The Legacy Project
A Testimonyby Gunnar Johnson
In the March Personal Update Newsletter, we featured a story from a former agnostic young man named Adam. It really touched hearts and the response has been fantastic. There is a hunger in the heart of mankind to know our creator and no matter how hard we try to ignore His voice, we are all still conscientious of His existence.
This month, I talked to another former atheist named Brandon who is a Christ-following police officer in North Carolina. His testimony is another of a young man accepting the Lord, then stumbling onto Dr. Missler’s teaching to disciple him in his walk with Christ.
I was just looking at Koinonia House to find my next commentary to study and saw a testimony that was sent to you by Adam. I felt compelled to share my story with you, especially since Koinonia House and Chuck Missler have had such a massive impact on my eternity.
When I was young, I was not exposed much to YHVH or Yeshua. My mother is a confirmed Catholic, but even at that, our life was so miserable at the time that GOD never came up much. My father was an alcoholic and my mother left him when I was 2 years old. The only memory I have of him is the day she left him. We were at some type of tractor store that he was working at and I remember him giving both me and my little brother a gift then running to the sink and throwing up. After that, my mother got involved with a very abusive man which lasted for about 6–7 years.
As a pre-teen and a teenager, I always had a strong drive to try to do the right thing, protect people from bullies and such. Eventually, I noticed that despite trying to take the high ground on things, I was always miles behind people that would lie, cheat and steal. As I grew up, GOD would come up more and more in conversations, T.V and when speaking to people, especially when I moved to the Bible belt and specifically near Billy Graham’s home base. My attitude as a young man was “if there is a GOD, why is the world like this?”, “why is my life like this?”, “why does everyone doing the wrong thing make all the headway?” During this time frame, my mother had started jumping around to many denominations, Jehovah Witness being the last one. It angered me terribly that they taught that only they would be the chosen 144,000. I did not have chance according to the church unless I became part of this group. I had finally become fed up and took, like Adam, an atheist approach. I always had a very high regard for evidence and truth and as I set out to disprove GOD and Yeshua, I encountered the exact same thing. The more I studied the more I found that “evolution” and mainstream science, falsified much of their evidence and a great deal of it was outright lies that we are taught at a young age and learn to no longer question. The more I studied, the more I saw a monumental effort put into pulling people away from GOD completely and this is what really sparked my interest, why so much effort put in to disproving something that allegedly does not exist. That was the first time I picked up a Bible in my life, it was my father’s Bible that he was given by the Catholic Church at my baptism. The problem I ran into was that, though I was well versed in science and history, I was completely ignorant to any studies that corroborated the Scriptures. I started researching commentaries and as I would read and that led me to a great many commentaries that bathed the Scripture in an allegorical light, “Well, the Word says this, but this is what it actually means!”, this made things even more difficult for me because now nothing made sense at all.
Eventually, I tracked back to a translation that was relatively new from the Institute of Scriptural research and it helped clarify things a great deal. I must admit I spent ALL of my time studying the Old Testament, I tried to exhaust so much energy following the Ten Commandments, which seemed like the right thing to do. I eventually stumbled on to the Apocrypha as well and realized after reading some of the books along with the book of Jubilee’s and Enoch, that there was SO much information that I did not know where to start. I prayed diligently for guidance, for a place to start.
A little more back story is that by profession I am a police officer and was on a swing shift, so on my night shift evening off, I would stay up till 3 or 4 am studying and searching. One evening, I found a video that was just over an hour on the book of Genesis that was taught by Chuck Missler. For the first time in my life, I found someone that was so informed and intelligent in teaching the scripture that I was hooked. He referenced cutting edge science, history and current archaeological discoveries. I had never experienced so much specific knowledge in a field and I would sit and watch as Missler would start branching off with more information and stop himself and pull back on task. I immediately searched his name and found Koinonia House, I signed up for a free class. I have taken classes through RZIM for apologetic studies and found the class a bit easy, but when I took Missler’s class I noticed quickly for the first time, I was the one not digging deep enough in my responses and answers. This is also the means by which I was first really exposed to the New Testament. After the class, I purchased the Learn the Bible in 24 hours, then as a group Genesis, Revelation and the book of Romans…….Romans was the book that changed my life, my eternity. When I finished my study with Missler of Romans chapter 8 on November 6, 2017 my life was permanently changed. I have found it very difficult to describe to people that have not found justification through faith, because it was a much longer journey to that point than I expected. I also never expected justification to make me actually “feel” different, I thought it was a knowledge thing. GOD has since then opened my heart and mind to everything I study, and with all of your help I understand so much more that I cannot put it into words. GOD has truly blessed your ministry.
I have also purchased Daniel, Matthew and Ephesians, not to mention that I have Colossians, Cosmic Codes and Corinthians in my cart waiting to be purchased.
Also on a side note, when I was first delving into the Old Testament, I became obsessed with going to visit GOD’s land and seeing where Christ walked, prayed his prayer before the crucifixion and just be where he was, but it has annoyed me that I could only find “Tourism” based trips, I have been praying about it quite a bit lately, especially after all the studying I have done with Missler where it is constantly mentioned.
After finishing Revelation, during my prayers I asked GOD, what do you want me to study next, Colossians immediately popped into my head. I turned on my computer and went to Koinonia House to select the commentary and was thinking to myself that I would have to purchase the DVD, handbook and the notes section (with Genesis the video’s were online and it saved me some initial money). When the website popped up there was a large banner with B.A.S.E. Tour of Israel on it that is hosted by Ron Matsen and Bob Cornuke. I had told my wife about it and she was in agreement with me that, based off the circumstances, seemed to be GOD’s will, so I literally, within 5 minutes began getting all the paperwork needed for my passport together. The next morning, I went to work and remembered Colossians. I went back to the website and was about to click on the Topical Studies tab and directly below it saw the Joy of teaching God’s Word tab, As a brief detour, I clicked on it and immediately clicked the Chapter 2 tab where Missler was talking about how he got started, and again, Missler’s first trip to Israel was the topic of guidance to Missler starting his ministering.
To be honest, I felt foolish when I told my wife about it because if it were me I would have thought that it was all being made up, however she agreed that it is absolutely a confirmatory sign.
After my long winded story, I just want to make sure that you know how much this ministry has effected my life, GOD selected me but you were the path that I needed to walk to find my Justification through Yeshua, My faith is now the absolute most important thing to me in my life now and I diligently listen for direction. Its a long journey, but its the only one that matters.
I hope to finally meet some of the people that have made such a huge impact on my life in November.
May GOD Bless your staff and ministry and thank you!
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