My name is Robert Ray Breaker, III. I was born on July 13th, 1974. I was born again on July 29th, 1992. I am one of few people that have two birthdays in the same month--both my physical and my spiritual one!
When I was a young boy of five years, I remember sitting at the kitchen counter on a bar stool eating my morning cereal before going to school. While I was eating, the thought suddenly struck me that I was going to die one day. I didn't understand death, nor did I know what was thereafter, and the most horrid thought that haunted me was "I'm going to cease to exist in this world!" Pondering this thought, I began to cry.
My mother came over and asked what was wrong. I replied, "I'm going to die someday! I'm going to cease to exist!" She then told me that I needed to repeat a prayer, asking Jesus to come into my heart. This I did, and I don't remember much else.
As I grew older, I began to ask questions about salvation, but my mother continually told me that I was already saved, cause I had asked Jesus into my heart. I always had my doubts though, and wondered if it was so. I confessed to others that I was a Christian, but I always wondered. But on my profession of faith, I remember my father baptized me in the bay out in front of our house. I thought surely God will accept me now because I was baptized!
Around the age of thirteen, I discovered Chick Tracts, and I followed the formula at the end, "Praying the prayer," as I was told, and "asking Jesus to save me." But, I never had assurance, and I must have prayed that prayer thousands of times after that, each time hoping that I'd be saved because I did so.
At age eighteen, my Mom divorced my Dad in 1988 and moved me from my home in Milton, Florida to the little podunk town of Cushing, Oklahoma. There I began attending an Assembly of God church. I never heard the Gospel one time while I was there. All they told me was, "You have to speak in tongues in order to have the gift of the Holy Ghost!" I thought to myself, "Is it possible that I can be a Christian, but still not have the Holy Spirit within me?" So, I tried to speak in tongues. And they claimed I did so one summer at a Youth Meeting in Turner Falls, Oklahoma.
A group of us teenagers stood in a big circle holding hands and began to pray. I remember our Youth Pastor asking, "Who wants the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues?" I quickly responded, "I do, I do!" They all then moved in around me and put their hands on me. I prayed and prayed but nothing happened. They finally had to coach me by saying, "Say Hasta la Shund Eye!" I repeated it over and over, and eventually began to say a whole lot of gibberish. They thought I got it, so I said a whole lot more nonsense, and they claimed I had the gift.
For two years after that, I would stand up in church and do what they claimed was "speaking in tongues," thinking that this is what gave me the Holy Spirit. I also thought that I had to be careful not to lose it by my good works.
As I continued in this false religion, I saw things that were troubling to me. The preacher claimed to have the gift of healing, but the same woman came down the aisle every Sunday with Cancer wanting to be healed. They prayed for her, and anointed her with oil, proclaiming in Jesus' name that she was healed. She'd then go to the doctor the next day, and come back the next Sunday asking for them to do it all over again, cause it didn't work.
After so many times, the Pastor finally told her it was her fault for not having enough faith. How sad!
I also noticed that the Youth Group guys and girls I hung out with weren't very righteous people. They'd come to church on Sunday and cry and speak in tongues and get "slain in the spirit," but Friday and Saturday night they were out drinking and fornicating. How could they do these things and still have "the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues?"
As time went by, I missed my father. My mother got a restraining order against him and a court order that said I couldn't see my father until I was eighteen years old. She had told the judge that he belonged to a "cult" because he went to an Independent Bible Believing Church (Dr. Peter Ruckman's).
I missed my father so much, I began calling him and writing to him. We would write back, but usually with a long list of Bible verses. I would read them, but then I'd forget about them.
Five months before High School graduation, I had a nervous breakdown. I'd became very fed up with life and the red dirt of Oklahoma. I was a surfer and I couldn't take not being around the ocean any more. I decided I'd drop out of High School and just drive back to Florida and go surfing. I'd already grown my hair out long like a girl, and I decided that surfing was the life for me.
I also couldn't stand being away from my father. I wanted so badly to see him again. So one day I left school crying, telling the Principal: "I just can't take it anymore!" I went home and packed up all my stuff and was ready to go when the phone rang. It was the Principal. He said, "Don't do this. You only have five more months, and then you can do whatever you want with your life. But don't throw away your future by dropping out! Just endure five more months!" He talked some sense into me, and I drove back to school.
