Participants: Ivor Myers, Atonte Myers
Series Code: BOF
Program Code: BOF000001
00:16 Welcome to Battles of Faith!
00:18 I'm Atonte Myers and I'm Ivor Myers.
00:20 You know, through our earth history, there have been many
00:23 wars and battles, but one war that has always stood out
00:27 in my mind is the Civil War, especially the turning point.
00:30 On September 13th 1862, the North found
00:34 than battle plans of the South.
00:37 And because they found the battle plans, they were able to
00:40 know the next step of their enemy.
00:42 It's very important that you always know what
00:46 your enemy's next step is going to be if you goanna have victory
00:50 over your enemy.
00:51 And that's what we're going to be talking about throughout
00:54 all this whole entire series.
00:56 We're going to reveal the battle plans of Satan and how
00:58 he has a war against us.
01:00 That's right, Atonte.
01:02 A special order 191, that was the name of the paper that was
01:09 actually found in an envelope, with three cigarettes.
01:14 Can you imagine the joy of the Northern troops when they found
01:19 this envelope with the enemy's battle plans?
01:23 When I think about it, just imagine that the entire world,
01:27 many people, historians say that "this was indeed
01:30 the turning point of the entire war."
01:34 You know, in this program, we're not going to talk about
01:38 physical battles, we're talking about spiritual battles.
01:41 In the book of Ephesians 6:10, the Bible says here,
02:12 So there's a REAL war going on, even though we can't see it
02:15 with our own eyes.
02:17 That's right and that's why we'll call the program,
02:18 "B A T T L E S OF F A I T H"
02:20 because FAITH is seeing those things which are not VISIBLE
02:25 to the naked eye.
02:27 And in this battle we have an enemy and
02:30 it is not a physical enemy, it is a spiritual enemy.
02:34 We're dealing with invisible forces and
02:36 I believe that the battle plans,
02:39 the battle plans of the enemy are actually available to us.
02:43 You know, many people out there are attempting to fight
02:47 this good fight of faith, but you know what,
02:50 they're having a difficult time wondering why is it that
02:53 I'm not overcoming the way that I want to.
02:55 Why is it that I'm having all these troubles? Why is it that
02:58 my mind and my heart is not clean and we believe that
03:02 once you come into possession of the battle plans and
03:07 I rejoice to say it, Atonte, that we have the battle plans,
03:10 we didn't discover the battle plans, but we do have
03:13 the battle plans because Christ has given them to us in His Word
03:18 He has revealed to us what the enemy's plans are and
03:21 we're going to be looking at these,
03:23 especially in light of the entertainment industry.
03:27 That's right and we compare the entertainment industry to
03:31 something that is called, the Black Hole.
03:35 And the Black Hole is that place in space where
03:38 no light can escape from.
03:40 That's right. Let me read the definition, Atonte!
04:02 And it's amazing when you think about the entertainment industry
04:05 It indeed is a black hole,
04:07 because as you look at the way that it is drawing in
04:11 thousands and thousands of young people.
04:14 I would even dare say of the older generation.
04:17 The entertainment industry is this space in which millions
04:23 are being sought in and are being captivated and trapped
04:28 and this is one of the biggest devices,
04:31 one of the biggest weapons that the enemy is using to draw
04:37 people away from Jesus Christ.
04:39 But praise God some have escaped the black hole.
04:43 And Ivor, you happened to be one of them.
04:46 That's right.
04:47 It's amazing what God has done in my life, drawing me out
04:50 of the black hole.
04:53 For our listeners, my background is that
04:56 I used to be a hip hop musician.
04:58 I used to be a hip hop artist.
05:00 And myself, my younger brother and two best friends,
05:03 my younger brother's name is Shawn Myers.
05:09 We had come together and formed a hip hop group in college,
05:13 the name of the group was called the Boogie Monsters.
05:17 The reason behind the name was people were afraid of what
05:21 they didn't understand and we were supposed to be spooky
05:24 and scary and all those different things but anyway
05:27 we got a major recording contract with EMI Records for
05:30 eight consecutive albums and this contract was ranging
05:34 somewhere between 700,000- 800,000 dollars and so
05:38 from a long history, I finally ended up in
05:45 the center of the black hole.
