THE PARANORMAL COMPENDIUM
(Unpublished rough draft, last updated 26 June 2001)
Most people have stories much like
these. Why are people so intrigued with these kinds of stories? Part
of our interest stems from being curious beings - we want to know the answers to
unknown things. But even deeper than that is our quest for God, which lies
within the depths of every human heart (Romans
1:18-25). It's that hunger for God we often misinterpret as a hunger
to find something that we aren't sure we're looking for. Do you feel
it? Are you on this Web page searching for something - yet you're not
quite sure what it is? Can it be truth? Consider the ultimate truth
- the "Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John
14:6). Truth became a human being once. He was, and still is the
"Word made flesh" (1 John
1:1-14). Do you want to know more about who this incarnation of Truth
is? Click HERE.
Now for those that already have a relationship with the individual alluded to above - this mysterious figure who dwarfs all other mysteries, your quest is complete; you are on an amazing adventure with God. But perhaps you may still be curious about small mysteries (compared to God), such as those listed below. Perhaps it isn't enough to know that your knowledge will be complete one day (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). For whatever reason peaks your interest, here's a general list of stories and articles I've compiled throughout my life.
Be warned - it's highly possible that you won't believe many of these stories. If this is the case, please don't email me and warn me about the spiritual consequences of lying. I'm fully aware of my accountability to Jesus Christ. I tell you that these stories I experienced myself are completely true, as profoundly strange as they are. As for those stories that I haven't experienced personally, I've included only those that come from what I consider to be the most reputable sources.
* The time I was surrounded by 6 beings
* Caught up in euphoria
* In a closet with a mirror
* Taken with unimaginable fear
@ Emails I've read - and my observations
* Dad and Uncle Paul at Chikita Lake
* Monte's monstrous camping trip
* A friend of my baby sitter's
* A minor experience of my own
* A demon knocked on the bedroom door
* Nightmares that shook my bed
* My best friend Jack
* There's a demon in my house!
* Stories from Thailand
* The water babies
* My 2 visions of heaven
* Jesus in a helicopter
* A dream for a dream
* My Great Grandmother's visions
* Everyone saw it - almost every night
* It woke me up one night
* The lady in black
* The graveyard ghost in Korea
* That terrifying Halloween night
* My Grandpa Walter's bedroom
* My sister's bizarre experience
* My dad's vision
* Ralph the ghost hunter
* Was I possessed?
| Titles marked with an asterisk
"*" are either my personal experiences, or first hand accounts from people
I would consider to be reputable sources. Titles marked with "#" are
stories I've heard from people that I don't know personally - i.e.,
sermons, lectures, T.V., etc. Titles marked with "@" are articles
I've written on particular subjects, rather than stories of people's
If at anytime you sense that God is talking to you, click HERE and find out RIGHT NOW what He's been saying to you - and don't WASTE A SECOND MORE!
The time I was surrounded by 6
Many moons ago, I once purchased a book titled "Out of Body Experiences" by Dr. Robert Monroe. While reading this book I became utterly fascinated with the prospect of astral projection. I wondered why Robert Monroe didn't do so many things I would've done had the same bizarre phenomenon of astral projection been occurring with me. Why would such a gift be given to someone that had no imagination with which to use it? For example, why didn't he fly invisibly to Area 51 and see what is there! How come he never tried to check out the bottom of the ocean at the Bermuda Triangle, or even investigate some other planets in the universe to see if there's life out there? After all, according to Robert Monroe himself, the 'spirit' body isn't impeded by limitations normally afforded the physical body. In spiritual form, Robert Monroe claimed to be able to melt through walls and other physical barriers, and he could also fly. Things as fundamental as breathing, atmospheric pressure, and mass density, according to Robert Monroe, aren't native to the spiritual form. So my question remains: why did he waste most of his out of body travels going to other dimensions - where nothing he would learn about those places could ever be verified, or even used? For example, if he discovered secrets about THIS WORLD, he could at least DO SOMETHING with that knowledge.
One simple answer for Robert Monroe's lack of ingenuity concerning his astral expeditions is that his experiences weren't authentic and he simply wanted to make money as a writer. I wasn't going to rule out this conclusion, but I wanted to see if there was really something to this astral projection stuff. (As you will see, I've come to the conclusion that Robert Monroe isn't just making this stuff up). Something I wanted to do in particular was to attend a church in 'Spirit' form during a Holy Ghost revival in order to receive special revelation from God, speak with angels, or even see and/or travel to the Kingdom of Heaven! (I can see God rolling His eyes at me. "Why don't you just PRAY to me!!!" He was probably yelling...)
I had my fears about astral projection - i.e., primarily 'DEATH !!!', (not being able to get back to my physical body), but my curiosity led me into the dark recesses of mad scientist experimentation. I followed steps in another book I bought, "The Astral Projection Workbook", and after about a week, something happened. I fell asleep going through my 'exercises', and woke up in the middle of the night with a strange sensation all over my body. I felt like I was floating above my bed, but my 'spiritual' feet were still stuck in my physical body. While struggling with my feet, I tried to relax and simply let go. At the moment I started to relax, I immediately became aware of a terrifying situation; my bed was surrounded by 6 beings. I didn't want anything to do with anything I couldn't identify, so I tried to break the spell but found I was completely paralyzed. I became even more gripped with terror because of the paralysis, and struggled with every ounce of my strength to move. Finally my head barely began to move and the spell instantly dissipated. I sat up in bed shaking with fear. I never could see what those things were, but they felt wicked, and I was horribly afraid of them. I declared that I'd never experiment with astral projection again! (Unfortunately in my stubbornness, it didn't end here).
READ: Romans 6:21-23 (Seeking God is
a good motive, but doing it any other way than His Way is
21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Caught up in euphoria
A few years had passed since the incident with the 6 beings, (read more in "The time I was surrounded by 6 beings"), so I figured I was up to another round of astral experimentation. On ONE RARE occasion I actually had what I'd consider a euphoric experience. I fell asleep going through the various 'exercises', and had a dream that I met an Indian next to a river in the wilderness. Then Indian was holding onto a canoe that was floating in the river, and when he pulled it up onto the river bank, I felt a surge of energy pulse through my body. (I have no idea what the connection was between his actions and my sensation). I thought I was completely out of my body, but then opened my eyes and saw that I was still lying in bed. I was disappointed to find myself still in my physical body. This minor experience fueled my efforts for more astral projection experimentation.
READ: 2 Corinthians
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
In a closet with a mirror
I wasn't getting the results I wanted with the astral projection exercises I was using, so I decided to try one of the other methods for out of body travel prescribed in my astral projection workbook. For a quick background on how and why I started experimenting with astral projection, (read more in "The time I was surrounded by 6 beings").
For the new method, I tried using a mirror in the dark in order to reach into the spirit world. I took a large mirror and placed it inside my bedroom closet, closed all the window shades in the bedroom, and waited until dark. I then placed a chair in front of the mirror inside the closet, seated myself in the chair inside my closet, then slid the closet doors shut. I had some towels on hand and quickly stuffed them into all the cracks, so that not one tiny bit of light was shown inside the closet.
Once everything was set and I was all settled in, I stared into the opaque mirror in the pitch black closet. It seemed like I was staring into a bottomless pit. I didn't last 30 seconds in that closet! Immediately I felt the presence of some incredibly powerful, incredibly evil presence come rushing toward me like a hurricane. My chest tightened up, chills shot through my body and I almost puked! I scrambled for the door, leaped out of that closet and flipped on the bedroom light switch. I was sick with fear and kicked myself for being stupid enough to even try this experiment. I had a bad feeling about it from the start, but stubbornly refused to listen to those guardian angels that were probably shouting through spiritual megaphones trying to get through to me. Come to think of it, I was ignoring what spiritual sensitivity I did have - (THE GOOD KIND) - in order to seek a spiritual sensitivity that wasn't good for me!
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Taken with unimaginable fear
I didn't quit with the mirror exercise for astral projection, (mentioned above under "In a closet with a mirror"). I convinced myself that it was the mirror that produced the bad experience, and kept recalling the one good experience I had in trying to astrally project myself, (mentioned in "Caught up in euphoria"). I returned to my initial astral projection exercises, and once again, I awoke in the middle of the night paralyzed, dripping with unbearable fear. As last time, I felt that the top half of my body was hovering above my bed, but my spiritual 'feet', so to speak, were still stuck in my physical body. I couldn't see any beings around me this time, but I felt the presence of something hideously wicked flowing all over my body, practically suffocating me. This time I prayed to Jesus and whatever it was disappeared. My faith was weak and I was disobedient to God in many ways, but simply knowing the name of Jesus protected me.
During this time in my life I was a Christian,
yet I was still experimenting with astral projection. I didn't have it
settled in my mind that it was entirely bad. After this experience I
decided to QUIT trying to astrally project myself, because I kept getting
READ: Matthew 6:33 (At this time in my life, all I really wanted was to see and know God in a special way. Now I'm asking Him for His way of giving me this)
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Emails I've read - and my observations
Since I've published my book, "Aliens in the Bible", I've been getting a few emails every week from people much like my former, and present self. (I read them all - and welcome more! firstname.lastname@example.org) Some are from Christians - and others aren't but are from people invariably going through difficulties that are swaying them in Christ's direction. After my last negative experience with astral projection, (read "Taken with unimaginable fear"), I finally actually prayed in earnest to the Lord to reveal to me if anything good can come out of my attempts to project my spirit out of my body. The next day, the Lord used email to answer my prayers.
I received an email from someone saying she she had experiences with astral projection, and that it was a tool used by Satan worshipers. This person said she never had the ability to conduct this feat and be in control of it herself, (unlike Dr. Robert Monroe's experiences - author of "Journey's out of the Body"), but rather she said she was victimized with it on several occasions. She claimed that demons would come in the night, rip her spiritual form right out of her physical body and take her places and show her things. On every occasion she was filled with complete terror, and had no control. I believed this woman, because her experiences were not only similar to my own; the content of her email clearly demonstrated to me that she had an inside knowledge of things I'd been studying for years. (She knew quite a bit more than I do, however, when it came to the Satanic details).
Initially, I was actually disturbed by the amount of Satanic knowledge this woman had. I questioned her about what I called a "disturbingly unbalanced interest", which I felt she might have had in order to obtain such detailed information about Satanism. (At first I didn't know she used to be a Satanic cult member. She only identified herself as someone with information about astral projection). Fortunately she replied that she became a born again Christian, and left Satanism behind. Figuring that her email was God's answer to my prayer, I asked her the simple question I prayed about. She proceeded to tell me about the various side effects of astral projection, i.e. premature ageing, for example - which I didn't know about, and she also told me how Satanists and demons use astral projection to spy on, manipulate, and ultimately deceive people. Her bottom line was that she couldn't see any conceivable good thing about it.
Shortly after receiving this email, I received another email from someone so paranoid that he made me swear never to give his name before he would let me know about his experiences. He was terrified that the group of people he used to be involved with would find out he leaked information about what they do - and kill him in his sleep. (This can apparently be done astrally, leaving no traces of criminal activity - though I KNOW Christians don't have anything to fear about this, for Jesus promises us - [those that belong to Him], that we shall have power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19)!
I did what I could to sooth this man's fears, and he proceeded to give me a few details about his experiences. I was actually surprised that he experienced so little, compared to the paranoia he was exhibiting. He was under the impression that since he was given the ability to astrally project, as well as a little telekinesis and mind manipulation, that somehow his life would be in grave danger were he to let this information out. He too was a born again Christian - and quite new at that, for he was living in overwhelming fear. Perhaps those that taught him these supernatural abilities were insecure about their 'secret', which is blatantly published in multiple texts in nearly every New Age bookstore across America. Why would they be so insecure? I don't know. I guess they don't watch too much TV, either, or read too many paranormal books, to be familiar with people such as Uri Geller, David Blane, and David Copperfield. (I'm not saying those 3 individuals are Satanists - I only mention them in association with telekinesis, and mind control, etc.).
All of my own experiences, in addition to the two timely emails above have convinced me that astral projection is, in essence, a form of sorcery - which is condemned in scripture as an abomination (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). It is also highly associated with false doctrines; you can't find an astral projection book these days that doesn't refute most everything in the Bible.
So the second email I received was a confirmation to prayer. In short, astral projection is highly associated with Satanism, and I'm about 99.9% sure that nothing good can come out of it. I already had the suspicion that astral projection is the gateway to supernatural power, (which I delve into the details of how powers are developed in my first book, "Apparition"), but prior to these two emails, I still didn't conclude that it was something that people simply shouldn't do.
When I wrote Apparition in1997, I was toying
with the idea that astral projection might in rare cases be a God given talent,
(if it spontaneously happens to someone), but I'm skeptical of that view
now. In fact, I'm currently going through the process of revising
Apparition into a screenplay, and putting a new unexpected twist in the end
that's based on my new point of view. It's still hard for me to discern
the origin of spontaneous astral projections, because if they
happen, they simply happen, right? How can someone be committing an evil
abomination on accident? After all, astral projection is commonly reported
in fatal accidents, near death experiences, and medical operations. In all
of these cases, those experiencing the sensation never purposely induce
it. In all cases in scripture, sorcery is always defined as something that
the sorcerer's 'do' in order to invoke their powers, which is markedly different
than a spontaneous incident. Furthermore, according to Dr. Robert Monroe,
he never purposely induced his astral projections either. However, the
following facts continue to disturb me, even in cases of spontaneous
1. Robert Monroe's later books are littered with eastern mysticism, just like other modern astral projection books.
2. The reason for much of the deception that astral projectors are experiencing, as well as propagating, comes from the fact that these people are making up their own belief systems based upon their astral excursions, (learning the reality of the spiritual realm without a Christian foundation), and often those out of body trips involve beings they encounter - which tell them many many things... Since we are living in a cursed world, and are surrounded by demonic entities, (Ephesians 6:12), we must rely on the tests found in scripture in order to determine whether the information these beings are giving out it accurate. Invariably, they drastically twist the definition of who God is, Jesus Christ is not professed as Lord, (Galatians 1:8-9), Jesus is construed as a liar because according to these false doctrines, He is not the ONLY "Way, the Truth, and the Life", nor is He the ONLY "way to the Father", as He said He was, (John 14:6), and the list goes on. Clearly there are numerous flaws with the modern doctrines deriving from astral projection. This type of false doctrine is not limited to frequent astral projectors such as Dr. Robert Monroe, either. I've heard and read several testimonies and doctrines, such as "Saved by the Light", which are prime examples of the same kinds of non-Biblical false teachings the Bible warns us about. These testimonies are frequently given by people that have had only ONE experience with astral projection. This isn't always the case, but it is typical - especially if the person that experiences the out of body experience is not a Christian.
3. The two emails I received directly after I prayed to God when asking for information about astral projection gave me two explicit examples of people that viewed it as strictly Satanic. I find this as no coincidence. Jesus declared that if we ask, we shall receive, (John 16:24), and this is repeated again in (James 1:5-6) concerning wisdom specifically. I asked God for wisdom concerning astral projection, and immediately following I received these two emails. God doesn't leave His children in the dark concerning matters for which they are diligently seeking out the answers from Him. I prayed, and God answered.
4. Who knows what kind of dangers one might be subjected to in the astral realm? Aside from deceiving spirits, consider the possibility of demonic possession, where a demonic entity might be able to assume complete control over one's physical body and claim one's identity! The astrally projected person, mean while, is either stuck in limbo, or dragged down to hell, or who knows what! Who would ever know? (Believe it or not, I saw this exact scenario played out in an episode of "Jackie", a cartoon featuring Jackie Chan as the main character, which my children watch on Saturday mornings). On the surface it all sounds stupid, but all Christians should realize that demonic possession is a reality. Jesus confronted it in every gospel. Maybe that's why astral projectors are writing so many books purporting eastern mystical thought; they aren't who they used to be! What if one can't get back to his or her physical body because he or she gets lost, or is captured and taken away by a demonic entity? Would such a person fall into a coma, or just die? Neither scenario is comforting. Perhaps there are spiritual 'diseases', or other complex dangers that would threaten to corrupt the fundamental definition of who we are in a spiritual sense? How many people die in their sleep every year with no detectable cause? It happens. This list could go on and on.
5. Finally, scripture plainly states that in the last days, there will be a drastic increase in Satanic power throughout the world. Since astral projection is a common gateway into Satanic power, it is probably one of the a key elements that the Bible is referring to. The New Age movement is greatly popularizing astral projection as a wonderful hobby, frequently downplays the dangers which are commonly referred to as 'non existent', and strongly encourages astral projection as a path to spiritual enlightenment. Robert Monroe was at least honest enough in "Journey's Out of the Body", (which was published back in 1973 prior to astral projection gaining public popularity), to describe two incidents in which he was attacked by what he described as 'demon dogs', but these kinds of incidents are completely absent in today's astral projection books. These facts should should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Bible prophecy.
In conclusion, trying to specifically induce astral projection is clearly a form of sorcery, and condoned as a wicked act. Furthermore, there are explicit dangers involved in those very rare cases when astral projection happens to people unintentionally. Please don't think that it's something to fear if it happens to you! Simply be aware of the fact that there are enough dangers of deception, as well as spiritual dangers that should by far discourage experimentation such as I used to conduct myself. By the mercy of God I'm still me! (sometimes I wonder though... Just kidding!) Also, if in the highly unlikely event YOU, the READER, actually ARE someone like Dr. Robert Monroe, and have spontaneous astral projections from time to time, you should now be aware of the fact that there may be severe consequences for not addressing this issue through prayer, faith in Jesus Christ, and in consultation with the Word of God, and fellowship with bothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. Lord help you with your unique issue! (If I just pinpointed you, please email me, email@example.com, and we'll pray about it. I've counseled others on stranger things.)
READ: Matthew 24:24 (In the End
Times, there will be a marked increase in Satanic power and
24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
READ: 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Dad and Uncle Paul at Chikita Lake
As a family tradition, my dad has frequently told the story on nearly every camping trip I go on with him about something that happened with him and my Uncle one time while fishing in the Sierra Nevada's at a lake called Chikita Lake. (It should actually be called 'Mesquita Lake' because of the billions of mosquitoes). I've been to this lake on numerous occasions.
Every afternoon at around 3:30 to 5:00 pm, this lake becomes as placid as a solid sheet of glass, and an eerie silence permeates the environment. I don't know why it gets like this. Even the birds know that it's time to shut up. It was during this time of day that years ago, my dad and Uncle were fishing from their canoe out in the middle of the lake. Quite unexpectedly, they heard a thundering crash rumbling through the forest, and an ear shattering screech that my dad says was nothing like he's ever heard before, or since. He describes it as a combination between a wild, bellowing bull and the shriek of a mountain lion. He said it raised the hair on the back of his neck, and he and Paul sat silently, wide eyed, staring at each other. Whatever it was that made the racquet became instantly silent, leaving the two in their boat to ponder what to make of it.
"Did you hear that?"
"What?" my Uncle returns with a hideously absurd reply. (My dad always howls in laughter when recalling Paul's response).
"Should we go back to camp and see what that was?"
They eventually did go back to camp, built up a hefty bonfire, and kept a watchful eye throughout the night. Whatever it was never returned. This story is a long standing tradition in our family, and vividly sticks in my memories from my earliest youth.
READ: Genesis 6: 4-12 (Were the
angels doing unnatural things with beasts, as well as with humanity? Are
they still doing these things?)
4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God (angels) came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, (the Hebrew text here refers to being without physical defects, meaning genetic purity), and Noah walked with God. 10And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Monte's monstrous camping trip
A good friend of mine from my High School days once recounted to me his encounter with a Big Foot. He and some friends of his had a prolonged ordeal with this creature while on a camping trip in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. If he was telling the truth, (which he continuously assured me he wasn't making this stuff up), his experience goes far in describing the intelligence that Big Foot creatures must have.
His story began with him and a few hunting friends of his being dropped off in the Ozark Mountains for a weekend camping trip. They setup camp, and quickly set off to hunt for deer. It wasn't long before one of them spotted a large buck and shot it. The brush was thick in the area and the buck was several hundred yards away, so the guy that shot the buck said he'd keep an eye on the exact location of the buck through his rifle's telescope and guide the rest of them to find it.
Monty and his small band of teenage friends were trudging through the brush, listening to the rifleman periodically yelling to them, "Go to your left - another 50 yards", etc. The rifleman then strangely changed his directions into a collection of shouts, warnings, and other bizarre antics.
"Where's the buck?" they yelled out.
All they got back was "Get the hell out of there! Ah! Run, run! Oh my gosh, run! Get the @$^%@ out of there!"
The looked at each other, puzzled, still wondering where the buck was. They never found it. In response to all the warning shouts, they silenced themselves for a moment to see if they could hear anything. They heard absolutely nothing but their friend's yelling, nor could they see anything out of the ordinary. Now they were curious to find out what all the commotion was about. There didn't seem to be any danger in the immediate vicinity. When they got back, they questioned their friend about what he was yelling about. He was pale and shaking, and thus began their weekend of terror.
"Well where's the buck? What's wrong with you?"
"You didn't see it? How could you not have seen it! It was huge! It must have been 10 feet tall! It slung that 12 point buck over it's shoulder with one arm, as if it were a lightweight jacket! It was huge! It was only a few feet away from you guys! You had to see it!" (By the way, a 12 point buck could weigh as much as several hundred pounds).
They turned and looked at each other with cracked smiles, expecting for the joke to end any second. It didn't. "I'm not %@#$! kidding!" he yelled at them at the top of his voice. "You think I'm ^^$* kidding? Look into my eyes! Do I sound like I'm kidding? Wipe that @$$# smile off your $@$@^ faces, because this aint no joke!" They finally realized their friend was serious, but didn't know what to make of it.
They started walking back to camp, mumbling to themselves about the bizarre incident. They then had the peculiar sensation that they were being followed and one of them got the bright idea to have them all stop walking and become immediately silent on the count of three. Of course anyone could guess what happened next. They heard about two steps more only 20 feet away from them. The looked in the area where they heard the steps, but the brush was too thick to make anything out. "I know you heard that," the kid that shot the buck whispered.
Petrified, they broke out in a blind panic, running for camp, every member for himself. When they reached camp, they started going over their options. "Isn't there any way we could get out of here sooner?" They couldn't leave. They were dropped off, and weren't going to be picked up until the weekend was over. They finally decided on a courageous plan. They figured that they had guns, and whatever it was that was wandering around in the woods didn't have guns. Therefore they were going to hunt this thing down, because they didn't want to stay awake all night being scared out of their wits. They tied their food up in a net, hoisted it up into a tree, and off they went. (This is a common tactic for preserving food from forest pilferers, such as bares, and in this case, Big Foot!)
They split into two groups of two, and went separate directions. Both groups saw the large, hairy, blackish brown creature on several occasions for brief glimpses, but the creature was too agile to shoot at. It appeared to be toying with them. As soon as they would see it, it would disappear back into the brush. They didn't want to be shooting irresponsibly, blindly firing rounds off into dense brush, (for reasons any respectable hunter would appreciate), and that was probably the only way they would've been able to shoot it. After several hours of futility, they regrouped and returned to camp.
On their way back to camp, they were astonished to find a trail of shredded tin cans. The remnants of a few cans of Campbell's soup and chilly beans were laying on the ground, torn in half. Examining the cans revealed that they were not opened with a can opener. They were actually ripped apart as if they were empty aluminum cans. The tree where their food was hoisted up had various claw marks on it, and the net holding their food had a hole gashed in it. They were sick with fear, and felt completely hopeless.
