Freed from Babylon

Erik Sandoval grew up in a family as far away from God as could be. He says succinctly, “I grew up in Babylon.”

Both of his parents were in sales, and they were rarely home when he was. When they were, he often witnessed them fighting with each other. Furthermore, in grade school, it was hard for him to make friends; he was often teased and bullied. As a result, he became cold and calculating toward others. “I felt alone at a very young age. Still, I never liked hurting anyone; I just wanted to make friends.” But as he got older, the world began changing him in the worst ways possible.

During his early teens, Erik was seduced by the empty promises of witchcraft. He explains, “I was interested in magic, from controlling people to getting money. I wanted to get back at the world. I wanted revenge for my childhood.” Erik studied occult witchcraft and spells, learned about meditations and rituals, and even how to give his soul to Satan. He never went that far, but his life was consumed by this evil.

And it only got worse from there. He was kicked out of high school and sent to a school for troubled teens. It was a place full of sin. He shares, “That school is like the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Trying to fit in with that crowd led to my fall, breaking every commandment God had given.” Moreover, he also began to experiment with drugs. “I was deep in drugs, partying, adultery, blasphemy; I was destroying myself, one day at a time.”

Eventually, Erik stopped going to school and sometimes would be gone for weeks without returning home. His parents’ impending break-up and constant accusations were just too much. He admits the drug-fueled lifestyle was liberating and fun at first, but it turned on him quickly. “Eventually, you need more drugs. You leech off people, using them for your own selfish desires. You lose control. No matter how happy drugs made you before, you seize to even crack a smile. You see no purpose.”

Thoughts of suicide invaded Erik’s mind. He felt so alone and vulnerable. That’s exactly where God needed to meet with him.

Out of Babylon
When Erik’s Christian aunt discovered that her nephew was experimenting with drugs and dabbling in witchcraft, she not only got her entire church to pray for Erik—but also his entire family. Even though Erik was put off by her prayers at first and made him even more rebellious at the time, his parents suddenly started to work out their problems. They even accepted salvation in Jesus Christ. Says Erik, “God helped them reunite and saved our family.”

Eric baptismEarly January 2010 was around the time when Erik was at his lowest point, but it was when God began to show him he truly had a purpose. “God lifted me up and guided me to my Lord and Savior. I gave my life to Him.” Unfortunately, the doctrines that surrounded Erik were far from biblical and they were very confusing—to the point of frustration. “I fasted and prayed that God would give me wisdom of His Word. That’s when I found Pastor Doug.”

Revelation was the first book Erik read through, and it completely struck him as bizarre. He read about the lamb getting married and all those beasts and plagues. He pictured everything literally—a lamb in a wedding dress and beasts with seven heads. He didn’t get any of it. He prayed, “Lord, help me to understand,” and two days later he got online and did a search for Bible prophecy. That’s when he found our BibleProphecyTruth.com webpage.

It was a goldmine of information that led him to the Amazing Facts homepage and our BibleUniverse.com site. The truths he started learning were a revelation to him. He delved into the Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides in our online Bible school, explored our online prophecy seminars, and watched Everlasting Gospel, Central Study Hour, and more whenever he could. He even bought our new NKJV prophecy Bible!

He was amazed to discover the truth about tongues and the second coming—understandings of the Bible that he had never heard before. For him, Pastor Doug’s teachings were Bible-based, logical, and true—but they were also so much more.

On a New Road
The new truths Erik has learned have utterly transformed his life. He explains, “I’ve been trying to follow the health principles to keep my temple holy and clean. Plus, hearing the truth and sharing it with my parents brought us closer together. We talk about God more, and there isn’t any more yelling or hate.”

Today Erik faces a brighter and happier future. Knowing that he is now in Christ, problems and tribulations don’t faze him as they used to. “Amazing Facts played the most significant part in revealing me the truth of God’s Word. Without it, who knows what I may have learned, and I might have ended up lost anyways.”

But his transformation goes even further than that. “God has given me a new heart; now I’m not willing that any should perish either, even my enemies.”

In the near future, Eric—now only 17 years old—is looking to get a job so he can save up and come to the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He says, “My life goal before Christ was fame and playing in a rock band. My new life goal in Christ is to save as many souls possible and to get the truth out. I’m looking forward to being at AFCOE so that I can learn everything I can so that I may teach, be a pastor, a missionary ... anything to get the truth about God’s Word out.”

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