My testimony

Caveat:

Please note that this testimony shows someone being repeatedly unfaithful to the Lord. I do not ever recommend this and believe that He stayed with me due to His love, truth and perfect faithfulness. As it is written:
if we believe not, yet he abideth faithfulhe cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

I have also struggled throughout this testimony to confess my most besetting type of sin, that of sexual immorality. Again I must warn about this. It has taken me just over 16 years to realise that I have demons due to sexual sin. The Lord has repeatedly tried to have me repent and follow Him, please join me in praying that I do so as soon as possible.

Childhood faith in Jesus

When I was a young girl, around 4-6 years of age (approximately), my parents witnessed the story of Christ’s crucifixion to me.  I was very little and humble, as most kids are, and I believed the truth of what I heard immediately.

My parents later read me stories from the “Children’s Bible” and I took to them wholeheartedly.  I used to gaze at pictures of the boy prophet Samuel and imagine that I too could minister to the Lord as a child priest.  I sometimes practiced acts requiring great faith such as dividing the Red Sea with an imaginary staff, as Moses did, or keeping evil vampires at bay with a crucifix.  I remember saying aloud – as a child’s honest prayer to God – that I wanted to be an Israelite, a follower of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I also remember several instances in time where God’s Holy Word was exposed to me and, by His grace alone, made an incredible impact upon me. I hadn’t yet read the adult Bible for myself but I knew that the words I was seeing were spiritually critical. For example, I was watching television one day when the following line of scripture flashed upon the screen, impressing itself upon my heart as the truth:

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)

Another incident occurred in the early to mid 1980s. I was again watching television when the popular group Wham flashed on the screen and I noticed that both singers were wearing white t-shirts with the words “choose life” on them. This short phrase made an indelible impression on me but it was only many years later that I came to understand that it too was from the Bible, specifically, Deuteronomy 30:19:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live

Also in the 1980’s my beloved grandmother on my father’s side of the family died of cancer. Shortly after her death I saw a Bible her husband, my grandfather, had given to her. He had inscribed it with words similar to the following, “I can see you growing every day Sylvia in kindness and compassion due to God’s Word.” And I noticed that he had posted up a beautiful and inspiring saying on his modest living room wall. When I saw it it was as if my eyes couldn’t stop taking it in. It read:

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.

For those who are curious, the above is popularly attributed to Stephen Grellet, a prominent Quaker missionary. My grandfather lived out the saying by volunteering to maintain people’s gardens for nothing in the street that he lived in. He also became a lay preacher at one of his town’s local churches.

At this stage my response to both the Old and New Testaments (or what I could glean from them via the Children’s Bible) was genuine and fervent.  I believed in Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, telling my parents that I wished I could sit at His feet and listen to His teachings.  One interesting experience I had was when I was ill with a fever one day.  I remember putting my hand out and praying earnestly to Christ, from my whole heart, to heal me.  I then sensed an invisible presence move towards me comfortingly, and the fever left me so that I was able to fall into a restful sleep.

During my primary school years I tried to live out Jesus’ teachings: loving God first and foremost with all your heart, then loving your neighbour as yourself.  But I struggled with pride, self-will and fear of rejection.  I was also very rebellious, saying one day proudly to my father, “I don’t need to follow God, I can do things myself” (or words to that effect).  My father just looked at me steadily, with a slight smile on his face, and said quietly, “You’ll come back to it.”

I should add that I also remember several unpleasant spiritual experiences that occurred to me in the wake of finding faith in Jesus.  I suffered from bad dreams occasionally, including dreaming that my bed was spinning around on its own axis and levitating: I now know that these experiences were demonic but believe the Lord didn’t suffer them to continue as I was too young at that stage to understand what was occurring.

My parents were very strict with me growing up, in an attempt to teach me obedience and respect for authority (both of which are necessary to find faith in God and keep His commandments).  At the time, however, I didn’t understand the purpose behind their strictness, so felt miserable, unloved and rebellious (Proverbs 23:13-14, Hebrews 5:8, Matthew 18:3).

During my childhood I was exposed to people of faith on both sides of my family – both sets of grandparents were Christians in fact – but the person who made the biggest impression on me was my grandmother on my mother’s side, Mary.  Mary was quiet and gentle (1 Peter 3:4), with a forgiving sense of humour when laughed at or provoked.  She was also humble – my mother often talked about how well Mary kept house, even scrubbing the stone step on her knees when it needed cleansing (1 Timothy 5:14).

