1. Dead right. Slippery slope. And I’ve just begun to just start slipping. I don’t want to fall. My friends have done all the drugs, first cigarattes, then dope, then LSD/acid, mescaline, then COKE (the hard drugs). They’ve done everything but heroin. I don’t think that even they would be so stupid as to try it. It’s a miracle I think that I have not partaken of their drunken, abusive drug habits. it doesn’t even seem wrong to do dope, but like the tree of life, i “know” that it leads to death. yeah i totally relate to everything. everything just said. the meeting of strangers and drug talk, speaking of prices, and quality. everything. just try it, just have one puff, they insist. go on try it, nothing bad will happen.

  2. Dr. Brown, thanks for sharing your testimony. I am curious to know if your parents had any clues to the addiction and circumstances that you faced at the time. Or, did you attempt to conceal the behavior in their presence? I have a pre-teen and my husband and I are asking the Lord to give us wisdom, direction and understanding during these impressionable years. These are difficult times for the young people of today.

  3. Dani,

    It’s so important that your pre-teen children have the best influences in their peers, because at this age, the peer group is SO influential.

    I hope you’ll take them to church and get them involved in youth group activities through your church. Generally speaking, the adults there are skilled at teaching abstention from harmful activities, they have fun times planned, they can act as older mentors and there are also plenty of others their age through which to form friendships.

    I think the danger lies in their not having this outlet, so they seek it through other means, and sometimes those are not supervised enough and they can get led into drug and alcohol use and even early sexualization. Parents can think it’s not happening to their child, but they can’t monitor everything.

    I know if my teen years, my Mom thought as long as I was with my older sister, I was fine. What she didn’t know was that my older sister and her friends were into smoking and drinking after school and during concerts, and I got swept along into that, too. Fortunately, I hated feeling unable to control my body, so it ultimately had no allure; but what if I’d felt differently?

    Get them involved, I’d suggest, before they get involved with whatever’s just “out there.”

    It’s a very critical time!

    May God bless your family

  4. I can relate to what Dr. Brown talks about because I am about his age, one year younger, though I did not get invloved in the the things he talks about to the extent that he did.

    I remember getting out the the second grade class when we heard that President Kennedy was shot, and seeing all the news on the TV. I believe this was in November as I recall.

    I remember in the spring of the next year how the Beatles came to be known by everybody, how everybody asked, “Did you hear the new song by the Beatles?” Everyone knew the words.

    I remember singing “I want to hold your hand” to myself as I was holding a baseball bat at the plate in the spring of that year, barely old enough to swing it and hit a baseball.

    But the song I like the most was the one “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!” The reason I think I like that one the best is because it seems to be about the role of an intercessor, because in the song someone is telling his friend about how he saw this girl of his just the other day and this is what she said…about how you hurt her so, but she knows your not the hurting kind, etc.
    I think it’s about the role of a reconciler.

    When me and my brothers were young, my Dad who was a veternarain may have had some medicines around and that seemed to be one of my mother’s fears that us boys might get into some of that stuff as young boys might do, so I was raised with the knowledge that drugs are powerful chemicals and they mess up a healthy body as they are only for treating something that isn’t working well in a body. So you didn’t put anything into your body. You stayed away from those things. The emphasis was that drugs are powerful and do harm to a body and you don’t do that. They can make you sick and cause death. So you kept away from that stuff.

    I suppose if children are taught that marijuana leads to other drugs, that might be the way they go, as they have been taught.

    I did experiment with marijuana. I remember an Army recruiter who made me sign a statement to that effect when I enlisted.

  5. Ben, walk carefully when on a slippery slope.
    There always seems to be a slope into the valley of humility. It’s a valley we can’t avoid. It can be a fruitful place. Look to the tree of life. (Proverbs 3:18, 11:30, 15:4)
    It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil that was the trouble in the garden. Know good, choose good, never evil. Make good choices. Choose the good. Choose the right way. Let the way of righteousness be your daily delight.

