Sunday, October 4, 2009 My Testimony
I told you that I was going to tell my testimony that changed my life, and I hope and pray that this won’t be misunderstood, but rather that it may be used by the Holy Ghost for your benefit. I do not want to make anything out of myself by pride out of this. That said, I don’t know anyone with a similar experience and for me to come to terms with these events has been anything but easy. My true intent is for more to come to salvation in the name of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Meshiach), and that the true church, those who truly believe and obey, to be stronger and stronger, built up even to the head which is Jesus Christ.
Here goes. I remember when I was young—maybe four—my mother told me the gospel—that Jesus was perfect and took my sins and died for me, and that if I believed, that I would have eternal life. I don’t remember things well, but this event I remember. I believed at that moment, and just knew that this word was true, and I believed in Jesus. I remember my reverend teaching me so that I could take communion. I started reading the Bible as early in life as I could read. As I recall, I listened to the minister preach beside my parents and was expected to learn from the message, just as they were.
I believed, but it seems to me now looking back, I did not have a living faith like I thank God I know I have now. To me, there seems that I saw a lot of scripture as rules to be obeyed—which they do contain—but now God’s Spirit is stronger than ever in me and I hear—spiritually—His voice. The best way I know how to say it is that I don’t have a heart of stone but of flesh, and I have a whole spiritual rebirth that I know started, since I was born, when I believed the gospel, but has grown especially after the events I’m going to tell you. I believe I started on this path young, but in my teenage days I lost joy, and I think I became legalistic, and I would say my heart was not yearning for the Lord like now, but maybe religion to me was mental. I do want to say, we are to love God with our minds and hearts, but I had lost the heart.
When I left home for the Navy, I lost more than heart; I became a vile man. Not initially. I attended church for a while, but that faded. Then I started drinking heavily, and this led to many other sins. Some, I wish to carry the knowledge of those events with me to the grave. I would debate things of God and Scripture in conversations on watch, but then would make the vilest comments to others soon after. I would curse using God’s name, and worse things–in my mind, beyond that. You may be asking yourself why even disclose this? It is because I do love as commanded—but the reason is not to follow some rule, but to tell you of the grace I have found, the peace, the reconciliation with the God of the Universe; I love because He loved me. And I want to tell you, it is real. Change is real. God, though invisible, nevertheless is real. I want you to know, I am certain of this, God and His movement in my life, is real, and I have felt God turn His face from me, and then I realized what was within me—that is, Him. These things you can’t touch, true, but every man knows he has a soul, and whether he lies to himself or seeks truth, the spiritual, the intangible, is just as real as the emotions we have, even though we can’t touch them.
I felt that I was mistreated in the Navy. Now, hopefully a little wiser, I know that I brought so much on myself. I was wrong and my attitude was wrong. I got out of the Navy and had a chip on my shoulder. I hated people. I hated corruption in people with authority. I wanted to be left alone, and I always was a loner in many ways, but now I was a true misanthrope. I attended college for a semester, and didn’t know what was happening, but I was losing my mind. I will say this ahead of time, I strongly believe that this whole episode was spiritual, yet I realize too, now, that I have manic-depressive illness, and at the core of this problem is that I can’t sleep without medicine.
I started having my reality change—my perception. I began to read things into what normally is just minutia, and commonplace. I was very lonely, and started self-medicating—drinking, just to sleep. I did well in school, except English, and was working part time, but my world was falling apart. All this was to change (transform) my character—my being. I have always hidden much of what I truly feel, and this trait became more and more difficult and amplified, because I couldn’t relate anymore to others. This forced me to confide in God later, but first God pushed me to Himself, by perception and events. I understand now that Jesus knew what was in man, and was lonely and had to confide and have His most deep fellowship with the Father. He being without sin had only One who understood His mettle and whom He could understand fully—to relate. I had to turn upwards about these things, not being able to relate to others.
