This page is dedicated to the young people. We will try to
keep you updated with articles (testimonies) and events among the young
folks in the Message. If you have a testimony or something you want to
share with others we would appreciate it very much if you write to us.
May God bless you richly!
is a testimony by Brother Troy Brown
to the young people:
"Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
Slowly, but wholly, taking control.
Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay,
Sin will cost you far more than you want to pay."
"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and
He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I
have called thee by name, thou art Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
"Thou art Mine," was God's promise to
Jacob. I realize now, this promise also belongs to me. I grew up in a
unstable home, even by today's standards. By all accounts, my life was
destinated to be a total disaster. But as Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and
him that cometh to Me I will no wise cast out."
My father was
known as the meanest man in town. He was a race car driver, alcoholic
and loved to fight. Everyone that knew him stayed away from him. My
parents would go to a bar and drink. If my father caught someone
looking at my mom (she was an attractive woman), he would wait until
they went to the bathroom and follow them in. He would be the only one
to walk out. If he saw two guys fighting, he would jump in it. Because
he loved to fight, he was always in trouble.
separated when I was about three years old. One day my father came to
the house, drunk, with a shotgun in his car. He had plans to kill us
all. My grandfather (my mother's father) was babysitting us. My father
came into the house and started causing trouble. My grandfather went to
the Kitchen and pulled out a 9mm pistol and came back to the living
room where we were at and emptied it, in my dad. My dad died upon the
arrival to the hospital. To this day, I am not sure how that event
affected my life, but there is no denying that I was affected. My older
brother never quite recovered from it.
My mom had a
nervous breakdown causing her to continue making bad mistakes as a
parent. We moved around a lot. I had seven different stepfathers. It
was really difficult. I was shuffled around in boys work programs and
foster homes. School was not a place to learn, but a place to escape
from home. I never applied myself and was considered a problem kid. I
failed in all the required courses in the seventh grade. I went to
summer school that year and met a little girl, who did all my homework
and I passed.
I went to the
eight grade and failed it. On the last day of school, the principal
called me into his office. "Troy, you failed
this year, but you are going to the ninth grade." I asked
him how come. He replied that he did not want me in his school the
following year, that I would be someone else's problem. I went to ninth
grade for several days and ended up quitting school. I was a quitter. I
never was consistent because consistency was never a part of my life.
given my heart to the Lord, several young people who have grown up in
the Message have told me, "Brother Troy, I
wish I could experience going from a sinful life to salvation, like you
did." They claim they wish they knew what it is like to be a
sinner and have my kind of experience with Christ. Having an experience
with Christ is certainly the correct desire but having a sinful
background is something no one should desire. Of course there is no
such thing as "growing up in the Message."
You are born into the Message. It is funny, yet dangerous, how many
young people believe they never was a sinner. It is an experience with
Christ they lack, not an experience with the world.
tells you that your testimony will be more effective if you sin for a
while before committing your life to God, do not listen to him. Satan
is a liar. The results are scars and mental battles that will torment
you throughout your life.
family would go to church. One day we would be Baptist, then Seven Day
Adventist, and then we would be sinners again. We took the
denominational merry go round. My home life was so bad that I began to
run around and get into trouble with the law. My file
at the courthouse was full. The judge knew me on a first name basis.
One cold December day, at the age of fifteen, I moved out. My mom was
planning to call the police to come and get me.
So I left without
even a coat. I went to a friend's house and told him that I was running
away and asked him if he was coming. He decided to leave too. We went
to Kmart and stole a leather coat. My friend was scared to steal one,
so I went back in and took another one for him. The next day we were
walking down the road and four or five police cars pulled. up behind
us. Out came the policeman and the dogs. They gave me one year
probation. A week or two later, I called my probation officer and told
him If he did not get me out of the house, I was going to run away
again. He called the judge and explained to him my situation.
The judge said that I
needed to move out. At the young age of fifteen, I was under a rare
court order to legally leave home. They figured that I was better off
on my own. I moved in with my older brother who had just turned
eighteen. I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. If you hang out with dogs you are
going to get fleas. I began to drink and started taking on the same
habits as my dad. I wasted away precious years of my life.
When I met Reesa, my
future wife, my dog and I was living in my car, a two door flat. I do
not remember any good times until I met my wife. I knew she was the
right one and that my carousing days were over. She let me know it was
either her or my friends. I made a good choice, I chose her.