As a child who often had tantrums and other fits of bad temper, I found it incredible when my mother told me of Mary’s patience: she once made my mother a very elaborate meal of rissoles then quietly took it away when Mum didn’t want it anymore.  She had the true fruit of the Spirit that every real Christian is to have (Colossians 3:12-17).

When Mary died my mother gave me the source of all her patience and good character – her faith in her Saviour Jesus, stemming from her King James Bible.

We never went to church regularly during my childhood but Mum always ensured that we kept up remembrance of God through saying grace before each meal:

“Lord make us truly thankful,

For what we are about to receive,

For Christ’s sake,

Amen.”

High school to University

I vacillated between being a faithful Christian, drawn to the Lord Jesus and His Father, and being agnostic.

At University, I had a deep longing to be loved, due to my misunderstanding of my parents’ strictness in trying to teach me obedience to authority.  When I met my future husband at 18, he said to me, “I don’t believe in God.”  At the time his statement caused my spirit to shift uncomfortably but the human drive within me to be loved was so strong that I overrode the spirit.  I remember consciously choosing to love an unbelieving man over God.

I fell in love with this man – Luther – and retained a vague thankfulness to some higher authority (though I was no longer a believer) for the many joys I experienced in life.

Yet I was struggling intellectually and spiritually at University.  I noticed that as students progressed in the course I was studying (Medicine), they became less friendly and cooperative with each other, more ambitious.  Their characters seemed to change, and not for the better to my eyes.  I also struggled with the demands of study, failing several subjects and having to repeat them.  Other students seemed to have less difficulty with their memories but mine troubled me.

In the end I dropped out of Medicine half-way through 5th year, then took a break.  With my boyfriend Luther’s encouragement I took up a new course, IT, which I hoped I would be better suited to.

Karate school

In the late 1990’s, while I was studying IT, my brother Ben invited me to join a karate school he was attending.  This I did, though I had some concerns about the characters of the people running the school.  My then boyfriend Luther expressed it best by saying that there was “something stinky” about the instructor, and he was cautious of him therefore.

I later found out that the instructor was molesting some of his students/seducing them, plus having affairs on his wife.  There were rumours that he had placed cameras in the girls’ change-rooms, which added to a palpable sense of evil and dread that I had whenever I entered the school.

I now believe the school was almost overrun by demons of fornication and evil.  It took almost all of my remaining strength to leave the school (and not be overcome by its seductive, carnal pull) but I was damaged in all ways: physically, mentally and spiritually.  I tried my best to fight what I sensed was evil in the school by going to a detective (to check for hidden cameras), then to the police.  However, none of it did any good.  It was a hard lesson to learn but, as Christ Himself says, “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).

USA trip

Soon after I left the karate school my boyfriend (who then became my husband) Luther got transferred overseas.  I was told I could go with him, but we had to be married to do so.

At first I was rebellious about marrying, then, when we were, I felt happy to be a wife with a husband.  It felt right in my heart and soul.  I married my first partner.

However, I was unable, try as I might, to find employment in the USA.  I remember almost praying for a job (and being unconsciously angry at God, though I was not a believer at this stage), but none materialised.  So I then decided to keep house and not be a burden to Luther.  I washed and cleaned, surfing the Net when I had time.

One night Luther directed me to some writings by a man called Steve Kangas.  They were on left wing politics.  I started reading and became intrigued by Steve’s character.  He was thoughtful to others, went the extra mile in his duties, gave to those in need, and died in the end for his cause.  I quite literally fell in love with those aspects of his personality that I saw in his writings, becoming grief-stricken to the point where I saw no meaning in life any more once I realized he had either been murdered or suicided.  As I said to my husband, Steve’s life and character “reminded me of God.”  It was unbearable to me therefore that such a beautiful person had been trampled upon, thrown away forever.  I then tried to keep Steve’s memory alive by building a website devoted to his writings.  I tried to make peace between both the left and right sides of politics by including both viewpoints in the site.

The buffeting/damage I’d given myself spiritually at the karate school, plus the damage I took grieving for Steve, shifted my consciousness onto a different plane from the purely materialistic. One night I had a strange experience: I was drawn up from my bed and what felt like an arrow of fire pierced my chest, flooding my body with an oddly ecstatic feeling.  I was then dropped back onto the bed.  Later (perhaps that same night, I cannot now recall), I was awoken from sleep by a strange vision.  The vision was of a golden egg which spoke to me and said, to the best of my recollection, that I would never fall sick again.  In 2006 I wrote about these experiences here on this site: this was before I became a practicing Christian so please read what I wrote with care and discernment.