The next five months were a literal hell on earth. I had grown cold and callous towards my friends and family. I despised Oklahoma and everything about it and all I could think about was going back home. I even kept a daily calendar on my desk with the title, "Countdown to Florida." Every day I'd write down how many more days until I could go back to Paradise. I still remember the day I left. It was July 22nd, 1992, only two weeks after graduation.
After a quick garage sale, selling most of what I owned, quitting my job at the local Jewelry Store and breaking up with my girlfriend, I was on my way back to Florida, free as the wind, and happy to be going back to the greatest state on earth--the Sunshine State. (Little did I know that only a week later, the Son would shine on me).
Back home in Florida, I moved in with my Dad, who was very glad to see me. I missed him so much, and I elated with joy to see him. It had been over four years since we'd last laid eyes on each other.
As soon as possible, I bought a surf board and paddled out to the surf. There in Navarre Beach, Florida I met Steve Lewis, and Mike Lawrence, two of my old friends from before I'd moved. They too were surfing and we became great friends.
On July 29th, my Dad asked to speak with me one Wednesday morning. I sat down on the kitchen counter and he went and got his Bible. My first instinct was to run, for my mother had taught me that he was a "heretic." But out of respect I listened to what he had to say. His first words were, "Son, are you saved?"
I replied, "Of course Dad, cause I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five years old!" My Dad then asked me if I could find this in the Bible. I couldn't. He then showed me many verses that prove that a person is not saved by asking, but rather by believing (by FAITH!). When he finished, he asked me again, "Now son, are you saved?" I said, "You bet I am, cause I spoke in tongues!" He then turned 1 Corinthians chapter fourteen, Acts chapter two, and several other places, showing me that salvation in the church age isn't by receiving the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues, but rather by receiving the Holy Spirit by faith.
After this, he then asked, "Now son, are you saved?" I replied, "Of course I'm saved, cause I was baptized!" He then took me to first Corinthians chapter one and several other places proving to me that water baptism is not what saves a person. Afterwards, he asked again, "Now son, are you saved?"
By this time, I was starting to get angry. He'd taken away from me what I was trusting in to save me. So I thought about it, and said, "Yes, I must be, cause I'm a good person and I do good works!" This was too easy. My Dad turned immediately to Romans chapter three and then to Ephesians chapter two verses eight and nine. I then saw that I wasn't as good a person as I thought, and that my works couldn't save me!
From there he took me to the Gospel and showed me the suffering, Bleeding Saviour who died in my place for my sins on the cross of Calvary. He ended with Romans chapter three and verse twenty five.
He didn't read the whole verse, but stopped at the word "propitiation," asking if I new what it meant. I didn't, but said, "I'll go get the Dictionary!"
He told me, "Don't. I'll explain it to you." And he did. He said, "Son, a propitiation is like a substitute. Let's say that you go to McDonald's and you kill five people with a rifle. You'd be a murderer, right?" I responded, "Yes!" He continued, "Well, if you did that you'd deserve to go to jail, and after being found guilty you'd deserve to go to the electric chair, wouldn't you?" I replied again, "Yes!" Then he asked the following question: "But what if when they were just about to flip the switch, I came in and said, 'No! Let him go! I'll take his place!' And then they let you go and the last thing you hear as they close the doors behind you is me screaming in your place?" My eyes fixed upon him, and I answered, "Wow! I guess I'd be the most thankful person in the world!" His next sentence blew my mind, "Son, that's exactly what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. He paid your penalty. He took your place in the electric chair. He's your substitute for your sins!"
For the first time in my life, I realized what Jesus Christ had done for me. Up until that time, I thought salvation came only only by my good works and what I could do to get me to heaven. But it was right then and there that I finally understood what Jesus had done for me, and how I had to trust his finished WORK on Calvary.
My Dad then read the following part of the Romans 3:25, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood..." When he read this, it was like a light bulb went off inside me. I remember thinking, "That's it! That's it! That's what I've been looking for all my life!" And right then and there I trusted the blood of Jesus Christ to save my never dying soul. My Dad then asked me again, "Son, when did you get saved?" I then responded with a smile on my face, "Right now! Cause I believe in what Jesus did for me, and I'm trusting fully right now only in his precious shed blood to save my soul!" I didn't even say a prayer! I just believed with all my heart, took by faith, rested upon and relied in what God said in his Holy word. He said he'd be my substitute (propitiation) by faith in His blood. And that's exactly what he became on that day of July 29th, 1992, at a little after ten thirty in the morning while I was sitting on the kitchen counter at my Father's house.