05:46 And praise the Lord, He delivered both myself,
05:49 my younger brother out of that black hole.
05:52 And now we are doing the Lord's work and sharing
05:57 His good news and His gospel.
06:01 And not only has He helped you escape from the black hole,
06:05 but He's helped keep you from going back to that black hole,
06:09 because there're other rap artists, I think of M.A.C. who
06:12 was the largest rap artist in the 1997 and he became
06:16 a Christian and was very convicted, but he needed
06:19 to leave the entertainment industry, the hip hop industry
06:22 and became a minister of the gospel.
06:25 And he's become very popular as a Christian minister but
06:29 recently has gone back into the entertainment field even though
06:33 he says he won't do dirty rap, if you will.
06:38 Using curse words like that.
06:40 But he's back into the rap
06:43 music. God has been able to keep you out and that's amazing!
06:48 That's right. You know, one of the things about the black hole,
06:52 you've got to get used to that term, because we're going to
06:55 be mentioning it quite often, when we say that,
06:58 just think of the entertainment industry.
07:00 If you do not cut all your ties to the black hole
07:03 once you leave out, once the Lord pulls you out
07:06 by His mighty arm, you will be drawn back in.
07:09 And just to tell you the story briefly, we had
07:12 about 30 or 20 of us that ended up getting baptized,
07:17 becoming Christians once we were introduced to the gospel.
07:22 But out of all those people only myself and my brother and
07:27 one other individual Mando remained Christians today,
07:31 because we were the only ones that stepped aside, that cut off
07:34 that cut our connections with the black hole completely.
07:38 Now, Atonte, this issue is a large issue,
07:43 it is a big issue right now, because we're talking about
07:46 across the board, we're talking about the churches,
07:49 it doesn't matter what denomination it is,
07:51 the entertainment industry is pulling our young people away
07:54 from the churches.
07:56 We have read a definition of what the black hole is and
08:00 we saw that it is believed that stars that have lost their fuel,
08:06 once they have burnt out begin to draw light to themselves.
08:09 What I want to suggest is that the Bible says that
08:14 Satan was cast out of heaven.
08:17 He was a star but he lost his fuel.
08:19 And he has become the center of this black hole.
08:22 And throughout this series we're goanna be revealing how
08:26 he has become the center and how through his battle plans,
08:30 he's revealed his plans to the Word of God we're goanna see,
08:33 "Oh, this is why I'm struggling so much, this is why
08:36 I can't keep my mind focused on God,
08:39 this is how the enemy is going to be moving and
08:41 praise God once we begin to see that then we'll get to know how
08:44 to fight this good fight of faith.
08:47 Now some of our viewers may be asking or thinking and wanting
08:51 to ask the question, "Was it really that easy to come out
08:55 of the black hole?" I mean once you were in the hip hop industry
08:59 you were on your second album,
09:01 you were to sign another contract where you were
09:03 be making 800,000 dollars which is quite a lot of money for
09:06 a 21-year old young man.
09:09 Was it really that easy or what did it try to stop you?
09:13 Of course, Satan doesn't want anyone to be
09:17 free from his bondage and when the Bible's introduced to me
09:21 and I began to study it, the devil came with everything
09:25 he possibly could to keep me in the black hole.
09:29 And I entitle my testimony "Escape from the Black Hole".
09:35 Because it is possible, though the definition says,
09:38 "No likely escape from it",
09:40 it is possible to escape from the black hole.
09:43 It is difficult because it requires sacrifice and surrender
09:48 and it's nothing in your power that causes you to escape,
09:52 but it is only by the grace of Jesus Christ that we can escape.
09:55 But it takes surrender and a willingness to do
09:59 what the Lord Jesus asks.
10:01 You know, sometimes young people are drawn to the black hole
10:05 because they see all the glamour and the glitter and the money
10:08 and the beautiful women and the handsome men and everyone
10:11 seem so happy, is it really like that?
10:13 I mean you've been behind the scenes,
10:15 what's it like behind the scenes?