For a long time I believed that because the vision looked friendly and spoke nicely to me, that it must have a good source.  It was only when I got a slight cold (after the promise that I’d never be sick again) that I began to doubt.  I then wondered, “How can you tell if something behind a nice vision is good or evil?”

Around this time, while I was looking into the spiritual side of life, my brother gave me some books on New Age religion.  I trusted my brother Ben, and knew very little about any kind of religious doctrine (except what little I could recall from my children’s Bible), so I embraced the teachings with an open mind and heart.

One night, after my husband and I had returned from the USA back to Australia, I was reading the New Age teachings when I had a strange experience.  I felt descending upon me invisible hands, molesting my body.  I had no control whatsoever over the hands, the experience was disgusting and terrifying.  Though it felt physically pleasant, I knew it was wrong spiritually so burst into tears.  I remember weeping to my husband, saying, “How can He (meaning God) love me now?”  I felt soiled and unholy.

Return to Christianity – Orthodox Church

In the wake of the spiritual experience with the invisible hands, I began looking online for explanations.  The only religion I found that described the kind of spiritual evil I was experiencing was Biblical Christianity: it called this evil demons.  I was also concerned to read in the Bible that the “ascended masters” my brother Ben was following with his New Age religion were in reality demons from the pit of hell.  Ben told me they were “flaming beings”, which fit exactly with how angels (including the fallen ones who sinned against God) are described in the Bible.

More out of terrified obedience than love (Psalm 111:10), I returned to Christianity, and then tried to find a faithful Church that stuck to a plain, literal interpretation of the Bible.  I had what my husband described as a “conversion” and made the decision to follow the Lord first and foremost.  My husband was very jealous at the time and kept asking who my “new man” was!

Before I found a church to join, I emailed my family (including my brother Ben) a warning on all world religions that were not Bible-believing Christianity.  I told them I had found faith in Christ again after making a grave spiritual error and urged them to do the same.  To my surprise and shock, all my siblings came around to my apartment and I immediately understood that they did not believe me but thought my faith was a sign of mental illness (Luke 12:51-53).  There was a division now spiritually between myself and the rest of my family.

My family actually called the CAT team around to my apartment but I panicked, grabbed my handbag, and fled to a nunnery at an Orthodox Church I had been attending.

I was a faithful member of St Nicholas’ Antiochian Orthodox Church for at least 12 months, living as a novice in one of its nunneries, but eventually left.  The reasons I left included the following:

1)      The character of the Sister I was living with did not have the true fruits of the Spirit spoken of in the Bible eg. Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9.

  1. In particular, she could not discern truth from error eg. she was convinced a Nigerian email scam letter was a genuine movement of God to give her money for a monastery.
  2. She did not welcome visitors to the monastery with patience or gentleness but grew visibly irritated with them, as she felt they were interrupting her prayer time.  She was even irritated with little children, when Jesus says children have the closest characters to people in heaven (Matthew 19:14).
  3. She did not want to actively spread the gospel or minister to people, preferring to pray for “enlightenment” (or sanctification of the heart), over and over again, in solitude.  The Bible calls such prayers “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7) and Jesus warns against doing this.

2)      They had practices and traditions that made the Word of God of non-effect, or profaned it eg. selling “holy” water for money.  The latter contradicts Christ’s commandment to His disciples in Matthew 10:8, “Freely have ye received (of the Holy Ghost), freely give.”

After leaving the Orthodox Church, I attended many other Christian, Bible-believing churches in Melbourne.  I was trying to obey the commandment in Hebrews 10:25 to not forsake assembling together with other believers.  However, problems ensued.  I quite literally found no church in Melbourne where people were willing to follow the examples of Christ and His apostles/followers (including Paul) and become “conformed to the image of His Son.”  Romans 8:29 states that God the Father picked souls He knew would accept Christ during their earthly lives, and that He planned for these souls to be refashioned in the image of His dear Son.  To do this, they would have to live lives patterned after that of Christ and His followers (such as Paul), who knew they worshipped a holy, merciful, just and fearsome God (Acts 17:22-28).  Those lives should be filled with the fruits of the Spirit in each person’s character, leading to good deeds based on faith (Galatians 5:22, James 2:22).  Their lives should be self-sacrificial, directed to loving the one true God first and foremost (as His nature is revealed through close reading of the Old and New Testaments), then your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:25-28).

Yet many churches I joined were worldly (1 John 2:15, 2 Corinthians 4:18, Colossians 3:2) or else had fallen away from the truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).  The latter was of grave concern to me spiritually as it indicated that the existence of “watered down” (or apostate) Christianity, mingled with other religions into one big, unholy, mass, heralded the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world.  The Bible prophecies that the Antichrist will head up a one-world religion (with “lying signs and wonders” – such as the one I was given in the USA – behind it, as per 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10), which will deceive everyone who is not a true follower of Christ.

