Born Again Testimony
Part I - The Testimony
1. I am 65 as of this writing. My memory may have some gaps if I go back for 60 years or more; nevertheless, the first time I remember someone saying something to me about God was when I was 5, maybe 4 years old. A five year old girl asked me if I believed in God. Had I ever heard about God before this, I do not know. But it did seem that I gave my response with prior knowledge. I said, "Yes." Did I make a decision for Christ at this point? No, I did not even know who Christ was at this point; no one had told me.
2. At the age of 8, a scout master invited me to his church. I heard about Yahoshua (they called Him Jesus) being the Son of God. While at home I pondered the things I had been told at the church. As I look back, I now know that it was the Holy Ghost that had brought these things to my mind. John 14:26 KJV, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." I could not determine if they were true or not. In my immaturity, I played a child's game of chance not really any different than placing Gideon's fleece before the LORD. Judges 6:39 KJV, "And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew." If the game of chance went one way, I would not believe, if it went the other, I would believe. *The Holy Ghost directed the game of chance (Proverbs 16:33 KJV, "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of [Yahowah].") and I kept the oath I had just made to myself (Matthew 5:33 KJV, "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto [Yahowah] thine oaths:”). Because of the outcome of this game of chance, I would now believe in Yahoshua.
*NOTE. September 28, 2014, my Father told me that I gave the decision to Him. I did not keep the decision to myself. I did not decide to make my own decision, because I knew I was not capable of making it on my own. Therefore, I humbled myself and gave the decision to Him. So, I cast the lot into my lap and let God make my decision for me. I was now His. But the full commitment and the born again experience would wait for a later time. Everyone has the ability to make the right decision, or to give the decision to Yahowah. But not everyone makes this righteous choice. Those that do are saved. Those that do not become vessels of wrath. Romans 9:20-24 KJV, “20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
In other words, God made us in His infinite mind and at that point our eventuality of being made in the flesh was sealed. At that instant He knew our future decisions. He did not unmake us just because unrighteousness was found in us, in our future decision making. It grieves Him because He knows that we could have made the right decision. He made us and it was good, the same with the angels. He did not make evil men or evil angels. The decisions made by these men and angels that became vessels of wrath were made by them in their free will to do so.
God’s other choice, than to create life knowing that some would become vessels of wrath, was to not make life. Then there would be no vessels of wrath, but also there would be no vessels of mercy. Not to make new life, since He is so full of life, is contrary to Who He Is. God said, “I Am, you will call Me ‘He Who Is’.” See our teaching on His Name, Part IV, paragraph 4a.
3. Later, at the church during a youth meeting, a pastor was questioning me. He said, "Are you a Christian?" I answered that I did not know. Then he said, "Do you believe in God?" I said yes. "Then," he concluded, "you are a Christian." At 8 years of age, I had nothing to say after that. An adult had told me the way it was and I accepted it. The problem was that I was not a Christian just because I believed. James 2:19 KJV, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." This false teaching that I received at the hand of a Calvinist pastor stuck with me for almost 30 years. Children are very impressionable. Mark 9:42 KJV, "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."
4. Without proper discipling, mentoring, and teaching I was like a row boat without an oar. At age 12 I was baptized, because that's what the Calvinists told me I should do. Baptism is only for believers, those born again. Baptism without repentance is an exercise in futility. Baptism without understanding the gospel of Christ is merely a rote action of no consequence. It serves no purpose. During this time I was also introduced, by relatives, to Roman Catholicism (the RCC). So I tried them off and on, just as I did Calvinism, until I was in my thirties. The RCC did no better than the Calvinists. They too baptized me without repentance, without the Blood of Christ, without being born again, without being taught the gospel of Christ. Both of these groups prey upon children, they are without shame and have no fear of God. They teach another gospel. Galatians 1:8-9 KJV, "8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Because they have a fallen nature and are not born again themselves, they take captive the mind of the innocent and naïve with their false gospel and teachings of men.
5. At age 17 I heard the true gospel. The preacher had an altar call. I wanted to go up so bad I was shaking all over. Fear held me back. I had to wait 20 more years before God reached out and drew me to His Son again. Twenty years of living in sin, two failed marriages, drunkenness, drugs, bankruptcy, job losses, and lawlessness. I still had not entered the Kingdom of God.