  6. Thanks for the insight Ruth. Yes, we are actively in a bible based church. My children have been raised in church and have a foundation in Jesus Christ. However, my husband and I cannot put the blinders on…I just want to be prepared during this critical stage. Thanks for your prayers, Ruth.

    God Bless you too!

  7. Dani,

    Children seldom if ever forget some things their parents have told them. Lots of what a parent tells their children will be with them forever.

    I can remember a thing my Dad used to do with us kids sometimes when on a drive in the country. He used to point up and say, “Kids! Look at the geese! Do you know why one side of the “V” is longer than the other?”

    We always saw them fly in a “V”. We were not sure why. We had some theories though.

    “It’s because there’s more geese on that side”.

    Suppose a parent took out a piece of paper and listed concerns, things that could be a present day threat to christian children.

    I wonder what it would look like….

    1. Gangs
    2. Drugs
    3. Sex outside of marriage
    4. Guns
    5. Violence

    Parents have the power to not only perfect their children day to day through interacting with them, but also have the power to determine their future by impartation, by equiping them.

    Before sending a child out to school, a parent could get a hold of their shoulders and look them straight in the eye and say something like…”Son, I want to remember one thing….You don’t have to join a gang, get a handgun, take drugs, have sex before marriage, get into fights, or any of the rest of the things you may at some time see or hear of some of your piers get into….none of all that has anything to do with your future…you were bought with a price, by the blood of Jesus. Once you learned of him and believed in him you became connected to him, to his soul and spirit. He became your Lord and Saviour. Remember the cross. Remember to pray. Read a verse of scripture each day, and find something good in it. When you find it, thank God for it…. and another thing….etc. (whatever it is that you have of God at the time.) Remember you are going to the great assembly of saints, eternal in the heavenlies…

    Then send them on their way.

  8. Ray,

    Why would a believer send their children to school to learn from the wicked, worldly teachers and children? Is an “education”, if you can call it that, worth the spiritual price. Why not take them by the hand and teach them yourselves all day long instead of taking them by the shoulders and then sending them away? Are the youth groups very much better than the secular schools? Many have fallen into sin by going to youth group. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it is somehow YHWH’s idea. Where is this idea in the scripture?

    YHWH gave the child to you to raise not the culture or the kids at youth group. The leader is usually a young adult that has very little real wisdom. YHWH invented families to train children and meet their needs; not school and youth group.

    And by the way, standardized testing of home schooled children has demonstrated over and over that their education was much better than most of their public and private school counterparts. I know that there are extenuating circumstances that would make it very difficult to home school, but YHWH still works miracles.


  9. It’s easy for a man to loose his footing going down into the Valley of Humiliation. (The Pilgrim’s Progress) Therfore Discretion, Piety,
    Charity, and Prudence accompanied Christian down to the foot of the hill. Even then he lost his footing a time or two.

    I don’t think believers send their children to school to learn from the wicked, but rather to learn from the righteous for among the wicked there are also some of the just.

    Jesus schooled his disciples himself didn’t he?
    But he also sent them out to go the way he taught them.

    Are there youth groups where the youth gather in Jesus’ name? If so then they can trust that Jesus will be there. (Matthew 18:20)

    I also trust that Jesus is with many parents who home school. I trust he does do his work there also.

  10. Ray,

    I’ve seen too many shipwrecks. Messiah sent out full grown men not children under 20 years of age. Trusting Y’Shua is good, but real trust obeys His word and does not add to or take away from it. I know of many youth groups that gather in “Jesus’ name” and the kids there are engaging in sex and drugs. Young tender plants belong in a green house not in the winter cold and blazing heat of summer. There is a season for everything. Youth is not the season to be sent out as sheep among wolves.


  11. Ray,

    Shouldn’t the last 2 generations of public schooled believers be proof enough that the idea of sending our children there does not work?


  12. Sending one’s children to public school indeed has its risks, as does anyone’s interaction with any aspect of this world, e.g. marketing, advertising, work, employment, shopping, voting, gathering to hear and consider this or that, discussions with others, interactions with others who have similar vesting in their student children’s futures, etc. We are in the world, and will encounter its challenges. It is not simply academic that we totally separate our children and home school, or merely consider the secular not the challenge of the sacred.