True followers of Christ will be persecuted, as they stick to living out the simple truths of God’s Words in the Holy Scriptures, but are exhorted by Christ to be faithful to Him “unto death” and they will inherit eternal life (Revelation 2:10).

We are exhorted to live holy, humble, self-sacrificial lives in obedience to God’s Words in both the Old and New Testaments (but especially the New).  We are told we must love God and our neighbour with everything we’ve got, and that our hearts must not be divided, or we just won’t have the kind of faith that stands up to persecution and death (Luke 6:49).

The Holy Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments have great promise of a new heaven and a new earth for believers, where order and peace are restored – even between animals that once preyed upon each other (Isaiah 11:6, Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 3:12, Revelation 21:1-2).

But we need to be actively striving, with everything we’ve got, to live humble, separate from the world (ie. holy), blameless lives – the straight and narrow gate to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13:24).  If we do not work with God’s Holy Spirit to transform our characters by living out His commandments (see Christ’s sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7), we will become foolish virgins or unprofitable servants (Matthew 25:1-3, Matthew 25:24-30).

It is not that doing things makes us right in God the Father’s eyes.  Rather that, faith that Jesus redeemed the fleshy, bodily side of us by coming to earth as the perfect Man (as He was also God), then sacrificing Himself on the cross…this faith in what Christ did means believers can have fellowship with the Father again.  If Christ had not sacrificed Himself (1 Peter 1:19), nothing any human could have done would ever have made them right in the Father’s eyes.  This is because even our best and truest acts have traces of selfishness (or sin ie. not doing God’s will but your own) in them.  So we are covered by Christ’s blood in the same way that the Israelites were covered by the Passover lamb’s blood on their door lintels in the Old Testament (Exodus 12:23).  I’m sorry if this explanation isn’t very good or detailed.  Basically, you just have to trust that Christ’s sacrifice makes you OK in the Father’s eyes, freeing you up to wholeheartedly do good deeds in His eyes.  Then, as Christ knows who you are (because you genuinely lived your whole life patterned after His, even up to your death), you can stand before Him on Judgement Day (James 2:22, Luke 21:36, Ephesians 6:13, Revelation 6:17) and be accepted before His Father.

One existing false Christ

Maitreya.  This being sits behind New Age religion and is a so-called “World Teacher” whom many non-Christian religions are waiting for.  His symbol is a six-pointed star (hexagram) and his powers come straight from Satan.  I have read there will be a “Day of Declaration” where he will telepathically message everyone on the planet to pretend that he is the one true God…however, we shouldn’t focus too much on him but on living holy, blameless lives to ensure we serve the real Jesus Christ so are kept from worshipping the Antichrist or False Christs (Revelation 3:10, Revelation 7:3, Revelation 9:4).  If we know who the real God is (holy, humble, merciful, self-sacrificing, just), we won’t fall for an imposter.

Christ Himself warned of the existence of False Christs at the end of the age, and said He has already given us the sign of His coming (His death and resurrection).  So signs and wonders, and people claiming to be Christ today, are sent to test out who God’s real followers are: Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22, Matthew 12: 38-40.

There are instructions in the New Testament on how Christian men and women are to live their lives.  Scriptures for women:

As believers in Christ, we are to forsake all worldly things/attachments, ready to give to whoever may need them:

  • Luke 14:33, Matthew 19:27-30 (this is a promise of life to come in the New Kingdom, in return for forsaking worldly goods in the present time)

We are to become as humble, open and trusting (and honest) as little children, then only can we enter the Kingdom of God:

If we sin after we have accepted Christ, we can pray to Jesus directly to forgive us (as He is our advocate with the Father).  We don’t need to confess to any human being:

We are to love not just with words but actions

Here is how believers overcome the Antichrist during the end times (which we are in):

  • Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Hope for you in tribulation

  • 1 John 4:4: “…greater is he that is in you (ie. Christ) than he that is in the world (ie. Satan)”

Put on the armour of God to stand strong spiritually against the powers of darkness

How I came to faith most recently (ie. 2013)

After leaving the Orthodox Church in 2004, I struggled to find a church in Melbourne that was really keeping Christ’s commandments.  In fact, I could find none that were.  Exhausted and disillusioned, still suffering from demons, I fell away from faith.  I went back to the world (ie. got a job), reunited with my husband (we had separated when I went to the nunnery), and “slumbered and slept” spiritually (Matthew 25:1-12).  I saw a psychiatrist instead of praying to the Lord, though the drugs she gave me did not help at all.

