Freed at last from satan – my chains fall off!

To celebrate our wedding anniversary today and my birthday yesterday

Months after that night of destiny in 1989 I trashed my occult and New Age books, yet I kept some items that were very significant to membership in those occult brotherhoods. But very soon, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and gathered all those remaining things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,

Burn what you’ve collected – NOW!”

Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:

Out in the backyard I piled those membership items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented.

Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced satan and all evil connected with those occult associations.

As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!

I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be? 

WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second!  What utter freedom!  Praise Him!

That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.

How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to satan.:

1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, read here about his equally famous influence as author of many well-known hymns; eg. Love Divine, all love’s excelling, Hark the herald angels…

Listen to one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise,   thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:1)

To read my testimony in full go to Jesus Freed Me!  There, you’ll find an overview of my background, two life-changing divine appointments and how the Lord began to instruct me…all to HIS glory. May you be mightily blessed upon following the links therein…

I remain, your brother in Christ

Richard

Bible’s Author shows me ex-New Agers’ testimonies

The Father has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. [St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:13-14, Amplified Bible.]

[Continuing my personal testimony]

As well as checking out Christians’ claims of hearing God direct and getting astounding personal evidence for that, I wanted to know lots more not only about Him, but also and especially to follow-up on the personally revelatory scriptures about false teachers.

In my great wariness of religious folk I’d assumed none would be able to comprehend my story because they’d be ignorant about those things. Doubtless, none would have been through my kind of bad, meditative ‘trips’ – or so I thought! Continue reading

The primacy of Evangelism, the shiftiness of Jung and disappearance of freedom of speech — Gavin Ashenden

Am very pleased to learn of Revd Gavin’s early liking of Carl Jung and stark warning about consequential darkness for those who follow his path, for that too is my story but which began a decade earlier than his journey.  I was intrigued that his auto-biography told of a ‘revelatory’ dream that started Jung’s delving into psychic realms because it falsely pointed to God loathing the traditional Church. What’s more, it’s thus not surprising Jung soon acquired a spiritual guide, or ‘mentor’!  [My personal account at I’m Free! tells of these dangers and how only the Lord Jesus could rescue me and transfer me from the devil’s domain into His Kingdom – Colossians 1:13.]

Only 5 per cent of UK population love the Bible. We need to get serious about evangelism. 11th November 2019 Following the news that just 5 per cent of the population are ‘Bible-loving’, Bible Society has created seven other spiritual types (such as ‘Bible Nostalgic’ and ‘Bible Indifferent’) to indicate various attitudes to scripture that…

via The primacy of Evangelism, the shiftiness of Jung and the disappearance of freedom of speech…. — Gavin Ashenden

Freed at last from satan – my chains fall off!

(7 of 7) Months after that night of destiny in 1989 I trashed my occult and New Age books, yet I kept some items that were very significant to membership in those occult brotherhoods. But very soon, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and gathered all those remaining things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,

Burn what you’ve collected – NOW!”

Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:

Out in the backyard I piled those membership items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented.

Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced satan and all evil connected with those occult associations.

As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!

I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be? 

WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second!  What utter freedom!  Praise Him!

That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.

How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to satan.:

1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, read here about his equally famous influence as author of many well-known hymns; eg. Love Divine, all love’s excelling, Hark the herald angels…

Listen to one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise,   thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:1)

To read testimony in full click: to read from beginning – to read part 6  – for Appendix.

Bible’s Author brings me ex-New Agers’ testimonies

The Father has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. [St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:13-14, Amplified Bible.]

(6 of 7) In addition to checking out Christians’ claims of hearing God direct and getting astounding personal evidence for that, I wanted to know lots more not only about Him, but also (to follow-up the revelatory scriptures in part 5) about false teachers and their falsehoods.

In my great wariness of religious folk I’d assumed none would be able to comprehend my story because they’d be ignorant about those things. Doubtless, none would have been through my kind of bad, meditative ‘trips’ – or so I thought!

But direct help was again at hand from the Bible’s Author…Yet first, there’s one little-suspected aspect of His character that amazingly revealed a very personal thought and thus confirmed He knows all about me. Here’s what had happened many years earlier.:

‘FIRST CONTACT’

The mundane event of a dinner party in mid-1980s played an unsuspected, pivotal part in my journey into freedom. It was held by young parents, the father being in training as an Anglican curate, and it included his vicar and a couple from Cheam Baptist Church in Surrey. We got around to chatting about our philosophies of life but those folk were like ‘aliens’ as compared with my highly ‘enlightened’ viewpoint!

