If you have any comments to make on the subject of faith, please
A PERSONAL JOURNEY
I think that there are two ways to approach the subject of Christianity
– one is by simple faith, which some people are lucky enough
to have – the other is by thought and research.
Possibly, trying to look at it from a non-Christian point of
view, first of all, I think you have to have an open mind. You
have to be able just to consider the possibility that
you may just be a created being, ….. with a creator!
Once you get over that hurdle, well you’re on your way,
hopefully, to a better understanding of the subject.
So, what does science think? Well I never was much good at science!
However, from the little I’ve read on the subject –
the ‘big bang theory’ etc., it seems that a growing
number of scientists now consider that there had to be some cause
for this – a catalyst, or even an ‘intelligent designer’.
The intricacies of the human body are apparently too vast to have
been evolved, even over the millions of years they talk about.
In fact, I’ve read the reference somewhere, that someone
once said, that expecting a human being to have come about by
evolution, was akin to the chances of a whirlwind passing over
a scrap yard, and leaving behind a fully functioning 747!
Of course, you might say……. ‘Why bother?’
Why bother to find out where the human race has come from? What’s
in it for me?
Well, I can tell you, from personal experience, that there’s
a great deal in it for you,…though the road
isn’t necessarily an easy one to take, but then life these
days is seldom easy, whatever your belief.
Most people need someone, or something to hold on to, and indeed
spend much of their lives looking for him, her or it. This search
can take you through various partners, or various jobs, or even
all round the world. It can take you through drink or drugs, wild
all night parties, or long periods of isolation or loneliness.
You can believe yourself to be happy, and maybe you are, but eventually
the time will come when you realise that something is still missing,
and you’ll start looking again.
Now all this may be years and years into the future for you,
and right now, you’re probably more concerned with next
weekend, BUT just think a minute…. If God DID create man,
and if there IS a brilliant master plan for your life, wouldn’t
it make sense to find out a bit more about it? Surely only a fool
would dismiss something out of hand, without first establishing
Facts? Perhaps you’re shaking your head in disbelief?
Perhaps you think I’m talking nonsense? Perhaps
you think religion is an age related disease for boring people?
I wondered for a long time about the concept of God. I read some
really good books, tracing evidence for the existence of Jesus
back to within about 20 years of His death, when people who knew
Him would still have been alive to dispute any errors. The same
books also considered the evidence of His deity. Yes, I wondered
long and hard about this, but then I stopped wondering, because
He spoke to me! At a time when my life was at its
lowest, and I had lost all sense of direction, He told me what
to do. After that everything changed, and that’s why I’m
writing this today.
However, belief is a very personal thing. I can tell you that
something is true; I can show you the route I took to find that
truth, and you can even take that route yourself, but if you will
not open your mind to see it, then your journey may be in vain.
The choice is yours.
Many people will admit to some kind of belief in God, although
probably they may not think about the subject very much.
I used to be like that. My life was very busy, and I felt I
had enough on my plate. God didn’t really feature in my
everyday life, and Jesus was someone who came into focus at Christmas
and Easter. My experience of the Holy Spirit changed all that.
I learned that my acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for my
wrongdoing, was an essential part of my being acceptable to God.
I believe that God created the universe, and everything in it,
including us. We were made by God to enjoy a perfect relationship
with Him. We began life as perfect beings, made in the image of
God, but quickly fell by the wayside, tempted by the seedier side
of life. Today’s Bible, which is a collection of historical
documents written as far back as 1400 BC, tells the story of the
beginnings of the Jewish race, and of the prophets who tried to
get them back on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately they didn’t
succeed, and eventually God himself provided the ‘scapegoat’
for man’s sin – His Son, in the human form of Jesus
Christ, born into this earth by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God wanted to bring man back into a loving relationship with Him,
but being holy and perfect, was unable to accept us as we were.
We had to be cleansed of sin, and begin a new life, and to do
that we needed a role model.
