Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Joshua Ward
Series Code: TNJ
Program Code: TNJ000068A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:04 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:05 may be too candid for younger children.
00:09 Welcome to the New Journey,
00:10 where we meet real life people with real life testimonies
00:13 and real life working ministries for Jesus.
00:15 I'm your host Aaron Chancy.
00:17 Come join us on a New Journey.
00:49 Welcome to The New Journey.
00:51 We have an exciting program, a powerful testimony
00:54 by a young man named Joshua Ward.
00:56 Joshua, we want to thank you for being on the program.
00:59 I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
01:00 All right, let's jump right into the questions
01:02 since we don't have that much time.
01:04 Real quick, where are you from,
01:06 and what was it like growing up?
01:09 I'm from Knoxville, Tennessee.
01:11 And I mean, how it was growing up for me,
01:15 you know, I never knew my father,
01:16 I don't even know his name.
01:18 And you know at the age of six,
01:20 started smoking weed at the age of six, you know,
01:22 because my father wasn't there in the home
01:24 and there was no one there to discipline me, you know,
01:26 my mother, she wasn't a bad mother
01:28 but she wasn't a Christian mother,
01:29 so she was a single mother trying to raise three bad kids
01:31 in the projects, so I just wasn't listening.
01:34 So, you know, I ran to the streets
01:36 and that's where I would seek, you know, to have fun
01:38 and, you know, do what I do
01:40 and I would run up to the dope boys,
01:42 and they would kind of take me under their wing,
01:44 so they would have me selling drugs with them,
01:45 smoking with them,
01:47 I'd be out till 5 o'clock in the morning.
01:49 I remember, they would start fights
01:50 and everyone circle around and I would just be there
01:53 and you know until it was over, they'd be like,
01:55 "Josh, go do this, go do that."
01:56 So I did it.
01:57 And like I said, I would sell drugs for them too
01:59 because the cops are not going to stop a six year old.
02:01 You know, so I'll be six years old,
02:02 running around with pocket full of rocks,
02:04 pocket full of money,
02:05 and just about everything you can be exposed to
02:07 as an adult, I was exposed to as a child.
02:10 I mean, you know, naked women, drugs, fighting,
02:14 stealing cars, just out there being, "Wow."
02:18 And all of this, a lot of this started
02:19 at the age of six years old?
02:21 At the age of six years old. Wow.
02:22 So I'm sure you've seen a lot of things over your lifetime.
02:26 All right, now do this, talk about
02:27 some of the negative influences but also on the flip side,
02:29 talk about some of those positive influences
02:32 in your life as well growing up?
02:34 Well, I just gave you the negative.
02:36 Yeah, whole bunch of them.
02:37 Positives, man,
02:41 it's hard, it's sad
02:42 but I really have to think to answer that question.
02:47 I mean, the Holy Spirit...
02:49 Guide you along the way.
02:51 Okay, okay. There we go.
02:52 So like as bad as I was, and even know
02:54 what I was doing what I was doing,
02:56 every time I would see a televangelist come on TV,
02:59 I would pray to myself to be saved
03:01 but even when I'm out on the streets,
03:04 running around, disrespecting, just being crazy,
03:07 every time I would hear televangelists on TV,
03:09 I would pray to be saved.
03:10 And, of course, you know my mom let me,
03:12 you know the church comes to her sometimes
03:13 and, you know, get the young children,
03:15 let them go to church,
03:16 so you know, that was a little...
03:18 Even though I didn't grow up in the church
03:19 or even grow up in a spiritual family at all,
03:21 there was always a spiritual aspect there,
03:24 you know, I would ask myself, "Why am I here?"
03:26 I would look up, look at the sky and be like,
03:28 "What is the purpose of this?"
03:30 And you know, I would listen to televangelists on TV
03:33 and things of that nature.
03:35 And the Lord later on, like when I ended up
03:38 going to group homes and stuff like that,
03:41 even though it was hell,
03:42 there would always be a few
03:45 like, God would always have an angel,
03:46 I have a certain staff member there
03:48 that would speak life into me.
03:50 Wow. Okay, okay.
03:51 So you had, every now and again,
03:53 there were some positive influences.
03:56 How important do you think it is
03:57 for people growing up in your instance,
04:00 growing up in a hood,
04:01 six years old and selling drugs, using drugs?
04:05 How important do you think it is for a young person
04:09 to have a positive influence in their life,
04:11 that positive role model?
04:12 It's extremely important.