I was surprised the vicar was open-minded and seemed to agree with New Age claims that all religions lead to God; like spokes of a wheel are connected to a hub.

The Baptist couple, however, would have absolutely none of that and strongly disputed my views. I was quietly outraged – what closed minds, so ignorant!

I recall thinking, “Baptists are such Biblical bigots – I’ll never touch them with a barge pole!”  However, I never expected this was all borrowed!  This vow would come to be used against me…twice!  That is, I was yet to discover the Lord God has a sense of humour!

Soon after the dinner, the curate invited me to a public meeting with a guest speaker, John Richards. It was a memorable occasion for three reasons; first, his name is mine in reverse order – secondly, for his gently confronting me upon noticing a small pin on my jacket’s lapel displaying a cross within a star of David. He asked, “What does your family say about that?” I retorted “Nothing! What’s it got to do with them?” After all, my family was aware of my search for lost wisdom. But John was referring to a church ‘family’ – which didn’t apply because I wasn’t a churchgoer!

Therefore, I had nothing further to discuss with this speaker and listened warily to his accounts of investigating witchcraft and satanism as secretary to the bishop of Exeter’s study of exorcism, later as advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  It was all irrelevant in view of my disliking the ‘black stuff’ (including freemasonry) – but who was I kidding? Only myself!

So for many years I gave no more thought to that meeting…BUT the fact it did play a significant part in my long journey has been confirmed by John Richards’ name popping up 47 months after first publication of this post – and ’47 is my birth year!. In September 2017 at conference on healing in Guildford I attended a session by the bishop’s advisor on deliverance. He started by sharing his personal testimony and how it involved his spiritual director, John Richards!

Now, let’s return to events soon after that dream encounter with Jesus…

THE JOKE’S ON ME

Wondering about the sort of church that organised the trip to see Billy Graham, I met with little help from Peter. Yet I wasn’t really bothered because they should all be part of the Lord’s body without making any distinction, in my opinion. I didn’t appreciate Peter’s was undergoing internal upheaval because the leaders wanted to learn more about the Holy Spirit, whereas many were wary of anything other than the straight scriptures. The church had been planted by Reading Baptist Church and was known as Tilehurst Free Church (Baptist), the leaders of which planted house groups west of Reading.

Some time after I joined TFC, one of them outraged me by saying “God has a sense of humour!”that was against my straight-laced Catholic upbringing!!  Years later I realised the truth of that quip, and that I’d forgotten my vow against Baptists but the Lord hadn’t! Therefore, He’d put me in a Baptist church to learn the Truth about Him and get a solid grounding in His Word – as the saying goes: ‘He Who laughs last, laughs longest!’

SUBMISSION AND FIRE

Whenever I went into a local Christian bookshop my long-standing sensitivity to serendipity would kick in! That is, a book would jump off the self at me! The Lord was directing me to biographies of Christians who’d previously been tied into New Age activities – just like me. They’d been rescued from terrifying situations by calling upon Jesus’ name. So, their true stories brought home what had really happened in that stunning dream. As mentioned, St Paul’s insight on satan’s ability, and that of its followers, to masquerade as an angel of light and as servants of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14), confirmed the reality of my dread encounter with devouring darkness.  I’m so deeply grateful to the real living God for saving me.

Having been deceived and beguiled, scales were now starting to fall from my eyes – an awesome awakening and a homecoming!

Outline of Tal’s book (click to enlarge)

Riders of the Cosmic Circuit (1986) by Tal Brooke was one of those influential books. The son of American diplomats and a pioneer in meditation with crystals, Tal held a privileged position in the inner circle of the revered Indian guru Sai Baba, of whom he later wrote, “I had discovered an absolutely satanic thing operating behind Baba’s veneer”.

Tal’s own encounter with the darkness behind the ecstatic light and consciousness known as the state of ‘nirvana’, validated my psychic dream experience.

The very first of these autobiographies, however, was by someone who’d also been in the brotherhood I’d been initiated into.

Whilst reading the concluding chapters of Roy Livesey’s account over the lunchtime of 29 March 1990, I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and gave my life to Lord Jesus as my personal saviour. Driving home later, however, the spiritual enemy tried to get me into a couple of road accidents. And upon arriving home I found it had attempted to burn down my new, wooden-framed house. Thank you Lord for protection through both events – the fire had been put out by throwing water onto flaming fat in an electric oven!!

Jesus tells all who believe in Him what will happen as a result of following His teaching, as noted here and here by John, one of His first and closest disciples,.:

“If you hold fast to and live by My words you are truly my disciples. And you shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (for) I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one can come to the Father except through Me”.

