How I Found the
New Covenant Church of God
A Personal Testimony
by Richard Banks, Jr.
The following is the first of a series of emails received by the Church from an investigator in Phoenix, Arizona. Though NCCG receives many such enquiries we rarely find those who are willing to dedicate themselves entirely to the Kingdom of Yahweh and hope that the pure faith of this man will inspire our readership.
Letter 1 (13 November 2001)
Brother, your web site has lifted me out from my hell. For over 20 years I was a struggling christian who fell into many sinful ways, due to an all-consumming confusion of doctrinal issues, within the christian circle, that swayed me back and forth in my faith.
I have only begun to touch the many articles that are available here and I can't explain enough to you how my heart leaps around inside my chest. I just started reading part four of "Reconstructing the Johannine Church" when I couldn't read anymore until I wrote this e-mail to release my joy.
I may not have been a very good example of a christian in my past, but I know truth when I hear it! The doctrines and theologies expressed here all line up to the Word of God and for once in my life I am not confused anymore. 20 years of wandering in a wilderness of delusions I've finally broken free.
Even though you are in Sweden I now consider you my home church as I start anew and put my past behind me. I don't make any presumptous claims of being anything but a sinner who needs to get right with God again. Be patient with me my brother as I pick myself up from the mud and finish that race I once started 20 years ago.
I will pray for guidance to assist you in financial matters as I am capable of sending off to you (I Cor. 9:11). The little I can send you will never amount to what you have given to me. Thank you so much and God bless you.
Letter #2 (15 November 2001)
I have spent the last two-three days absorbing the information on this web page. I must admit, my spirit is troubled and all shook up. I can't think of anything else but the words that rip right through my heart from these pages. I've been turned inside-out and all my unrighteousness exposed.
Truly, this is the Church of God, for no other church in my lifetime has ever had this kind of effect on me in my walk as a christian or as I now see it, a false christian walk.
Please brother, are there any others like myself in my area, that have a study group going on, so that I may heed to the pricking of my conscience? I have tried the churches around here and no one takes a stand such as this body of Christ. I must start afresh and put my past behind me and look upon them as heavy lessons learned. What I have gained from these pages in so little time has pressed upon me greatly, leaving a heaviness that has this 39 year old man fighting back tears.
Little over 20 years ago, at the age of 18, I read the scriptures for the first time and started my long arduous walk with many stumblings. From christianity I ventured into many other practices such as Mormonism, Occultism, Wiccan, Paganism, Hindu, Buddhism, New Age, etc. I searched for God in many places thinking I finally arrived at the truth. They all failed me but with a determined spirit yet within I continued on my search as a broken man. My unhappiness even led to a time of separation from my wife where we both had other relations in that one year of separation. We got through that fire and we are both back together again and celebrated our 18th year anniversary this past July.
Shortly afterwards, it was then that I stumbled across your web page and I don't believe it was of any coincidence that I did. All my years of wandering in the wilderness of my own despair has finally come to fruitition.
I wish to share with you a dream that I had back somewhere between the years of 1983-1984. It was so vivid and real to me that to this day it is still inscribed upon my mind like I only dreamed it yesterday. I was just recently married at that time and my wife and I retired for the night. I was heavily into church back then and was in church everytime the doors were open. Some people considered me fanatical then, even family members. Anyway, as I fell into a deep sleep, suddenly, I found myself standing in the middle of a pure white, exceedingly bright circular room. To my right stood an open doorway and from where I stood I could see and endless room of beds. They were lined up side by side, in two rows, as far as the eye could see. On these beds lied the aged, the young, white, black, male, female all different kinds of people. They were all sad looking and within me was the knowledge that they were all perishing without knowing God. At that moment, a voice from above me unseen said to me, "Choose ye the door to walk through," for there was also another door to my left which was closed, unlike the door to my right. In my curiosity, I wanted to know what lied behind the closed door so as to make the right choice. I walked over to this door and opened it up. Inside lied a spiral staircase that descended as far as the eye could see and flames flickered up the center of this staircase to the height of this door. In fear I stepped back and slammed this door closed. It was then that I found myself sitting up in my bed, heart pacing and sweating. My body trembled and sleep was hard to find that night.
This dream has never left my memory and still comes back to haunt me once in awhile after all these years gone by. Just retelling the dream to you right now has my heart beating faster again. I don't share this with alot of people because this dream was real to me as the nose is on my face. I tried talking to a chaplain about it but he just sat there and gave this kind of grin like I was being silly. Since then I am careful who I share this with. After reading some of the experiences others had within this church I needed to once more share it again and try to deal with its message.