04:14 I mean, it's almost everything
04:16 because a young person gets their view of God
04:20 from their parents or the first people they see,
04:23 you know, like you watch a cartoon or something,
04:24 a chicken hatch, and the first person it sees,
04:25 "Momma, momma.
04:27 Daddy, daddy."
04:28 So a young person,
04:31 that's why the devil wants to take out
04:33 the father in the home.
04:34 See, I'm not going to preach but,
04:35 so the first person that a young person sees,
04:40 they're around as young that has about 70% chance
04:42 of how they mould, and how they're going to be
04:44 when they grow up in life
04:45 because that's the first person they see,
04:47 so that's who they get their ideas from life from.
04:49 Their idea of who God is,
04:50 so if there's no one positive there,
04:52 they're just going to follow after what they've been taught.
04:54 Yeah. Okay, okay.
04:56 Now you mentioned that you were selling drugs,
04:59 using drugs, different things like that.
05:01 What were some of the specific drugs
05:03 that you were using and selling at that young age?
05:06 I was, you know, crack rocks, you know,
05:08 not a big time dope dealer but you know the dope dealer
05:10 will buy balls and stuff, break them down, given to me.
05:13 And I was smoking weed, I wasn't selling that, man.
05:16 I started smoking weed at the age of six,
05:18 and I will smoke like ten blunts a day.
05:19 I will just be hot the whole time.
05:21 So I never did anything white though because as young,
05:24 I would see their crack heads, and I was like,
05:26 "I ain't never going to be like that."
05:27 So I learned that from a young age,
05:29 I ain't will be walking around like that but as I was young,
05:32 weed, I did a little bit of pills too
05:35 but mainly just weed.
05:36 Even a little bit of drinking but I was a smoker,
05:39 that's what mainly what it was.
05:40 Okay, now what motivates a person though
05:42 because for me, I was around 15,
05:45 somewhere between 13 and 15 when I started smoking,
05:48 drinking, and different things like that.
05:50 But for you, you were six years old.
05:53 And I haven't really met many six year olds.
05:55 Matter of fact, I have a six year old child,
05:57 and he's never been around smoking,
05:59 drinking, or anything.
06:00 At six years old,
06:01 you're supposed to be watching cartoons,
06:03 you know, maybe in a first grade,
06:04 kindergarten, something like that.
06:06 What started that out for you,
06:08 smoking and things like that at six years old
06:12 when you're supposed to be playing with toys?
06:13 I understand, and that's an interesting question
06:14 because I would do that.
06:16 I would play with toys. I would watch cartoons.
06:19 And I've always liked school
06:20 like, my teachers would tell me, you know,
06:23 because I'll make straight A's with the desk at the teacher.
06:26 So my teachers would tell me,
06:27 they would be like, "You're smart.
06:28 You like school but you just...
06:30 Most brothers like, you don't like school."
06:32 I always had that desire in me to learn,
06:33 I've always enjoyed that.
06:35 I really don't know,
06:37 I thought about it like I set down,
06:38 I've talked to my mother, you know, my father,
06:41 my step father you know to one of my little sister's daddy
06:43 that was pretty much there in my life.
06:46 You know, I have to ask Jesus one day because I don't...
06:50 It's like I just came out with just some type of anger
06:53 and just...
06:54 I will say this, "I've always liked adventure
06:57 and excitement, you know, fighting,
06:59 like because before I even thought about
07:01 becoming a Christian, I read the book of Revelation
07:02 because it's dealing with last day events.
07:04 So I will say, I've always had a lean
07:06 and a push towards danger and just I don't know, man.
07:12 Just an excitement for things that aren't right all the time?
07:15 Yeah. Okay, okay.
07:17 Now let's talk about media for a second?
07:19 All right.
07:20 You know, you have a great testimony
07:22 but media plays a big part on young people's lives today.
07:28 And from your point of view, from your standpoint,
07:30 how much of an impact do you think
07:32 like secular hip-hop, TV shows,
07:35 different things along those lines
07:36 has on young people today?
07:38 Oh, it has, I mean, an extreme influence
07:41 on young people.
07:43 See, because what the devil is doing,
07:44 he's creating an entertainment generation
07:46 like, I watch it when I go to church,
07:48 now there's nothing wrong with using your phone
07:50 for the Bible, I have it but I'll see a pastor say,
07:52 "Everyone got their Bibles?"
07:53 Everyone says yes, they'll raise up their phone
07:55 like that's how thoroughly deceived we are.
