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Our Stories - The Testimony of Brother Ivan Turoff

03/16/2012 The Testimony of Brother Ivan Turoff

2nd Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this
ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2nd Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden
things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling
the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation
of the truth commending ourselves to every man's
conscience in the sight of God.

I greet you by the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace be to you.
This letter is my confession and testimony about what was happened with me during last seven years after my receiving of “Message”. Only reason I write it is my wishing to make the testimony about God’s grace and His truth. May the Lord bless each one who read this letter.

So, in 2003 the sermons of Brother Branham had appeared in my life. It could be comparing with situation when totally failed a castaway man suddenly see salutary land strip. And I began swim with all my might.
At that time I already a long period didn't belong to any denomination but I clearly saw and understood what is a denomination and how deathly her embraces are. Even a short staying in denomination make a deep track on the mode of thinking and behaviour. And when in one of the first brochures I have read "Come out of her, my people" - I HAVE HEARD these words in my heart. I repented, refused and wrestled in order that Lord would free me of all what remained from the whore and accept in His will.
At that time we were two family who have decided to study these brochures. We began to gather, to read and to discuss what we read. Many things were new and hardly understandable but we were zealous. We went deep into each word and shortly next have come in understanding and believing that it really was the prophet of God who was sent for turning of the hearts of children to the faith of pentecostal fathers.
It inspired me very much. I exulted, I flied as on wings because I understood that I have died for denomination and denomination has died for me. Who felt it, he knows, how it is powerful!
Soon later our circle of communication became too narrow for us and we began to need in more wider communication with those who believe like we. We have received from Alexander Polyakoff (St. Petersburg) the address of the nearest local assembly and began to build communication. It was so joyful to get communication with real Christians! We believed that each who accepts the prophet and his revelation is a true Christian.
At first we noticed nothing. We simply enjoyed through communication, especially around a table, after service. Wonderful time, pleasant people, embraces, smiles, songs, prayers and … But further everything began be not so simple. Being not skilled in "message" questions but having the brother Branham sample, I expected to see the church very close to the first church in Acts Book. But in reality it was very far from it. I was discouraged by comprehension of the fact that, being in circle of the people believing in such great revelations, I felt myself as in the meeting of pious baptists.
Sometimes after we have decided to gather separately, two families in our village. What for to go by bus for 40 km if we can gather at home? We thought that by this way we can have blessed services with real God presence and without any over-organizational spirit. But soon it has appeared that all the same our meetings contained more and more of the virus of formalism. There were no of any spiritual growth, but only contemplation of prophet Branham service, increasing of future promises and revelations about prophet life and work, about what we had earlier and what we will have in future. All it was filled with slogans, prayers and pleasure that we are communicants to a certain great mystery.
It should be said that somehow smoothly we all began to have one thing: sermons of brother Branham began to replace the studying of Bible. Someone has removed it on the second plan, someone removed it at all out of sphere of attention, addressing to Bible only as to the collection of quotes and wise sayings. Of course due to sample of prophet Branham any preacher did use two-three Bible quotes, I did so, but main tone was defined just by "message". By the same way smoothly our normal biblical vocabulary was replaced onto a slang which was well clear for everyone who “believe in message” and which is absolutely not clear to another ones.
Once we have more closely communicated with a brother who seemed to me more alive and "real" than what I knew before. It was found out that there is an explanation of such situation among of «message groups». As I have understood, the reason was in nonacceptance of a revelation about a some mystery which is mentioned in several last sermons of Brother Branham. This mystery is Seven Thunders (just from capital letter). I was captivated by it! I have plunged in it. My vocabulary became wider with even more new terms, I got new formulas. It again has excited me for some time. People of so-called «thunderers» appeared more alive and jealous than the majority of other groups. Our meetings became more uninhibited, sermons became more louder and biting, promises became even more amazing.
I want to tell that people with whom I had dialogue during these years, basically were affable and friendly. But hypocrisy, reticence, an innuendo, an ambiguity, any insults and disputes swarmed round any group as bees. Including ours assembly.
Shortly speaking, our ways with “thunderers” have diverged soon later. After visit to conference in Hessenhoff at 2004 I completely was disappointed in this movement. It has appeared only more emotional and isolated part of the same "message" which (despite of participation to sermons of brother Branham) isn't able to result worshippers up to the sample of church in Acts Book.
My leaving from «thunderers» was the leaving to nowhere. We have returned into the same environment which we left before. Our common human love has sufficed only for three conferences in Alushta and that was all. During this time even our small group of ten persons has divided. Because gathering around «believing in the prophet» never can lead to real unity. But we had nothing more another and noone around could offer something what able to change this situation in a root.
We protested as we could. We tried to draw attention of people to problems in "message" but all was useless. As a result we actually have stayed in our village, reducing contacts with main majority of «message groups» to a much possible minimum (however without stopping dialogue with some people which we loved and love up to now). All our efforts were directed onto reaching of true result - that all things we can see in Brother Branham life and preaching, in Acts Book were manifested in our lifes. We tried and we struggled with image of "message" but result was zero. We all the same remained «ones of...», a some worse or a some better than others. It began to oppress us strongly. The feeling of full disappointment gradually accrued. We died away. We couldn't rejoice to new brochures or CDs, we weren't inspired by conferences or foreign message preachers.