Since then I've told my testimony far and wide to many people and in many churches. I can't tell you how many times people have told me, "Wow! That's got to be the best I've ever heard the Gospel presented." I'm not bragging on my self, or my orating abilities. I'm just thankful that I had a father here on earth who cared enough about me to tell me the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and show me that salvation is only by faith in God's shed blood! And I'm happy to have a Father in heaven who saved me and washed me from all my sins!
After having accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, I've used the "electric chair" illustration time and again, and I've always ended up my Gospel presentation with Romans 3:25. What a blessing it's been to see soul after soul come to Jesus Christ to be saved by faith in the blood of Jesus because of it.
Now, how about you dear reader? Are you saved? Have you taken Christ as your substitute by faith as well? Are you trusting only in the shed Blood of Jesus Christ to save your soul? Or, are you omitting what Jesus did and sitting right now in the electric chair of damnation, hoping because of your prayer or your asking or your begging that God will pardon you before they flip the switch? You'll never make it! He'll never allow himself to be a perjurer of the law. Don't trust in a prayer you said, trust in the blood He shed! For the only way to be let off is by taking the Sinless Substitute, who already took your hot seat and paid your sin debt. Won't you trust him today?
My name is Laura Beth Breaker. Most of my life I thought I was a "Christian." But I was lost. This is how I finally got saved.
A few years ago, I read a tract entitled "The Other Jesus," by Ovid Need Jr. It explained how one is not saved by simply praying "Jesus, please come into my heart and save me." I never heard this until that day. I said that prayer when I was five years old. And as "assurance," I prayed it again at age thirteen and a few other times before I read this tract.
The tract explained further that salvation is only by trusting in the finished work and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Despite that simple truth, I justified my experience of praying when I was five by saying to myself that I must have believed also that Jesus died to save me at the time. I further thought to myself that even if I didn't fully understand the Gospel when I was five, surely I did before I asked God to save me again when I was thirteen.
But nonetheless after I read this tract, I prayed again: "Lord God, IF, perhaps, I'm not saved, I'm trusting only in the finished work on Calvary right now," (just to cover all my bases). I did this again about a half a dozen times over the next couple of years.
I didn't realize then, that my prayers of "assurance" showed I had doubts. My "ifs" proved I still held onto believing I was saved when I was five, (when I wasn't).
Then one day I read a tract called, "The Bloodless Gospel." It showed how the ecumenical, apostate crowd preaches that someone is saved by "turning their life over to God," or "making a decision for Christ to serve him of your own free will." But this is not the plan of salvation because it is what YOU DO, and not what Jesus DID! I questioned within myself, "Was what I did similar to this teaching?"
The next day another such tract came across my hands. Written in the 1800's it was called, "No Forgiveness Without Blood," by T. T. Martin. I quote the tract:
"When one faces the question of his sins and realizes that he deserves just punishment, one of the first
impulses is to pray and beg God to be let off, to be forgiven, Alas! Much of the religious instruction to the sinners is to the same effect. Many feel that God forgives the sinner because he BEGS to be forgiven instead of because he ACCEPTS and RELIES upon the atoning death of Christ as his Substitute."
When I read this, the truth finally sunk in. This was exactly what I did when I was five years old. I may have heard the right Gospel, (i.e. Jesus Christ died to save me) but in my heart I thought that if I believed what He did for me and if I only asked God to save me, he would, knowing the sincerity of my desire that I wanted to be saved. I had the right gospel, but the wrong plan of salvation. For we are not saved by ASKING, rather by TRUSTING. Asking and trusting are conflicting ideas. Really it was faith plus works although I didn't recognize it for that at the time.
But, I managed to shrug all that off too as I said within my heart that even IF I was not saved then, I am trusting in his blood now and that's what counts. (But I still wasn't saved yet, still holding on to my testimony of when I was five).
