Ex-Satanist Christian Testimony
Hello everyone, my name is Christopher Jethro and I'm excited to share with you all below my full Christian testimony of how God saved me from my early dabbling in Satanism and occult practices, from my high school years as a confused half-Christian with heretical beliefs, from my struggles with bisexuality, and also deliverance from tormenting spirits. It includes my powerful experiences with the tangible, awesome presence of God, the gifts of the Spirit, and the special intimacy with God that He drew me into. My sincere hope and prayer is that those who read it will be encouraged, inspired, and filled with hope knowing that the God of the Bible is completely real, amazing, loving, and still active in the world. Whatever He has done in my life, He wants to do in YOURS as well!
My Years of Satanism
My spiritual journey started off as one on a path of darkness and deception to a path of light and truth. The Lord has not only delivered from the demonic bondage of an occult past and heretical theology, but has also allowed me to experience Him in life-changing beautiful ways I never imagined were possible.
I remember first learning about God when I was in Kindergarten when I had asked my mother where the world came from and was told that many people believe that God created the world. I pondered on that thought for an entire day and felt confident that seemed logical. I was curious about where God came from, what God was like, and why He seemed so silent, but the theological answers to those questions were beyond the capacity of a child.
I was somewhat intrigued about God for a brief time, but what started as a positive spiritual course quickly went far into the completely opposite direction. I don’t remember how it all started, but I quickly came under a very dark influence and was completely intrigued by the idea of Satan being my father. Indeed, I became a child-Satanist. I truly believed and so verbally confessed that Satan was my true father and that I was a son of Satan. I would, in fact, often pray to demons to enter me to give me power. I was obsessed with the idea of having power, being feared, and controlling others, and believed I could obtain that by from demons.
I asked the demons in, and they came in. I became filled with terrible profanity and developed sexual and demonic obsessions. I spent large portions of my time daydreaming about perverse sexual fantasies (such that you would never imagine a child could have) and also constant fantasies regarding all the power of Satan awaiting me. At times, the demons in me would manifest. During those moments, they would fill me a demonic hatred for a person which would sometimes result in a burst of violence. For instance, in the third grade when I got mad at another child, I grabbed him by the throat and completely lifted him off the ground – his feet were dangling as I choked him with a single hand and his classmates beat on me to let him go. This is not possible in the natural for a child to have such strength to lift another child off of the ground completely with one hand. Just before it happened, I felt the surge of a demon giving me demonic strength and filling me with incredible hatred.
In addition to demonic strength, Satan gave me two other occult abilities. There was a particular instance at a restaurant where I conjured up a flame. My brothers kept teasing me when I explained what I was doing, but after several minutes of internal focus that flame shot up in the air. This was at a large family gathering – everyone saw it and was completely shocked. To this day, this event has been brought up again and again by my family members who saw it.
The other occult ability was the ability to speak in a demonic tongue. Almost every day, usually for 20 minutes, I would pace back and forth as I prayed in a demonic tongue. Absolutely no one had told me what “tongues” were – I had never heard the concept in any religion. I didn’t even fully understand it myself, but the ability to do so was given to me, and I was strangely compelled to pray in this demonic tongue daily. The words of this language sounded dark and twisted, and as I prayed in this demonic tongue, it filled me with a dark spiritual energy.
I never showed them to anybody, but I often drew pictures of evil demons and of people being tormented in Hell in terribly morbid ways. Rarely, I would also receive dreams from a demon. These were no ordinary dreams, nor any self-imagined nightmare, for they had a very strong unholy spiritual presence to them. In the same way people can receive dreams from God, the devil can give people dreams as well. These dreams would try to pull me deeper into the occult by planting some sort of dark desire inside of me. Usually these dreams were about the choice between being a vampire or a shapeshifter, but also a strong pull to commit a particular sin. (This may be very hard to believe for those ignorant of the occult realm, but real Satanists when they reach a certain rank, choose between becoming a vampire or a shapeshifter. These “fictional” concepts in the movies actually take their inspiration from the occult. While these are not entirely like their portrayal in the movies, high-ranking Satanists do have the extreme demonic power to become those things. Just as angels and demons can take on different forms, so too, when can they so possess a person’s body can use those same demonic powers to change the occultist’s body. Satan often pressed upon me which choice I would make if I kept on the path of Satanism.)
As a Satanist, I didn’t hate God, I simply rarely thought about Him – He seemed like a very distant figure. When I did think about God, I was filled with strong jealousy. Yes, sadly, I very jealously wanted to be God. I didn’t understand the Trinitarian view of Christ’s Deity, and so when I imagined Jesus, I imagined him as a weak man without real power and wanted nothing to do with Him.
I did not share this with anyone for a long time, but I had also developed homosexual attractions at this young age and actually engaged in homosexual practices. But since I was still incredibly lustful towards women, “bisexual” would be the correct term for my sexual orientation. I was not delivered of these gay tendencies until much later on, which I will get to later.