During the night, they kept the campfire ablaze, and pulled armed shifts to keep an eye out for the creature. During one of the shifts, one of them had to relieve himself, (number 2, that undesirable duty while in the woods). While doing his business, he had to lean his rifle against a tree. During this most vulnerable situation, the Big Foot creature strolled right out in front of him and stared him in the eyes. Monty's friend was filled with so much terror he couldn't even scream. He lost his voice. The creature then grabbed his rifle! The squeamish kid was paralyzed with fear, not knowing what to expect. The creature then snapped the rifle in half like a twig, and disgustedly dropped the two broken pieces on the ground in front of the squatting, helpless, whimpering kid. Lucky for him he was clear and ready to go, with his pants positioned around his ankles. The creature was polite enough to save him the embarrassment he would've experienced with his friends, had he returned to camp with soiled jeans.
Satisfied that it had made its point clear, the creature disappeared into the forest as quickly and quietly as it had appeared. They didn't see or hear the creature again for the remainder of the camping trip. After the young lad proceeded to scamper back to camp, his voice eventually returned to him, and he screamed wildly, crying like a baby. They all woke up, and stayed awake for the rest of the entire camping trip. They didn't bother to hunt, or do anything but keep the fire burning.
This story just seems too fantastic to be true, and I repeatedly appealed to Monty to level with me, but Monty insisted that this story actually happened. I never knew him to spin wild tales to me before, so I believe him on this one. I don't have a problem believing in the existence of Big Foot, and if there is such a creature out there, it would have to be smart to so effectively evade humanity for so long. Perhaps this particular Big Foot's behavior was more brazen than usually depicted of these creatures, because Monty and his friends were only young teenagers. One thing I do know for certain, being familiar with the Big Foot phenomenon. The Ozark Mountains are known by Big Foot enthusiasts as being a hotbed of Big Foot sightings.
READ: Genesis 1:26-28
(Could Big Foot simply be another of God's creations?)
24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
A friend of my babysitter's
My mother told me of a story about someone she knew of, (a friend of my babysitter's), that was kidnapped by a family of Big Foots! The man that this happened to wouldn't willingly tell his story, assuming my mother would think he was mad. After being coaxed repeatedly by my mother, he finally recounted his tale.
As his story goes, he awoke one night while on a camping trip and found himself in the incredible predicament of being carried away in his sleeping bag! He was toted several miles through the forest during the middle of the night, and gently set down before a family of two adult Big Foots, and two adolescent Big Foots. The adults were monstrous in size, each standing taller than 10 feet high. The adolescent Big Foots were about the size of normal humans.
The creatures analyzed the man curiously. While they studied him, my babysitter's friend devised a plan of escape. He pulled out a can of chewing tobacco he had in his back pocket, pinched out a chunk, popped it into his mouth, and proceeded to chew. He then handed the tobacco to one of the Big Foots. It mimicked his behavior, and passed the tobacco onto another Big Foot. Unfortunately for the Big Foots, they thought the chewing tobacco was food, so they swallowed it. This is what my babysitter's friend was hoping for. It wasn't long before these creatures were horribly ill with stomach aches. While they were vomiting, he escaped. He didn't bother to take his sleeping bag with him, nor did he return to pick up his camp. He searched frantically for his truck. When he found it, he left in the middle of the night, leaving all of his camping supplies behind.
READ: Romans 16:15 (Perhaps more
intelligent creatures could benefit from the gospel as
15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
A minor experience of my own
When I used to live in Arkansas, I would sometimes travel into the woods a few miles away from my home onto my neighbor's property. There were some bluffs, and a fairly large river called "Lee Creek", that was a beautiful place to go. On one occasion while next to Lee Creek, I heard a very strange series of roars in the river's valley. From where I was at, I couldn't see down into the forest, but was able to see tree tops violently jerking around. It was as if some very large creature were throwing a tantrum, storming through the valley floor, hitting trees as it went.
I wouldn't have mentioned this minor episode,
were it not for the fact that this wasn't a completely isolated incident.
From where I lived, I sometimes heard this same highly peculiar bellowing at
night time from my house. It was a high pitched roar coming from the Lee
Creek riverbed. I know wild bulls can make some fairly strange noises, and
I suppose there could've been a wild bull that lived down there, but it sure
didn't sound like any bull I've ever heard.
READ: Genesis 23:2
2And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
Demons / Devils
A demon knocked on the bedroom door
When I was about 15 years old, living in Fresno, California at the time, I decided to visit my friend Sheena. She lived in the house facing my house, on the other side of the street. Her friend Gretchen had just spent the night, so when I showed up, they were still laying in sleeping bags in Sheena's bedroom, obviously recovering from staying up most of the night.
We talked for a while, and the conversation eventually turned to paranormal topics. Gretchen had a grisly story about someone in her family that went through some turbulent times with demon possession. One one occasion her family member actually saw the demon with her physical eyes, storming across her living room. Gretchen was fairly animated in telling her stories, and Sheena and I were slightly spooked. There was daylight outside, however, which was comforting.
Suddenly there were several monstrous thuds pounding against Sheena's bedroom door, and we all about jumped out of our skin. The timing couldn't have been more accurate to invoke such a response. Being the only male, I seized the opportunity to impress the two girls and quickly jumped up and opened the door. No one was there. I looked into the kitchen and saw Sheena's step father cooking at the stove, but he would've had to run to get that far away from the bedroom in time. Pulling pranks wasn't in his nature, either. I walked into the kitchen and asked him if he knocked on Sheena's door. He looked at me with an unconcerned expression, shook his head and answered "No".
I looked around the house, and Sheena's step
father was the only one there, aside from the three of us. We had no idea
who pounded on that door. In light of our conversation, we all had our
suspicions. Needless to say, we decided to change the
READ: Mark 5:1-20
1And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Nightmares that shook my bed
I've had several nightmares in my life that scared me pretty bad, but they usually stayed in my dreams. This one didn't. I was dreaming about demonic beings attacking me, and when I woke up, my bed was violently shaking! This was during the time when I was experiencing other demonic things in relation to my friend Jack. Read more about those things in ( "My best friend Jack").
Like always, I called on the name of Jesus and the episode was immediately terminated. When I called on the name of Jesus to protect myself, it always worked. But when I called on the name of Jesus to protect others, it didn't always work. I had some growing up to do, spiritually speaking. To know more about what I'm talking about, read ( "My best friend Jack"), and ( "Jesus in a helicopter").
READ: Matthew 17:14-21, (and also in
14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
My best friend Jack
I used to have a friend who was going through some very turbulent times. This person didn't want to be identified, so I'll just call him Jack. He's still a very good friend of mine. I make a special point to keep in touch with him.
Jack wasn't originally from the United States, and he had some incredible tales about the country where he came from. (Many foreigners do, in fact). I used to laugh when I talked with him about some of the things he saw, because they would simply come out in conversations. For example, he mentioned that he hated dogs with red eyes on one occasion while we were talking about dogs, and I told him that dogs don't have red eyes. He insisted that there must be a breed of excessively large, jet-black dogs that have 'glowing' red eyes. I told him I knew of no living creature, let alone dogs, that had 'glowing' eyes, and very few that had red eyes. Dogs didn't fit the bill in either case. His patent response was, "You obviously haven't traveled around that much, have you? In my country these dogs are seen by people all the time."
I assumed he might have been talking about the creepy reddish glow from an animal's retina if you shine a flashlight in its face in the middle of the night, but he knew of this phenomenon and insisted that these dogs' eyes weren't reflecting any light, but actually emitted light from the darkness without any external light source shining on them. He proceeded to tell me that once when he was a child, he ended up coming home from the store fairly late. It became dark, unfortunately, and this was a very bad thing considering where he was from. The country he lived in was dangerous both politically, (civil war), as well as spiritually, (which you will soon read why).
Suddenly a large 'demon dog' appeared from the woods and trotted up beside him. He said it was a moonless night, and there were no lights along the dirt road where he was walking. In fact, it was so dark, he could barely see enough to keep on the road. The dog, he insisted, had brightly glowing, red eyes.
Apparently these dogs are so common in his country, he was lectured by his parents on what to do if he ever encountered one. He was to never look at the dog, never show any fear, never run, and pray to God it didn't hurt him! The creature trotted along side him for about a mile and a half while he walked home, and he diligently did exactly as he was taught. He exhibited an enormous amount of self control, remaining squeamishly silent, sweating bullets no doubt, and praying the entire walk. The creature eventually returned to the jungle and disappeared.
Jack's stories were among my first in what became a culmination of events that taught me the reality of the demonic realm. Much of his testimonies, as well as my own experiences in spending time with Jack worked on my heart, (scaring the crap out of me most of the time!) Actually, his stories were part of what brought me to a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ.
Initially, Jack's stories were too freaky to accept, and I wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. Over time, however, I learned that Jack not only experienced and saw strange phenomenon; he was an enigma himself! Simply being around him, I was subjected to things I could not have believed any other way. For example, I recall talking to Jack on the phone one time, and Jack immediately paused in his conversation with me. "Someone's listening to us" he said.
"No, it's just us. I can hear it if someone picks up the other line."
Jack refused to continue. He insisted we were being eavesdropped by someone. Just then my roommate scared the dickens out of me when he suddenly made his presence known in my bedroom by placing his hand on my shoulder. He snuck into my room and was listening in on our conversation from behind me, while I was in a chair facing away from the door. There's no possible way Jack could've known that someone was hiding behind me in my own bedroom.
After the 'phone' incident, I paid a little more attention to Jack's stories about spiritual things, and began to hound him to tell me more. He was reluctant to tell some of his stories, because they were both bizarre, and personally disturbing for him to recall. For example, one of his earliest stories was told to him by his mother, and he was too young to remember the actual event. He said that when he was a baby and his mother took him to church to be baptized, something quite unexpected happened when the holy water was sprinkled on him. His mother told him that he screamed, and red beams of light shot out of his eyes! "What!" I queried, and Jack continued. He said that his mother told him the priest said he had a special blessing, and strangely, that the child (Jack) wasn't '...from here'. His mother didn't have any idea what the priest meant, and she didn't bother to ask. I guess she didn't want to know. I don't know what the priest meant either, but the special blessing part seems a bit unlikely to me. I didn't know what to say to Jack about this event. What could I say?
Jack also told me that when he was a baby, he tumbled down an enormous flight of stairs. Nobody could see how he lived through it. When they reached him, they saw that he didn't have a scratch on him. He wasn't even upset.
Concerning the 'phone' incident I mentioned above, Jack elaborated that he had strange powers at times that he couldn't explain. For example, when he once asked his Grandmother for some money to go to the store, his Grandmother said she didn't have any money. Suddenly his eyes were able to actually see through his Grandmother's purse! He saw some money in it, and yelled at his Grandmother, "Yes you do, you're lying! I see 5 dollars right there!"
Jack told me that on two occasions, he saw demon spirits when staying with a dying relative. The wicked creatures were dancing gleefully around his relative's bed. He was the only person in the house that could see them. He described them as shadowy figures with red eyes and mouths.
Jack also spoke of a powerful demon that lived in the forest not far from his home where he was growing up, and that everyone in the area knew of the creature. No one ever went into that area at night. The "Chicken foot lady", as they called it, lived in a small portion of dense jungle where there were many caves that were later discovered to be ancient Indian dwellings. This demon would appear to people in the form of a beautiful woman wearing a white dress, but her feet were like chicken's feet. She would seduce men with supernatural charm, and if they gave into to her wishes, they would either become permanently insane, or be found dead the next day. Jack said his mother said she actually saw this being one night. His mother went to the bathroom outside of the house, (it was an outhouse), and on the way back inside her house, the creature was standing next to the back door, staring at her. She was panic stricken, but held her bearing, refusing to glance back at the creature. It was said that this creature wielded its power through its eyes, so if it were encountered, one must do everything possible to avoid looking into its eyes. Jack's mother did just that, ignoring the creature, and went right past it and inside her house. It didn't do anything to her. Jack's Uncle also encountered this entity. The creature attempted to seduce him on one occasion, but his Uncle came to his senses just in time when he realized it wasn't a normal human being. He turned and ran away from the creature. It lashed out at him as he turned away from it, and cut him on his cheek.
Regarding the Chicken foot lady in particular, I remembered from my days of playing Dungeon's & Dragons that in the book written by Gary Gygaxx, titled "Deities & Demigods", there is an entry for an evil Aztec god that fits the exact description of this being. In fact, Gary Gygaxx's physical description, as well as the behavioral characteristics of this being are exactly the same as the being my wife described. Deities & Demigods describes a demon that appears to men as a beautiful woman, but has chicken's feet. It sustains an irresistible charm if eye contact is made, and either drives men insane, or kills them. Considering the fact that Gary Gygaxx obtained the legend of this creature from his studies of many ancient religions, legends, and cultures, I have to come to the conclusion that this particular demon must be widely known all throughout the country where Jack comes from. (Incidentally, demons dogs are also found in Deities & Demigods. They also spotted, and attacked a Dr. Robert Monroe during one of his astral projections. Read more about this in "Emails I've read - and my observations").
While the Chicken foot lady appears to men, another demon Jack told me about is called "La Duende". Jack never heard of the Irish legend of the leprechaun, but he described one to me when detailing the description and characteristics of La Duende. He said this demon would appear to women as a small, greenish colored man only a few inches in height. It was mischievous and ill tempered, loved to pull malicious pranks, and was relentless in it's belittling torments. Jack said it would invariably demand that its victims marry it, and if they refused, it would use its supernatural powers to do horrible things in retaliation. According to the people in Jack's neighborhood, not too far from Jack's house lived a woman who was driven completely insane by one of these La Duende creatures.
These stories were interesting, and I always prodded Jack to tell me more of them, until I started experiencing them myself! While talking on the phone one evening with Jack, I was discussing the Carlos Castaneda book I was reading at the time, and Jack immediately flipped out. He said there was a black, shadowy figure flying all throughout his house. He dropped his phone, and I heard him scream a few times. Furniture was being abruptly 'relocated' if I was judging the background sounds correctly, then the line went dead. This black shadowy thing - from this moment on - became a tormenting spirit of both Jack, and myself! Jack began to see it in his house, but only when he talked to me. Furthermore, when Jack came to visit me at my house, he would see it in my house too! Jack would completely flip out. I never saw this thing myself, whatever it was, but Jack certainly did. It got so bad on one occasion that both Jack and I were forced out of my house. Jack lost consciousness out of fear, and I had to drag him outside. When he came to, I asked him if the thing was outside. He immediately yelped and ran out to the sidewalk. I don't know why, but the shadowy thing stayed near the house, as if it were bound by some unseen limitation. I asked Jack where it was, and he pointed. I jumped at it, but Jack said it was dodging me. I must have looked like a complete idiot, flailing about on my front lawn, trying to hit something I couldn't see. I felt a bit stupid, but I knew Jack's fear was genuine, so I was doing whatever I could to help. The shadow then went back into my house, and Jack and I couldn't go inside together without Jack being chased around, so we went for a night time walk.
The ordeal in my house was awful. Since my earliest childhood, when I first learned of the existence of demons, I heard a preacher say the word "Rebuke!" in a sermon once while attending church with my Great Grandmother. I had the idea that the word "Rebuke" had some powerful invocation, but it was a struggle for me to remember that word of esteemed vocabulary. I'd always ask my older brother, "What's that word again, you know, the one you say if you ever see a demon?" I really wanted to know, because I think I was keyed in on something that happed to me when I was about 4 or 5 years old. (Read more in "That terrifying Halloween night".)
"Rebuke. You say 'I rebuke you in the name of Jesus'" my brother instructed me. So from about 5 or 6 years old and onward, I recited the phrase "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus" whenever I was afraid of the dark, or rather - something I felt was in it. This small phrase was put to the test on that night the shadowy creature was terrorizing Jack. I kept yelling "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!", but the wicked thing just ignored me.
After the initial attack, Jack stopped coming to my house after dark. Things were just getting too hectic. He'd call me instead, but then stuff started happening on the phone line. I had my doubts about what Jack was seeing up until this point, but my doubts were soon put to rest. The phone connection would become full of static, we'd hear a series of clicking noises, then the line would go dead. This ONLY happened when I was talking with Jack. While I never saw the shadowy thing in all of Jack's hysteria, I did experience the physical reality of my phone line exhibiting exceptionally peculiar behavior. On one occasion when I hit the redial button to call Jack back after being hung up, the phone displayed rows of "666". Six's filled the liquid crystal display, and the phone continued to beep the number 6 after the display was full. Chills ran up my spine, and I could feel a hideous presence all around me. I immediately hung up the phone, and tried to repeat the malfunction. I dialed a bunch of 3's, more than could be displayed in the display field, hung up, then picked it back up and hit redial. The phone redialed the 3's correctly, and once the display was full, it stopped beeping. On this instance, I actually verified that my phone performed a double malfunction; it redialed the wrong number, then kept beeping after the liquid crystal display was full. That phone still works to this day, and has never performed the same malfunction before, or since.
The demonic stuff was getting old with Jack. Something definitely didn't want Jack to associate with me. This culminated on one night when Jack was visiting me, and my friend Rami Bridges was there too. Rami was a good friend of mine - and still is. He had recently moved in as my new room mate. Rami and I had barely become born again Christians just a few weeks prior, so I figured that with the two of us there, the shadowy thing might not show up. We were wrong. That thing showed up in full force, and chased Jack around the house again. The scene was maddening! When it first appeared in the living room, Jack screamed and leaped on top of Rami, crawled over the the top of him and dove behind the couch. I can still remember the look on Rami's face!
This time, while I was screaming "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ!", my friend Rami ran into his bedroom and grabbed his Bible. He ran back into the living room and joined me shouting "WE rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ!" We were shaking that Bible around in the air as if it were a magic wand, and yelling at the tops of our lungs. The thing ignored us, and tormented Jack until he passed out. Rami was freaked out! (This was his introduction to Jack). We both dragged Jack outside, and I apologized to Rami that I didn't think such an episode would come about with both of us Christians being there. Rami and I talked for a while, with Jack laying unconscious on my lawn. (I wonder what my neighbors thought of us? Those were the days...)
"I always said you attract weird stuff like a magnet. Looks like you hit the jackpot this time", Rami glared at me.
"Why didn't it leave? Aren't demons supposed to be scared of the name of Jesus Christ?" I questioned Rami. He shrugged his shoulders, puzzled. I was stumped as well. "Maybe we don't have enough faith?" I paused. "I believe in Jesus!" I protested to myself, then looked at my house, seeing how futile my protest was. Someone, or something in there certainly didn't think I had any faith at all, because it was calling my bluff, and apparently getting away with it!
"That does it, Rami. We should both get baptized. That must be it. It's the only thing I can think of that we haven't done yet. We should've gotten baptized already anyway. Do you want to get baptized with me?"
"Yea! Let's do it. Let's get baptized" Rami resolved with me.
I took Jack home that night, and when I got back, Rami was shaking with fear. He said all during the time I was taking Jack home, he was hearing noises all over the house.
The next Sunday, just as we said we would, Rami and I both went to church at the Church of Christ on Palm avenue in Fresno. About 90% of the members were senior citizens. That church is still there, but it's different now; it's now called the Potter's wheel. We attended one of the most boring sermons I've ever had to bear. I had a hard time staying awake. Right after the service, I started asking around for someone to see about getting baptized, and ended up making an appointment with a deacon.
I think the deacon thought I was nuts. "There's a demon in my house, and I want to get baptized. I was rebuking it in the name of Jesus, and it ignored me" I told the deacon. "I think getting baptized will help me. It will show that thing that I'm serious about God now."
The deacon didn't believe my story, (but many other churches would have). He pointed out various psychological conditions that my friend Jack might have had, i.e., schizophrenia, etc. I didn't deny the possibility that Jack might have had problems, but then I asked him how my phone could've malfunctioned, and about numerous other details. He was highly skeptical. He explained that he had a degree in demonology, and there was a clear, logical explanation for the things that were were happening between me and Jack. "Yea, I know. There's a demon in my house! That's your clear, logical explanation!" I retorted. He held his ground, however, fully convinced that there was no demonic activity in my house. I have no idea why not. What kind of degree in demonology makes someone a skeptic of the existence of demons? In summation, he insisted that my motives must be pure for desiring a baptism. I told him that I didn't care if he believed me or not. I insisted that my motives were pure, and I was planning on getting baptized anyway. Demons or no demons, I had to have more of God in my life, because what that demon was getting away with was direct proof that something was severely wrong with me. Quite frankly, I was scared to death!
And so it was, during my early friendship with Jack, that the Lord refined me through various spiritual trials. In the heavenlies, I was enrolled in the University of the Kingdom of God, for a crash course in spiritual warfare. Concerning the vision I had a few weeks prior to this, (read "Jesus in a helicopter"), God was making some huge changes in me. I was a completely different person than I was before I had the vision. I changed from a die hard liberal, party mongering, pornography watching, filthy mouthed drunk, into priest by comparison - in just one night! I don't want to sound like I'm Mr. 'Purity'; I still have issues I deal with. I don't claim to be better than anyone else, either. It's just that most of the big, easy to identify sins in my life were completely stripped away from me. I furthermore take no credit for this change. God did everything. All I did was show up and say, "Okay God, it's your way now. What's next?"
After getting baptized the following Sunday, I immediately sensed that something in me had been restored. Whatever protection and/or authority God had removed from me in the past, He gave it back to me now - and more of it. I invited Jack over to my house again, and wondered about what was going to happen. I actually looked forward to a confrontation, just to see and experience the outcome. I also knew that no demon on this planet stood a chance against me!
When Jack came over, we were chatting in the kitchen when Jack jumped with a startled expression. He pointed out my back window and said, "I just saw some guy go up into your studio apartment."
"What? Nobody would go up there. That door's locked, and the room is vacant."
Jack insisted that he just saw someone walking up the stairs to go into the studio apartment behind my house. I grabbed the keys for the studio apartment, then went outside and proceeded up the stairs. Nobody was waiting on the porch of the studio apartment, which was odd. I checked the door, and sure enough, it was locked. Whatever Jack saw, it wasn't normal.
I opened the door of the studio apartment and walked inside. It was empty, just as I thought it would be. I returned to the house and told Jack that it was empty. He still insisted that he saw someone going up the steps, so I asked him to go into the studio apartment with me and see for himself that nobody was there. He didn't want to go. "Jack, things are different now" I explained. "Trust me, whatever is in there won't hurt you, if there is anything in there. God won't allow it."
Jack and I walked into the studio apartment, and Jack stiffened with fear when his eyes fixed at the counter space next to the stove. "He's right there. You don't see that guy sitting right there?"
"No" I answered. Now I was curious about this new visitor. I wanted to know who it was, what in the world it was doing, and what it wanted. Letting my curiosity get the best of me, I proceeded to ask the invisible entity a host of questions, but while I was talking to it, my interpreter, Jack, backed up to the door and jutted out. I didn't think I'd be able to hear any reply, but I thought maybe Jack could. But Jack abandoned me! I stepped out onto the porch of the studio apartment, and saw that Jack had already ran back into the house.
"Why did you leave me? Don't you want to know who or what that thing is out there? What did he look like?"
Jack was afraid and unresponsive. "I'm not going to talk to that thing. The way he was looking at me was sickening. You just don't understand what it's like."
Just then, while Jack was still speaking, he suddenly stopped. His eyes were fixed on the back window. "He's walking back down the stairs now. Wait... Now he's sitting. He's sitting on the bottom steps, just right there. He's staring at me now." Jack was fidgeting with unbearable nervousness.
"What does he look like, anyway?"
"Are you sure you don't see him sitting right there?"
"I said no. He's obviously not ... normal. Tell me what he looks like. What is he doing?"
Jack stepped backward a few paces, shaking his head to say no. He was scared.