07:56 He didn't ask if you had a phone,
07:58 he asked you if you had a Bible.
07:59 And they won't raise it up.
08:01 And what it does,
08:02 if you don't raise your children,
08:04 the TV will, the rappers will, the internet will.
08:08 So what's happening is parents they'll take their children,
08:12 don't want to deal with them, "Sit down and just watch TV
08:14 while I cook and clean, and all that."
08:15 So what's happening is that's raising them,
08:18 that's instilling values in them,
08:19 that's instilling the way they think,
08:21 it's programming them.
08:23 And their result of what they see
08:26 and you know and everything they're looking at and hearing,
08:29 and things of that nature.
08:30 You know, music and media is very powerful
08:32 because it's really, you know,
08:34 God can use it to advance the gospel
08:36 but the devil uses it too like, these rappers you think,
08:39 you know these different rappers,
08:40 we don't want to name names but you know
08:42 what I'm talking about.
08:43 These brothers have gifts, think if they were preachers.
08:46 You know, the charisma that they hold,
08:47 the way they can hold a crowd, the way they use words,
08:50 so it's the devil's version of...
08:53 I sincerely believe with all my heart
08:55 that it's one of his top threes,
08:57 if not number one tools
08:59 the way it's attacking the final generation.
09:02 It's his way of spreading the gospel.
09:03 We go to church and hear sermons,
09:04 we read the Bible,
09:06 he play somebody a sinful movie,
09:07 a sinful song, and it's preaching to them.
09:09 Matter of fact, they tell you in their songs.
09:11 Oh, yeah. Yeah, they do. They outright and tell you.
09:14 Exactly right, exactly right.
09:15 It's extremely impactful.
09:18 Okay, now let's transition
09:21 back to your early childhood life.
09:23 And you went through the juvenile detention center,
09:26 you went through group homes,
09:28 you went through mental institutions,
09:30 talk about the transition as through all of those?
09:32 Okay, well, like I said earlier,
09:33 because I was so wild, you know,
09:35 my mother couldn't control me so she saw me
09:37 over from states custody...
09:38 Okay, so how old were you when she signed you...
09:40 Nine. Nine years old. Okay.
09:41 So from 9 to 14, I'll be generous
09:44 and say I probably spent about a year of there free,
09:47 rest of it, was straight locked up.
09:48 So I pretty much spent my whole entire childhood
09:50 locked up.
09:51 And it was hell on earth, but you know,
09:54 I praise God for it because if it didn't happen,
09:57 I wouldn't be right here talking to you right now.
09:59 So I had the Lord, you know, what He's doing in my life
10:02 reminds me of Joseph, you know,
10:04 what he had to go through for the Lord to set him up,
10:06 being sold into slavery by his brothers
10:07 and things of that nature
10:08 but, I mean, it was rough like, man,
10:11 I could spend the whole segment just on that,
10:13 just a couple of points to kind of bring it out like,
10:17 you know, they used to strap me down the beds,
10:19 shoot me up with Thorazine, putting nets over me.
10:22 I remember, when the side of my face was nothing
10:23 but raw skin where they just rubbing it
10:25 against the carpet.
10:26 They had me on six pills a day,
10:28 diagnosed me with all these disorders,
10:29 bipolar, this and that, I wasn't crazy, I was just bad.
10:34 You're not going to tell me what to do
10:35 no matter who you are.
10:37 And you know, straight jackets you know,
10:39 they had me in all those, they used to make a sit
10:41 against the wall, get a chair and look at the wall
10:42 for like up to a week.
10:44 I actually taught myself how to read doing it
10:45 because all you could do is read or write, you know,
10:47 they would have us on this point system
10:49 where they would watch you all day with a chart
10:50 and write down everything you do,
10:52 and at the end of the day, they would tally them up
10:54 and if you hit a certain level, you got privileges,
10:56 if you didn't, you didn't get no privileges.
10:58 And if you were on the worst level,
11:00 you had to sit against the wall.
11:01 And so I constantly went through that you know
11:03 my whole entire childhood and you know,
11:04 that's how that was.
11:06 I could go into more detail. I remember, man, I used to...
11:08 Because I'm going off on the staff,
11:09 or I'm fighting them, you know spitting on them,
11:11 they restraining me but I would go to my shower
11:14 and you know I didn't even have a relationship with God,
11:16 but there's one thing I want you to see,
11:18 like I said earlier, if this wouldn't have happened,
11:20 I never would have came to the Lord
11:22 because I'm hardheaded.
