“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Sealing, Charagma or Charakter?

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his markG5480 [charagma] in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:9,10).

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express imageG5481 [charaktēr] of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3).

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the sealG4973 [sphragis] of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealedG4972 [sphragizō] the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:2,3).

Charagma G5480 From the same as G5482; a scratch or etching, that is, stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue).

Charaktēr G5481 From the same as G5482; a graver (tool or the person), that is, (by implication) engraving ([“character”], the figure stamped, that is, an exact copy or [figuratively] representation.

Sphragis G4973 Probably strengthened from G5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness).

Sphragizō G4972 from G4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication to keep secret, to attest

Charaktēr is related to charagma (an etching or scratch or a slave’s brand), in that charaktēr translates to the engraving tool used to do the etching. However the Koine Greek use of the word charaktēr was in the way that it came to be eventually translated to the anglicized homonym that we use today, “character”. Charagma, however, leaves a very evil connotation, as in the scriptures its most common use was for the “markG5480 of the Beast”. But, charaktēr leaves a holy connotation in the Bible, as its only use was the divine character of Christ, who was in “the express imageG5481” of the Father’s] person or character. The holy character of Christ must be impressed upon our hearts and consciences. This is where the sealing comes into the picture. The heart and conscience of Jesus was very soft and impressionable toward His Father. Never has there been one who more loved the holy things of God than did Christ who dwelled in His bosom. “Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Prov. 8:30). The Son was sealed from the days of eternity, “for Him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27).

As the Son of man, Jesus was the replacement for Adam, the first human son of God and patriarch of humanity. Adam was sealed until he defected to Satan. Adam was a living soul, a walking, talking, rejoicing beloved of God. Jesus was the same, “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (John 3:34). And all will know the same sealing who will open their heart to God through His perfect Representative, Jesus Christ. “In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee. And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me.” (Heb. 2:11-13).

But, how do we open up to God? How do we surrender our hearts? How can we escape the deceptions of Satan who leads the whole world to believe that he is God, which we see happening today?

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?...
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.…
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:3,4,6,8).

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13:7) Through his delusions, “they shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.” (John 16:2,3).

“The only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3) are known by Their method of salvation, which differs widely from the blasphemous “God” and his way of salvation. God and Christ can use the time/space continuum in which to exist, but They don’t have to. So They don’t limit Themselves to reach us through certain places or object or times. They want to touch us and to bring us into Their bosom, but They can only accept holy, humbled hearts. Therefore, they must humble our hearts and then make us holy.

Satan and his demons also seek to make contact with us, but he does not desire holy, humbled hearts. From his perspective, every heart humbled and made holy must forever be banished from his earthly kingdom. Therefore, he has devised his spiritual kingdom to forever remain connected with objects and places and special events in the cosmos to create his opening for their possession.

Broaches, and miniature images, “golden emerods, and … golden mice, images of … emerods, and images of … mice that mar the land” (1Sam. 6:4,5), full sized idols, huge stones and mountains “high places, and … images” (Lev. 26:30) that are supposed to act as hyper-sensitive lightning rods for spiritual power from the Most High. Astronomical events, such as eclipses, planet alignments, the movements of planets, moon phases and positioning of the Sun in its annual risings and settings along the horizon, are also used by Satan to proclaim the special manifestation of supernatural reconciliation between God and man. Come to the humanity wide gathering “and [we] shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.” (1Sam. 6:5).

But not through those means alone does the God of the Bible, the only true God, meet with His people. He normally uses not the time/space continuum, but a condition of the soul, a heart humbled in repentance. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” (Ps. 51:17).

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Ps. 34:18).

“For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” (Isa. 66:2).

“And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.” (1Sam. 10:26).

“But He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice.” (John 10:2-4).

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
“ (Luke 15:4-7). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:15-21).

The same principle Jesus said will determine the day of His coming.
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32). The time for the Day of Judgment is not determined by a certain day or deadline date. That date is the Father’s decision based on His investigative judgment. The Father decides the day at the time that He has a group that is sealed and able to stand in His presence. It won’t be determined until His Son’s heavenly ministry, as His children’s High Priest has perfectly reproduced His character in them.

Therefore, Jesus’ character, His tender heart, His unflinching loyalty to His Father’s Law and government, reconciles the heart of God to the rebellious descendants of Adam. A humbled heart submissive to the revealed will of God creates the opening for heaven to be poured into the needy human soul. The doing of righteousness, the effect that mercy has on the receiver as well as on the giver of mercy, is the lightning rod that moves the Most High. Going to the cross and beholding the soul agony of the “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8) is what Cain should have done, which would have prevented accumulation of the anxiety of a long-term, unreconciled heart and would have kept him from becoming the world’s first murderer. Christ’s blessedness comes with giving instead of receiving, ministering and giving the life for the ransom of others rather than being ministered to; His Spirit of grace comes when remembering the widows and the fatherless, having bowels and mercies; His comfort from looking “not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:4), being doers of the work and not hearers only in the school of Christ. Otherwise, God and His blessed, promised Spirit, “the Desire of all nation” (Hag. 2:7), remains beyond our possession.

“Many a portion of Scripture which learned men pronounce a mystery, or pass over as unimportant, is full of comfort and instruction to him who has been taught in the school of Christ. One reason why many theologians have no clearer understanding of God’s word is, they close their eyes to truths which they do not wish to practice. As understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.” Great Controversy, p. 599.

No spiritualistic imposture will ever lead to that greatest of all boons to the human race—atonement with the great Creator. If we will not be led to repentance, if we don’t receive a knowledge of the truth in the love of it, then we are withholden from His longed for water of life, and the incomprehensible rest and health that come with it.

“If [we] know these things, happy are [we] if [we] do them.” (John 13:17).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dead works and works of righteousness—what is the difference?

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law [its power of guilt and our reaction in sin] by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” (Rom. 7:4,5).

This goes along with Paul’s statement, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:56,57).

“Now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6). The slain body of Christ delivers us from the Law and “dead works” (Heb. 6:1), “the motions of sins”. We are no longer married to the Law, a law, an impersonal force, but to Christ, the living God who risked His eternal life for us and also loves righteousness. “And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Eze. 20:11,12).

“Convinced of the necessity of holiness of heart, as well as correctness of outward deportment, they [the Wesleys] set out in earnest upon a new life. By the most diligent and prayerful efforts they endeavored to subdue the evils of the natural heart. They lived a life of self-denial, charity, and humiliation, observing with great rigor and exactness every measure which they thought could be helpful to them in obtaining what they most desired—that holiness which could secure the favor of God. But they did not obtain the object which they sought. In vain were their endeavors to free themselves from the condemnation of sin or to break its power. It was the same struggle which Luther had experienced in his cell at Erfurt. It was the same question which had tortured his soul—‘How should man be just before God?’ Job 9:2.” Great Controversy, p. 254.
“When Charles Wesley at one time fell ill, and anticipated that death was approaching, he was asked upon what he rested his hope of eternal life. His answer was: ‘I have used my best endeavors to serve God.’ As the friend who had put the question seemed not to be fully satisfied with his answer, Wesley thought: ‘What! are not my endeavors a sufficient ground of hope? Would he rob me of my endeavors? I have nothing else to trust to.’—John Whitehead, Life of the Rev. Charles Wesley, page 102. Such was the dense darkness that had settled down on the church, hiding the atonement, robbing Christ of His glory, and turning the minds of men from their only hope of salvation--the blood of the crucified Redeemer.” Great Controversy, p. 253.
“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone.” (Rom. 9:30-32).

“Present truth churches” are striving for self-denial, charity, holiness, striving to prepare for standing before God without a Mediator, to perfectly reproducing the character of Jesus so that He can come and claim us as His own. As it is written,

“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69.

Yet, what are we actually reproducing?  We are perfectly reproducing the history of the Jews—we have not attained to the character of Jesus, as it is written. “Wherefore?” “Because [we] sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For [we] stumbled at that stumblingstone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 9:32,33).
G4102 pistis From G3982; persuasion that is credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: -assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:19).
G570 apistia From G571; faithlessness, that is (negatively) disbelief (want of Christian fiath), or (positively) unfaithfulness (disobedience): -unbelief

Pistis and apistia are antonyms, the “a” prefixing apistia giving the reverse meaning of pistis. Unbelief is the opposite of faith, therefore unbelief in Christ means to be devoid of faith in Christ, as “atheism” is the total absence of faith in “theos”, God—“theism”.

But, the unbelievers tried. They tried hard to protect present truth. They were striving hard for holiness. They were working hard at preparing to stand before God without a Mediator. They were eeking out the perfect reproduction of Jesus’ character in order for Him to come and claim them as His own.

But, alas, just like the Wesleys, convinced of the necessity of holiness of heart, as well as correctness of outward deportment, the Present Truthers set out in earnest upon a new life. By the most diligent and prayerful efforts they endeavor to subdue the evils of the natural heart. They live a life of self-denial, charity, and humiliation, observing with great rigor and exactness every measure which they think could be helpful to them in obtaining what they most desire—that holiness which can secure the favor of God. But they do not obtain the object which they seek. In vain have been their endeavors to free themselves from the condemnation of sin or to break its power.

What are they missing? What is the difference between the protectors of Present Truth and the apostles?

Have they bowed their souls before the Most High God, before whom every mouth is stopped and all the world is made guilty? Have they been prostrated in their shame and horror for dishonoring God before unbelievers? Have they desired to be blotted out of existence for the exceeding sinfulness of their sins?

Then, have they hoped in the mercy of Christ? And then, have they sought His face for signs of acceptance? Have they yearned for that union with Him that would give them the wisdom and righteousness and sanctification that could keep them from falling back into gross foolishness and self-centeredness?

Have they been a soul petrified before God when their sins come to mind? Has the word of God been to them “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow” (Heb. 4:12)? Has it been the living word of God—“a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, the power of the Highest—the power of God unto salvation? Or has the word of God only been lifeless, Christless words and dead letters that they turn into “dead works” (Heb. 9:14)?

If the Schoolmaster—God, and His great Representative, His Law—has desolated us, then He brings us to Christ to be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24). No one can be sanctified and prepared for Christ’s return who is not presently justified. And no one can be justified who has not fallen on his face and received the gift of deep repentance. And no one has deeply repented who has not experienced the abject fear and conviction of sin from the Schoolmaster. They are humbled into the dust, fully humbled and speechless. “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:4). “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6). “Now I … praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Dan. 4:37).

They are dead to the Law and alive unto their Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Son of the Highest.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified….
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:16,19-21).

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor” (Gal. 2:17,18), and “sin is the transgression of the Law.” (1Jn. 3:4).

Are we back to the beginning of a big circle? Which is our salvation—the grace of Christ or the Law of God? Should our focus be justification or sanctification? We can only know the answer to that dilemma if we start with an honest disposition toward the Law, between a conviction of sin in our conscience and the great Judge of all the earth. The experience of honesty with the Law and conviction of sin in our conscience will end in the sure truth. We must trust ourselves in the hands of the Father and Son to be fair in Their judgment of us. We must trust Them to take everything into account. We must trust Them, if They will, to err on the side of mercy. If it is our first go at it, total conviction and repentance feels like a real shot in the dark. “If I subject myself to God's condemnation of my sin, will He find my sin unpardonable? Will He find me unacceptable, unable to be reconciled with?” All we can do is enter into our chamber and see that we have a right “before the face of the most High.” (Lam. 3:35).

“Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” (Isa. 26:20).

“For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
But through He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.
For He doeth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,
To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
To subvert a man in his cause the Lord approveth not.
Who is he that said, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” (Lam. 3:31-37).

“It is God that justifieth. Who is he that comdemneth?” (Rom. 8:33,34).

But, when we have been pummeled into the dust by this world, then there is no other option than God and His judgment. We have to go for it, even with all of its potential liabilities—abject humiliation and total surrender and dependence on God’s mercy.

