L. A. Marzulli
My Personal Testimony: How I became born again and Spirit-filled
I was born in 1950 to parents of Italian descent who were Catholic. As a child I was in awe of what happened at church every Sunday because the priest, who was dressed in robes and was surrounded by lit candles and incense, seemed to my boyhood mind like some special magician between the people, sitting in typical sheep-like fashion, and God.
I didn’t understand anything that was being said because it was all in Latin. I knelt, stood, tried not to fidget (which was almost impossible in the wool pants that I wore) and when I became older I served briefly, very briefly, as an altar boy.
One of the most traumatic events in my life was the death of my grandfather. I was only five at the time of his passing, but it was a blow to my spirit and although I didn’t grasp the finality of it as a boy of five, it was life changing.
I remember, right before my grandfather’s untimely death, grabbing his oversized Bible, constructing a make-shift pulpit in front of the long dining room table where my relatives were all eating and, while I couldn’t read a word, giving my first sermon. I shouted, “What is the truth?”
I recently spoke to my parents about this and they informed me that it was hysterical to all who were gathered at that table long ago. They said that the more everyone laughed the more insistent, passionate, and serious I became, and this from a five-year-old….
Looking back, it was a foreshadowing of what I do today. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
When we moved from Waltham, Massachusetts, to Berwyn, Pennsylvania, I was 10 years old. It was a new environment for me and it took some time for me to adjust to the school I found myself in. It was a Catholic school and for me it was torture. Like many young boys, I found it almost impossible to sit still and focus on what was being taught. All I wanted to do was go outdoors and play and run in the woods! This is the reason why I am still trying to learn the art of punctuation today, because I was totally checked out when this was being taught in the third grade! Where do I place those pesky commas?
At thirteen I decided to leave the church. I did so after I went through the confirmation process. This was just unbearable because we had to memorize a gazillion catechism questions.
When the bishop showed up at the church, all of us who had spent weeks memorizing these questions and answers in case we were called were stupefied when the good bishop didn’t ask us one question, not one! Something in me gave up on the Catholic Church at that point. In fact, I announced, much to my parents’ dismay, that I didn’t want to go to church anymore. My mother was aghast; my father took it in stride. This began the years in which God (whoever I may have thought He was) took a back seat to everything else I deemed important. He was, for all practical purposes, at the bottom of my list. More truthfully, He didn’t make the list at all.
I went through junior and senior high school and hated most of it. I didn’t fit in. Music was my big out and I was the co-leader of the most popular band in the school. We rocked the house and looked as freaky as possible. This was the 60s and I was desperately trying to be a hippie with my long, frizzy hair and pimpled face. Acne really is the bane of young people who endure those teenage years.
I was a nature counselor at the local YMCA during one summer and it was there, at the age of 16, that I met the first girl on whom I really had a crush. Her name was Michelle and she was only 14! Before I could take her to the YMCA dance, her father interrogated me—think the real Archie Bunker here! We were in love, at least as much as immature teenagers can be. We dated all through my high school years, and then we broke up for some stupid reason that I can’t remember.
It was during this period that the lead guitarist in the band introduced me to marijuana. The first time I took it I laughed and laughed and thought this was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. We moved from smoking pot to LSD and right after graduation, in the summer of 1969, I found myself sitting in the large field with thousands of other stoned- out hippies in what would become the legendary Woodstock concert.
Unlike our former president, I inhaled as often as I could. Looking back at those days and some 42 years later, I realize that my generation was hoodwinked and lied to. The Beatles and other bands at the time promulgated the use of drugs. As many of you who are reading this know, drugs have been the cancer of our society. When I speak at conferences I sometimes ask the audience to give a show of hands of people who either have been or know people in rehab. The hands go flying up and to our dishonor it’s most of the audience. Drugs have changed the moral fabric of this country forever, but I digress.
