Episode 75 – Pastor Jeff Jenkins – Seven Years Later (Part 1)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 75 - Pastor Jeff Jenkins - Seven Years Later (Part 1)
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Jeff Jenkins was the pastor of Believers Christian Fellowship in Lima, Ohio for almost 33 and a half years. Rod Bergen and Tim Kraus talk to Jeff about:

– What have been the biggest changes in his thinking since he left the message 7 years ago?
– What has surprised him most since he left the message?
– Has he had any contact with other message ministers since he left? 
– How has his ministry developed since he left the message?
– What is his advice to those that have left the message?
– What is the proper approach to religion and faith based on his experience since leaving the message?

Links
– Our first interview with Pastor Jeff
– Jeff Jenkins discusses the 1963 Arizona Cloud

The following is a transcript of the podcast:

Episode 74 – Talks with Tim – Donny Reagan Gets Excited

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 74 - Talks with Tim - Donny Reagan Gets Excited
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This is the first in a new series that we are going to be doing called Talks with Tim.  Tim Kraus, as our regular listeners know, is one of the co-hosts on Off The Shelf.  If you would like some background on Tim, please listen to episode 61 where we talk to Tim at length about his experiences with the message.

We get people who send us video links on occasion.  And some of them are, honestly, so disturbing, that we feel we need to respond to them.  This podcast is one such response. 

Related video link – Donny Reagan Gets Excited

The following is a transcript of the podcast:

Episode 73 – The 2020 Debate (Part 7)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 73 - The 2020 Debate (Part 7)
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This is the conclusion of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Jax Cox and Tim Kraus act as moderators. The discussion focused around this agreed issue:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

This episode is comprised of the closing statements of both Jesse Smith and Rod Bergen.

The following is a transcript of part 7 of our discussion:

Episode 72 – The 2020 Debate (Part 6)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 72 - The 2020 Debate (Part 6)
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This is part 6 of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Jax Cox and Tim Kraus act as moderators. In this portion of our discussion, we deal with:

  • If William Branham’s teaching is correct, why do message followers display so little love for those who leave?
  • Why is the fruit of the message so bad?
  • Did William Branham have any valid prophecies?  Three prophecies are specifically considered:
    • First, the immoral condition of the church;
    • Second, that no greater ministry to the Gentiles would rise than William Branham; and
    • Third, that no denomination would ever break up and come back to the word.

These questions all focused around the agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

External links

The following is a transcript of part 6 of our discussion:

Episode 71 – The 2020 Debate (Part 5)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 71 - The 2020 Debate (Part 5)
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This is part 5 of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Jax Cox and Tim Kraus act as moderators. Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with:

Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with the following:

  • If William Branham’s teaching is correct, why did God require Christians in earlier ages to believe false doctrine in order to be saved?
  • Are Trinitarians Christians?
  • Is there clear proof that William Branham lied habitually?
  • Why did William Branham fake that he spoke in tongues?

These questions all focused around the agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

The following is a transcript of part 5 of our discussion:

Episode 70 – The 2020 Debate (Part 4)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 70 - The 2020 Debate (Part 4)
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This is part 4 of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Jax Cox and Tim Kraus act as moderators. Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with:

Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with

  • Does the Holy Spirit lead a person into the message?
  • Was William Branham lying when he said that he was standing under the Cloud?
  • Does the doctrine of the Trinity teach that God has 3 minds?
  • Did any giants of the Christian faith not follow the doctrine of the Trinity?

These questions all focused around the agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

The following is a transcript of part 4 of our discussion:

Episode 69 – The 2020 Debate (Part 3)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 69 - The 2020 Debate (Part 3)
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This is part 3 of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with:

  • How do we respond to WMB’s failed visions given the clear requirements of Deuteronomy 18:20 to 22?
  • How is this affected by cognitive bias?
  • Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit a separate work of grace, like salvation?
  • Do you have to accept the message of William Branham to be born again?
  • If WMB was the messenger to the church of Laodicea, the Elijah prophet and the angel of revelation 10:7, how could he be so lacking in credibility?