Now at many times, I seemed like a normal child who would play and laugh just like the other kids did. It was only those who spent enough time with me and who paid attention whom began to see the demons manifest, find my demonic drawings, or realize something was terribly wrong on the inside of me. Behind the surface of what may have seemed like a normal child at times, was a real darkness.
My Initial Salvation
My mother knew my child Satanism was real and was very concerned for my salvation. She had earnestly prayed for me that God would do a miracle in my life, and indeed God did. One day, it was as if I changed overnight and woke up the next morning feeling very apathetic towards those demonic interests. I began to read the Bible, and there was something about Jesus that drew me to Him; His words had a certain ring of truth about them that drew me to Him. The idea of being in His eternal Presence was so magnetic.
I believed the Bible, repeated a “sinner’s prayer” after watching The Jesus Film, and became a Christian. I began attending a local Baptist church and got baptized. I had a small black King James Bible that I loved to read. Despite its outdated vocabulary and challenging grammar, I loved that little King James Bible and found it's archaic language poetically beautiful (as I still do to this day!). I would frequently watch The Prince of Egypt movie and always felt close to God during the burning bush scene.
There was a brief time when I was a genuine young Christian, longing to be closer to God. Unfortunately, as time went on, I did not live a holy life and came to believe in different heresies including Christian inclusivism, Arianism, theistic evolution, etc. Although I believed Christianity contained the “most accurate” understanding of God, I often explored with intrigue other religious beliefs and their unbiblical spiritual practices such as eastern meditation, yoga, channeling chi, pagan horoscopes, consulting mediums, etc. I did believe in Hell, but I also believed people could be saved outside of Christianity (this is called Christian Inclusivism) because I had a hard time believing that God would condemn all non-Christians to Hell. Since I still believed the Bible was true, I would try to reinterpret Scripture in such a way to force it to fit with these unbiblical ideas.
Rarely, I would receive strong dreams from the enemy again, trying to pull me back into the occult.
When I became a Christian, I read explicitly in the Bible that homosexuality was a sin. But this created a dilemma in me because I could not help my experience of gay feelings at times. (As explained earlier, I was always attracted to women too, so I’m referring to bisexuality.) I was afraid that if I shared this issue of mine with another Christian, they might reject and harshly judge me. However, knowing what the Bible says, I was also afraid that if I shared my issue with a non-Christian, they would encourage me to completely embrace and accept my gay feelings as a natural part of who I am and probably insist that I was “born” or even created by God as bisexual. Knowing that would contradict my new faith (although unstable as it was), I wasn’t ready to wrestle with all of that. Fearing both the rejection of the church and the deception of the world’s counsel, I tried my best to suppress and ignore these gay feelings. That was honestly very hard at times and caused me depression. I knew what was sin, but I also couldn’t help what I felt. It was until later on that I realized that the all-powerful God is able to remove from us such tendencies and make us a new creature in Christ.
Although quite deceived as a pseudo-Christian, a major part of the problem was that I had never attended a church that rooted believers in sound doctrine using Scripture and apologetics (a serious problem lacking in most churches today). No pastor was able to provide substantial answers to my religious questions either, causing me to doubt if the Christian worldview could exclusively be the “true religion”. Consequently, the New Age influence on my Christian worldview was mostly a result of trying to create answers to my own questions by combining different religious beliefs. I was particularly influenced by listening to near-death experiences and afterlife testimonies which came from people of different religions.
At the time, I did not have the wisdom to understand that the Bible must always override people’s claims, nor did I understand that people can receive believable visions from demons to deceive them (assuming they are not deliberately lying in the first place). My mind was gullible enough to believe that if a non-Christian (who does not claim to know Jesus) claimed to have had some special experience with God or a visit to Heaven (such as in a near death experience), that it must prove that God is found in all religions. Believing all of their stories, which were undoubtedly actually false, these afterlife “testimonies” from these non-Christians was probably the greatest influence in the development of my [false] inclusivist worldview. No doubt, this is one of Satan’s strong tools of deception in the world. It is no hard thing for the devil to create counterfeit visions and dreams, nor is it hard for his devils to transfigure as angels of light (such as in the life of Muhammad and Joseph Smith), in order to deceive people.
The Still, Small Voice of God
It was during this time of confusion and trying to piece together my own religious worldview, that I sought to hear the voice of God for myself to get answers. I tried to hear from God many times and was often frustrated and to the point of tears begging Him to speak to me. I often feared that perhaps God just doesn’t speak to anyone for some reason, perhaps He is a God of distant silence. It would not be until much later on in my Christian walk as I spiritually matured that I would learn to hear the voice of God regularly, for indeed His sheep do hear His voice (Jn 10:27).
One day I had tried my best to silence my own thoughts and listen as carefully as possible to the still, small voice of God. Because hearing the voice of God seemed difficult enough, I decided to narrow down all of my questions to a single question. I asked God aloud that if there was just one thing He would like tell me – just one thing – regarding what’s most important about God and life that I need to know, what would it be? Unexpectedly, in that moment of silence, I felt a small spiritual whirlwind around me – a whirlwind of God’s presence and love that caused me to cry. Simultaneously, I word came into my mind: Love. I did not exactly hear the word as you would hear your own thoughts, inasmuch as I felt and understood the word. The word was spiritually pressed upon me and I knew it was the voice of God. Although the moment was so very brief, only having lasted a few seconds, yet I knew that God had just spoken to me. It was a very special moment to me, although I was discouraged when no one seemed to believe me when I shared this experience.