It was during this time that I was sitting in my room on LSD and reading Michelle’s letters and another girl’s letters, trying to decide whom I should be with. At the same time I was trying to read the book of Revelation, which was way too taxing for my drug-infested brain! I was asking (actually more like challenging) that if there was a God, He show me which girl I should be with. About an hour later (by this time it was around midnight) my father came into my room and announced that Michelle had been killed in a hit-and-run automobile accident. Remember that at this time I was high on LSD and so my emotions were like Jello in a blender. I was stunned and I just sat there not being able to move for what seemed like a very long time. Eventually I went to bed and when I awakened I asked my father if Michelle was dead or did I dream that I heard this. He informed me that it was true. This is the one single event that changed my life. It sent me on a quest that didn’t end until 12 long, weary, years later.
Her death was so final, there were no second chances or do-overs; it was a wakeup call and I was cut to the quick by it.
Michelle’s death started me on a journey to find out the meaning of life. To discover who God is, or better yet, even if He existed at all.
I began to read everything I could get my hands on. I read books on the occult, tomes by Carlos Castanada, Blavatsky, Euspensky and others who introduced me to the New Age paradigm. I continued to experiment with drugs, looking to be enlightened by them. I went on vision quests and very often when taking psychedelics I had horrible experiences. I realize now that all of these drugs were gateways into the occult, stepping-stones to the world of the Fallen One and his dark purposes.
What was the purpose of this life? Why were we here? What was the meaning of love? I pondered these and other questions looking for answers but not finding any.
After three years of searching, and now 21 years old, I still had not found what I was looking for. I heard about a course called Silva Mind Control, which was invented by Jose Silva. I took a friend along with me and we signed up for the course. I had no idea what I was getting into, but the flyer that I had looked at promised me that I would have the ability to diagnose and heal those who were sick. We were told to lie down on the floor and visualize a workroom. Then we were told to create imaginary counselors to help us in this workroom. My counselors were Jesus, Curly, of the Three Stooges, and the Lone Ranger. LOL! I figured that each of them could be trusted. Much to my amazement they would appear with me in my imaginary workroom. We have discussed some of what this is in the pages of this book. I was being indoctrinated into the occult, using meditation and what is known as guided imagery to catapult me into the unseen world of the spirit.
When we graduated we had to perform a test to see whether or not we could function as “seers.” I was handed a 3 x 5 index card with a name on it, nothing more. I was then told to diagnose the illness this person had.
I went into my workroom with Jesus, Curly and the Lone Ranger and together we diagnosed what was wrong with the person. I would use my hands, like a human X-ray machine to scan the person while my eyes were closed. I “saw” what was wrong and announced it. “He has a growth on his brain.”
The instructor smiled at me while nodding knowingly and said, “Correct.”
I had passed the test. What wasn’t told was that through the technique of Silva Mind Control I had opened myself to real spirit guides. (For a more in-depth view of this, you can go to Sharon Beekman’s book, Enticed by the Light). She vividly portrays what happens when a person opens himself up to these entities. Please remember also that we are told in the Guidebook to the Supernatural to avoid any contact with these malevolent impostors!
I continued my esoteric studies and now I was reading about the holy men, the mahatmas of India: how they would sit and attain enlightenment. And how the Fakirs, denunciates of the world, could perform miracles and feats of superhuman strength and endurance. I was intrigued by what I was reading and began to think about going to India. It was around this time that someone gave me a poster that stated …the God of the universe had come to earth in the form of a 14-year-old boy named Guru Maharaj Ji.
The 14-year-old guru was going to appear at a theater in Philadelphia. I found myself sitting with hundreds of other hippies in the crowded, non-air-conditioned theater. There were no seats left and my friend and I sat on the floor in the aisle. If I remember correctly there was a band that played and we listened to their music. Then we waited for what seemed like forever. Finally the guru showed up. There was a chair set in the middle of the stage on a dais. It was more like a throne than a chair. It was draped with wreaths of flowers. When the guru came out on the stage, most of the audience fell to their faces voluntarily. This is called pranam. It is meant as a sign of respect and submission. Much to my surprise I found myself stretched out on the floor in this pranam position. Someone on the stage called out: Bo-ley shri- Satguru Dev …and most of the audience replied, Maharaj ki ji. Looking back it now reminds of the mindless Nazi salute and cries of Heil Hitler, although I’m certainly not comparing the guru to Hitler. At that point everyone settled back in their chairs as the guru began what would be about a two-hour lecture. It went on and on and on! The central core of his message was that he was dispensing knowledge. This knowledge could only be given by him and was unknown to everyone else. Only through the gurus appointed mahatmas, a holy man, could someone attain the bliss that he promised. He then went as far as to say that all the other gurus and masters before him were dead and that a person needed a living perfect master to show them the way to peace and enlightenment. I believed every word of it. This seemed like what I was looking for and I feverishly scrawled the address of the place where this knowledge was going to be given out the next day.