God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit have always existed. God gave
his Son to us on earth for a period of about 30 years. This was
Jesus. He was born as a Jew in Palestine, grew up, learned the
carpenter’s trade, and began His ministry about the age
of 30 years. For the following 3 years he amazed people with His
teachings and His miracles, until, in accordance with the prophecies,
He was put to death by crucifixion.
Jesus knew He was going to die. He was totally perfect and blameless,
just as His heavenly Father, but God’s plan was to transfer
on to Jesus all the sins of the world - past, present and future
– so that we, in turn, could be clean again and be forgiven
by God. Jesus took our punishment, because He knew that God loves
us. He stood in our place, and endured hours of torture, and a
terrible death, so that we could be saved. Jesus, although suffering
a human death, was resurrected on the third day, and after spending
some more time on earth, ascended into heaven.
God’s promise is, that if we believe that Jesus
died for us, and if we are sorry for our sins, then our
spirits also will defeat death, and go to heaven, but the
only way to the Father, is through the Son. Vague belief
in some kind of ‘superior being’ is not enough, because
that doesn’t affect our attitudes or conduct in this life.
Now perhaps I’ve lost some of you by the third paragraph.
Perhaps you think it’s all nonsense. I can’t help
that, except to say that thousands of scholars over the centuries
have researched the Bible’s origins. Historians, archaeologists,
theologians and all sorts of learned people have tested it through
and through, and found more to substantiate it, than to
discredit it. Some major event started the Christian
movement. It had to be big. It had to be unforgettable. It had
to be worth dying for, because thousands of people over the centuries
have literally given their lives for this faith. Only Jesus’
Resurrection fits the bill!
So how do you feel? Still not interested? Wondering a bit? Dare
you write this Jesus off?
I’m sitting here at 1.30 am in the morning, wondering
myself if there’s anything more I can say, which will make
a difference. I’ve experienced the Holy Spirit.
I didn’t imagine it. He’s changed my life. He’s
done this for millions of others too.
Why be left out?
A FALLEN WORLD
So, what’s wrong with our world today?
I expect we could all produce a long list of complaints, covering
war, famine, disease, poverty, racial intolerance, inequality,
loneliness, and pain. Amongst all that, good and evil are two
very obvious combatants, with fair-minded people all over the
world, doing their best to right wrongs, and bring everything
a little more into balance.
Whether you have clear views about God, or not, and whether
you think about the origin of man, or don’t give it a moment’s
thought, surely everyone must agree that good and evil are everyday
ingredients of our lives on this earth.
This is a huge subject, and almost impossible to get a grip
on, when you consider that what one person might consider good,
another might view as bad. This may be the case one day, but the
next, it can all change. Situations and influences colour our
daily lives, and some people move with change, while others flow
against the tide. We are constantly interacting with each other,
and this can either promote well-being, or result in friction.
We are also driven today by the desire for material wealth.
The world is upside down, inside out, and back to front. Sometimes
we don’t know if we’re coming or going. Fashions come
and go, possessions come and go, and circumstances change –
none of it really matters, for you can’t take it with you
when you go, and, as the bible says -
‘How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose
your own soul?
Christians believe that in the beginning, there was no evil.
God intended us all to be equal, and to love, respect and cooperate
with each other, but Satan tempted and deceived man. New motives
of selfishness, greed, worldliness, jealousy, hate and other evils
then came into the world. People’s attitudes turned away
from considering ‘their neighbour’ first, to considering
themselves instead, and out of this grew a multitude of perversions,
which have grown and developed over the centuries. Today’s
world is the product of that loss of faith. Today’s atrocities
are not God’s fault, they’re ours,………..
but God has the answer!
God loves everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, or
what you’ve done. All sins are forgiven, if you are sorry,
accept Jesus’ death and resurrection, and look to Him for
guidance. He will help you personally rise above the problems
of this world.
