THE YOUNG PEOPLE
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!
- Here is a
testimony by Brother Troy Brown
to the young people:
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."
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.
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.
My parents 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.
Since I've 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.
If Satan 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.
Sometimes my 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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
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
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.
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 art mine."
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."
M. Branham. "IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST." JEFF. IN. 59-1220E)