NOT YET FULLY FREE

From those who’d trodden the very same path as me, I learned the great importance of being completely cut off from my ‘old life’. This meant getting rid of books and objects associated with it, but I’d been slow to so do. Although I’d turned away from that past, yet an unseen bond seemed to remain.

The fact of that subtle influence needed dealing with because I wanted what’s promised in the Word inspired by Father God, the Author of the Holy Bible:

So if the Son liberates you, then you are really and unquestionably free.  [John 8:36 Amplified Bible]

Next, learn how I gained my freedom at long last from satan – my chains fell off!!

Other Informative Books – Douglas Groothuis

Continued in part 7 >

[First published as in October 2013 as part 6 (Rescued From Satan By The Lord of Hosts) of my ‘Journey Into Freedom’. Bible quotations courtesy BibleGateway.com]

To read testimony in full click: to read from beginning – to read part 5  – for Appendix.

The night Jesus broke through the window!

(4 of 7) The second visitor over the night of 13-14th September 1989 was far more challenging than that evening’s first one, when I’d shut the door on hearing about Jesus – this time it is life or death!  Mine!!

THE HEAVENLY VISITOR

In a most unusual dream that night I go back in time. A dream so lucid that even thirty years later, it remains vividly etched within me. Therefore, it must be exceptionally significant. Continue reading

The day I shut the door on Jesus!

(3rd of 7) NOTE: This two-part testimony was posted as one of my first blogs. Originally written over 25 years ago as ‘More Than A Dream’, it’s expanded to elaborate upon my changed life as a committed Christian in my journey into freedom.

THROUGH THE DEVIL’S DOOR!

A very brief recap:

Since my teens I’d wholeheartedly embraced esoteric spiritual doctrines and practices such as the Eastern and Theosophical belief of reincarnation and ascended masters, as well as those of Western occultism plus concepts generally known as deism.

I thought that as all religions are equal there are many paths to a supreme being –but which is not the same as the anthropomorphic deity of the Abrahamic religions. That is, it’s different to and far superior to human beings – a ‘cosmic mind’ with which we can be attuned and attain ‘cosmic consciousness’, as experienced by many and practised in the associations of which I was an active member.

I appreciated the linkage with mystical Islam of Sufism as well as having read its Book. It was only after becoming a born-again Christian that I studied its early history and came to understand its fundamental, doctrinal differences with Judaism and Christianity.

Thus, two decades of an occultic practicum made me disdainful of churches, clergy and laity. They were all so very behind the times – even archaic!  Intellectual and spiritual pride made me think their preaching could never compare with the profound philosophy found within ‘New Age’ movements. Such arrogance, of which I’m ashamed!

A DIFFERENT DOOR OPENS!

Sometime in July/August 1989, a young man named Peter knocked at the front door with an invitation to hear the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham at Earls Court in London. We could be taken in a coach trip from outside our house west of Reading. How much? Nada, entirely free!

Naturally, I rejected the offer outright but my almost-teenage son piped up he’d like to go because a classmate had told him about it. So I said I’d take him.

As can be gathered from my journey into spiritual captivity, personal experiences had made me extremely wary of churchgoers. Never did I suspect my own well-being hung in the balance at that moment after the knock on the door!.

Can you imagine my bewilderment, therefore, upon sitting ‘up in the gods’ at Earls Court and finding myself agreeing with what Billy Graham said as he spoke from the rostrum? 

I was flummoxed! Utterly bewildered! Who’s thinking that? Can that be me? Never!… Really?

Afterwards, as a follow-up, those who’d been on the trip were invited to an informal meeting at a local ‘free’ church. The leader explained that similar chats could be held   at our own homes, if we so wished. I agreed to be on-hand for my son but I was NOT personally interested. A youth worker, Peter, was assigned to help him but, in practice, he ended up discussing the material with me.

The evening of Wednesday 13th September 1989, is Peter’s third visit to our house to discuss Billy Graham’s follow-up material entitled Life. I have not yet divulged my firmly held – even entrenched – opinions, but this time he goes too far!

WHAT WENT WRONG?

This session is entitled, ‘Yoga, Eastern Religions and The Occult’ – all of which I’d been involved in since before Peter had been born!

Peter shows a diagram of two cliffs facing one another. One represents heaven and the other earth, with a large deep gap separating them. Over this Peter places a large plus sign over the gap. The ends of the horizontal arms touch each object, thereby bridging heaven and earth. He explains the cross of Christ is the bridge between both realms.