    There remain common grounds of learning with the world, and distinct differences and objections to its manner. Raising one’s children to respond to the world’s and Nation’s, and locale’s school system is not merely turning them over to the wicked; sometimes it is working with the secular provision for training to develop common approaches to common problem solving, to discern and discuss with children the differences between public perception on good and evil, or right and wrong, or situational ethics,or what is worthy of our attention and effort at all–all along the way and in the path of following Christ through it all.

    It seems like an armchair commentary to simply say it should be this way instead of what that armchair states is another way, when, if fact, it may be another way altogether, taken and delt with from steps into life away from the armchair.

  13. It is consistent with the culture that boys became men at 13, then and now. It is consistent with raising a zealous following that the young men would have been told to follow him, along with more seasoned men. Consider too, Jesus as first born of family Ben Joseph, and other siblings later converted, not being asked to follow early on. Yeshua knew each heart in the transaction of calling to follow him. It is likely that a broader spectrum of young and impressionable other men were given the call to disciples by Jesus.

    Torah would be read aloud from 13 on in the assemblies. Sharing of the family workload and resposibilities readily accompanied this assention into manhood among the rural communities, like Nazareth. None elected were listed as owners of flocks and lands. None were listed as having followers of their own, save John the Baptist, and even he doubted after imprisonment.

    A nation preoccupied with vanity, not discerning between the righteous and the wicked in its Jerusalem preferences(see Malachi 4:14), would need a new approach by a chosen few; In Zech. 2:4 the angelic revelation on those of Zion escaping Babylon was given to the “young man.” “Turn, and become like a child,” to receive the Kingdom of God.

  14. Perhaps some of these unveiled truths will be confirmed in our lifetimes. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 3:39, along with Papias stated that Matthew “wrote his words in the Hebrew dialect, and each one interpreted as he could”. Considering the present day restoration of Messiah centered churches arising from today’s restored Israel, with modern Hebrew speaking memberships, let us pray to our father that a Biblical Hebrew manuscript be soon found to grant these Ekklesias an eagle feather in their helmets, whereas what was established as written prior to AD 70 would indeed bring a sharp focus for the emerging nation’s elect remnant on prophetic fullfillments, Jerusalem, and the Return to the Mt. of Olives.

    None of these later letter writer disciples, where so, wrote testimonhy of Torah, but testimony of the Messiah, and His Kingdom and Way.

  15. Dangerous Bo,
    In answer to your question (#13) it seems to me that we would have to prove that no child who ever attended a public school program ever amounted to anything. I do not believe the public school system was a complete failure to all children.

    This is not to say that it could not be improved.

    So let’s ask ourselves what could make it better.

    Suppose a parent tells his child something like…
    “Son this school here in this new town that we moved to isn’t going to be perfect. It’s a public school system and it’s going to have it’s faults.
    The teachers there are not perfect and neither are all of the students. That doesn’t mean that I as a parent am sending you there to be a failure.
    You will be a success as you keep your eyes on Jesus. Remember that I am your parent and that I have determined in my heart that I intend to stand up for righteousness, to be a light in a dark place, to shine for the Lord Jesus as I might because of this grace of God our Father.
    I’ve also determined that I will raise you up in the nurture of the Lord. Therefore, if ever you are mistreated by injustice, I want you to remember the cross of Christ. I want you to go to one that has sinned against you if it is a cause of some present distress. I want you to go as a peace maker being willing to forgive and also repent of your sins as they become known to you.
    If you go to that one and are not heard, you may come to me. I am willing to hear your case and go with you if necessary to make a plea for mercy, that mercy may be extended to you by your “oppressor” whoever that may be. Please understand that I am intent upon holding you accountable also, and that I wish to show no favoritism, but want to represent the kingdom of heaven in it’s fairness, justice, kindness, patience, godliness, honor, and love….etc.