“What is justification by faith? -- It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? -- It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless.” E. G. White. Recopied Nov. 22, 1896. Special Testimony, A09, p. 62.

When there is no human who will forgive us for all the wrongs that we’ve done, only God is left to help us. And it is a fair assumption that He will make the situation more dreadfully revealing than any human or earthly institution ever could. We will see our nothingness, our unprofitableness and worthlessness, and will want to be blotted out of existence. But, He will make us feel like nothing because our seeing our own nothingness, which means seeing ourselves as we really are, will bring us a more wonderful blessing than the world could ever give us. He will give us perfect freedom from bondage by His free Spirit. He promises the greatest rewards for obedience to His call to humiliation and admission of our unworthiness. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Law of righteousness is the power of God

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2).

In Paul’s description of the Law of God he isn’t portraying only a list of dos and don’ts for a good grade in Bible class. He isn’t describing a scientific or spiritual treatise of all the aspects of some law in legal-ese. Paul is being extremely practical by stating it simply with the best clarification he can muster. This he does as he forges new territory into the workings of the human psyche regarding the effect of the mystery of sin/Satan, and the effect of the mystery of divine holiness, upon the human will.

To Paul, law has immutable authority; law has omnipresent dominion and everlasting power. “Know ye not, brethren,… how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?” (Rom. 7:1). “The Law” is law and has influence; it has power to guilt, to shame, to control. It is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). “Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” (Rom. 7:8-11).

Here we see two opposing laws—sin and righteousness, Satan using his sword of sin and God using His sword of righteousness, “the Law”.

The immutable law of gravity is the classic example of the immutable, omnipresent power of laws. Gravity can be boiled down into a formula of relationship between force and matter. F = Gm1m2/r2 (Gravitational Force equals a Gravity constant times the mass of two objects multiplied, divided by the square of their distance from each other). But, gravity is obviously more than words and math. It is more than an intellectual pursuit. It is a real force that creates collisions and beautiful swaths of gigantic artistry in the cosmos, as well as on Earth. Likewise, the law of sin and the law of righteousness are not simply formulas of words written by apostles, theologians, and pastors. Rather, the laws of sin and righteousness are the foundational forces in relationships of all forms, personal, interpersonal, family, human society, reaching all the way to the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, the best interpretation of Romans 8:2 comes by relating the law of sin to the force that sin puts upon the human soul, upon the human mind and heart. We can do the same for the Law of God. By substituting for “law” the word “power”, as in “power of God”, “power of righteousness”, “power of sin and death” we can begin to open our understanding to what the spiritual forces are all about. We see the power in the soul that is behind the true Law of God, and if the Law of God isn't an active principle in the soul to cut through the self-orientation and to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, then sin is the active principle in the soul.

Thus Romans 7:22 through 8:4 read,

“For I delight in the [power] of God after the inward man:
But I see another [power] in my members, warring against the [power] of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the [power] of sin which is in my members.…
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the [power] of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the [power] of sin and death.
For what the [power of righteousness] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the [power of righteousness] might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 7:22,23,25-8:4).

The powerful old man is dead through the power of repentance and the almighty “power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14), “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35), “Power” (Matt. 26:64) Himself, and we are freed from the old power of sin, enabling us to obey God's powerful right hand of His righteousness. “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” (Isa. 27:5)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A comment to a YouTube convert's study on the Bride of Christ New Jerusalem

My comment to the theologizing by a new convert to Jesus. Its wonderful to hear them studying the Bible, even if their conclusions differ from ours. If the Lord is with them, He can corrected their ideas. And if we are with Him, we can have a part in that. “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in [error], or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18).


The New Jerusalem is 12,000 furlongs (on each side?), according to Revelation 21:16. According to Wikipedia, “The English first used the furlong in the 9th century or before”. And according to, “Furlong, old English unit of length, based on the length of an average plowed furrow (hence “furrow-long,” or furlong) in the English open- or common-field system. Each furrow ran the length of a 40 × 4-rod acre, or 660 modern feet.” That equals 1/8 of a mile. 12,000/8= 1500 miles. If the 12,000 furlongs means each side, then 1500 miles X 1500 miles=2,250,000 square miles. According to Wikipedia, “Contiguous United States - Wikipedia Together, the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. occupy a combined area of 3,119,884.69 square miles”.

So, New Jerusalem’s 2,250,000 square miles/ U.S. 3,119,884.69 square miles=0.72118. The ratio, 0.72118 would make New Jerusalem more than 2/3 (0.667) and almost 3/4 (0.75) the size of the lower 48 states of America.

But, if the 12,000 furlongs are the total 4 sides of the New Jerusalem, then the size of each side is 12,000/4=3,000 furlongs. And 3,000/8 (furlongs)=375 miles on each side, which would make the New Jerusalem 140,625 square miles. The city’s 140,625 square miles /U.S. 3,119,884.69 square miles =0.0450737, a ratio which would make New Jerusalem less than 1/20th the size of the lower 48 United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana is 147,040 square miles, which is the state closest to the size of New Jerusalem if its area is assumed this way. And maybe to get an easier conception of New Jerusalem’s size, New Mexico, which is pretty much square but a little smaller, is 121,590 square miles. That is still a big city.

A third option for the New Jerusalem is to assume our second option, but add a short statement given to John. “...according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” (vs. 17). This shows a distinction between the measurement of a man and an angel. There are five “ifs” that go with this option. 1) If Adam was created a little lower than the angels, according to Psalm 8:5, and 2) if Adam was a giant as everyone was in the antediluvian world, according to Genesis 6:4 and lived for almost 1,000 years, and 3) if giant Adam stood 15 feet tall (I’m guessing), then 4) maybe the angels stand 20 feet tall. And 4) if symmetry remains the same for all of God’s intelligent creations, then this could affect sizes of the New Jerusalem. For instance, the immediate context of verse 17 is the height of the city’s walls, being 144 cubits tall (“according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel”. But, being that the angel stood approximately 3.333 times taller than a six foot man, and using 3.333 times the forearm for a cubit (18 inches), then the height of the city’s walls will be more like 720 feet high.

Shouldn't this change the overall area of the city in order to keep the wall height-city area proportional? If we multiply the 375 mile sides by 3.333 we get 1,250 miles on each side, which gives us a New Jerusalem area of 1,562,500 square miles, which divided by U.S. lower 48 states area 3,119,884.69 square miles=0.5008. That would mean a New Jerusalem city half the size of contiguous America.

If we use the first option, then the larger angelic measuring length would give us 25,000,027 square miles, which is 8 times the size of America’s lower 48 states. When we look away from our tiny world, we see that everything is tremendously huge. We shouldn’t limit what God has in store, when that the incomprehensible universe of galaxies and nebulae is His creation, and beyond His created universe is limitless empty space that makes me tremble when I think about it for a few minutes (which is all that I can take).

In short, we have amazing things coming when the Father, “Him that sat on the throne” (Rev. 4:9), transfers His seat of government to this sin-tormented world where the greatest controversy the universe was ever dealt with. “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1Cor. 2:9). It’s such amazing grace that our fallen but redeemed race is privileged to be the center of the universe, who crucified the very Prince of heaven and have caused His heart such grievous agony, as a Lamb slain since the foundation of the world.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Why the Adventist reticence to YouTube testimonies?

“…the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment. And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him.” (Isa. 59:15,16).

This happened to the early church, and it is happening again—Jesus is stepping in personally the save the modern Gentiles, publicans, and sinners. During the past century, if we, His Remnant church, had kept truth and grace uplifted, interceding between God and souls who have been involved in witchcraft, atheism, drug abuse, gender confusion, New Age Satanism, the occult, etc., Christ would need not have gotten directly involved. Nevertheless, although Jesus is now directly involved He has not put us out of His great commission. We should expect Him to make a way open for us, to get us up to speed with His salvation so that we can help His angels finish the work of this gospel of the kingdom. Our stance toward the lawless children of creation should be that of the apostles.

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter.” (Acts 10:1-5).

The Jewish Christians weren’t evangelizing the unclean Gentiles. Rather, their focus was on the clean Jews. In the minds of the Jewish Christians, the Gentiles were beyond conviction, guilt, repentance, and salvation. Therefore, to preempt the impenetrable Jewish prejudices, Jesus sent Peter a vision.

“And [Peter] saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” (Acts 10:11-16).

Peter understood the message from heaven. He went with Cornelius’ men and the first thing Peter said to the group gathered to hear him teach the gospel was, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation”—for us, the apostate Protestant denominations—“but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.… of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation”—or denomination—“he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” (Acts 10:28,34,35).

And later, as Peter testified to that awesome demonstration of God’s blessing on those Gentiles, he told the church, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:15-18).

“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us;
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.…
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.…
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:5-11,21,24,29).

We, Adventists, are repeating the history of the Jews, exactly as the Spirit of Christ told our prophet that we would repeat their history. I believe we have interpreted the high standard wrongly in many things because we didn’t have humbled, circumcised hearts when interpreting the Spirit of Prophecy. I believe that is the reason it has been so difficult to interest Adventists to watch the YouTube testimonies. Below are listed 1) some of the Adventist self-justifications for discounting the YouTube testifiers, and 2) some contrasting words of scripture:

The Adventist reply against born-again rock musician, Alice Cooper: “But he still has long hair.” (I.e., “He still has the old look of devil possession. We don’t see a transformation of life. He must still be devil possessed.”)

But the Bible defends these non-SDA Gentiles,

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? [or, Why?] Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone.” (Rom. 9:30-32).

“Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.” (Deut. 10:15-18).

The Adventist defense against ex-atheists, ex-porn addicts who Christ pursued and delivered: “They will bring bad influences into the church.”

But the Bible says of them,

“We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Phil. 3:3).

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:4-6).

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.…
For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.…
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.…
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:6,10-13, 16-20,22).

Ex-New Agers won by the love of Jesus: “But they speak in glossolalia, they keep Sunday, they love praise music. They prophesy.” “They are part of the counterfeit revival.”

There needs to be a redefinition of the Corinthian prophesying. It wasn’t pagan hysteria and glossolalia. They weren’t doing as the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic Evangelicals do today. The Corinthians, “called…saints” (1Cor. 1:5), were doing the same as the prophets who were coming down from the hill of God in the days of Saul, when Samuel commanded him to join them. They were praising and rejoicing in the goodness and mercy and love of God, “with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp” (1Sam. 10:5). That is what we hear from the YouTube praises. That was the Corinthians’ prophesying. As those Israelites came down from dwelling in the presence of Jesus, their faith and testimonies to the gentleness and mercy of Christ triggered the new heart that God had given Saul, and he prophesied with them in the same spirit of joy and peace with God. Later Saul’s new spirit and heart inspired the same in others. “And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.” (1Sam. 10:26).

David was a prophet (Acts 2:29,30), yet his prophecies were psalms—songs of praise to the Lord God who he rejoiced in above all else. That was the prophesying that Saul heard and made, and that prophesying was what the Corinthian believers had that could cause an unbelieving visitor to be convicted by all the evidence of God’s character heard from the consecrated Corinthian hearts and flowing gladly from consecrated lips. “And so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Cor. 14:25).

This is the true, biblical prophesying, which is wholly unrelated to the corrupted imaginary prophecies practiced by the modern Charismatic prophets. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:31). As in Jeremiah’s day, couldn’t the current glossolalia also be a pagan corruption of true, biblical speaking in tongues, preaching “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11)? But that isn’t what we hear from the YouTube testifimonies. We hear the wonderful works of God and earnest entreaties to others still enslaved by Satan. Does this characterize the Adventist praise and testimonies? Some of the YouTube testifiers do practice the pagan corruption of the truth. And they need to learn the truth from Acts 2. And their honest souls will learn it, eventually.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:4-11).