Secret Knowledge or Deception a Go-Go?
I arrived at the house where the mahatma was going to give those in attendance the secret knowledge early on Saturday morning. The place was packed with hippies. We all sat on the floor. It was a summer’s day and it was hot and we were cramped into this large one room spilling out into the hallway. The mahatma arrived and the session began. He talked all morning and most of the afternoon about how this knowledge was special and how the guru was the perfect master. He told us how important it was to practice this knowledge and then almost at the end of the day, and at this point everyone was exhausted, he began to dispense the secret knowledge. Before I get into what happened, I want to relay to you one incident that made such an impression on me that after almost 40 years I still remember it vividly.
There was a man named Dennis who was trying to get this knowledge along with the rest of us. He was crippled and deformed and had steel braces on his legs. The mahatma literally shunned him. He looked at him with such disdain that it was obvious to everyone in the room. There was not an ounce of compassion from this so-called enlightened man—who was going to give us the secret knowledge so we could be just like him—and that hit me like a rogue wave breaking at Zuma beach! It shocked me and, although I wasn’t able to articulate what offended me about the mahatma’s actions then, I can do so now.
In Indian culture they believe in reincarnation. This is when a person is born over and over again and, depending on his or her actions, comes back in a higher or lower caste. It also has to do with the so-called laws of Karma. This is where actions that are deemed good or bad are carried over to the next incarnation and these actions decide where you are in the Indian caste system. Brahma caste is the highest, while the untouchables are deemed the outcast of Indian society. Much of this has changed in the last 100 years, but the mindset is still very much alive in India today.
What this mahatma was reacting to with Dennis is that in his worldview, that of believing in reincarnation, Dennis must have committed some grievous offense for him to be crippled like he was in “this lifetime.” It was a glaring example of where this so-called enlightenment leads and it is one of segregation and working one’s way to a state of perfection by countless reincarnations. This is a false system and the fruits of it are apparent from the mahatma’s attitude toward Dennis and his unfortunate condition. There wasn’t any compassion or empathy from the “enlightened one” toward Dennis; there was, in fact, open contempt of him to the point at which some people in the room began to shun Dennis, too.
The mahatma was dressed in a saffron-colored robe and his head was shaved. He had this “blissed-out” look on his face, meaning that he smiled and appeared holy and enlightened. Of course he had a retinue of attendants who cared for his every need and whim.
He moved around the room and dispensed the secret knowledge. I was in a state of heightened awareness at this point and waited expectantly for my turn to come. The first thing he was going to do was to open our third eye. This is the spot that is located between the eyes in the center of the forehead. It is where our pineal gland is located and in many occult initiations opening the third eye is the springboard, or gateway, to the lower astral or what I have come to call in this book, the second heaven.
I sat there waiting my turn and then the mahatma was in front of me. My eyes were closed and I felt him put his finger on my forehead. Nothing happened at first and then suddenly I saw a circle that opened up and became a stream of colors and light images. I just sat there taking it all in and feeling special that I had now obtained the first part of this secret knowledge. I opened my eyes and looked around and everyone had the same goofy, blessed-out smile on their faces. We had been initiated and we had seen the light, literally!
Next the mahatma came and placed his fingers in our ears. When he did, I immediately began to hear flutes and the sound of rushing water. This really startled me because it was playing in my head. I opened my eyes and the mahatma laughed at me and told me to close my eyes again. Then he took my hands and placed my own fingers in my ears. The music continued for some time and then it slowly faded away.