    I see no reason why two people like that could not put a thousand to flight if they walk in covenant with God by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    With more parents and students like that, I trust they could change the school system.

    Maybe a child like that could run for class president, and talk to the school principal about any concerns he might have about how students treat each other, how they treat teachers, and how they themselves are treated.

    Maybe he could share a vision of having 7 students chosen from the class who are of a good report (see Acts 6)….

    This could be just the beginning of a new thing.

  16. Ray,

    Do you have any school aged children? How much do you know of the home school movement? Do you think that public education was YHWH’s idea?


  17. Dr. Brown,

    Should I have reason to believe that Y’shua’s 12 disciples were under the age of 20 since that is when YHWH divided between those that were accountable and not accountable concerning going to war, knowing good and evil/entering the promised land, and the estimation of vows?

    Leviticus 25
    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation.
    3 And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
    4 And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
    5 And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

    Numbers 1
    2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;
    3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

    Numbers 32
    11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:

    Deuteronomy 1
    39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    According to my Bible professors Timothy was considered a youth and could have been in his late 20’s to late 30’s.

    Is there some evidence that the disciples were teens?


  18. Bo,

    First, Jesus was not following priestly protocol in calling his disciples to himself. There’s no evidence for that in the Word.

    Second, Josiah began to seek God earnestly and bring about moral reform before he was twenty (see 2 Chron 34).

    Third, Jeremiah was called to be a prophet and begin to receive revelation when only a youth (and, as I stated in my commentary, he was most likely in his teens).

    Fourth, many commentators have been struck by the fact that Jesus called his disciples “children” in Mark 10:24. Other scholars have pointed to other anecdotal evidence in the Gospels that some of the disciples could have been teenagers.

    We simply don’t know, but I’m quite sure you cannot make the dogmatic statement you made about them all being at least twenty unless you say, “Based on my understanding of Scripture . . . .” There’s simply no basis in fact for your claim.

  19. Dr. Brown,

    Sorry for the brash declaration, “Messiah sent out full grown men not children under 20 years of age.”

    Based on my understanding of scripture, Peter and Matthew, the disciples that we know the most about their positions in life, were likely over 20. Peter’s brother Andrew and his fishing partners, James and John, would possibly be of about the same age. John was at least old enough to have Mary put into his charge. This would be a bit strange, if John was a teen, since Y’Shua had brothers and sisters that were likely close to 30 years of age. Of the other Disciples, there is not much to go on. They could have been teens. They were noted as Galileans and that they had been with Y’Shua, but there is no accusation of youth.

    I know of many people that were lively and gifted believers as teens, but I have yet to meet one that was mature enough to be put in charge of a congregation. Maybe, in other countries and in earlier times this would be more likely. That there are a few instances of kings and prophets being teens does not add a tremendous amount of credibility to the disciples being teens. That the scripture indicates that 20 is when men can go to war and that those under 20 were exempt from YHWH’s judgment in the exodus is instructive of YHWH’s normal way of looking at maturity/accountability.

    If I am not mistaken, 30 was the age that the Jewish people of Y’Shua’s time accepted one as mature enough to teach. It is obvious that both John and Y’Shua entered the public arena at this time. Maybe Y’Shua would have taken this into consideration when choosing His disciples that would take over the teaching after His departure…maybe He didn’t. Timothy was told to let no man despise his youth, and most scholars that I have read think that he was in his 30’s.

    Let me soften my statement above to read, “I find it highly unlikely that Messiah sent out full grown men, not children under 20 years of age.”


  20. Oops! That should have been:
    Let me soften my statement above to read, “I find it highly likely that Messiah sent out full grown men, not children under 20 years of age.”

  21. Bo,

    Thanks for softening your statement and presenting further arguments for your position. Much appreciated!

    I am absolutely against putting novices in lofty positions, so in general principle, we’re in harmony, but a couple of questions for you: How old was Charles Spurgeon when he began to pastor? And, within Judaism, how old was the Arizal when he began to teach and have a great influence on his community?

