Galatians 1:11, 12:"I certify to you my fellow brethren, that the
gospel which was preached by me, I did not receive it from man, neither
was I taught it, except by revelation from Yehshua Mashiach".
While driving home from work one evening, listening to Dr. Laura Schlesenger's radio program, a woman called in, and it sounded like me. She said something like, "If God is real, I want to know it. But I've grown up hearing so many things, from so many people, that I don't know what to believe. I read the bible but I don't understand it; it's confusing and it seems to contradict itself. What should I do?
Laura gave two great pieces of advice: both of which, I have since had revealed, are crucial in making it possible to receive truth, and to know, that you know, that you know; able to avoid indoctrination by men, to receive directly from Yehvah, as he intends. First, "Forget everything you've ever heard", she said. This is absolutely essential to allowing Ye'hvah to have full reign in "... teaching you all things..."; coming "... as little children...". I realized later that this had been my problem. The confusion, doubt and misunderstanding was stumbling blocks to me being able to know, surrender to, and to develop a relationship with Ye' God. False teachings, no matter how seemingly insignificant are deliberate, for this very purpose, to create some degree of separation between us and Ye'. Second, she said, "make a promise to God and keep it". This too, I found is crucial. Ye'hvah can only respond to us through covenant, that is, a conditional promise confessed, performed and maintained unto deliverance.
So, right there, as I was driving, I said, "God, I don't even know if you exist for sure, but if you do, I'm going to go to church every week, with rare exception (I had to throw in my little disclaimer), and you do the rest" (going to church didn't have to be the promise, it was just my promise. It's not one I reccommend. There are too many false teachings in the world churches; it will only confuse you and be a stumbling block to God having full reign). That was it. I went home and told my wife what had just happened, and she agreed. Now, both of us had been raised Catholic; me in Kentucky, and her in the Philippines. Therefore, the only church we knew was Catholic, so that's where we began attending. If you're familiar with a Catholic "mass" service, you know it is very ritualistic. So, most of our time was spent trying to remember when to stand up, when to sit down, what to say, and when to say it. Fortunately for me, although it didn't seem like it at the time, my wife and daughter would go straight to the bathroom when we would arrive, even though church was 5 minutes from home. Only you women understand this. So, I would have to go to the pue (a pue is a bench, in case you didn't know) alone. Each mass service for the entire year is in a book, and there are three scripture verses included for each week. These verses are supposed to be expounded on in the sermon, although they seldom were. Since my family was in the bathroom, and I found myself alone (it is a very solemn atmosphere, no real fellowship takes place as talking is frowned upon), out of sheer boredom I began to read those three excerpts each week.
My primary interest in returning to church, was for my daughters sake. I really did believe that there was a God, but certainly didn't know Him. I believed I was alive because of my mothers prayers, having so many times awakened unharmed after drunken blackouts in my youth, not knowing how I got home, and having several times walked away from twisted metal about me, without a scratch, and I wanted her to at least know that. I had no real expectation beyond that, I had never even heard of the term "born again", I just wanted her to know that she wasn't an accident, born of random chance, and that there was a creator that cared enough to hear and answer her prayers, if she didn't give up.
One Sunday, some months into our return, maybe four or six, as I was reading that weeks scripture excerpts, having sparked little interest to read anything more up to that time, I received this clarity regarding this particular verse, as if it was speaking directly to me. I don't even remember what verse it was, I just knew that something was different about it. What I realized was beyond my own understanding and I knew it! My curiosity was peaked, so I wrote it down and after returning home, I searched for and found a bible, dusted it off, and read before and after that verse. Several months went by and nothing, then it happened again. As I continued, progressively reading the bible more and more; monthly, weekly, then daily; revelation began to come more and more frequently. After about a year and a half, I knew, God was alive! And not only was He alive, but he was speaking directly to me through His Word. This blew my mind! The same words I had read off and on for over 35 years, was gradually coming to life in me. I was Experiencing God! I grew to understand the need and final works of Ye'shua and I received those works by faith, laying on Him my unrighteousness (sin), and taking His righteousness for my justification, sanctification, and restoration into covenant with our Father God; my past washed away, never to be imputed unto me again, ever.
From that time until now is how I have been receiving what I know, and can boldly declare Paul's testimony, "I certify to you my fellow brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me, I did not receive it from man, neither was I taught it, except by revelation from Yehshua Mashiach". That is what I desire for everyone; it is my passion. It is why I do what I do; by the strength, grace and provision of Ye'hvah, and His son Ye'shua!
All to the Glory of Ye'; halleluYe' !