The very next day I heard a story of a ten-year-old boy who went to vacation Bible school and prayed and "asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him." He was so excited that he went and told his grandfather about it. But after some discussion and studying of the Bible this ten-year-old boy realized he was not saved at all by asking God to save him, rather by trusting in Jesus sacrifice for him to be saved. And so it was right then that he put his faith in nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
The day after this, I was reading a church newsletter with an article about this very same subject. A preacher (who had asked Jesus into his heart when he was five) went to the mission field. And, after doing some studying on the subject of salvation he realized he wasn't saved at all, because he wasn't trusting in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. So, he finally got saved when put his faith solely in the shed blood of Jesus to save him.
I couldn't sleep that night. I stayed up for hours thinking on these things and how I've tried to justify what I had believed as salvation.
I then realized there was no way I could have been saved when I was five, or when I was 13 or any other time when I asked God to save me. And, why was I now, after I learned the truth of salvation, still praying, "IF I'm not saved..." My "ifs" proved to me that I still held onto the idea that I was saved when I was five, (when I wasn't).
It wasn't until this night (June 13th, 2006) that I repented of all my prayers and all my sincerity and faulty logic. It wasn't until this night that I realized I was lost! Finally there was nothing left for me to rest in for salvation but the FINISHED work of Jesus on the cross - that is, His shed blood. That's when I took God at his word, and received Him by faith. And I didn't even have to manifest that faith with a prayer. I only believed with all my heart!
All those other times that I had said a prayer within myself, I never told anyone about it. I thought it was just as well that people kept believing what I already told them about when I supposedly got saved. But this night I couldn't keep it to myself. I had to tell my husband about it. And now I have to tell my friends and family about it too.
Many are deceived like I was. It is as if Jesus is saying, "Look, I've done the work already needed to save you. There's the blood on the altar. All you have to do is TRUST in that work. Do you?"
And one responds, "Jesus, I believe you died on the cross to save me, now, I ASK YOU, will you save me?" Or, "I'm trusting that you will save me if I want to be saved - God I want to be saved!" Or, "God save me!" Or, "Lord God, you gave your life for me, now I give my life to you. Please save me today!" Or, "Jesus will you come into my heart and save me?" Or, "God please forgive my sins and save me."
These are all false plans of salvation. And Jesus is left still saying, "I've DONE the work needed to save you! I've already shed my blood for you. Will you RECEIVE IT BY FAITH? WON'T YOU ACCEPT THAT? Will you just trust in that cleansing blood to be saved?" Yet someone still persists, without receiving it by faith alone and continues to beg: "Jesus, won't you please save me?"
Just knowing what the Gospel is in your head, isn't how we are saved. Nor is "sincerely admitting to God your damnation without Him" and proclaiming your desire to be saved. Begging God to save you isn't salvation either. You must receive the salvation that God offers by FAITH! For, only faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, that is, His shed, cleansing blood, is what brings salvation.
Now, with that stated, tell me if you can find the plan of salvation (faith in the blood) in these "simple" steps:
1. Admit you are a sinner.
2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your Life to become your personal Saviour.
Where's the BLOOD? Where's FAITH in the blood?
Just knowing that Jesus died for you is not the plan of salvation. You can believe in your mind, not in your heart. Inviting Jesus into your life is not, according to the Bible, the plan God set forth for salvation either. (Christ does dwell in the heart of a believer by FAITH according to Ephesians 3:17, but not by ASKING or INVITING). God has set forth Jesus to be our salvation through faith in His blood. Rom. 3:25 states, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood..." Jesus only becomes your personal Saviour when you ACCEPT His finished work BY FAITH. Not when you ask him to be our Saviour, and not when you beg him to do so. (Because this can be done WITHOUT FAITH IN THE BLOOD!)
Do these simple steps remind you of something that a charismatic preacher might say to get the people to "make a decision?"
Where did they come from? Those 4 simple steps come straight from the last page of nearly every Chick Track. I know of so many people who have followed these steps and confess they are saved, but they are full of doubts, such doubts that often they pray step number 4 in their hearts once a year or more for "assurance," or "just to cover all their bases." (Like I did!)
When you ask them their testimony they will say they were saved when they prayed, or saved by their prayer. Yet another may say when he believed (mind only not heart) AND prayed. But Believing and praying is not the plan of salvation. That is faith and works! But, the Bible says, a person is only saved by complete FAITH, without works! (Eph. 2:8,9).
