I was born into a family in Old Greenwich Connecticut. Originally there were five of us children and then my parents divorced when I was three. Both parents remarried within two years. Each step-parent brought a child from their prior marriage and each new marriage had a new child so we were 5+2+2 = 9. Growing up was a little bit like being a human ping-pong ball. Whichever family you didn’t live with during the week, every other weekend you went to be with that family. My first year of first grade I lived with my Mom and Step-dad. My second year of first grade (having had the measles, mumps and Hong Kong flu my first year and missed too many days to go on to second grade), I went to live with my Dad and Step-mom through third grade. I then went back to my Mom and Step-dad’s for fourth through six grade and then Brunswick private school seventh and eighth, Choate prep school ninth and 10th and Greenwich high school, 11th and 12th.
In 4th grade I began smoking marijuana occasionally with my friend Steve. Both our older siblings were into various drugs so it was easy to occasionally steal some from them. Needless to say, Steve and I did not stop there and by 10th grade I over-dosed on LSD and ended up in the hospital. The experience was horrific and caused me to get sober fast and so while many of my friends were just really starting to do drugs, Steve and I were done! Through all those years, sports really saved me from basketball and Pom Pom Tackle at my best friend Brian’s house next door to football practices with the Binny Bears in the early years and then great football teams at Brunswick and Choate (7-10th grades) to Ice Hockey (my passion), especially at Brunswick, Choate and Greenwich High School.
I grew up with 4 religions between my four parents and exposure from classmates: Catholicism, Congregationalism, Judaism and Christian Science. By the age of 19, I was so confused I pretty much jumbled it all together and hoped that somehow in my life I did more good than bad and when I died I went up instead of down. But that did not really help me and in fact I began really seeking my freshman year in college after my friend Steve had shared with me that he had gotten “Saved”, “Born-again” and although I really did not understand what he was talking about, I could see the difference in his life and in his brother Jeff’s. One thing I do remember is going to the Beach at Todd’s point before I headed off to college and Steve reading me some verses, none of which I had ever heard before and telling me “Bill, the moment you invite Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior, all your sins are forgiven and forgotten by God and He comes into you as the eternal life.” I remember thinking that just sounded too good to be true.
In my first semester of college I took an elective “Astronomy” and was absolutely spell bound by the vastness of the known universe. In one of the lectures, the Professor was putting up mind blowing slide after mind blowing slide and his discourse went like this: Professor- “So because our universe is so vast we use a “ruler” called a Light Year, the distance light travels in a year which equals approximately 5.9 trillion miles.
Light travels at 186,282 miles per second or 670,615,200 miles per hour = approximately 5.9 trillion miles per year.
Our earth is located in a little cul-de-sac of the known universe called the Milky Way Galaxy that is comprised of billions of stars. The Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years wide and is one of billions of know galaxies in the universe!!! Have I blown your mind yet? How about this, the earth is hurtling thru space at 64,000 miles per hour! We should all be flying around like ping pong balls but just the opposite is true. We live in such a perfectly balanced world that if the earth even changed its orbit around the sun by 1%, we would all vaporize! So with all this, along with the sheer beauty of the earth, the plants, trees, animals and human beings made in such an incredible way, it is not too hard to believe in God but religion and man’s tradition, culture, rituals, and obvious hypocrisy and corruption has made everything so confusing, at least it was to me growing up.
That freshman year of college I came home for the December holidays and got together with my friend Steve and his brother Jeff and one weekend they took me to something called “school of prayer weekend”. We traveled about an hour into New York City back-and-forth several times to attend meetings where I heard various speakers talking about prayer and the power of prayer and I saw more different kinds of people from all walks of life, genuinely opening their heart to what the speakers were trying to share. That along with different things that Steve and Jeff shared with me including many verses from the Bible I had never heard before, really got me thinking about this idea of a personal relationship with the God of the universe.
The following are a few of the verses they shared with me and some I have come to deeply appreciate:
“The fool has said in his heart, / There is no God. / They are corrupt; they commit abominable deeds; / There is none who does good. Jehovah looked down from heaven / Upon the sons of men / To see if there was anyone who had insight, / Who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside; / They are together perverse. / There is none who does good; / There is not even one.” Psalm 14:1-3
“…And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (KJV) Isaiah 64:6b
“Even the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ to all those who believe, for there is no distinction; For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;” Romans 3:22-24
“For the invisible things of Him, both His eternal power and divine characteristics, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being perceived by the things made, so that they would be without excuse;” Romans 1:20
“The heavens declare the glory of God, / And the expanse proclaims the work of His hands.”