Somewhere in you already, is a little piece of God. We were
made ‘in His image’. Think about it. Haven’t
you ever wondered where your ‘nice side’ comes from,
and your sense of right and wrong? Don’t you feel good after
you’ve helped someone? When was the last time you sat quietly,
and wondered at the beauty of a butterfly, or stood on a cliff
top and gazed at the majesty of the sea? When were you last truly
Now this isn’t all pie in the sky! It’s real! The
peace and joy, and growth in awareness, which you can experience,
when you bring God into your daily life is amazing. Christianity
isn’t just dull, cold, blind, lifeless faith. It’s
a warm, living and powerful reality, which heals and transforms.
I know this, because of the improvements in my own life. As my
home page says, I was looking at things from the wrong point of
view. Like everyone else, I had been brought up with a set of
expectations of what life and marriage might bring, and when that
didn’t seem to be happening, despite, I thought, my doing
everything right, I began to feel very negative about my situation,
and could only see how much I was suffering, what was lacking,
and how unfair it all was. My experience of God, and the things
He has shown me over the last two years have changed my outlook.
Some problems still exist, but they are decreasing, and I have
new ways to deal with them. Not only that, but God’s intervention
in my life has spilled over into the lives of others, and they
too have seen benefits.
So, if you’ve tried everything else, and everyone else,
or are still coping with this life on your own, then why not give
God a chance? You only have to ask Him, with a full heart, and
then take the steps He shows you. You will not believe the clarity,
strength and fulfilment than He can bring to your everyday life.
SPIRITS, ANGELS AND A MODERN LINK
My life’s path brought me to Christ, after taking a fairly
heavy detour via some New Age psychic pursuits.
If you’ve read my home page, you’ll maybe have gathered
that I was a horoscope junky. This wasn’t just the odd random
magazine horoscope; I was paying monthly online subscriptions
for a year or so to a well known astrological site, I’d
had my chart done, and at the height of my relationship problems
was also spending a lot of money talking to mediums and psychics
on the telephone. It took me some time to realise that all I was
getting in return were platitudes, false hopes, and conjecture.
I was addicted to my daily fix – my moods rose or fell according
to what I read for the day – and it wasn’t until a
couple of years later, that I could see I was still in the same
place, with the same problems, but rather out of pocket.
The Alpha course picked me up and set me moving again, but in
a new fascinating direction. My amazing experience of the Holy
Spirit far outclassed any ‘buzz’ I ever got talking
to a psychic, and my life has progressed by leaps and bounds in
a direction so blessed, that fulfilment is now
an everyday experience. Yes, we have the occasional problem, but
on the whole we are guided around life’s obstacles, and
the journey is so powerful and positive that I know that God’s
Spirit is with us in a very real sense.
My reflections on the events of the last few years led me one
day to read a very interesting book called “What your Horoscope
Doesn’t Tell You”, by ex-astrologer Charles Strohmer.
Now I have never said that there’s nothing in astrology
or psychic phenomena, because I always felt there was; my feeling
simply was that, in the long run, it got me nowhere, and while
I followed its dictates, I felt like a piece of flotsam drifting
on some kind of astrological sea. I felt controlled, not empowered
as I now am. Mr Strohmer’s book, based on his own professional
experience, revealed so many startling theories about the workings
of the spirit world, and the truth behind popular psychic practices,
that I felt quite unnerved when I thought back to my own earlier
associations with it. His revelations were also supported by what
the Bible says about the spirit world.
My understanding, after reading his book, is that psychics aren’t
necessarily talented in themselves. In many cases, a psychic picks
up clues from the client and feeds that information back to the
client. The client remains unaware of what has happened, and thinks
a spirit has been contacted. Mr Strohmer also suggests that some
psychics may be channelling messages from spirits in the general
spirit realm. It seems that deceiving spirits could have been
around when your relative was alive, and were aware of conversations
which took place then. They just relay the necessary information
to the medium, who then passes it back to you! So you’re
simply paying for something you already know! Quite possibly the
mediums themselves are being deceived as well. I know I was. It
seems unlikely that the medium actually has any contact with a
departed relative, and this appears to be borne out by Scripture.
