Here is my testimony as I shared it with a dear Sister in the Lord!
Dear Sister in Christ, it gives me great pleasure to share with you what Christ hath done for me. I am sharing this first of all to glorify His matchless Name, and secondly to instill hope in great sinners who might think that they are beyond saving and that God surely cannot save them!
If God can save someone like me, then surely there is hope for the vilest sinner on earth!
My name is Mike and I am Forty three years old. I am married, and am blessed with two sons. I had a Roman Catholic upbringing. My father is a devout Roman Catholic and my mother is a Hindu who is into Transcendental Meditation and Yoga. I am their only child. I had a fascination for the Occult right from my eighth grade and used to spend a lot of time reading occult literature, and by the time I entered college I was a practicing Satanist.
Strangely, my neighborhood was surrounded by Graveyards; a Hindu, Muslim and a Christian Graveyard. And I spent much of my time amongst these graves, even spending nights there, just like the Gadarene demoniac who had his dwelling amongst the tombs. [Mark 5:3]
You may not believe this, but I used to go around exhorting people to quit trusting in Jesus and start worshipping the Devil, and as most Satanists are, I was heavily hooked on Heroin, Marijuana and Alcohol. I also played the Rhythm Guitar for Heavy Metal bands on a local level and spent most of my time listening to this kind of trash. My friend Vincent and I were so involved and engrossed in this that we took great pleasure in burning Bibles and blaspheming God at every given opportunity. We made it a point to dress in black and publicly confessed who it was we were worshipping. Sister, I was really BAD! In fact I got so bad that the Devil didn’t want to hang around with me no more! He thought I’d wreck his reputation!
I have had many real encounters with demons. But in 1986, I had a very horrific, bloodcurdling, eerie encounter with a Principality that changed everything. I cannot really go into the details. But you could say that just as David delivered his lamb literally from the very mouth of the lion, I was literally taken out of the Jaws of Satan. It has been twenty four years since I was delivered, but even now at times I have such horrific nightmares and visits by demons who try to scare me. The Devil does not take betrayal by his servants lightly. I praise God for my Godly wife, Anita, who knows the Lord Jesus and stands by me always.
So God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved me, even when I was dead in my trespasses and sins, quickened me together with Christ and gloriously delivered me from the powers of darkness even as a ‘firebrand snatched from the burning.’ I want you to know that every time I sing that song “Amazing Grace” I am singing my testimony. I straightaway entered full-time ministry because I very strongly felt His call in my heart and was convinced that this was the will of God for me. As a result of this there was great contention between me and my parents and I literally saw Matthew 10:34-38 come to pass before my very eyes!
[shortly after this my friend Vincent got completely demon possessed and was kept locked up in chains. He even tried to hang himself and immolate himself by fire a few times. When I last saw him he was still in the same condition. God could have justly let me perish with him, for I was in every way worse than him]
Just two months after I got saved, I got arrested by the local county cops for one of my past crimes. Generally my parents would have bailed me out in a day or two. But here I was locked up with no word from them even after four or five days in the ‘lock up’.
It kinda got me very discouraged. Here I was, having been saved from all that filth and witnessing for the Lord and now I wind up in Jail, without anyone to bail me out! Anyway I made good use of the opportunity and witnessed to my cellmates.
But you know what, Sister, after spending nine agonizing days in that cramped cell, on the tenth day I knew in my heart that I would be out before nightfall. And sure enough, my folks came and bailed me out. My Dad told me that though he had been trying to get me out from the second day I got arrested, it just did not work out.
When I came back home, I went into my bedroom and started questioning the Lord, “ Why, Why did you let me rot in there for Ten days, when you could have pulled me out earlier! Do you still love me”? etc Just as I was murmuring, I picked up my Bible that was beside me and Cut it open to hear a ‘Word from the Lord’. And guess what verse my eyes fell on?