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church….
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Cor. 14:4,19-25).

The YouTube converts need some instruction on our distinctive doctrines. They shouldn’t be neglected. Actually, because they have the anointing which applies their hearts to wisdom the YouTube converts are more open to truth than the 99 righteous Sunday-goers who need no repentance. “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” (1Jn. 2:27). And, on that note, they are also more open to truth than many Sabbath-keepers who feel no need for repentance, and who don’t have the anointing. These converts have been humbled and justified. For many among us, their standing before God is better than ours. If we don’t have a religion of the heart’s conversion, we cannot escape the inborn lure of temptations. “The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; and it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.” Desire of Ages, p. 35.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:16,17). This is the YouTube converts’ big need. And they are hungering for it.

Of the ex-witches saved by the grace of Christ: “They are suspicious. We should keep them at arm’s length and keep them away from our children.”

But, the Bible says about these strangers and foreigners,

“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:21).

“Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 23:9).

“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 19:33,34).

The Sunday denominations have ostracized us and branded us as a cult? We’ve been treated badly. So why shouldn’t we treat these new-born Christians that we long to be treated? That is what they yearn for.

“Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19).

Of ex-gays delivered from that galling yoke: “They aren’t just like us.”

To that the Bible says,

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles.” (Gal. 2:14,15).

To ex-drug addicts and ex-porn addicts whose weapons of warfare against self were mighty through God to the pulling down of their strongholds of sin: “They can’t be part of us until they are completely cleaned up.”

“The last shall be first, and the first last.” (Matt. 20:15,16).

“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matt. 21:43).

“In that ye have brought into My sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to pollute it, even My house, when ye offer My bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken My covenant because of all your abominations.
And ye have not kept the charge of Mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of My charge in My sanctuary for yourselves.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.” (Eze. 44:7-9).

The strangers and uncircumcised the Lord GOD referred to here were pedigreed, Levitical priests, priests who were “the people of the LORD” (Numb. 16:41) but whose hearts were serving Baal, the King of heaven, and Ashtoreth, the Queen. The “sorcerers and…the adulterers” (Mal. 3:5) were not the crude people, but the refined, proud, adulterous religious leadership. On Judgment Day the first became the last, and the last became first.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” (Jer. 9:25,26).

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.…
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:21,22,27,28).

“Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled…. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:18,20).

“Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written…. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom. 2:22-24,28,29).

Paul was not ashamed of the ex-occult of his day, the ex-gender confused, and ex-drug addicts, or bashful about their membership in the family of God. “Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” (Rom. 11:13).

And neither was our Creator ashamed of His children. “And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching Him that He would come and heal his servant.... Then Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him, Lord, trouble not Thyself: for I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof.” (Luke 7:3-6).

Of all the ex-whatevers now happy in Jesus: “Maybe the Jesuits are behind all these YouTube testimonies. Maybe its just another deception.”

But, the scriptures says of them,

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18).

“To the strangers scattered throughout...elect according to the foreknoweledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ...
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:…
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:7-10,13-19).

So, let us learn the lesson from the Jerusalem conference in the days of Peter and Paul. Let us apply the basic requirements for the Gentiles to these YouTube ex-slaves to sin who Jesus has set free and given to them His Spirit to love the Bible, and who love to study it in order to know the God who saved them from Satan. Let us see the beautiful psychology of salvation that took the Gentiles from the basic introductory requirements in salvation to “sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus”. And let us follow suit for our own sanctification and obedience through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood. Let us emulate their hearts’ consecration to the God who Rose the Muslim called “Love”. Let us relive the experience of the Presence who with the one liner, “I am your God who loves you”, instantly won the mind and melted the heart of Shayne the atheist, who was entrenched in empty philosophy.

“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:1-29).

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-22).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A gentle and loving, albeit self-indulgent sinner meets a more gentle and loving, and altogether self-denying Saviour

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high because he hath known My name.” (Ps. 91:14)

“In the 4 years that I’ve been in this apartment, more has happened to me than has happened in my entire life.”

This is a very beautiful testimony that comes from Travis, who has always loved to love. I hear love coming out of everything he said, even before his dramatic conversion. But, his loving nature didn’t keep him from a life of self-indulgence and many close scrapes with death due to his self-indulgence. But, in the end, he found Jesus trustworthy, which saved his heart and justified him, and opened his heart to the gift of the Holy Spirit. And, because of the love he saw in Jesus and His Spirit (Rom. 8:9), Travis was able to accept the great foundation of sanctification—obedience to Jesus.

“This testimony kind of starts when I was 13 years old and I was in my bedroom. And I heard my dad, he was outside doing yard work, and he called me. His voice was like, ‘Get out here quick, there’s something out there that you’ve got to see.’ And so I ran out to the back yard, and my dad was looking at these three orange lights in the sky. And it looked like they were playing tag. They were chasing each other around really fast. It almost looked like how bees would be, how they can really fly around really fast. Of course, these were bigger than bees, and they were lights. And this was in early evening time. And they were chasing each other around. There’s three of them, and like two would be chasing one, the one was being chased and then there was another [that] would chase another one, and they would zip up into the sky and disappear. And then they would come back down. And they weren’t very far from us. I mean they were like 30 yards. And my dad had seen them when they flew over his head, so I didn’t see them when they flew over our head. Over his head I didn’t see them. He said that they looked metallic. And by the way, this isn’t about aliens; it’s about Jesus.

Anyway, so, I wasn’t raised religious at all. I did have close cousins. My dad would drop me off when he’d go to work with my cousins. And I had 4 cousins, and my aunt who would watch me. And one of my cousins was around my age, and so we became really good friends. And, I would have to…they were Catholic at the time. They have since switched to…I think they go to a non-denominational is what they do, except for my uncle. He did stay in the Catholic Church. So we would go to midnight Mass, and this. And I would always ask questions. I’m like, ‘What is this? You know, kids are supposed to be in bed at this time. Why are we out?’ I’ve always been very sensitive. And so I always question, and asked them, ‘Why is there altar boys?’ And there was one priest who would be in this room with the door open, and would be peaking and looking at me. I was probably, I don’t know, seven, six. And so I would ask my cousin. I would be like, ‘Why is he staring at me? What’s he doing?’ And so I named the guy, ‘Peek-a-boo Priest’. And so that was an inside joke we had for a long time, ‘Peek-a-boo Priest’.

But, that didn’t get me to want to go to church very much, I went to Sunday school. In fact, me and my step-mother got into a terrible crash… a car accident when I was six. And she was wearing a seatbelt and she actually went, her legs went into the van, and the glass went all over her. I was just sitting in the front seat with her with no seatbelt. And it was like somebody was holding me in there. And as soon as the crash was over she was just…it looked like Carrie, the movie Carrie, there was blood just coming down and she was screaming. She looked over at me because she probably thought I was dead. Not a scratch. And then my door opens and here’s this woman from Sunday school, who got me out of the van and put me in the back, she had a station wagon. She put me in the back of that. She kept telling me, ‘Get down, stay down.’ I wanted to see the van, and I did see it. It was terrible. It was demolished.

We saw these lights and stuff. And me and my dad, we didn’t really talk about it much. I didn’t think about it much. I put the experience into my pocket, saved it, thought about it every once in a while, ‘Wow, wasn’t that kind of strange?’ I had a lot of other experiences happen. I had a really close friend. He fell asleep at the wheel. He died real tragically. It’s a pretty grotesque story actually. And he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He was trying to tell me about, you know, their beliefs and all this stuff before he had passed. He got into Jehovah’s Witness the last three years of his life, or two. And I just though it was strange. I didn’t know what to think of religion. I always did, though, I prayed every night. And I think I prayed for my meals. And I did it in the typical Catholic, ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ thing. And it was a real quick prayer. It didn’t mean much. But I always just had this hunch, ‘I think Jesus is real.’ And I always had this feeling that everything I did I was being watched. Like I said I am very sensitive. And I can tell what people are…their emotions and stuff. I can feel them. So I always knew somebody was watching me—God, or whoever.

I always did respect Jesus. I didn’t know nothing about the Bible. Around the time that my friend passed away, I came to work one day. This is in 2001 and I came to work. I would go to a home where three developmentally disabled adults lived, and I would make their dinners, and stuff like that. And you know, watch them, help them. And I come to work one day before they would get dropped off by Good Will, where they worked and get dropped on the bus. And I would come early and get stuff going and ready for them. So I come to work, there’s this gift for me. I doesn’t say it’s from anybody, just, ‘To Travis.’ And I opened it up and it was a Bible. And it had my name inscribed on it right here [he points to its bottom right corner]. I just thought it was really cool. I really liked… Its actually an NIV. I’ll talk more about that.

I thought, ‘Wow. This is interesting.’ Because my friend had just passed away. And when we went to his funeral, his, I don’t know what they call Jehovah Witnesses’ preachers, I guess they are still called preachers, he said—my friend’s name was Jeremiah—he said, ‘Jeremiah is in darkness now’, because he had taken an anti-anxiety medication. We would drink a lot, and we would smoke pot, and he took that pill and that’s what happened to him. So in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I don’t know if it’s true, he was in, I don’t know, outer darkness, or in darkness, I don’t know. That’s what he said though. And I remember I had my cousin with me, and she was a Catholic. So it was another cousin, but she was in the same family I stayed with when I was younger. And it really threw her off. And I remember we went back to my house, and she just wouldn’t stop. She was like, it really affected her. It really bothered her. And she didn’t even know him. And I didn’t even know what to think.

But here I come to my job, and here is this book, this Bible. And so I’m going to read it. I’m going to give this a try. I’m 30, 28, 29, 30 [years old]. And so I begin at the very beginning, and read the entire Bible. And it was like reading Chinese. I, there might have been, I mean I’m sure, I remember when I would read it it would get me to think…I never really felt the Lord’s presence, or anything when I read it, which is…. I don’t understand that.

So anyway, during this time, in this house that I worked in I would get these weird feelings. And there was a lot of people that worked there, mostly females. And they were, they were different. And there was a lot going on there, with them, not me. You know, I could just feel a[n evil] presence in that place. And there was. One of the men that I took care of, he was just a happy-go-lucky guy. I worked there for 4 years—I knew these guys, this was 3 years into working there—I knew these guys. And this man—he’s no longer here anymore—he was just a happy guy. He came and sat on my lap. He loved to unload the dishwasher, and there was dishes that just got done. And he said, ‘Wanna go unload the dishwasher?!’ (His name was John). And I go, ‘Yeah John, let’s do that.’ We get up and we run. And we go into the kitchen. Just as we get in there, I’m opening up the dishwasher, and this voice comes out of John, and this isn’t John. And it shocked me. It really surprised me. And what he said was, I’ll try to imitate it the best I can. This is going to sound really ridiculous. I don’t care, though. He goes, ‘YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!’ Now take that times 100 million. No movie or Hollywood could, you know, no movie could come close to imitating this. This was not even human. And, so I go, ‘What did you say, John?’ [John said,] ‘John don’t know.’ I asked other people, ‘Does John ever, you know [talk like that]?’ [Each of the other workers would all say,] ‘No.’ ‘No.’ ‘No’, ‘No.’ ‘No.’ It wasn’t John, it was a demon that saw me coming to work an hour early every day, and sitting there and reading the Bible there. That’s what I was doing when I read the Bible, I would actually come to work an hour early and I would read that Bible. And I knew, I could just feel something was in there [in the house], more than once.

So I just let that go, no big deal. All right. I went on with my sinful life. I was living with this girl. I was actually divorced, divorced for a good reason. And here I am now living with this girl. And I didn’t know what was going on. I remember sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night and go…I would just wake up and go, ‘I’m going to cease to exist some day!’ And that would like…I would panic, as if that would really be terrible. You know, as if that would be worse than going to hell.