After having my eyes opened to that fact, I went through my husband's big box of tracts to see what each one had to say about how to get saved. About 99.5% of them said something to this affect: "If you've never received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, bow your head this minute and ask Jesus to save you." I couldn't believe it. Could so many "Christians" really be so deceived?
I used to think that almost everyone who was saved had doubts occasionally. But now I can see the reason why so many are full of doubt. It's because there are so many who think that salvation is by ASKING or BY BEGGING, and for that reason they have doubts. It's because they are lost! Those who are thinking they are saved by THAT method, AREN'T. And, that is why they doubt.
That's why it's so important to preach the blood atonement of Jesus, and salvation by TRUSTING in what HE DID, not what WE DO.
I know there may be some people who read this and will say that I was saved the whole time. They will think I'm probably mixed up in some cult religion that tries to talk people out of their salvation. They may be angry at me for writing at all and encouraging suspicion in the minds of others about their own salvation.
But it is for those people who have had doubts that I am writing this. The Bible says for us to examine our hearts. 2 Cor. 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves..."
I know that I know that I know I'm saved by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus. How about you? Do you know for sure? If not, why not trust the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone for salvation?
My name is Robert Ray Breaker, Jr. I was Born into this world August 28th, 1943. A few days later, my Aunt, a nun, had me Christened in a Catholic Church, so I could be placed into the "Holy Mother Church." Was I saved? Of course not.
I remember being 5-6 years old, always worrying about dying. I cried myself to sleep at night. I didn't know anything about God. When I was about 7-9 years old, I looked at the big, vast, black sky at night, and all those stars, and I was depressed to think that when I died, I would just cease to exist. I didn't know anything about God.
A few years later, when I was around 10-11 years old, my parents took me to a community church in my hometown of Seabrook, Texas. A little old woman in her 70's was teaching Sunday School to about 15 of us children. She pasted flan-o-graphs of Jesus and the apostles on a bulletin board. Her Lesson was on Matthew 11.28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Somehow, I knew instinctively that Jesus was real, and a great feeling of peace and joy came over me. Afterward, during the church service, the preacher showed black and white slides of Adam and Eve, and I remember thinking: "That is truth!" Was I saved? Of course not.
One night when I was approximately 12 years old, I lay in bed alone, unable to sleep. Suddenly, I had a sense of enlightenment. My mind turned to God, and I remembered that day in church. I prayed to God, and committed to serving Him. Every night after that, I counted the days since I thought I'd became a new person. 188 days in a row I prayed. Was I saved? Of course not.
My next experience happened when I was a Senior in high school. A close friend was talking about going to church. I didn't know anyone who went to church, and I was curious. I asked if I could go with him on Sunday. It was an Episcopal church. I was anxious to go, and more surprised when I took communion. It was real liquor they used in the cup! I was very confused. The Priest then read Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Was I saved? Of course not.
But, after that my life and feelings changed. I went to a Christian bookstore looking for a bible. In ignorance, I purchased an RSV. I earnestly tried to read it, but couldn't understand it. I also bought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer. And I prayed from it every night. Was I saved? Of course not.
In January 1965, I entered boot camp in the USAF. For those six weeks, every night after lights out, I covered up with the blanket, and by my flashlight I read my Book of Common Prayer. It gave me great relief from the stress, and joy to carry on. I thought I actually had a real relationship with God in prayer. I was just like Cornelius in Acts chapter 10. Afterwards, a military chaplain Priest gave me an Episcopal cross to wear into battle. He said: "We Episcopalians can take solace in this little piece of metal!" I looked down at it and it was a circle with a cross in it (a bull's-eye! What a dumb thing to take into battle and wear around your neck!) Yet, he told me nothing about Jesus. Was I saved? Of course not.
In 1966, while alone in the military in Panama City, Florida, I attended a Billy Graham movie at the downtown theatre. After the movie, they gave an invitation. They said if I didn't confess Jesus before men, He wouldn't confess me before the Father. I walked the aisle to tell them I was not afraid to confess Jesus before men. Was I saved? Of course not.
Still in Panama City, Florida in 1966, I attended St. Andrews Episcopal church every Sunday. Sometimes after work, I would go to the church by myself to pray. It was a time of wonderful feelings of joy and contentment. Was I saved? Of course not.