"He's staring at me and wants me to go outside. He just pointed at me, and he's motioning me to go out there."
"Well what does he look like?" I kept prodding, dying with curiosity.
Jack proceeded to give the description of someone that could've been a greaser from the 1950's. He was a white male about 20 years old, 5' 10" in height, and had black, shiny hair. He wore jeans, and a white T-shirt. Jack said he was chewing on a match stick.
Now my curiosity was burning. "Well let's go see what he wants. Don't you want to know?"
Suddenly I felt the Lord reveal something to me. That thing was the evil, shadowy figure, and it was only outside because God wouldn't let it come into my house anymore. I was totally on fire! That thing couldn't handle even being around me anymore! It wasn't giving up just yet, though. It was now wearing a costume so to speak, as a tactic to appeal to my curiosity. I couldn't believe I actually fell for it, and was trying to convince Jack to go and talk to it. A question suddenly popped into my mind, which I felt was from God.
"Did you feel ... an evil presence? Did it give you the impression that it was wicked?"
"Yes!" Jack answered. I don't know why, but I felt that along with Jack's ability to see things, he was also able to tell whether the spirits were good or bad.
"Okay, okay, there's no need to know anything about it. In fact, I don't want you to talk to it. I already know what it is, anyway. That's the evil shadowy thing, and it's looking like that right now just to trick me into getting you to talk to it. I'll be the one to talk to it, and I know exactly what I'm going to say!"
I marched outside and stared at something I couldn't see. "Look, I don't know who, or what you are, and I don't really care at this point. You obviously can't come into my house anymore - but it doesn't end there." I pointed my finger at the empty space on the bottom of the steps, feeling an eerie sensation that something was there. "You are no longer allowed on my property" I raised my voice. "You have to leave, and in the name of Jesus Christ, I demand that you get out, NOW!" I shouted, pointing my finger toward my driveway.
When I came back into the house, I asked Jack what he saw. He said that as soon as I was done speaking, it stood up and walked away - proceeding down the driveway where I pointed. We never saw it, or the shadowy figure ever again. Praise be to the Glory of God!
I was really fired up for God now. I went on and on about the victory God gave us that day, a victory that only Jack, (and Rami), could relate to and truly appreciate. The demons were GONE, and the STILL ARE! (At least from my house. Little did I know, there was more to come...)
I would frequently talk with Jack about the Lord. He was a very bitter young man, often talking about how much he hated life and yearned to die. He was one of the coolest guys I knew, but struggled with an enormous amount of depression. I have to say that he was my mission field, for the Lord put something in me that yearned for Jack to be saved. I simply couldn't give up on him!
Not too long after the day I cast the demon away from my home, I was talking on the phone with Jack one night. When I started to talk to him about Jesus, the phone began to make clicking noises, then it actually went dead. I wasn't scared anymore. I was mad! The shadowy figure was gone from my house, but either it, or something else was being awfully persistent with the phone lines. More than ever, that thing didn't want me to talk with Jack, especially about Jesus. I was persistent right back! I was determined that if it was going to mess with either me or Jack, I was going to make it pay! (Jesus was behind me of course. I suppose one could liken the situation to a puny pipsqueak kid shouting might words at his enemies, but only because his 300 pound muscle bound brother was standing right behind him. I had my muscle bound brother Jesus standing right behind me, and I knew it!) I immediately called Jack again. If that thing disconnected the line, I'd call Jack right back up as many times as it took, and start shouting through the phone line, "In the name of Jesus, I command you to stop disconnecting this line!"
One night Jack called to tell me that he was mugged while walking on the canal bank behind his house. He was beaten horribly, having huge cuts all over his face. He told me that he was so messed up that I probably wouldn't even recognize him. He was lucky enough to be rescued by someone that happened to be driving near by and decided to stop and help him. While he was recalling the event, I felt truly filled with the power of God, and asked him, as if God were asking the question directly through me, "Jack, having been through everything you've been through, do you still love God?"
Jack paused momentarily, and meekly answered, "Yes. Yes I do. I don't blame God for anything bad in my life. I'm responsible for most of the bad stuff that's happened to me through the years."
Many things that happened to Jack in his life had nothing to do with anything he had done, but the fact that he wasn't bitter toward God sparked something in my soul. At that moment, I felt an overwhelming sensation of love for my friend pour through me. "Jack, because of your faith... because you haven't turned away from God during this troubled time, I just believe God is going to heal you." At the time, I think I felt I was speaking more metaphorically than anything. But as soon as I was done speaking, something amazing began to happen to Jack.
"You know, I love talking to you John. You really make me feel better. You're like the coolest dude I know. I feel good. In fact", Jack paused. There was a prolonged silence. "I'm not even hurting physically anymore. The pain in my face is ... Ahhh!" Jack screamed, then dropped his phone. I could hear various yelps, and couldn't tell what was going on. Dread surged through my mind, and I sorely hoped the dark demon wasn't tormenting Jack again, just as he was beginning to feel better. Jack finally picked up the phone, and was yelling in hysterics. "It's gone! I can't believe it! Everything - everything is gone. I'm healed! My face!"
All of Jack's cuts, bruises, and even his many stitches, had completely vanished from his face. It were as if he'd never been attacked. I was astonished, and greatly relieved that Jack was okay! Needless to say, God surprised me more than I could've imagined! But it wasn't over yet. I was so excited and overjoyed for Jack that I was giving praises and shouts of glory to God. Then again, something severely unexpected happened.
"Why do you always have to talk about Jesus!" shouted an angry Jack from the other end of the line.
"What do you mean, Jack? You've just been healed by Jesus. Why don't you want me to talk about him? You were just laughing with joy a second ago!"
"I am happy" came a timid, confused reply, but then a quick rebuttal ensued in a deep guttural voice, "Shut up! I hate you, and I hate Jesus!"
"What do you mean you hate me? Aren't I your best friend? What's wrong with you Jack?"
"What's happening to me? That's not me John", said Jack, but then strangely, he interrupted himself! "I hate you!" growled an angry, deep pitched voice into my ear.
"In the name of Jesus, get out of him!" I yelled through the phone.
Jacked screamed. "Ah, what's happening to me!" he cried in hysterics. "Red beams of light just shot out of my eyes and burned two holes in my carpet!" Jack was crying and confused. A few seconds passed, and again I heard the ugly, guttural voice. "Shut up! I hate you!"
"I said in the name of Jesus, GET OUT! I rebuke you! Be gone in the name of Jesus!" I heard several bizarre noises; I think Jack was going into seizures. He dropped his phone, and the line was silent for about five minutes. Finally, he picked up the phone again.
"Hello? Jack, are you there?"
"Who's this?" asked Jack in a soft, childlike voice.
"It's me, John, your friend. What happened to you?"
"John? I don't know anyone named John." answered Jack. It didn't take long before I realized that he had amnesia. He couldn't remember anything past being 12 years old! (I was never bored with Jack around. Just never knew what was going to happen next.) I asked him if he saw two holes in his carpet, just to see what he'd answer. He said he did see two holes in his carpet, then wondered how in the world I knew about them, and wanted to know how they got there.
Jack eventually regained his memory. As it turned out, he suffered from multiple personality disorder once the demon was cast out of him on that night. He never had this disorder before, but once the demon was gone, certain things would cause him to switch into another frame of mind, and he would think he was 12 years old, back in his home country. I think that somehow multiple personality disorder might be linked to demon possession. Perhaps when a demon takes residence in someone's consciousness for an extended period of time, the consciousness becomes segmented, so that when the demon leaves, multiple personality disorder may result. One thing I know for sure - multiple personality disorder can't make phones malfunction, and can't be blamed on being able to tell if someone is eavesdropping in on a phone conversation. Multiple personality wouldn't have an avid hatred for Jesus, either. Something definitely supernatural had affected Jack for many years of his life, and after it was cast out, he had a tremendous amount of healing to get through.
I learned that Jack had been kidnapped by a horrendous psychopathic child molester when he was about 12 years old. That's why whenever he had an amnesic episode, he'd return to being 12 years old, and relive parts of that nightmare. Over the times I spent with Jack during these episodes, I was able to piece together his entire story. I felt that recounting it was part of his healing - and I always urged him to tell me what he could remember. It was painful process, but the more he was able to recall, the less frequent and severe his episodes were.
He remembered being brutally tortured in unconceivable ways, and his tormentor was planning to kill him, but he managed to escape. The madman lived in a small shack out in the middle of the jungle, where he kept his victims. He had tortured and killed other children as well, and showed Jack the pictures of what he did to them. He would let Jack go free into the jungle sometimes, but then he would hunt him down for fun. He always caught Jack, but after about 5 weeks of brutal torture, Jack managed to evade this awful devil of a man. Jack remembered that he finally reached a house with a family of 5 teenage boys. The parents took him in, cleaned him up, fed him, and gave him a place to sleep. They harbored him for a few days, but unfortunately for Jack, his misfortune wasn't over yet. A few of the older boys molested Jack one night, and when Jack told their parents the next day, they accused him of lying and kicked him out of their house. Again he wandered, but this time he at least he made it to civilization. A bus eventually picked him up, took him to a police station, and he was finally reunited with his family. He recalled that he heard someone in the police station mention that he had been missing for 5 weeks. When he finally returned home, he went to sleep, and when he woke up the next day, he couldn't remember that a single thing had ever happened to him. The entire horrific episode had been buried deep inside his mind for years, and didn't come out until the day God spoke healing into his life.
Jack's life was one tragedy after another. I had the suspicion that he was cursed by one of his relatives, who was involved in a Satanic cult. Jack was a magnet for misfortune, and I could write a book about Jack alone, but this segment is fitting. His whole childhood history was riddled with memories of child molestation, suicide, rejection, Satanism, and the list goes on, but it's all inconsequential now. Today, Jack is a born again, spirit filled Christian, full of the light of Christ! All his sorrows have since been turned into JOY, yes, that's right, JOY! He accepted Jesus into his heart in early 1998, and through the miraculous power of Jesus Christ, ALL those generational curses have been broken! The demons are gone, the wounds are healed, and when Jack smiles, God laughs at the dumfounded expression on my face!
Jack never has episodes of amnesia anymore, and his supernatural power is ... altered. He can sense spirits - but hardly ever sees them anymore. He likes it better that way, too. He used to see spirits all the time; not just demonic shadowy figures, but all kinds of strange things. He hated houses with antiques, because he'd invariably see people standing around them, sitting in them or leaning against them, etc. He doesn't see them anymore though, and he's very glad about that fact! (I think he was seeing energy forms rather than spirits, but that's just a theory of mine). I've always wanted the ability to see into the spiritual realm like Jack used to, but Jack has told me time and again that if I had that ability, I wouldn't want it anymore than he wanted it. He said I simply couldn't understand how awful it is to see such creepy things all the time. Jack said he saw angels a few times, too, but the ratio of creepy things compared to Godly things was far in favor of the creepy things. Perhaps he should've spent more time in church! At least he does now. All Jack ever really longed for was a sense of normalcy, (which I came to appreciate, being around him long enough). Jack now has the normalcy he longed for. In fact, he's a family man now, married to a wonderful Christian wife, and has three kids. Also, when I talk with Jack on the phone now - I do so with a clean, crispy clear connection. Something has definitely been punished for messing with me and Jack! Praise God!
God Bless you Jack!
16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city
There's a demon in my house!
My pastor, Josh Dehmlow, has a story to contribute to this book. In a sermon he gave once, he said that one time he received a call from someone about 'spiritual problems'. I just had to get some specifics, so I asked him for more details, and for permission to add his story to this book. He delightfully concurred.
The voice on the other end of the phone line was trembling. "We have something in our house that's ... doing things. Can you come over and help us?"
"Sure. What's your address?"
Not knowing what to expect, Josh went over to their house. Soon after entering their house, a picture flew off the wall. Josh's eyebrows raised. "Was that???" he questioned, while pointing to the picture, now laying on the ground. Knowing Josh, he probably giggled.
For anyone familiar with the movie, "The Exorcist", this movie and others like it have formulated a great misconception to the general public about how Jesus deals with demons. For starters, there are many people in the Christian community that cast out demons. I'd venture to say that most of them aren't Roman Catholic priests, though some of them are. The reason I mention this is because many people derive the church's dealings with demonic stuff based on the FICTION movie, "The Exorcist". A 'serious' Roman Catholic priest is not the minimum requirement of piety to cast out demons. Anyone with genuine faith in Jesus Christ, Catholic, or Protestant, can cast out demons, because Jesus gives ALL of his followers power over ALL the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). It's true that fasting might be a good idea in some rare cases, (Matthew 17:14-21), but it's usually not required. In any scenario, the Christian that has true faith in Jesus should perceive no threat from demonic stuff. It might be a bit 'weird' to see demonic stuff, and fear might arise, naturally, but prayer is a guarantee for comfort, (Philippians 4:6-7). I speak this from personal experience in these matters. Read my story in this book, "My best friend Jack", for more details about my personal experiences of this nature.
In the move, "The Exorcist", one is left with the impression that this particular priest is afraid for his life, as if the devil holds the keys to life and death. Now why would a priest be scared to die? Is that not absurd? All of the Apostles in the Bible confronted demonic forces, casting them out of people left and right, and NONE of them were afraid for their lives. In fact, the Apostle Paul sums up the general consensus of what should be every Christian's view of death: "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!", (Philippians 1:21). In other words, death isn't death. We just go to heaven! What's so bad about that? What's to fear? Furthermore, it is Jesus who decides when people die, not the devil. For anyone having doubts about this fact, check out (Revelation 1:17-18). I'm not making this stuff up!
"What do you think?" asked the frightened woman.
"I'm glad I don't live here!" Josh blurted out, then laughed. He was kidding of course. (He's not the 'serious' type, if you haven't guessed. This exorcist gives his sermons in shorts and a T-shirt, and has been known to dance on chairs while doing an Eddie Van Halen impersonation on his guitar). These people weren't very amused with his sense of humor on this particular occasion. He admits that it gets him into trouble sometimes.
Was Josh afraid for his life? What do you think? Actually, the experience did nothing but strengthen his faith, seeing the reality of the spiritual realm displayed before him.
To make a long story short, Josh prayed over the house, and the demonic stuff ceased immediately, and never came back. He didn't have a heart attack and die, nor was he ever shoved down a flight of stairs, for those that are unfortunate enough to be familiar with "The Exorcist". The fact of the matter is, some angels came into that home and totally annihilated those demons.
The spiritual realm works much the same as our society works. The Apostle Paul tells us in (Romans 1:20) that we can understand the heavenly realm simply by observing the way things work in our own realm. Since spiritual society is similar to human society, there are spiritual beings around us all the time, and some of them are real trouble makers. They go from place to place, stirring up problems, and sometimes they wreak total havoc. Demonic forces can do this, because this is a cursed world, due to the fact that humanity lost dominion over it when Adam sinned, (Romans 5:12-15). Jesus took that dominion back for us, however, so all we have to do is claim it in the name of Jesus Christ. To further explain the situation, God didn't immediately wipe out all traces of disobedient spirits from the face of the earth, obviously. That's coming - but not yet. Currently, earth is in the age of grace, and it is during this age that both humans, as well as demons, are allowed to express their disobedience toward God. The age of grace applies both to the non-physical, and physical realms. The good news about this age is that people that accept Christ into their lives and decide to be obedient to God receive all the protection from demons that God provides. They also have the authority to evict the enemy from both their own lives, and the lives of others. With this in mind, demonic entities are really not that big of a deal. We just kick them out in the name of Jesus!
When a criminal is caught, did the process begin by ignoring the crimes committed? Does a criminal come to justice when we tell a neighbor or cry to a friend about the crimes instead of contacting the authorities? No, on both counts. The key word here is authority. In order for a criminal to get caught, we first need to contact the authorities to handle the situation. In the spiritual realm, it works the same way. Demonic forces do many things, and they can get away with quite a bit simply because nobody tattle-tales on them. All it takes is a single Christian with genuine faith in Jesus Christ to put out the angelic 'APB'. Angels aren't in the dark as we are, either, figuratively, literally, or any other way! Demons simply can't evade an angelic forensics expert. Furthermore, when demons get caught, they can't get out on bail, or slip through the cracks because of a red-tape bureaucratic accident some lawyer exploited. When Christians pray, demons get BUSTED, and are JUDGED SEVERELY. Recall the demon possessed man that lived among the tombs in (Luke 8:26-33)? Those demons BEGGED Jesus not to punish them. They were BUSTED, and ended up going strait to the pit of hell for hurting that man they possessed for so long.
Using the same analogy of society I illustrated above, how would I liken the calling of a psychic to remedy a spiritual problem, such as getting rid of a poltergeist? Remember that key word, authority? Bypassing Jesus and seeking other 'spiritual' help to resolve spiritual problems is possible, and some results might be attained out of the situation, but other problems are cultivated because of this. Consider the fact that when a criminal wants justice, he goes to worse, more hardened, more powerful criminals to get what he wants. The Mafia is a prime example of law, within lawlessness. Calling a psychic to remedy a spiritual problem is like calling Joey the Black Cat to 'Take care of it'. In essence, this makes things worse, because it invites other demonic forces into the picture that are even more wicked and corrupt than the first ones! That's why spiritual problems must be dealt with in the name of Jesus, and not in some psychic's impression of a mystical protective light force, or whatever else they might contrive to comfort someone.
Hollywood is notorious for producing movies that provide and endless variety of 'cures' to battle against demonic forces. I keep watching them every now and then, such as the recent "End of Days" starring Arnold Swartzeneggar. I guess I'm hoping to see some improvement. I don't know why I bother. Two huge lies are rampant among Hollywood movies: 1. Humans in their own strength, without Jesus, are vastly overestimated, and 2. The name of Jesus and the authority He provides is vastly underestimated. Humans are over estimated in that some lame hero saves the day, and the name of Jesus isn't even mentioned once throughout the entire movie. Demonic forces might not be any match for Jesus, or for any real Christian, but people in their own strength are powerless against them. I don't care if you're Arnold Swarzenegger, demons are downright powerful, and there's nothing anybody can do to avoid being possessed by them other than calling on the name of Jesus. BUT, once Jesus comes into the picture, the elephant becomes a mouse in less than a second! Demons flee like dogs with their tails between their legs.
Why is it that Hollywood movies have people doing practically anything except call out to Jesus in order to remedy demonic problems? (Well I know why, but that's another issue). Movies are silly. How is a magic circle going to protect anyone? How can throwing salt in the corners of your house get rid of demons? How moronic! Demons just make stupid stuff up, and laugh when people do it! Has anyone reading this been 'snipe' hunting? It operates on the same concept. I'm convinced that some people would hop on one foot and bark like a dog if told to do so. They obviously don't realize that they're playing Satan's game by playing by his rules. GO TO JESUS PEOPLE! Any who...
Before leaving this story, I don't want to fail to mention that when Christians deal with demonic forces, they usually don't do it solo. Also, it's always highly advisable for them to build up their spiritual armor according to (Ephesians 6:12). Fasting helps too. My pastor recalls back when he was in a deliverance ministry, he was slightly taken off guard when a woman possessed with a demon snarled at him, "I know what you did last Wednesday!"
At the time, he wasn't expecting such things to happen! While cringing with a slight case of guild, knowing exactly what the demon was referring to, the elderly lady next to him quickly comforted him. "That's okay Josh" the lady gingerly spoke, sympathizing with his predicament. Josh recalled the event with amusement. "All his sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, so you just shut up demon, and get out of this young lady right now, in the name of Jesus." She didn't even raise her voice, and the demons made one last feeble shriek before being cast down into the pit of hell. Foolish, grouchy, pathetic creatures they are.
33And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
Stories from Thailand
During my senior year in High School, I met another senior named Bill, and we became great friends. He played a mean guitar, and I play the drums, so we'd have jam sessions on occasion. We had grand dreams of forming a cool rock band and making tons of money.
I had just joined the Army fresh out of High School, but wasn't due to go for about another month. I wanted to go on one last camping trip before leaving for the Army, and I asked Bill if he'd like to join me.
"Are you crazy! Spend the night in the mountains! You can't be serious!" he exclaimed with a shocked expression. I was somewhat surprised at his bizarre reaction.
"Why not? I go camping all the time. We can go camping up at Huntington Lake." He didn't like the idea of it. Bill was an Asian, and came from Thailand. Apparently in Thailand, the forest is strictly off limits - for reasons anyone from Thailand would know. He proceeded to tell me about certain ghoulish creatures that floated above the ground, had scaly skin, and eyes positioned on the sides of their faces like the eyes of a horse. These creatures have long sharp claws, and viciously attack people that stay in the forest at night. He said he knew of several attacks he remembered happening to people he knew in his childhood. A relative of his was almost killed, barely managing to escape. When he made it back into town, he was bleeding profusely.
Bill said it was actually possible to fight these creatures, but the chances were pretty slim for winning. They would only sustain damage if you were quick enough, and lucky enough to be striking at them in the exact same instant they were striking at you. (They had to make themselves temporarily solid in order to hurt you). Otherwise, they were like phantoms, and offensive strikes would pass right through them. Also, once they decided to attack, they always attacked in packs, so the best thing to do if this happened would be to run as fast as possible. But even that wouldn't help much, because according to Bill, they were lightning fast. That's why it was best just to stay out of the forest! He actually warned me that if we saw one when we went camping that I shouldn't stare at it; instead, I should just ignore it. Staring at them tends to invoke their anger, but they generally leave people alone if ignored. One thing they don't like is excessive noise. He mentioned that we should be quiet when it became dark, and build up the fire. Bill said that to go into the forest of Thailand in the middle of the night and start making a lot of racquet would be certain suicide. I had to inform Bill that the Sierra Nevada mountains were incredibly tame compared to the forests of Thailand. When we eventually went camping, he insisted that I build two campfires, and keep them burning high all night. I didn't get much sleep on that camping trip.
Bill also spoke of another strange kind of spirit that Thai people were really happy to see! He said it appeared as a column of fire, and if one were to see it, the thing to do would be to run over to where it appeared and dig a hole. Invariably there would be money, jewelry, or something of esteemed value in the hole. The way it works, explained Bill, is that when someone would get to be very old and nearing death, he or she would collect all their money, jewels, and anything valuable, put it in a jar, and bury it somewhere where nobody would ever find it. Then, many years later - if the 'spirits' were pleased with you, they'd show you where you buried the loot in your next incarnation. Bill said he had an Uncle strike it rich because one of these things showed him where a jar full of money was buried.
I didn't know much about the Bible when Bill told me this story, but I do now. According to Hebrews 9:27, the theology of reincarnation can not be true. The Apostle Paul clearly states that "...it is appointed only once for men to die, and after this, the judgment". The demon that appears as a column of fire, therefore, is a demonic spirit assigned to the specific two-fold task: 1. Deceiving the Thai people into believing reincarnation, and 2. Hoarding their family fortunes greedily away, thereby preventing their children from obtaining an inheritance. What a waste. What an ingenious deception...