6. Somewhere around the age of 36, unbeknownst to me, the Holy Ghost moved upon me to buy a Bible. And I began to read it again. I had already read the Bible twice before at the age of about 10 and again in my twenties. The first time I read the King James Version the second time it was an RCC version, and now I was reading the New International Version. I was not purposefully picking a different version each time, I was merely going with what seemed the best at the time. Little did I know that the Holy Ghost was constantly training me in certain areas, long before I made a decision to ask Yahoshua into my heart. Long before I made this decision, He knew that it would come. This was the time that the Father began drawing me, yet again, to His Son. John 6:44 KJV, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
7.a. At age 37, I had several weird spiritual experiences. However, they were preceded by a constant wooing of the Holy Ghost. He wooed me with His constant presence. I could scarcely turn on the television or radio without tuning into a Christian broadcast. I was constantly filling my heart, soul, and mind with sermons, doctrines, and the pure word of God from my Bible. I would engage those around me with talk of God at every opportunity. I can think of several people, one whose name I do not even remember, that I believe were praying for me at the time. I am sure there were others whom I will not find out about until I meet them in Heaven. The Holy Ghost was providing those prayer warriors to pray me into the Kingdom.
7.b. One strange experience that occurred at this time was that a vision of Heaven opened up before me. I was speeding through what, at that time, I thought was the universe at speeds that were far greater than the speed of light or thought. Everything appeared to be available to me and I was moving further and further away from where I started. I realize now that it must have been a vision of the third Heaven, with colors beyond description. I became frightened. Instantly, the vision was gone and the Holy Ghost spoke to me. He said, "You are not ready yet."
7.c. Approximately another week went by. By now I understood the basic gospel, the need of the shed Blood of Christ to wash my sins away, and other doctrines and teachings of the Bible. But, I was still confused about the need of a born again experience and what it could possibly entail. I understood many of those things that the Calvinists and the Catholics never taught me. I was driving home from work in Sacramento. I was only a few blocks from my home in the town of Galt. I was tuned into a religious broadcast. The show was hosted by Dr. Walter Martin, a Baptist preacher. He was the original "Bible Answer Man". This show was very different than the "Praise Hank Show" that dubbed for the "Bible Answer Man" after Walter Martin's death.
7.d. A woman caller asked Walter, "What must I do to be saved?" This was a very unusual question for this show. Most callers had a Scripture question or doctrinal inquiry. This woman was serious, she was ready, and she wanted Yahoshua, now! Little did I know that I was ready too, just as she was. But I did not know I was ready, after all, I was not the one making the call, I was part of the listening audience.
7.e. Dr. Martin explained to her that she could become saved anytime, anywhere, in the privacy of her own room or right now on the radio. She responded, "I want to do it right now." So, he began to lead her in what is generally known as the sinner's prayer. The sinner's prayer does not have required wording that one must quote from memory, but it does normally cover the basic subjects that Dr. Martin spoke to her. He said,
"Dear Lord we ask you to listen to our prayer. We pray now for (name). She knows that she is a sinner and she repents of those sins and asks that you forgive her of her sins. She asks that you would wash those sins away by your shed Blood on Calvary and that you would come into her life. She gives her life to you and wants you to live in her from this moment on. Amen."
7.f. Just prior to Walter beginning his prayer for this lady, I spoke to myself. It was really a prayer, but I did not formalize my thoughts as prayers all the time, frequently I was just talking to the Lord. I said,
"I'll pray along with Dr. Martin and pray for this lady and pray that You, God, would grant her salvation from her sins and bring her into your Kingdom."
So, as Dr. Martin spoke, the lady repeated his words after him, and I repeated those same words in the privacy of my car as I was driving down the street. The prayer had barely begun and tears began to flood down my cheeks. My mouth was stretched into the biggest smile I have ever had before or since, yet I was crying my eyes out. I realized what had happened. My Father had gotten two for one that day. He brought this new sister of mine (and I don't even remember her name) and me into the Kingdom at the same time. Alleluiah. This was just past mid July 1985. I wish I had written down the date.
8. I was now born again and did not know it, nor understand. I was still confused by the false gospel I had been taught at age 8 at the hands of a Calvinist. So, I went to a Christian church and pastor and told him my experience. I ended by asking, "So, am I born again?" Strangely enough, he did not give me a direct answer, but asked for my hands so that we could pray. I do not remember the words of that prayer, but I do know that I walked out of that building that day knowing full well that I was finally born again. John 3:3 KJV, "[Yahoshua] answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 1 Peter 1:23 KJV, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
9. We never know for sure through what earthly vessels our Heavenly Father will bring His gospel to us in. Walter Martin was ambiguous. At times he would preach a fiery sermon against the RCC and leave no question in the listener's mind that they were not Christian. At other times he spoke of them in an uncomfortably friendly fashion, almost as if he thought of them as brothers. The pastor I had asked if I was born again, left the ministry within a few months of our meeting. Two of the people at my work place who had been witnessing to me (a man and a woman) and praying for me fell upon hard times. The man divorced his wife and kids and married another woman. The woman, after searching for years for a Christian man to marry, ended up marrying an unbeliever. 2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" I am sure our Father forgave the woman. But my subsequent contacts with the man were alarming. I believe it is quite possible he was never a believer to begin with, but I do not know for sure. His understanding of spiritual matters was greatly retarded. 2 Peter 1:5-10 KJV, "5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord [Yahoshua the] Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”.