10:16 We'll be talking about this in all our coming programs,
10:18 but let me tell you behind the scenes, it is not cracked up,
10:22 it is just an illusion, I might say it illusion,
10:26 because what is on the screen is not reality.
10:30 And when I got back there, when I saw what was going on behind
10:33 the scenes and I thought 'people are supposed to be happy when
10:37 they get into the screen, they're supposed to have money',
10:40 but you look at the divorce rate into the entertainment
10:42 industry that I'll tell you there's no real joy there,
10:45 there's no real peace there.
10:47 We're goanna be talking about rock music, rap music,
10:52 how it's affecting people today in their Christian walk.
10:55 We're goanna be talking about movies and video games,
10:58 all these things that the youth are facing today,
11:01 things that we've had hands on experiencing because
11:03 I've been a part of it.
11:05 We've been a part of it.
11:07 And God has a special purpose for those of you
11:09 who are watching this program,
11:10 because many of you may be trapped in the black hole and
11:13 wondering 'how on the world do I escape?'
11:16 Did you find that most people that you came in contact with
11:19 were on drugs?
11:23 I mean drugs is a natural thing in the entertainment industry,
11:26 drugs, alcohol and there's really no joy there.
11:30 These are things that people use to try to feel that black hole.
11:34 And that's my point.
11:36 If so many people in this entertainment industry
11:38 are doing drugs, I mean you do drugs because you have a void
11:42 and something is missing, if most of the people in
11:44 the industry are doing this,
11:46 then there's no real joy and peace and happiness there.
11:49 That's right.
11:50 Young people don't go there because
11:53 there's really no happiness there.
11:56 That's right.
11:57 I think of a story in the book of Matthew, chapter 2,
11:59 because I hear a lot of people say often that
12:02 we shouldn't bother the young people with this truth,
12:07 because the Devil is not after them anyway.
12:10 Give them some time.
12:11 When I read in Matthew 2 that Jesus at the age of 2 years old
12:16 that Herod sent an army to wipe out all the children
12:20 under 2 years old because he didn't know which one Jesus was,
12:23 but he just said "Let's just kill them all".
12:25 We need to realize that behind that command
12:27 there was an invisible foe which was the Devil.
12:31 And Satan does not care about the youth.
12:34 He doesn't care about how young you are, he doesn't say,
12:37 "Well, you're young right now, so we're goanna hold off on you
12:40 until you become of age and then we're goanna attack you."
12:43 No way! He starts from birth and as we can see especially through
12:48 the entertainment industry with the way that young people
12:50 are being bombarded, we see that the enemy is out
12:55 to destroy their souls.
12:58 Now when you became a Christian, was it difficult to let
13:02 the things go that are in the black hole?
13:05 One of the things that happened, Atonte, is
13:09 as I became a Christian, the devil came and said,
13:12 "You can be a Christian and still hold on to these things."
13:14 The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
13:19 "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature."
13:25 Atonte, you said this before, as you met me when I was in the
13:30 entertainment industry, you said you'd never have married me.
13:36 That's right.
13:37 Because he had dreadlocks and I don't like dreadlocks.
13:39 She doesn't like dreadlocks and she didn't like
13:42 the rough look that I had.
13:44 I'd like to show. We have some pictures here.
13:46 I'd like to show these pictures
13:48 and just can get an idea why Atonte wouldn't marry me.
13:51 But this who I was some years back and this is how
13:53 the Lord has brought me out of that black hole.
13:56 So we're goanna take a look at these pictures.
13:58 The first one you see on your screen is a picture of me
14:00 and my brother Shawn and my cousin in the middle.
14:04 This is in the midst of our recording contract.
14:08 We've got another picture here of me and my friends.
14:12 This is we're all kind of hanging out here.
14:17 We got another picture here.
14:19 My group with another popular group at that time.
14:23 Here we've got a picture of me doing an autographing and
14:28 there're those dreadlocks,
14:30 the ones that Atonte wouldn't have married me with.
14:33 We've got another picture here of me rhyming on stage.