Several years later, after I was finished with the Army, I worked in the Central Unified School District as a substitute janitor. While there, I met another janitor that was an Asian who was from Thailand just as Bill was. I decided to test Bill's statement from years before about what he said concerning the general knowledge that anyone from Thailand would know that the forest in Thailand was off limits at night time. Sure enough, this lady was filled with even more outlandish stories than Bill's! She not only confirmed everything Bill said, but added to it with some terrifying personal encounters of her own. She said that some places in Thailand were filled with such evil, powerful spirits - groups of people would just fall over dead! She said her own brother was almost killed by a demon in just that manner. She and her brother were stranded somehow, I can't remember how, perhaps their car broke down - and they were trying to get to a house before dark. She said that suddenly her brother became sleepy and fell down on the ground. From years before this, she recalled a time when she was in a car with some other people while they were driving through a forested area. Suddenly several people in the car fell unconscious, and one of them never woke up. He died. Remembering the incident, she didn't know why it didn't affect her in the past, or why it wasn't affecting her at the moment, but she knew she had to keep her brother awake and get him inside a house. She struggled to stand him up, and managed to revive him enough to walk. They found a small log cabin, but it was abandoned. It was the only thing there, and she debated whether to stay there or not. In her indecisiveness, her brother passed out again. She decided that she had to get him to a place where he could get medical attention, because she believed he could die any second. Again she revived him, and they continued down the deserted road, but to her horror, she saw an immense, black blob of a mass moving toward them. She immediately turned around, and her brother passed out again. She must have had a rush of adrenaline, because she said she was so scared, she managed to get her brother to the cabin, either by carrying him or dragging him. She couldn't remember which.
When she reached the cabin and made her way inside, she felt that she might be safe. She quickly built a fire, and intermittently ran back and forth between the fire and her brother. He kept passing out, and she was doing everything she could to keep him awake. Suddenly, the door opened up, and the large, black blob flowed into the cabin. She was terrified, but ran to her brother, refusing to abandon him. Amazingly, the blob moved over to the stack of firewood, grabbed a few logs, and tossed them into the fire. It then sat right on top of the fire as if it were sitting in a chair. She said it continued to feed the fire, and sit on it for a duration of about two hours. Finally, it simply decided to leave. About 15 minutes after it was gone, her brother woke up. He couldn't remember a thing.
I didn't know this woman very well, but if she was lying, she certainly had a good poker face. I asked her if either she, or any of her friends were Christians. She said that she had become a Christian, but knew nothing of Jesus when she lived in Thailand. Perhaps the fact that she was going to become a Christian is what saved her from all those demonic attacks during her younger years in Thailand? What was the cause of her inexplicable immunity to the death spells that came over the people around her on two separate occasions? Maybe there's a seed of faith within us, even if we've never heard the gospel - that divides us from the spiritually dead? Perhaps God can see even a potential faith in our hearts, and protects us according to that potential faith? Isn't He a generous God! I also wonder that perhaps Thailand is so full of demonic beings because spiritually speaking, it has been completely void of the gospel - indefinitely. I told this woman that there are demons in America, but certainly not to the magnitude and frequency of Thailand. According to this lady and Bill, demons are common knowledge in Thailand - no more unusual than the American black bear, or mountain lion. It doesn't even take a person of faith in Thailand to know the reality of demons. The people there believe in the existence of demons as a matter of life and death! (There would probably be more Christians in America if demons made their presence as widely known here, as they do in Thailand!)
I joked with this lady, and told her that I'd love to go to Thailand one day, just to go into those forests and fight those demons. I said I'd take a team of scientists, cameras, and specialized weapons, such as a gun that fires liquid nitrogen. I'd make an enormous amount of noise in the jungles - and try to stir up one of those horse eye'd ghouls, then freeze the wretched murdering creature with liquid nitrogen when it would strike at me! As for the black blobs, I don't think I'd go solo; I'd want my entire church congregation there! But in all reality, Christ has placed more power within me, a single Christian, as well as any other individual Christian, than every single creature in the entire forest of Thailand combined. Consider Luke 10:18, where Jesus Himself gives an incredible solemn promise: "19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you!" Did everyone catch that? Jesus said ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY! Lookout Thailand, here I come!
The stories of Bill and the janitor lady could easily be construed as folklore, but having spent some time in the Panamanian jungle myself, I tend to believe these stories are real. I wasn't in the Panama jungle but for a few nights before I saw the inexplicable ball of light I talk about in ("The ball of light that communicated with me"). There are things out there man! I once received an email from some Christian accusing me of being a liar concerning chapter 1 of "Aliens in the Bible", where I talk about the ball of light I just mentioned. It sort of makes me laugh, that someone would go through all the trouble of writing an elaborate email to me, just to accuse me of being a liar. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I suppose some people are so scared of things that don't fit inside their box they call reality, that the ONLY explanation in their minds is that someone MUST be lying. Wait until that person reads this book! He or she will probably write me a novel of an email. If you are that person, please take this logical argument into consideration prior to drafting your accusation. What kind of person is going to lie - in order to get others to believe in the truth? If I'm lying in this book, then I'd be lying for the explicit purpose of spreading the truth of Jesus Christ. Does that make any sense?
18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The water babies
Now here's a tale that I've been mocked about endlessly, but the mockers are my good church friends - so it's all good. Scott Jones in particular, laughs and jokes about this story all the time. Maybe I shouldn't have told him about it. I guess the sound of it - "Water Babies" - invokes the giggle beast in him and he can't help himself.
Here it goes... When I was in Basic Training in the Army, there was a guy in my platoon named Cypher. He was a full-blooded Indian. (He probably still is, too). I can't remember which tribe he was from, but he said he lived on the Indian reservation around Pyramid Lake in Nevada. This particular lake is widely known in various UFO and paranormal books for being a popular spot for UFO sightings. People claim UFOs fly in and out of the lake. Pyramid Lake has a nick name relative to the Bermuda Triangle, but I can't remember that nick name right off hand. Anyway...
Late one night during guard duty while I was on fire watch, I heard Cypher and the guy in the bunk next to him quietly talking. The term "Water Babies" jumped out into my ears, and I couldn't resist. Who could?
Cypher was in a prolonged discussion about the various things he'd experienced in his childhood. Like Jack, ("My best friend Jack"), Cypher's childhood included memories from his culture that the typical Western mind would never conceive of. The nightmarish experience of the water babies was among his most terrifying memories.
He said that his parents always warned him and his friends never to play outside after dark. Like idiots, they were out in the woods playing, and it started to get dark. The oldest of the children didn't care. "You don't actually believe any of that crap, do you?" he exclaimed. He was referring to his tribe's countless stories of demons that roamed the woods at night.
Cypher and his friends were getting scared. "Well you can stay out if you want, but we're going back." They left their older friend behind, and proceeded to go back home. As soon as they were out of sight of their friend, they heard a horrible scream. They quickly ran back, and their friend was nowhere to be found. Instead, there was a pool of blood and some drag marks on the ground. Something apparently grabbed this child and dragged him off.
The group of children panicked and ran back to their village. In a matter of minutes, a large gathering of men were formed up with their knives, shotguns, and flashlights. The children led them to the place where they were playing, and they found the bloody trail left behind. They tracked down the child that was missing, hoping he was still alive, and eventually found him. He was found laying on top of his Grandfather's grave in the cemetery. He was cut all over his body, and in a state of complete shock. I think Cypher said this child became mute, never speaking a single word again. The elders of his village said that this was the work of the water babies. There was an Indian word for them, but the English translation is 'Water Babies'; which kind of strips away all the dread. The water babies were apparently demonic baby-looking demons that lived in Pyramid Lake. They preyed on children in particular, if the children were left alone after dark. They also attacked boats in the lake during the night, so none of the Indians went out on the lake after dark.
Cypher also spoke of woodland beings that looked exactly like human beings, but they were only 4 to 5 inches tall. He had an Indian name for those too, but again, I can't remember. Ancient European legends also speak of tiny human beings, giving them various titles, such as Brownies, Pixies, Fairies, etc. Cypher said his mother would periodically put food out for them in order to stay on good terms with them. He never saw them himself, but he'd always see their footprints. Every morning after his mother would leave food out overnight, Cypher would find tiny human footprints all over the ground where the raw meat had been chained to a tree.
Cypher had stories about his village shaman, as well. He spoke with reverent fear about the magic they used. This was the only night I ever heard Cypher speak of these wild tales. Other than this particular occasion, nobody would ever guess Cypher had such a peculiar childhood history. He was one of the most hardcore guys in our platoon, and he did things that we could all respect. You'd never believe it to look at him, because he was at least 40 to 50 pounds over weight, but that guy could run like a jack rabbit and do pushups all day long! The drill sergeants constantly tried to break him down, but he thought they were a big joke. He didn't have any fear of anything, (except for maybe the water babies!) The one time we were allowed to go to the Post Exchange in order to buy supplies such as shoe polish and tooth paste, Cypher snuck into the clothing and sales department and purchased himself some E-4 rank pins. We were told not to buy anything except required items, and were warned that we would be inspected when we returned. All through Basic training nobody was allowed to eat ANYTHING with sugar in it. Cypher didn't agree. I heard the rumor that he managed to sneak out of the barracks, and put those rank pins he purchased to good use! He pinned them on his collar and off he went, free as a bird, from the Post Exchange to the movies, to dining out - the works. I thought the guy that bought a bag of M&M's and hid them inside his canteen was pretty slick, but Cypher was unbelievable! In Basic training, all the newbies are either E-1 or E-2, but never E-4. The rank he purchased was just high enough to be passed off as a permanent duty member of that base, rather than someone in Basic training. People don't generally question your rank, either, because pinning on a high rank is simply something that isn't done! He probably would've gotten kicked out if he were caught.
Cypher also knew all there was to know about living in the wild. He told us that since he was 11 years old, his parents would drop him off out in the middle of the forest with just a knife, and leave him out there for weeks at a time. (I guessed they knew the spots where the water babies didn't go, or figured a knife was good enough!) Cypher said this was the way of his people, who he was emphatically proud of. The last I heard about Cypher was that he joined the Special Forces. Good old Cypher. I'll never forget him.
9But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. 12But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Dreams / Visions
My 2 visions of heavenDream #1: In this dream, I went to heaven through a huge gate, where I saw grassy hills and trees as far as my eyes could see. A large being with a huge book sitting on top of a podium referenced something in the book as soon as I walked up. This being was wearing a robe, and its face was somehow obscured so that I either couldn't see it, or I can't remember it if I did see it. I remember that it found something of interest in the book, perhaps my name, then motioned for me to enter through the gate.
As soon as I walked in, I saw a man with a Spanish sombrero draped over his face. He was sitting, leaning against a tree, playing a guitar. I approached him and listened to him play. The music had an extraordinary effect on me - seemingly harmonizing something in my body. Each cord reverberated through me, as if I were one with the music.
Something prompted me to look up. When I did, I saw the most magnificent bird I've ever seen in my life. It was an eagle with glowing blue eyes, and it had electricity pulsating throughout its feathers. When we made eye contact, it lifted its wings, and a four pointed star of light began to form in the air between the tips of its wings. When the points of this star increased in size enough to touch the wings, the star shot me in the forehead like a bolt of lightning! I woke up, feeling an incredible sensation of euphoria, and what I interpret to be the power of God flowing throughout my body. I drew numerous pictures of this dream all throughout my childhood.
Dream #2: I was walking through a damp, dark dungeon - wandering from chamber to chamber, feeling my way through the dark. The ground was muddy and full of puddles; the walls were slimy with moss and mildew. I finally reached a door that I knew was the end. When I cracked the door open, it slammed all the way open as if forced open by a powerful wind, and light flooded the chamber. I stepped out into an immense outdoor corridor, that was part of a stone structure higher than anything on earth. It was miles high - so high, the wall on the other side, which was about 300 yards away, nearly converged with the wall I was standing next to when I looked upward. Doors spanned these walls for miles down. I was at the last door, where the corridor came to a dead end.
Suddenly, a new cross formed in the sky, next to the last one. It was right above my door, in the center of the corridor. It first began to appear as a miniature tornado, but instead of wind, there was a bright energy that was spinning. A solid object began to become visible, spinning as it formed, and it finally stopped - slamming into place, perfectly still. I felt its pull, and I instantly jumped into the air, flying towards it. It whipped me around, and I slammed against it. God's power suddenly filled me, and I woke up in bed as though I were on a crucifix.
I had these two dreams when I was 12 years old, and have yet to discover their full meaning. I do think they mean something, because they weren't ordinary at all. When I had them, I almost never attended church, and didn't understand much of anything about who Jesus was, but these dreams always made me wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven. I still search for their meanings. I believe it's good to live by visions - (when supplemented with the Word of God and faith in Christ). I have a few ideas about what they might mean, but nothing concrete. The first dream may indicate a spiritual gift that God has given me. Perhaps I'm using it right now - in writing this book? As for the second dream, it seems to indicate that I might have the gift of martyrdom. Gulp...
28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Jesus in a helicopter
Back in September of 1991, I was fresh out of the Army, and high on a freedom kick. I restrained myself from nothing. I considered myself to be a Christian, but wasn't aware of the fact that being a Christian had anything to do with moral accountability, or obedience to the Word of God. In my mind, those were just options. For example, I could go to church on Easter Sunday, then get drunk and watch porno's right after service - and think nothing of it.
I did have faith in Jesus, but I didn't really know who Jesus was. I could identify Him, but that's about it. I suppose I knew Him about as much as I know the President of the United States. True faith in Jesus goes much farther than simple identification, however. I didn't know Jesus as my best friend, or as a brother - the way I do now. I didn't think of Him as a real person; someone that I could take my problems to, or someone whose opinion I'd want about something. The idea that Jesus would show me things, or give me things if I asked, was completely foreign to me. God wanted to change all this.
I believe God implemented some policy changes concerning my spiritual welfare during this time in my life, (i.e., a removal of angelic protection), so that I would grow up. He protected me in my sin long enough. I had recently turned 21 years old, and entered a new level of spiritual accountability. If I wasn't going to change, then consequences were on their way. God did me a favor, however, prior to stripping away His protection. He gave me a dream, and in essence, warned me that some serious consequences were on their way if I didn't shape up. It was only up to me as to how severe they were going to be.
My dream began with me and one of my best buddies, Rami, walking together in a run down ghetto in the middle of the night. Typical of degraded neighborhoods, we heard people screaming and fighting in their homes, a bottle shattering somewhere, and a few cats fighting. As we passed a spray painted car sitting on cinder blocks, we happened upon a shopping card full of wine coolers. We were in hog heaven, and began filling our pockets. We continued to walk, each carrying about 10 wine coolers, and got so drunk that we lost track of where we were. Before we knew it, it was daytime, and we somehow ended up in the middle of a compound out in the desert.
As it turned out, this compound was part of a huge drug cartel. Rami and I saw gang members standing around with machine guns strapped to their bodies. I had the strong impression that something awful was going to happen in this place, and that we had to get out of there. We looked for a way out, not knowing exactly how we ended up there. There was no way out; we were fenced in, and armed guards were everywhere. We were sorely out of place, too, and desperately hoping nobody would ask us who we were or what we were doing there. We just wanted to get out!
I started regretting that I dolefully wandered into this place, and questioned myself about how I could allow it to happen. I kicked myself for getting so drunk, and started to cry out to God. "God, how did I end up here? I can't get out, and I don't even know how I got here!"
While I was crying in my spirit, something wonderful happened. A large helicopter came from out of nowhere, and landed in front of Rami and me. The door flew open, and I heard someone yell, "Get in!" Rami and I both immediately jumped inside. The door closed by itself, and off we went in the helicopter. As I looked out the window of the helicopter, the compound faded away, and we were free! I was greatly relieved, and sat back in my seat.
After a short while of flying, I began to wonder about what was happening. Where were we being taken? I turned in my seat and looked out the window again. All I could see were miles and miles of beautiful golden fields of wheat. The landscape was very peaceful and comforting. I then saw a road below, and we flew over to it. Next to the road were some power lines, which we were getting very close to. I began to get concerned.
Suddenly, we jutted downward and underneath one of the power lines! Before I knew it, the helicopter did a complete flip, spinning around one of the power lines! Right after the flip, I saw that there was a mountain directly in front of us. The helicopter instantly dropped downward. Just when I thought we were going to explode against the side of the mountain, we flew into a tunnel that was made for the road we were flying over. We shot through the tunnel and out the other side. The helicopter did another flip around some power lines on the other side of the tunnel, then zipped back up into the sky and returned to a peaceful, tranquil ride.
"Now what was that all about!" I questioned with shock. Everything happened so fast that I didn't even have time to react. We continued to glide over the beautiful golden fields of wheat, and Rami and I exchanged bewildered glances at each other. I then looked forward, and a question popped into my mind. "Who in the world is that pilot? He's ... really good!" I then leaned forward and looked into the pilot's seat. To my amazement, I couldn't see anyone sitting there. The seat was indented, as if someone WAS sitting there, but whoever it was, He made Himself invisible. The controls and pedals moved busily about by an invisible pilot.
I sat back in my seat, even more bewildered than before. While I was trying to figure out what was happening, the helicopter suddenly landed, the door flew open, and a voice spoke into my mind, "Get out!" Rami and I both jumped out, but then the voice yelled to Rami, "You get back in." Rami and I smiled at each other, I patted him on his back, then he jumped inside. The door slammed shut, and off the helicopter and Rami went.
I was surprised to discover that the helicopter pilot dropped me off right in the same place he picked me up! But something was drastically different. Dead bodies were everywhere! A massive shoot-out must have taken place right after the helicopter took Rami and me away from this place. I was saved by whoever was flying the helicopter.
The gate to the compound was wide open, so I cautiously walked out, and away from the compound. I was free, and unafraid.
I woke up in my bed early in the morning, instantly recalling the vivid dream. I can tell when a dream is just a dream - but I KNOW when I've had a vision, and that dream was a vision! I studied it in my mind, recalling how good it felt to walk away from that compound as free as a bird. Nothing was holding me down at the end of that dream. I began to question myself. "Why did that feel so good? What was I leaving behind? What gave me that sense of freedom?" As I looked around my room, I felt like I was looking at the compound again, with all the same fences and armed guards. Within my room was a tremendous amount of bondage that had the potential to completely destroy me, body and soul.
Recounting the events in my dream, I finally remembered the part about seeing the pilot's seat, and the invisible pilot. "Who was that pilot?" I whispered to myself. I can still remember the powerful jolt of the reality of Christ that hit me the second I asked that question. "Jesus" spoke a soft voice in my mind, with a profound realness, and authority I can not explain. I can't say I've ever audibly heard Jesus speak to me, but on that occasion, Jesus' voice was so crisp, and real in my mind, I might have actually heard His name with my physical ears. Chills shot down my spine and tears began to pour down my face. I didn't know what was happening to me. Where was all this emotion coming from? I took a deep, stuttered breath ... a significant breath ... the kind of breath a newborn baby takes after it first exits the womb. I was shaking, not knowing what to do. I was just sledge hammered with the reality of Jesus Christ unlike ever before, and I felt like I had to do something! I was BORN AGAIN! I jumped off my bed and began pacing around my room. "What do I do? What do I do? What do you want me to do God?"
Suddenly I felt God's presence rush up into my face, and a wake of His love hit me like a ton of bricks! (I'm crying right now - just remembering). I stumbled backward and fell to my knees, crying like a baby. He didn't tell me to do ... anything. He just said, "John, I love you man. Even if you don't do anything, I still love you. I've loved you since before time began, and I always will. You can go on ignoring me every single day of your life, but that won't matter. I'll will still love you, always, perpetually - with the kind of love you're feeling right now." I laughed and cried at the same time. Who was this crazy God of mine!
"But how can you love me? I'm a mess! I'm sick! Just look around this room. You know the things I've done!" I never realized what a sinful person I was before this day. For the first time in my life, I was asking God what He wanted me to do with my life. "Just tell me God, whatever it is, I'll do it! I don't care how crazy it is!"
Instantly, my eyes became alive with new light. Everything in my room that was associated with sin became illuminated. I ran over to my refrigerator, pulled out all the alcohol and began to pour it down the drain. As the alcohol poured down the drain, I felt a sense of freedom pouring into my soul. That was the key! The more junk I got rid of, the better I felt! "Thank you God!" I verbally shouted. I was finally experiencing a communication with Him I'd never had before. I frantically turned around, scanning my room for the next thing to go. I instantly spotted some pornographic VHS tapes. "Yea!" I ran over to them, and began shredding them apart and busting them into pieces. I started throwing cassette tapes on the floor and stomping on them, and ripping posters off my walls. I grabbed my phone number book and started looking up some phone numbers of some of my friends. I proceeded to call one friend after another - telling each of them to come and get their stuff out of my house, because I was destroying everything! While talking on the phone, I started burning books, magazines, and other junk. I was FREE!!!
My friends thought I was putting on an act. "Get your stuff dude. If you don't, I'll rip it, crush it, burn it, or flush it!"
"Why?" they asked.
"I had a dream that Jesus came to me in a helicopter man."
"Just get your stuff..."
This dream proved to be prophetic on several counts. Below are a few things I've taken note of:
Since I took the hint and purged my life of a multitude of
sinful activities after having this dream, I'm certain that I avoided some
horrendous consequences. I did experience other consequences,
however. Shortly after this dream, the reality of the demonic realm
jumped up into my face! All my years of sin, and experimentation in the
occult caught up with me. I discovered that my faith was still very
weak, and that my walk with God had a long way to go. According to the
demons that frequented my house, I was missing the protection, and authority
in Jesus Christ that I needed in order to kick them out! I had to work
at getting those good things back from God. Read about ("My
best friend Jack"), to understand this more fully.
Rami and I used to party together all the time. He became
my room mate shortly after this dream, and then he became a born again
Christian, too. Our spiritual lives were virtually paralleled. We
walked together in sin, and entered into Christ at almost the exact same
time. Just like in the dream, we walked together in sin, then we both
leaped into the helicopter with Jesus at the same time. After living
with me for about a year, he went back to live with his mother, then he moved
away from his mother and went to live somewhere else. Rami was my best
friend all throughout high school, but over the years, he's become more
distant. I hardly ever see him anymore. It's not that I can't see
him. It's just that he went his way, and I went my way. When I
jumped out of the helicopter and he flew off with Jesus, he flew out of my
Finally, I have no doubt that Jesus is the best helicopter pilot in the world! He also has a bizarre, incredibly funny sense of humor!
People can call me crazy if they like, (and sometimes they like), but I'm convinced that Jesus came to me in a helicopter. Why He chose this medium, I have no idea. One thing's for certain, the impact of that dream changed who I was overnight. Most of the addictions and bad habits I left behind after this dream were so far removed from me, I not only had no more desire for them, I detested them! I had no struggle whatsoever in leaving that dead life behind. Now it may not be the same for everyone else, but God knows which ways are best to guide us into holy living. No one should ever be confused about sin, and a relationship with Jesus. He takes us as we are - then cleans us up on the way, (Romans 5:8). All we have to do is be willing to subject ourselves to His process. There will be a cost - I won't kid anybody about that. The cost may seem very pricey at times, but on the scale of eternity, the cost is less than a penny for an 80 million dollar winning lottery ticket. I urge you to let go of that penny, if you haven't already! It's a good deal, trust me. In fact, it's the best deal that ever was, and ever will be offered!
The key to having Jesus in one's life is simple: ask, and seek, (Matthew 7:7-11). Forget about trying to clean up a sinful lifestyle before looking to Jesus - the Word of God is very clear that people don't have it within their own strength to do this anyway, (Isaiah 64:6). I'm fully convinced that God will take care of our problems, in His own way, and in His own timing. It's true that one should expect a certain degree of holiness in a professing Christian's life, but new Christians shouldn't get hung up on this. Actually, it's the non-believers and new Christians that often get hung up on seeing discrepancies in a mature Christian's life, which is not good! That's why scripture distinctly states that true faith in Christ will bear its marks in holy living - (1 John 1:5-9). But this holy living is not the work of mature Christians alone - they are just being submissive to God's process, as I stated earlier. Each Christian is different - dealing with God in different areas, struggling in some, victorious in others, etc. Some Christians burn with an uncommon intensity - while others kick and scream with God dragging them along the way. It's easy to spot mistakes and label people, but the fact of the matter is, nobody has any business pointing fingers at anyone else if it isn't done out of pure motives and a loving heart. Simply put, God will fulfill His promise to perfect that work in us which He has started, (Psalm 138:8). He's working with me, and He can work with you too. (Hopefully He already is!) All I started with was a tiny seed of faith in my heart that had been dormant for years. Perhaps with you, the reader, if you aren't a Christian already - all it will take are these seeds of faith that are being planted in you right now!