I wanted to learn more about God, so I enrolled in Confirmation classes. On the night I was to be confirmed, the Priest asked if I'd been baptized in water. I told him I'd been Christened in the Catholic Church as an infant. He accepted that, and said I could then be confirmed. The Bishop then touched my head, and claimed apostolic succession. Was I saved? Of course not. Was he? Of course not. Was the bishop? Of course not!
I remember in 1967, during the short war in Israel, I felt like the world was coming to an end, yet I thought I would go to Heaven, and felt great joy and expectation that the end was near. I was going to meet the Lord. But, was I saved? Of course not.
It was in that year, 1967, while still in the military in Panama City, Florida, that I met my future wife. We attended a Southern Baptist church. I thought we both were saved. I tried to read the Bible, but couldn't understand much, because we both had a Living Bible. Was I saved? Of course not.
I received my honorable discharge in 1968, and moved back home to Houston, Texas to attend the University of Houston. My brother-in-law was a Southern Baptist minister. He said I had to be baptized in water. I asked, "Why?" He couldn't give me a good reason. I told him I'd already been baptized as an infant when a priest poured water on me. He couldn't explain why that wasn't good enough. So he dropped it. Was I saved? Of course not. Was he saved? Who knows?
In a local church in Houston, in 1970, I first heard about the rapture of the church, and dispensations. I remember looking forward to going in the rapture in 1972. Was I saved? Of course not.
I attended a revival in a Southern Baptist church in Pasadena, Texas, and heard James Robison talk about believer's baptism. His Dad was the pastor there, and baptized me in water by immersion. Was I saved? Of course not.
In 1971, I graduated from the University of Houston, and moved back to Panama City, Florida. I attended St. Andrews Baptist church, and even taught Sunday School. But, I thought salvation was by going down the aisle and saying a little prayer and then shaking the preacher's hand. At least that was their plan of salvation. I wanted more. And, I had the wrong Bible, it was a Living Bible.
I later became involved in the Charismatic movement by listening to audio tapes of Kevin Ranaghan, the Catholic Pentecostal, Derek Prince, and others. Was I saved? Of course not.
In 1973, I moved to Pensacola. I opened a Christian bookstore and Natural Food store. But, I still went to charismatic churches.
In 1974, I went and heard Finis J. Dake, at Brownsville Assembly. He convinced me that the King James Bible was God's word. I bought a KJV, and started reading it. But, at that time, I thought you had to endure to the end to be saved, and that you could lose your salvation if you turned your back on God. Was I saved? Of course not.
In 1976, I had heard that the NIV was an improvement on the KJV. I tried to read it. But, I couldn't get much out of it.
One day in 1977, a young man from Peter Ruckman's church came into my Christian bookstore and told me the truth about the NIV, (how it was corrupt and from the corrupt manuscripts) and he gave me some audio cassette tapes to listen to on eternal security. I liked them, and received the truth I heard in them with much enjoyment! There was a real man preaching on those tapes, not your typical Charismatic or Southern Baptist effeminate preacher. I asked for more tapes, and he gave them to me. I learned that the KJV was superior to the NIV, and every other Bible (because it came from the true line of Bible texts, while all other Bibles came from the corrupted, critical texts from the Alexandrian cult).
That young man who gave me the cassette tapes was a student at the Pensacola Bible Institute. He invited me to go there one Sunday. I started going to PBI and auditing classes as a student, but I was not there to get a degree, I just wanted to learn the Bible. I already had a college degree and didn't need another one. I just wanted to hear more about the Bible. I was attracted to the truth. Everything I had been taught, and was trusting in, had been a lie. I heard the term, "unsaved Catholics," and was confused. Still, I listened to those tapes every free moment I had. I was hungry for the word. Was I saved? Of course not.
I learned the Charismatic movement was started by the Catholic Church (by Jesuits) to enslave the Protestants under the Pope. I learned that Religion was man's attempt to justify himself to God, and that, according to the Bible, you cannot justify yourself before God. God revealed to me that salvation was God's free gift offered to man based upon what Jesus did at Calvary, and that God justifies a Sinner only based upon Jesus' blood atonement completed there and man's FAITH in it!
I started selling Ruckman's tapes and books in my Christian bookstore. I looked over the Christian books I already had in my store, and found most of them not to be Christian at all, nor did they have sound bible doctrine. It didn't seem any of the book distributors were Christian either. So, I dumped 3/4 of the supposedly "Christian books" in the dumpster. Was I saved? Of course not.
