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)

A Prayer on Holiness from Derek Prince

The Goal is Holiness — The Constant Battle

I’m writing down the prayer for others to use if they desire to. Thanks to Newton Mortha from Linked If for the content:

“My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus.

My members, the parts of my body are instruments of righteousness yielded to God, for His service and for His Glory.

The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me, all has been settled by the blood of Jesus.

I overcame Satan, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of my testimony. And l love not my life, unto death (see Revelation 12:11. King James Bible).

My body is for the Lord, and the Lord is for my body. Amen.”

Hallelujah! Praise be to God. Thank You.

The Discipline of God

Dr. Andrew Farley on Twitter: "God's discipline is training for the future,  not punishment for the past.… "

This article comes from a brother-in-Christ on Linked In. His name is Newton.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 7

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Three graphic images are developed in Scripture to illustrate how God uses suffering in pursuance of his purpose to make us holy, in .other words, Christlike. They are the father disciplining his children, the metalworker refining silver and gold, and the gardener pruning his vine. The father-children picture is already seen in Deuteronomy, where Moses says: ‘Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.’

The metaphor is taken up again in the book of Proverbs, where it is stressed that a father’s discipline is an expression of his love for his children, and the Proverbs verses are quoted in the letter to the Hebrews and echoed in Jesus’ message to the Laodicean church.!’

The Hebrews passage is the longest. It teaches that fatherly discipline marks out the true sons from the illegitimate; that God disciplines us only ‘for our good’, namely ‘that we may share in his holiness’; that at the time discipline is painful not pleasant, but that later ‘it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace’, not indeed for everybody (for some rebel against the discipline), but for those who submit to it and so are ‘trained by it’.

The second picture of God as the refiner of silver and gold occurs three times in the Old Testament, where it is made clear that the place of refinement for Israel was ‘the furnace of affliction’, and Peter applies it to the testing of our Christian faith in ‘all kinds of trials’. The process will be distressing, but through it our faith (‘of greater worth than gold’) will both be proved genuine and result in glory to Jesus Christ.

The third picture Jesus himself developed in his allegory of the vine, in which the fruitfulness of the branches (almost certainly a symbol of Christian character) will depend not only on their abiding in the vine, but also on their being pruned by the vine dresser. Pruning is a drastic process, which often looks cruel, as the bush is cut right back and left jagged and almost naked. But when the spring and summer come round again, there is much fruit.

All three metaphors describe a negative process, disciplining the child, refining the metal and pruning the vine. But all three also underline the positive result – the child’s good, the metal’s purity, the vine’s fruitfulness. We should not hesitate to say, then, that God intends suffering to be a ‘means of grace’. Many of his children can repeat the psalmist’s statement: ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word’ (Ps. 119:67). For if God’s love is holy love, as it is, then it is concerned not only to act in holiness (as in the cross of Christ), but also to promote holiness (in the people of God).

As we have already seen, suffering fosters perseverance and purifies faith. It also develops humility, as when Paul’s thorn in the flesh was to keep him ‘from becoming conceited’ And it deepens insight, as through the pain of Hosea’s unrequited love for Gomer there was revealed to him the faithfulness and patience of Yahweh’s love for Israel.

Biblical teaching and personal experience thus combine to teach that suffering is the path to holiness or maturity. There is always an indefinable something about people who have suffered. They have a fragrance which others lack. They exhibit the meekness and gentleness of Christ. One of the most remarkable statements Peter makes in his first letter is that ‘he who has suffered in his body is done with sin’ (4:1). Physical affliction, he seems to be saying, actually has the effect of making us stop sinning. This being so, I sometimes wonder if the real test of our hunger for holiness is our willingness to experience any degree of suffering if only thereby God will make us holy.

Unlocking the Bible with David Pawson

David Pawson - Wikipedia

A friend called Greg who distributes gospel tracts with me every Saturday let me know about a series of very interesting and edifying videos by the late David Pawson. The series is called “Unlocking the Bible.” Highly recommended:

https://www.davidpawson.org/resources/series/unlocking-the-new-testament-1

https://www.davidpawson.org/resources/series/unlocking-the-new-testament

Your friend in Christ,

Naomi

Allah – the Greatest Deceiver of them All

Wisconsin Christian News

The Quran describes Allah as the best deceiver there is, a liar who is not above using the same evil and wicked schemes of his opponents.

For example, the Quran calls Allah a makr, in fact the best makr there is:

But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers (Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru al-makireena)! S. 3:54; cf. 8:30

Other texts that identify Allah as a makr include:

Are they then secure from Allah’s deception (makra Allahi)? None deemeth himself secure from Allah’s deception (makra Allahi) save folk that perish. S. 7:99

So they schemed a scheme: and We schemed a scheme (Wamakaroo makran wamakarna makran), while they perceived not. S. 27:50

For the original article in its entirety see below:

http://64.71.77.248/answering_islam/shamoun/allah_best_deceiver.html

The Genealogy of Genesis 5

Progressive Revelations: Hidden Message in Genesis 5
What is being revealed in Genesis 5, according to the meaning of the Hebrew names?

The above is a pithy summary of the Christian gospel that is found in the Torah. If these words were in any other order, they wouldn’t make sense. As it is, they point to the truth about Jesus.

