Testimony; the LORD is good and faithful
I had been raised “believing” in Jesus Christ, and I had been going to a catholic church until about three years ago when I decided to deepen my faith. However, as is the case, the truth about your religion only comes out once you decide to get committed to it. As I decided to know more about Catholicism, someone said something about Easter being related to paganism, and the face and name Jesus actually being the number of the beast spoken of in Revelations. That upset me (seeing as I did not have any evidence) and I decided to leave religion for a while.
I stopped going to church, but around the beginning of this year (2013), I decided to get back into religion, get closer with God. I was at university and I was wondering which church to go to, since I was not sure about anything much. This need deepened, and as I was walking home one day, I was accosted by some Mormon missionaries. They began talking to me about Mormonism and I thought (and mentioned) how interesting it was that just as I was thinking of getting back into religion, I come across them. I thought it was a sign from God.
So they gave me their book of Mormon (BoM) and we began meeting; I would read the BoM, go on the website and read information and ask them questions whenever we would meet. I began applying myself, being diligent to find out if the truth was in Mormonism. I would explain to them my confusion about what church/religion was right and how were they sure. The more we met, I began falling for one of the missionaries, but I remember praying to God (I still believed there was a God) to stop the feelings because if I was to join the church, I wanted it to be because of its truth, not a boy.
One evening, we were discussing the religion, and the missionaries asked me if I wanted to get baptised. This was quite a shock to me as I still was not sure of whether it was the one true church or not. I did not say no, but I decided to fast about not just the baptism, but the truth. I decided to fast for a week, occasionally drinking water or milk. In the meantime, I’d pray and cry out to God asking if I should get baptised and if not, then what was the true church?
Also, I decided to read the bible more, to give it a chance since I was reading the BoM (I did not fully believe in the words written in the bible at the time). It was so weird; similar to the Lord Jesus Christ being tempted at the end of His fast, everything was fine until the evening of the last day of my fast. Temptation was the strongest. I remember carrying my plate in and out the room, trying to convince myself that it was ok to eat then (even though there was a voice telling me that “but Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 NIGHTS, not 40 days and 39 nights).
Nonetheless, I placed the plate in front of me, and was waiting for a certain hour, and then I would break the fast. But as the hour approached, I received a txt message from my brother’s girlfriend. During the week I had told her about my fast, my confusion and everything else. Now reading her message, it said something like:
“Hey hun, I hope you’re still going strong.”
That did it for me! I put away the plate and went upstairs to sleep in order to avoid any more temptation. I knew somehow that was God, because obviously she expected me to still be fasting, not breaking it that night.
God is good; because the very next day, I receive a call from the missionary that I liked. He informs me that he has been transferred to another place. I was floored, and devastated-even more so because we’d been planning on us all having dinner later that week, and now I could not even go say goodbye to him (I was back at my hometown at this time, and he informed me he was to leave the very next day, early morning!). I hadn’t realised how much I liked him, and the pain led me to search online for reasons as to why Mormon missionaries would suddenly get transferred.
This search led on to a wealth of other information about Mormonism, which I had not known from the missionaries. God led me especially to an ex-Mormon now Christian man called Shawn McCraney, and he described his conversion. Reading the information, my heart was settled. I knew the Lord was showing me Mormonism was not it, but then what was? I had doubts in the back of my mind about Christianity, but I stilled believed in God and still prayed believing somewhat in Jesus Christ. I kept drinking information concerning Mormonism, and watching Shawn’s show, getting informed and still searching for definite truth.
One day, I was at my university town I remember scrolling down to read comments on a video and there was this person who said something along the lines of: I used to be a mormon, but then discovered it was a cult based around a man called Joseph Smith, then I became Christian but also found that was a cult based around a man called Jesus Christ, so now I believe in God.
That floored me and I became deeply upset. Somehow, I had still held on to a shaky belief in Jesus Christ, but now, I was confronted with the fact that what if we were just worshipping a man and God was angry with us because of that? (First commandment by God was “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”). In this fragile state of mind, I took the bus to go back to my hometown and was poring over some notes for university work.
Suddenly, as a lighting flash a thought came into my head, regarding something I had read before in the bible. I wasn’t sure, but as I searched for the scripture online, I began to get excited. Then I found the scripture, and my joy was indescribable once I read it. It was 1 John 4: 1:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.”
I knew this was from the Lord, and through this He revealed several things to me. First, that there was something special about the words written in the Bible. I thought, how would a book, written over two thousand years ago know that that one of the ways to try/test the spirits years later would be if that spirit denied that Christ came in flesh-as that comment on Youtube had done?