Here it is –“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”! [Rev 2:10]. Sister, I was so spooked that the hairs on my flesh stood up! It wouldn’t have been more real and personal if the Lord had appeared in person and said this. Though this verse was written to the Church of Smyrna 2000 years ago, it was as though it was written specifically for me. Another one of the Lord’s confirmations that He had chosen me to be His own! Shortly after this I forsook all and followed Him!
The people who explained to me the way of salvation were Pentecostals so I was raised with the Pentecostal and Arminian theology for the first few years of my born-again life. Thankfully the church that I worked with were against the idea of Seminaries so I never attended one. I received a lot of training in door to door and street evangelism, and I must confess that the Lord taught me a lot through this. And being an ardent reader, I owe much of my Theological knowledge to my reading and listening to sermons.
But here is an amazing fact, I must mention. I.e. Though I spent my initial years as a Christian amongst Arminians – those who believe that man has to choose God, I somehow was very clearly convinced that I HAD NOT CHOSEN GOD, BUT HE HAD CHOSEN ME! [John 15:16]. I knew in my heart that salvation is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD that showeth mercy! [Romans 9:16]. And seven years later when God led me to some ‘Calvinists’, i.e. those who believe that Salvtion is ALL of GOD, and man has no part nor lot in it, I felt like a lost bird finding its flock! These people held and taught what God had been showing me all the time for those seven years!
Then in 1992 I joined the Foursquare Gospel Church in my hometown Bangalore and taught in their small Bible School and also worked as their ‘Praise and Worship’ leader. This is a branch of the same Foursquare Church founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, and presently pastored by Jack Hayford. The Lord led me to this church for a purpose, for it was here that I met my wife. Shortly after our marriage we left the Four Square to work independently. And the reason we left was due to our utter failure to bring any reform in this church. Even when I was a Pentecostal I could never put up with hypocrisy. I was never satisfied with just preaching against sin from the pulpit, but I would confront people personally and challenge them to forsake their sin. Whenever they gave me a chance to preach from the pulpit I would openly expose Prosperity Preachers and other false teachers by name. This they could not endure, and when we finally left they were glad to see us leave.
After we left Four Square we had to start from scratch. Having a great zeal to preach on the streets I would go out on the streets, Amusement Parks, Shopping Malls etc and witness to anyone who was willing to listen to me. I would spell out the full cost of discipleship and challenge them to follow Christ. And guess what? After nearly five years of preaching to thousands through personal evangelism we could gather very few people who were willing to pay the price of true discipleship [see Luk 14:25-33]. At times we have had quite an impressive crowd attending our meetings but most of them used to come to see what was in it for them, and when they saw that there was nothing but the cross, self denial and persecution they left.
Then in 1995 the Lord graciously opened our eyes to the error of the Pentecostal doctrine. I must confess that in my nine years as a Pentecostal I have never witnessed a single genuine healing or miracle performed either by me or any other preacher. The Lord also convinced me that the tongues mentioned in the book of Acts were definite languages and not the gibberish that I was taught to utter. I now expose the Pentecostal doctrine as a Heresy.
“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” [Prov 4:18] During the end of 1995 the Lord opened mine eyes to the doctrine of Divine Election. I was given a book “Gods wonderful plan of Salvation” written by Harold Camping of Family radio. This book gives a basic introduction to the “Five Points” and was only my initiation to the ‘Reformed World.’ Shortly thereon I found another book in a seconds sale titled – “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” by Lorraine Boettner. Unlike the earlier book this one dealt in detail with the ‘Five Points’ and many other aspects of Reformed theology. Sister, I was so taken up with this book that I memorized most of its contents and started preaching the same. Since then I have obtained and read extensively much of the works of John Owen, Edwards, Dr.Gill, Gurnall and even Herman Hoeksema of the PRCA, though I reject his defense of Infant Baptism. In India it is very difficult to find good books on Reformed theology, and the few that are available are not affordable to poor preachers like me. Yet in spite of this the Word is true, that the Master doth “feed His flock like a shepherd!” [Isa 40:11]. The Lord did send across my path many good Reformed books which I providentially found in some second-hand sales on the streets.