Reesa and I moved to
California so that she could go to veterinarian school. While she
attended school I worked odd jobs. There was not a lot of opportunity
for a guy who did not have a high school diploma. Our relationship
became very rocky. I was always riding by the seat of
my pants (taking risks) and that drove her crazy
because she was very organized and structured. I finally landed a job
at the Kirby vacuum cleaner company in 1988. I was a talker, so selling
came easy for me. I would say whatever it took to get a vacuum cleaner
sold. Within the first month, I was a top salesman. I began to excel
and was tagged as the next person to open up an office.
One day, I knocked
on the door of a Jehovah Witness. He provided homes for wayward kids. I
had told him about my past and we got along great. He asked me if he
could come over sometime so that he could witness to me. "Sure", I told him. I did not want to
loose a sale. He came to my house several times. One day, I asked him a
question about Jesus and he told me there was no deity in Jesus and
that Jesus was just a man. Something within me said, wait a minute.
This does not sound right. I became suspicious of this guy. My wife and
I started talking about God, which we never done before. I tried to
read the Bible, but could not make sense of it. I called some religious
As I talked to them
we became more confused. Something inside of me wanted desperately to
prove to this guy that Jesus was divine. My wife and I were at wits
end. One night we were sitting on the bed talking and I said, "Who do we know that is a true Christian that we
could talk to." In unison we both said Ernie Villanueva. I
had met Ernie through the Kirby Company. He was a motivational speaker
for the Kirby Company. He was always praying for me and handing me
tracts. I had a lot of confidence in Brother Ernie because he had
taught me how to sell. I knew that he was living in Florida. The next
morning I called the office to get his number.
They told me that he
would be at the California office in two days for a meeting. I went to
the meeting. At the end of the meeting, I walked up to him and told him
I wanted to talk to him in private. I was embarrassed to talk about God
openly. We went to a private room. "Why is there so much confusion and
does anybody have truth?" I questioned. Brother Ernie took me through a
chronological time line of the Bible. It made sense and I wanted to
know more. He said: "Troy, there are some
incredible things that I would like to share with you. The travel agent
had messed up my flight and I will be staying in town an extra day,
with nothing to do. Write down all your questions and tomorrow we will
meet and I will try and help you answer them."
The following night,
my wife and I met with Brother Ernie for dinner. After dinner, we went
to his motel room and Brother Ernie answered all of our questions with
the Bible. He showed us Serpent Seed, The God Head and the Mark of the
Beast. He gave us the testimonies of Brother Branham. It did not choke
us, nor was it too much. We believed it. Brother Ernie asked us if we
had ever given our hearts to God. My wife and I said no. We kneeled
down in the little motel room. It was about 3 :00 in the morning,
before we left. Brother Ernie never told us about holiness; he never
showed us the hook. It is funny to think about it now, but here we
were, driving a candy apple red Camaro on the way home that morning. I
had wild looking hair and my wife was dressed like a Jezebel.
We were excited. Our
conversation on the way home went like this, "Just
think, we're going in the rapture and we are part of the Bride!"
One of. the' truths Brother Ernie showed me was baptism. I could not wait to, be baptized. He had given us the
phone number of the closest church to us, which was about two hours away. I called the Pastor the next
morning. I told him we wanted to be baptized in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ, right away.' He 'asked me if we could wait until Sunday.
Though disappointed, I told, him we would wait. Sunday morning arrived
and we went to church for the first time together and was baptized. We
were real nervous. I am sure we looked weird. We noticed that all the
ladies had long hair and dresses. We thought maybe it had something to
do with most of them being older Hispanic ladies.
We drove the two
hours to church every Wednesday and Sunday. We started feeling
convicted of some of' the habits we were doing. Our appetite began to
change as God made Himself real to us. Since that night at the motel
room, my wife and I have grown in God's Word very much. God has blessed
us with three wonderful daughters, who love to serve Him. I would like
to give thanks to the Lord.
For as I look back,
I can see our lives as a maze, with Jesus standing at the end of it.
There is millions of reasons why we should have been lost. But there is
only one reason why I am in the Bride, and that is because I am His. If
you are a young person that thinks you have excuses or reasons for not
living for Jesus, you are wrong! God hath said "Thou
"But if they are trying to find something to identify
themselves with. And the reason they are doing it, is because that
there s something
in them that God made them that. But God made them something to be
identified with, and that was when He made Jesus Christ to become your
Saviour. That's the Example. That's what people wants - should
want, to be identified with Jesus, to be like Him."
(William M. Branham.
"IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST." JEFF. IN. 59-1220E)