Revelation – Day of The Lord
Revelation – Introduction
Bible Question – The Mustard Seed
Bible Question – The Two Witnesses
Bible Question – The Sons of God
BrotherJohnF – My Testimony
Hi, I’m John, and this is my testimony:I grew up an atheist. In fact I was a member of the American Atheists organization from my youth. This was at a time when admitting you were an atheist was akin to admitting you were an ax murderer. I was quite zealous, in fact I used to seek out Christians to argue with them. Most of them had no clue what they believed or why they believed it, so I was further emboldened by these confrontations. In high school my big class presentation was “there is no God”(yes they allowed this). And it did cause quite a commotion when I presented my own theories about the the speed of light, and how through triangulation you could prove that Genesis was false.
From a very early age I declared that I was going to be a lawyer and study constitutional law. Primarily so I could set about my goal of abolishing all government support of, or displays of Christianity. But I was also on a desperate search for truth. I wanted to know the truth no matter how ugly it was, or how awful the consequences. I just knew there was a truth out there and I had to find it no matter where it led. So I began to devour the works of the great philosophers, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Plato, Descartes, etc. In the summer of my 16th year, while other kids were having fun, I was pouring through these tomes trying to find the truth.
I went to college and of course majored in pre-law and philosophy. My first class was political science 101 with the famous professor Johnson, who was a sort of legend on campus due to his dynamic and confrontational teaching style. The first day of class he told us all to take out a piece of paper and write down the definition of justice. I wrote “justice is that every person gets what he deserves, and since there is no God, there is no justice”. Well of course I was singled out, but I would not budge, no God = no justice. I was already an existentialist but didn’t know it. I eventually stopped going to that class and bombed out of it. But my other professors loved me because I understood what they were talking about, so I got good grades from all of them.
Then I found Sartre. To borrow a line from WIKI since it’s been so long “Sartre said that human beings have no essence before their existence, because there is no Creator. Thus: “existence precedes essence”. So, and just for that, the Sartrean man with his free will become a god, but he will always remain only a bankrupt god”. Sartre taught many other things but that is the main theme. But there was one other idea he taught that really bothered me, bad faith. Bad faith Sartre taught is essentially self-deception, a state that most men live in. But due to his epistemology, he could not accept a Jungian unconscious, or a Freudian subconscious.
I pondered as Sartre did, if I deceive myself then that means that I withhold something from myself that I know to be true. But if I know it to be true, then how can I be deceived about it? Sartre then hinted at the possibility of a third party deciever but mainly dismissed it, but I pondered it often. Unfortunately my ponderings were more often than not accompanied also by use of drugs and alcohol, which were becoming more out of control. I ended up dropping out and working so I could pursue my hobby, getting stoned. I also began playing the guitar and figuring out the songs of my favorite rock bands, and Led Zepplin was at the top. But they also had a bizarre devotion to the occult which I thought was hocus pocus.
I was also a big follower of CSICOP, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. For me debunking Christianity and debunking the occult were one in the same, stupid superstitions for stupid people. But I was becoming increasingly disturbed about my favorite band. Someone showed me how if you play the song stairway to heaven backwards it says “here’s to my sweet satan”. And I played with forward and reverse recording, but could not figure out how they did it. I also would take the bus downtown with my guitar and smoke pot and play guitar in the parks all night. One night I met a guy down there and he said “you don’t believe in the devil? I’ll prove to you there’s a devil. Next time you’re on the bus and you’re directly behind someone, stare at the back of their head, and they will turn around.” Balderdash I thought, but it started happening to me. In fact it got so bad that I had to start riding in the front of the bus because it was too disturbing to ride in the back behind all those people scratching the back of their heads and turning around.
Meanwhile I had also met this woman who was a self proclaimed occultist. I was fascinated how she could believe that stuff and started hanging around with her. Not long after this more strange things started happening to me that I could not explain. One night I awoke from a dead sleep and looked at the clock, it was 3:33 AM. I thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. Then it happened again, and again, and again. Every time it was exactly 3:33 AM. Now I was getting scared. I could no longer deny that there had to be a nonhuman intelligence behind all of this, and I was pretty sure it was malevolent.
