I am a South African and a farmer, 50 years of age. I became an Adventist in December 2009.
My conversion to Adventism started out on a journey to understand prophecy. Acquiring internet access round about the year 2000, I immediately searched the web. After 7 years research, I was able to ascertain that the Papacy is the antichrist, but that was about all. There was as many interpretations as was authors out there on prophecy. I felt as if I was in the woods but did not know which was the right tree to chop down. Surely the Lord want us understand the Book of Revelation, the name spells it out: What was REVEALED to John and to be passed onto us. Furthermore, the book had beautiful promises to those who read and obeyed it:
“Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
“Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”
I did not want to believe anything unless proved from the Word, the Scriptures had to be the sole foundation of what I believed.
In 2007 I called on a Scripture promise, as I could not understand Revelation, this promise is found in:
“Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
This mustard seed faith was planted and answered when I received a set of Walter Veith DVD’s from a family member. Interestingly enough, I discovered a few years later, that the set of DVD’s was given to my family member by a friend in Namibia, who’s son passed it onto him from France, who received it from someone back in South Africa!
I studied the set of DVD’s for 2 and a half years and with focused zeal on the internet, and, most importantly, the Bible. At this point we were involved in a charismatic church for 16 years. As I discovered these truths, I would share them with my wife, who never watched any of the DVD’s. It was always a caution in my life that I might overlook truth and be found wanting. After all, the Jews had Jesus and did not recognise the Truth, hence it was my desire to be so open to truth that I would not overlook it when it comes my way, especially 2000 years after Christ walked the earth and the state of world affairs (9/11 comes to mind vividly).
Circumstance in the Charismatic church and my studies drove us into decision making time. We both felt that the church we were attending were straying from Biblical principle. I mentioned it to my wife that I am considering to attend the SDA church whereby my wife encouraged me to contact the Pastor and set up a meeting so we both can meet him. This was a miracle in itself, as my prayer was that my wife and I should not attend different churches but be unified in the faith. The seeds of divulging to her what gems of truth I had obtained had germinated.
I searched the web for the closest church (we were living on a farm), met with Pastor Louis Hofmeyr, the first Adventist we were to meet, that was Dec 2009. I was baptised into the church one year later.
As from that time, I was watching and studying these new truths by reading and watching DVD’s (Pastor Bohr, Dr Veith, Mark Woodman, etc.). In my search to find good Adventist material, I stumbled upon a website called Maranata Media, hosted by Adrian Ebens. I found very helpful material on the site but noted with sadness that he was under church discipline and then disfellowshipped. Adrian’s words rung in my ears as he recalled his experience after being disfellowshipped, he noted that ”he loved them with the love of the Father and the Son”. That rung true for me, it was a Biblical statement and principle, but did not fully understand what he really meant. I decided to watch a video Adrian posted, a presentation by Nader Mansour, about the Godhead. I retracted as a flood of light overwhelmed me, and left it, praying that God would reveal it to me when I was ready for it, but not to let it pass me by.
When I heard that my first Pastor, Louis Hofmeyer (who had moved on to a different town in the meantime), was under discipline regarding the Godhead, I recalled something about the Godhead-issue on Maranatha Media. Research time again, this was October 2014. After 8 months of study I concluded that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not a Trinity. That there was only one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ and that the Holy Spirit was the Spirit of the Father which was also the Spirit of the Son.
I was group leader for an Adventist group of about 20 people at this time. I took the discovery to them as I was ready to share this, hoping we could study the topic, after all, it was all in the Bible, endorsed fully by the Spirit of Prophecy. It was not received well. It was decided that I be removed from leadership and the pastor do Bible studies with me. After 4 meetings the local pastor halted the studies, as we had opposing views, mine being not in line with the 1980 Fundamental Beliefs. A disciplinary process was initiated. My wife and I were disfellowshipped on 28 May 2016 from the Richards Bay Adventist Church for not accepting the 1980 Fundamental Beliefs no 2 through 5 (Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit).
In the process we could, by the words of Brother Adrian, love them with the love of the Father and His Son and will continue to do so.
I believe it to be the beginning of a new journey as we share this wonderful truth that there is but one God, the Father, that Jesus is truly the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God and that we have fellowship with them by the indwelling of their Spirit.
Joh_16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.