At this time Dennis called out because the mahatma had passed him by with both the opening of the third eye as well as the music. He whined and looked and acted like a little boy who was being picked on. The mahatma grilled him for maybe ten minutes to the point where Dennis was literally groveling in front of the mahatma begging him for the knowledge. Finally the mahatma reluctantly gave in and dispensed the guru’s knowledge to what I would now call the American untouchable, Dennis.
Next was the nectar. He showed us how to put our tongues behind the uvula of our mouths and to keep it there until this divine nectar began to flow. Sure enough I tasted something sweet trickle down into my throat from where my tongue was jammed against my uvula.
The last part of the initiation ceremony was receiving the holy word. We were told that we were to meditate on this word day and night. That this word was the primordial vibration and that we were to empty our minds and focus on this word….
The mahatma told us what this word was and after receiving it our initiation was complete. We had received the secret knowledge of inner light, music, nectar and the primordial word. I/we were on the path to enlightenment, or so we all thought.
In the Ashram
I got home and went to my room feeling elated and went to sleep. When I awoke the next morning I remember feeling whole and good for the first time in my life, because I believed I had finally connected with God. I immediately sat up and stuck my fingers in my ears to hear more of the “divine music.” Sure enough after a few moments it began, faintly at first and then louder.
This experience had a profound impact on my life. I felt that finally, after years of searching, I had found the truth. I changed my diet and became a vegetarian. I went to the local ashram and listened to what is called Sat-Sang, which is supposed to be divine discourse on the knowledge that Maharaj Ji was giving to all who asked. It wasn’t long before I decided to give up worldly things and devote my life to the guru. I moved into the Philadelphia Ashram and became a full-time devotee of the guru.
Our schedule was this:
We were up at 5 a.m. when we gathered in front of an altar and sang a devotional that is called Arti. It was the same song over and over again every day and one of the lines was … rights and rituals won’t reach the goal! However, if that was true then why were we all engaging in the same ritual day after day? After we sang Arti, we would then have an hour of meditation. I remember sleeping through most of this because I was exhausted from only getting five hours of sleep a night! However, there were a few times when the light would explode in my third eye. Please don’t be confused by this, as it is nothing more than an occult practice that has deceived millions of people for thousands of years. It is nothing short of a demonic light show and is one of deception.
After a vegetarian breakfast we would go to work. This was my routine day after day. At one point I joined the orchestra of the guru’s brother and found myself flying to England to play. For me this was a dream come true. The orchestra was about 56 pieces with another 10 or so people to manage, provide food, and schedule events. We played at many of the guru’s appearances. We were gearing up for an event called Soul-Rush. This was a 10-city tour of the East Coast and Midwestern U.S. to attract people to the 1974 Houston Astrodome event known as the Millennium.
We finished the Soul Rush tour and settled into the long, hot summer days in an old hotel somewhere in Houston, and prepared for the big event. I thought at the time that this was it: the end of the world as we knew it. I remember calling my parents and friends and telling them to try to come to Houston. We were all that brainwashed and believed everything we were told.
The event came and the Astrodome, which holds thousands of people, was hardly filled. An estimated 10,000 people showed up for the event, a far cry from what Maharaj Ji and the leaders at the top were expecting.
There was a large dais that was set up on the stage. There were chairs on this dais that was probably 40 feet above the floor of the Astrodome and they were for the members of the guru’s family who were referred to as the “holy family.” The orchestra was seated on the stage directly below the thrones.
The big night came and the “holy” family paraded out, followed lastly by the guru himself, who then perched on the highest throne. Now I have told you all of this to get to this point. The crowd began to worship the guru and the other members of the family. At this point one of my band mates nudged me and told me to look at the family on their thrones. When I did this I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. They were there, but they had changed. They looked different. There were other entities that night that manifested on that stage and looking back now almost 40 years later, it is my opinion that what I saw was the demonic manifestation that in-dwelt each of these people.
