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Thyatira: Corrupt Church (1 of 4)
Vernon Howell was born August 17, 1959 to a 15-year-old single mother, Bonnie Clark. He had a troubled childhood as his mother had different boyfriends and then eventually married. He was not a good student and ended up dropping out of highschool.
When he was 22 he had an affair with a 15 year-old girl who became pregant. Later he claimed to have accepted Christ as his Savior. In 1982 he moved to Waco, Texas, where he joined the Branch Davidians, a religious group that began in 1955 and believed themselves to be living in a time when Bible prophecies of a final divine judgment were coming to pass as a prelude to second coming of Jesus Christ.
The next year he claimed to have the gift of prophecy and claiming that God had chosen him to father a child with the 77 year-old woman who was the leader of the group. This child he claimed would be the Chosen One. After a power struggle which took place over several years he eventually became the leader of the Branch Dividians in 1989.
A year later he legally had his name changed to David Koresh.
David, symbolized a lineage directly to the biblical King David, from whom the new messiah would descend. Koresh is the Persian name of Cyrus the Great who allowed the Jews to return to their homeland after 70 years of captivity. By taking the name of David Koresh, he was proclaiming himself to be the spiritual descendant of King David who would fulfill the God's will on earth.
There were reports of child abuse and spiritual marriages he made with both married and single women in the group and with at least one underage girl along with the illegal use of weapons. As a result in 1993 the government raided te compound which resulted in a standoff. After 51 days the FBI moved in to end the siege which resulted in a fire that burned the compound and killed Koresh along with 54 other adults and 28 children.
The result of ...
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