I will pause here briefly to explain (should the reader not be a Christian) that the experience of hearing God’s voice is different from how some have imagined it. When God speaks to Christians, it is by His Spirit to our spirit. His words are like a very strong “impression” – you understand them perfectly, and you do “hear” the words in way, but it is more like the words are felt. You know in your spirit when you have heard from God, like a strong spiritual gut feeling. God definitely still speaks today to His people, but hearing from God directly can take practice because our fleshly minds are clouded with distracting thoughts and new believers especially haven’t learned to spiritually discern things by the spirit. Of course, God definitely speaks to us in other ways too, such as through His Word.
I was still very confused at times and deceived with some false doctrines, and trying to hear from God directly again after that initial experience was not successful. But at least I knew that “love” was the most important thing in life. I began reading large portions of Scripture, I read most of the Bible actually, and I often meditated on the greatest two commandments to love God and people.
Although on a slightly better path regarding my theology, I unfortunately fell into other sins. I did not save sex for marriage, was addicted to pornography, was addicted to the pleasure of marijuana smoking (smoking about 3 bowls every day), occasionally got drunk, was very judgmental, and at times struggled with old mindsets of hate and anger towards people. I had strange ways of twisting Scripture to justify many of these sinful acts, deluding myself into thinking it wasn't a sin to fornicate, get drunk, or smoke pot. It also wasn’t long before I once more had so many questions about God and religion, that often my analytical mind truly felt tormented with confusion. In the midst of this long stage of confusion, my religious beliefs were somewhat unstable as I would go in-and-out of stages of agnosticism, lukewarm Christianity, and New Age beliefs. Even though I was deceived, confused, and sinning, deep down I did want to know God and truth. Although I did not deserve it, there were times when it seemed God would show me dozens of small signs to keep me seeking Him.
Baptism in the Spirit
Finally, one day I had a life-changing encounter with God. My wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) convinced me to attend a Christian church camp. While at this church camp, I was engaged in an intense battle of faith and doubt. I became desperate to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit and to be touched by God.
One thing that was particularly important to me was to receive the [Christian] gift of tongues. I had read about it in the Bible (and later made the connection that I used to pray in a demonic tongue which I renounced) and I was very interested in receiving it. But when I asked my family or church about it, they did not believe this gift was still active today and accused those who practiced it of being either psychologically manipulated or demonically influenced. However, I was biblically convinced this gift of the Spirit was still for today.
Some people tried to claim that the gifts of tongues had "ceased", but every argument they used just didn't fit with Scripture. My Bible said that Christians "will speak in new tongues" (Mk 16:17) and that we should "earnestly desire spiritual gifts" (1 Cor 14:1). It also seemed unfathomable that if the Holy Spirit indwells me as a Christian, why couldn't He still be able to distribute the gifts? On the Day of Pentecost, no laying on of hands was required - the Holy Spirit came of His own accord. Paul wrote that if you believe "you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself” (Acts 2:38-39). It's true the Bible said that tongues will cease one day (1 Cor 13:8) but it was referring to when the Kingdom of God physically comes, in which the gifts will no longer be needed at that time because we will have the fullness of His Kingdom then.
This may be a good time to clear up a misunderstanding about praying in tongues versus giving a message in tongues. While the Bible says tongues can be used to deliver a prophetic message requiring interpretation, it is most frequently used at will by the believer to pray to God personally. It also says we can sing to God in tongues as special form of worship (1 Cor 14:14-15). When people prayed in tongues at Pentecost they weren't giving an orderly message in tongues but were glorying God in another language. The Bible refers to praying in tongues for oneself when it says, "he who speaks in another tongue speaks not to men, but to God for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries ... He who speaks in another tongue edifies himself" (1 Cor 14:2,4). But in another place it says that, "he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other tongues, unless he interprets, that the congregation may be built up" (1 Cor 14:5) referring to God prompting someone to deliver a special message in tongues, which is different. In 1 Cor 14:18 Paul said, "I thank God, I speak in tongues more than all of you, however in the church I would rather speak five words of understanding." Obviously, he meant that he prays in tongues privately very frequently, but doesn't necessarily showcase it in the public church.
I was very fascinated with the idea of speaking in tongues; the concept of God supernaturally enabling you to mysteriously pray in a different language and thereby pray the perfect will of God sounded completely amazing. I had a childlike awe that such a gift should be treasured and used frequently by believers. I wanted that “tongue of fire” that Christians received on the Day of Pentecost in Acts. It wasn’t just that the experience sounded amazing, but in particular I thought to myself: If I had such a gift, I would use it all the time to pray God’s perfect will.