He then says the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This statement implies my own ideas are wrong!  Without giving the game away I gently question him on this. But he insists not many paths lead to the same, supreme God – there’s only one way to one almighty God and it’s through his Son Jesus Christ.

What’s to be done with a young man half my age who unwittingly points out the error of my ways?

I’m thinking, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How can he, who’s not done any of the things I know far more about…just how can he tell me it’s wrong?  He’s wasting my time!”

Peter’s ideas are not only mistaken but also intolerant. Before the end of the evening I’ve had enough!

I SHUT THAT NEW DOOR

So I bring our discussion to an early end, show him to the door and, excusing myself from future meetings, bid him farewell. Peter is most gracious – he smiles politely and goes his way

But little did I know I may not make it through that night! My life was at risk!

Continued in part 4 >

To read testimony in full click: to read from beginning – to read part 2  – for Appendix.

Searching for wrong ‘truth’ traps me in a spiritual prison

(2nd of 7) We continue our ‘journey’ as I pray it will inform readers who are not-yet Christians about avoiding the pitfalls and dangers of suspect spiritual matters:

Me 1962

1962 in Leicester.

The intellectual freedom of higher education in the ‘swinging 60’s’ enabled me to break loose from the values of my parents and their generation. Even so, I recognised their values had enabled them to come through the destruction and deprivation of the Great Depression, World War and post-war Britain austerity with great fortitude.

As in the previous post about attending the “wrong school”, a formative influence upon this boy of the post-war ‘baby boom’ was the disharmony and hypocrisy between churches. In my mind it tarred all Christians with the same brush and badly reflected upon the God they believed in.

Nevertheless, once whilst in church, I had thought it must have been awesome to have been around Jesus and seen everything He said and did.

Also, two verses noticed in my mother’s Sunday Missal stuck in my mind and, although buried in the unconscious, they never got forgotten. One was Jesus telling his disciples they’d do even greater works than He was doing! The other was by someone who’d seen and been with Jesus, and who wrote: If everything He’d done was written down there wouldn’t be enough room in the world to contain the books! [John 14:12 and closing sentence of that Gospel.]

In view of that eye-witness account and churches’ misrepresentation of their founder, I became convinced a lot of what he’d taught had been lost – or even suppressed – by the early church. Continue reading

How churches turned me off Christ and onto ‘New Age’!

(1st of 7) I invite you to join me, especially if new here, in revisiting my ‘dog-legged’ journey into the spiritual and supra-natural reality of our lives. I was heading towards the destination I’d wanted and planned but got forced into a totally unforeseen, unexpected diversion. In fact, my philosophy of life got totally upended!  My new goal proved to be a far more exciting and never-ending journey!!

Now, step into my time-machine and I’ll turn back its dial 60 or so years:

STUNNED BY A ‘FRIEND’

Whilst playing alongside my 10-11 year-old pals, one of them suddenly stops, narrows his gaze and eyeballs me hard, “You shouldn’t be at our school – you should be at the one Cat’licks go to!”

I’m shocked and stunned into silence. I can’t recall my response other than being very alarmed and hurt.

Upon reflection, maybe I denied the accusation outright. In retrospect I’d like to have responded, “So what? It’s where my parents want me to be!”

Such a riposte, however, would have plugged into a parental disagreement! Continue reading

My chains fall off…freed at last from satan!

Months after that night of destiny in 1989 I trashed my occult and New Age books, but  I still had a few items very significant to membership in those occult brotherhoods. Very soon, however, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and I gathered all those remaining  things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,

Burn what you’ve collected – NOW!”

Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:

Out in the backyard I piled those items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented. Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced all the evil connected with and arising from my occult associations.

As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!

I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be? 

WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second!  What utter freedom!  Praise Him!

That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.

How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to satan.:

1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, you may like to read the brief note at the foot of this page of lyrics from Scripture and Music.

Click image to hear one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise, thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:1)

[For overview of full testimonial see “I’m FREE!”]

Freedom at last from satan – my chains fell off!

Months after that night of destiny in 1989 I trashed my occult and New Age books, but I still had a number of items that were very significant to membership in those occult brotherhoods. But very soon, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and I gathered all the remaining  things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,

Burn what you’ve collected – NOW!”

Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:

Out in the back yard I piled those membership items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented. Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced all the evil connected with and arising from my occult associations.

As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!

I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be? 

WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second!  What utter freedom!  Praise Him!

That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.

How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to satan.:

1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, you may like to read the brief note at the foot of this page of lyrics from Scripture and Music.