I stayed with the guru for another year and then I left because I was disillusioned, and here’s why: We were rehearsing for the “Big Event in Houston” that turned out to be anything but. At this point I had practiced meditation and done all that had been required of me, however, there was no peace. One night I went into the large hall that was used for Sat-Sang and meditation and I lay down prostrate in front of the ever-present chair bedecked with flowers for the guru. I cried bitterly, my sobs coming in deep uncontrollable heaves. It awakened other people, as I was told later, but no one came to see what was going on. Something broke in me that night and I realized that, while I had practiced the knowledge that the guru had given to me, and done so religiously, in my deep inner core, at the soul level of my being, in my spirit, nothing had changed. I had no terms to articulate this at the time, but it was the beginning of my leaving the phony, blissed-out, mindless state of practicing meditation with the guru.
After the dismal turn out in Houston, the so-called holy family had a rift between them. This rift continues to the present day and here’s a link that you can go to check it out for yourself.
Maharaj Ji is still telling people that they can have peace through his meditation, but take it from me, it’s nothing more than New Age, phony baloney. There is only one Prince of Peace and it certainly isn’t this guy.
The orchestra moved to Hollywood, California, and we settled in a hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. We would walk about eight blocks to the rehearsal hall to practice every night. We were about four guys to a room that was supposed to hold one person. We had a drag queen living across the hall, drugs were openly sold and used on the premises, homosexuality was practiced by so-called celibate followers in the orchestra, and, on top of all this, we were supposed to meditate and attain enlightenment. What a crock!
One amazing moment came when I borrowed a motorcycle and got on the Interstate 10 Freeway knowing that it would lead me to the Pacific Ocean. As I drove through the McClure tunnel I could smell the sea air, and as I came out of the tunnel and into the light, the blue expanse of the ocean sparkled in the midday sun!
I have never forgotten that moment, because it was like I had found my home at last—California.
Okay, I could go on and on with this, but I’m going to cut to the chase.
The orchestra moved out to a place called Camp Joan Myer, a camp for the blind, located at the northern part of the city of Malibu. It is set on a hill overlooking the ocean. It was there that I really began to question the guru and the meditation. I was with another member of the orchestra and we were both having difficulty believing the so-called party line. He stated that if you were told you were a god from the time you were a baby, what would you believe? I nodded and a few months later I left. However, while I was there we had a mahatma of great importance visit us. I watched this man perform occult, demonic “miracles.” Here’s what I mean:
We were walking on the beach with this mahatma and he spoke very little or no English. It appeared that he wanted to go into the ocean. He then began to undress and I heard in my head, hold these. I didn’t believe what was happening. The mahatma looked at me and shoved his clothes into my arms. I was stunned. We watched the “holy man” go into the water and submerge himself under a wave. When he came out, he put on his clothes and began to walk with us. Now the next part is very strange, but I know what I saw and I’m not making this up. As we were walking, the mahatma was suddenly gone. He was 50 yards farther down the beach. The other people whot I was with were shocked, too! This man clearly demonstrated occult power by using mental telepathy and bi-locating. He had power, but as you have read throughout the pages in the book, I believe that that power was demonic in nature and was given to him by a diabolical source.
The orchestra relocated to another residence in Malibu, downsized its numbers, and when it appeared that nothing more was going to come of it, the leaders decided to move into the city. This is when I jumped ship and left the guru. The northern part of Malibu in 1974 was quiet and serene with large amounts of vacant land. To my 24-year-old brain, I had found paradise.
Now what is pertinent to this testimony is that in a six-year span from 1974 to 1980 I still meditated, sought after the occult, read about the New Age, and in 1976 found the book by Edward “Billy” Meir, UFO Contact from the Pleiades. This book was pivotal for me as it re-introduced me to the UFO phenomena. I began to believe that UFOs had seeded us here, that they were the gods of antiquity, and that they were going to come back for us!
I had seen a UFO when I was at Boy Scout camp around 1962. I left this part out in the telling of my testimony because I think it fits better here. Here’s what happened.
My UFO Sighting
I was 12 years old and in love with Boy Scouts. I was at Camp Horse Shoe, which is located in Rising Sun, Maryland. I was with three other boys and we were taking a shortcut back to our camp so we wouldn’t miss lunch. The lead boy, who knew the shortcut, led us up this boulder-covered ravine. We were making our way up this ravine when the boy who was in front yelled, “Wow, what’s that?”