At that charismatic church camp, there were many Christians who were anointed, very loving, and had the gift of tongues. I had several such Christians pray for me to receive the gift of tongues but nothing happened. Some of them encouraged me that if I feel the Holy Spirit giving me the words, to yield to that and speak it out. But I wanted to ensure that I would only receive the real gift of tongues. I refused to be psychologically manipulated; I refused to be speaking any gibberish whatsoever, so I didn’t want to force anything. I wanted to receive nothing else other than the real, amazing, biblical gift of tongues and refused to be duped with anything else.
On one of the last days at that camp, I flipped open my Bible randomly and landed on the verse Matthew 14:31, in which Jesus had caught sinking Peter and asked him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” I wondered if it was possible that God was trying to speak to me through this verse but I wasn’t sure. Then later that day, I overheard a pastor quoting this exact verse and teaching on it, and it made me wonder again if God was once again trying to teach me to keep having faith that He will come through for me. That evening, I attended a leadership meeting where the Spirit of God seemed to be powerfully touching everyone except for me. I managed to intercept the head pastor who had spoken there on his way out; I briefly explained everything I was going through and pleaded him to pray for me. He dismissed me almost completely and walked out of the room, escorted by a few of his security guards. One of his staff members prayed with me but nothing happened. I was not only very disappointed, but I felt rejected by both the speaker and God. I was close to reaching my breaking point of concluding that the Christian God doesn’t care about me.
My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, told a group of church pastors who were gathered there about everything I had struggled with. This group of about eight church pastors came over to pray for me. As they all laid their hands on me, they all began to pray that God would fill me with His love and Spirit. One of them also said they wouldn’t stop praying for me until I received the gift of tongues. I was in strong disbelief that anything would occur, in fact I literally felt embarrassed for them because I thought about how it might hurt their faith when nothing happens. However, to my own surprise, I suddenly began to feel the Holy Spirit gushing into me like a River of Life. I quickly fell down as it seemed I was struck by some lightning bolt of supreme unconditional love. While difficult to describe, I could truly feel God’s boundless love and presence pouring into me; it was a sort of “deepness” of His Spirit so very, very intimate that I could not help but cry uncontrollably for several minutes. This experience was not brief or mild, but a very deep, powerful, and completely life-changing.
I cannot emphasize enough how powerful and important this experience was. I could feel God’s love and Spirit in such a deep and real way. I had often heard “God loves you”, but when I felt His unconditional love for me, His love was beyond words. He didn’t answer any of my questions, but for some reason, when I felt just how unconditionally God really loves me, it suddenly didn’t matter anymore. I knew that Jesus was real and that He loved me, and it comforted me beyond words. Towards the end of this amazing experience, I felt something “bubbling up” from my belly area upwards to the tip of my tongue. It’s hard to describe but something came up from my spirit, like a trickle of water going upward until it reached the very tip of my tongue. As I released it, I began speaking in tongues for the first time and was overcome with the joy of the Lord.
I knew that this gift of tongues was real (and no psychological manipulation) because I could feel the Holy Spirit of God on my tongue. I didn’t understand the words I spoke, but this prayer language somehow helped my spirit connect with God’s Spirit in a special way and would become a source of holy spiritual strength. The demonic tongue I once had (which sounded completely different) was now long gone; that was really Satan’s counterfeit gift all along to the real gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit. As I prayed in tongues there such joy and spiritual enrichment in my soul. I have continued to pray in tongues every day ever since that moment.
Afterwards, a girl with tears came up to me. She was crying because she said that God had just spoke to her and told her to read me Matthew 14:31. Out loud she read, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then I knew that God had was speaking to me through that verse indeed. The experience of the baptism of the Spirit was more than enough, but her prophetic word assured me even further that God was truly with me and that I must never doubt Him. After this experience I was in a blissful state of love and peace for days; I still couldn’t believe just how much God loved me.
I never wanted to forget this lesson of faith from Jesus or that precious experience, so I later tattooed the word "Faith" on my forearm with "Matthew 14:31" under it. Now every time I look at my forearm, I am reminded of that day and of the importance of trusting God. (I understand there is much controversy about Christians getting tattoos, and I'm not endorsing them. I know that Leviticus 19:27-28 says to not get tattoos, but the same passage also says to not trim your beard either! The context speaks of forbidding the specific pagan haircuts and pagan tattoos that the unfaithful Israelites were doing as part of pagan rites. In my personal opinion, which you are free to disagree with, I don't believe this passage forbids Christians under the New Covenant from trimming their beards in any way or getting tattoos of any kind.)
That special experience I had with God’s Spirit is technically referred to as ‘baptism in the Spirit’. Some have mistakenly thought, as I once did, that the 'baptism in the Spirit' in Scripture refers to the indwelling of the Spirit or to be being baptized in Christ at water baptism, which isn't true. The Bible says Jesus will baptize His followers in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8) and in Acts 1:5 He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until "the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:4). Clearly, he was contrasting water baptism with baptism in the Spirit, which is separate. When they received the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost, it had nothing to do with water baptism which didn't take place and it had nothing to do with the indwelling of the Spirit which they already received from Jesus in John 20:22. Baptism in the Spirit is the special experience of being powerfully clothed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, something Jesus intended for all Christians to receive.
