TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY
My testimony to the Lord’s saving grace as told in the recent posts, was among the first postings on this blog in December 2011 and entitled Death or Destiny? Choose Wisely. I was reticent to go into any depth about my bondage to satan but, in view of today’s widespread ignorance, I told the full story in 7 installments for the event’s anniversary in 2013 (No 7 and My Journey Into Freedom). Over discussions here and on another blog last year someone thought my brief references to Islam indicated my ignorance of it and of deism in particular. So, for the record I augmented the account with necessary detail. Now for newer readers’ information, we continue with the final three parts and a NEW question 3 inserted below:
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Utterly awesome as the dream-vision was wherein Jesus not only took me to task for having shut the door on the Gospel but also rescued me from a trapdoor to hell, it did not make me want to rush off to church.
The radical ramifications upon my philosophy of life needed very careful consideration. One thing I needed to check in-depth was claims of the Bible having been compiled and modified by Church councils three hundred years after Christ. It would involve learning about its compilation and history from sound, authoritative sources. [Prof F.F. Bruce’s The Books and The Parchments (1991) was very helpful, especially the details of the ‘Muratorian Fragment’. Drawn up in late 2nd Century in the church at Rome, this lists practically all the canonical New Testament literature – ie. widely accepted as inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.]
So not only did I need to assess those personal implications but also I had to find well-informed believers who took Jesus seriously. I soon did so – but then I needed to put their claims of hearing direct from God to the test. After all, they believe we have a relationship with Him – so we have but to ask…?
Soon afterwards, I’d learned that some members of Tilehurst Free Church (Baptist) – the one that had invited me to hear Billy Graham – had started meeting in the school next to my house! I was to discover much later they’d been giving prayer-cover to Peter for his visits – ie they’d targeted me! So it seems God answered their prayers by giving me a dream after his final visit.
The first service I attended in that familiar, small school hall was a culture shock! Before me stood a young man devoid of dog-collar but wearing an acoustic guitar! He then led the meeting in song and spoke without any script or ritual whatsoever – even engaging the congregation in discussion! Some attendees testified to angelic protection in their lives: I’d thought this subject was lost to churchgoers. Starting the sermon, he said he’s going to look at the shortest gospel, that of Mark, and would continue doing so in the next weeks. In his saying “It’s action-packed and full of urgency” I was intrigued, and this fitted in with my intention of checking out the Bible.
Therefore, I thought it might prove useful to come again. At the next session one thing he taught stuck in my mind: “In Mark, who was the first to recognise who Jesus really is?” Answer: ‘an unclean spirit’! (see Mark 1:24) I was thus reminded of that dream’s events – and of the exceptionally unsettling, very vivid one years earlier of a devouring monster of darkness (told in Searching for Truth leads me into captivity).
[I was reminded of that scripture at a school of healing early this year (2017), where the teacher asked why did Jesus silence a demonic testimony of His identity? The answer: when coming from an unclean tainted source, even truth itself gets contaminated! I know that’s been satan’s modus operandi since the Garden of Eden – the father of lies and half-truths. Moreover, this fact points out that being’s pretext for rebellion, and raises questions about the religiously sanctioned practice of ‘taqiya’, as in Islam.]
MOVING TOWARDS FREEDOM
Therefore, I came into a good place to build upon the message of that 1989 dream by learning about the Bible and, more importantly, by listening to God through His written word and to come into a close relationship with Him. As stated above, it was opportunity to test claims about discussing the Bible’s content with its Author without any priest as ‘intermediary’.
The first of many times this happened brought incredibly clear – and shocking! – proof that God really does speak from the Bible, as claimed by many believers in Jesus Christ.
I decided to re-view what was taught about Jesus by the occult brotherhood in which been a member. Two specific books on His ‘mystical life’ and ‘secret doctrines’ had attracted me at 20 years of age, and there were various claims in a massive mound of monographs as well as those of its sister brotherhood, which held doctrines from the dogmatic Kabbalah (a Jewish esoteric belief system based upon Creation; eg. the ‘Sepher Yezirah’).