I am indebted to the late Chuck Missler for the above, which can be found in his YouTube session two on the rapture (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdufyUUfRmk)

Bible Prophecy: The Rapture and Jewish Weddings

What Were Weddings Like in Jesus' Day? - Catholic Standard - Multimedia  Catholic News

Kindly provided by: http://www.makinglifecount.net

There is an interesting parallel between a Jewish wedding and the Rapture. Only a Pre-Tribulation
Rapture will fit into this scenario. Three groups of people were present at every Jewish wedding—the
groom, the bride, and the invited guests. Three groups of people will also be involved in the marriage of
the Lamb.

  1. The Groom—this is Jesus (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:23-27)
  2. The Bride—this is the Church (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:22-32, Rev. 21:9-10)
  3. The Guests—these are people saved after the Rapture (Matt. 25:1-10). Some people have mistakenly
    interpreted the 10 virgins as the Church. However, they are the guests invited to the wedding feast and
    are not the bride.

Three Aspects of a Jewish Wedding

There were also three aspects of every Jewish wedding. The same is true with the marriage of the Lamb.

  1. The Wedding Contract (Betrothal).
    This is when a person is saved (2 Cor. 11:2).
  2. The Wedding Ceremony (Groom receives Bride).
    This is the Rapture (John 14:2-3). Revelation 19:7 literally reads, “The marriage of the Lamb came and
    His wife prepared herself.” The wedding already occurred in heaven at the Rapture, and now the Lamb
    and the Church are about to return to earth for the wedding feast. This parallels what Jesus said in Luke
    12:36, “And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding…” (It should
    read “wedding,” not “wedding feast” as some versions say. Why would someone wait after the wedding
    feast when the celebration is over?)
  3. The Wedding Feast (Guests are invited to the celebration).
    This is the Second Coming (Matt. 25:1-10) “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper
    of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9). A bride is not invited to her own wedding! The Church was married to Christ at
    the Rapture and the wedding feast will occur on earth after the Second Coming. Those people saved
    after the Rapture will be invited to participate in the wedding feast.
    And here’s one more thought to ponder…

Three Times of Redemption

“Redemption” means “to purchase.” When a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, his or her
spirit is redeemed at that time. At the Rapture, the person’s body will be redeemed through resurrection.
At the Second Coming, Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives to redeem the earth. The earth has been
under a curse since the fall of Adam & Eve, and Jesus will lift the curse when He sets up His kingdom on
earth.

  1. When you were saved by receiving Jesus as your Lord, He redeemed your spirit.
    (1 Peter 1:18, Eph. 1:7)
  2. At the Rapture, Jesus will redeem your body. (Rom. 8:23, Eph. 1:14, 4:30).
  3. At the Second Coming, Jesus will redeem the earth. (Rom. 8:19-22) At this time, the curse which
    was placed on it because of the fall of man (Gen. 3:17-19) will be lifted (Zech. 14:11).

You have permission to copy and distribute this article.

My Favourite Resurrection Words

Tuesday of Holy Week | Peter denies jesus, Biblical art, Jesus

This article was posted by my friend in Christ Bill Taylor on Linked In. I found it very encouraging and wanted to share:

The hardest part for Jesus about dying on the cross was being separated from God his Father. God could not look on Him while the guilt of all our sins, past, present and future rested on Jesus as He paid the penalty for our sins. When He rose from the dead, Jesus proved His power over death, so we know He will raise us up in His time. The two resurrection words that pull most at my heart are “and Peter” when the angel told the women, “But go your way, tell his disciples AND PETER” Mark 16:7.

Peter denied Jesus 3 times and felt terrible (Mt. 26:75, Lk. 22:62). Women like to bring peace and encourage men if men will listen. God knew that the women would tell Peter that Jesus still wanted him. It worked – Peter was with the disciples when Jesus told them to Get Going! and gave them the Holy Spirit: Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:21-22 When Jesus said “and Peter,” He knew Peter wouldn’t get going. He knew Peter would go fishing instead, and He said “and Peter” ANYWAY! Wow! Think about His love for YOU! Jesus went after Peter AGAIN (Jn. 21).

Having created Peter, Jesus knew that men are afraid to admit their feelings for fear of being hurt. Peter had seen Jesus WEEP at Lazarus’ tomb, he saw Him mourn for Jerusalem (Mt. 23:37, Lk. 13:34) and Capernaum (Mt. 11:23, Lk. 10:15). Peter knew that if he let God send him as God had sent Jesus, he would be hurt when people he loved didn’t accept the gospel. He wanted no part of Jesus’ sorrow or grief (Is. 53:3-4). Jesus FORCED Peter to admit that Peter loved Jesus. That didn’t make Peter love Jesus – he already did – but Peter didn’t recognize his love for Jesus.

Once he admitted to himself that he loved Jesus, however, Peter couldn’t stop; he HAD to spread the word (2 Cor. 5:14)! That’s why Jesus wants us to know His love for us. Similarly, a man must ADMIT to himself that he loves his wife, and then he must convince HER that he loves her. If he doesn’t do that, telling lost people that God loves them won’t work. When lost people see husband and wife forgiving one another and passing God’s love and grace back and 4th between them, they want God’s love for themselves.

Jesus set the example just after the resurrection – “and Peter!” By that, He meant and you, and He meant and me and He meant and my wife. He meant and everyone who chooses to belong to Him, no matter what our sins have been. We must forgive and encourage each other as Christ forgave and encouraged Peter. You can sum up the entire gospel of repentance, grace, forgiveness, and love in two words, “and Peter.”

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