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of our Savior God, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:3-5
“Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“And there is salvation in no other, for neither is there another name under heaven given among men in which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when He comes, He will declare all things to us. Jesus said to her, I, who speak to you, am He.” John 4:25-26
“Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, Who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
“But without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes forward to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and that the death of a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of the faith which we proclaim, That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; For with the heart there is believing unto righteousness, and with the mouth there is confession unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes on Him shall not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him; For “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13
“…no one can say Lord Jesus except in the Holy Spirit” 1 Corinthians 12:3b
One night I was up late watching TV and the movie, “O What a Wonderful Life” came on. In the movie, the main character play by Jimmy Stewart has a chance to see what the world would be like if he had never lived. His younger brother died from drowning because he wasn’t there to save him when his brother fell through the ice on the pond. His best friend Bert was a drunk in the gutter because he was not there to be a positive influence, his wife was an old maid coming out of the library because he wasn’t there to be that special someone for her life and the entire town was under the evil Mr. Potter because he wasn’t there to stop that evil man from all his evil doings. The point of the movie was the main character, George Bailey, had either directly or indirectly had a profound and positive impact on thousands of people’s lives. At the end of the movie, it is a real Hollywood tearjerker and as I am crying, like a flood, all the things that Steve and Jeff shared with me, all the verses from the Bible they had shared came back to me like a flood and the weight of my sin felt like 1000 pounds on my shoulders.
I wanted to pray but all four religions I was exposed to call God something different. I hardly knew Who to pray to so I probably prayed one of the most confusing prayers a sinner has ever prayed: “God, Lord, Jesus, whoever, whatever, if You are really there I want to be forgiven of my sins, I want to live the kind of life that I was made to live and as I was trying to open my heart, all of a sudden it was like I was lighter than a feather or more specifically the thousand pounds weight I had felt on my shoulders was gone and I knew I had been forgiven. It was like God invisibly wrapping His arms around me and saying to me I have waited your whole life for you to open to Me in this way. I love you and I do forgive you. Joy filled my heart and I remember falling asleep laughing and giggling Steve was right, Jesus is real! The next morning when I woke up I did every religious thing I could think of. I got down on my hands and knees, I folded my hands, and I begin praying “God, Lord, Jesus, about last night, that was incredible, thank You, I’ll become a missionary, I’ll go to Africa, I’ll do anything You want me to, are you there? Oh I’m probably not doing this right but I’m sure You’ll teach me. Well I’m hungry so I’m going to go get some breakfast now.” The ensuing days it was like God was following me everywhere. I went back to college and I remember going in for happy hour and turning around and literally speaking into the air “it’s two for one, I’m just going in for a couple of beers. I won’t be long. You might want to stay out here.”
You might’ve thought I was a little crazy but there was something of the presence of God that was real. Something was different! A couple of days later I was in calculus class and daydreaming from the most boring professor and all of a sudden I dropped my calculus book on the floor and jumped up “I’ve got it!” Professor: “Mr. White are you OK?” I said “ah yes, sorry Professor.”
What I realized is my friend Steve was always reading the Bible. I needed to start reading the Bible! But I didn’t have a Bible, but yes actually I did, as a good luck charm in my bottom sweater drawer! After calculus class I ran back to my dorm room, locked the door and sat on my bed and opened the Bible for the first time in my life of my own real desire. I prayed “Lord Jesus help me to understand and enjoy what I am about to read. Amen.”
The very first verse my eyes came to as I just opened the Bible anywhere was Colossians 1:27
“To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,”
Christ in you!!! Christ in you?! He’s in me?! That means He sees everything?! It was amazing, I actually started to understand something a little and it was exhilarating. All I can tell you is it was like the words were jumping off the page. They not only made sense, the thoughts filled me with joy, a kind of joy I had never experienced before. In the ensuing days, the sequence of verses that I spontaneously read by just opening up the Bible and reading where ever my eyes turned to would blow your mind and even the more, the revelations and thoughts that were being conveyed. I remember one dramatic experience. I was reading 1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
As I read that verse I realized this verse was written to believers / Christians. I had already begun to struggle with the fact that I was not made perfect in the twinkling of an eye and how to reconcile the sin that was still in my life, in thought, word and deed,. As I read this verse a little mental video played in my mind of a little boy crawling on the floor named Johnny. He crawls up to a stool and pulls himself up and his Dad says “come on Johnny you can take a step, you can do it!”
So sure enough Johnny takes a step and the father says “fantastic! Try another Johnny, try another step.” Johnny takes another step but then falls down. And the father walks up to Johnny and smacks him on the head and says “don’t you ever fall down again!” Well that would be ridiculous! No human father would ever do that. And what the Lord spoke into my heart is the human father doesn’t look at the falls, he just looks at the steps. How much more your loving Father God who took care of all the falls on the cross of Calvary thru Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death. God loves you and forgives you and just looks at the steps because all the falls have been taken care of already!!! But when the Spirit of God touches you, you just need to apologize and ask for forgiveness from God / Jesus directly and then if another person is involved, ask them for forgiveness.