It was now 1978. My wife said I was crazy because I believed that the Charismatic movement was of the devil, and that none of them in it ever actually spoke in real biblical tongues. All her girlfriends in those charismatic churches told her she had the right to leave me because Ruckman had a demon, and that I had blasphemed the Holy Ghost, because I said her friends were forbidden to speak in tongues according to 1 Cor. 14, and that they didn't even have the Holy Spirit at all, because tongues were a Jewish sign not for believers, but for unbelievers. What happened next? Well, like most Charismatic women, she left her husband, ME.
God had revealed so much truth to me, that when I tried to line up my life, and all I'd been through, with the Bible itself; I started doubting whether I was saved or not. I had no assurance, and looked earnestly for confirmation. I studied the Bible continuously.
In class one night at PBI, Ruckman asked if I was the person who owned the Christian bookstore and Natural Health Food Store on 9th Avenue. I said "Yes!" (His wife, and his assistant Pastor and his wife would come into my store, and we all talked about the Lord). Ruckman said to the class, pointing at me, "Now there's a good example of a saved man!" That gave me a very emotional tingling, and immediately, the words, "Praise God," rolled off my lips. I thought this was the assurance from God that I had been praying for! But, just because someone says you are saved, does that make you saved? Of course not!
And, as time went on, I still felt absolutely no assurance of salvation. I was miserable! I kept studying even harder. And, one night in class, Ruckman said the trouble with all these televangelists, charismatic preachers, Catholics, and most churches today was, "they were leaving out the blood of Jesus Christ." They were even taking out the blood in the new translations of the bible (like the NIV I used to use before). They were preaching a "bloodless gospel" (a term that Ruckman himself coined). I realized that was the absolute truth! Was I saved? Of course not.
A short time later, I told some of the sweet old ladies that came into my Christian Bookstore that the televangelists were frauds, because they were leaving out the blood and because of this were guilty of preaching a perverted gospel. That upset them, and they cried. One divorced charismatic woman told me I better watch out for criticizing the Charismatics and Catholics because I was very close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I tried to convince her that was impossible today, for through the blood of Jesus no sin was unpardonable. But she would not listen.
I sold my Health Food Business and Bookstore in the Spring of '78. My wife had left me, and I couldn't operate it by myself. I had decided I was going back to Texas. I still doubted whether I was saved. Was I saved? Of course not.
One morning about 10:30 A.M., on August 4th, 1978, I was alone in my living room, wondering about my salvation. I sensed I'd better settle this. I fell on my knees and bowed my head and clasped my hands, and prayed: "God, IF I'm not saved, I want to be." The Bible tells us to examine ourselves to see whether you be in the faith. That's in 2 Corinthians 13:5, which states: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
So, I examined myself for hours as I talked with God, not asking Him to do anything, I just talked with Him. And, I quoted dozens of scriptures from memory, like James 1:21, "Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." I told Him I couldn't trust in my own righteousness, for I had none, but was trusting only in His righteousness, which he imputes to a sinner, like he did to Abraham. I said, thank you, Jesus, for shedding your own blood at Calvary.
Then, he opened the eyes of my understanding right then and there as I remembered Ephesians 2:8-9, which says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT OF GOD.
I said to the Lord: "Lord, right now I'm saved because YOU SAID it's by your grace, through our faith in your precious blood, and I'm right now trusting in it alone as sufficient to take me to Heaven."
I continued, "Lord, you said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved. Lord, I BELIEVE. I believe you did it all for me. There's nothing I could do to save myself. Even the very best I could do would send me straight to Hell because it's the works of a Sinner! I need Your righteousness to take me to heaven. Thus, I'm trusting you only for salvation. Thank you for saving me! Amen!"
I didn't ASK Him to save me, (I'd already done that before), rather I simply trusted him to save me, and then thanked Him for doing so, and he washed me from my sins in His own blood.
That's when he saved me right there, giving me the new birth!
I told the Lord that I believed Him when he said on the cross, "it is finished." And that since God the Father said in Isaiah 53, "I am satisfied" with Jesus sacrifice, then I too was satisfied with His substitutionary blood atonement, and that it would take me to Heaven.