One day in my dorm room, I felt the weight of God’s hand on me, and I was forced to my knees. There was no option but to kneel. I asked, “What do you want?” I had started reading my Bible, and had read in The Revelation, about letters to seven angels of seven churches, and Christ said something like, “He who has ears, let him hear.” I felt like I heard—that is, spiritually. I also read of two witnesses, and was moved, I believe spiritually, to do just that—witness. I was ‘in the spirit’, but also confused about many things, because as these things took place, I was under attack by the devil. Not to mention, to act on things that are not concrete, but by faith, is extremely difficult at first. Faith takes practice, and is strengthened by using it. Let me mention this, one can have faith in things not true, which I have in the past, but knowledge of God’s Word, discernment, true doctrine, and deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit—The Spirit of Truth, leads one to truth.
Anyway, I took off, left school, and believing people could somehow hear me, I began witnessing to the world, or so I thought, in my truck. I went driving, by faith, and had no destination in mind but went, I believe by the Spirit. One thing I know now, that I was trying to force things by faith, and God I believe did not grant me all of my requests, to teach me that faith in faith, however strong does not do anything for a Christian, it is faith in the source of all power—God. We can do nothing apart from Christ.
I drove around, and that night tried to sleep outside of Kingstree, SC. What happened this night has to be one of the moments of time that made an impression. I was praying, and felt haughty, that I was going to do spiritual battle with satan. One thing that is ridiculous is how I was a patsy to the devil, in how I lived an unrighteous life, and here, after reading a few passages in the Bible I felt I was going to take him on. I screamed into the night air, “Bring it on, bring it on…” Then as I lay upside down in the truck, looking out the window, I saw a demon or the devil gliding toward me. I felt his evilness, and screamed in sheer terror, “Jesus help me, Jesus help me…” I think the Lord did not rescue me immediately to teach me many things, but one obvious thing was to not be haughty. By the way, I want to urge you to fight the devil, but don’t play-act or come half-hearted or ill prepared. You must fight with all you have, and even then only by the power of Jesus and God can you succeed. Please listen to this. I felt my soul and his fighting within me, and dealt with his temptations for a period after this. I can’t describe the feeling that you want to crawl out of your skin when you fight a spirit within. This was to make me grounded in God, in His Word. Another point I want to make is that every Word from God is precious; you must believe in it and live by it as if it was water in the desert, or food in a survival situation. I can’t underscore this too much; it is your life. I fought with this demon or the devil—I am led to believe it was satan himself, and I used the armour of God described in Ephesians. Let me make a similar point, the armour there described comes by prayer and the Word. Cherish and live by His Word.
From there I went to the mountains in North Carolina, and ended up calling my parents I think the next night. I was in a state of mind where I was in deep concentration and in a spiritual state. That’s the best way I know how to describe it. After a while at my parents I was driven to leave—I believe by the Spirit. I say this because the only voice in my head has always been my own, but the origin of voices may be from God or another–maybe some tempter. So I do know the net outcome of this journey was for the strengthening of faith, hope, and love, and this is not from the devil; so I have to reckon by discernment and the witness of the Spirit confirming, that this driving force and purpose was from God. Again, hide the Word in your heart and live by it; we walk by faith not by sight. The just will live by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. His Words are Spirit and Life. Listen to me!!!
