Maranatha Media

My Testimony

Posted Jul 07, 2013 by Morry Stokes in General
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May the words of this testimony bring souls to Christ

Ever since I can remember I have known of and believed in God and Jesus. Thanks to my Aunty and Grandmother (my mothers sister and mother) I grew up with a background knowledge of SDA beliefs (7th day Sabbath, mortal soul etc.). My mother and father divorced when I was very young so the first ten years of my life was spent with my mother and then with my father until my fifteenth year, after which I went back to my mother so I didn't have a good idea of what it was to have a father figure to look up to. My father was a heavy drinker, for which he now suffers with dementia and my mother was a heavy smoker which eventually killed her just after my eighteenth birthday, needless to say after this I became both.

After the death of our mother my half sister, who was 11 years old at the time, went to live with friends and I went out into the world to live the selfish life. To my shame and guilt, that I still carry today, I completely forgot about my sister and spent everything I earned on myself (beer, cigarettes, pot etc.). Over the next 25 years, still living the selfish life, I married had three beautiful children and continued to live blind, dumb and in denial to any and all efforts by Jesus to wake me up until around three years ago when something amazing happened. Being a seasoned smoker of 29 years I had often tried and failed to quit smoking, but in October 2009, around four years ago I literally woke up one morning a non-smoker over night with absolutely no withdrawals nor any cravings and only a faint memory of ever being a smoker, around this time I had also become a "closet Christian", that is to say when I was home alone I would watch Christian T.V. and read my Bible which, thanks to my Aunty, I have always had but as soon as someone came home I would change the channel and put my Bible away.

Now for a while, about eight months I think, I was still drinking and smoking pot until the same thing happened as with the cigarettes, I went to bed one night and woke up the next morning completely free from these things as well, praise the Lord. Now bear in mind I was quite happy indulging in these things and had no intentions of giving them up but the Lord in his infinite wisdom and mercy had other ideas. Also at this time my Lord had taken from me all desire to watch secular T.V., which was a miracle in itself because I was probably the biggest Sci-fi fan I knew of, playing video games, listening to worldly music, all these things I once loved and enjoyed - gone with no sense of remorse or loss. I don't understand why He made it so easy for me when I hear of others that struggle with these things for years, I can only but rest in the knowledge that He has called me and it is only for me to love Him in response to that and tell others of His desire to save us. In place of these worldly things my Lord put within me an insatiable desire for spiritual things, to study His word and to read all I can about Him and His Kingdom, of which I can't get enough. Now my biggest problem is trying to remember all that I learn so I can share it with others.

After this had happened, along with the inclinations I was having to study the Bible, I had to admit to myself that the Lord had finally had enough of my procrastination and blocking my ears to His pleading and said it's time to start your new life, the life I have made you for. 1 Corinthians 13:11 comes to mind, to paraphrase - when you were a child you did childish things, now a man it's time to put away childish things. Amid all this I had this growing desire to be baptised so I called the Conference office here in Townsville and six months later (although I wanted to be baptised there and then) on the 11th of December 2010 I was baptised.

In the three years since then I have not stopped studying. I have done every study I could get my hands on, every subject that comes into question such as prophecy, the Sabbath, state of the dead, sanctuary, the spirit of prophecy, hell, 2nd coming, trinity and so on I try to learn all I can about it. Around eighteen months ago I did a "Gifts of the Spirit" seminar which started to raise some questions in my mind like, when we pray to the spirit what do we call him and how do we address him, and what is his role in our salvation, the sorts of questions we should all be asking, but I just accepted the answers I was given without studying them for myself.

At this time I held a deacons position in our church but started to go into a dark period of asking myself why I was doing this and by the grace of God I discovered it was all for the wrong reasons. Instead of waiting on the leading of the spirit I jumped in because it seemed to be what everyone else expected of me, so I gave the position up but in the future if given the opportunity again I will not give in so easily. In this dark period I did some searching into deeper studies and came across a group who were preaching about a 2520 year prophecy based on the 7 times in Leviticus 26. Although this was a line of study that proved unfruitful in one sense it did lead me to read the works of Jones and Waggoner which led me to Adrian Ebens' studies on the nature of the Father and His Son and their shared spirit, which was a bit confronting at the start until a friend contacted me and said he wanted me to watch a video on YouTube called "The Biblical 9/11" and tell him what I thought , he knew I was already sniffing in that direction so my opinion would be reasonably informed and discrete.

Now once I watched that video by brother Nader I knew it was truth, I had no doubt in my mind, so I started going through as much of Adrian Ebens, Gary Hullquist and Nader Mansour's writings and videos I could find , I praise and thank my Lord for leading me to this truth because it has answered some niggling questions that I have pushed into the background. Like most of us I just accepted what the church taught me, I mean who am I to question the Pastors and Theologians, so I am so thankful for what the Lord has shown me through Adrian, Gary and Nader. It is like a weight, no a burden that has been taken from me because now I feel I know the Father as a true Father, I know His Son Jesus as a true and literal Son and a man like us, a Brother who intercedes for us in the very presence of our heavenly Father and knows exactly what we are going through in our struggle with sin, and that the confusion over who to pray to in light of the spirit is no longer an issue. Not to mention the confusion that is dissolved, by all the supposedly conflicting verses and passages in Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy all of a sudden becoming harmonised and making sense. I would also like to thank Adrian for showing me that my salvation and value is based on a relationship with a relational God and His true Son, by virtue of His inheritance as the Son of God and His perfect righteousness that he gives us as the Son of man.

This knowledge is like a breath of fresh air to my soul because I know I have direct access to my heavenly Father through Jesus His Son, without the confusion as to who I should pray to (the Son or the Spirit) to gain access to an unknowable three-in-one God. To know it is Jesus alone who intercedes for me personally and not some third member of a Godhead who doesn't know what it is to be me (human). I don't have to prove myself to be a son of God just as Jesus didn't have to prove Himself. The Father loves and accepts His Son for the simple fact that He IS His Son (relational) not because of what He did - Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; John 1:34. So in Jesus I have that same privilege and I praise His name for that. In Desire of Ages Sister White says of the words spoken by God at His baptism "the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, "this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", embraces humanity"{DA 113.1} and that means you and me, and this simply because of our relationship to Him through His Son not because of anything we do. What Love, what Grace, what a Gift