These questions all focused around the agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

The following is a transcript of part 3 of our discussion:

Episode 68 – The 2020 Debate (Part 2)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 68 - The 2020 Debate (Part 2)
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This is part 2 of our discussion with message pastor Jesse Smith regarding the status of William Branham as a prophet.  Specifically, in this portion of our discussion, we deal with the King James Version Only-ism, women wearing pants and whether it is OK to condemn people who are not Christians. Jay Cox and Tim Kraus are the moderators of our discussion.

The agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

MusicThe Disease of Conceit by Bob Dylan from the album, “Oh Mercy” (1989) – Available on Apple Music

Episode 67 – The 2020 Debate (Part 1)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 67 - The 2020 Debate (Part 1)
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On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate was held between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast and the BelieveTheSign website). The discussion was moderated by C. Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.

The agreed question for discussion:

William Branham is considered by his followers to be a prophet and, specifically, the messenger to the church of Laodicea (the fulfillment of Rev 3:14), the Elijah prophet (fulfilling Malachi4:5-6) and the angel of Revelation 10:7. Was William Branham who his followers say he is?

In Part 1, Jay Cox and Tim Kraus introduce the participants followed by the opening statements of Pastor Jesse Smith and Rod Bergen.

MusicWar in my Mind by Beth Hart – Available on Apple Music

Episode 66 – The Seven Thunders – An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 3)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 66 - The Seven Thunders - An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 3)
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This is the conclusion of the interview with Eleisha Moreno, a former follower of Joseph Coleman, who initiated the Seven Thunders Inspiration, a sub-cult within the “Message” (which is how followers of William Branham refer to themselves).

Book – When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger

MusicLosing My Religion by Lauren Daigle from the album, “Look Up Child” – Available on Apple Music

Episode 65 – The Seven Thunders – An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 2)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 65 - The Seven Thunders - An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 2)
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In this episode, Emily, Rod, and Tim interview Eleisha Moreno, a former follower of Joseph Coleman, who initiated the Seven Thunders Inspiration, a sub-cult within the “Message” (which is how followers of William Branham refer to themselves).

Rod starts the podcast with an editorial comment on a topic that is getting a lot of play on social media with followers of William Branham – the election of Kamala Harris as vice president of the united states AND the fact that she wore a purple dress at her inauguration.

External Links
The Kamala Harris Prophecy
The FBI report on the Seven Thunders Ponzi Scheme

MusicMan Comes Around by Johnny Cash from the album, “American IV: The Man Comes Around” – Available on Apple Music

Episode 64 – The Seven Thunders – An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 1)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 64 - The Seven Thunders - An Interview with Eleisha Moreno (Part 1)
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In this episode, Emily, Rod, and Tim interview Eleisha Moreno, a former follower of Joseph Coleman, who initiated the Seven Thunders Inspiration, a sub-cult within the “Message” (which is how followers of William Branham refer to themselves).

Joseph Coleman preached his first sermon in Eleisha’s grandparents’ home in the early 1960’s, so Eleisha’s knowledge of the Seven Thunders movement dates to its infancy.

MusicMan Comes Around by Johnny Cash from the album, “American IV: The Man Comes Around” – Available on Apple Music

Episode 63 – Introducing Your New Co-Hosts (Part 3)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 63 - Introducing Your New Co-Hosts (Part 3)
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This episode concludes the discussion with our new co-hosts. Rod Bergen talks to Emily Arndt and Tim Kraus about a number of important issues relating to the message.

External links – Article on Pastor Vinworth Dayal from Trinidad

MusicGod Still Loves Me by Andrae Crouch – Available on Apple Music

Episode 62 – Introducing your new co-hosts (Part 2)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 62 - Introducing your new co-hosts (Part 2)
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This episode continues the introduction of our new co-hosts. Rod Bergen talks to Emily Arndt and Tim Kraus about a number of important issues relating to the message.

