of Bro. John Dolenc
(AP-6251 1600 WALTERS MILL ROAD (JB#33)
SOMERSET, PA. 15510, USA, dated: July-1-01)
THE GIFT OF GOD
I stopped going to Sunday School at the country Methodist Church outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a young age. As time went by, the playing of the church chimes at sunset would ring through the valley with AMAZING GRACE or songs like ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sometimes I would be out in the woods hunting hearing these songs, and later parties were invaded by this gospel music. I never forgot God, just didn't know Him!
Life went downhill till at 28 years old I was locked up in prison, that was in September, 1981, sentenced to spend the rest of my life there. There were warnings, seems like at my job I always got all the repair jobs at churches.
Even an old friend that "Found Jesus" came by saying, "John, God is calling you!" I lost everything, my wife died, my business was sold for lawyer fees. As the jury went out I told my family, "I feel as if my back is against the wall — Surely, God must have a purpose for all this!"
As I looked down the tier when the doors opened at this county jail I seen mobsters, murderers, contract killers; all the ones that were on TV! How did I ever get into this, I asked myself! One man, transferred from Federal Prison had a Bible and talked to me about Jesus. He invited me to a Bible Study to hear a Bro. Bill. (This guy was said to have died but came back.) Well, something hit that man as he walked by me and there was a cry in his voice, "Some of you have been running from God. Now you got your back against the wall!" I knew this was real and it reached down deep inside me. I prayed a Sinner's Prayer, accepting Jesus and asking Him to take my life and use it as best He could.
It was time to pack up and go to state prison. I passed out tracts to all those guys on that range, cell A to Z. I even took a marker and wrote on each letter, A - Abel, on B - Bible, C - Christ, on down the line. Mine was F - Faith, and I put Hell on H cell and I am sure that guy was a real demon!!!
There was a real revival at that old county jail, I even seen the warden shed tears at services. He was so tough that one time when a few inmates tried to escape in the trash container, he ordered that the compacter be turned on! I had time to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; didn't understand much but, Ephesians 2.8 made so much sense to me, " For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." I had no control of the events, off to Huntingdon Prison I went with the joy of the Lord Jesus and a box of Bibles.
Huntingdon had all kinds of Christian programs, services, tracts and studies. I was taking a college course from the Southern Baptists, a minister's test for the Assemblies of God and became a leader in the Protestant Services. The gifts started working in my life and before long I was thrown out of that church!
Sunday morning I went to yard, I could hear the choir singing in the chapel and recalled how once I was received with open arms, but now, was put out. I seen a young man holding some green booklets, I walked over and asked him, "No church today?". He quickly informed me that the church feels that he has too many demons to be part of the services. We talked on, he was insistent that God sent a prophet in this day! I recall saying, "If God did sent a prophet it must line up with the Word!". I read a few Spoken Word books and the next time I seen him I asked for the bottom line stuff; he gave me the Seven Church Ages & Seals books. Well, when I started reading them all those Scriptures I had learned started coming together. This prophet, named William Branham, took what I had learned at other studies and put it all
together and the Word made sense!
As this Message spread, we were permitted services and tapes. A baptism was held and I believe that was probably the first time several believers were ever baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in a Pennsylvania Prison! Opposition started, many anti-Branham tracts were in circulation as others wrote TV & Radio ministries asking about BRANHAM.
One day as I passed by the Sgt's desk as he was sorting mail, I seen a newsletter titled THE CONTENDER, it had an article about ANTI-CHRIST. I found the prisoner it belonged to and he was happy to give me some of the series. The brothers sent away for copies and now God's 5-fold ministry was going to work. Many anti-Branham tracts were refuted, brothers learned the Bible and withstood the accusations focused at us. There were several misinterpretations of Bro. Branham's statements cleared up too!
At this point I had only met about 5 Message people in person. One service, a volunteer brought Bro. Billy Paul Branham in the prison. We had a few moments aside to share some things. A prison ministry started sending tapes & videos, not only could the brothers hear present Message ministers, we went and studied history with sermons from Martin Luther, John Wesley, had documents from Pentecostal denominations about Azusa St. and really was blessed with a open door to seeking the truth in God.
THE PRESENT TRUTH
The brothers were getting tracts from everywhere. The denominational characters gave space as we used the Word. I wrote to a place in Singapore requesting some tracts like the one I had read with the address on it. I received about a dozen booklets from a Bro. Gan of PROPHETIC*REVELATION.
These started to help a lot as I read LOGOS, ORIGINAL SIN, and several others. Some of the brothers were not too impressed with these new booklets though. I think they had found a comfort zone and after so many battles with denominational ones, wanted to stay with Bro. Jackson's tapes learning what he had said. I still get THE CONTENDER and seen many blessed by it. One brother at Huntingdon started to proclaim, "Except you believe Jackson you cannot be saved!"
Riots broke out in all the Pennsylvania prisons, everyone was scattered and I ended up at a new facility in Somerset, PA. Somerset is a special place located in the mountains, deer and turkey feed along the fence. The Message was received by many. Tapes, videos & services gave prisoners a chance to grow in the Word. Prior, I had occasion to meet Bro. Gan while he was in the U.S.A. attending conventions. Many appreciate the tapes & books he has sent to the prison.
We read in EPHESIANS 6.21-22 how the early Church kept everyone informed on the present truth. It should be a comfort to hear how God is making use of His Saints. Recall how Jesus sent believers to John the Baptist while in prison. It seems that God also sends dreams & visions. I recall several years back when the Protestants started to oppose the Message, I had a dream and was walking with Bro. Gan passed the chapel. As I looked at the state church it had on it written in big red letters, DIVORCED. It wasn't long the chaplain quit and let matters in the hands of a friendly Mennonite volunteer, now called PASTOR PHIL. (ACTS 5.38-39)
While I am working on a booklet that could be helpful to the Bride; let me close this by sharing : I went into a trance. (ACTS 10.10) A flame of fire appeared before me which radiated out holiness. As I came out of that a voice said, "Look at this!" BEFORE my eyes was the book I received from Bro. Gan, titled SPEAK THE WORD, Issue 121 First Quarter 2000. I suggest all who are awaiting the Rapture/Translation read that book and Scriptures.
Thank you for your time and I trust this is a blessing to you and that you may have perfect understanding! (SEE: LUKE 1.1 to 4 & 3RD JOHN 13,14).