Interestingly, when I reunited with my husband he refused to go near me physically, hence we both became celibate.  We still loved each other, and still do, but I believe the hand of the Lord was there to prevent me falling into further sin/fornication.  As I’d married outside the Lord, and was still suffering from demons of fornication, I could not be with my husband physically and be OK spiritually.

As time passed, and the celibacy/abstinence continued, the torment of the demons lessened noticeably.  I have now been celibate for 9 years and the sensations are much less than when I first began.

A combination of factors occurred most recently to bring me to faith:

  • Feeling uncomfortable in a “leadership” role

I have never liked being a leader, and am in fact a happy helper and natural follower.

At NAB, I was put into a leadership role over men, which really embarrassed me.  I felt bossy and lacking in authority.

As Christ commands us to be servants who minister to each other, the above was going against what people should be like in the Kingdom of God.  Hence my feeling uncomfortable with it.

  • Being physically/carnally pressured by 2 men in the team at NAB.

This brought back memories of the spiritual darkness I fought at the karate school.

One of the guys kept putting his hands on me.  Though it was non-intimate, I felt very uncomfortable.  I only like my husband and my cat Buster touching me – people/creatures I know very well and trust.

The other guy was a Christian, though in the Catholic Church.  Though I was a non-believer at the time, I saw that he was not truly living the teachings of Christ.  He was eating lots of food, staring at my body and lips, and talking about how much “fun” it would be to see prostitutes in Thailand.

All of the above stirred up my spirit and made me realise that I agreed with all of the values held in the Bible eg. it is good to be spiritual and not earthly or carnal, it is good to be faithful to your spouse, etc.

  • My husband then went overseas for 2 weeks to the USA, so I had lots of time on my own.  This lead to contemplating where I was going in life and I realised I was craving stillness and solitude.  I saw that I was very unhappy and wanted to turn away from the world completely: I hated it.
  • I then came across a picture of Michael the Archangel on the Internet, striking with his sword.  The purity and inexorable decisiveness of what he was doing struck me – the beauty of holiness.  I was drawn to him due to what he represented and slowly found myself drawn back to the Bible.  At one stage I even heard myself say happily, “The Bible is a beautiful book, so much wisdom is in it…though I’m not a believer.”
  • It was then like there was a battle between two sides of me, the physical and the spiritual.  A line from the Bible struck me and I burst into tears: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).  When I read this, I knew I did have faith (or, rather, that I had been given it by God) and I had to then make a choice.
  • I remember consciously choosing the seed of faith in my heart over the logical mind (which was battling my heart).  I said to the Lord, “This will be difficult because my husband is not a believer, but I’ll try.  I promise to try.”

So it was that I came back again to faith in Jesus Christ our Saviour.  I pray that this is where I will remain eternally, and not just me but others I have met (such as you) who I care about.

2013 – 2016: Hearing Negative Voices

From 2013 – early 2016 I worked at several jobs in an attempt to help my husband pay off our mortgage. I tried to keep following the Lord but the straw that broke the camel’s back was being sexually harassed by my male boss in an otherwise good role within IT. I felt horrible, as though I was in a place that was slowly strangling me spiritually.

One night in early 2016, after a period of intense stress at work, I heard what I thought were loud male voices coming from my roof. The voices were very aggressive and hostile. They told me that if I didn’t comply with their demands they would come down from the roof and strangle me, my husband and pet cat. The voices called me a whore, on the basis of sexual sins I had committed during my life, and that I was going to hell. Oddly enough, they then suggested that I call upon Jesus Christ in prayer. At the time I had wandered very far away from the Lord but took up this suggestion and started praying for the salvation of the evil voices as well as myself. The voices then began to leave me, one by one, claiming that they had been converted and now felt much freer and lighter spiritually.

I rang the police several times that night, as I believed the voices were actual people, but had no insight into the fact that no-one else could hear them and that I was unwell. I needed help and this lead to a visit by the CAT team and a period of recovery in hospital.

At the time I was hospitalised, I was deemed to be at risk due to the following:

  • I was giving authority to negative voices, and was highly distressed emotionally by what the voices were saying.
  • I became preoccupied with Christianity. I believed this helped me fight the voices in my head, who I then saw as evil spirits or demons who were trying to take my soul.
  • I withdrew from friends and activities I had previously been occupied with and enjoyed e.g. I resigned from my workplace and started spending lots of time alone in my room. I was also drinking to excess as a way to cope.
  • I had lost my sense of humour.
  • I was having problems sleeping as the voices would wake me up at night threatening to take me to hell. There were times when I didn’t think I’d make it through the night.