14:37 This picture, I've just been actually introduced to
14:43 Christianity and Bible prophecy being my favorite subject,
14:47 I was explaining to this group around me about
14:50 the mark of the beast and so that's an interesting picture.
14:55 I began to discuss these things within my sphere of influence.
15:00 Here's a picture of me and Little Shawn around the studio
15:04 in a studio video shoot.
15:07 There's a fun picture of me. My brother's up there in
15:10 the background, you can't really see him there.
15:14 But this is who I was prior to meeting Jesus Christ and
15:19 when Christ came in, this text became a reality.
15:22 "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.
15:25 All things are passed away and all things are become new."
15:28 And that includes being drawn out from the black hole.
15:32 Now, when you were redoing your secular music,
15:35 you became a Christian but you continued to do music.
15:40 So what kind of music were you doing?
15:41 That's right.
15:42 We had now God involved in what was called Christian hip hop.
15:46 We're going to be talking about that in some upcoming programs,
15:50 because that's the really big thing today but
15:53 we were so excited, Atonte, that when we became Christians,
15:57 we were so excited about the gospel message that we began to
16:02 take literature, popular books like 'The Great Controversy',
16:07 we would just start throwing them out on stage because
16:09 they held all these truths of the Word of God and
16:13 we were so excited about them.
16:15 We were going to the clubs and we asked questions like,
16:17 'Who wants to know this or that about Bible prophecy?'
16:19 And all the hands would go up and
16:21 we'd just start throwing these books out.
16:22 Our lyrics changed from secular lyrics to spiritual lyrics and
16:28 we were honest, we were sincere in the work that we were doing
16:34 but then we came to a crossroads and the Lord began to show me
16:39 in particular and my brother as well some things that
16:42 really shook us up.
16:45 And we came to the place where we had to make a decision as to
16:48 whether we were going to continue in this path
16:51 and say we're goanna struggle, Lord, how we choose to serve Him
16:55 or whether we're goanna say, "Lord we can no longer serve You
16:58 in this way because it's not pleasing to You and
17:02 my brother and I made a decision to come out of the entertainment
17:05 industry and in fact, Atonte, I went to work at target,
17:09 my brother went to work for the government,
17:11 we both were making around somewhere between $6-$7 an hour.
17:16 So from an $800,000 contract to work in target,
17:19 my brother working on the street holding stop signs,
17:23 people driving by would see him and they'd say,
17:26 "Isn't that..? What's he doing holding stop signs?
17:29 He had no chance to explain, but praise the Lord,
17:32 neither of us were embarrassed.
17:35 Neither of us was saying, hiding our faces, we were joyful,
17:38 we took the opportunity to say, when people would ask,
17:42 "What are you doing here in target?"
17:45 "I'd say, you know what, I'm here because of Jesus Christ!"
17:48 "I gave up this contract because that was what
17:51 Christ wanted me to do." And I was perfectly at peace with
17:55 being drawn out of the black hole. There was a heavy weight
17:58 that was upon me that was taken away when I escaped
18:02 the black hole through the grace of Christ.
18:05 Now, were you and your brother seeking, looking for God,
18:09 even though you were doing secular music, we never even
18:12 explain how did you become a Christian?
18:16 Well, that's another interesting story because when we got
18:19 our recording contract, the four of us plus most of our friends
18:24 all dropped out of college to go up to New York City to begin to
18:29 "LIVE the LIFE" that which we'd have seen on TV and
18:32 while we were there in New York, we met an individual who
18:36 had dreadlocks just like us and he was doing all the things that
18:40 we were doing and... he was an Adventist and we had no clue,
18:44 we had never heard the term Seventh-Day Adventist before.
18:49 But he wasn't living up to all what the Bible has said.
18:53 But at any rate, we were all around 19, 20, 21 at this time
18:57 and he saw that we had an interest in Bible prophecy and
19:01 I remember one night we were all downstairs in our den and
19:05 we were all just having a good time hanging out and
19:09 he asked the question, we just began to talk about
19:12 Bible prophecy, the subject just came up while we were smoking
19:16 and drinking alcohol and stuff and he asked a question that
19:19 blurred our minds and it had to do with the Sabbath issue.