I went traveling around the countryside praying and speaking out loud with no one in the truck with me. I realize now that at the very least God was witnessing to me. Also, I was sensitized to the end of time—at least things prophesized in The Revelation and throughout the Bible. I was shown many things during this time, and was to wrestle with God on the things shown me—that is, spiritually. I have seen one vision I know, and other than that dreams, and also the Spirit communicated to me through observation of things around me, or daydreams, or experiences due to perception, but mostly through wrestling with God on things, and without scripture these things would not hold the same validity. I say wrestle—I was not fighting, but I have felt a piece of the power of God that fully drained my whole being, and due to this, afterward, I grew stronger. I wrecked my truck in Illinois, and got a bus to Chicago, then to Montana. I rented a car to El Paso, walked to Juarez. I went to Chihuahua, then to Mexico City—all the time with the purpose of witnessing. I used to talk to people in parks, on the bus, on the street. By the way, I learned broken Spanish on the fly. Then I went to Chiapas, near Guatemala. I was baptized by two men in San Raphael, near San Lucas. Through men and God and His Word, I believe that baptism, is an act of obedience by faith, an answer of a new conscience to God, and it should be by water, and representing dying to ones sins and rising like Christ from the dead, the action should be immersion. It does not save, nor does it supersede the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, but some did not receive the Holy Spirit until this baptism, and by obedience, when some did, they underwent this Holy rite. Jesus being perfect, not needing any cleansing, was baptized in the Jordon, to fulfill all righteousness, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him, for an example to us. I learned this in Mexico.
I began to wonder at what I was doing, and hadn’t called my parents since leaving. I regret what I did to them, and my reason that I didn’t want them to interfere because they didn’t understand what was going on, did hurt to them. I went back to Mexico City and called home at the Embassy. I reached an uncle and they got a flight for me back to the States.
Back home I went through a very difficult time, even under medication, and remember one night where I saw much revealed—things from God, and, the devil knowing this, and being the pervert he is, I underwent great temptation and I believed many false lies and false ways. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Him. God’s Word is true. Salvation is of the Lord. Listen to me!!! I was led as by a nose hook, to even believing I was God, and then later the devil. Don’t be misled; learn the Way from God’s Word. There is no other Way, none, there is no other Way, all other ways lead to destruction, outside darkness, gnashing of teeth, weeping, torment, and one’s part of the lake of fire. Be grounded in God’s Word. Please listen!
After this God allowed me to resume some normalcy, and be able to work. I was medicated, and could sleep. I worked as a carpenter some years, and went back to school, studying physics. I remained focused on the Bible. I had some times when I was moved by the Spirit during this time. One time was right after 9/11. I fought with the devil this time also, and fell again. Not eternally, but I don’t know how to describe how one can fall into such starkly wrong doctrine, but I did, and I know that I had studied the Bible and believed all my life, but was found lacking. You do not know the wiles of the devil, until you have fought like this. Live by God’s Word! Since these things, I believe if you ask people about me, I think all will have to say I am a spiritual man, but also I have love—true love. I write these bogs out of love. My glory is God. My everything is God. My concern for you is Godly. I saw these things and went through these things for a reason. The times ahead—even now—are not good. The tempter is after your soul. You may want to ignore the Holy Spirit, and be lost. I have seen enough of Hell, not having even really been there to know that I don’t want any part of it. And the Hell I went through was temporary, so it is no Hell at all. But more than the negative of Hell is the abundant life in Christ Jesus. To learn of the Father, marvel at His Way, swim in His love, feel and be in his indescribable peace, know true joy, be free of sins gripping and binding shackles, to have hope, to relish in the joy of all that He is and that He makes His home in you. I am a witness to the change God has made in my soul and heart. I felt the pangs of evil seep into my heart when I believed in anything but God’s truth, but I feel the burning of the Holy Spirit, full of love and truth and freedom and joy, now, a spring of water coming from within, welling up to everlasting life. The satan would like you to think that what I am saying to you is nonsense, and smoke and mirrors, a jumble of words to make oneself feel good and positive. But listen, the Good Shepherd calls His sheep, and knows them by name, and His sheep know His voice. Spiritually, do you feel a yearning to love God? When you hear truth, that Jesus—being the only one who could take your sins, and pay the price for you, because He was perfect, and that, not to hold sin in your face but to love you forever, do you hear it. Man, hear it!!! Live by God’s Word!!! Love God!!!
I only hope that what I have gone through you can learn from, and that Jesus longs for you to come to Him, and find Him. I love you Lord Jesus.