"... God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" - 2 Thessalonians 2:13b
My name is Bree Spann. I currently reside in the state of Kentucky in the USA. However, like Abraham, I am seeking the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
This is my testimony of how the Lord has worked in MY life. May He receive all glory and honor.
I grew up the 4th of 6 children to parents who were Roman Catholic by "tradition", but who did not adhere to their faith in any meaningful way. We seldom went to church, and usually only for "appearances sake" did we attend any special church functions. I always felt a little different than my siblings, and my earliest memory is of me trying to find my adoption papers in a box where my parents kept their important papers. (I am not REALLY adopted, although I felt I was. I just felt different than the rest of my family). I knew nothing of the Scriptures, or God, other than what I was taught by the nuns and priests in religion class at school.
I was a child raised in the 60's, and grew up a short distance from Kent State University during the shootings on campus. That incident exemplifies the spirit that influenced my growing years. It was a time of "women are as good as men", more women were working outside of the home, more women were seeking higher education, etc. Women's liberation and the spirit that accompanied that movement was a direct influence on my life. But despite that, something inside me kept yearning for more. I KNEW there had to be more than what I could see, feel, hear or touch. Something inside just motivated me to keep searching.
The first time I heard the Gospel, I was about 18 or so, and I decided to read the Bible entirely and judge for myself whether I believed it was true or not. By the time I was done, I had given my heart to the Lord, and repented of my sins. I started going to church with some friends who I knew, but it was more along the lines of the "Jesus movement" type of church. (Think of the "Hippies" of the 60's and those people trying to serve God). God was not really revered or honored there. But it was all I knew. Eventually, my friends quit going, and we all fell away into our own version of "being saved, but living whatever kind of life we wanted". To me, it really was not any different than Catholicism. As a Catholic, you lived however you wanted and went to the priest to confess your sins, and you were OK until the week or so. In this, the only truth I had was that I knew I needed to confess my sin to the Lord Jesus in prayer, not a priest. I was earnestly seeking God where ever I thought I could find him. One Thanksgiving, I rode about a 6 hour trip in a bus and then waited all night out in the cold until morning to see a woman preacher by the name of Kathryn Kuhlman. I heard she had miracles happen in her services, and I just wanted to see God do something to prove to me He was real. I did this on various occasions, seeking God where I thought He might be found. Unfortunately, I never really experienced or saw anything that made God real to me in those instances. But still, I kept looking and yearning for more.
After some time, I married and had 2 children. My husband then met a man while working who spoke to him concerning a man named William Branham. This man spent 2 days expounding on the works of Brother Branham, and some doctrine that Bro. Branham taught. I had never heard such things before. I thought it was wonderful. This man baptized me in a river in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I started getting the free booklets from Jeffersonville and reading the sermons that they printed out, and I began praying earnestly for God to make Himself known to me. There was so much I didn't understand, but I knew in my heart, that God had done something miraculous by using this man. I also heard a lot of negative things about Bro. Branham, but I was convinced that this was what God wanted me to know.
Time passed, and I began to attend a church in Lima, Ohio where there were believers in the "End Time Message". I thank God that this assembly didn't live by constantly quoting Bro. Branham, but actually taught from the Scriptures. I attended there for around 5 years. Eventually, the church broke up. To this day, I still do not know the REAL reasons why, and it wouldn't be edifying to state what I think, or what I remember about that incident. I left there totally stunned. I would say that it took a year before I could even begin to process what life was going to be like without being a part of that fellowship. I thought I would be there until the Lord came to take us away. Much like others have done with Bro. Branham, this man taught so well, that we "feared" to disagree with him or his teachings. I really believe, on my part, that I made him my God above the Lord Jesus. I told people afterwards, that if the pastor there had said to "drink" the poison kool-aid, (like the Jim Jones incident in Jonestown, Guyana) I would have done it. That is how convinced I was that this pastor was God's mouthpiece. But God will not allow us to have any other God's above Him.
Shortly after this took place (the church breaking up), my husband left me. I was now solely responsible for raising my daughters. I went back to school to complete an associate degree in nursing and then went on to receive my bachelor's degree. By this time, spiritually, I had come to believe that the Lord had taken me out of the "message" assembly due to errors in the teaching there. However, I didn't trust my own judgment as to what was right or wrong, because I had previously THOUGHT I was right, and now I was still uncertain. For the first time in my life, I didn't know how to find God. So, not intentionally, but slowly, I went back into the ways of the world.
