When I was very young as a boy I remember going to Sunday school at a Church and one day my parents got me a bible and I remembered thinking wow this is "the Words of God". I treasured that first bible and was in awe of it thinking how lucky I was and from time to time I read some of it. After some time we stopped going to Church and as I started growing older I forgot about God and lost my first bible and started exploring all that the world had to offer which led me further and further away from God and His Word into the snares of all that the world had to offer until I had become a slave to sin.
After some more time I remember being on a bus in Sydney, Australia with some friends thinking that there must be more to our short life than eating, drinking, partying, sleeping and working and dying but at this stage I had become an atheist thinking that to believe in God meant that I had to have a blind faith and that there was no proof of God and use to argue with Christians telling them they believed in something that did not exist. Time for me continued to pass and as I began to grow older I tried to seek the meaning of life through other religions but was never happy with the answers that any of them offered, By this time I moved away from Sydney, Australia, tired of all the hustle and bustle of city living to Northern New South Wales. I found myself making friends with those who lived a hippy lifestyle curious about what they had to offer on the meanings of life.
After some time I began to realize that all the world had to offer was emptiness, and loneliness. I remembered hearing about some of my school friends dying in drunken car accidents or drug overdoses and being very sad for them. For me at this time I remember thinking that in my life there was only happiness in the moment of the sins I practiced but this happiness never lasted and I had become a slave to me sins in order to find happiness. There was no peace and a feeling of separation that I could never understand or explain. I remember one day after some time, finding a bible and began reading it, although at this time in my life I never went to any Church to seek or find God. I was curious as to the feeling and happiness I once found as a little boy and had since lost.
As I continued reading Gods' Word prayerfully asking for God's guidance, for the very first time I began to find meaning to the purpose of life and that there was much more to what I thought life was all about and my life began to change forever. As I continued reading the scriptures, I remember reading that sin is described in the bible as breaking God's law and anything of His commandments and not believing and following what God's Word says and that all of us have sinned and fall short of God's glory *Romans 3:9-23; 1 John 3:4; James 2:10-11; Romans 14:23 and that the wages of my sins was death *Romans 6:23. At this stage I had a knowledge of what sin was from the scriptures and that according to the scriptures breaking God's law was sin and all of us had sinned therefore I was a sinner. I prayed and asked God to forgive me and repented from my sins in my heart and decided to follow God through His Word.
I think for me at this time in my life, reading my bible from home, God was teaching me that the more I tried to follow His Word the more he was showing me that I could not obey His Words and the more I saw myself as a sinner unable to do what God wanted me to do. It was through Gods' law that I saw that I was a sinner under God's condemnation and death there was nothing that I could ever hope to do to save myself. The more I tried to keep Gods law the more I saw myself condemned by the law (Romans 7) until one day this experience as painful as it was brought me to the foot of the cross crying out "Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24). It was here looking up at the cross where I saw Jesus in my mind and heard His Word to me "the just shall live by faith." Faith in what? I saw for the first time Jesus shedding His blood for my sins so that I could receive God's forgiveness. He gave me His life when all I had was death and by His stripes I saw for the first time I was healed. Not because of anything I had done but because He loved me and gave himself for me. This is where Gods' Law brought me. It brought me to Christ so that all I could so is call out "Lord have mercy on me a sinner". Then I looked up and could see, and my eyes were opened for the first time see Jesus dying for my sins even me, so that I could be reconciled to God. This is where my whole life changed and that change took place as I was seeking Him through his Words and believed them. This is where Gods' law brought me so that I could understand the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:12-13 for the first time.
I was not brought up in any Church and did not start going to any Church for some time but after some time reading my bible I was thinking to go out and join a Church. During this time as I continued prayerfully reading my bible I came across some scripture that troubled me that I could not get out of my mind. The scriptures were talking about the last days just before Jesus returned and said that in these last days there will be many false prophets and false Christs that if it was possible they shall deceive Gods' very elect (Matthew 24:24). At the time I read these scriptures I was not going to any Church. I was just reading my bible at home but they troubled me very much because I was thinking of going out to join a Church somewhere but I did not know which one God wanted me to join.
When I read these scriptures in Matthew 24:24 I believe God showed me their interpretation at that time as in the last days before He returns there would be many false prophets being messengers or teachers claiming they were from God that have false teachings and that these false Christs represented false Christian Churches (e.g. Christ being the head of the body which is the church - Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18) and that many would be lost by following what these Churches were teachings.
Then as I was considering these scriptures one day, I remember thinking that all the Churches of the world all are all professing to be the chosen ones of God. In a recent Christian religion consensus I remember reading that there is today somewhere around 40,000 different Churches all professing to be Gods true Church that have the truth of Gods' Word! Now I do no know how true those figures are but to me even if there was 20 churches all professing to be Gods' true Church that is 19 too many right?