19:23 And he asked us, "What day do you think
19:25 the Sabbath is on?"
19:27 We were looking at him. "That's a stupid question."
19:29 "That's on Sunday. Everyone knows that."
19:33 And from memory he begins to quote Scripture.
19:36 That night turned from a den full of smoke and alcohol
19:44 into a Bible study.
19:47 And from that Bible study over the next few months,
19:51 the Holy Spirit just penetrated into the devil's den and just
19:58 grabbed the hold of us.
20:00 And we all began to study the Word of God, studying the Bible
20:03 and within, I believe, 3 to 4 months we were
20:06 all baptized into the church.
20:09 Two mass baptisms.
20:11 And he remembered all of this by memory.
20:14 That's right.
20:15 That should encourage some parents out there
20:18 who have raised their children as Christians and
20:21 they might be doing things that you're not pleased with and
20:24 you're not sure what's goanna happen to them and
20:26 here's this young man who was raised as a Christian and yet
20:29 he has backslidden and he was doing things that he shouldn't,
20:32 but it was still all in his mind
20:34 everything that his mother and father had taught him,
20:36 everything that he had learned at church,
20:38 he was able to share with a group of 30 people,
20:42 so I think parents should be encouraged as they're raising
20:44 their children to be Christians.
20:46 Sometimes it may seem that they're going astray,
20:49 but I believe if you keep praying for them that
20:51 the Lord is going to bring them back onto the right track.
20:55 Now was it difficult to keep the Sabbath once you learned about
20:59 the Sabbath and you stayed in the entertainment industry,
21:03 was it difficult to keep the Sabbath?
21:05 Well, that was a challenge because Friday night was
21:08 the biggest night, is the biggest night
21:11 in the entertainment industry and Saturdays as well.
21:13 And so, we had a real struggle, a real issue on what we were
21:19 going to do and once we saw that we could not really survive in
21:24 the black hole and keep the law of God.
21:28 But didn't God do something so that you guys can know for sure
21:32 without a doubt that He didn't want you working on the Sabbath?
21:35 Right. When we were on New York at this time and we had a trip
21:38 out at California, so we were going out to California,
21:44 we were really wrestling over the Sabbath issue and
21:50 the group of us, we were there praying saying,
21:53 "Oh, Lord, if You don't want us to perform on Sabbath..."
21:57 we had 4 appointments that night between radio interviews and
22:01 It was a Friday night?
22:02 It was a Friday night.
22:03 And we prayed and said,
22:04 "Lord, if You don't want us to break the Sabbath,
22:07 if You don't want us to perform on the Sabbath, because we felt
22:11 we were doing the Lord's work, but people were still paying to
22:15 come and see us and buying their alcohol and
22:18 when we prayed this prayer,
22:22 I remember we thought, "what are the odds of all our 4 meetings
22:25 to be cancelled?"
22:27 We prayed "Lord, You cancel them
22:30 if You're trying to speak to us!"
22:32 Well, we went to Radio Station 1
22:34 "Oh, I'm sorry, something happened and we got to cancel."
22:37 We thought we'd got our odds and everyone thought
22:40 "that was really OK."
22:41 So we went to our second radio program,
22:44 "Oh, sorry, something happened and we're goanna to reschedule."
22:48 I started wondering, "What is this?"
22:51 Third radio program, we went, the same thing.
22:54 We thought, "This is absolutely incredible!"
22:58 Well, we know, this is Friday night and now we're going to
23:01 the actual performance here in California,
23:04 so we know there's no way,
23:07 because they flew you out all the way from New York,
23:10 that's right, we got there on Friday night and
23:12 that Friday night the performance was cancelled.
23:15 And we were in awe. We said,
23:17 "Lord, this is Your sign."
23:18 And we took that sign very seriously.
23:20 It's interesting, Atonte, that when we signed our contract and
23:25 after we became Christians,
23:27 this is half-way through our first album,
23:31 we now became a Christian recording hip hop group,
23:37 that the people who were closest around us that were now pushing
23:40 our Christian hip hop, one was a witch, one was an atheist,
23:45 one was a pagan and this is by profession.