10. Please continue to Part II - The Analysis.
Rick Mauck, Written 11/8/12.
Born Again Testimony
Part II - The Analysis
An Explanation of the Pool of Bethesda
John chapter 5
1. In Part I - The Testimony, several striking things stand out. One, God has been actively participating in and seeking me all of my life. Two, His plan for my life was not thwarted because of false gospels and evil church businesses.
2. Calvinism and Catholicism were not the only pagan businesses that I was exposed to during my lifetime; however, they played a major role. Through them and others God developed me with the bread of adversity and the water of affliction. Isaiah 30:19-21 KJV, "19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." Because my Father brought me through it all, am I advising others to follow in my footsteps? No, not at all, but I hope that my trials would be to the benefit of others.
3.a. Could Yahowah have sent a scout master to me who attended a Christian congregation? Most certainly! So, why did He send me to a church business that taught a false gospel? Why did I have this albatross to weigh me down for three decades? It is like the crippled man at the healing pool of Bethesda. This man was held captive for 38 years. Then God in the flesh showed up one day and said, "Do you want to be set free (made whole)?" John 5:1-14 KJV, "1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and [Yahoshua] went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When [Yahoshua] saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 [Yahoshua] saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for [Yahoshua] had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward [Yahoshua] findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
3.b. The pool of Bethesda makes me think of all the church businesses in the world. Once in a while at random times a preacher would get stirred up and actually preach the true word of God. Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV, "10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Someone would get the message and get saved. The one who was most ready, most capable, the most hungry for the true word of God, would get saved and delivered from his affliction of death and false teachings; then he would leave. The rest would be left out and still cling to the pagan church businesses and hope that their turn for deliverance would finally come. They knew not where else to go. They were caught in a mind trap, they believed the lie, they thought this pool was where their help would come from. Despite the fact that on rare occasions someone would actually be healed, did not validate this false church full of false preachers, and full of false teachings. But through it all, one day GOD stepped into the room. The God of all Creation, Creator God, the Self-existing One, stepped into the room: "Wilt thou be made whole?" He said. Then He said, "Rise, take up they bed and walk." In other words, I see your heart and I know your desire, you are saved. But He warns the man not to go into false doctrines again: "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
3.c. But the religious spirits were insane. They opposed Yahoshua and they opposed the man who was set free. These false preachers had condemnation and murder in their hearts. They wanted captives, not free men who did God's will. They brought the powers and fury of hell upon them. The enemy cries like a stuck pig when they lose a captive. Calling a miraculous healing a work (forbidden on the sabbath) is as ludicrous as calling a decision that one makes in his mind and heart to believe in Yahoshua a work (that infringes on God's sovereignty). The sabbath law had not been broken, nor has God's sovereignty been infringed upon: these are the cries of stuck pigs (demons).
4. Even today, 27 years after being born again, I still occasionally find a false concept or doctrine lurking in the deep recesses of my mind. False doctrines that were taught to me by Calvinists and Catholics and other satanic religions. When the Holy Ghost reveals them to me, they are immediately cast out. But I see these same thoughts and doctrines infiltrated throughout Christendom. These satanic religions are indeed a cancer in the Body of Christ. But Judas Iscariot (the group treasurer) was a thief and a murderer among Christ's own twelve apostles. Was God concerned? Not at all. He could have fired Judas from his treasury position at any time. He could have expelled him from the group at any time. God used Judas to fulfill the Scriptures that had been written. God is never taken by surprise, nor are His plans thwarted.
5. We welcome constructive input supported by Scriptures from the Bible. Please contact us by using the contact icon. Copyright © 2012 Richard Douglas Mauck and/or Sandra Faye Mauck. All rights reserved. This material is copyrighted to protect the integrity of this work. Permission is hereby granted to copy this treatise in its entirety as long as no editing is done, no charge is made to those with whom it is shared, and full credit is given to the authors.