I told my friend about this and matter-of-factly she said “of course, I have programmed you in as star 3. You need to give me your exact date of birth down to the second. My “friends” have requested this and said you are very important to them”. One night after getting high she said I have a gift for you, watch this to the end and when it is finished you will receive a gem. It seemed to be on the TV, but it wasn’t like a normal channel. This thing, like a lotus flower began to continuously unfold on itself and was drawing me in, but it felt evil. I shouted “enough” and fled out of there. As I was leaving she said “why do you always resist us”. I was getting really scared now. Something malevolent was out there trying to get me, in fact somehow I knew it wanted to kill me. But then I had an epiphany, I reasoned, this thing is clearly evil and it wants to destroy me. It is incredibly intelligent and powerful, yet it is somehow being thwarted. If it is being thwarted, then there must also be something more powerful than it is. THERE MUST BE A GOD!
Now it was a matter of life and death. I was convinced there was a devil, and also therefore a God, but how do I find him? Someone had told me once that the Bible described the flying saucers in Ezekiel, so I investigated it and the verses seemed to describe that kind of a thing. Maybe the aliens were God? I snuck out of my room at night and went out to meet them. I went down into the woods and awaited them. There was no wind at all and it was a very calm night, but I began to hear off in the distance something whirling around in the treetops. And it was coming towards me. As this whirling wind approached closer and closer it came to rest above me. Then the moon itself began to come down through the trees. As it came down I could see it was going to come down through the tree next to me and into me, but the feeling of evil was growing as it did. As it got closer and closer I prayed, God if this is not of you protect me from it. As soon as I prayed that it disappeared and I fled.
By this time my family was becoming very concerned about me. I was showing all the classic signs of schizophrenia. So my mom arranged to have me see the college psychiatrist. I sat down and told them all of the things that had been happening to me and he asked if I had ever tried this particular anti-psych drug. I was furious. I told him “listen buddy, I am on a quest to find the truth, to reach God whatever it takes. You may not believe these things are real, but I KNOW they are real because I saw them with my own eyes”. And I walked out of there. Back at the library, I was still combing through the religious and occult sections trying to find an answer when one book just kind of jumped out at me, it was called “Satan is alive and well on planet earth”. I grabbed it and read it cover to cover that night. It described much of the occult stuff I’d witnessed. But near the end it said one simple thing, that Jesus was standing at the door knocking and if I let him in, he would come in. I said to God, “God I’ve tried everything else to no avail, if this is how to reach you, and Jesus is the answer, I open the door of my heart to Jesus, come in”.
The next day when I awoke I wondered if anything had happened. But something had changed. My mind was clear and the only thing I wanted to do was to go get a Bible and start reading it as fast as possible. Someone had recommended the Scofield Reference Bible. So I went down and bought one of those. I also got every book by Hal Lindsey I could find and Dave Hunt as well, whom he had recommended. But the biggest shock came when I started reading the Bible, IT MADE SENSE. For the first time in my life I could read the Bible without becoming confused and falling asleep. I devoured it, and all the books by Lindsey and Hunt as well. One of my best friends woke me up one morning by throwing a bag of weed at me and said let’s go get high. I threw it back at him and said “I’m a born again Christian”. And I began to give him my testimony.
I also went to all the Christians I knew who argued with me about the existence of God. But nobody seemed to know what I was talking about. I told them born again, you know, a new person? They thought I was crazy. Now I was really perplexed. I called my witch friend and told her “guess what, I’m a born again Christian, I trusted Jesus!” She said “we’ve lost you” and hung up. I found myself more alone than before. I went to various churches, but they were as bad or worse than my so called Christian friends. One of my high school friends who always loved to argue with me, his parents heard I’d become a Christian, so they invited me to go to their Church. On the way there she told me about this wonderful book she was reading about the Jungian archtypes. I rebuked her sharply and said “don’t you know that Jung admitted that his ideas were given to him by his spirit guide, which is a DEVIL!”. So we went to the Assemblies of God and the first thing they wanted to do was to lay hands on me and make me speak in tongues. Somehow the whole thing felt alot like my occult experiences and I fled.
At this point I threw up my hands and decided to hit the streets, maybe they would listen to me. So I went downtown to hang out with the bums, druggies, and hookers, and tell them about Jesus. Some listened, some didn’t, but I did happen to meet some Christians doing the same thing. And some street preachers who were standing on the corners reaching out to the masses. But overall it was mostly a disappointment. I ended up converting one of my good friends from high school and we hung out together but I never did really find a decent church to attend. This was the west coast, and churches there are very liberal. Eventually I met my wonderful wife and we got married and moved to where we are now. We are still looking for a good fellowship to attend or a home Bible study. Please pray for us that we might find fellowship here. God Bless.
BrotherJohnF – Silver For The People