This powerful spiritual experience caused a dramatic change in my life; by God’s grace and power, my theology became biblical and I repented of all my sins and began to live a holy life. The process was not an overnight change, but a process of about 2 years. Through countless hours of Bible study, I became rooted in sound doctrine. I developed a real love for the Word of God. I now believed in biblical Creationism, Christian exclusivism, Trinitarianism, etc. God placed a strong calling on my life to become a teacher of the Word, to prevent the spread of deception in the Church. This calling has ever since burned strongly on my heart to root other believers in truth and help them to understand the Word of God. It is my God-given passion.
I no longer used any drugs or alcohol, but was always sober-minded. My wife and I sanctified our relationship through marriage, and were very much “on fire for God” from that point onwards. This was also the point of time that God removed homosexual feelings from me, so that I was no longer bisexual but heterosexual. Yes, I was happily married to my wife, but just as much as a married person might still struggle with lust, I still struggled with gay attractions at times. Despite the temptation I had at times to think that gay tendencies may be natural or normal (as today’s society dogmatically teaches), I was convinced that if God said something is a sin, it shouldn’t be embraced. Only be first standing firm on this, was I able to treat it as I would any other struggle (such as a struggle with lust, hate, lying, etc.). God helped me to understand that those things do come naturally to us because we are born with a sin nature that makes sinful tendencies come naturally. I prayed earnestly for God to remove those gay attractions from me and to change me into a new creature in Christ by His grace. The process took several months, but eventually God removed all of that from me.
This would mark the point in my life where I was now a true Christian, both in theology, lifestyle, and my heart for the Lord. My spiritual journey was far from over however. My wife and I had now attended for a few years a non-denominational, “Spirit-filled” church (that is, a church which believes in and experiences the activity of the Holy Spirit, which is biblical Christianity). (We could not attend our former Baptist church any longer, for they disbelieved our spiritual experiences and accused them of being demonic.) The next spiritual step in my journey was realizing that divine healing was still for today as well.
God Still Heals
Despite the cessationist claim, I knew the Scriptures taught no such thing that God no longer heals people. I kept reading in Scripture of how Jesus healed people in His ministry and how “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). God even healed in the Old Testament too and says "I, Yahweh, don't change" (Mal 3:6). Jesus said His believers will be able to lay hands on the sick to see them healed (Mk 16:18), the authority of His name is power over all sickness and disease (Matt 10:1), and "the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick" (Jas 5:15).
I was biblically convinced that if divine healing was not experienced, it must be because of lack of faith. However, I had never experienced or even heard of divine healing testimonies so I was very discouraged. It was important to me to confirm if it is still for today, because anything short of that would not only be a contradiction with Scripture, but would make me feel that the Christian faith was dry and powerless if God did not still accompany the Gospel with signs. With so many people in disbelief, sin, and deception, not to mention Christians themselves needing God’s empowering grace, I knew that the modern Church still needed the active power of God. Something inside me told me that if God doesn't use Christians to perform healing anymore, it would simply contradict the Bible.
After doing some research, for the first time I learned of several testimonies of how people were healed by God. In particular, I learned of a Christian evangelist called Todd White whom God had used powerfully to heal many people of all sorts of infirmities. It happened that he would soon be ministering at a church not too far from us, so my wife and I arranged to go. Witnessing healings and getting to speak with Todd White in person was a big encouragement to my belief in divine healing. He wasn’t as well-known back then, so I managed to speak with him personally for a few minutes and ask him some questions about having faith for healing. His answers helped me to understand operating in faith, but I was also inspired by his incredible love for people which is the real motive when praying for people’s healing.
After this event, I was encouraged to have faith for divine healing. My first time to experience divine healing was when I prayed for my dad who was suffering from a severe case of gout in his foot. He did not believe anything would happen, but I prayed with faith commanding the gout to leave his foot in Jesus’ name. He was quite shocked because the pain left his foot completely after I prayed. Later on, he had gout in his other foot too and it was immediately healed as well after my wife and I prayed. There were other times of divine healing as well. When my brother had received a painful foot injury and was using a crutch to walk, God immediately healed his foot after I prayed. He was so surprised that he could not believe God really just healed his foot, so he exclaimed "wow, what a coincidence!" My friend's wife had suffered from strange stomach pains most of her life. I prayed with her over the phone, and she later told me that right after that phone call, she experienced a "warmth" in her stomach and has been healed ever since.
There have been other healing testimonies as well, and at this point I have witnessed a diverse amount of healings when I joined with other believers in praying for someone – everything ranging from bones being realigned, swelled muscles healed and “deflated” before our eyes, deaf receiving the ability to hear again, etc. Suffice to say that I certainly discovered that God still heals today when His followers have faith and meeting Todd White was the triggering event for me. Of course, I do not claim to be a man of great faith and also admit there have been many moments when someone was not healed after I have prayed. I've experienced divine healing myself, but I've also struggled with health battles too like any normal person. Regardless, the point is that all of the times when God did heal someone supernaturally and instantaneously, it was an encouragement to my faith in Christ and in the power of God.