READ: 1 John
7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
A dream for a dream
As I've mentioned in other stories in this book, my friend Rami Bridges and I had been best friends since the 7th grade. In my story, ("Jesus in a helicopter"), as well as in ("The Swap"), I talk about how Rami and I had a peculiar bond in which our lives were spiritually paralleled. After we became Christians, the Lord used both of us to help each other on various occasions.
One night I had a dream that I saw Rami looking a little down and depressed. He was standing in the doorway of a camper trailer, and when he saw me, he appeared to be nervous and trying to hide something. I approached him, and he moved to the center of the doorway, trying to block my view. I peered around him and noticed something behind him. I won't get into the personal details for Rami's sake, but I did see something inside his trailer that I knew was out of character for him. "What are you doing Rami? What's up with that? You know better than that."
He was ashamed and didn't know what to say. I spoke a few words of encouragement to him, and told him that I knew he could do better than he was doing.
When I woke up the next day, I was intrigued by the dream because I hadn't seen Rami in quite some time. I called his mother's house because it was the last place I knew of where he lived. Rami wasn't there, but his mother was, and she was very excited to hear from me. She said that Rami had been going through a lot of problems lately but that just the night before, he heard a word from the Lord and was now starting to turn his life around. I decided to visit Rami, and when I got to his house, I noticed that there was a camper trailer parked next to the house. As it turned out, that's where Rami was living.
I talked with Rami for a while, and then we prayed together. What I saw in my dream was confirmed with Rami's confession, but he was greatly encouraged and determined to get back on the right track.
About a year later after I had the dream with Rami, I was out exercising and decided on a whim to roller-blade past Rami's house just to say hi. I hadn't seen him in about a year or so, and was wondering what he was up to. Little did I know - it happened to be Rami's birthday! Rami and his mother were really glad to see me, and were going to call me and my family and invite us over for Rami's birthday party. I accepted, and we had a great time.
Not too long after this short reunion, Rami told me that he had a dream about me. He said that in his dream, I was sitting in an Indian Teepee, praying. The scene was similar to that of a vision quest. I then got up, and walked outside the tent. There was an old Indian standing next to the Teepee, holding the reigns of a white horse. He handed me the reigns of the horse, and bid me to go on a ride. Rami didn't understand what the dream meant. That was for me to figure out.
Shortly after Rami told me this dream, I published "Aliens in the Bible". I believe God has called me to the mission field of people caught up philosophies and phenomenon typically associated with the New Age movement. That's why Rami's dream seemed so "New Agey". To many Christians, the things I write and talk about are questionable, and often highly controversial, but these topics have allowed me to talk about Jesus through the secular air waves of New Age and paranormal radio stations all over the world. When I went on the Art Bell show in early 2000, I was given the opportunity to speak the basic message of the gospel to an audience of 16 million people. And just three weeks ago when I was being interviewed on Talk Sport Radio in the UK, the radio talk show host asked me what someone must do to become a Christian. The same man was talking about fantasies with lesbians 10 minutes prior to my being on the show, but the odd content of the material I write brought out his curiosity. Before the show was over, I was allowed to read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. The host said he was going to read his Bible more often! The stuff God gives me to write about might be weird, and peripheral at best when it comes to the central doctrine of Christ, but God knows what He's doing! He makes a point to get some meat and potatoes out over those air waves with every interview I have!
I'm on that journey of the white horse.
READ: Revelation 19:11 (Note - this
is not me, but He that resides within me)
11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
My Great Grandmother's visions
My Great Grandmother Thelma was a godly woman, having been married to a preacher, my Great Grandfather Rant, since she was a young teenager. Much of her life was spent traveling with Rant throughout the United States, while he spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I didn't get to know my Great Grandfather very well because he died when I was still very young, but my Great Grandmother's stories remain vivid in my memories. I talk about her a little more in ("My Great Grandmother's UFO sighting").
Once my Great Grandmother told me about a time when she saw the Big Guy Himself, JESUS CHRIST! She said it was during a time when she lived in Oklahoma, and was recovering from a stroke that had paralyzed the left side of her body. She said when she was laying in her hospital bed, she looked up, and saw Jesus walk into her hospital room. She said He was wearing a glowing white robe, and his countenance was beautiful beyond description. He smiled at her, giving her an incomprehensible peace, then turned and walked out of her room. Shortly after this, she regained control of the left side of her body, and was healed from her paralysis.
Dying to hear more, I asked her if she ever saw anything else amazing like that. She said she did. She said she saw Jesus again, and also an angel saved her life once.
One time in the late afternoon while sitting in her lawn chair in her back yard, she decided it was about time to go inside. She folded up her chair and walked to her back door when suddenly she felt the powerful urge to turn around and look up into the sky. When she did, what she saw took her breath away. The thick clouds in the sky parted way, making a hole in the center of them where a beam of light shined down. Then Jesus descended down from the sky through the center of the clouds, all the way until he landed in her back yard. She said it was by the peach tree that I was familiar with. I was astounded; Jesus descended to earth in my Grandma's back yard in Madera, California! "What did He say? Did He say anything to you?" I excitedly asked my Grandmother when she first told me this story.
"Yes, He did" she spoke with her Kentucky accent. "He said He wasn't a comin for me that time, but the next time He came, He was expectin me to go with Him." My Grandmother smiled, and I knew she was as serious as a lightning bolt when she told me this story. For those people that knew my Great Grandmother Thelma, they weren't surprised to hear such a thing. I'd tell everyone in my family about Grandma's visions of Jesus, and they'd just laugh.
She told me of another time when she was choking in the middle of the night. Her neighbors across the street from her were working on an old beat up car, and she was gagging profusely on the fumes it was generating. By the time she awoke, she was too weak to move. She wanted to close the window next to her bed, but she couldn't. Afraid for her life, she began to pray to Jesus.
Suddenly her bedroom door opened up, and a man that looked like a soldier in uniform walked into her room. He closed her window, then rolled her over on her side so she could breath better. After doing this, he walked out of her bedroom and closed the door behind him. As soon as she felt good enough to get up, she got out of bed and entered the living room to see if Rant forgot to shut the living room door. It was shut and locked with a half dozen mechanisms.
"That was a soldier of Jesus, and he saved my life he did" spoke my Grandmother.
Grandma Thelma told me those stories when I was just a little boy about 5 or 6 years old. I asked her about them a few more times when I was older, and loved to hear her recount them with animated expression every time. Later in life, Grandma Thelma was to have two more visions. After Rant died, she came to live with me, my dad, and my brother for a few months, and I'll never forget what she said one Saturday morning when my brother Charlie and I were in the living room watching cartoons.
"I saw your Grandpa Charles in the spirit this morning" she calmly stated, then turned the page of the newspaper she was reading. If you read about ("My Great Grandmother's UFO sighting"), you'll see that she brought out that UFO story in much the same way. She was reading a newspaper, blurted out some outlandish statement as if nothing were out of the ordinary, then kept reading her newspaper. She probably wouldn't have said anything else, had not my brother and I perked up.
"Yep, I saw Charles. I woke up this mornin in my bedroom down yonder, and there he was - in a beautiful suit, glowin in the spirit, standin at the foot of my bed." Charles was my dad's dad - her son-in-law, who had passed away in 1980.
Several years later, while I was in the Army, my Great Grandmother Thelma went to be with the Lord. As my Grandma Ruth told the story, (Ruth is her daughter, who she was living with prior to passing away), Grandma Thelma had one last vision prior to parting this world. Ruth said that the day before she died, Grandma Thelma told her that she saw Rant standing at the foot of her bed with his arms stretched out to her. After she told her about the vision, she said she believed she was going to go be with the Lord at any minute. The next day she died. It happened while my dad was visiting her and my Grandmother Ruth. When he went outside to get into his truck and leave, my Grandma Ruth followed him out to say bye. While the two of them were outside, my Great Grandmother Thelma had a massive heart attack and was lying on the floor, gone, by the time Ruth came back inside the house.
Jesus popped in and said "Okay, it's time."
Grandma Thelma probably replied back, "Finally! What took you so long?"
I've told friends about the things my Great Grandmother saw, and the patent response is that they thought she was lying - especially about the vision of Jesus in her back yard. It does sound just down right corny, I know! It doesn't even seem to have any imagination to it. But regardless of what it may seem like, I have to say that I don't think my Great Grandmother Thelma had it in her to contrive a completely fallacious tale, and consistently repeat it to her grandchildren! Furthermore, anyone that knew her would say the same. She was hardcore HOLY - I'm here to say! I recall one evening when my brother Charlie and I were at her house we pulled out a deck of cards to play Crazy 8's or some such game, and she flipped her lid! "Get those cursed things out of here!" I never saw her get so angry before. She was normally the sweetest woman on earth. She said when she was a little girl and brought some playing cards into her house, her mother snatched them up and burned them in the oven! Charlie and I were a bit surprised and went babbling to our mom about the incident when she came to pick us up. My mom patiently explained to us that what she said might sound extreme, but in her days, people were shot and killed in card games all the time. Anyway, the bottom line is that my Great Grandmother Thelma was the last person on this earth that I'd ever accuse of lying. If she said she saw the pope skateboarding at the mall, then by God I'd believe that the pope was skateboarding at the mall!
I can hear my dad saying something like "I believe that she believes what she thinks she saw", but not lying. She was so focused on Jesus her whole life, anyone could say that the various episodes she had were mentally contrived hallucinations, but why? She was sharp as a whistle until the day she died. And why does this watered down conclusion have to be what really happened? After all, more than 500 people saw Jesus float away up into heaven! Are all of them crazy? Millions of people all over the world have faith in Jesus, and each of those millions of people has a story to tell - a personal testimony, about how Jesus personally entered their lives and transformed them. Consider who Jesus is! The Creator of all the universe became a human being - born as a helpless child that needed His holy diaper changed! (If I just planted a seed of doubt about Jesus - don't forget that He grew up into a man that performed countless miracles, then came back to life after being dead for three days!) Taking all this into account, if Jesus is real, then what's so hard to believe that He might have done something special for a woman that devoted her entire life to serving Him?
62And Jesus said, I AM: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
READ: Matthew 17:1-3
1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Everyone saw it - almost every
The Addy apparition was an interesting one, because it was a recurring phenomenon, (almost every single night actually), and we were able to validate it's existence by demonstrating a simple test with different people that knew nothing of it. (Most of our new visitors had to endure this creepy test). The Addy apparition stood leaning against the hallway door jam next to the television on the far end of our living room. One arm was positioned against the door jam, while the other arm was bent with the hand placed in the center of the waist. When we had new visitors, we would ask them to look at the television, and pay attention to their peripheral vision concerning the hallway and describe what they saw in the doorway, if they saw anything at all. Invariably people would freak out, and describe someone standing in the opening in the exact posture I just described. It was a very distinct posture, and everyone that was given this test would describe a person standing in the same posture.
On some nights this image was so clear - it was downright disturbing. My mother was always open about this odd thing, joking about it and personalizing "Addy" as a family member. She had no fear, but it bothered me on occasion, especially when I was alone.
After years of studying ghosts and other paranormal phenomenon, I don't think the image that popped up in the hallway of this house was a 'spirit', per say. I already mentioned this above when I spoke of apparitions. My theory about apparitions is simple; in unusual circumstances, I think the physical atmosphere may sometimes make ghostly imprints of people, animals, or even objects. These imprints may take on both visual, and audio characteristics. They might also encompass other more complex vestiges, such as emotions, or even certain thought patterns. Perhaps that's why we see them. It's not the visual object we're seeing, but rather, a visual thought pattern that we tuned into. There are numerous possibilities, many of which I find to be more plausible than actual disembodied spirits, in most cases. It's not that I don't believe in disembodied spirits - in fact, I do believe they exist, for reason that I discuss in my book, "Aliens in the Bible". But each situation should be analyzed uniquely when it comes to paranormal phenomenon, in order to determine a correct classification of what if happening. Concerning the image that appeared in the hallway opening of this house in Arkansas, it resembled characteristics of an apparition, rather than a spirit, because it was static, and unintelligent.
The theory of atmospheric impressions is especially plausible in the instance of ghostly objects, because it wouldn't make sense for a non-living object to be a ghost! How could it? It was never alive to begin with. Yet, consider the famous ghostly object as President Lincoln's train. Other objects, such as ghost ships at sea, phantom cars, and even entire battle fields complete with cannon fire, have all been reported.
Huge breakthroughs have been discovered with sounds that have actually been recorded on audio tape, such as phantom piano music, and even phantom noises of games of pool. In one instance, a homeowner discovered that her home used to be used as a pool hall in one room because sounds of games of pool were caught on audio tape by ghost researchers. I saw this on an episode of Sightings. These are all a part of the ghostly archive. Concerning apparitions in general, the evidence gathered leads me to believe that they have something more to do with a physical atmospheric phenomenon, rather than spirits.
What causes an atmospheric 'recording' to take place, while in other times, what can make that recording enter 'playback mode'? And what about real, disembodied spirits? How can one tell the difference between an apparition and a disembodied spirit? These are questions that paranormal researchers have been struggling with for years. Paranormal researchers are finally to the point that they've narrowed down at least one type of ghostly phenomenon, and that's what I've been discussing; apparitions. They are fairly easy to identify, because they are repetitive, and generally mindless. This definition can become blurred, however, if the idea that intense thought patterns and emotions can be recorded. One could easily state that since the thought patterns are being replayed in a living brain, they can become reanimated, and assume a semi-intelligent quality. The effect would be likened to a computer that's programmed to do a certain task. Computer programs do nothing unless activated; then they become dynamic processes. Processes aren't intelligent in and of themselves, and will do only what they are programmed to do, but if enough programming is involved, they can have many characteristics associated with living things. This is what the entire concept of artificial intelligence is based upon. During an interactive session, it just might seem like an advanced AI program is really alive. Take this same concept, and apply it to thought patterns, which are by far more complex than computer programming. If thoughts can be translated into energy, then inserted into someone's brain in some unknown manner, whose to say what that the end result might be.
Another explanation of ghosts could be a distortion in the space / time continuum. Perhaps the dimensional fabric of time and space becomes frayed in certain areas under certain conditions, so that events of the past, or future, are perceived by recipients of the present. For example, what if the area in the hallway of that house in Arkansas was distorted in time so I was able to see a ghostly image of myself in the future? Consider the following scenario:
1. The area in the hallway becomes distorted in the space / time continuum, and I can actually see a distorted glimpse of the future at a specific set time. It just so happens that the future I'm looking at is at a time when I am standing in that hallway in a particular posture.
2. Excited about what I saw while sitting on the couch, I run over to the opening in the hallway, and ask the others sitting on the couch, "Look, it was standing like this, wasn't it?" I then assume the posture of the ghostly apparition I saw in the hallway, and wham - I just passed through a ripple in the space / time continuum. Sounds cool, doesn't it? I just made the image of myself in that posture that I was so scared of, and it became permanently imprinted in the atmosphere. Makes one wonder about how little we know, doesn't it?
3. From the moment after I had my 'snapshot' taken in the atmosphere in that location, my imprint remains, and replays whenever the conditions are right. Now what makes the conditions right? That's the hard part. Let's just say that in that particular region, the earth's geoelectromagnetic fields happen to be in a high concentration. Also, the hilltop on which that house is located contains a high concentration of nickel, copper, magnesium, and iron. Furthermore, a water pipeline runs right underneath the doorway of the hallway. Combining all these elements together, along with say the room temperature, the amount of ambient light in the area, and even the mental state of mind of the perceivers, a 'playback' will occur. Granted, putting all these environmental conditions together might be tricky, but it would have to be, in order to allude researchers for so long! They're getting close, I won't be too pessimistic about their progress. All of the elements I mentioned, i.e., the earth's geoelectromagnetic field, various high concentrations of certain minerals, and especially water, have all been associated with ghostly phenomenon. It's too bad that paranormal research isn't given more funding. With technology such as biocomputers, and robots with molecule sized components, certainly we should be able to figure out what causes an apparition to occur!
All of the theories I've espoused so far, combined with the reality that disembodied spirits really do exist, can make things fairly complex to define. This becomes especially true when taking into consideration that various types of paranormal phenomenon is often linked together. For example, the house in Arkansas might meet all the required conditions in order to create an apparition, but as it turns out, those same required conditions also do other things, such as open up dimensional gateways - where real disembodied spirits can enter through! Confusing yet?
For anyone that wants to know more about what the Bible has to say about ghosts, I don't want to repeat what I've already written about them. For more information about what the Bible has to say, check out my other book, "Aliens in the Bible". It's not just about aliens. I have an entire chapter dedicated to the topic of ghosts. As for what the Bible has to say about atmospheric phenomenon, consider the fact that both Joshua, as well as Jesus, considered rocks to be reliable witnesses. Were these enlightened individuals aware of the 'record' and 'playback modes' of the environment?
READ: Joshua 24:26-27
26And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
READ: Luke 19:14 (Perhaps the same
stone in Joshua 24:27, along with a few of his buddies, was near by when Jesus
made this statement)
36And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
It woke me up one
One night while living in Arkansas, (the same house described in "Everyone saw it - almost every night"), I was awakened in the middle of the night by someone shouting my name in my ear! The shout was so ear shattering that I leaped out of my bed and yelled back, "What!" The room was deftly silent, and chills shot up my spine. I knew I was being watched from the darkness. In a blind panic I scrambled for the bedroom light switch and turned it on. Even the bright room gave me little comfort. I still felt the piercing glare of an unseen set of eyes.
Quickly I ran into the hallway and hit the hallway light. I then jolted down to my mother's room, but oddly, her bedroom door was closed. Not once had she ever closed her door at night, but on this night, it was closed. I then went to open her door but it was locked. In all the years we lived in that house, she especially never locked her bedroom door - neither during the day or night. Fear gripped me now even more so, because I couldn't get to my mother for help. I couldn't understand why she would shut and lock her door. In a fit, I began to pound on her bedroom door and scream "Help, mom - wake up!" but my mother would not wake up. I then kicked the door and beat it with my fists as hard as I could, but the door wouldn't budge, and my mother never woke up.
After about 5 minutes of panicking frustration, I realized that the situation wasn't getting resolved, so I stopped and looked around me. Stiff with fear I proceeded into the living room and turned on the light. Room after room I went, turning on all the lights in the house. I then turned on the radio and cranked up the volume. My mom still didn't wake up. I sat in a recliner in the living room and after about a half hour I became sleepy. I left all the lights on, but turned the radio off, then went back to bed. The next morning, I woke up and noticed that my bedroom light was still on. Immediately I recalled the bizarre events from the night before. I quickly got up and went to my mother's bedroom. Her door was wide open, yet she was sound asleep. I wondered momentarily if I could've dreamed the whole incident, but only for an instant. I can tell when something is a dream or not, and that was definitely not a dream. All the lights in the house were still on, too, proving that I was awake. I went to my mother, woke her up, and asked her why she shut her bedroom door. She said that she didn't. I told her that it was shut and locked during the night, and recounted the events to her. She claimed that when she went to bed, her bedroom door was wide open, like always. Furthermore, she slept like a log throughout the night, which I was already fully aware of.
"It must have been Addy", she concluded, then rolled over and went back to sleep. Little solace for a 12 year old kid!
I have no idea what, or why - whatever it was woke me up. I'm fairly certain that whatever it was, it wasn't the apparition that my mother alluded to - i.e., Addy. (This house had an apparition that frequently appeared in the hallway, and I talk about it in depth in the preceding story, "Everyone saw it - almost every night"). As I stated in the previously mentioned story, I think that it's highly probable that the same environmental conditions that were responsible for creating the apparition in our hallway, may also have done other things, such as opening up a dimensional gateway for something to enter through. Whatever did this to me not only shouted in my ear, but also shut my mother's bedroom door, locked it, then placed her into an intensely deep sleep - which was not characteristic of my mother. Apparitions do not do things like that. All the Addy apparition ever did was stand in the hallway in a certain posture.
Nothing of this nature ever happened to me again in that
house, thank God! The entire episode remains completely a
READ: LUKE 12:4-5
4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, (God), which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Lady in black
This story takes place in the house in Fresno that I used to live in when I lived with my dad, step mother, step brother, and brother. I was about 12 or 13 years old when I lived there. I never saw this ghost, but I certainly felt it, and several other members of my family saw it clearly. I think my brother saw it before, but I can't recall his experience right off hand. The story I do recall involves a friend of my step mother's, who once slept on our living room couch and woke up in the middle of the night. She said she saw a woman walking from the bedroom through the dining room and into the kitchen. She called out, "Rose, could you get me a glass of water", thinking this figure was my step mother. The figure ignored her while it strolled into the kitchen. "Rose" she called out again, but received no reply.
The next day Kathy asked my step mother why she ignored her during the night when she went into the kitchen. My step mother said she never went into the kitchen. "Yes you did" Kathy protested. "You were wearing a black night gown and walked into the kitchen. I asked you for a glass of water but you flat out ignored me. Were you sleep walking or something?"
Rose answered, "I never went into the kitchen, I don't sleepwalk, and I don't have a black nightgown. You must have seen the lady in black..." Needless to say, Kathy never stayed over again. In fact, she seldom came over at all. Gee, I wonder why?
Who was that lady in black? Could she really have been the restless spirit of some woman? If she was, how incredibly sad! I wonder about this concerning all disembodied spirits, in those cases where the haunting - or whatever the ghostly phenomenon is - involves real, true earth-bound spirits. They are all in an incredibly bad situation, due to the fact that according to the Apostle Paul who stated in 2 Corinthians 5:8, "8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." This statement of his only applies to those that have placed their trust in Jesus Christ to save them from death. Since restless spirits aren't in the presence of the Lord, then they are either in death, or in hell, which is unspeakably unfortunate. The ones that are in death are the ones referred to when speaking of ghosts, because they obviously aren't in hell - yet - or at least the lower parts of hell. They might not be in the lowest hell, but there is little room for solace for them, considering the fact that they all have one destination remaining. Without Christ as their mediator, their judgment is eternal pain and sorrow. Revelation 20:13-15 reveals the destiny of all the lost with unquenchable sadness: "13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Looking at the bright side of things, I say ghosts can be
a good thing. Let them continue to scare the crap out of people, so we can
have some serious reminders to apply to the LIVING! As for those that have
passed, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and warn them. What would
I say to that lady?
READ: 2 John 5
5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
The graveyard ghost in
In Korea, graves are scattered all throughout the mountains. Koreans typically sheer off a portion of steep slope about 15ft to 20ft in length, making the ground flat, set the deceased person in the middle of the flattened area facing the valley below, then pile the excess dirt on top of the person. I was told that Korean's do this in order that the deceased ancestors have the opportunity to oversee the valleys below the mountains. The end result is that the mountains are full of "Happy Mounds", as they are nick named, which look like eyeballs from the air.
Diagram of Happy Mound
During military maneuvers in Korea, troops typically travel throughout the mountains and take rest breaks or bed down around Happy Mounds. They do this because sometimes these are the only flat places there are; the mountains are very steep. So when I was in the Army during my tour in Korea, I frequently slept around graves. I recall one night I was so tired I couldn't see strait. I sat down on the edge of a Happy Mound and started talking to someone sitting next to me. When I turned, I realized there was nobody sitting there. It's possible I could've hallucinated or my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I sure thought someone was sitting next to me.