What I do know at this present moment is that I need to be discipled and my heart witnesses to the fact that NCCG is where I need to be. I am not an apostle, evangelist, preacher or anything at this moment. Just a poor sinner who has gone wayward for awhile and now wants to give God obediently what He wants from me. From what I have already read from these pages there is no other place capable of directing me on the path, such as this body of true believers. Meanwhile, I have started to read the Word of God again as primary and this web page additionally. I have to start somewhere and what better place to begin than to return back to my first love (Rev. 2:4-5).
Blessed Be The Name Yah'shua!
Letter #3 (15 November 2001)
Thank you brother for your response to my e-mail. I just woke up refreshed after waking up in the middle of the night with a heavy mind. I got out of bed and picked up your article, "333" and began to read it. I went back to bed and slept like a baby. I woke up this morning feeling complete and know what I must do. This goes along with what you stated in your letter about not having others in the U.S.A. interested in waking from their slumber. Well this man here is fully awake and with the blessings of Yahweh I will be that one small voice getting the message out as proclaimed through His Word using NCCG as the vehicle to get me there. I will pray for guidance and direction as I really don't know where to start but will start doing something. As I do, I am also correcting my life to be in obedience to His Will. NCCG has been very helpful in opening up my sleeping eyes and now I have awakened up as if out from a nightmare.
Strange as it seems I've always had this deep lying feeling inside of a "spirit of urgency." As I get older this feeling gets more intensed. I look around me and see immorality at its height. At work I am surrounded by liars, deceivers, selfishness who pretend to be righteous but I see right through them. I am tired brother of my life and the way I've been living in disgrace to Yahweh. I have let the world get to me and pull me down into their hell. But I'm not beaten yet!!!!!! I am more determined than ever to recover myself and say "ENOUGH!" A friend at work who says he is a christian tells me that I must learn acceptance and let things be what they are. I tell him NO! I will fight for the cause of righteousness because this is what is inside of me. I will not join hands with this diseased system. I stood my ground and sometime later this fellow approached me again with a look of concern in his eyes and stated, "There is something going on inside of you, I can feel it." "You have a crusading spirit, but I can't figure it out yet." "But definitely something is happening in your life and I know God's hands are in it." He now watches me from a distance and smiles as I stand up against my bosses at work when they try to do dishonest things that I will not have any part of. I will not learn acceptance such as this, even if it means my job.
I don't know how many hours we are apart but I have a friend in Holland that I talk to and she is 8 hours difference from me. So, whatever the difference you are between Sweden and Holland, just add it to the 8. If it ever becomes possible for me to visit you can count on that brother. This past May I obtained a U.S. Passport for my first time. I had a driving force just to get one and put it away, not really understanding why I was spending $60.00 for something I didn't need. I am now glad that I listened to that small voice inside and got it, lol.
I spent some time in Europe in the past. I served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years (1980-1989). I lived in Turkey (1980-1981) and Germany (1984-1988). I was able to travel to France, Belgium, Luxumbourg and the U.K. as well. My first daughter was born in Germany at the air base where I was stationed. My second daughter was born in the states. I am originally from New York City where I was born and raised. I left at the age of 17 and never went back, only to visit relatives. It didn't surprise me to see the destruction on Sept. 11th. It was long overdue for the sins of this nation and as you say the time of judgement is at hand. N.Y.C. is just one big modern day Sodom and Gomorah.
My only fears that I have are for my family. They are not like me when it comes to spiritual things. Where I am willing to sacrifice all for God, my wife is not. I am all too reminded of Lot's wife as she could not bear to leave behind the materialistic world. I struggle with this now but love her dearly and pray that she will come around. But, I leave that in Yahweh's hands and do the work that He have me do and not be distracted.
I will close by saying that I consider NCCG as my church now, even though I am not a baptized member. I am putting myself under the leadership of the brethern of NCCG. From afar I will do what I can and follow the will of Yahweh. What I have done so far is set up a sub account in my name with my credit union. I will transfer some funds weekly to this account. At the end of the month I will transfer this back into my checking account so that I may write you out a check and send it off to you brother. My wife is an officer at a credit union and tells me that there are high service fees to be paid for transferring funds to your Utah bank account that you have listed on your web page. I'd rather see you with every dime before the bank gets any of it so it seems that a U.S. check would be the right way to go. If not, then please advise me differently and I will go another route for you. Would an international money order be better? Just let me know brother and it is done. This is the least I can do for you for what great things you have done for me by snatching me from the flames and I am most grateful for this. As Yahweh blesses me so shall you share with me in these blessings.
In Yah'shua's Name,
Richard L. Banks, Jr.
This page was created on 8 March 2002
Last updated on 8 March 2002
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