11:23 And so, you know because we have sinful natures,
11:25 if everything is going our way, we would never see God.
11:27 But I developed my prayer life through that.
11:30 Like for example,
11:32 I'm going through all this with the staff
11:33 fighting them and all this,
11:34 but at the end of the night, when I'm in the shower,
11:36 I look in the mirror and be like,
11:37 "God, if I knew my life was going to be like this,
11:39 I won't even want to be born."
11:40 Because even though I'm off the chain,
11:42 I really don't see what I'm doing is wrong.
11:44 Yeah, exactly.
11:45 Do you get what I'm saying? Oh, yeah. I understand it.
11:46 I don't see that what I'm doing is wrong.
11:48 You know, I was on the hood is like
11:50 some kids go to Disneyland,
11:51 I go out there to smoke, and run in the streets.
11:53 That's what you're supposed to do.
11:54 So I was like, "God, like, what is this?"
11:57 You know, and I would really mean it in my heart, like,
11:59 "God, let me out, and I'll be good."
12:00 But every time I would get out, I would just...
12:03 But really in my heart, I really meant it like,
12:05 "Lord, if you let me out, I'll be good."
12:08 And I would cry like, "God, why am I here?
12:10 This is hell."
12:12 But I was developing a prayer life
12:13 because I won't even talk to God before that,
12:15 even though, I'll pray to be saved,
12:17 but you get the point I'm making.
12:18 Oh, yeah. Definitely, definitely.
12:19 Now let me ask you this.
12:21 Being that you spent a lot of your childhood life
12:25 between juvenile centers, group homes,
12:28 mental institutions, things along those lines,
12:31 how does that affect you later on in life?
12:35 The Lord is still delivering me from that
12:36 because it gives you...
12:41 You don't trust nobody.
12:43 Let alone Jesus himself edges, and it makes you...
12:46 It's hard for you to really come out and be the person
12:49 that the Lord called you to be
12:52 because growing up like that, you can't...
12:54 You know growing up in the streets or locked up,
12:57 you can't be yourself.
12:58 Yeah. Oh, I know it somehow.
12:59 Because if you're yourself, you get dealt with.
13:02 So you can...
13:04 Well, you know, if you grow up in a Christian home,
13:05 a loving home, you know, stuff like that,
13:06 you can be who you are
13:08 'cause people love you for who you are
13:09 but growing up in situations like that,
13:11 you have to be a certain way.
13:13 Because the certain way is the only thing
13:15 that's tolerated.
13:16 So the effect of that is when you get older and you know
13:20 you're in environment of Christian school,
13:21 and Christian environment,
13:25 you have to feel safe in your psyche
13:28 in order to be who you want to be.
13:30 You know, God created us to be loving people, you know,
13:32 to be servants but growing up in situations like it,
13:34 it does something to your brain where you don't trust nobody
13:37 and you always have a defense, you know like,
13:40 I could feel like I'm talking to my friends or stuff
13:42 and I'm talking to them, they say something
13:44 and I'll start going off.
13:45 It's like, "Josh, I'm not trying to attack you, you know.
13:48 I'm not trying to attack you, I'm just talking to you."
13:50 So it creates a survival instinct.
13:53 It creates of, you know,
13:54 survival of the fittest type mindset,
13:57 a paranoid type mindset, and the mindset
13:59 where you're always defending your ground
14:02 and not just being who you are, does that make sense?
14:04 Oh, yeah. It makes a lot of sense.
14:06 Now you mentioned that your mother has signed you
14:09 over to the state at nine years old.
14:12 Where was your father at this point?
14:14 Oh, I don't...
14:16 I told you I never met him. I don't even know his name.
14:18 Now my little sister's father came into the picture
14:21 a few years later and he's been, you know,
14:23 pretty much like my father since then
14:24 but my biological father,
14:27 I just don't even know his name, I never met him.
14:30 But one thing I will, you know, my mom,
14:32 even though she signed me over to State's custody,
14:34 she will still come get me on passes and take me home,
14:36 she is going to control me,
14:37 a lot of people when they got son over,
14:39 their parents never came back for them.
14:40 So it wasn't like that, she just couldn't control me
14:43 but she always came back for me,
14:44 pick me up, you know, let me come home.
14:46 It just, you know.
14:47 How did you feel as a young person
14:49 when your mother signed you over to the state?