READ: 1 John 4:17-18 (In essence, when we are
right with God, we have nothing to fear...)
17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
That terrifying Halloween night
I have a vague, terrifying memory that goes back to when I was only about 4 or 5 years old. I know it was near Halloween at the time, because my brother and I had decorated our room with numerous Halloween decorations, such as tiny 3 inch paper ghosts we had taped to our bedroom walls. We also made miniature ghosts out of toilet paper tied with thread, and flew them around the house as if they were model airplanes. (Don't gross out - the toilet paper wasn't used).
I remember that I woke up in the middle of the night one night; I think it was Halloween night. To my utter horror, I saw greenish glowing ghost-looking creatures flying all over my room. They ranged from 1 1/2 feet to 3 feet in length. There must have been hundreds of them. They were semi-transparent, and I remember that I could see holes where the eyes and mouths were. Come to think of it, they looked just exactly like what the stereotypical ghost is known to look like, aside from the fact that they were a greenish glow, rather than white.
When I saw them, I was filled with unimaginable terror. I tried to scream, but I had no voice. Only a whisper came out. The more I tried, the more muted I became. I tried to move, but I couldn't. I was paralyzed. Tears streamed down my cheeks, and the creatures seemed to feed off my fear. One after another would swoop down over me, flying up into my face with hideous wickedness. They were incredibly evil, and wanted nothing more than to terrorize me. I was so young at this time in my life, I didn't know anything about Jesus. I just cried, and stayed awake all night, stiff with fear. I think it was because of this horrible memory that I tried desperately to learn the phrase "I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!", when I first learned about what demons were from going to church with my Great Grandmother Thelma. I actually already knew what they were; I just learned what they were called at church, and more importantly, how to get rid of the stinking things! I talk a little more about that in ("My best friend Jack").
Somehow, those evil spirits took away my voice, and paralyzed me. I couldn't move to get out of bed and go to my brother's bed just on the other side of the room. The evil spirits didn't go away until daylight came through the window.
As a side note, we had a visitor staying in our house that night. He was a teenage kid that my brother and I have many awful memories associated with. I don't remember much, but what I do remember, I'd rather forget. I have no doubts that he brought some unwanted guests into our house that night.
READ: Matthew 18:5-6
5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
My Grandpa Walter's bedroom
Finally, I'm on a ghost story that's actually somewhat funny. This happened when I lived with my mom, brother, and sister in a ranch house off of Highway 45 in Madera, California. For those readers that are familiar with Madera, they just might know where this house is, (or rather - where it used to be). It was there for so long, it's practically a landmark. It used to exist across the Highway from Gene's Grinders about a half mile past Tozer bridge, right before the railroad track underpass. All that's left now is a 40 acre lot gone fallow, and a few remaining eucalyptus trees that used to adorn the old ranch house. A peculiar feeling comes over me whenever I see those huge old trees, still standing there, towering pointlessly as sentries guarding a homestead that no longer exists. I feel old when I look at them. They seem ancient, having outlived all, remaining only as monuments of my fading childhood.
One night while living in that ranch house, my brother, sister, her husband, my mother, and I were all sitting around in our living room talking about ghosts. Why? I don't know. We talked about everything. But even worse than talking about ghosts, talk apparently wasn't enough. Someone got the bright idea to go back into my Grandpa Walter's bedroom. This was probably my sister Sharon. She was fascinated with ghosts, and claimed that she couldn't wait to be one someday. She is still fascinated with ghosts, and has told me that the house where she lives now is haunted. I wouldn't be surprised. It's sitting right next to an abandoned cemetery. There are also numerous graves all over her property, (coffin-less graves at that), where Indians were buried long ago.
The ranch where we lived used to belong to my Grandpa Walter, and he had died several years prior to this incident. His room was left exactly the way it was when he died, and nobody ever went into that room. It was very creepy in there, even at daytime.
My brother, sister, and her first husband, James Cessor, and I all grouped together and bravely ventured through the kitchen, then the pantry, then toward the dark recess of my Grandpa Walter's bedroom. I think my mother opted to hold the fort in the living room, complaining about our stupid plan. We didn't know what we were going to do - at least I don't think we did. I didn't anyway. I was only about 9 years old at the time. Now that I think of it, what were we going to do? I'll have to call my sister and ask her! Kids. ANYWAY, it didn't matter what we were going to do, because we never made it to my Grandpa's bedroom!
The structure of that old house was a bit odd. To get into my Grandpa Walter's bedroom, one would have to go through the bathroom first. It was like a bathroom / hallway - obviously an add-on to the house that didn't take normal floor planning into consideration. We managed to get all the way to the bathroom, but paused outside the first door. There was some debate about who'd get the nerve to open that door. I knew I was out of the question. I remained quietly behind the adventurous group, listening to their giggling, which was nothing more than a vain attempt to stifle the surmounted fear. Finally, someone opened the first door. We quietly began to pile into the bathroom. There were so many of us crammed in there, I remember I had to stand on the toilet just to fit.
Now the second door. It was closed as well. On the other side of that door was my Grandpa Walter's bedroom. Who was going to open that last door? More giggling ensued as the debate surged. My brother decided that enough was enough, and that he had to turn on the bathroom light. Up until this point, we were in the dark, because the only way to turn on the light in that bathroom was to walk all the way inside to the back wall, then pull a string mounted light switch. It was the old fashioned kind.
My brother grabbed that string and pulled it, but the light didn't turn on. He pulled it again. The light still didn't turn on. I'll never forget the way he started yanking on that string like a monkey on steroids! He screamed, turned, and WENT! James barely had time to turn around, but Charlie had to get out of there! His hands hit James in the back and shoved for dear life. Sharon was behind James and managed to get clear, but James looked like a line-backer's rack being shoved across a football field! His feet were firmly planted on the ground, trying to maintain his balance, but since he was wearing socks, he slid across the linoleum floor. Charlie shoved him about thirty feet, out the bathroom, through the pantry and the kitchen, and right into the living room! He probably would've kept shoving him had there not been a step they had to go up to get into the living room. I ran as well, but even I couldn't keep up with Charlie, who was shoving another body! What a sight. We couldn't stop laughing! My mother recalls hearing a bunch of racquet, then seeing James Cessor literally thrown into the living room like a rag doll! Charlie was only three years older than me, but when his adrenaline kicked in, he had the strength of an ox. Needless to say, we got our fill for the night.
The story doesn't end there. The next day after school, after putting my books in my bedroom, I grabbed a snack to eat. While browsing through the refrigerator, I peered through the pantry and into the bathroom, which still had the door open. It was daylight, so I was feeling a bit brave. I walked into that bathroom, grabbed the string, and gave it a yank. The light turned on. I flipped it on and off a few times to make sure it worked really good. It did. "O ... kay", I said to myself, then calmly walked out of the bathroom. Deep breath. MOMMY!!!
I hate to change the humorous tone of this story, but I feel I must - for the sake of Christ. While we laughed a lot concerning the events that transpired on this night, it's not funny considering the fact that it associates my Grandpa Walter with ghostly phenomenon. I certainly hope he's in heaven, and not trapped in some limbo state awaiting trail, and possibly torment! I hate to say it, but that could be the case. My mom said that on the night my Grandpa Walter died, his girlfriend said she actually saw him praying at the foot of her bed, asking for forgiveness. (What is it about that spot at the foot of the bed, anyway?) Sorry - that just popped into my mind. Continuing on, if this story is true about my Grandpa praying for forgiveness, I think it's a good sign. Repentance is always good. Hopefully he wasn't too late.
How many people do we know of that are STILL ALIVE, but don't know the Lord? What is to become of them? For those that are reading this that don't know Christ as their Savior, doesn't the idea of death seem disturbing? Jesus died, but He came back to tell about it. He said it's not all that bad - if we ask Him to forgive us of our sins and save us. In fact, He said that the good place He has planned for us is incredibly awesome! There are mansions, beautiful rivers, gorgeous countryside with lots of trees, and peaceful animals. Kids can even pet the lions! As for those that want to take the risk and ignore what Jesus said after He arose from the dead - I think you're all CRAAAAAZZZZYYYY!!!!
READ: John 4:16
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
My sister's bizarre experience
After my sister got married to her first husband, James Cessor, she and he moved to an island planted right in the middle of the mighty Mississippi river. For anyone that's never been to the Mississippi river, it's BIG! The river was wide on both sides of the island, and the island itself was about 8 miles wide! I went there once with my mom and brother, to visit Sharon during Christmas time. We took a ferry across the river to the island, then had to ride on a trailer pulled by an old farm tractor just to get to my sister's house.
The island where she and James lived was used for a hunting club. Aside from my sister and her husband, who lived in a shack right next to the dining facility for the hunting club, they had only one other neighbor on the entire island. The place was completely isolated.
I never saw anything out of the ordinary when I was there, but my sister certainly did. She said that she thought the island might have been used as a military outpost during the American Civil War. Many battles had been fought all throughout the region, and countless numbers of soldiers had undoubtedly been killed. With that in mind, she said that one day while she and James were having a picnic, they heard an enormous explosion that shook the ground! Their neighbor didn't have anything to do with it. They never did find out what it was. This was a relatively tame incident, however, when compared to the man in a blue uniform that waltzed into their living room!
It was dark, and there was a light snowstorm going on outside. Sharon was busy in the kitchen doing something, cooking dinner I suppose. James was sitting on the living room couch cleaning a rifle. He had it broken down into its various components, and was madly working away on it when suddenly the front door opened up. By the time he registered that something was happening, a man dressed in a blue uniform walked through the front door and right into the living room. He paused and looked around, inspecting the premises. Sharon said she saw the man too. Aside from the uniform, he looked like a normal human being, just as real and solid as anyone. He was a white male with blond hair and blue eyes. Oddly, he appeared to recognize the fact that something wasn't right. When he came to this realization, he then look down at James, and with an embarrassed expression of "Oopse", smiled, then proceeded to turn around and walk right back outside.
James was pale white with astonishment. Sharon was paralyzed. Knowing that they were the only ones on the island aside from a reclusive neighbor, and also knowing the futility of running around on the island, as well as trying to navigate the Mississippi during a snowstorm, she wanted to know who in the world that was! She turned to James. He looked as if he'd just had a frontal lobotomy.
"Who was that!"
"Du ... eee... thu..." It took a while, but he finally snapped out of it and leaped off the couch. He quickly ran over to the door to see where the man went. Their two dogs were huddled up against the door, sound asleep. He had to heave the door open to get them out of the way. Once on the front porch, he found there was no one to be seen. The night was pitch black, and it was pointless to set foot out of that house.
After James came back inside, he and Sharon began to recount the incident. For one thing, the soldier's uniform was perfectly dry, and his shoes were brightly polished, not having a speck of mud on them. Mississippi mud has a reputation - there's even a BEER named after it! (Serious, it comes in a jug). It's practically impossible to walk in it, much less completely avoid it during a storm. Then there was the fact that he walked through a door that was blocked by two sleeping dogs. Who in the world was that? Perhaps a better question might be, what was that?
After a minute or two passed, Sharon told me she broke down and started crying in hysterics. Her entire grasp on reality was shaken to its foundations. (My sister happens to be one of the most fearless people I know).
Sharon and James talked about this episode for days. The strangest part about the whole ordeal is the way the man behaved. He acted as if he was fully aware that some sort of strange cosmic mistake had been made, and actually seemed a bit embarrassed about it. One would think that a normal ghost would be caught up in its own time frame, not actually taking a detailed notice of its surroundings. Typical ghost stories are a dime a dozen. Ghosts are always doing something, such as a mother searching for her daughter, or perhaps the reenactment of a brutal tragedy. They are usually absorbed about whatever they were consumed with in life, and oblivious about their ghostly circumstances. This was completely different. This scenario seemed more like, "Oopse, we overshot our mark. Wrong time. Sorry people - excuse me! Everything's cool! You never saw me..." That's what it sounds like to me, anyway.
READ: 2 Kings 6:15-17 (Perhaps one of God's
angelic, undercover Cilvil War agents accidentally overshot the
15And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
My dad's vision
My dad recounts a time when he was a kid and spent the night at his Grandmother's house. (This was not my Great Grandmother Thelma, for those familiar with the stories about her in this book, but rather, another Grandmother that I never personally knew.) While at her house, he said he woke up in the middle of the night, and not too far away from the bed, he saw an old man sitting in a rocking chair. Oddly, he wasn't scared about seeing the man. He just remembers that he noticed the man sitting there, then he went back to sleep.
The next day when my dad told his Grandmother about the incident, she looked as white as a ghost when he described what the man looked like. She then produced a photo album, and very quickly my dad found a picture of the man he saw. He had no doubts the man he saw in the rocking chair was the man in that photo album.
"That's your Grandpa" said his Grandmother, somewhat disturbed. He had been dead quite some time.
An interesting side note to this tale is that I've had various conversations with my dad about what happens to people after they die. He's of the opinion that people don't continue on as individuals. I wonder how he reconciles what he saw with his philosophies. I'll have to remember to ask him someday. That'll take a conversational engineering effort to work up to...
READ: Hebrews 11:6
6But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Ralph the ghost hunter
I have a good friend, Ralph Osle, that I met through my wife several years ago. Ralph and I hit it off really well when we first met since we both share several similar interests. Ralph is a computer programmer, and I'm a computer security specialist, so we began our friendship by going to computer shows together, and I would show him my websites while he would show me his latest programs. We always had something new to share with each other, because there's always something new with computers.
Ralph and I also shared a common interest in the paranormal. We swapped ghost stories from time to time, and enjoyed talking about UFOs and such. One thing that starkly differentiated Ralph from me, however, was that fact that I'm a Christian, and Ralph was not. When we'd talk about ghosts and other topics that had elements extending into the occult, I would always hold to the Christian paradigm, while he wasn't so willing to accept the Bible's explanation. For example, when we discussed reincarnation, Ralph believed that reincarnation might be a spiritual reality, while I would point out that Hebrews 9:27 (XXX) states that reincarnation can't be true. (It also happens to be a works-righteousness doctrine, which makes it even more satanic than most might think). I was open enough to suggest other possibilities such as the theory that one could be possessed by the spirit of a deceased person, and confuse someone else's memories with their own. Demon possession is also a possibility - though unlike many Christians, I don't use this explanation as the default explanation to everything I don't understand. My biblical theories intrigued Ralph, because he'd never heard anything like them. I wasn't like any of the Christians he'd ever known.
I'm not sure if Ralph was entirely aware of it, but I often used paranormal discussions to end up talking about the Lord. I can't say it was deliberate, since ghosts involve deceased spirits that aren't in heaven, or hell, which seems to contradict the Bible. It's just that the Bible speaks a great deal about life after death, so it naturally fell into our discussions. (By the way, just because ghosts exist doesn't invalidate the Bible - in fact the Bible speaks about them in several places. Read Aliens in the Bible for more information about what the Bible says about ghosts).
For years I planted seeds in Ralph, not really knowing if anything would ever come of it. The Holy Spirit is never imparted in words of contention, so I never vehemently argued with him. When we disagreed, we debated. He would present his views, and I would present mine. We'd frequently end with a stalemate concerning our interpretations of paranormal phenomenon, but instead of arguing and getting angry, we'd laugh about all of it and leave the table open for discussion for another day.
Ralph challenged me time and again to dig deep to answer some of those hard, theological questions. At times we would delve into the depths of theology and reach that threshold that one reaches where if the Holy Spirit is not present, no matter of logical reasoning and intellectualism will penetrate the unbelieving heart. I knew that a part of Ralph was searching though, else he wouldn't have been so interested in spiritual things. But part of him was holding back. In Christian terms, he had a bad case of "Thomas-itis". Jesus cured Ralph just like He cured Thomas...
Ralph's interest in the paranormal grew over time, and reached the point that our conversations weren't enough for him. He wanted action; he wanted to see, feel, hear, and experience the unknown in a personal way. So, a few years after we met, some time in the early 90's, Ralph picked up the hobby of ghost hunting. He purchased some equipment, such as an electromagnetic field detector, and a few other things. He then started his investigations in the police department, where he worked into the late hours of the night. Strange things happened there, so it was a good place to start.
As Ralph continued in his ghost hunting, he began to cultivate more and more stories about the strange happenings in various places throughout Fresno. He talked about doors opening and closing, and lights turning on and off at the police department, and also talked about the old winery in Fresno, where the turnover for late shift employees was unusually high.
A few times Ralph tried to get me to go with him on various ghost hunting excursions. He called me one night and said he was on his way to the Fresno Cemetery for a round of ghost photography. "No, that's not a good idea Ralph. You know, that stuff can follow you home." He was excited by my warning rather than intimidated. At the time, he didn't realize what he was headed for, which was something I just went through a few years prior. I already had my fill of the experiences Ralph was seeking.
Ralph excitedly showed me his photos he took at the Fresno Cemetery, which I think are still posted on Ghost Web. Ghost Web happens to be one of the largest ghost websites on the Internet. Strange misty shapes and spots of light showed up on many of his photos, which he said weren't there when he took the pictures.
My contact with Ralph was touch and go for a while, then one night my wife received a call from Ralph's wife Maria, inviting us to their son's birthday party. She then said she had a surprise to share about Ralph. My wife and I wondered what it could be. "Maybe Ralph's a Christian now?" I blurted out to my wife, mainly in jest.
"No, don't even joke about that, because you know that's a touchy subject with Maria." My wife was referring to the fact that Ralph's wife Maria is an ardent Catholic; in fact, she was considering becoming a nun when she was younger. Ralph's faith, or lack thereof, was always a point of contention in their marriage, so jokes even hinting around the topic would not be tactful to say the least.
The next day we showed up to the birthday party, and Ralph was smiling from ear to ear about something. The party was really busy, but Ralph took me to the side a few times and told me that he had to talk to me about some stuff that had been happening since we last talked. When we finally got together to talk, I was both elated, and disturbed by what he had to say.
It all began when Ralph did all he could do with ghost photography, so he began scowering the Internet for another avenue in which to extend his hobby of ghost hunting. He eventually came across something that combined both computer technology, and ghost hunting into a single package. For Ralph, what could be more intriguing? What he discovered was a program that explored a phenomenon called EVP, (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The way it works is simple. Most versions of the Windows Operating System have a program called "Voice Recorder", which is nothing more than a simple program that records sounds. Using Voice Recorder, Ralph would ask some simple questions, such as "Hello, is anybody there?", then he would put his computer into record mode and stay quiet. After recording what seemed to be nothing but silence in his computer room, he would then transfer the so-called silent sound file into the EVP analysis program he downloaded from the Internet. The EVP analysis program would then filter out static noise, and amazingly, the end result was anything BUT silence. In fact, what Ralph heard was the voice of a woman who identified herself as (XXX). Thus began his relationship with something - which at the time, was exactly what he was looking for.
Once Ralph gave me the background of what he was now exploring, (which was nothing more than an advanced, electronic Ouija board), he had a book's worth of information to relay to me. First of all, he said he was now a Christian, because he could actually hear people that were trapped in hell, screaming! (Perhaps my earlier joke about Ralph becoming a Christian would more accurately be described as a prophecy?) Hearing people suffering in hell effected Ralph so dramatically that he went into his backyard, fell to his knees, and cried for the souls of the lost. He repented in that moment, asked Jesus into his heart, and dedicated himself to praying for these souls that claimed to be trapped in purgatory, waiting for someone to pray them out. So, I was elated to hear that Ralph now believed in Jesus, but wasn't too thrilled about his profession of the doctrine of purgatory, and especially of the fact that he was communicating with a familiar spirit.
Ralph had more - much more information to relay. He told me about the various levels of hell, the rules of purgatory, certain information or secrets, which the spirits weren't allowed to relay, and on and on. I can't say I absorbed everything he had to say as if it were gospel; I couldn't get past the fact that his communication with these spirits was in direct violation of Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Leviticus 20:27, 19:31, 20:6-7, 20:27, and numerous other scriptures. These scriptures of warning shouldn't be taken lightly. The strongest possible language is used to warn people about God's impending wrath against anyone who initiates communication with spirits in the spiritual realm.
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
27A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
6And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
27A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Ralph's profound change of heart and profession of faith, combined with the false doctrines he was also professing presented me with a confusing scenario. On the one hand, I could see that there was certainly a genuine faith in Jesus; it was in his eyes. On the other hand, I discerned that there was a tremendous darkness in his midst. I could feel it in his house. He opened a door in that house, and the battle was on.
Ralph explained that his dramatic conversion was due primarily to the fact that these spirits he was communicating with told him that Jesus is Lord, and that heaven and hell are a reality, and they confirmed many things in scripture that he doubted for years. They also told him a bunch of things that were flat out wrong. For example, if there is a place like purgatory, it's nothing more than one of the upper levels of hell. Spirits certainly can't get prayed out of it, if it exists. This doctrine conflicts with 2 Corinthians 5:8, which states, "8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." In this passage, Paul states that believers in Christ go to be present with the Lord, not to a place of foreboding darkness for unknown eons. The doctrine of purgatory also conflicts with mountains of scripture simply by the fact that it suggests that Jesus' sacrifice isn't enough to purify and sanctify all the sins of the world. I mean, what's the point of His being crucified if we still have to go to a place of torment for hundreds or even thousands of years, trying to earn enough points to get to heaven? This form of teaching is purely satanic. The gift of salvation is exactly what divides Christianity from every other religion in the world in the first place. It's also why I, personally, believe in Jesus, as opposed to any other religion in the world. All religions in the world save Christianity have one central theme; what must humanity do to reach God. Jesus flat out stated in Luke 18:19 that man can NOT reach God no matter what he does, because no man is good enough. The Prophet Isaiah, as well as the Apostle Paul, further illustrated this point in Isaiah 64:6-7 and Romans 3:10-12, by defining the depth of humanities depravity.
19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
But instead of destroying our hopes, Jesus turned everything around by demonstrating that while man can not reach God, God can certainly reach man. That's why Jesus came into the world. He came to show us how to live life, and live it more abundantly, John 10:9-11.
9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
He came to show us His love for us by the greatest demonstration of sacrificial love He could offer. All we have to do is believe in Him, and accept His gift. The promise of eternal life in heaven through Jesus is sealed in John 3:16. Our response certainly shouldn't be conforming to a strict, legalistic set of rules in order to earn His love. It doesn't include purgatory, either. It's true that we should live godly lives, but the motivation should be from love - not out of pride, and the idea that we have to earn anything. Remember what Paul said? Salvation is a gift, that no one should boast, Ephesians 2:8-10. So, reflecting on all of this, it became evidently clear that Ralph was being fed truth, mixed with lies.
I told Ralph that it was totally awesome to see that he now believed that Jesus is the Way to eternal life. One thing Ralph was never able to overcome was the idea that so many millions of people on earth are deceived with false belief systems such as the Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic religions. Now he believed, despite this stumbling block. But something troubled me tremendously. Why on earth would a deceased spirit say anything about the Bible, when in fact it's the Bible that condemns communication with deceased spirits in the first place? Such a deception could only hold up for a short amount of time before falling apart. I pointed out a few of the major inconsistencies to Ralph, and his wheels were spinning. He then countered my statements with his personal testimony about how these spirits helped him stop smoking, and they also forced him to open up and confess his sins to his wife. According to Ralph, this was a tremendous ordeal that made him feel like he was having a heart attack. But once it was all over, their marriage had experienced dramatic improvements as a result.
I can't argue with a testimony, so we left the table open, again. I had a feeling that it wouldn't be long before things would fall apart, and Ralph's new found faith would be tested. I also had the feeling that satan's strategy, whatever it was, backfired when Ralph found Jesus - for real.