Now I’m not going to attempt here to explain the truth
behind horoscopes, tarot or anything else in the book. It’s
far too complicated – you’ll have to read that for
yourself. Suffice to say, it’s all rather risky stuff. Nor
will I venture an opinion publicly on reported benevolent experiences
of the spirit world, or on other New Age practices where there
seem to be unexplained forces at work. I’m just not qualified
to do that, nor do I feel any particular urge to try. Our world
is a combination of darkness and light, but there are shadows
too, and as I learned quite recently, Christians don’t walk
in the shadows – we don’t need to – we have
the Light! So, I don’t understand everything,
but I don’t need to; I simply stick with what I do know
to be the Truth.
What I can say is that the spirit world is very real, but we
only generally receive small glimpses of its existence, and for
this reason alone we should be wary. I view it as a large dark
hole, of which we know practically nothing. My own experience,
and the advice of others I have spoken to, has taught me that
it is best left alone. The Bible also says to give it a wide berth,
as this is Satan’s realm, and Satan is known as the ‘Deceiver’.
Certainly, he successfully wasted my time and money for at least
If you want to speak to God, you just don’t take
this detour. You go directly to Him, in prayer. There’s
no need for ritual, for appointments or for money to change hands.
He is totally free, open 24/7, and totally approachable. He can
take anything you care to throw at Him, but will answer you in
So who is Satan? Well, he is the epitome of evil, and the Bible
says that, since the fall, he rules this earth, aided and abetted
by other deceiving spirits. One essential point to remember though,
is that God is not the equal and opposite of Satan. - God
is infinitely superior! - God is the Creator of everything,
including the angels, and Satan was simply a fallen angel, and
now prowls the lower spirit realm looking for mortals to confound
and deceive. By tying us up in worldly pursuits, he aims to keep
us away from God, so that we lose our way to eternal life. God
will deal with Satan eventually, but until that appointed day,
He allows us to make our own choice as to whom we shall follow.
It’s a shame in a way that more is not made known publicly
by the established church about the spirit realm. I imagine that’s
partly due to the political correctness of the world we live in.
The church appears to emphasize its positive beliefs about God,
but spends little time educating the man in the street about the
supernatural. There is therefore this yawning gap between the
church, as seen by the public, and the people they try to reach
out to, many of whom are seeking spiritual help and enlightenment,
but by other means.
The psychic realm is big business these days, and the church
tends to lose out here. It's almost as if the world says - 'If
you have a problem, you can ask a psychic, or, you can ask God,
and they're two completely different things'. Nowhere is it publicised
how these are linked, and I don't see the church jumping up and
down trying to explain it to all of us! Most people believe that
astrology is either nonsense, or harmless, and that psychics are
possibly gifted people.
No one stands up and shouts '' Wait a minute, there!
When you consult a psychic, you're actually contacting a lower
level spirit being. Why not go to the Top Man in charge of the
spirit world? Ask God! Then it won't cost you anything! '' Wow!
If only I’d known that four years ago!
The sad thing is that people who regularly make in depth contact
with the supernatural – and I don’t mean God –
seem to believe that it’s terrific – a gateway into
a fourth dimension – but don’t appreciate that it’s
just a very large dark cul-de-sac! They’ve missed God’s
motorway. They’ve ignored His signposts and all His promptings.
They’ve dismissed the sacrifice of His Son, and prefer to
seek their own godhead in the dark recesses of their own minds.
There they can become ‘fair game’ for those deceiving
spirits, laying in wait for a nice empty mind to infiltrate.
As part of my Holy Spirit experience, described on my home page,
I was cleansed of my contact with all other spirit beings. I can’t
emphasise enough that this was not just a mental or faith process
– it was a powerful physical and spiritual experience! This
was God showing me personally what it was all about, and believe
me, spiritualism couldn’t hold a candle to it!
I’m happy to say that now, fringes of the church are making
more realistic contact with mankind, and are beginning to show
spiritual seekers just how God can work in their lives, healing,
guiding and satisfying.