14:51 And the reason I asked that
14:52 is I used to work in a group home
14:54 for a little bit of time and you know,
14:56 it'll be young kids who you know eight years old,
14:59 six years old, range all the way to 17 who were,
15:03 you know signed over to the state.
15:05 And you know they wouldn't really have any parents.
15:08 Matter of fact, a lot of them didn't know
15:09 their biological parents.
15:10 And you could tell that certain things
15:13 weren't all the way right with them per se.
15:16 So looking back on that, how did that affect you
15:19 that your mother signed you over to the state?
15:21 And then on top of that you don't even know
15:22 who your father is.
15:24 Oh, I was angry.
15:26 I mean, I was hot
15:28 because I felt betrayed, you know,
15:30 because in my mind,
15:32 I don't care how bad my child is,
15:33 I'm not going to start over but then again,
15:34 I'm a man too, I'm not a single woman.
15:37 And I look back on it now and I love her
15:39 because I want to be and matter of fact
15:42 and I see, like I said, she always came back for me.
15:45 She didn't just say, "I'm done with you.
15:47 I'm signing, you're never going to see me, no."
15:48 You know what I'm saying? Oh, yeah.
15:49 But at the time, I was angry.
15:51 I mean, I hated her like, because, man,
15:54 I mean you're a child,
15:56 and your mother signed you over?
15:57 So, yeah.
16:00 Actually my father,
16:02 I never really thought about it.
16:03 It just never...
16:04 I didn't ever think about it.
16:07 Now being that you went through the group homes,
16:10 the juvenile centers, the mental facilities,
16:14 and you didn't know your biological father growing up.
16:18 Do you think it's important for young kids today
16:20 who go through these same situations
16:23 that don't know who their biological father is,
16:26 biological mother, whatever it may be,
16:29 do you think it's important for the parents
16:31 if they know where their child is
16:33 to come and find them and reconnect with them
16:36 or to let them know the reason
16:38 why they signed them over to the state
16:40 so that they can get a better understanding
16:41 of the whole situation?
16:43 Yes, 100%,
16:44 because one thing that's truth,
16:46 no matter how much a child is angry
16:50 because their parents were not there,
16:51 a child always wants to meet their parents.
16:54 No matter if their parent was a crack head
16:55 or whatever,
16:57 no matter what the situation, a child always...
17:00 We're built like that, God built us like that.
17:02 A child always wants to meet their parents,
17:04 so even if the parent was completely in the wrong,
17:08 the child is going to want to meet their parents
17:11 even if they react negatively in the beginning,
17:13 they want it.
17:14 It's a fact, it's a biological...
17:16 We're built like that. Definitely. Definitely.
17:18 Now you spent pretty much your young childhood
17:23 in between those facilities.
17:25 How old were you
17:26 when you got out of those kind of facilities?
17:29 Fourteen, okay.
17:32 When I hit 14, I made up in my mind.
17:35 I was like, "Look, I'm tired of being locked up."
17:37 You know, I wasn't trying to be a Christian or anything
17:39 but I was in my mind,
17:40 I'm going to go through high school
17:41 because I knew I was smart.
17:43 So I said, "I'm going to go to high school, go to college,
17:45 find me a fine wife, make some money,
17:47 and just lay back.
17:49 Yeah, okay.
17:50 So that was my...
17:51 I'm tired of running the streets and getting locked
17:53 because I spent my whole child locked up,
17:54 I didn't want that anymore.
17:56 So that was my mindset,
17:57 when I hit 14, and I kind of matured too.
18:00 So got a little bit more self-control
18:02 because used to, I didn't have no self-control.
18:04 I would just go off on anybody who looked at me wrong.
18:05 But you know, the older you get,
18:07 you get more self-control.
18:08 So that was my mindset when I hit 14.
18:10 So from 14 to 17 was actually the longest streak,
18:13 like a straight span that I had spent free
18:15 since I was nine years old
18:17 when I went through high school.
18:19 So did you graduate from high school?
18:21 Yeah, graduated.
18:22 So you graduated from high school,
18:24 did you go back into the streets at that point
18:26 or what happened?
18:29 I never went back in like I was when I was young
18:32 because when I was young, I was off the chain, you know,
18:34 I got better acting the older I got.
18:36 Most people get worst the older they get,
18:38 but I got better the older I got.
18:40 And I wasn't back in the streets, you know,
18:42 because after I graduated high school,
18:45 there's actually a story in that
18:46 because a lot of people in high school is like,
18:48 "Damn, Josh, I remember you used to be
18:49 the hardest little thing on the streets.