The burden of experiencing negative voices was so great I feared I would never work or be productive ever again. I knew that reading the Bible and praying comforted me but was devastated when the churches I reached out to (one in particular stands out as being particularly unsympathetic, Faith Baptist Church) were unable to cast out my demons. I remember being in tears after one prayer session, almost begging my fellow parishioners (who I saw as my spiritual and godly than myself) to pray for me.

One little light in this dark journey was the discovery of a fellow Christian blogger who had also been labelled as “mentally ill.” His name was Eric. He told me he too had been rejected from several churches but that he still loved Christ and Christ’s followers. Eric stood up for me when Faith Baptist Church effectively told me never to come back.

I now believe Faith Baptist Church, and many of its parishioners have a “form of godliness” but deny its power. The Bible instructs us to “turn away” from such places (2 Timothy 3:5).

Because I was hearing horrifyingly negative voices (which I knew in my heart and soul were demons bent on my destruction), it took years of struggle and heartache, and walking away from the Lord, for me to come to the slow realisation that I was in fact saved.

I remembered back to my childhood where I had heard negative voices then too saying that they were demons who were going to hell. I had no concept at all of what demons were at that age. Because they sometimes played chasey and other games with me, though they were invisible, I thought of them as trusted friends. So when I heard that they were going to a very bad place, hell, I offered to pray to God for them. Before I did, one of the demons said, “You’d sit on the edge of hell with me, wouldn’t you, and share the hot coals?” I said, “Yes”, though still did not feel that anything was untoward about the conversation. I believe the demons then tried to dissuade me from praying but I did to God anyway, asking if He could please let my friends into heaven too so we could be together. Shortly after this the demons told me that they would repeatedly rape me, once I was an adult, so I would understand that they could never be redeemed and that God had rightly condemned them.

Shortly after this incident with the demons a lovely new book came into my life. I believe it was from my godfather Victor, my grandfather. The book was a children’s Bible with much of the Word of God included, and I took to it immediately, as I’ve outlined at the beginning of this article. I was saved very early on in life, wholeheartedly accepting Christ as the way back to my Heavenly Father. And it is not the will of the Father that little ones such as myself who came to Him early should perish:

“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14).

Overcoming the world 2020

Because my husband and family are all at the moment in unbelief, though I pray for them daily, they view my faith in Christ as mental illness. As such, I have been forced to have stays in mental health units periodically within Australia. Being labelled as mentally ill when I just love and follow Christ seems terrible and unjust until you consider three scripture verses I would like to share with you. The Lord gave them to me while I was making a prayer request for Helen, a friend who also loves the Lord and has many painful physical conditions. God the Father is breaking us down and remaking us in the image of His Son. Here are the scriptures to meditate on:

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
(Romans 8:29, King James Bible)

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, King James Bible)

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11, King James Bible)

I particularly love Revelation 12:11 as it maps out the path Christ sets us on to overcome the world, and the powers of darkness, and to be His children. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) who saves to the uttermost all those who come unto God by Him (Hebrews 7:25):

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

As Christ said in referring to His beloved Father, “He doeth the works.” So thereby does Christ do His Works in us who believe in Him:

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)

We must keep Christ’s commandments to move along His path of sanctification after we have been saved:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)


He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)


If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10)

John 20- The Resurrection Part 1 — Unashamed of Jesus

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of […]

John 20- The Resurrection Part 1 — Unashamed of Jesus

For GOD, who Commanded the LIGHT to SHINE Hallelujah Amen!! — Kristi Ann’s Haven

( II Corinthians 4:6 KJV ) “For GOD, who Commanded the LIGHT to SHINE out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of GOD in the Face of Jesus-Yeshua Christ-Messiah.”!! ( John 8:12 KJV ) “Then Spake Jesus-Yeshua Again unto them, Saying, I AM the LIGHT of the World: he […]

For GOD, who Commanded the LIGHT to SHINE Hallelujah Amen!! — Kristi Ann’s Haven

Is open theism Biblical?

Thank you to Got Questions (gotquestions.org) for the following article.

The only quibble I have is that they reference the ESV version of the Bible. I prefer the King James as I am persuaded that it is the most faithful translation we have today. For more on this see https://www.chick.com/information/why-the-kjv

Image result for god's glory

Question: “What is open theism?”

