"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
Thomas Jefferson, co-author of the Declaration of Independence and third U. S. President.
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Even though I spent over six years studying at the university level, I could never find meaning in life. Theory can be interesting, but there is no
"solid ground" on which to secure one's feet. I had grown up in a family of Baptists, and my Grandpa Bragg was a wise old man. However, I could not accept the idea that a God of love would cast evil people into a lake of fire and roast them forever, without end. I noticed much hypocrisy in the churches, and organized religion became annoying to me. Finally, I gave up on going to church altogether.
In 1974 I took an interest in Bible prophecy. I had been reading Hal Linsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth, but I could not reconcile his conclusions with the Bible. It was about that time that a flier came in the mail advertising a Prophecy Crusade. It was being held at the First Knoxville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. I attended the seminar for the full six weeks. And, at the conclusion, I was convinced that Evangelist Cox was teaching the truth as I saw it from the Bible.
After being baptized and becoming a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I became very active in the church. I fully agreed with their main tenets: 1) the non-immortality of the soul, 2) the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible on Saturday, 3) health reform, including a vegetarian diet, and 4) the belief in a soon and literal return of Jesus Christ to take His Church home to the Holy City, Jerusalem.
Looking back on the experience, I now see that I fell in love with that church and not the One whose church it was. In other words, I did not really come to know Jesus Christ in a personal way. Therefore, in a couple of years I lost interest in church work, and of course, I blamed it on the hypocrites. It is astounding how many people did not live up to the church's standards, but that was no reason for me to be discouraged with God.
As time passed, I seemed to slide deeper and deeper into "the pits." My health failed me (as the result of alcoholism), and my mind had really never been stable (from the effects of "bipolar disease"). In 1974, following my conversion to Seventh-day Adventist faith, I was diagnosed at Peninsula Center in Louisville, TN as having "manic-depressive disorder" or "bipolar disease." Since I subscribed to basic tenets of SDA faith, such as Ellen G. White's counsel against taking toxic drugs, I refused to consume the suggested medications. I seemed to be more easily discouraged as time advanced, especially because as a professed "Christian" I knew my experience was not as it should be. I was lost in my trespasses and sins.
I will take leave from my testimony briefly here to insert a more thorough explanation of my "mental illness." In 1974 following my conversion to the Seventh-day Adventist faith, I was diagnosed at Peninsula Center in Louisville, TN as having "manic-depressive disorder" which is the same affliction as what is commonly called "bipolar disease." I did not take medications, however, because of my new experience with Seventh-day Adventism and the counsels of Ellen G. White against the use of toxic drugs. My condition worsened with time, as my "conversion" was not genuine. It may be noted here that in 2004 I submitted myself to a battery of psychological tests at the VA Medical Center in Memphis, TN. The doctor in charge of my case was Dr. Bethany Spiller, and she was amazed at my condition. She said that I exhibited no signs of mental imbalance or effects of bipolar disease. I told her that I attributed my healing to a genuine conversion experience in June of 1988. Dr. Spiller was so "intrigued" with my experience and success that she invited me to give my testimony at a "social services department workshop" that she facilitated. As I spent 20 minutes telling my story, one could see expressions of various emotions upon the faces of those in the room full of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. At the close of the meeting, Dr. spiller debriefed with me, and as she had tears in her eyes, she said, "Science does not explain what you have experienced." All praises be to God!
In 1988 I began to have dreams which were of a spiritual nature. I became convinced that God was communicating with me and calling me to a special work. In June of that year, I received my call with my directions. Soon after that dream, I met a man who shared with me how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ in such a way that sin would no longer have dominion over me. He shared with me how to be whole, mentally, physically, and spiritually. He showed me all the principles that I needed to be a healthy and happy person; and it was all right there in the Bible.
I was rebaptized and found a true saving connection with the Creator, Jesus Christ. I agreed to follow Him anywhere He would lead me. I also took the commission that He gave me to be an evangelist to the Christian Churches, especially the Seventh-day Adventist Churches.
Have you been somewhat disheartened by corruption in the Christian Churches of our day? It is certainly sad that money has had such a powerful allurement; and surprisingly, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has been blessed with such great light and privileges from Heaven has in recent years become a persecuting power, just as her "sister"-- the Roman Catholic Church, did during the Middle Ages. When churches begin to lose control of the membership and place such weight on temporal matters, they fabricate some man-made standard, and then, persecute those who do not agree. Please do not misunderstand, the methods of our time are not as gross as they once were, but anyone or group claiming to be Christian, must not purposefully bring hardship upon another human. I believe God is tired of seeing His professed people misrepresent Him to the world. I also perceive that we are on the verge of the Great Judgment Day, which means the end of this world as we know it. There is only one Way of escape, and that is through trusting implicitly in the precious promises of Jesus Christ and obeying the guiding hand of His Holy Spirit moment by moment.
I have experienced that most people can be nice and friendly if they so choose. But if you do or say something that offends them, their character changes immediately, and you see the "real" person. This is how it is with many professed Christians, and it should not be so. I hope and pray for our brothers and sisters to repent before it is forever too late!
My whole life now is dedicated to helping those who want to be rescued from sin and suffering. Jesus Christ is the only way to have permanent healing of mind, body, and soul. I have attempted many routes to satisfaction, but all of them led to hell on earth without the Heavenly Father. I have discovered the Ten Commandments to be a reliable guide for living, through which God demonstrates His love and provides for our safety. Since that day in June of 1988, when God wrote His laws in my heart, I have never ceased rejoicing and giving Him thanks for the precious gift of abundant life. I am looking forward to a home in the restored "new earth." I am expecting the Savior to return in my life time and am eargerly desiring to see the One who made me whole. How about you?
Pastor "Chick's" Favorite Links List
The Creation 7th Day Adventists, Who Are They?
The Association of Creation 7th Day Adventists
The Creation 7th Day Adventist Church
The Sabbath Rest Principle
The Creation 7th Day
The Ideal Church and Ideal State
The Three Sabbaths
The Trademark Name
"Babylon is fallen"
The Gift of Tongues
The Faith of Jesus
The Gift of Individualtiy
1988 Hawaii Trademark Case
The Eight Laws of Health
The Spirit-Filled Church
The Winning Life
The Sabbath and A New You
Creation Ministries Home Page
The Invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
A Few of Pastor "Chick's" Favorite Bible Texts
"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 2.
God said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer." Exodus 15:26.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." Galatians 6:7.
"No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:6-9.
"Here is the patience of the saints who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9.
"Great peace have they that love Thy law and nothing shall offend them." Psalm 119:165.
"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
May the Creator bless you with the riches of Christ Jesus
As you obey His voice.
THE PASTOR'S PARABLE LIST NEWS OF SIGNIFICANCE Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters
December 13, 1996
Sunday Laws Not an Option Now
January 17, 1997
Court Ruling for Name Trademark for Seventh-day Adventist Church Upheld
LETTER TO: Rogue Valley Historic S.D.A. Church GC to Enter Trademark Case in New York
Adventist Review, Newsbreak, January 1998
Pastor "Chick's" Favorite Editorial