My name is Batsiranai Muzah, born in 1982, a middle child in a family of five children. I was raised in predominantly non-Christian home for the first part of my childhood. My introduction to the person of Jesus was through the cartoons that aired on television, and church was something that I heard the other children at school talked about on Monday when we were asked as to what we did on the weekend. For the first twelve years of my life, I never attended church and knew nothing of the Bible. As I look back, itís strange because my mother had been religious in her youth and had even attended one of Billy Grahamís meetings when he came to then Rhodesia.
My family only started attending one of the established denominations just before I started my high school. It was dued to my step sister who had attended a church which did not go down well with my father, and he then decided that the family must attend the church which my grandmother raised him in.
Shortly after this I started boarding school at an Anglican Mission School where I was baptised and confirmed at fifteen in the titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It was during those years I started opening the Bible and all I could pick up was that this person Jesus was the main character of the Book. My high school offered Bible Knowledge classes which were theological teachings disguised as Bible classes. I studied the Bible then from an intellectual and very theological view, and my life was not transformed as I lacked the revelation of who Jesus was. If there is one thing of benefit I learnt in those years, it was that prophets are sent to warn people before doom and destruction come!
After my high school years I went away to a university far from my parentís home. Those were my first years of true independence which, upon looking back, filled me with much shame and regret. But even then, in those times, I was searching for The Truth. I went from church to church but I did not find it. I distinctly remember saying, at that time, that "I donít know what Iím searching for, but I will know it when I find it". At that time I had enough head knowledge to understand that the resurrection was the one thing that set Christianity apart from other religions so I guess thatís why I persevered with it. What confounded me though were the many different denominations all claiming to believe the same Bible. Also, at that time, I reasoned that since the Bible had been given such a long time ago, many truths would have been lost over the centuries; hence the many opinions and thus denominations. Whilst it may seem unbelievable to those who may read this testimony, I had not heard of the Holy Spirit and It being a promise for the believer since I had learnt of Jesus from my teen years. I had attended many different denominations and heard of the many wonderful things of Jesus but nothing about the Holy Spirit being a gift for me.
After finishing university, I started working and I was still searching for The Truth. I would go to whatever meetings I was invited to. At this point in my life, I was beginning to feel like there was something very wrong with me as the other people in the churches seemed to be contented with what they were receiving. Shortly after I started working (in 2007), I met my wife and we got married and moved to neighbouring South Africa in 2008 when the crisis in my home country worsened. We got married in a Catholic church as my wife had been raised in one. I remember at that time, just before we got married, whilst attending pre-marriage counselling, the priest, who married us, tried to make me promise that I would raise our children to come into the Catholic Church, failure which he would not carry out the marriage ceremony. I bluntly refused and told him in no uncertain words then that I would raise the family in which ever church I would find the truth. He went on however and conducted the ceremony.
After moving to South Africa, I found a small independent church to attend but still something was not right. At that time I would tell my wife that the church services were draining me spiritually instead of filling me up. I had no other truth that I could say I held to over these many years. I had no creed but only a sure hunger for the truth that I maintained is there that all these churches were not proclaiming. However, I still continued to attend the church as I found no better alternative to go to.
As God would have it, I moved home, and lo and behold, my neighbour was a pastor in the End Time Message! He started exhorting me about the prophet and the Message. Like with most people in the End Time Message movement, it was about the prophet, Bro Branham. This was the first time I had ever heard that the Lord had sent a prophet in this time but with my little understanding of the Bible, I knew something ďbadĒ was soon to happen and that it would be prudent to hear what this prophet had to say. The pastor gave me some booklets and The Seven Church Ages book which (Iíll be honest) at that time did not appeal to me, so I skimmed through them and did not catch what was read. Nevertheless, I befriended the pastor and kept visiting him in the hope of understanding what he had to say. What made this even more difficult was that the man was French speaking and was just then learning English, so communication was not easy. Also I noticed an arrogance in the many ETM believers toward Christians that did not belong to the ETM movement. This sentiment was echoed by an acquaintance I had met whilst attending the independent church. He too had been approached by the believers but the only impression that stayed with him was the arrogance he saw in them which he shared with me. I however pressed forward and kept visiting this pastor in the hope of finding out more. Time progressed and it was later when he trusted me that he loaned me one CD which had the sermon titled Investments by Bro Branham. I listened to it on a Saturday afternoon and from that time I knew my search for The Truth had ended. Soon after that I made the best investment I ever made and purchased the sermons of Bro Branham.
I then started seeking for the Holy Spirit after being baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and as the Lord is faithful to His promise, I received the Holy Spirit in September 2011. I now was attending the church of the pastor who had introduced me to Bro Branham. I continued to listen and read Bro Branhamís sermons and for the first time in my life, my cup over flowed and ran over. The Lord had lit my candle and it could not be hid. In the months to follow, I shared the Message to my wife, mother and father and they were all baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. My parents have since left the denomination that they had introduced me to when I was a young boy and now fellowship in an ETM assembly. They too have awakened from their slumber and have had their lives transformed by the Message of Bro. Branham. My father has since shared it with my uncle who was also baptised, and even his wife with him.
Some time passed and I began to notice the gap between what I read in the booklets and what I heard in church. I initially brushed it aside and tried to ignore it but the more I attended church, the more apparent it became. At first I thought Bro Branhamís ministry had changed and that I was yet to hear the particular sermons which the pastor had received his understanding from which negated the sermons I had listened to. And so I continued to listen to the sermons at home all the while attending the church. In listening to the sermons, I noticed that some names kept coming up like Junior Jackson and Dr. Lee Vayle. I asked around about where all these people went to and what they were doing since the Bro Branham passed away. I found no answers and turned to the internet.
I quickly learnt of the passing away of Junior Jackson but I was fortunate to find some of his teachings and learnt that he had the Contender magazine which I searched for but could not find as the website was permanently down. I then came across the Faith Assembly website and whilst browsing through it, the name Amos popped up and so I continued following the trail and read some of the articles on his website. One of the articles which I remember he covered was the event that occurred between Ham and Noah and the conclusion he came to after his study of the scriptures.
At that point in time, I accepted it as his opinion and did not think much of it. Later on I came across the Prophetic Revelation website whilst looking up a separate topic. In browsing the site, I came across the same subject that Amos had taught on about Ham and I realised that the understanding of the same scripture was different. I then read the scriptures referenced by Bro Gan and compared them to Amos and right away I realised who I was going to let influence me.
Thereafter I read the articles by Bro. Gan and recognised my own assembly and what had long since nagged me about it and why Iíd felt a disconnection between the sermons of Bro. Branham and what was being taught in church. But it was my episode with Amos that woke me up to the reality of how scripture can be misinterpreted even by those who have heard the Message and how truly it is essential to rightly divide the Word of God and to take heed how one hears.
Recently I asked the pastor of the ETM assembly IĎve attended since hearing about Bro Branham, what the message was. The answer I received was that it was the words that Bro Branham said. I then pressed on to ask exactly what he had understood since his hearing of the message in 1984. It was through this conversation I came to understand that one could repeat all the words of Bro Branham and still not understand exactly what his message was all about and what it was pointing to. The pastor then said that his responsibility was to repeat what the prophet had said and said clearly that his absolute was the prophet and that the Bible was just the basic.
Iíve since then understood that though there are many camps in the ETM, there are none the less two distinct groups that emerged from the Message of Bro. Branham, one that heard the words of Bro.Branham and the other that understood the words spoken and what they pointed to -- Back to the Bible, back to the Absolute, the same absolute the prophet held to when he proclaimed Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
26 Jan., 2014
[Cape Town, RSA]