss:

  • Abdu’s journey from Islam to Christ;
  • The mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; and
  • Is the doctrine of the Trinity inconsistent with the unity of God and the Shema of Deut 6:4 which states “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

External Links:

Music – Doxology by Kelly Joe Phelps from Roll Away the Stone (1997) – available from iTunes

Episode 31 – Sylvia Perkins (part 3) – Why I left the message

This is part 3 of our interview with Sylvia Perkins.  Sylvia attended Branham Tabernacle as a child.  She was in a myriad of William Branham’s services and even watched TV with Joseph Branham, the youngest of the Branham children.

She was at the funeral of William Branham and attended Lee Vayle’s church for 18 years following the William Branham’s death.  She was at the opening of the opening of the cornerstone of Branham Tabernacle after it was struck by a car and saw what it contained.  She even had an interview with William Branham and he told her she was a prophetess.

Join Bryan and Rod as they discuss the many astounding things that Sylvia had the opportunity of seeing and why Sylvia ultimately had to leave the message.  We know you will be as surprised as we were at the many revelations and insights into the life and ministry of William Branham.

External links:

Music – Stand up Stand up for Jesus – from Hymned Again by Bart Millard – Available from Google Play Music

Episode 30 – Sylvia Perkins (part 2) – My Years in the Message

This is part 2 of our interview with Sylvia Perkins.  Sylvia attended Branham Tabernacle as a child.  She was in a myriad of William Branham’s services and even watched TV with Joseph Branham, the youngest of the Branham children.

She was at the funeral of William Branham and attended Lee Vayle’s church for 18 years following the William Branham’s death.  She was at the opening of the opening of the cornerstone of Branham Tabernacle after it was struck by a car and saw what it contained.  She even had an interview with William Branham and he told her she was a prophetess.

Join Bryan and Rod as they discuss the many astounding things that Sylvia had the opportunity of seeing.  We know you will be as surprised as we were at the many revelations and insights into the life and ministry of William Branham.

External links:

Music – I Must Tell The Truth – from I Believe by Charles Johnson and the Revivers – Available from Amazon

How to Subscribe to Off The Shelf on your phone

The easiest way to subscribe to the Off The Shelf podcast is by clicking on one of the links below on your phone. You can then subscribe to the podcast and each new episode will automatically be loaded on your phone as it is published. You can also save your favourite episodes and listen to them again. This will also allow you to listen to the podcasts when you aren’t connected to the internet.

You may need to install a podcast app on your phone but the links below should also take you through that process:

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Please let us know if you have any problems subscribing to the podcast or have any questions.

Episode 29 – Sylvia Perkins (part 1) – Growing up in Branham Tabernacle

Sylvia Perkins attended Branham Tabernacle as a child.  She was in a myriad of William Branham’s services and even watched TV with Joseph Branham, the youngest of the Branham children.

She was at the funeral of William Branham and attended Lee Vayle’s church for 18 years following the William Branham’s death.  She was at the opening of the opening of the cornerstone of Branham Tabernacle after it was struck by a car and saw what it contained.  She even had an interview with William Branham and he told her she was a prophetess.

Join Bryan and Rod as they discuss the many astounding things that Sylvia had the opportunity of seeing.  We know you will be as surprised as we were at the many revelations and insights into the life and ministry of William Branham.

External links:

Music – Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – from How Great Is Our God: The Essential Collection by Chris Tomlin – Available on iTunes

Episode 28 – Were some Christians required to believe Satanic doctrine to be saved?

Did you you know that William Branham taught that some Christians were required to believe Satanic doctrine in order to be saved?   This podcast outlines William Branham’s teaching on the subject with direct quotes from his sermons.

This number 10 (and the last) in our summer series of podcasts that we have entitled “Summer Shorts”.   They are only 5-10 minutes long… just enough to get you thinking about something that you might not have thought about.

Relevant links to this podcast

Music – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God  by Chris Rice (written by Martin Luther)   – from Peace Like A River: The Hymns Project – available from Amazon