  22. Dr. Brown,

    I know that there are many that YHWH has used at a young age. I was saved a month before my 17th birthday and baptized into the Holy Spirit a couple of weeks later. It was not too long before I was being asked to lead in many areas of ministry. The Word and the Spirit are all one needs to be used mightily by YHWH, but I look back on myself as a young, gifted, zealous believer and see how it would have been better if the older believers would have been put into the places that were offered to me.

    Was I used of YHWH? Yes. Was I the best one for the job? Probably not. Fleeing youthful lusts is very difficult especially when one is young. Foolishness and pride are bound in the heart of a child. I needed much more reproof in my early days to drive it far from me. HalleluYah, for what YHWH does through young believers, but let us not lay hands on anyone suddenly.

    I have 9 children (26 down to 8). Some are very knowledgeable, wise and mature for their age, but I have encouraged them to wait and place themselves in a subservient role to their elders so as to produce humble, considerate, wise, powerful, and consistent witnesses to the kingdom of heaven. I foresee them building a grander building than I have…being that they will have a broader and deeper foundation on which to build.

    I take this passage quite seriously:

    Isaiah 3
    12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.


  23. Bo,

    Again, I’m in harmony with you as to approach and philosophy, generally speaking.

    On a lexical note, the word “youthful” in 2 Tim 2:22 refers to adolescence, so while you’re correct in your note on 1 Tim 4:12, a related term is used with regard to more youthful desires in 2 Tim 2:22. Just FYI.

  24. Dear Dangerous,
    In answer to your questions (#19), I don’t have any children, don’t know much about home school,
    and believe God has many ideas, all of which are good. I believe every good thing comes from God.
    If there is a good public school. It’s a gift from him.

    Every gift from God is perfect. It seems to me that imperfections can come about in anything God has given free will to, except Jesus.

    I wonder if he went to a public school though I’m certain he was taught at home. As a boy Jesus learned publicly and also taught the aged men a thing or two. (Luke 2:46,49)

    It seems to me that if a man thinks the public school his child attends is a blessing, he may thank God for it. The same goes for the man who
    home schools his child.

  25. I remember when teachers had authority in the classroom. You could hear a pin drop if he or she wanted it quiet. It was wonderful for the development of concentration. As a child, I relished the structure. Children thrive with good supervision.

    Then all of that changed and a permissive atmosphere ruined it, at least in my opinion.

    My children didn’t have the same public-school experience I did in terms of the structure and respect for the authority of the teacher. I’d vist their classrooms and the word “chaotic” would not be an overstatement. It wasn’t uncommon to find teachers clamoring for students’ attention in the prevailing din.

    The quality of education in public schools has so spiraled downward, in my view. When I substitute taught (K-12) a few years past, I was just appalled to find that so many students couldn’t read or write very well, and math skills were on average poor. “Cheating” was rampant, with notes being passed providing the answers so that others could just copy them.

    How can this go on? What are the long-term consequences for our society, our culture?

    Not all parents are able to homeschool for various reasons. So we should fix the public school system. For one thing, let’s get back to basics. The three R’s should be DOWN PAT by each and every student. Of course children need technology, too, but the “basics” should not suffer neglect. There are serious and deep problems in the management of public schools. Basically, it’s a case of completely misplaced priorities.

  26. I’ve greatly enjoyed hearing and watching your testimony, Dr. Brown, and have shared the link to the Think It Thru series often. It’s powerful. We’re all so glad God touched you in that “little Italian Pentecostal Church” all those years ago — He’s worked mightily in your life, of that there is no doubt!

  27. I wish to direct your attention away from Dr. Brown’s inspiring story of a journey from Drugs and unsavory music to reveal a similar story of Mr. Yoseph Robinson, a former Jamaican hard core rapper who was also involved in drugs and an unwholesome underworld, who decided to join the Jewish people and became an Orthodox Jew. A friend of mine.

    Sadly, this very holy man was murdered Thursday night al kiddush hashem (sanctifying G-d’s holy name).

    His memory should be for a blessing for us all.




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