Well I did not fully understand to the degree that I do now, after 40 years of prayerfully reading the Bible every day, but I have to tell you the thought or picture was so encouraging and strengthening and enlivening to me and again filled my heart with joy at God’s marvelous plan. Another experience, I remember reading in 1 John where it says you have no need that any man teach you for the Spirit Himself will teach you and guide you into all reality.” I jumped up and started praising the Lord Jesus because that is exactly what I had been experiencing. It was amazing!
“And this is the promise which He Himself promised us, the eternal life. 1 John 2:25
“And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27
“But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality;…” John 16:13a
A couple of months later, on a Saturday night, I was going down to the chapel where I had begun going instead of going out to the bars with everybody else. I would play love songs to Jesus on the piano and look out this beautiful floor to ceiling glass wall over-looking beautiful Lake Cayuga. These were very sweet and intimate times. This particular Saturday as I walked in to the chapel, I heard guitar playing and singing and my first thought was “oh no! Somebody else is here.” As I peaked in the sanctuary door, the guitar player saw me and motioned for me to join them. So I joined them and they were singing incredibly joyful songs about experiencing the Lord Jesus in a very lively way. It was captivating and they really knew how to be filled with the Spirit. That night was a wonderful night of joyful singing and fellowship and thru those dear Christians I was introduced to a family in Evanston, IL that opened their home to have college students live together in a large house with morning praying together and reading the Bible and eating dinners together. I was headed out that way for a summer internship. That summer was a blessed summer and I remember being so happy all the time my cheeks were sore from smiling so much! During one week of fellowship on baptism, the Lord convicted me that I needed to baptized! The fellowship was so helpful to see that being a Christian is both an individual matter and a corporate matter. When we believe into the Lord Jesus He cleanses us from all our sin and comes into us as the eternal life to live in and through us from that day forward. Baptism is the second step and every example in the Bible is of people who are of a believing age (typically age 12 or older). Through Baptism we get transferred completely out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God! We also get baptized into the universal Body of Christ. Through baptism we get put into the Ark so to speak. God’s age of grace is about to be completed and then will begin the age of the kingdom where God’s righteousness will reign on the whole earth. Just like everyone who was in the Ark was saved from the judging flood waters at Noah’s time, so to everyone who is baptized is completely transferred out of the world that is to be judged both spiritually and physically. The Lord Jesus took the lead at the age of 30 to be baptized when He began His earthly ministry. Through baptism our old man gets put to death and then we come up from the baptismal waters in resurrection, fully in a new realm, a realm of the Spirit, a realm of the Body of Christ, a realm of the kingdom of God. To me the best example in the Bible is when the children of Israel, who had been in Egypt 430 years, and under the terribly tyranny of Pharaoh came out of Egypt. Pharaoh represents Satan and Egypt the usurped world system that is against God and His purpose. It was one thing for the Israelites to enjoy the passing over of the death angel by their spreading the blood of the lamb on their door lintel and it was awesome that they ate the lamb to be strengthened for their journey (symbolizing our taking in the riches of God every day by prayerfully reading His word). But the Israelites needed a complete transfer out of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey, a land, a realm of God and God’s people and for that, they needed to be baptized in the Red Sea and come through and up onto the other side, completely separated unto God and God’s people.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need of being baptized by You, and You come to me? But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit if for now, for it is fitting for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him. And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And behold a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found my delight.” John 3:13-17
“And He said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all the creation. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved,…” Mark 16:16a
“Repent and each one of you be baptized upon the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38
“Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on His name.” Acts 22:16
“And Peter said to them, Repent and each one of you be baptized upon the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
“We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.”
After Jesus’s resurrection, He came to His disciples and said:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age.”
So, in summary, I hope you have been inspired to know afresh that there is a God in this universe and He loves you very, very much. He wrote you a divine love letter called the Bible and in it He describes how He wants to have an intimate, affectionate, personal relationship with each and every one of us. This relationship begins with us praying and opening our heart to Jesus “Lord Jesus! I am a sinner. I need You. Come into my spirit. Take away my sin. Fill me that I may have the life of God. I receive You right now as my Savior and life. I give myself to You. I ask this in Your name, Amen!” Now you are born again! You are saved! You have the eternal life of God living in you and all of your sins have been forgotten by God and cleansed away! Next, you need to be baptized and begin meeting with spirit filled Christians who love the word of God, enjoy home Bible Studies together and enjoy a rich church life, just like the book of Acts. Call or email me anytime if you would like more fellowship, have any questions, would like to be baptized or know where there are living Christians near you.
Cell: 860-558-3019 Bill@Undeniableproof.org