The other two boys chimed in, “Yea, what is that?”
“What are you guys looking at?” I asked.
“There, in the sky,” they answered, and all three boys pointed up toward the sky.
I looked and to my astonishment, there, standing out against the cloudless blue mantel, was a silver disc. It was metallic and made no noise. It hovered motionless for maybe 20 seconds and then suddenly shot straight up into the sky. In a blink of an eye it was gone. We started shouting and ran as fast as we could back to the camp. When we got there we cried, “We saw a UFO! We saw a UFO!”
The ridicule from the scoutmaster and other boys began almost immediately. By sundown that night the three other boys denied that they had ever seen anything. I held tenaciously onto my story. I was made fun of the rest of the weekend but refused to change my story or deny what I had seen. It was my first real-life example of what I would call, “herd mentality.”
As I mentioned earlier, I read everything by Carlos Castaneda who was an anthropologist and wrote about his involvement with the spirit world using mescaline and marijuana as a spring board into the dimension where these beings resided. I was hitchhiking one day and was picked up by a guy who, like me, was a hippie. He had a joint going and offered me some. I eagerly took it and inhaled as deeply as I could, holding the smoke in my lungs while feeling the drug explode in my head. Even writing this I have to pray against the feeling. (You couldn’t pay me enough money to get stoned again, because I believe it is a gateway to the second heaven!)
I got dropped off at the bottom of Encinal Canyon, which is right off Pacific Coast Highway, and started walking up the canyon. The sun was beginning to set and at this point I was really wasted. I found a little pathway that led off the road and followed it. It took me to a little clearing that overlooked the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. I sat down and began to meditate.
I sat cross-legged and felt at one with the universe! (LOL) The thought exploded in my mind that everything was connected, everything was one, there was no separation, and that if everything in the universe was connected and one, then there was nothing to fear. I pondered this for a while and it made sense to me. I felt like I had just been given one of the secrets of the universe. Then, I suddenly heard a rattle sound coming from directly in front of me about 20 feet away. I opened my eyes and was startled and wondered what could be making that noise. I knew that rattlesnakes were common in these hills, but this was no rattlesnake. Then I heard the noise again, this time coming from the right of me, still out about 20 feet away. I thought, maybe someone was playing a trick on me, but I realized that there was no one out here, I was alone, and, besides, how could a person move noiselessly through the chaparral without me hearing them? I was getting sacred and wondered what was going on. Then I heard the noise, except this time it was directly behind me. Then, again in front, except this time it was closer. The noise grew louder and louder as it continued to circle me. I suddenly became very afraid and my mind raced back to the Carlos Castaneda books that talked of encounters with spirit beings similar to the one I was encountering now. Whatever it was circled again growing closer with each pass that it made. Then it was right in front of me. Now remember that at this point I was still sitting cross-legged on the ground. Something came at me and gently pushed me backward and held me there. If you were in the “lotus” position this is impossible to do as the weight of your upper body would tilt you, and you would fall over backward. This was not the case though. This demonic spirit, I call it that because that is what it was, held me there for a while and then slowly let me up. Once it did, I jumped to my feet and started slamming my open palm against my thigh. This was a technique that I had read about from Castaneda who used it when a spirit that he did not want to deal with would come to him. This action would apparently repel the spirit. Once I had done this, another thought came into my mind and it said that if I had opened myself up to the spirit it would have been able to take me out of my body and shown me the secrets of the universe.
I know, some of you are reading this and thinking, where can I get some of this stuff? Don’t be swayed by the lie that I was told, because that is what it is. Let’s walk through this for a moment and examine the two messages I received. The first one told me that I was connected to everything else in the universe, that we were all one, and that there was nothing to fear.
This is called Pantheism. Briefly stated it is the belief that we are all one. It is not true because you and your pet dog or cat are not connected! You may love your pet, but you are not your pet and your pet is not you. This philosophy is the basis of Hinduism and I believe that it is a lie. We are not all one…period!