Approximately from December of 2008 to April-May 2009 the Lord almost before each service warned us through prophecies: «don't neglect My Word, otherwise it will be taken away from you». These preventions sounded more and more severe. As sincerely believers, we fairly tried to understand how we disregard the Word? We fairly tried to adjust ourselves under the sample of "message" but everything has appeared vain. The disappointment grew and misunderstanding grew together with it - What the Lord wants from us?
As a result once I have realized myself as absolutely broken man: what we so reverentially called "The Message" was found as unable to lead up to necessary result about which brother Branham preached. My heart has become hardened and I began to plunge into the world, at first slowly but next more and more. There was no place where I at least would want to return. I have fallen so low as I didn't fall before my repentance. I have passed everything, even fornication. It broke my heart but I could not come back back into a religious bog of "message". I didn't want and couldn't it. My life lost any meaning, I tried to commit suicide some times but God hasn't allowed me to die.
It seemed that by this way He punished me, very cruelly and very mercilessly. He has given me an understanding of how it should be but (how it seemed) He hasn't given possibility to carry out it in reality. Because, what I considered as the highest point, as the most ultimate instance, as the most best food – "the message" – on my eyes it hasn't resulted any person even up to real biblical baptism by Holy Ghost. These thoughts ramed me constantly: when I drank in the company of relatives, when I smoked, when hung somewhere with friends. Even for a second I didn't stop thinking about God, about life in the Christ and about the reasons of such state around me.
Just before New Year's holidays of 2010-2011 my heart hasn't sustained, it became loudly cry to God constantly anywhere I was, any what I did. And the Lord has answered me after so long silence.
Did you sometime reflected deeply and seriously about what cost you are saved by? I suppose that yes. And the most deep revelation, which issued from such reflections, sounds approximately so: All-powerful God in His great love came down to us in order to take on himself our punishment and has died through shameful and painful death!!!
And did you reflected the same deeply and seriously about HOW He it did? How exactly the Lord has descended? How exactly the God suffered? How exactly He took your sin? How exactly He won your illnesses? How much cost He has paid exactly? What it exactly means «He has won a sin»? I think there is very few of those who concentrated on these questions for a long time. I think there is even less of those who could answer these questions with the Bible in hand clearly and understandably. Before me these questions have risen unexpectedly sharply and inevitably, as huge mountain before a nose of a gaped traveler. I have understood one thing: the God sees it all from His side by absolutely another mode how I see it. Then I took the Bible in hands.
Some days after suddenly joyfully I have realized that I again want to live because He has opened to me more than ever earlier! I have realized that the cost which God has paid for me is not simply the fact of death of the Christ. God was manifest in the flesh! God became one of us! The Word was made flesh! Young child was born to us! The Son is given to us! The Relative- Redeemer! «Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage» (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Well, who doesn't know it? Everybody know it, who at least once read Paul’s Message to Hebrews. I read and knew it earlier too. But at that days these words have sounded in my mind as revelation. He was born in just the same flesh, as well as I have. He was really a man, He really became me. He became a real man who is subject of weaknesses and temptations, of illnesses and sufferings, of fear and despondency … He was a REAL human. He knows what it is to undergo temptations. He knows what it is to suffer a pain. He knows what it is to be left by all. And what it means? Do think what it means: «For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted» (Hebrews 2:18)?
In January of this year God has promptly started to open my eyes onto my wandering, onto what I have got, onto surroundings. He has brought me in Church, in communication with true Christians which, as well as I at these days, have heard the God’s appeal already not from lips of prophet Branham but from directly His lips: Run from Babylon! Come out her, My people!». God called out me from this bog of "message" denomination which has cleaned from life of its members the Bible as the Absolute, which replaced Bible onto with sermons of brother Branham, which replaced the voice of God onto the voice of the prophet, which replaced real baptism by Holy Spirit onto joining to "message".
God has made manifest to me in the Christ really. He has shown me the truth about that great struggle, the victory in which has released me from the law of a sin and death by means of a true biblical baptism by Holy Ghost, like in the Acts Book. Because the Christ himself, having in His flesh the same law which operated in my members («But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind…» (Rom.7:23)), battling, has won a sin because He has been born by Holy Spirit («And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit …» (1Tim. 3:16)). And now I have the same victory due to Him: «There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. …» (Rom. 8:1-2). Oh, glory to Him!!!
On January, 28th, 2011 - I, Ivan Turoff (together with brother Alexander Zamanoff), being absolutely soberly and consciously, in the presence of witnesses has repented before God in leaving of His Word, in neglecting of His will, in idolatry which was manifested through exalting of Brother Branham words over words of the Bible, in replacement of the God’s revelation onto human revelation. I have renounced from fornication spirit of denomination of "message", I have damned this dirty spirit and everything what is connected with it.
Now I testify you that really Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever, that He really still baptise by Holy Spirit, that He really has here on the Earth the Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, the Church which doesn't place her neck under any yoke except management by the God’s Word. And God builds her. Therefore, run, run, RUN!!! Because the time is absolutely short.
May the Lord Jesus will clarify your spiritual eyes in order that you look round and start to see where your doctrine has led you. This is my prayer. Amen!