I quoted Romans 3:25 about Jesus Christ, that says: "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…" I said to God, "Lord, you know my faith is in Jesus only, in his righteousness, and in his blood atonement to wash away all my sins, past, present, and future."
I then thanked God for giving me the new birth and placing me into the body of Christ.
God showed me clearly that I was lost before that very morning. Before I was trusting in my baptism, my good works, my prayers, and more -- i.e. what I DID for Jesus. But now, I wasn't trusting in those things, I was trusting only in Jesus' finished work -- i.e. what HE DID for me!
Jesus bore all my sins. Isaiah 53:6, says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. God blessed me with assurance of my salvation right then. And I thanked Him for eternal life. I quoted dozens of more scriptures from memory just talking to Jesus. I was so happy as I could see plainly that I was now saved and knew it without any shadow of a doubt! So, I said to myself, "Now, I'm going to have to go tell someone that I just got born again." And I did. But, many of them said: "Oh, no, Robert, you were already saved before." I replied, "No, I wasn't, I was lost! I was just 'religious.' But now I'm saved!" But many who claimed to be "Christians" would not believe me.
Before God saved me, I had believed that a person could lose their salvation. Afterwards, I knew what Jesus did at Calvary was to give me ETERNAL LIFE, which is life for all eternity. And, I had been made a SON OF GOD! I didn't earn it, so I couldn't lose it. It was a free gift from God!
I wrote my wife and told her I had just been born again. Then, I went to Oklahoma to bring her back home. I tried to take her to PBI, to Trinity Baptist, and other sound bible believing Independent Baptist Churches, etc. But, she wouldn't obey, and cried when I took her to PBI. I couldn't stand that, so I compromised, and we went to Bagdad Baptist Church (A Southern Baptist Church). I taught Sunday School and training Union there for a year.
My wife's girlfriends in the Charismatic movement convinced her that I was of the devil because I preached that you were saved by the grace through faith in the blood atonement of Jesus, WITHOUT WORKS!
My wife lied about me behind my back to the people there without my knowledge. And there was a strong Masonic influence there. I preached hard against it.
The Masons told the pastor he couldn't preach anything except what they approved of, and the pastor later told me they wouldn't let him preach on the blood of Jesus Christ. I counseled him to preach on it anyway, and he did. And because of it, they persecuted him and starved him out. So we left when they fired him.
My wife then went to Harmony Ridge without me. I told her that pastor wasn't right. But she wouldn't listen or go to church with me. (Later that Pastor fell into Calvinism and destroyed the church).
In the meantime, I was asked by many Baptist Churches in the Pensacola and Milton area to teach Sunday School, and I always taught on the subject of "Dispensations." I had a 25 foot long bible chart that I would use during my teaching, and many people enjoyed that. Sadly, during that time, I came across many who were just like me before I was saved: "Religious, but lost!". And, many times the pastors didn't care enough about their souls to explain the gospel to them correctly.
It was also sad to see many churches departing from sound doctrine, and omitting the blood of Jesus. I did what I could to show them the truth, but many were so blind, they couldn't see it!
I remember going to John and Renita's Gunton's house in the middle 80's one time. Mrs. Gunton asked me if I was a Christian. I said "yes." She asked how I got saved, and I told her by faith in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ at Calvary. She asked what I did when I doubted. I said, "I don't doubt anymore. When Jesus saved me, he gave me eternal life. And, I can't lose that!"
God gives assurance to those who are saved. Thank God for a know so salvation. I have had people ask me, "how much do you have to know to get saved?" I answer, "You have to know enough to get saved!"
Ephesians 1:13 says, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." And, Ephesians 1:17-18 states, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling..."
This was so true in my case. I thought I was saved, but didn't know I was lost. It wasn't until after I heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, that I understood. That's when God opened the eyes of my understanding, and I saw the need to be saved, and I trusted Him to take me to Heaven!
It was not based upon MY WORKS that I DID, but based upon FAITH in JESUS' FINISHED WORK which is what HE HAS DONE FOR ME!
Am I saved now? Of course I am!
So, how about you? Are you saved? Or are you a lost religious persons holding onto something you've done? You'd better come to the blood before it's too late!
Jesus' blood sacrifice was for you! Will you in rest in that by faith to take you heaven?
And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: - Levi. 16:13