The next lie was that if I had trusted the spirit I would have been taken out of my body and shown the secrets of the universe. They can actually do this; however, the price we pay by giving permission to do this is that this familiar spirit, who is a demon, now has the right to possess us!
After the (demonic) spirit left me I slowly got up and made my way back home, unnerved and changed by the experience. Drugs are a springboard into the lower astral or the second heaven and should be avoided at all costs because we can pick up unwanted entities who will not readily leave us when we later realize who they are. This kind of experience can lead to possession. I was lucky because this did not happen to me.
Chasing the Rock and Roll Carrot
During this time I was performing with a band all over Los Angeles. We were chasing the ever illusive, rock-and-roll carrot. We came close several times but never managed to snag the record deal. I was nearing 30 years of age and my dream seemed like it was never going to happen. I had spent the previous five years of my life doing carpentry to stay alive by day and rehearsing, recording, and playing gigs around town at night. In short, it was a life that was going nowhere.
In 1978 I partnered with a friend and we built a “spec house” in Malibu Lake. I had sunk every dollar and all my energy into the project. We were hoping to turn it over quickly and build another. It seemed like a good way to make a living and we were both good at it. Just as we were trying to sell the house the market collapsed and interest rates soared to 20%. The house sat on the market for two years and I lost everything that I had invested in it by the time my partner agreed to buy it for much less than we had listed it.
I had also become somewhat of an agnostic. I had it up to my eyeballs with trying to find God and enlightenment. My philosophy was eat, drink, and be merry because we’re just going to reincarnate anyway so who cares! Someone gave me some books by Taylor Caldwell and I read them. These were novels that depicted the lives of the apostles. I found them fascinating. Then my girlfriend at the time gave me a book by David Hunt entitled The Cult Explosion. As I read through it I realized that I had participated in many of the cults that Hunt was trying to warn about in his book. At the end of his books was a little prayer that you could say if you wanted to ask Jesus into your life. At this point my spec house was still on the market. I was in debt up to my eyeballs. I was living with a girl and we weren’t married and I was spiritually bankrupt as well!
I remember thinking to myself, I wonder if it’s real?
I repeated the little prayer asking Jesus into my heart and asked Him to come into my life and change it. I looked around and waited but nothing happened. I shrugged it off and went about my life.
About a month later I awaked from a very vivid dream and I wept in the arms of my girlfriend. Something had broken deep inside and although I didn’t know it at the time, Yashua/Jesus was beginning to do a work on me.
I was at a dinner party and a friend asked me if I believed in Jesus. It was an out-of-the-blue question. Much to the amazement of my girlfriend, I replied that I believed in Jesus and also considered myself a Christian.
There was a moment in time that I shall never forget. It was when the Most High God took me out of the kingdom of darkness. My girlfriend set dinner in front of me and then something broke. I thought I was losing my mind. I was being bombarded by thoughts that weren’t mine (unwanted thoughts). It was terrifying. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but the thoughts kept coming and they were horrible!
We went to bed and I had a very difficult time trying to get to sleep. My girlfriend had called a friend of hers at work and she was given the name of a pastor who I was to call for help. The next morning I awakened and I called the number. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. We set up an appointment for later that day.
I also received a call from a man who would become my mentor for the next two years. His name was Wayne Kendall, to whom this book is dedicated, and he told me that I wasn’t going nuts. While this was comforting to hear, it didn’t stop the unwanted thoughts!
Later that day I met the man who would counsel me for the next three years on a weekly basis. In the beginning we met two times a week and then it went to one time a week and finally to once a month. Pastor Fred eventually married Peggy, my wife of now 26 years, and me. But I’m getting ahead of myself again.
I then met Wayne and we became good friends. Wayne was 20 years my senior and we worked together in construction day after day.
I want to let you know that this was like being in spiritual boot camp. I ate, breathed, and immersed myself in the Bible. I worked all day and went to any and all Bible studies, home groups and church services that I could find.
I returned home one day only to find that my girlfriend had moved out and taken everything with her, including her bed. I slept that night on the floor.