More of God
Around this same time, my wife and I felt led by God to transition to a new church, which was also a non-denomination, Spirit-filled church. Every service, the power and presence of God could be tangibly felt and experienced. I was formerly under the impression that the Baptism in the Spirit was a one-time event, but soon realized that God can continually come upon and fill believers. I saw in Scripture that the disciples whom already experienced the power of God on Pentecost were refilled with the Spirit at other times as well. I would continue to feel the presence of God regularly from this point on, sometimes as an intimate presence or warmth, sometimes as an “electric” power, and other times as a weighty holy glory. This church’s teachings and altar times would become very shaping in my life as a Spirit-filled Christian.
It was also around this time that God began to speak to me through dreams and visions. Now a dream is not from God just because it was unordinary or interesting; real dreams from God require discernment. It is usually not difficult to discern them because dreams from the Lord are very distinct, having a “power” to them and leaving me with a strong impression. (Just like when the enemy used to give me dreams and they had a unholy presence to them; likewise, dreams from God have a holy presence to them.) The interpretation of these dreams provided incredible insight to my life - God gave me warnings about the enemy's plans, special revelations, guidance for different situations, incredible prediction of future events (showing me what to do in it or affirming divine appointments), and prophetic glimpses of His wonderful plans for me.
It was also at this time that received another gift of the Spirit, the gift of prophecy. I had mistakenly thought that prophesy meant to foretell the future by the Spirit of God, but after a detailed Bible study, I realized that prophecy is simply speaking the inspired words of God (whether or not that includes details about the future). In the New Covenant, the gift of prophesy is focused on encouraging people with divinely inspired words of edification (1 Cor 14:3). I had already met people with the gift of prophecy, who supernaturally knew things about me (specific struggles and trials) that they had no possible way of knowing except by the Spirit of God, and they shared encouraging words or wisdom from the Lord about those things. For instance, just before my wife and I left for a missionary base in Africa, I visited a conference and received prayer afterwards from a pastor I had never met before. He laid hands on me and waited a moment to hear from the Lord, then he said to me that God had provided our funds for our missionary trip last minute in order to test our faith and to teach us to trust in Him. Indeed, raising the money for that trip was a severe trial so I was surprised and encouraged to hear these words.
During that same 3 and ½ month trip to Mozambique, Africa (to attend the Iris Harvest Missionary School), I received the gift of prophecy one night when a group of mature believers (I among them) were praying together for each other. God began to show me images with interpretation and to share with different people and pressed upon me what words the Lord wishes to say to them. As I prophesied, God would teach such people in a special way with His presence. I never expected to receive this gift and was quite surprised actually, but then I remembered the Scripture that says the Spirit distributes the gifts “to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor 12:11).
The next morning, I was really doubting that experience. I was worried that maybe I wasn’t really prophesying last night, but sharing fake prophetic words based on images generated by my subconscious mind. In that precise moment of doubt, a man came right up to me, one of the African locals, who I had absolutely never met before. He looked right at me, smiled widely, and simply said, “You can prophesy!” In short, he said he felt led by God to share that with me, and it certainly dismissed my doubts. Ever since then, God has continued to occasionally give me prophetic words to share with people. These are usually not very detailed, but even just a few genuine words from the Lord can be very needed for believers. I’m still growing in this gift and think it is important to emphasize that you cannot force this gift – you can only hear from God and thus prophesy when He is actually speaking, obviously.
The reader should know that having the gift of prophecy is NOT the same thing as being a prophet. The gift of prophecy is simply hearing from God and speaking His message – it may be short or long. A prophet is a calling, an office in the Body of Christ. Prophets hear very strongly and accurately from God and their calling in life is to continue to feed the Church of God with fresh messages from the Lord. For example, just because someone is invited to teach and preach at a church at times, doesn’t mean that person is now a pastor! Again, just because you share your faith with people (which we should), doesn’t mean you are now an evangelist, which is another specific calling. Christians of different callings are able to function in different gifts of the Spirit, but those with specific callings will function in them much more strongly.
His Presence as Spiritual Rain
One of my most treasured experiences I have had with God continuously to this day also began during that Africa trip. I had met two friends there who experienced God’s presence in what I would describe as an “elemental manifestation”. One of them felt God’s presence as strong winds that would blow on and around him during worship, and the other experienced God’s presence near constantly as a [harmless] warm fire in his hand. Although I had certainly experienced God’s presence in some amazing ways before, I really could not believe what I was hearing. It honestly sounded like something out of an X-Men movie to me! I thought it was very cool, and I asked one of them to pray for me so that this experience of God’s presence as fire could be imparted to me as well. He said, “Sure, it can’t hurt to try.” But after praying for me, he said, “I feel that God is going to give you something different instead, something unique for you.”