The first thing I ever heard about when it came to the Bible when I was little, was my aunt. Like I was telling you, I was there a lot with my cousins, the first introduction to scripture I ever had was her reading Revelations. That didn’t make me want to go to church. It really scared me away from it. I just thought if this is the way, you know… I always thought it was just religion. I considered Catholic doctrine, and all that religion, for certain [there is] worse than that even. But, I don’t judge anybody for that at all. I have an uncle [in the Catholic Church] and I love him so much. I mean, we talked about Jesus all the time.

So, anyway, I get into drinking and smoking pot. The relationship with that girl didn’t work. I had a failed marriage. Every relationship I ever had with a woman was just terrible. I wasn’t the best either. So, I would come home at night—I worked in the evening—and stare out into the darkness. I just mean staring out into the darkness, and just saying, ‘I’m missing out on something. I’m missing out on… What am I supposed to be doing? What am I here for? Why am I here?’ And I sunk into a deep, dark depression. I only drank once a week, on Saturday, on my day off. I would drink enough for that whole week on that one night. I would just drink a ton. I was really a big guy then. Like I worked out like ridiculous amount of hours, six days a week. (Real vain.) So I got into that [weight lifting?].

And it got worse. And I got into pills. And during this time I’m just starting to get into pills, and I’d been in some bands and stuff before this. I sang, I was a singer. I taught myself to play guitar. And I quit these bands because I got tired of dealing with the other band mates. And I began to have some experiences. Once I was sitting there, playing my guitar, and something tapped me on the back, you know. [Travis acts it out by immediately turning around] and there was nothing there. One time I’m sitting on my bed and I can feel something behind me. I know something is behind me and I turn around and I look. And the curtain raises up, not like one of these [venetian blinds]. But the curtain raised up and just held there. It was one of those drapes. And it raised all the way up and just held there. I’m like, [Travis gives a stare of surprise and disbelief]. I even called a friend, I’m like, ‘Man, there is, you know….’ And there was all kinds of stuff going on. I didn’t know what. I thought they were ghosts is what I thought. And so I was into ghosts now.

Around 2013 I started to get these strange, not audible or anything, just this feeling in me saying, ‘Go outside, go out in the front yard.’ And it would like 12 at night, 1 in the morning. ‘Go outside and look up into the sky and wait.’ And I’d go out looking up into the sky, wait… like, ‘What the heck am I waiting for!? Is this going to be another alien?’ So, nothing showed up. (Thank God). That’s nothing. Wait until you hear….

And so my drug use really took off. I was taking a prescription of Oxycodone. I was taking Methadone. I was taking anything, like any sort of opiate I could get my hands on and buy. I purchased it. That’s where almost all my money went to. I eventually had to move out of my apartment and move back in with my dad because of my drug habit. And I lied to him. Of course, I didn’t tell him. And it got really dark and bad. And then I stepped it up and became IV [intervenous] drug user. Then, of course, what comes after pills? Heroine. While all this is going on, I’m battling this addiction, I’m going from sick to OD to sick to OD. I OD’d a whole bunch of times. I mean a whole bunch of times. I don’t know how I made it. I mean I know now. It was Jesus, He allowed me to live.

I remember even before all of this, when I would drink hard alcohol and I’d get so drunk that if I had passed out, [and if] people who would try to move me or touch me or anything like that, I’d freak out on them. I mean, I would freak out. And there was a time once I ended up at some party and I was with my friends. I was really wild, and I would just ditch my friends and go find a party. You know, strangers, and go off with them. And end up at who knows where. And I was at this party and the next thing you know I had to go outside to throw up. And they put me in the back of a truck, and next thing you know I’m at a park. And it was snowing. And somebody called the police, and like I wouldn’t even let the police touch me.

But this was another time where I was living in this apartment, and I was really, really drunk off hard alcohol again, and the snow was up to my knees. And I figured, ‘I’m going to go on a snow walk!’ And this place where I went out to it’s a rock quarry. And there’s nothing out there. Nothing. There’s a road that leads out and you just go. There’s nobody out there. This was late, late at night. And I went out there. And I walked and I walked and I walked, until I was like, ‘Not going to make it home. Not going to make it home.’  So I turned around, I’m not even close to home. And I’m like, ‘Ok I’m probably going to fall right about over here. I’m going to fall in the snow, nobody is going to see me. This is where I’m going…, you know, to be found once the snow goes away. So I remember my last, or what I thought I was my last thing I’d see, and that was all white as I’d fall into the snow. This was Christmas Eve. I wake up Christmas morning in my apartment, on a couch. Family left, everybody is gone, doing Christmas. And I’m like, ‘No way. No.’ Because there’s no way I could have made it. I’m like, ‘Could somebody have found me or saw me? I’m going to go look.’ I run out there. I go out to the road where it is. And there is just one set of tracks going out there. Nothing coming back.

Stuff like that happened to me all the time. Everybody thought I was going to die all the time. My dad even said, you know, it was just a known thing that I was going to die soon and, you know, well before my dad. And, you know, that’s the way it is. And my dad sat around waiting for the call. And, by the way, this isn’t bragging at all. This is stupidity. I always had to learn the hard way.

And so, I’m into heroine. It got really dark. I OD’d a million times. Never went to the hospital once. And then I got into…I needed to quit heroine. And the people I would get heroine from they also did Meth. But I never did it because I just hated it. I couldn’t stand it. And so this woman one night, she goes, ‘I’m going to give you a $20 shot of Meth.’ I’m like, ‘All right.’ So I took this stupid Meth. And I got a lightbulb on my head thinking, ‘This is how I’m going to quite heroine.’ Good idea, huh? Yeah, really good idea. So I used that [Meth]. I succeeded. I got off heroine. Hmm, Good job [Travis]! [sarcasm] And now I got another problem. Oh, this time, oh man, that stuff turns you into a monster. And so I ended up homeless and crazy stuff was going on. And I’m not even talking about my teen life. My life was pretty nuts anyway. There’s a lot I’m skipping. I’m trying to get to what I’m trying to get to [the testimony for Jesus].

And so I’m homeless, I’m in and out of jail for stupid things like, No trespassing. One time I wanted a place to sleep. So I went into a store, grabbed a candy bar, went up to the counter and said, ‘I’m going to be stealing this, you can call the police on me.’ So, a cop walks in right as I do that, and I start going outside, and the cop walks in and they tell the cop. And he goes, he yells at me. He goes, ‘Put that candy bar back!’ So I go and put it back. He says, ‘I’m not going to arrest you....’ (I [Travis] live in a town where there is three cities.) He said, ‘I’m a cop from the other city.’ So, and then I remember I went up to the top of the train tracks and I was like this [Travis puts his face looking down glumly with cheeks on fists], and he [the policeman] was on a motorcycle and he just drives around, didn’t even look at me. And so I ended up selling my truck. I sold a lot of cars for drugs. And I end up getting [a] motel.

One of the places that I worked at there was a woman there that was a nurse, and we were good friends. We got along really, really, good. Nobody else seemed to really get along with her. She was really kind of grumpy to everybody. And I would just help her out. And I always, you know, we ate all the time together. There was nothing romantic, there was nothing anything like that. So I knew her life, and she had a daughter. And I knew all about it, what was going on. And her daughter was having problems with drugs. And she had cancer. And she was going through...she got done with Chemo, actually this is two testimonies. This is mine and hers. And I’m the only one who can tell hers.

And so I’m in contact with her. And I’ll be honest, this is so sad. I was in contact with her because I knew her daughter did drugs. And I thought, ‘OK. Well, I’ll just get her daughter to like me and get drugs.’ And so I ended up here one day. Yeah. I ended up here, that’s where I’m at right now. This was our apartment. This is where it all happened. And I love this place. This place, I’ll never forget this apartment. Anyway, and in the 4 years that I’ve been in this apartment, more has happened to me than has happened in my entire life. So I come over here and I see what’s going on. And I’m really appalled by it. And here I’m a drug addict. But, you know, her daughter, wasn’t helping her. Here she [his roommate] was, and I mean, she could barely lift a finger, and she had to go shopping and stuff. She had to do everything. And her daughter was just here with these people doing drugs. I’ve never really, and I’m not saying I’m better or good, I’m just really picky about who I hang out with. And I never seemed to really get along with other drug addicts, probably just because I didn’t want to share [my drugs]. But, all my friends were sober. So, you know, I was just sickened by what I saw when I got here.

But of course that didn’t stop me from pretty much using this situation to help my drug addiction. And so, yeah, I didn’t really get that much drugs from her because she didn’t have that much money. I mean, I was able to sell things I had and stuff, but she was out of control. Her daughter was out of control.

And so I was back and forth. Like I said I had a rented, at first I rented a motel that’s just down the street here. I was doing Meth. And that wasn’t working good for me… [End of first part of his testimony, and a gap in between first and second parts of his testimony]

…I asked her [the roommate’s daughter] for the machete. She left. Then she tried to get in and I wouldn’t let her in. By that time my friend [his roommate] showed up here, and I was still trying to get the machete. Eventually her daughter snuck up here and opened the door, unlocked the door with her keys and got in. And she was a very, I’m a pretty big guy, 6’5”, about 235 [pounds] and she’s bigger than me, taller too. And I didn’t know if she had the machete or what. But she got into the door. She hit me, about, I don’t know, like 13 times in the face. I was just caught off guard and I didn’t have any...I was, I kind of fell down, or something, when she came in. And she was punching me, and she couldn’t punch very hard. So, I’m glad for that. I finally got her down on the floor. She was screaming. I held her down. She was screaming, and kicking, and spitting. I held her for fifteen minutes. Got out of this apartment. There’s all these people out here and they’re yelling at me and telling me I shouldn’t beat up women, and stuff.

And so anyway she ended up going to jail. And a police officer that was here, he was the captain of the police department, he stayed here for 3 hours afterward, and talked about Jesus. I got really excited. And he told us about a church that is here in this town. It’s called, ‘Calvary’. And he anointed us, and stuff. After the police left, we found the church. And anyway, I ended up staying here. And her daughter was sending people over here to, I guess to kick my butt, or something. And so what I did was I chased all these people away because they basically wanted to kick me out of here and then continue using this as a place to do drugs.

And once in a while I’d let somebody in because I would want some drugs from them. Not many. And then I would like kick them out of here. And so anyway we stayed here. My room…now my friend is my roommate. And I’ll just refer to her as my roommate from here on. Like I said this is a double testimony. It’s hers too. So I’m staying here. I’m doing drugs. I found out she’s a real enabler and I used that for my advantage. I used to be real good at doing that. I used her and she…I loved her, I just had a drug problem, which is not an excuse. But I did that, she enabled me, she bought me drugs. And so, you know, I thought, ‘Well, this is great.’ I stayed here. She know, she wanted to go to church. She wanted to find Jesus. And I was kind of like, ‘Well, we’ll do that maybe tomorrow, or something.’

And so I started looking into stuff, and doing tons of research. I would do like 13 hours a day of researching stuff. Like I started out with kind of like 9/11 because I always wanted to look into that. And I really looked into that. And I looked into a whole bunch of stuff. And next thing you know I’m getting into New Age stuff.

Then I remembered the UFOs that me and my dad saw. And I thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to get into. That’s what I’m going to find out about. I want to know about what were those things that we saw. I wanted to know what that is.’ And I found a guy who is on YouTube, and he’s a pretty popular guy in the UFO and alien, I don’t know whatever you call it, the alien scene, I don’t know. And he teaches you how to summon aliens. And I just thought, ‘Huh’, you know. And I followed his instructions and I went out on the deck. And I did this, I did what he said to do, how to do it. And for two months every night I’d go out there, completely patient. Most people would get impatient, as I learned from friends that I told this about. I told them how to do it, and they’d go out. And after 2 days they’d be calling me all frustrated and stuff. So I would just tell them, ‘Well, come on over here.’ And they would see them [aliens] too. And my roommate saw many things. She was very skeptical. I wasn’t, I waited for 2 months and I just knew they were going to come. And they did. They showed up.

