My original condition:
Agnosticism: The claim (denied by Romans 1:18-20) that one has no knowledge of God or the origin of the universe. Some agnostics make the claim on a personal level, while allowing that such knowledge may exist but has never been known by themselves. Others assert that such knowledge cannot be had by anyone. Agnostics avoid the charge of dogmatic atheism by acknowledging the theoretical possibility of God's existence. Yet virtually all live as if the non-existence of God was an established fact, and are thus practical atheists.
What happened to me:
This is a list of events beginning on or about January 10, 1985
(1st Day) For some unexplained reason, at least at the time, I began watching TBN. I thought it was all a bit strange at first. Then I found my self CRYING ( for no reason) and unable to change the TV channel. I went to bed that night in amazement of what was happening to me for no apparent reason. (2nd Day) The next day when I turned on the TV, it was still on TBN. Again, I JUST HAD TO WATCH IT, I didn't know why, I just had to watch.
Then, between the main programs, TBN was showing a series of short films about Jesus and his life. As I watched one that showed Jesus dying on the cross, my room was filled with a POWER I had never seen or sensed before in my life. I found my self getting out of my chair and falling to my knees, with my head bowed, and still crying, SAYING OUT LOUD!
FORGIVE ME LORD!
I DID NOT KNOW YOU WERE REAL AND ALIVE TODAY!
This visitation from Yahshua was the last thing I would have ever imagined!
Romans 14:10-12 ..... For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
I now believed in Him "Yahshua"!!
Jesus "Yahshua" didn't stay long on that first of many visits, but it's the one I remember best!
This is the miracle He performed during His first visit:
(3rd Day) I awoke the next day, knowing I had been radically changed .
Jesus had Immediately delivered me from: (He had taken my "Want-to" away)
1) Smoking ( 3 packs a day habit)
2) Alcoholism ( 4 or 5 drinks every night "Rum & Coke")
3) Prescription Medication ( Ativan , 3 times a day habit)
All, without any withdraw symptoms of any kind
He also delivered me from fornication. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20) I just didn't know it yet.
I was a " practical atheist" and totally Un-Churched, the groups I associated with did not use the word. These Methodist that the Lord had sent me to just kept bringing it up and saying it was a bad thing. For a long time I just ignored the fact that I really did not know what they were talking about exactly. So, one day I decided to look up the definition. To my utter astonishment it applied to me!! It was one of those rarer lean times in my love life, so I wasn't currently involved with anyone, but fornication definitely applied to my regular un-saved and sinful behavior.
***( Consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other )***
This path of delivery took a bit longer and was more difficult for me to embrace. This ordeal alone would no doubt require at least another entire page to describe it completely. Lets just say. I did finally get delivered and have been celibate now for almost 20 years. When GOD wants to do something, it will get done. Evan if my initial cooperation was minimal on this issue, He has ways not available to men to cause one to be more willing when necessary. ( I personally do NOT recommend one should resist the LORD in any way. It's just not a good Idea.) Thank you LORD, "Yahshua the Messiah" for my salvation and delivery from my sinful and dangerous activity's!!!
Sure, I knew Jesus was a Biblical character, but I had no idea He was REAL and ALIVE today.
People were often telling me I should go to church and STOP doing this and START doing that. Each church had a different set of DO'S and DON'TS and no one ever actually told me. JESUS WAS REAL! HE LIVES TODAY! And I needed to meet this man from the Bible. (Yahshua the Messiah)
(Because of the world we currently live in, I have to be VERY CLEAR as to what happened to me on this day, the most important day of my life)
WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE:
There is only one true God eternally revealed in three distinct Persons -- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Human beings are sinners who (without the grace of God received through faith in Christ) are eternally lost. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, (Col.2:9 "For in him dwells (lives) the fullness of the Godhead (deity) bodily" (bodily form). All that makes God who He is, is to be found in Jesus.) born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose physically from the dead as the sole and sufficient payment for the sins of humanity.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You (Yahweh), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You (Yahweh) have sent.
The Father is "YHWH", "Yahweh" the "MOST HIGH GOD", Yah is my GOD!
Jesus is the "Son of GOD", "Yahshua the Messiah", Yahshua is my LORD!
1 Jn.4:15: "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the SON OF GOD, God abideth in him, and he in God. ."
WHAT I KNOW TO BE FALSE:
Polytheism: The belief in the existence of a plurality of gods, in contrast to monotheism (one God) or atheism (no God or gods). Examples include Greek, Roman and Norse mythology; ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian religions; and some forms of neo-paganism, Wicca, and New Age belief. Some forms of Hinduism combine polytheism with pantheism (all is God). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches a form of Christianized polytheism, since it holds that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three Gods and that human beings can become exalted to Godhood.
Now that I have made my beliefs clear, I can continue!
That first year was one of much prayer while trying to figure out what had just happened to me. The Lord first sent me to a Methodist church just down the road from where I lived. There I led a small Bible teaching class. My spiritual life was beginning to take shape, in this rather quiet church, which had mostly older folks attending. They baptized me by "SPRINKLING" me with water, which the "Pentecostal movement " later thought was insufficient, so they rebaptized me in a river while on a boat trip.
Lots of things were happening to me during this first year of being a Christian. The one I remember the best is this one:
Yahshua introduced His Father to me!