For some background information: just before going to Africa, I had read an awesome book called Visions Beyond the Veil by H.A. Baker. In this book, they talked about how the children at their orphanage (who had just become Christians) would seek the Lord for countless hours at a time. On their knees praying with their eyes closed, there were times when they experienced a supernatural phenomenon of feeling rain drops falling on them even though it was not actually raining. I remember how as I read that I just thought it was so cool. I wished I could experience that so badly, but I was convinced that it would never happen to me because I wasn’t special like they must have been. But just in case, I muttered a quick prayer after reading it wherein I asked God if I too could experience that spiritual rain. I had forgotten all about that prayer from a few months ago.
Now after my friend in Africa had prayed for me, a few days later I began to experience God’s presence as what I refer to as “spiritual rain”. I could feel wet raindrops falling on me, usually on my head, that would roll down me. They felt so tangibly wet and real that at first I thought it was actually raining outside. I remembered having read that book from a few months ago and was amazed to see how God actually answered that prayer. I truly did not expect Him to do that. This experience also increased my awe of God because I began to view Him more mysteriously than I had before. Experiencing God’s manifest presence as spiritual rain has never left me and continues to occur on an almost daily basis. Although Scripture already tells me that God is always with me, this experience serves as a tangible continual reminder that God is with me in a very real way and I am continually grateful to experience the bewildering sensation of wet rain falling on me and dripping down my body.
Deliverance from Demons
The next pinnacle spiritual event in my life that took place was a very unpleasant, yet completely necessary, event to deliver me from my dark past. As I explained earlier in my testimony, I was once a Satanist that invited many demons into my soul, to the point of having demonic abilities. But where had all of those demons gone? Due to my old Baptist background, I was always under the impression that Christians could not have demons. In fact, I feel embarrassed when I look back on the moments when I once assured other Christians that it’s impossible for believers to have demons. I know that may sound logical, but it’s actually not true. There are no Scriptures at all that state this, but since the Bible is not explicitly clear on the issue, many have just assumed it is not possible – an erroneous assumption indeed. The reasoning is that ‘light and darkness can’t mix, therefore the Holy Spirit and demons couldn’t possibly both live in the same body’. Despite this reasoning, the Bible doesn’t actually say that, and I was soon about to experientially discover this assumption was false.
I had come to realize that the many demons I invited in my soul had never really left me. It was not as though they just magically disappeared when I first received Christ in my heart. The reason I never felt them leave was because they never had left. Scripturally, demons have never left a person without being cast out. I wished it were not true, but I could absolutely feel evil spirits inside of me. They were basically in hiding for a long time, but at different times in the strong presence of God is when I could feel them surface because God’s presence had made them uncomfortable, squirmy, and/or angry. What I once wanted inside of me for power, I now desperately wanted out. In short, my pastor met with me regularly over a period of several weeks to lead me into renunciation prayers regarding my occult and sinful past, followed by commanding any demons associated with those things to leave.
It wasn't just that I had received demons by direct invitation, but my sinful living after my initial salvation had also created doorways for demons to enter my life. And since I already had demons, it made me an easier target for the devil. Thus, those prayers of renunciation included renouncing both any occult activities during my time of child-Satanism, as well as renouncing any sinful activities even after that. I had received demons from sexual sins, playing occult video games, watching demonic movies, and practicing yoga (which is actually pagan worship stances).
Being something completely outside my control, demons would manifest as they came out. This experience was very unpleasant, to say the least. When the demons were commanded to come out, they would often manifest and fight for control for a brief moment. I was helplessly unable to stop them from manifesting – they would make me fall to the ground and shake my body, and they came out in very loud eerie screams and shrieks, sometimes deep growling as well. Although unpleasant and even a scary, I could feel the force of evil leaving me. The light of Christ was freeing me from my dark past.
Each deliverance session was different. (Among evangelical Christians, the word “deliverance” is used instead of “exorcism” to distinguish it from Catholic methods for casting out demons.) Many demons were easy to cast out, but some of them were stubborn. To be honest, I was very scared during some of these sessions. The experience of feeling demons inside you, manifesting your body without your control, and feeling them fight to stay inside of you is a very terrible experience, to say the least. It was common that afterwards I would feel extremely exhausted. This was probably the hardest thing I had went through in my Christian walk at that time. I had invited so many demons into me several years ago, and one by one they were now coming out.
Many people have asked me what I felt like afterwards. It’s difficult to describe, but it was basically like a spiritual “heaviness” that was always there now being permanently removed. Each demon that came out was like taking off a jacket I had worn for such a long time unknowingly. I felt “light”, free, cleansed, and spiritually rejuvenated. Additionally, many things I had dealt with all these years left me because they were caused by those demons. I used to have strange perverse dreams, random very difficult struggles with hate, and various health problems that all left after I was delivered from the demons. I didn’t realize just how much of my strange health problems were actually caused by demons. For example, I used to have strange experiences of feeling some sort of incredibly heavy weight of tiredness and brain fog pressed upon me that was very mentally oppressive – it was sort of like having the worst imaginable jet lag in the world. That went away of course when the demon that would cause it was rebuked.