Answer: 
“Open theism,” also known as “openness theology,” the “openness of God,” and “free will theism,” is an attempt to explain the foreknowledge of God in relationship to the free will of man. The argument of open theism is essentially this: human beings are truly free; if God absolutely knew the future, human beings could not truly be free. Therefore, God does not know absolutely everything about the future. Open theism holds that the future is not knowable. Therefore, God knows everything that can be known, but He does not know the future.

Open theism bases these beliefs on Scripture passages which describe God “changing His mind” or “being surprised” or “seeming to gain knowledge” (Genesis 6:622:12Exodus 32:14Jonah 3:10). In light of the many other Scriptures that declare God’s knowledge of the future, these Scriptures should be understood as God describing Himself in ways that we can understand. God knows what our actions and decisions will be, but He “changes His mind” in regard to His actions based on our actions. God’s disappointment at the wickedness of humanity does not mean He was not aware it would occur.

In contradiction to open theism, Psalm 139:416 state, “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” How could God predict intricate details in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ if He does not know the future? How could God in any manner guarantee our eternal salvation if He does not know what the future holds?

Ultimately, open theism fails in that it attempts to explain the unexplainable—the relationship between God’s foreknowledge and mankind’s free will. Just as extreme forms of Calvinism fail in that they make human beings nothing more than pre-programmed robots, so open theism fails in that it rejects God’s true omniscience and sovereignty. God must be understood through faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6a). Open theism is, therefore, not scriptural. It is simply another way for finite man to try to understand an infinite God. Open theism should be rejected by followers of Christ. While open theism is an explanation for the relationship between God’s foreknowledge and human free will, it is not the biblical explanation.

Recommended Resource: No Other God: A Response to Open Theism by John Frame

Humility and Assurance; January 14, 2021 — Virtual Vitamins

Genesis 41:16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Here we have the key to all of Joseph’s success. His past successes in interpreting dreams could easily have gone to his head, but instead the opposite happened. He has assurance that God can and will do […]

Humility and Assurance; January 14, 2021 — Virtual Vitamins

Handel’s Messiah with Lyrics

Sydney Philharmonic Choir

PART ONE

1. Sinfonia (Overture)

2. Accompagnato

Tenor

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
 
(Isaiah 40: 1-3) 

3. Air

Tenor

Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry moutain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain. 
(Isaiah 40: 4) 

4. Chorus

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 
(Isaiah 40: 5) 

5. Accompagnato

Bass

Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts: Yet once a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.
And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come.
 
(Haggai 2: 6-7) 
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom you delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. 
(Malachi 3: 1) 

6. Air

Alto or soprano

But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire. 
(Malachi 3: 2) 

7. Chorus

And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. 
(Malachi 3: 3) 

8. Recitative

Alto

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us. 
(Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 23) 

9. Air and Chorus

Alto

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your g od! 
(Isaiah 40: 9) 
Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 
(Isaiah 60: 1) 

Chorus
O thou that tellest. . . etc.

10. Accompagnato

Bass

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
 
(Isaiah 60: 2-3) 

11. Air

Bass

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 
(Isaiah 9: 2) 

12. Chorus

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 
(Isaiah 9: 6) 

13. Pifa (“Pastoral Symphony”)

14a. Recitative

Soprano

There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. 
(Luke 2: 8) 

14b. Accompagnato

Soprano

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. 
(Luke 2: 9) 

15. Recitative

Soprano

And the angel said unto them: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
 
(Luke 2: 10-11) 

16. Accompagnato

Soprano

And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: 
(Luke 2: 13) 

17. Chorus

“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.” 
(Luke 2: 14) 

18. Air

Soprano

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
Rejoice greatly. . . da capo
 
(Zecharaiah 9: 9-10) 

19. Recitative

Alto

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
 
(Isaiah 35: 5-6) 

20. Air (or Duet)

(Alto &) soprano

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 
(Isaiah 40: 11) 
Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.
Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 
(Matthew 11: 28-29) 

21. Chorus

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. 
(Matthew 11: 30) 

PART TWO

22. Chorus

Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. 
(John 1: 29) 

23. Air

Alto

He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 
(Isaiah 53: 3) 

He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off His hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.
He was despised. . . da capo(Isaiah 50: 6)

24. Chorus

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows!
He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.
 