After returning home from the birthday party, Vilma and I couldn't get any sleep that night. About midnight, I was still awake, unable to sleep. Suddenly I heard a bang against the bedroom window, the TV made a loud popping noise, and what sounded like a muted roar penetrated the silence. All three sounds set off at the same time, and ended instantaneously. I was startled, and looked around the bedroom, feeling the eerie presence of an unwanted visitor. My wife stirred in her sleep; she was also restless. I prayed over our home, and tried to go to sleep. Later that night, about 2:00 AM, my wife stirred awake and felt a horrible presence. She said she felt that there was a tall, dark male figure standing next to my side of the bed. She rebuked the spirit in the name of Jesus, prayed over our home, and tried to go to sleep. We both continued to wake up throughout the night, and each time, we prayed over our home.
The next day we talked about the events occurring during the night. We both had nightmares. We walked through our home and prayed in all the rooms. Our unwanted visitors left, and our home returned to its previously peaceful state.
Two weeks later, I heard a knock on my front door. I peeped through the peephole in my door and saw Ralph, Maria, and their kids quietly standing on our front porch. They never came without calling in the past, but here they were. "Humph?"
When I opened the door, I saw that Ralph was visibly shaken. "We have to talk" he stated soberly.
Ralph and I went to my bedroom to talk, while Vilma and Maria talked in the kitchen. Ralph brought with him a notebook, which he nervously clutched. He proceeded to rattle off a list of theological questions, all pertaining to various doctrines he was receiving from the spirits he was communicating with. He didn't know where to start.
"I don't need the computer anymore. I deleted the program off my computer, and I haven't even been in my computer room ever since. I also got rid of all those demonic computer games. I stopped..." Ralph paused, trying to collect himself.
"We went to see a priest, and he told me that what I was doing was dangerous, and that I opened up some kind of doorway that's allowing all kinds of things into my home. These things are driving us crazy. Maria's hearing them too now."
"What? Wait a minute. I thought you said you used your computer to communicate with them."
"Not anymore. They started communicating through the electromagnetic interference of electrical devices. That's what they told me. We could hear them every time we turned on the AC, the radio, the TV, the microwave, or the vacuum cleaner. Even Maria started hearing them just like me. Now it's to the point that we can hear them all the time, without anything turned on. It's so bad that I haven't been to work in a week, because they won't leave me alone. I hear people screaming in hell, and I hear demons telling me to worship the devil and they'll give me anything I want. I'll just be driving down the street, and the voices will be pointing people out to me, telling me that they belong to satan. I even heard my grandfather's voice screaming in hell, and I can't tell if it was him, or demons playing tricks on me..."
Ralph could barely hold himself together. His prior enthusiasm turned into torment. He was smiling with glee before, when he told me about how the spirits were playing on his swing set in his backyard, and he could see the swings going back and forth on a windless night. He told me with excitement about the spirits telling him to go outside and take photos of them, and about the time one of the spirits blew past the plant in his computer room and made it move as if a fan were gusting against it. He showed me a number of pictures, each with strange balls of light showing up in various locations in the photos. But now it wasn't fun anymore. He and his wife could hear demons roaring in the night. Their children were experiencing chronic nightmares. They heard small footsteps pattering throughout their home, and the creepy sounds of small children giggling in dark corners. When he went to the bathroom one night, he heard a small tap on the window, and a voice spoke in his head, "Come outside and take pictures of us like you used to. We're waiting for you."
"When I saw you on the porch, I figured something was up" I told Ralph. "We'd been praying for you guys. We had some strange stuff happening around our house too, just after going to your house for the birthday party."
Ralph appeared semi distracted, as if he were receiving signals from something else, even as we talked. "You're not the only one. My cousin Carlos visited us from Santa Maria last week, and after he went back home, all kinds of weird stuff was happening to him too." Spending time at Ralph's was almost like a disease - whoever went there got infected with ghosts and demons following them home.
"They didn't want me to come here" he informed me. "They told me you weren't home, and when you didn't answer the door right away, they started laughing, saying 'see, I told you he wasn't here.' They tried to get me to leave before you answered the door."
Apparently, things fell apart...
"You said you saw a priest? What was that like? Did he pray for you?"
"No. It was mostly just trying to see if the stuff we're experiencing is psychological or not. We only got to talk to him one time. We tried to get with him again to see if we could get our home prayed over, but they were too busy."
"I know what that's like. I used to attend a church on Palm Avenue where I was given a similar treatment. The church I go to now isn't like that though. You should go to church with us sometime. There's a guy there that's been in deliverance ministry for years. He sees spirits all the time, so for him it's no big deal. The stuff that's freaking you out so bad can be cast out really easy if you commit yourself to the task, and do things God's way. Of course - you have to do things God's way, and when you learn what that's all about, you'll find that it can be quite a challenge." We prayed together, and Ralph was relieved.
While I was upstairs talking with Ralph, my wife was talking with Maria in the kitchen. Maria told my wife about something the demons were twisting around in her mind. The priest they talked to said that whenever the demons torment them, they should say "I rebuke you satan in the name of Jesus." Maria said the demons manipulated her mind so that when she tried to rebuke them, her rebuke came out as "I rebuke you Jesus in the name of satan". When she told Ralph about this, he knew for sure that she was experiencing the same thing he was experiencing, because they did the same thing to him.
Ralph and Maria came to our church the following Sunday. Before leaving church, I introduced Ralph to Josh, my pastor. When Ralph first said to Josh that he heard spirits talking through his AC vents, Josh couldn't contain himself and busted up laughing. I suppose it is somewhat of an odd opener. "Hi, I'm Ralph. Spirits are talking to me through my AC vents." It didn't come out quite that way, but sort of...
When Josh started howling, I thought, "Oh no. Come on Josh, hold it together!" He finally stopped laughing, and started listening to Ralph, while Ralph proceeded with his story. I was glad to see Ralph being so tenacious. Josh ended up telling Ralph that it wouldn't do any good to pray over his home unless he really committed himself to seeking out God and being filled with the Holy Spirit. This advice comes from a warning in scripture concerning spiritual warfare. Once demons are cast out, if the person they were possessing, manipulating, or otherwise tormenting, doesn't fill his or her life with God, they'll come back with a vengeance, even worse than before, Matthew 12:43-45. The only way to get them out and keep them out is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, stay in the Word, and stay committed to the path of righteousness and growth in Christian maturity. I imagine Josh gave Ralph this advice also because he didn't have any idea where Ralph was, spiritually speaking. This was the first time they met.
When Ralph asked Josh if he thought he was crazy, or if he ever heard of anything so preposterous, Josh put Ralph at ease by telling him that he had countless stories of people going through similar scenarios. "Same old tricks - nothing new. I wasn't laughing because I think you're crazy. It's just a wild story, that's all." Josh prayed with Ralph and Maria.
The next Sunday, Ralph and Maria didn't come to our church. My wife thought it would be a good idea to visit Ralph and Maria to see how everything was going, so we stopped by after church. They said they were doing a lot better, but they could still hear the voices from time to time. They were just learning how to tune them out. After talking with Ralph, I got a sense that going to our church may have aroused a point of contention. They had been attending a Catholic church in the mornings; the same church with the priest that they talked with before. Beat me with a stick if I'm wrong, but it's generally frowned upon by Catholics, to be a Catholic, and attend a Protestant church. The reason why Protestants are called Protestants is because they protest Catholicism on several very important issues. Our church doesn't much resemble the typical Catholic church, either. We believe in the same Jesus, but unlike Catholics, we battle against the religious spirit. We want a dynamic relationship with God, not a stale religion. No queued bowing, sitting, kneeling, or standing; no verse memorization recital; no priestly robes; and certainly no praying to people (Mary and the Saints) or statues as if they were gods. Josh usually wears shorts and a T-shirt, and says things like "We don't want your crap anymore!" when rebuking the devil. More than half the church is bear-foot during service, and we're all welcome to dance around, jump, sit, stand, or lay on the floor during service. If we want to cry, we cry. We also howl with laughter if we can't help it. Why does piety always have to be associated with sorrow? What about the absolute joy unspeakable? Sometimes we fall on the floor when God is so overwhelming, we can't stand anymore. There's a stack of pillows in a basket for just that occasion. I've been asked what Denomination my church is, and technically, we're four-square, but more to the point, we simply do our best to follow the scriptures. In any case, it goes without saying, our church is slightly different than Ralph and Maria's church.
I've determined that while Ralph is committed to Jesus, he may not be particularly committed to being a Catholic. We talked about various Catholic beliefs that are completely absent from scripture, (and others that contradict it). These inconsistencies troubled him a tad, nevertheless, for the sake of keeping peace with his wife, he hasn't raised these issues - yet - I don't think. I'm sure they're down the road. God's way is generally the path of greatest resistance. That's part of the hard part I mentioned earlier, when it comes to doing things God's way.
Again after going to Ralph's house, some unwelcome guests followed us home again. My wife and I were both restless throughout the night. Our neighbors had their swamp cooler on, which made an irritating whistling type noise that gave me the creeps. It never bothered me before. My wife had a worse experience. She woke up around 2:00 AM, hearing the muted cries of a woman screaming in torment. Pray - go away...
The next day after I went to work, my wife came downstairs and heard what sounded like a group of people talking outside on our back porch. The talking ceased immediately when she looked out the window. Nobody was there. We prayed over our home again after I got home from work, and the demonic garbage went away again.
The following Sunday, my wife and I were happy to see Ralph and Maria show up at our church again. After service they went up to get prayer. I was glad to see John Hadden praying over them. He's the man I mentioned earlier that's in deliverance ministry. He could write his own "Paranormal Christian" book, and it would probably be at least four times bigger then this one, with nothing but personal experiences of his own.
To my surprise, while I wasn't looking, Ralph and Maria were both struck - and stuck - to the floor, by the power of God! Ralph later told me that he used to laugh at people that did that, as if they could help it. He thought the whole idea of being 'slain in the spirit' was a big joke, and was attributable to either a psychological phenomenon, or was a fraud. He had to reassess his point of view while laying on the floor in the midst of a profound God given peace.
Ralph and Maria haven't been to our church in a while after that last Sunday. The last I heard from Ralph, they're regulars at the Catholic church they go to. Ralph told me he still hears voices, and anytime he wants to listen to them he can, but he chooses not to. He says he's doing better at tuning them out, too. The poltergeist phenomenon in their home has toned down too, though I don't know if it's stopped altogether.
Reflecting on the entire turn of events which completely altered his perception of reality and way of life in a time frame of less than a month, Ralph is glad, overall, about his final outcome. He's not going to hell, and for the first time in his life, he understands just exactly how awful, and real that place really is! He also realizes how much bondage he use to be in, and the profound freedom from that bondage he's currently enjoying has been a great relief, despite the torment he went through to get it. Ralph still wonders if some of the voices that speak to him have something good to offer. Some claim to be angels, or spiritual guides trying to help him, and they give him what seems to be good advice sometimes. But that which may seem right, isn't always the case, Proverbs 14:12. The bottom line is, he can't tell if they really want to help him, or if they're trying to deceive him. I've told him not to listen to any of them. Satan is good at what he does. He feeds people elements of the truth to draw them in, and once he obtains a captive audience, that's when he tosses in a lie. Over time, more truth is exchanged for lies, until the end result is nothing but lies.
My good buddy Ralph, ghost hunter turned Christian, found Jesus while hunting for ghosts. Is that not an unusual testimony? His story is not over. Far to the contrary; his journey only now has just begun...
READ: Acts 16:16-18
16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Was I possessed?
Back again to my Army days, I was experimenting with self-hypnosis this time. I know you're laughing. Self - Hypnosis. Go ahead and laugh, but keep it to a minimum, okay? When I first heard of the concept, I pictured myself sitting in a chair completely zonked out - never to return! "He hypnotized himself" my room mate would be telling everyone in the barracks, while the guys in the white jackets wheeled me off in a wheelchair to the local insane asylum. It's nothing like that, but I still don't think it's good. (I don't advise this AT ALL! It's one of those kind of things that you don't try at home - or work, or anywhere for that matter. Forget the hogwash about the trained professional. It's not a good idea for anyone!)
I was interested in self-hypnosis because I wanted to see if I was possessed. Self-hypnosis also has applications for channeling spirits. I wanted to both see if I already was possessed, and if not, I wanted to BECOME possessed! My purpose for this was that I was interested in becoming a medium, because mediums throughout history have been known to have enormous psychic power. Again - NOT GOOD! Possession is something to avoid, not SEARCH FOR for crying out loud! What can I say? I was as lost as last year's Easter Egg.
It all started when I purchased two books. The first book was by Edith Fiora, titled "The Unquiet Dead: A Psychologist Treats Spirit Possession". Edith Fiora is a psychiatrist by trade, and has written a number of paranormal books about UFO abductions and spirit possession. The other book I purchased was written by Bruce Goldburg, titled "You Have Been Here Before".
Both Fiora's and Goldburg's books are based on hypnotherapy sessions. Having read "You Have Been Here Before", I can say with Biblical authority that the philosophies it purports in support of reincarnation are completely inaccurate. As I've stated earlier in this book, and in "Aliens in the Bible", Hebrews 9:27 completely uproots the foundation of the doctrine of reincarnation with such plain wording that there's no way around it. The Apostle Paul states "27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". The wording can't get any more simple than that. Now people can claim to believe in reincarnation if they want, but they can't believe in reincarnation and the Bible at the same time, because the Bible excludes the possibility of reincarnation.
In addition to Goldburgs reincarnation propaganda, some, or perhaps even most of his work is flawed due to inadvertently planting false memories suggested into his subjects' minds while they were under deep states of hypnosis. This is a common side effect with hypnotherapy, despite the frequent objections that hypnotherapy experts might raise. I've personally read transcripts of hypnotherapy sessions, and it's clearly obvious what's happening in some cases. For example, a hypnotherapy session can begin like such:
"You feel yourself falling back into time. You're getting younger ... younger ... younger ... younger. You're 15 years old now. Slipping further back, you are now 5 years old. Slipping further and further back. You are now a toddler. Feel yourself falling back in time. Take yourself to the day you were born. You remember just exiting the womb. You are now inside the womb, and still slipping further back in time, even before that. You're warm, and protected - and calmly falling back. Now floating downward, you can feel that you are inside a body. You are alive, and inside a body. Stretch out your arms, and wriggle your fingers. Grab your chest. What do you feel? Are you a man, or a woman?"
The above scenario is typical of a hypnotherapy session that involves regressing someone into a past life. Even the layman can see problems with it. In the above scenario, the hypnotized person was given the following suggestions:
1. He or she was told, or suggested that he or she remembered being 15, and then 5 years old. The person probably has real memories back this far, but maybe not. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter. He or she was told that he or she remembered these things, therefore the human brain makes something up to fill in the gaps. Three factors account for this: 1. The person is under a state of hyper suggestibility, 2. The human brain has an incredible talent for creativity, and 3. Any psychology book will clearly state that human memory is naturally reconstructive anyway, without hypnosis.
2. He or she is then regressed to being a toddler, and then all
the way to the day of birth. I believe many things - if you haven't
noticed by reading my stuff - but I seriously doubt anyone saying he or she can
remember the day he or she was born.
3. Beyond the womb, the creative juices of the brain really kick in. Doing just as their told, clients fall back, float downward, then feel themselves inside a body - prior to the time of their birth. They experience these things, because they are told that they are experiencing them. When given the option of being a man or a woman, some people will play with the idea of being another gender, simply because the option is given. Some people are very creative, and don't require hardly any suggestions beyond this point. Others, however, have to go through several sessions of past life regression to get used to the idea of creating false memories.
Having said all the above about the varied outcomes of hypnosis, it's easy to come to the conclusion that all of it is nothing more than a collection of induced delusions, but I don't come to this conclusion. Probably most of it is completely fallacious, but I don't think all of it is. Fiore has other theories, aside from that of reincarnation, in which I think she may have accurately assessed a real phenomenon. One of those theories in particular, which isn't a new discovery at all but has been around for quite some time, concerns spirit possession. While Fiore never laid claim to having clients that were possessed with demons, she did have several clients that seemed to be possessed with the disembodied spirits of other people.
I talk more about spirit possession in my book, "Aliens in the Bible", so I won't get into the details of repeating the biblical connotations again. In short, I don't think spirit possession by disembodied spirits of deceased people is a non-biblical concept. In fact, I think there may even be biblical evidence to support its existence. Furthermore, it may be more common than most people think, unfortunately. For more information, read the chapters about ghosts, thought-forms, and reincarnation in my other book, "Aliens in the Bible".
Now that I've laid the background for self-hypnosis, exactly what was my experience with it? In the back of one of Fiore's books, she provided a template for a self-hypnosis session. How thoughtful. (She has another book titled "Spirit Release Therapy: A Technique Manual", that provides more detail on this activity).
All I had to do was fill in a few blanks, speak slowly and boringly, and record my own session on an audio tape. The entire process took me about two hours to complete. Reading and conducting the session myself, I did my best to avoid making any obvious suggestions. I've read highly suggestible hypnotherapy transcripts before, (just like the example I gave above), and this didn't seem to be one of them. It was a fairly basic session. In fact, it was so basic, I couldn't even see a connection between what the transcript read, and what actually happened to me!
After making my tape, I turned off the lights, put the tape on, then laid on my bed and listened to it. Since hypnotherapy is purposely boring, I feel asleep, or at least it seemed like I did. I had a dream about some guy that I knew of when I was a kid. In fact, I dreamed that I was him. He was a pretty raunchy dude, from what I recall. I hadn't thought of him in years. In fact, I never thought of him. I had no idea why he, of all people, was the one I dreamed about. I didn't know him personally - I just knew members of his family, yet didn't care to know any of them. They were those kind of people, I suppose. Jesus have mercy on them! If you read ("That terrifying Halloween night"), the guy I'm talking about here was the older brother of the teenager I mention in that story.
All I remember in the dream is what it was like to be that guy that I didn't even know. I remembered a car he used to hot rod around in, pouring gasoline on the tires and peeling out around his neighborhood. Flames burst from the tires when he pealed out. Then the dream shifted to a dam on a canal, which was a place my brother and I used to play all the time. We didn't actually play on the dam, but rather on the large sand dunes not far from it. In the dream, I recall falling into the river where the dam was, and drowning. It was awful! I woke up from the dream, feeling as if I had just died! As soon as I woke up, I heard the words from my session tape blurt out, "You are now fully awake, and you will remember everything you experienced, if you experienced anything at all."
YUCK! What a horrible experience! I turned off the tape and started pacing around my room. Things started coming back to me. I remembered that when I was about 11 years old, I heard that the guy I just dreamed about had drowned in the canal at the dam where my brother and I used to play. I felt as if a part of my consciousness was waking up, and realizing that I was not John, but someone else! It was a sickening, fearful experience. I walked over to my wall locker, opened it up, then looked in the mirror. It was strange! I felt like a part of me was tripping out, totally out of place! "Who are you?" I asked myself in the mirror. I felt as though I should be seeing someone else's face in the mirror.
I then took note of my appearance; specifically, my clothing. I recalled that my taste in clothing changed dramatically when I was around 11 years old. For some reason I went from wearing bright colors to wearing black, and was fixated on anything leather I could get my hands on. I never cared about clothes before that. I also started wondering why I had a fixation on things like motorcycles, and certain kinds of fast cars. For some reason, the whole grungy biker image, clothes and all - became a part of my personality starting at around 11 years old. I was nothing like that before. Everything was starting to fall together, like the pieces of an ugly memory coming to life. That guy's spirit was wandering around the canal, then when he saw me and my brother playing out there, he zapped me! I didn't like what I was thinking!
"You get out of me!" I demanded, looking in the mirror. "Get out, and stay out. You've screwed me up for long enough. I don't even know who I am anymore! How much of me is really you?"
From that moment on, up until I became a born again Christian, I questioned some very basic things about myself, such as what my favorite color is, (blue, not black), what kind of clothes I like to wear, whether I'm a sociable person or not, etc. In many cases, I've had to think back to what I was like when I was 6 or 7 years old.
Stubborn in my ways, I also tried a formula for
channeling in another book I had about self-hypnosis. I can't remember why I did that, having such an
unpleasant experience with Edith Fiore's self-hypnosis therapy sessions. This experiment didn't last long, however. About 10
minutes or so into the channeling exercises, I felt like what I was doing was incredibly
stupid. I didn't have much spiritual sense in those days, but God
certainly opened my eyes up on that one. All I remember is having this feeling come over
me that I better stop, or I was going to pay big time! I took the hint and
Several years later, if whatever it was didn't leave me, (grungy dude or demon), it and whatever else was forced out of me for good when I became a Christian. I got cleaned up in church. But in all seriousness, the only way to deal with possession of any kind, whether demons - or departed disembodied spirits, is through Jesus Christ. Edith Fiora, while giving instructions on how to cast out the spirits that may be possessing someone, leaves out a few very important details. First of all, without the authority of Jesus Christ, possessing spirits don't have to leave. They can pretend to leave. They can also thumb their noses up and refuse to leave. Without Jesus standing in the way, they can pretty much do whatever they want to people, (or whatever God allows them to get away with, I should say). Secondly, for those that don't have Jesus in their lives, nor plan on having Jesus in their lives, they might as well leave whatever spirits are in them exactly where they are, because according to Jesus in Matthew 12:43-45, the situation might even get worse if they are cast out! They leave alright, but only for a short vacation. When they come back, they bring all their friends with them!
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Miraculous Healings & Events
Healed through the
Here's an interesting series of emails that transpired between me and someone I've never met. I'll just call her Joyce as a pseudonym. I did a little bit of editing, but only to get the grammar legible.
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 07:23:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: from Joyce
To: John Milor <firstname.lastname@example.org> | Block address | Add to Address Book
Hello again. I don't know if you remember me but I would like to ask you a few questions. You mentioned that you had the ability to heal people. I really believe that God does work through you and you do have the faith, so I was wondering if you would be able to heal me and a friend of mine. Also, we would like you to teach us what you know. I live in Canada, Dinorwic Ontario, to be exact. I know that I am asking a lot of you, but I believe that you have the truth within you and that we could learn a lot from you. I know you must be very busy and probably get a lot of people asking you to heal them, and I would understand if you said no, but I am willing to travel to wherever you live if you say yes. Please get back to me on this, okay? I would really truly appreciate it. Oh yeah, one night when I couldn't sleep, I started watching T.V. and this program came on about how they figured out the gene map of how human beings are made up. There are a lot of positive and negative possibilities in knowing this information. Does this have anything to do with the "Mark of the Beast"? Thanks for listening, and God bless.
First of all, I'm not sure where this very generous, kind spoken lady got the idea that I'm a faith healer. My only guess is that in my book, "Aliens in the Bible", I barely make mention of the fact that God has used me in the past to perform a miraculous healing once. I make mention of the same healing in this book as well, in the story titled ("My best friend Jack"). (Now because of this Joyce lady, I have another healing story, praise God!)
Anyway, I don't go around clearing out hospitals, or having healing crusades, but by the tone of this lady's email, you'd think I had bolts of yellow lighting shooting out of my hands. I'm not mocking her - far to the contrary! She read just one little blurb out of that whole book, and she was all over it! How many times did she say "I believe" in that email? Now that would be awesome, to have healing bolts of yellow lightning, but my experiences with healing have been rare. Amazing and mind blowing, YES, but rare. People aren't knocking down my door for healings, either. As for traveling to meet me - this woman was the first to make such a suggestion. Perhaps healings don't have to be so rare? Maybe I should just try it out more often? Some say healing is always in God's will, yet others will say "Look around", and quote scripture about the Apostle Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh". I'll be honest, I just don't know, and it's downright frustrating sometimes. I tend to lean toward the more difficult interpretation, though, because the Apostle Paul's thorn bit sounds like a cop-out. But one thing I do know for sure; God CAN miraculously heal people, because I've seen and experienced Him doing it! Also, I believe He DOES heal people all the time, all over the world. I also know it has something to do with His power, and our faith. As for the combination, or the formula - or whatever, I'm still in my infancy about those things. I just pray, and focus on believing, and the rest is up to God. BELIEVE. For me, that means clearing my mind, and focusing on everything that I know of God, and everything He's revealed to me, and commanding my spirit to trust Him.