And it was exciting because I thought I was special. Later I was on YouTube looking. And there was a lot of people that were trying really hard to do that. And it seemed like they would give anything for that. And I just thought, ‘Wow. I’m really special.’ That’s not what it is. It’s pretty easy to do. I would never suggest anybody ever do that because there was some bad stuff that happened.

And so, yeah, they showed up. Well one of them showed up. You know there was a big story to that too. A lot of these experiences it just would take way too long to share them. But they did [they came]. There was different ships—‘ships’—and one of them was like a blue spear. And it seemed to have some attraction towards me. As far as, well it came around this tree out here [pointing outside the apartment], and it came over my head and just stayed there. And I was out front because I wanted to take a better look at these things. And what was one that came by, the first one, turned into like 5 of them out here. And they were all different and stuff. And this blue one was right over my head, so I came back in, then went back out on the deck, and it followed me over here. And these blue ones would follow me all the time. So I sat there and I watched this blue thing right over my head until the sun swallowed it up. And I came back in here. I got on YouTube and I found a guy who was describing exactly what I had just seen. And by the way, when these things showed up I did run in here—this was like 4 in the morning—I ran in here and grabbed my roommate. Because I didn’t want to be sitting here telling her this stuff and her going, ‘Yeah, right.’

So, once again, I found a guy on YouTube, and he was, I couldn’t believe it, ‘Wow. This guy is telling me what I just seen.’ So I commented on one of his videos telling him what had just happened. And he, right then, he replied to me. And he said, ‘Oh, that’s just the Arcturians and the Serians letting you know that they are real.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, well which one’s which?’ And I said specifically, ‘Which one is the blue one?’ And he goes, ‘That’s the Arcturians.’ My roommate had showed up not too long after that with a big box full of tons of books—New Age, and all sorts of stuff, meditation, astral projection, and stuff like this. And one of them was a book called, ‘We the Arcturians.’ And I read that book. And that’s when I, from reading that book...pretty much the message was that—there’s a lot of people that think this too. By the way I still have friends that are still involved in this and they think this stuff too. And they are normal people. They hold normal jobs. I know I probably don’t seem like I’m very normal, I don’t know. But, I think I am [normal]. And they think that these aliens seeded with man or something, or planted us. That’s...the teachings pretty much is that. That’s what they teach. They teach that we came from them. This is a real old teaching. This isn’t new. They say ‘New Age’, but New Age really isn’t new. They’ve been doing this…You know the Egyptians, they said that gods came down—they called them gods in fire ships, and stuff. Now these are the same things that I seen. Same thing. Same teaching. Same everything. This has been around for ever. This isn’t new stuff. And it’s not Star Wars. This is real. It’s just a [deception] of what it really is. And that’s why I’m really doing this [testimony] too. It’s because it just needs to be talked about more. I haven’t seen anything yet that’s gotten this deep into a testimony for Jesus that’s quite this [detailed?], that would categorize as a [detailed account of] contact like this with these [aliens-demons].

So anyway, so every night I’m going outside, and I mean, it’s becoming…. there was more and more stuff going. There’s so much going on. At the time I was sober. I was going to an out-patient treatment. And I was going to these groups every week. And my counselors were just, they were saying stuff like, ‘You’re, you are really doing well. We’re amazed with your progress.’ And I really thought like, you know, because they [the New Age teachers] teach you all this stuff—raise your vibrations, and become an ascended master, and they teach you that we’re all gods, and that we need to ascend from being a human to like a god. And that if you don’t, [then] you have to come back and do it over again and be a human being. And I remember thinking, ‘No way am I ever, am I going to come back here and be a human being! Ever…no way!’ So it was really important to me to ascend. It was, you know, there’s people on YouTube and they call it their third eye, and all this stuff. It’s not your third eye. It’s just I allowed, I asked them [the demons] to come into my life. So, I allowed spiritual beings to basically bring me into their world. And then I was able to see spiritual things. And they’re the ones that did that. They unlocked that because I allowed it. And anyone can do it. There’s people that were on YouTube begging for that kind of stuff. ‘Oh I need my third eye opened. I’d give anything…’ No you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t want it.

I mean I’ve seen some stuff that nobody...most people don’t believe it, that it’s true. And they’ll always attribute it back to like drugs or something like that. ‘You fried your brain, dude.’ Well when I was in this treatment, this out-patient, they found me perfectly mentally stable. And one of the ways that they did this was, I kind of slipped up in the meeting and I told them, ‘I’ve got some really interesting things going on.’ Once a month you’d see a counselor and you’d sit on one-on-one with them. And as soon as I got to my counselor once, he didn’t even say, ‘How’s your day? How are you doing?’ He just said, “All right. Let’s hear about this. What’s going on with you?’ And I told him. And he said, ‘OK. We’re going to set you up for mental evaluation.’ And the reason why is I was astral projecting and I was meditating, and going into different dimensions—it’s a demonic dimension. I didn’t know—having all kinds of experiences, the astral projecting. I’ll just give you one little detail about that. Once I, you think you’re leaving your body and all this stuff. And I went out into space, and I went out there and there was a whole orchestra of instruments. Nobody playing them, just the instruments. And I, with my mind, controlled this orchestra and made this song with my mind. It was really, I’ll admit, it was amazing. And you could tell it was my first time doing it because every once in a while the music would stop. It was this song like I’ve never heard. And I was creating it—or so I thought. It felt like it.

Stuff like that was going on. I was meditating, and I mean, I didn’t even have to do it [meditate]. They say you’ve got to lose your mind. Don’t think of anything and its going to take a while. No, as soon as I close my eyes I’d be face to face with another being. One time—this one’s crazy. One time I closed my eyes. And I am face to face with the most beautiful, female…lizard? (Travis laughs). Yeah. And it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And it was a freakin’ lizard woman, though. I mean, I don’t like lizards. I don’t think lizards look good. I’m not attracted to lizards. But this one was beautiful. And she winked at me, and she was sparkling. But she was like blue. And she was talking to me telepathically, telling me that she was an Arcturian and that so was I, and stuff. And so I really bought into this whole thing that I was an Arcturian. And I was continuing going out every night, and having some crazy, crazy things happening. I’ll share just a few of the things, just a few, because they get so crazy that probably some of your guys who have some of the craziest stories would probably think, ‘It’s crazy’.

Let’s see. OK. Gee, which one do I want to talk about? I don’t even like talking about it. But, which one? I’ll talk about a couple of bad things. I’d be outside and all of a sudden, man, BOOM! this huge ship would be there. And what they called them was, they called them ‘Light ships’ because they were pretty much just these lights. There was other ones too. There was tons of them. And, anyway. I would get this sensation. And I mean it felt real. I would swear it really was happening, that they were sucking my soul out of my body. And mind you, I’m sober this whole time. I’m completely sober. And it was easy to put…it would seem like I’m fighting [to get my soul back], but I could put my soul back into my body. And when that would happen, I would just come running, I mean I’d come running in here [the apartment].

Another time I was sitting on the couch over here. And somehow they had a way, because I allowed them. When you allow them like this, you have a connection with them. You can tell when they’re around, even when they are outside. One time I was just sitting there, and I could tell one was coming up, like behind me, but, you know, outside. And it came over my head and it [electrically?] shocked me. Now a lot of people talk about being shocked like this from demons, and from these so called aliens. It shocked me and then, right after that, something else was following it afterwards. And not only was it…it [the next alien] shocked me and then I had all this fear, panic, and then one went by and took all that away. And so I was like, ‘What the ___ [expletive]?’ And so I went outside, I looked up and it was dark out. But I could see these, they looked like chem-trails, two of them, totally bizarre. And so I’m seeing all kinds of stuff, man. Ships of all kinds all the sudden… I don’t want to go into that part….

Anyway, one time I seen, like, I don’t know if it was the magnetic… Ok, the atmosphere is, there’s substance there. You know, you learn about this in science, I think. That air in the atmosphere has a substance to it. It’s like a magnetic pull or it’s, I don’t know. But I seen it. It looked like a river. It looked like diagonal, all these like lines going up. I was just like, ‘Whoa!’ you know. And I seen a bunch of other things, a bunch, a bunch, a bunch of stuff. You know, a lot of times like I would call my roommate, and she would see it too. We’d go on walks and see them. They would come right over my head. Really got her scared, which I feel bad about now. And you know, one time we went out to go for a walk, and I could set my intentions for where I wanted them to show up, and they would. We’d get out to this main road over here, and we’d take a right, and I just knew something was going to be coming from the east. And all the sudden, and she saw it, like I saw it, but she saw it first, and this huge light, I mean huge up in the sky, coming right at us. She goes, ‘What the ___ is that?’, she goes. Actually she said, ‘What the ___?’ And this thing came down and I mean it was huge. No sound. OK, so I also told these things…I was so elated with the fact that they showed up, and they’re giving me all of this attention, that I told them…I said, ‘You can come in the house.’ And so things started happening in here. I remember the first time my roommate, and mind you, believe me when I say this, she had never seen anything like this. She was skeptical, very. Well one time she’s like, ‘What are these things chasing the cats?’ And I had already seen them, and stuff. In fact I even told her. I was like, ‘You know, they are in the house.’ You know, because I would see them in all sorts of different forms. I go, ‘Oh, don’t worry. It’s just the Arcturians, there. You know they’re my family. It’s OK. And so anyway, I’m playing around with these things and just having whatever, fun I guess. It just gets crazier, and crazier, and crazier. There’s a…they looked holographic, hieroglyphs, like what’s on the pyramid, floating around the house. All kinds of…it was…I really made a mess. And I really thought it was spirit demons. Some crazy stuff happened. Let’s just say that so we can get past this part.

In the meantime, all of a sudden, my mom passed away. And then my cat, I ended up having to put my 3 year old cat to sleep, which is another story in its own. And then, you know, I was trying to tell my dad this stuff because we had seen those lights. And I could tell he was like, ‘Oh man, my son he’s lost it. The drugs really got to him.’ And then he passed away. So it’s like everyone is passing away. My dad passed away like 3 months [or] 4 months after my mom. And then in between that, I had to put my cat to sleep for a unknown disease it had or something.

And then I got back on drugs after my dad passed away. We were really close. Somebody just showed up. I was really trying to stay away from that person. And it ended up they were here, and it, it was just weird stuff happened because I was really trying to get away from this guy. And he was even with somebody who wouldn’t allow that to happen. And all the sudden they go, ‘I think I’m going to go down and check on the dogs out in the car.’ And I’m like, ‘What? [puzzled]’ And they leave, and then my friend gives me heroine. Friend? Yeah. So I’m back on these drugs, right? And as soon as I take the drugs these things are out here, man. Like…I remember it scared me. This scared me, and there was others things that scared me, too. I just can’t talk about all of it. Because it would take forever. They really did look like demons this time. I mean, why didn’t I think of it? Why didn’t I go, ‘This isn’t good. They shocked me, they felt like they take my soul.’ One night I went outside—and about 4 in the morning—and this metal ball was coming down. This metal freakin’ ball, man. And a lot of times I’d go out there and some of them, their intentions on me were so strong I’d come running in the house. And this metal ball is coming down at me, and I was like thinking, ‘Don’t come any closer! Don’t come any …!’ And it backed off. I mean it could feel me. It could feel what I was going through. I would wake up in the middle of the night, with a buzz going on, like ‘Bzzzzzzz’, and like shaking. I’d go to the window, the sliding glass window and I’d see these crazy ships. Nothing else is buzzing and shaking. Just these ships buzzing and shaking with me. I’d look at anything else, and nothing else is doing that. So it was like they had me in tuned with them. But they would also like telepathically tell me things, like, ‘This is the people from Lyrica.’ They were like lion people, and stuff. It was just…I don’t know, this is crazy.