MusicThe Storm Still Rages by Rhonda Vincent – Available on Apple Music

Episode 61 – Season 2 Kick-Off – Introducing Your New Co-Hosts

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 61 - Season 2 Kick-Off - Introducing Your New Co-Hosts
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Season 2 (Episode 61) of Off The Shelf starts with an introduction to our new co-hosts. Rod Bergen talks to Emily Arndt (see episode 16) about what has happened to her over the last couple of years and Tim Kraus tells of how he came to the message and why he left.

MusicCall Nobody Here Your Teacher by Don Francisco – Available on Amazon

Episode 60 – An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 4)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 60 - An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 4)
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Listen to Jay Cox, a message follower, in a conversation with Rod Bergen, a former message believer.  In this conclusion of their interview,, they discuss why someone should follow William Branham and the status is of those who do not follow William Branham.  

Other topics referred to in the interview:

Nik Ripken – The Insanity of God

Dallas Willard – Postmodern Holiness

Music – Blues composition from Band-in-a-Box (Rod Bergen)

Episode 59 – An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 3)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 59 - An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 3)
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With apologies for an almost 2 year hiatus, Rod continues his conversation with Jay Cox, a follower of William Branham.  In part 3, they discuss whether William Branham made any real prophecies.  Their discussion includes (click on the underlined links to read further):

Related Links

Music – Blues composition from Band-in-a-Box (Rod Bergen)

What’s happening to Off The Shelf?

One of the most common phrases that people hear today is,  “I’m really busy.”  And that is exactly why I have not had the time to post any new episodes of Off The Shelf.

I am currently leading a large Canadian charity, Power to Change, which is taking up all of my time.  I still try to spend some time with my family and, up until recently, have also had time to spend in putting together episodes of Off The Shelf.

However, because I have been traveling almost 75% of the time since July 1 of this year, the time I can put into the Off The Shelf podcast has suffered (because it is important that I spend time with my wife, kids and grandkids).

I still intend to put together the final episode with Jay Cox, but after that, I will be doing Off The Shelf podcasts on an irregular basis – when I have the time and a good person to interview.

I am sorry that this may be a disappointment to some but a person can only do so many things.  I spend the majority of my time empowering people at Power to Change to help people know Jesus and experience his power to change the world.  Unfortunately, between that and my family I don’t have a lot of extra time and Off The Shelf has suffered as a result.

Please put your email address on the subscription list and you will receive notice when the next podcast is posted.

Episode 58 – An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 2)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 58 - An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 2)







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Rod continues his conversation with Jay Cox, a follower of William Branham.  In this second part, they discuss whether William Branham made any real prophecies.  Their discussion includes:

Music – Freedom by Josh Garrels from the album Underquiet – available from Josh Garrels website.

Episode 57 – An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 1)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 57 - An interview with message follower C. Jay Cox (Part 1)







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Listen to Jay Cox, a message follower, in a conversation with Rod Bergen, a former message believer.  In this first part, they discuss what it means to be a follower of William Branham; where Jay places himself in the world of the message and the types of prophecies that William Branham made.

External links:

Music – I’ve Searched for Gold by Delirious? from The Cutting Edge Years – 20th Anniversary Edition.  Available from iTunes

 

Episode 56 – An interview with Cindy and Anna Bergen (Part 2)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 56 - An interview with Cindy and Anna Bergen (Part 2)
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Rod concludes the interview with his wife, Cindy and their daughter, Anna, regarding their experiences in the message and why they left.

Go to Part 1

Music – Father and Daughter by Paul Simon from the album The Essential Paul Simon (2007) – Available on iTunes

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

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 55 - An interview with Cindy and Anna Bergen (Part 1)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 54 - An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Pollen (Part 2)







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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.

Go to Part 1

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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 53 - An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Pollen (Part 1)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 52 - An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 3)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 51 - An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 2)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 50 - An interview with Pastor James Manuel of South Africa (Part 1)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 49 - A Biblical view of the Seven Church Ages - An Interview with Andrew Loza (Part 2)







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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)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 48 - A Biblical view of the Seven Church Ages - An Interview with Andrew Loza (Part 1)







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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