Listen to one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise,   thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:1)

[RETURN to overview: “Am FREE!”]

False ‘gospel’ lured me to the devil’s door

It wasn’t a normal, vertical door but a trapdoor – and it was about to be sprung with yours truly standing on it!

In terror, moments beforehand I’d thought “My number’s up!” because I was suddenly at the end of my life AND shocked to realise hell’s below – AND, I’d be heading there – even though I used to think hell didn’t exist!  I was wrong – oh so badly wrong!!

Being anti-Christian had been a serious mistake – but it was now far too late!  Yet I’m now able to tell this true story; it is told purely for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How did I get there? you may ask. And, how on earth did I get out of it

We need to go back in time to the evening of 13th September 1989.

SEARCHING FOR ‘TRUTH’ BUT HEADING FOR DEVIL’S DOOR!

To recap briefly the story thus far (as here and continued here):

Since my teens I’d wholeheartedly embraced esoteric spiritual doctrines and practices such as the Eastern and Theosophical belief of reincarnation and ascended masters, as well as those of Western occultism plus concepts generally known as deism.

I thought that as all religions are equal there are many paths to a supreme being – but which is not the same as the anthropomorphic deity of the Abrahamic religions.  That is, it’s different to and far superior to human beings – a ‘cosmic mind’ with which we can be attuned and attain ‘cosmic consciousness’, as experienced by many and practised in the associations of which I was an active member.

I appreciated the linkage with mystical Islam of Sufism as well as having read its Book. It was only after becoming a born-again Christian that I studied its early history and came to understand its fundamental, doctrinal differences with Judaism and Christianity.

Thus, two decades of an occultic practicum made me disdainful of churches and Christian clergy and laity. They were all so very behind the times – even archaic! In my intellectual and spiritual pride I thought their preaching just couldn’t compare with the more profound philosophy found within ‘New Age’ movements. Such arrogance, of which I’m ashamed!

AN EARTHLY VISITOR

Sometime in July/August 1989, a young man named Peter knocked at the front door with an invitation to hear the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham at Earls Court in London. We could be taken in a coach trip from outside our house west of Reading. How much? Nada, entirely free!

Naturally, I rejected the offer outright but my almost-teenage son piped up he’d like to go because a classmate had told him about it. So I said I’d take him.

As can be gathered from the story of my journey thus far into spiritual captivity, personal experiences had made me very wary of churchgoers. Never did I suspect my own well-being hung on the moment of that request.

Can you imagine my bewilderment, therefore, upon sitting ‘up in the gods’ in the Earls Court auditorium and finding myself agreeing with what Billy Graham said as he spoke from the rostrum?  I was flummoxed! Utterly bewildered! Who’s thinking that? Can that be me? Never!… Really?

As a follow-up, those who’d been on that trip were invited to an informal meeting at a local ‘free’ church. The leader explained similar chats could be held at our own homes, should we so wish. I agreed to be on-hand for my son, but I was definitely NOT interested. A youth worker, Peter, was assigned to help him but, in practice, he ended up discussing the material with me.

The evening of Wednesday 13th September 1989, is his third visit to discuss the follow-up material to Billy Graham’s campaign. I haven’t divulged any of my firmly held opinions – but this time he goes too far!

WHAT WENT WRONG?

This session is entitled, ‘Yoga, Eastern Religions and The Occult’ – in all of which I’d been involved long before Peter was born!

He shows a diagram of two cliff-like objects facing one another. One represents heaven and the other, earth, with a large, deep gap separating them from one another. Over this Peter then places an overlay depicting a large plus sign over the gap and the ends of its horizontal arms touch each ‘cliff’, thereby bridging heaven and earth. He explains that the cross of Christ is the bridge between both realms.

He then says the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This statement implies my ideas are incorrect. Without giving the game away I gently question him on this. But he insists not many paths lead to the same, supreme God – there’s only one way to one almighty God and it’s through his Son Jesus Christ.

What’s to be done with a young man half my age who unwittingly points out the error of my ways?

I’m thinking, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How can he, who’s not done anything I know far, far more about…just how can he tell me it’s wrong?  He’s wasting my time!” Peter’s ideas are not only mistaken but also intolerant. Before the end of the evening I’ve had enough!

So I bring our discussion to an early close, politely bid him farewell and excuse myself from any future meeting. Peter is most gracious about it – as ever, he smiles politely and goes on his way.

Little did I know that I may not survive that night!    

That night’s second visitor was far more challenging – this time it’s life or death – MINE!

The account is now republished overnight – when else?….

[RETURN to overview: “Am FREE!”]