Mt 11:27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The ordinary usage of the word POWER, does not even begin to describe what I encountered on this occasion. It was as though all the POWER in the entire universe was far to close to me for comfort. This POWER had set ablaze every Star in the sky above and was holding every galaxy with its millions of stars and every planet in its place. Even this description is lacking.
This FRIGHTENED me so bad I told both of them to leave.
(Immediately, I REGRETTED DOING THAT!!)
They BOTH stayed away for a week or so.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
Then Jesus "Yahshua" showed up again while I was praying and He tried to introduce me to His Father a 2nd time. This time I behaved my self, and I welcomed His Father, as my Father, by calling Him "Abba, Father"! It was actually hard to say it the first time. It seemed so out of character for me to speak this way. From that day forward, I call no one on this earth father! My earthly parent is always referred to as Dad!! I felt as though Yahshua had given me to His Father and my guardianship was now in His hands. Something not to BE taken lightly!
Romans 8: 14 - 16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
John 4:22-24 Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
One final note before I go:
1 Jn.4:15: "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the SON OF GOD, God abideth in him, and he in God.
Notice it states that if we confess this, God indwells us, yet we are to believe from those who deny the deity of Christ that God does not dwell in his Son. In addition to this, Yahshua (Jesus) has never usurped His Fathers authority and position as the "Most High God" in that Yahshua Himself refers to His Father "Yahweh" (even still today) as His GOD! He (Yahshua) has set the example as to who we as "children of God" should be calling GOD! If Yahshua can do this with all of His POWER and AUTHORITY then I as having received the " Spirit of adoption" should be able to show the same respect to His Father as He (Yahshua) does, by calling His Father (Yahweh) the " one true God". Jesus (Yahshua) didn't even want people to call Him GOOD. He said only His Father was GOOD. Even though I have said all of this, I can certainly understand why people insist on calling Jesus (Yahshua) God. Even though the scripture would suggest we not do it, to preserve the ultimate and final authority His Father (Yahweh) now has and will have for ever. Amen
As you read and believe the truth in this Testimony, I pray, Yahshua, will have mercy on You, as He had on me!
Some have suggested I include with this testimony the things that took place after this would be helpful in determining the truth of it all. So, here are some of the effects this encounter had on my life.
Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.
(1st year stuff) I began reading the Bible for the fist time in my life. Since I had just met Jesus, I wanted to know what He actually did say. Not some religious interruption that tried to tell me what they though the text said to support their specific brand of Christianity. So, I began reading just the RED text in the Bible on my own, knowing the Holy Spirit would lead me into knowing the real truth contained in this book we call the Bible. In other words, I TRUSTED HIM!!
I went through a number of Bibles, because when I got to some passage the Holy Spirit wanted me to take note of, I would begin to cry. The tears would flow, and the pages of the Bible I was currently reading would get all wrinkly. This also caused me to HIGHLIGHT the specific text with a colored highlighting pen. After a year or so I would have so much highlighted that I would decide to start over again with a new Bible. I finally settled on the NEW King James version and a highlighter that does not bleed through to the other side of the page or smear when tears get on it.
I have now read the Bible 3 times through from cover to cover. My favorite is Revelation. I think at last count I have read that book as least 12 or 13 times in its entirety. The Bible is truly an amazing book. Every time I read the Bible something NEW seems to just jump out at me and I can say: "Gee I didn't know that was in there." My question was always the same. "How come no one is preaching on this?" The answer was always the same "It would diminish the money given in the offering plate and those who run the churches would rather take in the maximum amount money instead of telling the full truth to those attending."
During the 2nd year of my salvation the Lord called me to pray 1 hour per day. If I awoke before 3am I would start with "Thank you for today Lord" if after 3am I would begin with "Thank you for a NEW day Lord". Either way I would look at my watch and note the time. If it was 4:44am then I would sit and pray till 5:44am. After the 1st 45 minutes or so I would run out of things to ask for and complain about. This left me with at least 15 minutes of pure LISTENING TIME. It's amazing what you can hear from the Lord if you really commit to listening. It was really a great training experience to do this for ONE YEAR!! Now my prayer life seems as normal as breathing.
The 3rd year, I fasted for one day every week for ONE YEAR (Saturday was the chosen day). This was really amazing to me. Fasting seemed to clean out my ears somehow. My Father and Yahshua were both easier to hear and be with when I had my flesh under at least some control. I now practice several kinds of fasting in my life on a regular basis. This allows me to have a wonderful daily on going relationship with my Father and "Yahshua the Messiah" without interruptions. Thank you LORD for finding me when I least expected it.
There is more to say! I must quit somewhere.
I leave you to consider this final thought:
TRUST HIM!! HE WILL REWARD YOU FOR DOING SO!!
A NOTE to those that may still wonder what actually happened to ME ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO:
I now believe my 1st meeting with Jesus "Yahshua the Messiah" was a "SMALL SCALE" example of an event that will soon happen to every person on this earth. Some destined for HELL and some destined for HEAVEN!
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power <1411> and great glory.
DUNAMIS: (Strong's numbering 1411) " Demonstrative Power"From which we get our word for dynamite. It speaks of actual power as in a wrestling match. It is physical or real strength, not figurative strength. It stands for his mighty works, as opposed to his mighty words. It is also this power that is referred to when miracles, signs and wonders are mentioned. It speaks of one's ability over the opponent's strivings. It is explosive power. It is to that power our Lord refers when speaking of His coming in great power <1411> and glory.