So, this is not fun. Ok. So then, we get into…so I got back into drugs. And they disappeared. They left. Now the [New Age] teaching is that you have to have a pure mind, and all this. You can’t be doing drugs. You can’t…you can’t really…it’s almost like obedience to Jesus, what you got to do, which I know that sounds crazy. But, I wasn’t doing anything before I relapsed. I was totally clean. I loved everybody, loved animals. I wasn’t doing any sinning at all. I wasn’t cussing. I mean I wasn’t doing nothing. Nothing sexual, nothing at all. And then, soon as I did the drugs they disappeared. Well they showed up in here and they looked like demons. And then they just disappeared. And I was sad, and I was like, ‘Oh, no!’ You know. ‘I screwed up!’

I had gotten a part of my inheritance. And it was kind of a lot of money. And so I went hog wild, and I bought a bunch of drugs. And I bought a truck and just stupid things. And ps-4, and stupid ___ [inhibited expletive?]. And I bought a ton of drugs. And I sat here and did so much drugs that one day I laid down to take a nap. And I woke up with like alarms going off , ‘You’ve got to go to the treatment now! You’ve got to go to detox right now!’ And I was on so much drugs and I was on so much heroine, and I was on so much anti-anxiety medication, that [to be detoxed] I had to go somewhere they don’t take insurance. They only take cash. And it’s really expensive. I mean I had to pay $12 grand [$12,000] for them to basically make sure I am alive for 8 days. And then I went to treatment. I didn’t send myself in there. That wasn’t me. That was God saying…that was God. And you know, I look back at that now and know that it was because, you know, once you get to know Jesus and stuff, you know how He is, and how He warns you and tells you things. And that was totally Jesus right there. And so Jesus got me into detox. And when I got there they found out, ‘You’re dying. Your body is shutting down.’ They almost had to put me into the hospital. I was so lucky to get out of that. But I was sick because I was coming off Suboxone, which it lasts a long time to get off. The withdrawals are terrible. So are the anti-anxiety [pills], but more so because [they were taken with] drugs, and that’s another whole story really, so I probably won’t get into that. So I end up going to treatment and when I was there I couldn’t stop thinking about my roommate. And something was telling me, ‘She’s going to die. She’s going to die.’ And so really I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t concentrate on the treatment. And plus, treatment doesn’t work. I don’t mean to say it, like I’m not saying, ‘Don’t go to treatment’, if you need to go to treatment. But faith-based is the best way. I didn’t know that at the time. So, anyway I go to treatment, and all I can think about is my roommate and I got to get back. So I pulled myself out of treatment and came back, worrying about her. So she seemed fine and OK. And like I got here and I tried to be sober, and it didn’t work. And I got back on drugs. And she didn’t know. She didn’t know.

Ok. Now it’s going to get real controversial here. And I don’t even care if anyone even watches this thing, which I don’t know [if anyone will]. And if there’s comments, ‘No. No, this can’t happen!’ I don’t care. Go ahead, say what you want to say. I mean everybody has a different path. And you know, you can’t put God in a box. Not everything is in the word [of God]. Not everything is in the Bible. Not everything. I believe the Bible 100%. And I’ll tell you why. But first, so I was back here and I remember it was the worst winter I had in my entire life. And I remember I wanted to get back, I called it ‘back to my spiritual[ity]’. I forgot what I called it. I just called it ‘my spiritual’, but I wanted it back really bad. I remember when I was in that treatment. I was sitting up in the room because I didn’t like being around all those people [addicts who were going through detox]. And the roommate that I had [at the detox center], he comes up and says, ‘We just watched a movie.’ And like I told him about all this stuff. And I go, ‘Really? What was it about?’ And he goes, ‘It was about aliens.’ And I tell him, ‘What? Why didn’t you tell me?’ And I go, ‘What was it about about aliens?’ He goes, ‘That they are demons.’ I go, ‘Shut up!’ You know, I was like ready to kick his butt. Because I hated when people said that. It really made me angry. And that’s a testimony to how much I thought that they were my family. And how much I loved them. I would defend them. And you know, it [aliens] did change my life. And I thought there was purpose now in my life. But it wasn’t enough. I was still doing drugs. It wasn’t enough obviously. And I really never got a love feeling from these things.

So, anyway, I’m back here. Back into drugs. And now we fast forward it a little bit. I feel like I’m dying. I feel like I’m going to die from the drug use. And I probably was. And so I was just like, ‘Oh well. I’m going to be with my Arcturians.’ But there was a sadness to it. Oh, I forgot one very important thing, very important. When I was going out there and having my encounters with the ships, (they were in the house, I mean I just I don’t know why I liked to go out there and have…there was a lot going on out there. But there was a lot going on in here too. I was out there one day. This one gives me, some of these stories give me chills. And I’m getting them [chills] right now. I’m sitting out there, waiting on my ships, and all the sudden, (Ooh, I’m getting goose bumps) all the sudden there’s a voice coming on my right side, my right ear, and it’s audible out loud, I mean its just like you hear my voice now, it’s out loud, audible. And from the first crack of the…it only said two words. And before it even said the words, in my mind I go, ‘Jesus?’ And I say it again. I said, ‘Jesus?’ And it was Jesus. I mean, they say to question the spirits. This was Jesus. Anyway…but, you know, I didn’t question the spirit. But it was so powerful. I mean, I dealt with these devils and demons and Satan. And this was different. I mean this was…you know when you have a God encounter it’s so powerful. And He allowed me to know it was Him. And He said. I mean I can’t say it like He did, He had just a beautiful, beautiful voice. And the best I can do is, He said like this, it was very gentle. But, I’ll tell you what else it was. He goes, ‘I’m coming.’ Wait. It’s like [quieter], ‘I’m coming’. Like that. And when He said that, I could feel 5 layers of sorrow. I felt some sorrow. It was intense sorrow. It was so intense, I’ve never felt sorrow like that, but yet it wasn’t all of His sorrow. And I knew that. But I could feel like 5 layers of it, like it was sorrow for me, sorrow for the lost, sorrow for the world. It was indescribably. And it was just in a split second. And I just remember going, ‘Jesus?’ That was Jesus, you know. When I go out there, and I don’t go out on my deck to look for ships. I don’t do that any more. When I go out there, I get goose bumps when I think about that [Jesus speaking to him].

But, and then I…after that happened, [when] I was like, ‘Is that [You] Jes…?’ I wasn’t like, ‘Is that…[Jesus]?’ [Then I could have continued talking with Jesus so that my thoughts might been that] I was like, ‘That was Jesus’. And [but], then [instead I said], ‘OK. Where’s my ships?’ Hmm? [Travis laments discontinuing his communion with Jesus. It was him like saying, “What? What was I thinking? How could Arcturians compare with Jesus and His multiple layers of sorrow?”] I told my roommate the next day, ‘Jesus talked to me’. But I didn’t really…I can’t believe that I didn’t… And another thing, when I was in the New Age and I was learning all of this stuff, they do talk about Jesus. They do bring Jesus up. And this is what they say, and I remember the day like it was yesterday. They say, you know, ‘Jesus is just another master, you know, like Buddha or like, I don’t know. Who else is there? There’s tons of them. I don’t care about them. And I remember I even said this out loud. I go…I go, ‘No. I am going to choose to think that Jesus is more than just some ascended master thing.’ And I said that, and I believe that, and I think that a lot of that had to do with what happens coming up.

I do also remember this. One day it just hit me, and I was like, ‘Jesus…’ And I asked Jesus...I go, ‘Jesus, if there really is a hell, can You please let me know?’ Even though I had a demon experience, duh [I should have known there is a hell]. ‘If there really is a hell, can You let me know? And if there is I will really try to look into following You. And I’ll try to do that.’ And then He said, ‘I’m coming.’ And that wasn’t enough either. It was like [Travis looks back on his lack of faith and says to himself], ‘Hello dummy.’

So now, I had the worst winter in my life. Now comes into spring, and all the sudden my roommate, who had already had cancer once, goes in to the doctor and gets diagnosed with cancer again. And, you know, she came home, and it was kind of like real non-chalant. Like, ‘Oh, I’ve got cancer again. The cancer came back.’ And she just looked and seemed so healthy. I had done tons of research from the first time she had cancer. That doesn’t matter. You can do research. You know, there’s cures and stuff like that. But then sometimes there’s not. Anyway, I think I’m going to save her or something, and I start doing all of this research. And then one day, probably a month after she said that that she got diagnosed with cancer…[that] her cancer came back, [after] learning that radiation makes it come back with a vengeance, [and] she hadn’t started any Chemo or anything like this, she comes out here. I’ve stayed in the living room, this is a two bedroom [apartment]. Her daughter was locked up for six months and then she went to an Oxford House and stuff. So she never came back here. But they [the daughter’s drug friends?] did, you know, they still hung out, they all hung out actually, after a while…. So…. [Travis realizes the testimony is rambling] Gosh, this is really long. I’m sorry. I haven’t even gotten to the good part.

So she [his roommate] comes out here. And she was just sheet white. Like I said, with this apartment, I’ve always slept out here in the living room on a…, at first it was a real terrible couch, now I’ve got a really, really, nice big comfortable one. I just like…there’s a bed here, but I sleep on this couch, out here still. She’s passed away over a year ago. So she comes out, and she is just sheet, sheet white. That’s when [her cancer] really hit me. Like, ‘Oh man.’ You know?  It was devastating. I mean I loved her like she was my mom. You know I had lost my mom, my dad, and now I’m looking at her and I’m going, ‘Dude, now I’m going to lose you now, huh?’ And it was like all the weight in the world was on me. I felt like I had to find a treatment for her.

So, when that happened, a family member of hers just showed up out of the blue. And I seen her like that and [she] said, ‘Where is your key? I’m going to get a copy.’ Well, my roommate had told me a lot of stories about this woman. And when my roommate’s mother died, this family member of my roommate’s who came and got the key, cleaned her [his roommate’s mother] out for everything she had. And she leaves to make a spare, made another key made, and I go, ‘You’re sure you want [to let her open access to the apartment?], you know…’ and she even didn’t feel good about it at all at first. So anyway, I’ve got all this weight on my shoulders of I’ve got to find an alternative for my roommate, you know, to get through this cancer. By then they said, ‘It’s in her bones. It’s in her brain. It’s just everywhere.’ I really didn’t understand. One of her family members had to come to me and say, ‘She’s not going to make it’, you know, ‘She can’t make it.’ And so I tried to tell my roommate. And I said, ‘Well then look, let’s just skip the Chemo because that’s just going to wipe you out. That’s just going to take you out sooner. There’s just no reason…’ She was declining so fast. And, OK so here is where it’s going to get controversial. Like it hasn’t been already.

OK, here is where people are going to say, ‘No. No. No. No. No.’ But I’m just going to stand up right now and I’m going to say something that a lot of people don’t agree with. And I’ve seen a couple [of]…not very many, two, who would agree with me because they experienced this. And that is this: you really can’t put a…you really shouldn’t, I know in scripture it says, you know, I don’t really know [where the verse is]. OK, we’re dealing with the Holy Spirit here. And of course when you’re dealing with the Holy Spirit you have to be very careful. And I always try to be. You don’t want to say something that’s not truth of the Holy Spirit. But I’m going to say this. This is what happened to me. So one night, all this is going on with my roommate. I lay down to go to sleep. I’m a drug addict. I’m a sinner. I did ask Jesus if, you know, if He can tell me if hell is real, then I would look into Jesus. I was very scared of hell. But I was also arguing with other family members who have been in the faith for 30+ years, and we were arguing, and my argument is that there is no hell. There is no hell. I absolutely would not believe there is a hell.