As I later relayed this testimony to my friend, he mentioned that this contention was always going to be the case, because this man claimed to be God in flesh. This is true, but I guess that is why God in His infinite wisdom made me go through much more, before speaking to someone else about this (otherwise I might have doubted and suffered another setback). In any case, my friend had a point, but the Lord also revealed something else from this.
Growing up, I had heard about anti-christ and thought that it was something against Jesus Christ. Instead, the Lord made me realise the anti-christ was also something that changed the identity of who Jesus Christ was, as the bible purported Him to be, and unlike other religions portrayed Him as.
Mormonism acknowledges Jesus, but as our spiritual brother. Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge Him, but as an archangel. Islam acknowledges Him, it even acknowledges that He was born of a virgin birth (unlike the other prophets), performed miracles (unlike the other prophets), will come again (unlike the other prophets), and yet despite this, He is considered as just another prophet. They all acknowledge Him and the miraculous things He did but for them He was not Jesus Christ (the anointed, the One with the Spirit of God), come in flesh.
This deception was even more obvious when God gave me deeper understanding. The Lord Jesus Christ once asked His disciples “Whom say the people that I am?” (Luke 9: 20). Just like many today give Him a different identity, they replied different things, saying “John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” (Luke 9:19). The deception was even clearer when Jesus’ words echoed in my mind: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14: 6). Despite acknowledging Him, the other religions removed His identity as the way to the Father.
So after this revelation, it was clear to me. But I still had some doubts, and I guess God could read my mind! After agonising over what movie to watch days later, a friend of mine and I settled on Charlie’s Angels. I was hardly paying attention, until the words of Charlie caught me. I had to go back home and re-watch the scene. Charlie is walking on the beach, the camera behind him, and the girls say something like “Charlie, we missed seeing you again!” (he escaped from them). And he says (looking at them from afar): “Sorry Angels, but first I have something precious to watch over” (and this is where somehow I just understood God’s love for me). Then one of the girls says something like “But Charlie, how will we ever know that you really, truly exist if you don’t come down and have a coconut with us?!” And Charlie replies: “Faith, Angels. It’s called Faith.” See, when God speaks to you, you just know. I knew what the Lord was telling me: it doesn’t matter how much evidence I show you (that’s what I had been wanting), I’ve revealed to you the truth about Jesus Christ, but you need to understand it’s about having faith. So I understood. And as I began reading the bible more, all these quotes about faith would begin popping out at me: it being impossible to please God without faith, God being faithful always…
Not so long after, I was at my university town, it was my very last day in my accommodation, I was dragging my broken suitcase and grumbling, because I had to manoeuvre it round a parked car. As I passed, a man came across the road, asking me if I wanted help and a lift, saying he’s finished what he was doing in the bushes. I eyed him suspiciously, asking what it was he was doing. He said simply, “I was praying.”
So I relaxed a bit, accepted the offer (praying to God in my heart that this man would be safe) and having put my suitcase in the car, we set off. I asked him who he was praying to, he tells me God. He asks me if I believe, I reply yes, and he tells me of his personal testimony, where he was supernaturally healed as a child. He tells me emphatically that God is real; He has shown him visions, things that are in heaven, amazing things and that all these things on earth one day will be destroyed-buildings, cars.
The more he speaks, the more I realise that he is answering many questions I had asked the Lord in my room when I was praying and confused. We arrived at around the bus stop and he says: “you see that lady going in? Before her generation – before your mother’s generation passes, these things will come to happen.” (meaning the things in Revelation).
Naturally, for a “non-practicing so-called Christian,” I was afraid. I asked him “why now, when I’m alive?” I’d always heard about Jesus Christ coming back. And he replied “what time did we meet?” (we met around 3:30 if I remember correctly).
And then asked “and what time is it now?” I smiled as I understood what he meant- that God’s time is God’s time, because from when he picked me up, till I ran errands and we got to the bus stop, we had had enough time to talk about all the things that were necessary for me to hear.
This essentially was my conversion, because I understood what God was telling me: He is real, Jesus Christ is real and the end is coming soon. This was confirmed the next day when my friend and I were out, and were randomly called by a gentleman, who asked us if we were Christians. We got into a discussion, it turned out he was a Christian too, he had his personal testimony where the Lord revealed Himself to him and again like the day before, he spoke something similar to rapture and that we are in the end generation.