It had been 20 years since I had read my Bible or stepped inside a church, but I remember it like it was yesterday, when I first again came to myself and realized that I truly missed the Lord. But again, I had no way of knowing how to find Him, or what kind of church to go to, etc. But I truly longed for Him and the fellowship I once had with Him. About 3 months later, the man that I was married to at the time was killed in a car accident while sitting at a traffic light. Despite this tragedy, I had a peace that I had not experienced in many years, and I felt the grace of God moving in my life like I had not experienced for over 20 years. His Grace sustains me still.
As the Lord continued to call me back to Himself, I began to read His Word. (By God's grace, I always knew God was in His Word. I just wish I would have come to that realization sooner!) As I began to pray again and really try to find God in His Word, everything kept going back to the truth that lies in the Scriptures. I still wasn't sure about Bro. Branham and his doctrine, but I once again began to pray that God would show me what to do, and what was truth. Once again, I saw that the "nominal" churches had a form of godliness and despite wanting the power of God in their services, they did not want to honor His Word above the doctrine of their denomination. It was all becoming clear again. No matter what happened in the past, God's Word hadn't changed, I had. I had so much repenting to do, and had made such a mess of my life, I didn't even know where to begin. I just repented and tried my best to make everything right that needed to be made right. I was truly the "prodigal son" coming to myself and wanting to come back to the home of my Father. I spent time in prayer trying to find the will of God in my life. I earnestly prayed for God to sent me someone who could feed me, spiritually. I dreamed that I was kneeling in front of a door and there was snow on the ground. For some reason, I was digging right beneath the door, and I discovered a HUGE sum of money. I was so elated, and then I kept wondering if I was permitted to keep this money. I couldn't believe it was really mine! I knew God had heard my prayer and would give me my desire for more of Him.
Initially, I was determined to study on my own and not get involved with any "message" people. (Look what had happened to me in the last "message" church I attended!) I didn't want to get involved with anyone who quoted Bro. Branham all the time and didn't know the Word any better than myself. I really was beginning to think that there wasn't anyone like myself left, who just wanted to serve God in obedience to His Word without being attached to a denomination. So, I would read Bro. Branham's messages. But God put it my heart to desire more. As the deep calls to the deep, I would pray that God answer my yearning for more of Him.
I was hesitant to search the internet for Bible study and I knew nothing of the Ascension Gifts, only the 5 fold ministry as the nominal churches teach, but I began to realize that I needed someone to TEACH me the Word. But the only place I could think to look was on the internet. Little by little, I ventured out into the world of the "web" and I was so shocked at what I read! On one hand, there were message boards that just slam anyone who can't quote verse and chapter of Bro. Branham with nearly no mention of the Scriptures at all. On the opposite hand, there were websites to de-program those who had been deceived by Bro. Branham's teachings and doctrine. By this time, I had pretty much decided that if I had to be like Abraham and serve the Lord alone, and with His help, I would stay faithful. But one fortuitous day, I happened upon a site where someone was trying to expound on the false teachings of a "Branhamite". (That was the first time I ever heard that term!) When I clicked on the link to see what this "false prophet" was teaching, I was on Bro. Gan's website.
God had given me enough grace to know that if they trampled the message He had given Bro. Branham, and the denominations of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians criticized Jesus, that ANYONE teaching the TRUTH in this late hour would surely be ill spoken of by those carrying that same "religious" spirit. As I read the messages of Bro. Gan, I could find no fault in his teachings. Actually, I received his messages with gladness. There was actually SOMEONE else who thought the Scriptures were the Absolute, besides myself. I was so excited, and thankful! Something in my heart just knew there had to be a way for God to prepare me and teach me more about Himself. Now, as I learn of the Ascension Ministry, and God's goodness to provide a way for us, I realize once again, that He has it all under control. It has been a long road back to Him, but His desire was that none should perish, and that included me!
I am thankful beyond words that God has raised up a standard in this late hour; a watchman on the wall. I am thankful that the Scriptures are being fulfilled in this day and time, in my own life, as well as the lives of others. God has called me out of Babylon, and my prayer is that He will continue to cleanse me so that all of Babylon comes out of me!
In Jesus name,
Sister Bree Spann
[Dated: 16 Dec. 2010]