So, anyway, I go to sleep one night, and I wake up. This, this is one of most important moments of my entire life. I go to sleep. I wake up in the morning. Usually it takes me a long time to wake up in the morning. Plus I was a drug addict. Had to take my drugs, you know, [or] I’m [usually] not awake. No, this morning when I woke up I was wide awake. And I got up. And I sat straight up out of bed and I grabbed my heart. I could just feel…there is something going on here. And I said it out loud twice. I said, ‘I am not content with my beliefs. I am not content with my beliefs.’ And the next thing you know there’s something talking to me from my heart. It wasn’t audible. It was telepathic like. But I could hear the words. And I didn’t know at the time that it was the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit said these exact words. It was almost like It…like He pointed to where He wanted me to look in the first. But, I…there…He wasn’t pointing. He was in my heart.. But, [He] directed my attention out to the deck, and said this, and said, ‘Those things you been messing with out there are demons.’ And then it directed me to like right here in the center of the room like, or something. Because I turned, It said, He said, ‘Hell is real.’ And then this here is kind of a cool thing. That Bible that I had, I think I showed it (I got a Bible for mark[ing]…yeah, I showed it). Then it turned my attention over here, to there’s a table, well actually it was this chair here. And I used to keep my…well my Bible was in the bathroom. But, all of a sudden, it’s on this chair. And then it said, ‘Everything in that Bible is 100% true.’ As the Holy Spirit told me this stuff there was no…when the Holy Spirit said these things to me, there was no argument. It was as if as soon as the Holy Spirit said these things, I instantly didn’t just believe, but I knew that I knew that I knew. And I think about that [experience with the Holy Spirit] every single day of my life. And I love that [experience with the Holy Spirit] every single day of my life.

And then…, this is crazy here. After the Holy Spirit said that to me, there was this feeling in my gut. Now a lot of people say that’s where the soul is. Well that’s where I felt this next presence. And this wasn’t the Holy Spirit. The only, I mean. This is, OK. It was like a remnant of God. It was like a remnant of God. And it just started rumbling inside of me down here. And it started yelling at me. And it said this...OK, my roommate’s room is right over here [pointing to his right]. And it directed me to the wall, which on the other side of this wall is my roommate. NOW GO IN THERE AND TALK TO HER ABOUT JESUS. NOW! Over and over and over, yelling at me like that. And if you can, and, all I…. It’s like, I knew what it was. I didn’t know it was in my heart. I didn’t know that was the Holy Spirit. This is going to get real weird. I just…it felt like a piece of God, like God just threw a little piece of Himself in me, like a, kind of like a wrath. Kind of like a really mad father. And I remember saying to that, ‘You know, hold on. I will.’ I can’t even believe I said that. And of course, I was going to. I was going to anyway, but…and I have to say—and by the way, it was in me for two weeks yelling at me while I was going in there and then talking to her about Jesus. But, like I was so, it was so urgent, and you’ll find out why it was so urgent. This is insane. But it’s beautiful. So of course I went in there and talked to her about Jesus. And at this time also, in my heart there was a bubbling, like, not real ones, but I would swear. I mean I’d even look down to look and expect to see bubbles coming out of my heart.

That went on for two months, the bubbling. And so I called my cousin, who I was really close with him. He was around my age. He was one that I was arguing with about hell. And I mean, they never thought that I would be a believer or anything. And I called him, and he came right over. I mean he was coming here every single day. And [I] kept telling him, ‘It’s like truth. It’s like this truth. And it’s bubbling.’ Well, he wouldn’t say any[thing]. I’m like asking him, ‘What is this?’ you know, ‘Help me out here.’ ‘I don’t know, Trav.’ And the reason he said that, its very controversial. It’s because a lot of believers don’t think…, ‘No. You couldn’t have gotten the Holy Spirit. You couldn’t have.’ And that did become a problem, which I will go into. So I was calling priests, and my family who were believers, over here to anoint here, to talk to her, and everything else. I thought I was going to have to find someone to do it because I didn’t think that God gave me the authority. He actually, He actually wanted me to do it. Which I understand, but I wasn’t getting through to her at all. You know, I was the alien guy, and now [a] Jesus freak. But you know everything like I told her about the aliens and stuff, she saw. She didn’t go through close to [as many of] the experiences that I did. But, she couldn’t deny it. And neither could friends that I’d have come over. And then they’d go home, and then they’d have aliens, which I, in the end of that, I feel terrible about that. Thank God they got out of it, and they are actually Christians.

Anyway, after…and I’m doing that with my roommate, and right away, day one, I’m calling my friends and family. And I’m just saying, ‘I just want you to know that I’ve asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour. So I’m doing everything I can to get my roommate saved, I guess. Well, God’s doing it, I’m not doing anything. He wanted her, and He was going to get her.

There was a continual yell going on for two weeks straight, ‘GET IN THERE AND TALK TO HER ABOUT JESUS. NOW! That’s like the nice version. It was, it was really authoritive [authoritative]. I mean it was really a lot like what people say who had experiences with God in a way of where He is very authoritive. I actually really loved it. I loved it. I could have lived with it. I mean, nobody likes to get yelled at. But for some reason, I just I got used to it real quick. And I loved it, and it was almost like kind of getting to know God. It was really, I’ve never had an experience like that. And I really just innocently fell in love with God from Him yelling at me. Plus, His interest in my friend, my roommate, was my interest. And I wanted her to be saved, just as bad as He did. It really was my number one priority. I was giving her an alternative medication. And with all the [other] medication she was on I had to really research to what I could give her that wouldn’t affect the other medications that she was on. Like, you know, side effects. I didn’t...we didn’t want any side effects. We didn’t want anything to contrast with the medication that she was on. And I did know a bit about medicine. I was a med tech and stuff for a long time. So that helped.

But, like I said, I had a bunch of people coming in here, trying to talk to her about Jesus. And, you know, after the Holy Spirit came into my heart, and it was there so strongly, Holy Spirit taught me a lot. And like I didn’t know much at all about the Bible. And the Holy Spirit just like instan…like I don’t know when it happened, if I was asleep when I happened. But Holy Spirit, it was like a puzzle coming together for me. Now I don’t claim to know all scripture or anything like that. I don’t because I’ve only been a believer now for just ov…a little over a year. But, I mean, it was like a crash course. And I understood things in the Bible that I had no idea…I didn’t even know what the Holy Spirit was. In fact I still didn’t know that I had the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know, but I was asking questions. But I was mostly yap, yap, yap. I just couldn’t stop talking about God. I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus.

And I was also being warned…this was all going on the same time I’m trying to have, you know, I’m helping God with my roommate. And I’m also being warned that some sort of destruction is going to happen on the earth. And it was scary. It was like, I was like chicken little running around, ‘The sky is falling the sky is falling.’ And I was telling this to everybody. I was telling this to my family that had been believers for a long time. And they thought I was nuts—some of them. I mean they were really glad, they were really happy, you know.

I was also going through a lot of turmoil. I was still on drugs. I was still using drugs. You know, that day the Holy Spirit came into my heart and told me, ‘Those things you’re messing with are demons. Hell is real. And the Bible is all truth.’ And then I’ll never forget this. This is so sick. I look down at my drugs right after that and I said, (because I knew), ‘That means I’m going to have to quit drugs, huh.’ Holy Spirit was really awesome. Because It said those things, those three things and It had already instilled all this stuff in me. Like the Bible, repentance. I didn’t know a thing about repentance. I didn’t even think I really knew what repentance…I’d had no idea about [what] repentance really was. I don’t even think I knew what the word was. And so I just knew. And I knew it was something I had to do. Holy Spirit was so—I’m trying think of the word, not lenient. Understanding and patient with me. I mean extremely. You don’t hear this very often. I know people don’t hear this very often of, ‘Yeah, the Holy Spirit…’ And it was also telling me stuff like, ‘There are things in this house that you need to get rid of.’ I was an owl collector. Like I collected owls and stuff. It took me probably…it’s taken me a year to really clean out everything in this apartment, to get rid of everything, I mean everything.

Also with my roommate when I would go in there, finally I had exhausted all my outside help, that I would call in here to talk to her…. My cousin came in, and did get her [his roommate] to cry once. And I was like, let them be in there alone. And I came out here and then I would like peak in around the corner. I saw her crying, and I was like, ‘Yes!’ But that didn’t do nothing because I could see in her eyes and I could see in other people’s eyes that…I could tell that she didn’t quite have faith, complete faith. And I could also tell that she had resentment and that she had [need of?] repentance. And so we went through all that. It got really frustrating, though. There was times that I was going in there like a drill sergeant, saying, ‘You will believe in Jesus now!’, you know. That didn’t work. But, we just, we chipped away and there was a particular person, and I don’t want to say who this person is, that she had a problem with. And it was really my fault, because I, through[out] our time here, I would be talking about this person, and not in a good way. You know, this person didn’t have good intentions towards me. It was a very close family member. And so, and that’s another reason that God was yelling at me. It’s because you know, I got her to resent somebody. I brought in these stupid demons, I taught her about New Age, you know. She was starting to believe in it. So, yeah, God was mad at me, and had a good reason to be. I was mad at myself.

So anyway I could tell by…her eyes, I could tell from…everywhere I’d go for the two months—well it lasted even longer than that but—I could tell for awhile people from far distance if they were believers or not. I wasn’t told everything at all. I was only given a little…enough that I could handle, I guess. I mean, it was a lot to handle. I look back at it now and I just laugh because, wow that was a lot to deal with, you know. My family dies, and now my best friend is dying. And I’m trying to cure her and God to save her. I mean God could have did it on His own. But, you know, there was a reason why He did this. And I think it was not just for me and her, it was for other people, too. It was for family members, friends, and hopefully it still continues. That it can continue to help anybody.

So, little did I know that in this two weeks that God was yelling at me that my roommate would lose her mental capability of really being able to repent fully and accept Jesus and  ask Jesus to be her Lord and Saviour. And finally, and I’m trying to think because there was a lot of stuff that was going on at the time. I was really battling, and I was going crazy. I would have to come out into the outside or the kitchen, and I’d be just, I was just torn. And I finally, this was the first time I ever asked Jesus for anything. I said, ‘Jesus, Jesus please give me strength. I need strength.’  And it came over me like a, like a, like a, just over my head and really like, like, like warm water or something over my whole body, it just came upon me this str...this unbelievable strength. I was saying stuff like, I remember I was in her room, and here she is just dying. And I patted her on the leg and said, ‘This is what’s going on here with you. This is OK.’ And people are looking at me, ‘What?’ And I’m laughing and I’m happy and I’m feeling guilt. I can’t even feel bad if I tried. I’m feeling guilt. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, stop laughing. Stop being so happy! This is not a time to be happy.’ You know, God wanted her. God wanted her now. And He was going to have her. And I never knew any of this stuff. I never knew that God could want somebody so bad that He’s just going to have her...have that person. And He was going to have her. And so I know I’m missing a lot of stuff here.

So I go into here room one night. And it’s just her TV was on. And there was a lot of stuff that I…I had to throw some things away and she didn’t like that. But Holy Spirit was telling me to do it. And she hated [to lose] that stuff. Before all this happened, you just didn’t go throwing away any of her stuff. You would hear from her, man.

So one night I go in there…. And also like the prayers, I’ve…she would call me in there to prayer and to read the Bible, and when we would pray, it was not even me. Like I can’t pray. I’m not a good pray-er. But these were beautiful prayers. I mean these were just beautiful. And when we’d be done she would go, ‘That was really beautiful.’ And I would just go, [pointing his finger up to God] ‘It’s not me’. So any way, I go in there one night, and it’s dark in there, and she’s laying on her bed, just whatever she’s doing. She’s content. But I can see it in her eys, and I’m looking in her eyes and thinking, ‘There’s something [not right].’ So I cross my arms and I look at her, and she’s not looking at me. And I go, ‘We’re missing something.’ Now I…I…that choice of words right there, that was God. God put that in my mouth because that just happened to be the blessing. And when I said, ‘We’re missing something here,’ she turned over to me, and she looked at me like, ‘How did you know?’ And she starts balling, I mean balling. And this woman I’ve seen her on her deathbed two other times before this. She had [been cold and self-dependent?]...except this once. And [each time] she was supposed to die, but she made it. [Now] she just started crying. She looked up and she said, ‘Jesus please be my Lord and Saviour, and I repent for the sin of abortion.’ She never told a soul about this abortion. She didn’t tell nobody, not even her daughter. I was surprised when we told her daughter and stuff, that her daughter didn’t like get angry, and say, ‘No, that’s a lie.’ I think she asked her [about the abortion?].