So I was very troubled in my mind because I did not want to follow false teachings and be lost to God. I prayed to God saying dear God help me. How am I going to know who your true Church is? I barely know your word and how am I ever going to find who your true Church is? I wanted to follow God but I knew I was never going to find Him if he did not help me and if he did not help me it would be impossible for me to find the truth of His Word. Looking back now with tears in my eyes I see how God answered my prayers and was with me, hearing and answering my prayers guiding me and teaching me through His Word.
Not long after I prayed to God, as I was continuing reading His Word I came across some promises from God's Word that really helped encourage me to have believe God was leading and guiding me. These promises seemed to speak to me again just like the scripture from Matthew 24:24 that troubled me into thinking how am I ever going to know the truth of God's Word?
These scriptures that really spoke to me next were...
John 14:26 , 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, whatever I have said to you.
John 16:13 , However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
John 7:17 , If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
John 8:31-32 , Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed, , And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
When I read these scriptures, I felt like God had heard my prayers and knew my thoughts and how I was feeling and was talking to me through his Word personally. I now had hope and was happy and relieved that God promised to be my guide and teacher to help me to know the truth of His Word and that I did not need to be worried if I trusted Him about being deceived into not knowing what His truth is. I knew I had a part to play and that was to seek Him and claim His promises through His Word and that was to seek Him and continue to find Him through His Word (John 8:31-36; Matthew 6:33; Jeremiah 29:12-13).
I started claiming His promises above as I was reading His Word and slowly but surely started learning more of His Word. I asked God, praying dear God thank you for these promises but who is your true Church? I know I cannot find who your true Church is unless you guide me and teach me and show me who they are? I continued over some time reading God's Word and found these scriptures which seemed to stay with me that seemed to describe who Gods Church was according to the scriptures here.
GOD'S TRUE CHURCH DEFINED IN THE SCRIPTURES
God’s people are described as God’s sheep that hear believe and follow Gods Word *John 10:26-27
God’s people are described as God’s saints that keep the commandments of God and the faith or teachings of Jesus *Revelation 14:12.
God’s people are described as those who the dragon (devil) is making war with because they keep the commandments of God *Revelation 12:17
God’s people are described as having the testimony of JESUS which is the Spirit of Prophecy. They know the end day prophecies *Revelation 19:10
God’s people are described as being blessed because they washed their robes in the blood of the lamb *1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11; Revelation 22:14
God’s people are described as being blessed because they keep Gods commandments and receive eternal life *Revelation 22:14
God’s people are described as being born again and do not practice sin (breaking Gods’ commandments) *1 John 3:6-9
The different between the children of God and the children of the devil is that the children of God do not practice sin (breaking God’s commandments) and the children of the devil do *1 John 3:6-10.
The question we all must consider is how do we know we know God and are Gods saints according to the scriptures? Well Gods saints are in every Church who are living up to all the light of the knowledge of Gods’ Word that God has revealed to them and in times of ignorance when we do not know any better God winks at but when God gives us a knowledge of His Word he calls all men everywhere to believe and follow it *Acts of the Apostles 17:30-31; James 4:17.
Many do not know that the religious teachers of the world of fallen away from God’s Word in order to follow man made teachings and traditions that break the commandments of God. BABYLON is described as being fallen. The mother church and her daughters *Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:1-5. She has changed times and law *Danial 7:25 and supplanted her own day of worship for which there is no scripture in place of God’s 4th commandment which is one of God’s 10 commandments that give us the knowledge of what sin is when broken *Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7; 1 John 3:4.
God has his people in all of these Church’s and is calling his people out of Babylon from following the traditions and teachings of men back to the pure Word of God. *Revelation 18:1-5. The hour is coming and now is that the true worshipers will worship God in Spirit and in truth. God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. *John 10:16; John 4:23-24.
THE TEST TO KNOW IF WE KNOW GOD
1 John 2:3-4 , And HEREBY WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
, HE THAT SAITH, I KNOW HIM, AND KEEPS NOT HIS COMMANDMENTS, IS A LIAR, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM
According to the scriptures, in times of ignorance God winks at but when he gives us a knowledge of the truth of his Word calls all men everywhere to believe and follow. God’s sheep hear His voice (the Word) and follow it.
SUMMARY: I became a Sabbath keeper because I believe God guided me through His Word and this was my personal experience and testimony! God's Church through faith according to the scriptures keep all the commandments of God not some of them according to the scriptures and this is the difference between 99% of all the Churches of the Word. - YES the Sabbath of God's 4th commandment! 99% of the Churches of the Word have departed Gods' Word and are following man-made teachings and traditions that are leading them away from Gods' Word to break His commandments. Gods people are in every Church but the hour is coming and now is that the true worshipers will worship the father in Spirit and in truth. God is calling us all out from following false teachings and traditions to return to His Word and follow Him in Spirit and in truth *Revelation 18:4
May God bless you as you prayerfully seek Him through His Word.
P.S.Remember that bible I treasured as a little boy that I latter lost when I departed God and His Word as I started growing up? When I returned to Jesus it miraculously and mysteriously turned up again when I went back to visit my parents home after I had returned to God and His Word.