Then one night I dreamt something being told to me: “it is in Ephesians 6:11.” I woke and checked it, and the page was about putting on the whole armour of God, and as I read on, it says:
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:14-16).
Like I said, when God speaks to you, you know. The first time I heard the Lord’s voice, I woke up one morning and began praying for those whom I loved and who did not fully believe in Him, and He said “So it shall be done.” I just knew it was Jesus, His voice was soft, but it had such authority. I was so excited! The more I went out (to witness), the more I would hear of Jesus changing peoples’ lives.
Despite this though, (a reflection of the human mind), I had some doubts in my head. I remember going back home after an event, sitting at the top of the bus. The sun was shining, hundreds of people were milling about, playing in the fountain, enjoying themselves. There were so many of them. I thought kind of absent-mindedly to myself “you mean to tell me that all these people will go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ?” As I looked down on my lap to the book I was reading, I just decided to look back up out of the window and what I saw gave me a weird feeling. A man was walking by, simply holding a placard which said “All shall face the judgement seat of Christ.” Sheepish, I understood that the Lord was confirming to me that indeed, even all those people shall face Him.
After that and in the following weeks, I had several supernatural attacks, when sleeping, or awake and praying. One such time (the second time I heard the voice of the Lord, and this time it was more like thunder), I was asleep in my mother’s room. Then I awoke, and my being felt weird. I strongly felt like the Lord had woken me to pray.
I looked over at my mum- she was awake, on the computer, even though it was around 1:50 am. I figured she must not be thinking about good things. I turned back, half asleep and began praying, casting out demons and spirits (I figured, my being feels weird and if the Lord is waking me in the middle of the night, it’s not something good).
So I kept praying. And then (this happened twice I think), my mum calls my name. I stop, turn and answer, and she asks “are you screaming? Why are you screaming? I can hear you screaming.!” And I replied “no, I’m praying.” (Bear in mind she had headphones on, and I was whispering because I didn’t want to disturb her.
She definitely heard me screaming, because she told other family members that she heard me screaming as though I was being attacked). I kept praying, because my body wouldn’t let up. And then at some point, with my eyes closed, I saw/pictured a being; all-encompassing is how I can describe. I knew it was God. And then I pictured a few smaller beings rushing to him, and the voice from the all-encompassing being said: “And they all came to me, and I cast them out.”
I remember thinking: how dare they go to Him when I’m casting them out in His name. But the most interesting thing was when I finished after a while and my body started feeling “calmer”, as I glanced over at my mum, and she was deep asleep! A pastor later surmised that the Lord was waking me up to pray for souls (my mums’ most likely at that time).
There are many, many more ways in which the Lord has moved into my life. I will give my email if you want to hear more. But my main messages are these: this world is broken because of man and sin. Adam and Eve are not just fables: God is a Spirit. And He is real. The Lord Jesus Christ is God come as man, to reconcile sinful men unto Himself. He loves us that much. Anyone who rejects Christ is condemned; he has rejected God’s sacrifice and he remains in his old nature. And the bible says that the wages of sin is death. It is the Holy Spirit of Christ that dwells in us that changes us from the inside. It brings us into His likeness and makes us children of the Father.
Don’t look at the majority of people professing to be Christians to judge the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly believing in Jesus Christ leads to a radical change, particularly because one becomes part of a process of regeneration, making us into His likeness. We still sin, but the Spirit dwelling inside of us changes us, and it draws us to the Father. Spending time with Him becomes pleasurable, reading the scriptures becomes necessary and so does doing His will above anyone else’s.
The Lord Jesus said
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
I pray that at least one person reads this and searches the Lord while there is still time, while He can still be found. In this world, there is a war for souls. Jesus Christ has done it all already, for us. We are called to carry our cross and follow Him. You have to seek Him, He is there. No matter what your religion is, if you seek the truth, you will find it in Jesus Christ alone, because as He said, He is the truth. He is King, and He will come again to judge and to reign.
If you ask Him to reveal Himself to you, He will. And believe me, He fills the loneliness, anxiety and fear that characterises all human beings today. And believe me, having a relationship with God fulfils every craving that man has, because we were made for Him. He is so good. Catholicism is not Christianity. Neither is Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses etc. All we need is Jesus-no saints, rosary, Mary etc. They were mere mortal and are all in Heaven now. Our only connection to God is through JESUS alone. The Lord wills that none should perish. He is still calling out. Please answer Him, cry out to Him today.