It was amazing. That was the most profound thing, even more so than (I could just about cry) more so than when the Holy Spirit came into my heart. I loved her so much, (I don’t want to start crying), and that was the…OK, so she did that. And I got up, and it wasn’t even me that said, ‘You know what? Your Lord and Saviour can raise the dead. And He took your sin of abortion and threw it as far to the east as the, east goes, whatever that is. Sorry [for misquoting that verse].

And then that yelling that was going on, said, ‘Now get out of here!’ Because you’d think that right now is a ‘high five’ moment. This was a big hug moment. I think this was her time to be with the Lord. Because it was like God said, ‘All right, now get out of here.’ Like, We’re done with you. Get! And so I come out here. And I get on my couch. And I lay back. And I can feel what was in me here [his lower abdomen] come right up out, and out right off of my head. And up it goes. And I looked up and I said, ‘So, I guess we’re done, God. I guess we got the job done, right God?’ And it was kind of like a, that when God was in there yelling at me, it was like a...I called it like ‘a beautiful burden.’ And it just released out of me. And it was such a moment because He really did put a burden on me. Even though I loved it. That’s why I called it a ‘beautiful burden.’ That was great, man. And then you know what? She started losing her mental faculties there, and [Jesus saved her] just in time.

And so, there was a lot of, there was some problems going on with the family that was coming in here and stuff (which I really don’t’ want to get into that), and they had a key and stuff, to our place. And they just come and go as they please. I was watching Cheryl for 20 hours, and then they’d come in 4 [p.m.]. I was wore out. Before they even started to do that, I was doing everything for her for a month before that all happened. So I mean I was just wiped out. I don’t even know how I made it. She also had a stint in the hospital. It was tough.

So, she this time hospice had come in. (And I can’t believe I’m going to have to do another one) [another video to finish this testimony. Maybe he’s afraid of boring us. He has nothing to worry about there]. So hospice was in here, and they were great. Gosh, I don’t want to leave anything out [of this testimony], there was so much that was going on here. It was actually exciting. Now that strength that I asked Jesus, I asked Him for that strength, and it was just amazing strength. It finally went away after a week and, and I was all puny again.

But, I carried on, and carried through. My roommate’s last wishes, and she told this probably 3 years prior to her passing, was for me to hold her hand when she passed away. So I wanted to make sure and that she told the family, and everything like that. We also wanted her daughter to be there for that. Her daughter was having some problems. And her daughter actually had to move away. And we all agreed on that that she move. And I think that was a great decision, actually. Because she [his roommate?] had been through a lot, and this was really her only family that she had any interactions with, and stuff. So, it kind of turned out sad, you know, but....

So, a lot is going on, a lot of stuff. I was pretty much stuck here. I couldn’t go anywhere, which is fine with me. So, during the…I’d go to sleep around 10 a.m. and get up around 1 [p.m.]. Well I’m sleeping one day (this is really hard to even go through again) and I’m awakened, and I sit up and they are taking my roommate out of here. And they are bringing her to hospice. That was the last time I seen her conscious. And you know, that was really sad, really sad to see because she had suffered so much. She was suffering so much, and it was horrible. I can’t even imagine what she went through. But, so she went to hospice, and we met with the doctor who’s there and he said, ‘She’s not going to make it through the night.’ I hadn’t even slept. I mean I was a basket case. So I talked to the nurses and stuff, and everybody in the family. And they said [I said], ‘Look, look I’ve got to go at least try to get a half an hour, or something, of sleep. So if…if…they know when she’s going to be passing. They know. They’re professionals, more so than a hospital. So, you call me well in advance when you know she’s going.’

So I get here and just lay my head down, and the phone rings. So, I’m going back over to the hospice. And, yeah, this part it gets kind of crazy here too. So I get to the hospital and it’s her time [to pass]. And, she’s…her eyes are closed and stuff. And I’m trying to talk her into letting go. And she’s trying to hold on, hold on. Her daughter has just left [from Texas?]. This is probably 500 miles away; there’s no way she can make it here in time, you know.. and I’m holding her hand, just talking to her real gentle. There was a chaplain there who came in a day before. And she said, ‘Whoa, I feel the Holy Spirit coming!’ She’s the only person...I was like, ‘Really? Holy Spirit?’ I didn’t know I had the Holy Spirit.

So I held her hand. She passed on. I could definitely feel a weird sensation in the room as she, as she did pass. In fact I know it. It was….it was strange. Somebody wasn’t very happy and I’ll tell you who they weren’t happy with. They weren’t happy with me. And I remember soon as I was done, I went outside and go on the phone and I called my aunt and uncle. And they’re very strong in faith and I told them what happened. And they cut off on the phone. I could hear them, however, but they couldn’t hear me. And I could hear my aunt, see my aunt was on one phone, and then my uncle was on another. They were on landline phones. And my aunt goes, ‘He’s going to get attacked!’ And I call them back and go, ‘Oh, and by the way, I’m not going to get attacked. Tsss.’ The attacks started that night, and they were ruthless. And it was through other people they were sent. And I fought with the family. It was so terrible, it was so bad the next day I went and I got a friend. I went and picked a friend up and he stayed with me for two weeks. It got to a point where he had to take care of me. And he couldn’t believe it. He was, his family was Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he wasn’t much of a believer or anything. Well he was after this. He couldn’t believe what was going on. It got to a point where after a week and a half (and I was smoking cigarettes at the time. Can you believe this?) and I hadn’t had a cigarette maybe 4 hours. And so I’m like, ‘I got to go outside and have a cigarette. I’ve been just battling.’ I go out on the deck and my deck’s on fire, you know. I froze in my exist[ence?]… my friend had to put the fire out.

But, I was talking about how the Holy Spirit warned me. The Holy Spirit really warned me. I mean there was a time when like I went outside once. And like there was a breeze coming. And the breeze was like telling me, you know, ‘Jesus is coming. There’s going to be destruction on earth.’ All this stuff. I mean crazy, crazy stuff. And then It was telling me about some sort of deception that the ‘aliens’ are going to have something to do with antichrist, and all this stuff. I’m not going to get too much into that. There’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t get into [didn’t cover in this YouTube testimony]. It doesn’t need to be. I don’t think it…I don’t know. Maybe another video…

So I did end up quitting drugs. I did quit everything. I finally learned that obedience is key. And for some reason, for a long time there, for almost a year, I had this little problem with Jesus. And it wasn’t Jesus’ fault. You know, I think it was just, I was being attacked a lot. Satan was not happy with what happened with my roommate. He was very not happy. And I was doing stup…like I was like challenging Satan and stuff. I was saying stuff like, ‘How could you be so stupid to think you can overtake the throne of God?’, you know. And then I would just get viciously, like through dreams, you know. I would be fighting against demons. And he really would…how Satan attacks me is through other people. And I struggled with the drugs. You know, the Holy Spirit stuck in there with me. And, you know, I can’t say enough for the Holy Spirit. How the Holy Spirit can stay with you. Over this year He has helped to shape me and trim me. You know, God took everything away from me. Everything. All my friends. Almost all my possessions. I mean I was lucky to even keep my apartment here. I didn’t have a job. You know, I was still battling drugs still. Took everything, though. He even took my…my electricity. I seriously had nothing but a Bible. And I’m just so glad. I’m just so happy. I’m so grateful. You know, I always used to say, ‘I want to die. I want to die now.’ I’m just so glad. I know this isn’t the best place to be. But I’m just so glad and I’m so grateful  to have…so blessed to have this breath that I’m taking right now. And I praise God every day, and I say, ‘Thank You. Thank You Lord, so much. And thank You for this day.’

I’ve talked to all my friends and family about the things that the Holy Spirit has warned me about. It wasn’t popular at all, even with believers in my family, you know. I was telling people in my family, ‘Hey, you know, you should get off that anti-depressant.’ [Their response was,] ‘Well over here in scripture, Trav, it says that….’ [Travis’ answer,] ‘You know you should go to Jesus for help.’ I got off everything [all drugs] pretty much like at once. I got off anti-anxieties, and heroine, and just a mess of drugs. And He really is the way. Jesus is the way with everything. Not just [for] salvation. He can do everything for you. And He will if you seek Him. Obedience. And it really came down to that with me was the obedience because I knew all these people who claimed Jesus, but yet they thought, ‘Oh we can still do drugs.’ And I was, ‘No.’ I remember there was a guy where he was here for like three days (and, you know, I was doing drugs too), but my whole thing to him was we had this debate for three days to where he finally just goes (to imitate his friend Travis drops his head and mumbles), ‘Obedience’. I was like, ‘Yeah. Obedience.’ Obedience is not a work. It is a…it’s a commandment. And if we love Jesus, we will, we will obey Him. No, we’re not perfect. You’ve got to stay repentive [repentant], and work with Him. And He will reveal Himself, you know.

And I’ve had some really neat experiences with Jesus, some really neat ones. We’ve played together. You know, I mean…. It was kind of a vision, dream. I was like half awake, half asleep. And when I was a kid I always loved rolling down this grassy hill. Well, me and Jesus were embraced and we were rolling down this hill. And I was just saying, ‘I love you Jesus. I love you Jesus.’ And my roommate came out and was like, ‘You all right?’ [Travis laughs]. But you know, and I’ve had some really good experiences. And I’m really happy today. I’ve got so much energy, and just joy. And I used to be really reclusive. And there was a woman that lived downstairs. And she had in her window [a sign], ‘Jesus Lord’. I used to come by and mock that thing, ‘Jesus is Lord!!’ And I never talked with her. And after the Holy Spirit came into my heart, my roommate was in the hospital. And I come down and she [the woman downstairs] was coming, she was in a wheelchair. And she was coming by, and she could tell… she said, later on she said, ‘Oh, I could tell the minute I seen your face, your eyes, you know, what had happened.’ And I just loved her. She ended up moving, but…. This has been, like I said earlier, this last 4 years more has happened to me than in my whole 46 years of living. And it’s all because of Jesus. You never know what path you are going to have. People are always arguing and bickering about ‘works’ and against ‘grace’, and all this and all that, and ‘the rapture’. Yeah, I believe in the rapture. But I’m not just going to come out and say, ‘I’m pre-trib or post-trib rapture’. I know Jesus is coming. I know He is. So we should just stay prepared as if He was going to come right now. And I am grateful to be able to, you know, just testify for Jesus. So, yeah. And I am very happy now. And I just plan on getting happier. And I plan on becoming more what God wants me to be. And you know when you really love Jesus and you really, really, really keep seeking and seeking Him, you can’t lose. And things are just going to get better.

You know, times get hard still, and they will. But, just don’t stop, don’t ever stop, no matter what. Don’t let your sins drag you down. Don’t let the devil take you down with that sin. As long as we’re breathing we got Jesus. You have to stay on it, don’t backslide. Don’t slip away from Him. Stay. And, you know, that’s one thing that I’ve learned right there, is I’m not going to beat myself up if I fall. I’m just going to immediately get back up, because not only do I love Jesus, I don’t want to go to hell. Anyway, I hope that this helped somebody. I don’t know. I’m just…like I said, I’m grateful to be able to share and to know Jesus. And a dream that I had here recently was Jesus’ confirming that I know Him. And then I said, ‘Well, You know me too, right?’