Season 2 starts in September!

It’s taken us a little bit longer to get started that initially anticipated because of the pandemic. However, we have recorded the first episode of Season 2 of Off The Shelf and will be releasing it in September.

With the start of Season 2, we will be introducing 2 new co-hosts to help with the podcast. We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone.

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

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

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

Stay tuned for Season 2 of Off The Shelf!

We have had a number of people ask that we produce more episodes of Off The Shelf, so we are going to be starting back up in the next month or so with some new episodes. We will have a new co-host and are looking to deal with a broader range of issues relating to toxic Christianity.

Please leave us a comment below if you have any questions about William Branham, his message, or other spiritual issues that you might have. We would love to address them for you!

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

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)

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 (Part 1)

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