Demons do in fact cause people to struggle with strong sinful drives and health problems until they are cast out. I thought these things were normal struggles of mine, but realized they were actually due to the demons all along. Although a terrible thing to go through, it was necessary, and consequently I experienced a freedom I never knew was possible. When all was said and done, I continued my spiritual journey in the Lord.
You might be wondering how can a Christian indwelt by the Holy Spirit can have demons at the same time? I don’t have a perfect answer to that, but the fact that Satan was able to enter God’s presence in Heaven in the book of Job and in Revelation proves that spiritual darkness and light can indeed accompany the same locality. It may be that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in believers, while completely real, is not tantamount to His manifest presence inside us and is thus not in conflict with the spiritual presence of a demon. I believe that, at least for some demons, they are not constantly dwelling in a person’s body that they managed to enter. It may be that the demons have more of an open door for entrance to their soul and come and go as they please to internally influence or harm them (after all, they probably have better things to do than sit in your body all day). Only when they are confronted, do they attempt to re-enter that body and manifest to fight for control of it. But even when they aren’t present in that body, the spiritual strongholds and curses they have created there are still affecting that person.
In a sense, I wish that my deliverance had taken place at an earlier time, such as at my initial salvation, which would make my testimony more believable for those who don’t believe that Christians can have demons. Nonetheless, this is the truthful order of events of how they actually unfolded in my life. I later met other ex-Satanist Christians with similar post-salvation deliverance stories and realized I was not alone at all in my experience. In retrospect, I now understand the simple principle now that once a demon enters someone, even a Christian, it’s not going to leave until directly confronted. They don’t just go away on their own, and they will be in hiding for as long as they can. If you have ever explicitly invited demons into your soul, they need to be cast out. They aren’t going to disappear on the basis of wishful thinking. If you’ve come from an occult background like me and need deliverance too, seek an anointed Spirit-filled man or woman of God that can help you. The spiritual freedom you will experience afterwards is absolutely essential to your Christian walk.
I do absolutely thank God for all that He has done in my life, for all of His incredible undeserved love, mercy, and patience He has had with me! Truly, Jesus has not only saved me from darkness and deception, but blessed me with many heavenly treasures. I have continued through these years to grow and mature in the Lord. I have actually had many other amazing encounters with God, but I have only shared with you the ones which were most shaping in me becoming a true Christian. For some people, I understand how my testimony may sound extreme. I have indeed been persecuted for righteousness' sake as skeptics have criticized and falsely accused me, claiming my testimony is false or exaggerated, and accusing my gifts of the Spirit as being no more than psychological manipulation or even from the devil. But every word I have shared with you is entirely true and I give full glory to God alone, who was the only One who could have produced this miraculous change in my life. The truth is there are many Christians out there who have come from far darker occult pasts than I have and I am really quite fortunate to have never joined an official cult group. My spiritual experiences regarding the gifts of the Spirit are actually quite normal experiences within the charismatic Christian community and don’t reflect anything special about me, for God does not show favoritism.
God Wants to Encounter You Too!
I want the reader to know that a wonderful intimate relationship with God is truly available to those who place a repentant faith in Jesus and seek Him sincerely. Keep seeking Him with all your heart and with persistent faith, and He will take you deeper into Him. I share only as a testimony of encouragement to the reader, that God has done this in my own life. He draws me deeper into intimacy with Him and fills me with His awesome spiritual life. He uses me in prayer to accomplish His Kingdom purposes for His own glory. He has made the Word of God come alive to me in such a special and awesome way and has given me many awesome revelations revealed by the Spirit of God. I feel His presence almost daily as spiritual wet rain dripping on me and at other times as an electric power. He speaks to me directly, as well through visions and dreams, for His sheep hear His voice.
I do not share any of this to “boast” at all, but to encourage the reader that this is available to you too! This is supposed be normal, biblical Christianity for all believers, but it’s not seen in many churches due to unrepentant sin, false teachings, lack of faith, and a lack of seeking after God with all our hearts. As you devote yourself entirely to Jesus, your spiritual experiences will likely be different from mine in how you hear from God, feel His presence, and what spiritual gifts He imparts to you - but nonetheless the intimacy and power of God is available to all believers.
God does none of these things because of me, as if I were special in and of myself, for I am nothing. Jesus paid the price for our restored relationship with God, for our physical healing, and for our deliverance from the enemy. All these things are available to all Christians who will trust in Jesus and seek Him. If you need physical healing, deliverance from demons, or struggle with homosexual feelings as I once did, Jesus can set you free too. If you are spiritually hungry to experience the presence of God and flow in the gifts of the Spirit, you can, by first receiving Jesus into your life and then seeking Him with your whole heart. If I have inspired you in any way, and I hope that I have, then know that you too can have this same wonderful relationship with God if you will seek Him through Christ. I pray you encounter the same amazing love and power of God through Jesus that I have.
If you have read this testimony and are not a Christian, but wish to commit yourself to Jesus and experience Him just as I have, please click this link where I will explain the Gospel in detail and include a sinner's prayer that you can repeat to receive God's wonderful gift of eternal salvation.