After having checked all those specifics, I asked God for His guidance on this matter and opened my new, pocket-sized Bible. I’ve never been able to repeat what happened next – it immediately fell open at a page in a letter from the leader of Jesus’ Apostles. The first ten verses of the second chapter in Peter’s ‘second letter’ jumped out at me! They stood out with startling clarity and warn about false teachers:
‘…who secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying our sovereign Lord who bought them… Many will follow their shameful way and bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with the stories they have made up. Their condemnation has been long hanging over them…’ (2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)
The emphases hit ‘bull’s eye’, and the next verses explain that assessment and what happens to such teachers. This answer to my question was startlingly exact! It’s jaw-dropping and eye-popping – awesome!
The Holy Author of the Bible had used my personal copy of it to answer my question; as implied in the closing scripture below.
Specifically, that occult group claimed its information had come from the Essenes and early Christians. Members of that Qumran community by the Dead Sea and across Judea were supposed to have assisted at Jesus’ birth and crucifixion, and as a Roman warrant had supposedly been issued to release Jesus before death, those supporters and ‘secret disciples’ helped to resuscitate Jesus. Also, as God’s Holy Spirit had come upon Jesus during the baptism in the river Jordan and left during the crucifixion this supposedly indicated Jesus was human only, not one with Almighty God.
Furthermore, this group taught the necessity of acquiring initiatory knowledge to enable attainment of illumination and perfection of ourselves through reincarnation, and thus be one of the ‘ascended masters’ or world teachers, as claimed of Jesus the Christ.
This is identical to the gnostics and other heretical false doctrines about Jesus that vied for dominance over the early Church, and which greatly influenced the founder of Islam. This is why Apostle John’s first letter speaks so adamantly under direct inspiration of the ‘Author of the Bible’ about the spirit of anti-Christ slithering into churches to contend against the One who’d destroyed satan’s authority over humanity:
‘Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone into the world. By this you may know (perceive and recognise) the Spirit of God; every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God as its source];
And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would annul, destroy, severe, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [non-confession] is the spirit of the antichrist, (of) which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3 Amp Bible)
Therefore, that brotherhood denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and the centrality of His sacrificial death and resurrection – from actual death – to the salvation of human souls, and thereby reconciling us with God and enabling our right of entry – in this life and the next! – into His throne-room by the Blood of the Lamb.
Moreover, the Author of the Bible had pointed me to His truth about that group’s motives and its leaders’ dreadful destiny.
Also, I reviewed my uncharitable views about the clergy. Readers may understand from my story how difficult it was for me to contemplate attending church, let alone with any regularity – not to mention being under the oversight of any clergy. I wrongly suspected they couldn’t comprehend the dark situation I’d come from.
Once again I decided to put preachers’ claims about the Word of God to the test. So I asked if God could let me know His opinion about clergy…!
AGAIN (!) my Bible fell open to give the most apposite instruction, this time at Hebrews 13:17:
‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.’
That well and truly put me in my place and enabled me to make my mind up. Thank you Lord for answering and correcting me!
Consequently, I wanted to know lots more from the Living Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ. It was a great blessing therefore when He directed me to pick up books that held personal accounts similar to mine, as recounted here.
Upon revisiting my testimony years later I realised the above passages starkly contrast both forms of leadership under which I’d served. The first group was highly ungodly, but the latter’s godly men and women are blessed by Father’s supreme protective cover for all His children; as promised in this scripture for example:
Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus, ‘For I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when raising Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all rule and authority and power dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.’ [Eph 1:17-21, Amplified Bible]
A couple of other highly significant instances were to occur in due course but for now here’s one of direct relevance for this blog:
Another twenty years on and I’d received in-depth training in healing and deliverance, been blessed twice when visiting Toronto Airport’s Christian Fellowship and got keen on Bible prophecy. In 2008 I encountered conflicting claims from leaders of the first two on how and if a parable Jesus taught on the end-time harvest of wheat and tares (Matthew 13:36) may be applied to a dubious evangelist.
I asked Jesus about it as I went to check the actual scripture – BUT upon opening my Bible a deep excitement EXPLODED within – almost as though my Bible exploded!
I distinctly heard, “This is ALL about to be fulfilled!” – WOW!!
This led to my starting to write privately to friends and a few leaders about End-times in February 2009 with a two-part email The Endgame Is Now In Play. I never expected it to continue non-stop all these years!
So, a personal huge “Thank you” for visiting and contributing to 3/4 million views of this blog!
THANK YOU AND BLESS YOU LORD