But you know what, Sister, as much as I cherished the writings of these ‘Reformed men’, the fame they enjoyed and the multitudes that attended their churches always bothered me. “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” [Luk 6:23] has always been the maxim by which I have measured every mans ministry, and somehow the large crowds that these men attracted never seemed to measure up to the Biblical portrait of a true man of God. — “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” [John 16:2] It was at this time that I came across the writings of A.W. Pink. Here was finally someone who not only preached the doctrines of Grace faithfully but also renounced the existing Christendom of his day as Apostate. In Pink I found a like-minded brother. It grieves my heart that in our day even many who claim to love Pink’s writings and have even made them available on the net are themselves a part of the Great Whore!
Dear Sister, I preach separation from false churches as imperative! Ever since I left the Four Square and started out independently, the Lord has gradually shown me little by little that the existing Christendom of our day is irremediably Apostate. We are living in a day when ‘Christians’ have no regard for sound doctrine or a hunger for true holiness. Even most who prate about their orthodoxy in sound doctrine do not demand holiness from the flock entrusted to them. Most preachers in our day desire to have a ‘ministry’ to show the world what they have accomplished for Christ. But I know from experience that any preacher who faithfully preaches the whole counsel of God, which means not just preaching the truth but exposing the lie (and the liars who masquerade in Jesus’ name) and demanding separation from the world and all its ideals, standards, styles, fads, fashions, craze and customs etc, I believe such a preacher will be left without a ‘ministry’, for he will soon begin to see that the elect of God who sincerely seek to follow the Lamb by denying self, sin, and the world are only a mere handful. The Lord said “when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith upon the earth?” [Luk 18:8] Except for a few small groups of faithful disciples all over the world, the whole of Christendom will be thoroughly apostate- which is why He says, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues”. [Rev 18:4]
And Sister, this is our message for today in the final hour before His coming. Even way back in his day Brother Pink spake of men’s disregard for the truth! The cry on every side now is “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” [Isa 30:10] And this we cannot do! We would rather die than preach the lie! As the apostle said, “We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth”.[2Cor 13:8] For the most part our work for the Lord in these days when iniquity abounds is very discouraging. But we believe that the Lord has His chosen ones all over the world who are earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints! Oh how glorious the hope and promise that He is coming back soon to take us to be with Him never to be separated again! Hallelujah! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!
I do not say this to boast, but to let you know my hearts desire and passion is only to proclaim His glorious Word. I have worked with big companies like General Electric (G.E)., Bank of America etc. But God threw me out of them all, because He didn’t call me for that. To expound Scripture comes naturally to me and The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, (the gift of the gab?) that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary!
Though I have been preaching since my deliverance, I know in my heart that God has a particular ministry for me. Not necessarily to ‘pastor’ a church, but to feed His sheep! I am waiting for that door to open, and you might say it’s been a long frustrating wait (pardon me). But God’s not finished with me Sister, this I am convinced of; for His gifts and callings are without repentance [Rom 11:29]. In other words, all that the Lord has taught me shall not go in vain but I believe that some day soon God will use me to teach other faithful men who in turn will be able to teach others also.
The Apostle said, ‘Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” [1Cor 9:14]. But in the last days that we are now living in, that is not possible. If men like me can find a handful of believers who will agree with us we can be thankful. So though we would rather serve the Lord Fulltime, we are compelled to work secularly and continue to preach repentance toward God.
You can write to me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Shirly, I knew this The day I was saved, and long before I came close to any ‘Calvinist’! Though many of my fellow Arminans were trying to drill into my head that I had chosen Christ, I knew all along that I HAD NOT CHOSEN HIM, BUT HE HAD CHOSEN ME! I knew all along that it was not of me in the least, but that it was all of God.