Why don’t you give Him a try? Go on – go right to
the top – He’s waiting for YOU.
2 January 07
A SPIRITUAL LIFE
So, what does your life mean to you?
How many dimensions do you have? Is it just money, success,
sex, and a material life?
Perhaps you feel there’s more to life than that?
Perhaps you’re a fitness fanatic?
Or, do you have a yearning for knowledge?
What motivates and drives you? What satisfies you, and for how
How open-minded are you?
Who, or what, is the centre of your world? Yourself? Your partner?
Your family? A hobby?
How sensitive are you? Or, has the world hardened your heart?
Would you like a simpler life? Have you amassed too much clutter?
Can you see a nervous breakdown on the horizon?
YOU are probably the only person on this earth who really
knows how YOU feel!
For the first half of my life, I was more or less the same as
everyone else. I had the same aspirations – a house, a family,
a job and good health. However, also like most people, I was too
caught up in the world. Life was a treadmill most of the time,
and even if you could get off for a while, chances are, sooner
or later, you’d have to get right back on again.
This is the time in their lives, when many people get caught
up in alternative spiritualities. They are seeking some kind of
release, or new meaning – as the Alpha caption says “
Is there more to life than this?” However I was lucky. I’d
already experienced the world of psychics, and knew it would get
When my life fell apart, I reached out in desperation
to that invisible entity called ‘God’, and found a
new dimension – the source of all power and meaning –
the Creator. I suppose it must have been similar
in magnitude to discovering that the earth was in fact a globe,
instead of flat, as they used to think, in that suddenly there
was a mind-blowing whole new perspective to life. Yes, this dimension
of the spiritual world certainly exists. You just have to be prepared
to step beyond the limits of your rational mind, and then the
door opens. When it’s time for you to look for the missing
dimension to your life, then you will know, because there will
be a restlessness that nothing else can satisfy. This is in fact
God calling you into relationship with Himself, the purpose for
which we were all made.
In the bible, God says: “Turn to me now, while there is
still time! Give me your hearts.” (NLT Joel 2 v.12), followed
by: “I will pour out my spirit upon all people.” (NLT
Joel 2 v.28)
Now, I’ve been doing some additional background reading,
since I last looked at alternative spiritualities in the previous
article, and have been listening to teaching by John Paul Jackson
*, a Christian speaker who is very experienced in this field.
He notes the amazing rise in popularity of ‘psychics’
and ‘healers’, and confirms that the sources used
by them are demonic, because anything spiritual that does not
come in the name of Jesus must be demonic. There
is no other source of good! There is no good ‘universal
life force’ other than God, the Creator. This is true, even
although the psychics themselves may be convinced otherwise. That
is the nature of Satan’s game – deception! He steals
gifts given by God, and uses them, and people, for his own purposes.
Well, Mr Jackson refers to Joel 2 v.28 above – “I
will pour out my spirit upon all people” –
and sees the outworking of this statement in the popularity of
New Age seeking today, in that people are being drawn to the spiritual
in response to stimulus by God, the only problem being that they
have latched on to the wrong source, and are unknowingly dancing
to the devil’s tune instead of the Creator’s. They
rejected the church, and God, because at the time, they didn’t
seem to provide what their own spirits were yearning for, but
they found some release in consulting psychics. However, as we
are pointing out here, this leads not to the true Light, but only
a false hope. There is no Truth without Jesus.