23:48 As I look back now, I thought,
23:52 "How could these people be pushing,
23:56 was it really about the message, was it about money?"
23:58 "Of course, it was about money."
24:00 So when we're talking about the black hole,
24:02 we're goanna be unveiling some things that may be uncomfortable
24:06 but we want to let you know that
24:08 we love you and that God loves you.
24:11 God causes to expose the works of darkness,
24:14 but He also causes us to lift up Jesus Christ.
24:18 And we want to do both in a loving, kind and understanding
24:21 way because we know that different people are in
24:24 different places but we want to put the truth out there and
24:27 allow you to be able to make a decision for yourself.
24:30 I'm still amazed that God cancelled all 4 of
24:33 your appointments on Sabbath and that means how serious God takes
24:37 His Sabbath and if you earnestly seek Him, they were earnestly
24:42 seeking Him saying "Lord, if You don't want us to perform
24:45 on Sabbath You need to show us, because they were new believers,
24:48 they weren't sure and God will do any supernatural things that
24:52 He has to do to get His point across to let you know that
24:55 He is serious about these things.
24:57 That's right.
24:58 Now, Atonte, we have travelled a lot and we've spoken to
25:01 a lot of youth groups and we've spoken to a lot of churches and
25:04 a lot of adults and one thing that has been consistent in
25:08 a lot of places where we've gone is this issue of the black hole.
25:14 Because there're so many people, we're talking about in
25:17 the churches, so many people that are trapped in
25:21 this black hole, again this issue is a mega issue.
25:25 We're seeing this all over and the more we're seeing young
25:29 people that are becoming immersed in the culture
25:33 around them and we believe that this is by design by the enemy.
25:39 And that's why again we're glad to say that
25:41 we have the battle plans.
25:42 This may be the turning point in your fight,
25:46 in the good fight of faith.
25:48 You may be saying, "I don't understand why I'm not getting
25:50 the victory and why the Bible is boring to me and
25:53 why I can't pray longer and all these different things and
25:57 I believe that you've got to find that envelope as it were.
26:00 No cigars, praise the Lord!
26:04 But the battle plans are in that envelope.
26:07 Spiritually speaking Christ wants to show us the moves of
26:10 the enemy and how he is getting the victory over us
26:14 so that we can turn it around.
26:16 I believe that if Satan's battle plans were actually written on
26:21 paper, they would say 'Let's make sure that
26:23 you concentrate mostly on the young people, because they're
26:26 the next generation, they're the ones we want.'
26:29 But God's battle plan also says,
26:32 'Let's concentrate on the young people, let's draw them to Us,
26:35 let's win them to Us.'
26:37 But you have to realize that and see it for yourself so
26:41 you could surrender and accept His drawing into your life.
26:45 That's right.
26:46 God has a plan, a battle plan for us.
26:49 The reason we've called this program BATTLES OF FAITH,
26:52 because there's a battle, there're two.
26:54 That's right.
26:55 Satan is battling and God is battling.
26:56 That's right. There is a war going on over the souls of
26:59 every person on this planet and we want to see how
27:03 we can get the victory,
27:05 how we can escape from the enemy's clutches and
27:08 how we can begin to take the battle to the enemy.
27:11 We are not talking about casting out demons and all those
27:14 kind of things, we are talking about getting the victory over
27:17 our own hearts and over our own minds and over our own desires.
27:20 That's where the battle resides and that's why
27:23 it's a battle of faith because it can be won by no other means,
27:27 but through FAITH.
27:29 May we praise God that you answered His call,
27:33 that your brother answered His call, that the other members in
27:37 the group that answered His call because now God is using them
27:41 to pull other people out and
27:43 He wants to use YOU to do the same thing!
27:47 He wants young people to be His soldiers.
27:51 And when young people are His soldiers,
27:55 they're mighty warriors!
27:57 That's right, Atonte!
27:58 God is making an appeal and we are making an appeal because
28:02 God wants you to join this fight of faith and we pray that
28:05 that it is your desire that you would prepare your hearts.
28:08 God bless you and we'll see you.