Night was a very difficult time for me and I slept with a Bible clutched to my chest. It was my spiritual teddy bear. Upon awakening I would read the Psalms and Proverbs and get on my knees and pray for peace. This went on week after week. Unfortunately, Pastor Fred and Wayne knew little about deliverance or putting on the armor of God as we are told to do every day in Ephesians 6. I was also never told about the authority I have in Christ!
(As I write this I want you to know that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t put on the armor and get ready for battle!)
One night as I put my head on my pillow I heard a roar as something tried to enter my body. I cried out, “Jesus help me!” The attack stopped and I lay there for a few minutes paralyzed by what had happened. I called Pastor Fred and we prayed on the phone and afterward I went to sleep.
I was under attack constantly for years; meanwhile, the Lord was busy re-wiring me, as Wayne liked to call it. There were days that I honestly don’t know how I ever would have gotten through them without Wayne and Pastor Fred’s help. Thanks guys.
Remember that I had been willingly involved in the occult since 16 and had been meditating and doing other occult practices for 14 years. I had been firmly entrenched in the camp of the Fallen One without knowing it. How’s that for deception? You see how subtle it is? The entire time I was in the New Age, I thought I was on the right path toward spirituality and enlightenment; instead, I had opened myself to what the Guidebook to the Supernatural calls the doctrine of demons.
There was a point where I was exhausted, fed up with the more than two years of attacks. Wayne and I were going into the market to get something for lunch and I remember asking, “How long do you think this is going to go on?”
I had asked that question of Pastor Fred, too, and he had replied that he had never seen anyone struggle as much as I had, but he assured me that God knew what He was doing and at some point the struggle would end. (Think the book of Job here because it is similar in that the Fallen One was allowed to attack Job for a period of time, but then the Most High God stopped the attack and restored Job.)
I was in the market, feeling overwhelmed with the thousands of brightly packaged products, the lights, and the bustling shoppers, in short, everything. I put my stuff on the conveyor belt and waited anxiously in line. The conveyor belt moved, and suddenly from underneath the cash register where it reappears, I spotted a piece of paper. I realized that it was tract. I picked it up and opened it. How it got there, I have no idea. In most cases the cashier would have spotted something like that and disposed of it, but not this time. I was next in line, and holding onto the tract, I paid and left the store. I got back to Wayne’s car and began to read it out loud. It was my first spiritual warfare lesson and it was the day that I began to get free once and for all from the harassment of the enemy.
The tract said that when we are hit with a thought—just like the ones I was having—we were to say, I am dead to you and you are dead to me! I am a new creature in Christ, old things have passed away! I am dead to you and you are dead to me!
The biggest weapon that I was handed that day was this life-changing phrase that was included in the tract. It was, The Blood of Jesus!
The tract told about the blood of Jesus and why the demons flee at hearing it! It spoke of the cross and the battered body that bled for all humanity and by that blood, once, for all mankind, paid the price for the sins of the world. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
I began to say, The Blood of Jesus, when the attacks would come and I began to get the victory. That was almost 28 years ago and I still say The Blood of Jesus on an ongoing basis. It is our BIG cannon, or the mightiest arrow in our quiver to fight the enemy! Remember he goes about as a roaring lion—I heard that roar—and seeks to rob, kill, and destroy.
I got the victory because of the Blood of Jesus. I am a new creature in Him because of what He did on Calvary. His blood covers me/us and it is what makes the Fallen One and his minions tremble in fear, because they know that on that day, when Yashua’s blood was shed, it spelled their defeat and certain doom.
In closing this “testimony”
This was not my idea to write this, and it is the first time that I have endeavored to do so. I felt, or should I say, I was instructed to include it in this book so people could understand and grasp where I was coming from, what I had endured before I was a Christian and also after I became born again. Mine has been a road traveled that I would not wish on anyone. Those first three years of my Christianity were the most difficult years of my life. I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. Yet, He was with me even in the valley of death, literally! Everything that I am today is because of Him. If there is anything good in me, anything worthy of praise, anything that I might be remembered for, it will point to Him who is the savior and keeper of my soul and spirit!