18:51 Now you're walking around with books,
18:52 what's wrong with you?
18:54 So, you know, they would try to fight me and
18:55 step to test me to see, you know,
18:56 if I still had or whatever, you know, yeah,
18:58 I win some, lost some.
18:59 And actually, I ended up going back to the group home
19:01 when I hit 17,
19:03 because I ended up robbing this truck driver,
19:04 because I was trying to show you that I was still hard,
19:06 you know, young.
19:09 But I was able to finish high school
19:12 through the group home.
19:14 And that's actually where I first felt
19:15 called to the ministry because when I was there,
19:17 a minister came and gave a Bible study,
19:19 you know, it's voluntary, no one has to go.
19:21 Okay, before you touch on that point,
19:22 we're going to get that point, but first before we get to
19:26 how you felt the call to ministry,
19:28 what was the defining point in your life
19:30 because for me, there was kind of like
19:33 a defining point where I hit rock bottom in my life.
19:36 And I was just fed up.
19:37 I was tired of running in this circle,
19:39 tired of being incarcerated, tired of using drugs,
19:42 the fast money wasn't fun anymore,
19:44 the women weren't fun anymore,
19:46 none of the stuff was fun anymore.
19:47 What brought you to that rock bottom point
19:50 that said you know what, I need to make a change,
19:53 what was it and how old were you at that point?
19:58 That's a tough question
19:59 because it was a progression of events.
20:01 Well, talk about the progression...
20:02 You know, there were many rock bottoms.
20:05 You know, there were many rock bottoms.
20:08 Like I said, when I was 18, in the group home, I was like,
20:11 "Look, I don't want to spend my life locked up anymore."
20:13 So the minister came and I'm answering the question,
20:15 he came and he gave the Bible study
20:17 and you know after the Bible study,
20:18 he asked me to pray for him.
20:20 No one had ever asked me to pray for them before.
20:22 So I was like, "Okay, if you want me to."
20:24 And after I got done, he's like you better be careful,
20:25 the Lord might be calling you to the ministry.
20:27 I never forget what he said, he said it's a hard life
20:29 but the blessing is in the ministry.
20:31 Then I went to juvenile
20:33 and I was telling the young brothers there,
20:34 because I skip school, you know,
20:35 if we do things the Lord's way,
20:37 we don't have to spend our life locked up.
20:38 They were like, "What you want to do?"
20:40 I said, "I don't know.
20:41 Make some money, you know, get a wife."
20:42 You should be a preacher, so that was a second time.
20:44 So I really started to think about it then.
20:46 And the desire was there even then at 18
20:48 to want to change, want to follow the Lord.
20:51 But even though the desire was there,
20:53 I didn't have no power,
20:54 I was still addicted to drugs, I was still fornicating,
20:57 I couldn't really break away from my friends
20:59 or the environment that I was in Knoxville.
21:02 And I had ended up going to jail.
21:06 And when I was in jail,
21:08 so the desire was there to want to change,
21:10 to want to get into the church, you go to ministry
21:13 but I didn't have the power, ended up going to jail.
21:15 When I was in jail, I only go back for a second
21:17 because the desire was there like I said, the weed,
21:19 I would be smoking and my friends are having fun
21:21 and I'm sitting there and I'm like it's like Solomon,
21:24 vanity is vanity, all is vanity.
21:26 It's just didn't have the joy anymore.
21:28 And the Holy Spirit will say, "Now, look son,
21:30 how long are just going to stay,
21:32 it's not doing for you anymore.
21:35 Like I said, I went to jail,
21:37 and when I was in jail, I was in the hole.
21:39 And this is where the really change in point happened,
21:41 you see there's power in the word, you know,
21:42 Hebrews 4:12,
21:44 sharper than a two-edged sword.
21:45 I read the Bible, I was in the hole, you know,
21:47 the hole was 23 hours in a cell
21:49 and only one hour out.
21:51 And I was in the hole for a month.
21:52 So what I did in order to keep from tripping out,
21:53 I read the Bible page to page.
21:55 I will read the Bible all night and sleep all day,
21:58 and two verses that really hit me
21:59 was the Book of Hebrews where the writer was talking
22:01 about after you've tasted God and you continue to sin,
22:03 you re-crucify him afresh.
22:05 And I was like, and I could just picture him in my head,
22:07 that was...