Satan and his demons are master counterfeiters. It is correct
that many psychics have spiritual gifts, and these were given
by God, and He will not take these gifts away, but unfortunately
the psychics are all tuned into the wrong channels. John Paul
likens this to a TV or radio receiving system. There is only ONE
God channel (in the spiritual sense), and that is approached only
through Jesus. However there are many ‘alternative’
channels, all professing truth and goodness, but they are all
counterfeit. They will lead you on a dark road to nowhere, if
you’re lucky, and to eternal disaster if you don’t
pull out in time. I know this, because as I’ve said before,
I wasted two years of my life there, held fast by a ridiculous
obsession, which God later showed me, although I couldn’t
see it at the time! God is true to His nature, and allows us all
to follow whichever path we desire, as he gave us free will. He
sent His Son to show us the true path to Him, and if we follow
this path, the Holy Spirit will be with us in our daily lives,
helping, guiding and strengthening. God hopes that we will open
the door to Christ, but if we still refuse to see His truth, then
that is unfortunately our choice. God loves all of his creation,
but if we continually reject Him, then He will ‘let us go’.
John Paul also confirms and clarifies the ideas of Charles Strohmer,
mentioned in my previous article, in that God provides
revelation to his people, whereas demons, working through
psychics, only provide information. Only God
knows the future. The ‘future’ that psychics ‘predict’
is not new information – it may be new to you as the customer,
but it was already known to the demonic realm, as they witnessed
its inception. For example, John Paul was once told that he would
be contacted by letter by an old girlfriend. This sounds like
prediction, but in fact the demonic world saw her writing the
letter two days beforehand, so they’re simply passing on
information. Even psychics who find missing people can be led
by the demonic, who witnessed the abduction in the first place.
Demonic sources can appear helpful, in the short term, but in
the long run their aim is to keep you away from the true path
to God and eternal life with Him. So you see, once you accept
that we are surrounded and interwoven by both angelic and demonic
entities, it’s easy to see how all this New Age stuff works.
Every now and then the Holy Spirit moves powerfully in my life,
and I would like to tell you here about another personal experience.
I had done the Alpha course, and was developing my faith and understanding
of how God works, but these were early days and I was still labouring
with my home situation. I sat with a cup of tea on my lap in the
lounge, with my husband engrossed as usual in his own life, when
I was aware of an incredible feeling of love passing from me to
him. Just seconds before, I’d been consciously stewing in
my own bitterness towards him, but now from nowhere came this
contradictory sensation of total love, so real, so pure and so
tangible that in my mind, I could almost see it as a bright white
line travelling between us. It was as if I was wearing a hat,
and the love was flowing simultaneously from the hat, parallel
with the resentment, which was still flowing from me. I sat there
for several minutes trying to work this out, still feeling the
resentment, and denying this powerful Love bearing down upon me.
I knew that was not how I felt at that time.
Finally I got up and went into the kitchen, because I just couldn’t
stand this paradox any longer. I felt that God had shown me that
one day I would love my husband. In fact, much later, someone
else interpreted it as God saying he would reach my husband through
me. Hopefully both will come to be. Certainly that love that day
was from God – no one on earth could love like that!
So when you start looking at spiritual matters, please respond
to Jesus’ arms outstretched in love and forgiveness. Yes
there are psychic sources almost on every street corner, probably
looking quite harmless, and of course they would do, because if
they carried a hazard warning, you’d run away, wouldn’t
you!? John Paul Jackson has brought hundreds of spiritual seekers
to faith, including psychics and witches, who were looking for
the true Light, and he says that the process of expelling demons
is not a pretty one.
So trade in your stress and materialism for joy and fulfilment.
It’s not a matter of opting out of life altogether –
that’s not how the Holy Spirit works. We all still have
the same problems and challenges that life brings, but amazingly
your capacity to deal with them changes! You see things you didn’t
understand before, God speaks to you in many different ways, and
there is such joy within you, even through bad times, that you’ll
wish you’d had this clarity before! Jesus likened Himself
to the main stem of a vine, with his followers being the branches.
As believers, we are rooted in Him and supported by Him. We are
never alone, but are connected forever to Him by the living power
of the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus to help us in our daily lives,
and lead us to the Father at the end of those lives.
Reach for the true Light. Discard all the rest, and see what
it’s like living ‘outside of the box’.
Yes – there IS more to life than what you have –
SO MUCH MORE!
* John Paul Jackson, from a 2005 conference with Mark Stibbe.
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