(Isaiah 53: 4-5) 

25. Chorus

And with His stripes we are healed. 
(Isaiah 53: 5) 

26. Chorus

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
(Isaiah 53: 6) 

27. Accompagnato

Tenor

All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: 
(Psalm 22: 7) 

28. Chorus

“He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him.” 
(Psalm 22: 8) 

29. Accompagnato

Tenor

Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him. 
(Psalm 69: 20) 

30. Arioso

Tenor

Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. 
(Lamentations 1: 12) 

31. Accompagnato

Soprano or tenor

He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken. 
(Isaiah 53: 8) 

32. Air

Soprano or tenor

But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. 
(Psalm 16: 10) 

33. Chorus

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
 
(Psalm 24: 7-10) 

34. Recitative

Tenor

Unto which of the angels said He at any time: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee?” 
(Hebrews 1: 5) 

35. Chorus

Let all the angels of God worship Him. 
(Hebrews 1: 6) 

36. Air

Alto or soprano

Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. 
(Psalm 68: 18) 

37. Chorus

The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. 
(Psalm 68: 11) 

38. Air (or « duet and Chorus »)

Soprano or alto (or soprano, alto and Chorus)

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. 
(Isaiah 52: 7; Romans 10: 15) 

39. Chorus (or air for tenor)

Their sound is gone out into all lands,
and their words unto the ends of the world.
 
(Romans 10: 18; Psalm 19: 4) 

40. Air (or « Air and Recitative »)

Bass

Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed.
 
(Psalm 2: 1-2) 

41. Chorus

Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. 
(Psalm 2: 3) 

42. Recitative

Tenor

He that dwelleth in Heav’n shall laugh them to scorn; The Lord shall have them in derision. 
(Psalm 2: 4) 

43. Air

Tenor

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 
(Psalm 2: 9) 

44. Chorus

Hallelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. 
(Revelation 19: 6) 
The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
 
(Revelation 11: 15) 
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. 
(Revelation 19: 16) 

Hallelujah!

PART THREE

45. Air

Soprano

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand
at the latter day upon the earth.
And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.
 
(Job 19: 25-26) 
For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. 
(I Corinthians 15: 20) 

46. Chorus

Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
 
(I Corinthians 15: 21-22) 

47. Accompagnato

Bass

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. 
(I Corinthians 15: 51-52) 

48. Air

Bass

The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.
The trumpet. . . da capo
 
(I Corinthians 15: 52-53) 

49. Recitative

Alto

Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
(I Corinthians 15: 54) 

50. Duet

Alto & tenor

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
 
(I Corinthians 15: 55-56) 

51. Chorus

But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
(I Corinthians 15: 57) 

52. Air

Soprano alto

If God be for us, who can be against us? 
(Romans 8: 31) 
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. 
(Romans 8: 33-34) 

53. Chorus

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.
Amen.
 
(Revelation 5: 12-14) 

Merry Christmas! — Unshakable Hope

This will be the shortest post I’ve written. It’s a post I never expected to write because I didn’t expect to be alive this Christmas. Of my more than twenty-four years with ALS, the last month has been the toughest. Beginning around Thanksgiving, my breathing went from bad to worse. I fought so hard to […]

Merry Christmas! — Unshakable Hope

LBGTQ group presses Biden to harm Christian schools — Mustard Seed Budget

The Human Rights Campaign is lobbying President-elect Biden to adopt its “Blueprint for Positive Change,” a collection of 85 policy and legislative recommendations. The group says it’s calling on Biden – if he assumes office — to fulfill his campaign pledge to support “LGBT equality” in the U.S. and around the world, according to the […]

LBGTQ group presses Biden to harm Christian schools — Mustard Seed Budget

Sean Wheeler: forgiving the types of abusers who abused him — Mustard Seed Budget

He was sexually exploited, beaten and filmed for child pornography from age 5 to 9, and now Sean Wheeler goes to meetings to minister to pedophiles. “How can a man like you forgive a man like me?” asked him a man who did prison for possession of child pornography. “Because he forgives me,” Sean answered […]

Sean Wheeler: forgiving the types of abusers who abused him — Mustard Seed Budget

Hearing God: The Plumb Line

An interesting article on the Bible’s use of the phrase “plumb line” in two minor prophets, Amos and Zechariah.

Like David, let us grow in knowing Him who is the Grand Architect and Lover of our souls. Let us be committed to His Word as the plumb line for all we say and do.

The World of Lu

Behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand.
 
As young Christian it didn’t take me too long to run into the concept of “The Plumb Line” around church circles.  People would say that the Word of God is like a plumb line for your life.  Line your life up with the Bible and it will be a plumb line to keep focused on what is upright and true.  Measure what you do and say against the plumb line.  The plumb line?  hmmm… Now what’s that?
 
A quick look at Mirriam-Webster online dictionary shows you that the definition is “a line (as of cord) that has at one end a weight (as a plumb bob) and is used especially to determine verticality. OK, line (check), weight (check) and verticality! OK, what’s vericality?  And what’s it got to do with my new life in Christ?
 
 

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