22:08 The other verse that hit me was Romans 1
22:10 where Paul was talking about people
22:12 who've never even heard of the Gospel of Jesus
22:14 but because they refused the Holy Spirit,
22:16 but what they know God gives them
22:18 over to a reprobate mind,
22:19 so then two verses, they're two things for me.
22:20 One, I was like, "Lord, don't give me over
22:22 to a reprobate mind."
22:23 And two, at that time,
22:25 I realized what sin did to the heart of God
22:28 because when you're unconverted,
22:29 you don't realize that sin kills Jesus,
22:32 you're like it's just fornication,
22:34 we're made to have sex, what's wrong with that?
22:35 Or it's just a little blunt, but at that point,
22:38 it really hit me like it hit my spirit.
22:41 The Holy Spirit showed me that sin literally killed Jesus.
22:44 And the sins that I've done in my life
22:47 flashed before my eyes, and I started crying.
22:49 And I was like, "God, I didn't know Jesus.
22:50 I didn't know this is what...
22:52 I didn't know what it's done to your heart."
22:54 And that really, since that point,
22:56 my life began to change because the word was in me.
22:59 See, I had the desire there at 18, but no power,
23:01 but with the word came power.
23:03 Now you got the word, okay. So you got to read the Bible.
23:04 There you go.
23:05 So I mean, sin just started to fall off
23:07 through that word.
23:09 And, yeah, so that's where, you know,
23:12 the conviction really hit.
23:13 And I still hadn't found out about Adventism
23:15 or anything yet.
23:17 So make a long story short,
23:19 you know, I had the desire there
23:21 and I started going to this First Day church for a while,
23:23 and the pastor there, you know, he used to be
23:24 one of biggest dope dealers in Knoxville
23:26 and he was giving his testimony how the Lord hit him,
23:28 how he flushed like $10,000 worth of dope down the toilet.
23:31 And now he was preaching and since then
23:33 he had been a minister and that really spoke to me.
23:35 And then the elder came up to me
23:37 and he said, you know, "You better be careful."
23:39 I'm sorry.
23:41 Elder came up to me, he's like, "You're going to find out
23:42 what your name means soon."
23:44 You know, my name is Joshua, it means Jehovah is salvation
23:45 but I don't know it then.
23:47 So I got to study Bible,
23:48 it was like Jehovah is salvation,
23:49 so I was like, "Okay, okay."
23:51 So the Lord is speaking to me.
23:52 And you know, I would watch TV and stuff like that, you know,
23:54 these are first day religious channels,
23:56 and it's like, because I don't know about Adventism,
23:59 I never heard of it.
24:00 And as you're talking, talk about
24:02 how you heard about Adventism as well?
24:03 Okay, I'm getting there, I'm getting there.
24:06 So I just really want to get this thought across,
24:09 so you can see the progression.
24:11 Oh, yeah, definitely.
24:12 So it's like the preacher was speaking
24:13 directly into my life,
24:15 so how we can see the Lord working?
24:16 When I was young, He locked me up,
24:18 so I would develop a prayer life.
24:19 When I was 18, 19, He put me in the cell
24:21 so I could read the Bible page to page.
24:23 And then I ended up, make a long story short,
24:25 I ended up going to prison
24:27 because I was trying to live for the Lord
24:29 and it was there but I was constantly being pulled,
24:31 you know, through my family and things,
24:32 my homeboys and stuff like this.
24:34 So I ended up going to prison and that's where I found out
24:35 about Adventism.
24:37 So you see the full circle, the group homes, prayer life.
24:40 Jail, read the Bible page to page.
24:43 Prison, I found out about Adventism.
24:45 And I was 20 at this time,
24:46 I was 19 when I went to prison, aggravated burglary,
24:48 I was supposed to get a six year sentence
24:49 but I got it two, the Lord blessed me.
24:51 And when you get a two, you do ten months
24:55 and the rest of it on probation.
24:56 So I went in there and I made this a Muslim,
24:58 brother Aaron!
24:59 A Muslim!
25:01 You know, he tried to convert me to Islam
25:03 but, you know, Acts 4:12,
25:05 "There's only one name under the heaven for
25:07 which man may be saved."
25:08 Holy Spirit is like uh-uh. So I was like, "Look, man.
25:09 I can't explain it to you," because you know,
25:11 Islam is a real logical religion, you know,
25:13 they have their own empire, the Ottoman Empire
25:14 all the way up to the 19th century,
25:16 makes a lot of sense,
25:17 and Farrakhan, the brother can speak
25:18 but it's deceptive.
25:20 So because I was really pushing towards it,
25:24 but the Holy Spirit is like, "Acts 4:12.
25:26 There's only one name under the heaven
25:27 which man may be saved."
25:28 There you go.
25:30 So I was, "Look, I can explain it to you,
25:31 but it's, you know, Jesus."
25:33 He was like, "Okay," he was mad, you know,
25:34 he's like, you know, he's like,
25:35 "I hate to admit it but I like you, Josh."
25:37 I never get the brother's name, it was Anthony Paggie,
25:38 he was in there for 40 years, he was in there for murder,
25:42 and he said, "Well,
25:43 at least if you're going to be a Christian,
25:45 be a Seventh-day Adventist
25:46 because they follow what the Bible says.
25:47 So the Muslim is the one that
25:49 talking about the Seventh-day Adventist.
25:50 Never heard of them my whole entire life.
25:52 He was like, "At least if you're going to be
25:53 a Christian, be a Seventh-day Adventist
25:54 because they follow what the Bible says."
25:56 So he gave me this book, Antichrist, 666,
25:58 it was breaking down the Sabbath,
25:59 The 1260-Year Prophecy, papal persecution, you know,
26:03 2300 Day Prophecy, the Book of Revelation,
26:05 and like I told you, earlier, I've always been an action man,
26:07 before I even thought about being a Christian,
26:09 I read the Book of Revelation.
26:10 And so that's what really grabbed me about this church
26:12 because it's the truth,
26:14 and it's dealing with end time events.
26:15 What's going on right now
26:17 whereas most evangelical churches
26:18 won't even touch that.
26:20 And so I compared it with the Bible
26:21 and I'm the type of brother,
26:23 if black is black, white is white.
26:24 If it's a truth, it's a truth.
26:25 So I was like, "Lord, this is the truth."
26:27 But I had never heard of...
26:29 I was 19 at the time,
26:31 but I had never heard of Seventh-day Adventism
26:32 or anything.
26:34 So I was like, "What is this?
26:36 I didn't know it was a worldwide church,
26:38 I didn't know about Oakwood,
26:39 I didn't know about 3ABN or anything like that."
26:42 But what had happened, one of my friends,
26:44 the Lord had me call one of my friends,
26:45 and I wasn't even going to call him, because
26:47 I was like, he's probably just want to smoke.
26:48 But the Holy Spirit impressed me, "No, call him."
26:50 So I called him and he invited me to church.
26:51 I was like, "What! You invited me to church?"
26:53 You know, because I used to be hop preaching to him.
26:55 You know, it was not the Lord
26:56 but you know what's working, you know.
26:58 I understand.
26:59 I was like, "So you're inviting me to church?"
27:01 He was like, "Yeah, I met this girl on Facebook,
27:03 so he had met a girl that was a Seventh-day Adventist
27:04 through Facebook.
27:06 And he's talking about this Seventh-day Adventist,
27:07 "Oh, you're talking about a Seventh-day Adventist church,
27:09 don't you know that church was 10 minutes from my house
27:11 walking distance the whole time.
27:14 So you read about the Great Controversy,
27:15 tell us about that?
27:17 Well, I read the Great Controversy
27:19 and I could tell that it was inspired
27:21 by the Holy Spirit because when I was in prison,
27:22 I was reading a bunch of first day theologians,
27:24 and they were good
27:26 but this was coming straight from God.
27:27 So really convicted me on the truth of this church,
27:30 and I joined the church, and I said, "Lord, okay.
27:33 I'm going to be a minister."
27:35 And I desire to go, you know, to preach the gospel,
27:37 and I wasn't trying to go to school or anything,
27:38 I'm ready to preach.
27:40 And my elders was like, "No, no.
27:42 You should go to Oakwood." I was like, "Nah."
27:43 But they told me to go Oakwood,
27:45 so I went to Oakwood.
27:46 I went to Oakwood, two months out of prison,
27:48 and I've been there since, I'm getting ready to graduate,
27:51 and by God's grace, He'll continue to use me.
27:53 And before I go, I just want to say
27:54 something to people out there, young people.
27:56 No matter what you're going through,
27:57 what you're facing, abusive relationships,
27:59 prison, jail, there's a purpose for it.
28:01 God loves you and He can bring you through.
28:03 Amen, amen.
28:04 Josh, we want to thank you for being on the program.
28:07 Viewers, we appreciate you to tuning in.
28:09 Be sure to tune in next time for another exciting program
28:12 of The New Journey.