When I first read Joyce's email, I immediately began to draft up a response to the tune of "Don't get your hopes up". But before finishing, I reread her email. Something struck me about it. It literally drips with faith. It's the same kind of faith that Jesus responded to time and time again, saying "Because of your faith, you are healed". Suddenly I felt that the Lord wanted me to do something that I wasn't initially going to do. Following is what the Lord directed me to do.
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 07:23:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Milor <email@example.com> | Block address | Add to Address Book
Subject: Re: from Joyce
Matthew 7:7 says "Ask, and it shall be given
you". Jesus said this. The Lord says to you - "REJOICE, YOU ARE
HEALED!!!" Now it is time to claim your healing, as well as the power to
heal your friend!
1. Lay your hands upon the computer screen -
2. Say these words out loud: "Thank you Lord Jesus for healing me"
3. "I receive your touch of healing NOW, in your name Jesus Christ"
4. "I also receive your touch of healing power NOW, anoint my hands to heal, in your name Jesus, AMEN."
You are now healed - believe it. Furthermore, your hands are anointed with healing power. As soon as you get the opportunity, go to your friend, lay hands on your friend, and pray for healing just as I have done for you. You will see the miracle of healing occur right before your eyes!
God Bless you!
One might say I was taking a big chance, but I sent off that email, laid my hands on the computer screen, and did the best I could do with all God has given me to "doubt my doubt", and believe that Jesus was really going to heal this person! Here's the response I got back 9 days later.
From: Joyce | Block address | Add to Address Book
To: "John Milor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fw: From Joyce
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 13:31:12 -0500
I can't believe the turnaround John!!!! I don't know exactly how it happened but now I'm going back to school to pursue a different career and start my own business when I'm finished. My ex fiancé phoned me on Saturday and told me he couldn't live without me in his life any longer! I went to the doctor today and found out I have absolutely no sexually transmitted disease AND I don't have cancer!!! I'm sooooooo happy right now it's unbelievable!!! I thank God and I thank you for praying for me also. Thank you sooooooo much! I will keep in touch and let you know how I'm progressing. Thank you for caring and praying for a stranger. Thank you.
Now is Jesus awesome, or what? He didn't leave me or this woman out in the cold, and I thank Him profusely! I could hear Him saying to Joyce, "Because of your faith, you are healed!" Joyce, God bless you! For anyone reading this that needs a healing, email me, okay? email@example.com I think all Christians should be doing this kind of stuff more often.
17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
A day at the
I heard a story from my brother Charlie once that the prayer team for one of the local churches in Madera, California, all happened to be together at one of the Madera rodeos. I heard this story so long ago, I can't even remember which church or anything, but in Christian circles, these kinds of stories are always floating around. There are books upon books of them, for anyone that yelps out, "Well why didn't I hear about it? How come it wasn't on the news?" The fact of the matter is, these things happen all over the world all the time, but seldom make the news for one reason or another. And in those rare instances when they do make the news, what becomes of them? A three minute segment zips by, passed off as no more than a curiosity, and then on to the weather...
During the rodeo, one of the cowboys was bucked off of a bull, and the wild beast stomped the cowboy in the stomach. It's hooves actually broke through the skin, tearing into his guts. Blood, intestines, and stomach acid were all over the place. He didn't have a chance.
The bull was quickly contained, and about 4 or 5 people jumped out of the stands and down into the arena. They all turned out to be in the same church, and were part of the church prayer team, in fact. I don't even know if each knew the others were there.
They ran over to the cowboy, surrounded him, laid hands on him, and began to pray. By the time the paramedics got there, everyone was expecting the cowboy to be dead. Instead, they couldn't find any wounds! After wiping off the blood and the stomach acid, they couldn't even tell where it all came from!
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John Haggie's frontal
While the Madera, California rodeo miracle explained in ("A day at the rodeo") might be difficult to verify, or refute, due to obscurity, John Haggie's frontal attack in front of his entire congregation would be down right easy to find out if he was lying. He declared what happened to him on national television, and relies on his entire congregation as witnesses.
John Haggie is a famous evangelist that airs on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) from time to time. People can ridicule television evangelists all they want, and it's the popular thing to do these days, but I really like John Haggie! He's cool. He has some great sermons that are available on VHS, and one in particular certainly peaked my interest. The series I'm referring to had something to do with the reality of the demonic realm. It's a popular tape series, and was on TBN more than once.
During the series I'm talking about, John Haggie stated with emphatic authority that on one occasion, a member of a cult group, actually, a male witch, or warlock if you will, walked into his church with a loaded shotgun in his hands. This was during a time when John Haggie was sent to the University of the Kingdom of God, where just like me, he too was enrolled in a course on spiritual warfare. (To get a background on this metaphor, refer to "My best friend Jack"). In essence, he was learning by experience some things about demons, which before these experiences of his, he figured they were an antiquated concept of biblical times.
So there he was in front of his entire congregation paused in the middle of a sermon, staring at a crazy man with a loaded shotgun. The warlock lifted his shotgun up to John Haggie's face, and started spouting off some awful nonsense about how the devil was going to show him who was boss. John Haggie stood his ground. He made a slight alteration in his sermon, but continued nonetheless! He lifted his Bible up and shouted back at the man a verse which I've taken the time to memorize after seeing this particular sermon. Isaiah 54:17 declares that "17No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."
The mad gunman was unmoved by John Haggie's conviction, and proceeded to unload every round of ammunition in his shotgun. John Haggie says the madman was no more than 10 feet away, aiming the shotgun right at him, and not so much as a single hair on John Haggie's head was moved out of place! (Knowing how large John Haggie is, one would have to work at missing him, and he'd be the first to admit it, too!)
6And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
The man from
With most people's journey to Christ, there isn't some miraculous light shining down from heaven, or visions, or things of that nature. Those things do happen, but with most people, there seems to be a light that turns on and they realize who Jesus it, and accept Him into their lives. Personal testimonies of faith in Christ vary far and wide, and I love to hear them all. One the first personal testimonies I can recall that shocked my senses was when I went to church in Madera, California, to the Grace Assemblies of God, with my Great Grandmother Thelma. There was a guest speaker that day; a man from Romania. He was there with his wife and 6 year old daughter to tell us about his personal testimony.
He said he was a die hard atheist while growing up, and his mother was always witnessing to him about the Lord. He fully resented her for it, and cursed her every time she opened her mouth. He went into the details about how sinful the life was that he was living, and that he'd frequently come home to find his mother praying on her knees, in tears, begging the Lord to open his eyes. On one occasion he became so upset with her he barely came short of beating her. He bellowed hateful words, disowning her as his mother, then stormed out of the house in a furry.
While driving madly about, frustrated with his life and having a temper tantrum, his car was struck by oncoming traffic and completely demolished. He was dead! Here's where the story became interesting. He recalled being taken down to hell, and seeing demons everywhere, and a huge pit full of fire, and screaming people inside of it. He saw one demon changing into a costume of sorts that made it look like a beautiful being of light - and off it went to the surface. "He's going to go deceive some more schmucks like you", taunted a demon near by. One demon in particular was his escort, and it was having a ball showing him around, taunting him about what it was going to do next. The Romanian was so full of terror, he couldn't look at the creature. It was hideously evil, and unimaginably terrifying.
"There's just one last thing I want to show you before I throw you in that pit", exclaimed the demon. It took him down a long corridor, opened up a large gate, and out they went. Once outside the gate, he could see a beautiful city far away, floating up in the sky. "Now if you'd listened to your mother, you'd be over there right now. Just thought you might want to know that, before I throw you off into that pit!" It cackled, thinking its last taunt was going to crush the man's spirit, but the Romanian man was taken with a sudden spark of faith, even at this most incredibly morbid moment. He began to speak to God in his mind.
"God, I know you can hear my mother right this very moment. I'm sorry I let her down. If not for me, for her..." Suddenly a powerful wind swept down on the man, and the demon shrieked and ran away. The wind carried this man up to the huge city. It was just as described in the Bible in the book of Revelation. The gates were made of pearls. There were mansions, and streets made out of pure gold. He also recalled seeing an unimaginably beautiful river flowing from this huge temple where God's throne is. Once inside this city, he was handed a small white tablet at the main gate. It had his name written on it. He was then escorted to a large banquet hall, where he walked up to a chair to sit at a table. The one he walked up to just happened to have his name written on the back of it.
Jesus Himself walked up to this man. It was at about this time that he noticed the peculiar sound of a woman's voice echoing over an unseen P.A. system. "Do you hear that?" asked Jesus.
"Yes. That woman... sounds familiar. That's ... my mother! Oh no! What's happened to her? Is she dead too?"
"Oh no. She's very much alive, and she's praying for you right this moment. We hear her like that all the time." Jesus smiled. "Tonight, she's coming through loud and clear. She knows your dead. In fact, you've been dead for four days, but she's still praying. She's been fasting and praying with an incredible faith, since she learned that you died in that car crash four days ago. She's on the steps of the mortuary right now, asking me to bring you back to life."
The Romanian man felt terribly ashamed, and didn't know what to say. Finally, he began to cry, suddenly coming to his senses with the awesome reality of everything that was happening. Everything his mother had told him throughout his whole life was true!
"You're going back", Jesus told the man.
Astonished, the Romanian man looked up. "What? Didn't you just say I've been dead four days?"
The Romanian man was engulfed in a whirlwind, and the next thing he knew, he found himself inside of a steel box! He tried to get out, but couldn't. He started pounding on the steel door, yelling for help. Finally, the steel door opened up, and he sat up. He was sitting inside a mortuary cabinet, staring face to face with a man that was as white as a ghost. The man backed up, shaking, not knowing what to think. "Is that crazy lady outside your mother?" asked the man.
The Romanian man jumped out of the steel box, amazed that he was still alive! He was BORN AGAIN! He leaped at the man that opened his box, and gave him a huge hug, then kissed him on his cheek. He then started yelling about how he had just been to heaven, but the man looked confused. The Romanian man didn't realize it yet, but he was speaking in an unknown language! In fact, he said he spoke in tongues for 6 months after this experience before returning to his normal language! He also later found out that he was so dead, that his body was rotting in the mortuary.
He ran outside the mortuary, swept his mother off her feet, and gave her a great big hug and a kiss. She couldn't understand what he was babbling, but she knew something happened to him. His eyes were different - and he was ALIVE!
Shortly after giving this testimony, this man's 6 year old daughter was given the microphone. She proceeded to proclaim the Word of God, then started praying in tongues! His wife came on the stage and hugged him. They were truly an astonishing family. I have no doubt that this man is still around, going from church to church, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's possible that he may have returned to Romania. If he's still alive, (on this earth), where ever he is, I'm sure he's still telling his story.
Stories like this man's are real. Anyone interested can go into any Christian bookstore, and read up. Christian radio is a wonderful resource for these testimonies as well. Christian programs, like "Focus on the Family", hosted by Dr. James Dobson, always have speakers giving their personal testimonies. Just last year, one of the former members of the Zambini crime family gave his testimony on Focus on the Family. The first time he went to church, when he saw how happy and full of joy everyone was, he honestly thought that everyone in the church except for him knew about some huge stash of money hidden in the church. After he became a Christian, a contract was put out on his life! That story is hilarious. He recounts the time one of the bombs planted in his house never blew up, and a similar situation happened with his car. Those mobsters just couldn't understand it. What was it about him? There was another testimony given from a young guy stricken with Down's Syndrome. Believe it or not, this young man is married with kids, and travels all over the United States giving his personal testimony. He's incredibly funny. I remember one of his jokes was "I might be dumb, but I'm not stupid!"
Again, I highly recommend Christian radio, as well as Christian bookstores, for stories every bit as amazing as those given in this book. There's something about personal testimonies that stirs up the faith. One of my favorite testimonies of all is given by the Apostle Paul, who instantly changed from being a persecutor of Christians into being a Christian.
1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
This particular story was given on TV. The show was "Ripley's Believe it or Not!". I tried to look up the episode number on the Internet, but the way the website is indexed made the task too time consuming.
A Jewish man and his wife were happily married, living in Europe during the time of Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany. Since they were both Jewish, they were both taken off to Nazi concentration camps. Miraculously, they were both rescued and escaped death, but their home was destroyed, and everything they they owned was gone. They lost track of each other, and each thought that the other was dead.
About 20 years later, the pastor of a church in America, I think in New York if I remember the story correctly, was browsing through a yard sale looking for something to cover a stain on the wall of his church. A leak in the roof of his church produced a horrible stain on the wall right behind his podium, and not having enough money to fix the hole in his roof, he was searching for a temporary solution. He found a beautiful handmade square piece of fabric at the yard sale, and asked what it was. The owners of the fabric weren't sure of whether it was a tapestry, or a tablecloth. They sold it to him for a few dollars, and he was utterly thrilled.
He took the cloth to his church to hang it on the wall. When he went to his church, it was raining profusely. There was an elderly woman standing out on the sidewalk in the rain in front of his church, shivering, waiting for the bus. Having compassion on her, he invited her inside his church to get out of the cold.
"I can't go in there. I'll miss my bus."
"Don't worry about it" the pastor reassured her. "I'll take you home. All I have to do is a small errand, and I'm free for the rest of the day."
The woman deliberated, and decided to trust him, seeing that he was the pastor of the church. She didn't think she had much to lose anyway, carrying around a burden of sorrow most of her life. She happened to be the wife of the Jewish man that she thought was killed in Germany 20 years prior.
She entered the church and sat down in the front pew, waiting for the pastor to finish his errand. While the pastor started to hang the cloth, her eyes lit up. "That cloth sure looks familiar. Would it happen to have the initials 'TGW' in the bottom corner there?" I can't remember the exact initials, but for the sake of relaying this story, I'll just use TGW.
Sure enough, the initials TGW were in the bottom corner, right were she said they were. "How did you know that?" asked the pastor.
"I made that tablecloth with my own hands over 20 years ago!" exclaimed the woman in tears. "I made it when..." she broke down. She proceeded to tell the pastor about her experiences in Nazi Germany, and how the soldiers took her and her husband away. She said she never saw her husband, or any of her possessions ever again. That tablecloth was the first thing she saw in over 20 years that had anything to do with the once content, blissful life she had in her youth. Completely amazed, the pastor insisted that she take the cloth and keep it. After all, it was really hers.
"No, no. This is God's doing. You keep that cloth right there where it is. I think it's plenty appropriate to rest at home here in this house of God."
The pastor eventually took this woman home. They talked for a while, and she shared her sorrows with him, visibly shaken having her past stirred up from the sight of that tablecloth.
On the following Sunday, while giving his sermon, the pastor noticed an elderly gentleman in the front pew of his church staring intently at the tablecloth / tapestry behind him. The man didn't appear to hear a single word of his sermon. All his attention was completely transfixed on that tablecloth. After the service was over, the man immediately went to the pastor and asked him, "Would that piece of fabric you have hanging on the wall right there happen to have the initials 'TGW' inscribed in the bottom corner? Where did you get that cloth, because I swear it looks just exactly the same as the tablecloth my wife made for me over 20 years ago."
You know the rest of the story...
4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
A tribesman that knew English
I can't remember if I read about this story, or heard it in a sermon. It was purported to be a true story, but I can't validate the source.
There once was a missionary trekking though a dense jungle, searching for a particular tribe of people that were reputed to be completely isolated from modern civilization. I can't recall the name of the jungle, or the tribe. I think it may have been on an island, though.
A missionary was hacking his way through a jungle with a machete and heard something quite strange, considering his location. Someone was out in the middle of that jungle praying to God in plain English! The missionary's first thought was that it had to be another missionary. He soon discovered he was wrong. There before him was a native tribesman, kneeling before a huge tree, praying in perfect English.
"Who taught you how to speak English?" he asked the tribesman, but the tribesman didn't appear to understand a word of what he was saying.
As it turned out, the tribesman informed the missionary, (in his native language), that he was praying in his 'prayer language'. This was not only strange to him, but also to his fellow tribesmen. In fact, he admitted that he had no idea that his 'babbling' would ever make any sense to anyone other than God.
This particular native was quite different from the others in his tribe. After the brief introduction, the tribesman began to elaborate upon his personal testimony about his faith in God. He began by stating that it was always his 'strange' belief, unlike the others in his village, that there was truly only one God. Furthermore, he said that the more he began to talk to this God that he believed was the creator of all things, the more things would start to happen in his life that confirmed to him that what he believed was the truth.
Unfortunately, whenever he tried to explain to the others in his village about what he believed in, he was mocked and ridiculed. He therefore dedicated himself to praying at the large tree in the jungle, which was a place he felt closest to God. His prayer was simple. All he wanted was for God to send him someone that could tell him more about what he knew was the truth.
"So you must know the truth" the tribesman exclaimed to the missionary. "...because I know you have been sent here by God, to tell me about the truth."
READ: Romans 1:18-25 (All of us
are given some truth about God)
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
READ: Matthew 13:10-15 (Those who
respond to the truth shall receive more, but those who don't respond shall
10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
There definitely is a God!
This story comes from one of my favorite books, "Winning God's Way", written by Loren Cunningham, president of YWAM (Youth With A Mission).
God has different missions for different people. In His infinite wisdom, He may at times provide the gift of martyrdom, allowing certain people to endure persecution, and even death. At other times, God will sometimes miraculously protect His children, and preserve them from persecution. In any case, God will be glorified, either by demonstrating His love through self sacrifice, or by demonstrating His power through miraculous signs and wonders. This particular story emphasizes that later.
While speaking at his church in Frankfurt, Germany, Pastor Gerhard Wessler spoke of a true story about a little girl in East Germany. This little ten-year-old was the daughter of a Christian family in Mecklenburg, East Germany. She had to attend the local communist school where they systematically tried to destroy the students' belief in God. For instance, the teacher would tell the children to bow their heads on their desks and ask God for candy. After waiting awhile to see that nothing happened, the teacher would laugh and say, "See, students, there is no God! Now, ask the government for candy." Then a piece of candy would be given to each student on the government's behalf.
One day, the teacher told the students to stand and repeat after here, "There is no God."
The little Christian girl refused, explaining to her teacher, "But I believe there is a God." The teacher seized on the helpless little girl, determined to make her change.
"You are to write a paper tonight. Put this statement down fifty times: 'There is no God.'"
The little girl went home, prayed with her parents about the problem, then wrote fifty times, "The is a God!"
When she returned with this paper the next day, her teacher was infuriated. The woman raged, "This time you will write, 'There certainly is no God' seventy times. And if you don't, you and your parents are going to be in a lot of trouble!"
The child and her parents prayed again and she returned with another paper, writing seventy times, "There certainly is a God!"
The teacher became furious when reading it, shouting, "For tomorrow, you write one hundred times, 'There definately is no God!', and if you continue to resist, I'll go to the police and you and your parents will see what happens!"
By now, the incident had become known throughout the school, and even in all the village. It was a fight between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. The parents of the little girl knew what was at stake. But they would rather suffer than deny their Lord. So the little girl wrote one hundred times, "The definitely is a God!"
The following day the teacher looked at the paper and with her voice shaking, she shouted, "Now I'll go and denounce you at the police station. Let's see whether your God will help you!"
At this, the teacher went out to the school yard, got on her bicycle and rode towards the road. But she didn't get far. When she passed the school gate, she suddenly fell from the bike - her heart had stopped and she lay dead on the ground.
The children saw this, having watched her through the classroom window. Then ran out of the room and gathered in shock around her body. Then one person shouted out loud and the others joined in, chanting, "There definitely is a God! There definitely is a God!"
God can either deliver us, or He can give us the strength to suffer for His Name. For this little girl, delivery brought the greatest glory for God.
READ: 1 John
4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
My Anthropology teacher's
While attending my Anthropology class at Fresno City College in California, my anthropology teacher happened to get on the subject of Indian folklore, and I raised my hand and asked him about an anthropologist I've read a great deal about. "So what do you think about Carlos Castaneda?" Carlos Castaneda, for anyone not familiar with him, started out as an esteemed anthropologist, and claims to have become a sorcerer under the apprenticeship of a Don Juan Matus, who was a Yaqui Indian shaman.
My anthropology teacher stated that he thought Castaneda was probably an excellent anthropologist until he started messing with Indian drugs like Mescaline, and Peyote. Castaneda initially only wanted to objectively study the Indian shamans, like anthropologists are supposed to do, but starting from the first day he met Don Juan Matus, he was initiated as an apprentice - for various reasons that were demonic in nature, I'm quite certain. The movie, "Altered States", I think is a spin-off of Castaneda's books.
My anthropology teacher said "Carlos probably had a few 'trips', then wrote about them in his first book, which I have read and found to be slightly more objective than the rest of his books. Once he saw how much money was to be made in writing about his experiences rather than being an anthropologist, he left all of his objectivity behind and made everything up from that point on."
"So you mean to tell me that in all your years of studying other cultures around the world, you've never seen anything strange like the stuff Castaneda talks about in his books?"
The professor paused. Now the class was
somewhat interested in what he had to say, for once. (My buddy
James Phipps was in this class with me, and we used to have a game we played
concerning this certain teacher. He had the peculiar habit of being
excessively redundant with the phrase 'if you will'. James and I would
keep a tally of how many times he said it, just so we could stay
"Well, I do recall something odd that happened once when I was down in Africa." The class perked up, and he was encouraged to continue. He chuckled nervously. (Anthropologists are typically very skeptical of so-called 'magic'.) "I was waiting in the airport for my plane. There was a big holdup for one of the flights, and some woman was outside making a lot of commotion, trying to get on one of the planes. Everyone in that small airport was mumbling about the situation, so I asked my guide what was happening. He said that the woman was trying to get on the plane, because her husband's body was on it. She was demanding that her husband's body not be allowed to leave the country. She insisted that he be buried in his native land. She also said that she was placing a curse on the plane, and that they wouldn't be allowed to leave until they gave her what she wanted."
The teacher paused again, not sure how to conclude the story. "Well, the plane wouldn't start. After about two hours of putting up with this woman, they finally gave up. We were watching them pull the casket off the plane. As soon as the casket was on the ground, the plane started right up." He laughed, then made mention of how strong the conviction was of those people. "My guide looked at me and said with a deadpan serious exression, 'Our magic is very powerful here.'" He laughed again.
"I don't know why the plane wouldn't start, but my guide had no doubt about that woman's curse. He was dead serious."
I figured he'd have at least one bizarre tale from the field. Perhaps Castaneda's adventures of turning into a bird, battling demons, and leaping off into other dimensions were a bit much for my teacher, but he couldn't deny the curse on that plane. I thought it was interesting the way he engineered his statements away from himself, and onto his guide - as if refusing to take a stand on the issue. I could tell that he was one of those people that have an amazing anti-faith. Anti-faith, by my definition, works just the same as faith, but in the opposite way. I wish I had the source, but I don't right off hand. I only know it was an article in the Anti-mater section of an issue of Omni magazine. I remember reading about an ESP study that some paranormal researchers did once with a bunch of diehard ESP skeptics. The results of the study revealed that these people, when tested for ESP, missed so many targets - that their percentage for missing was way beyond the average. The conclusion of the study proved that they were exhibiting an ability to purposefully miss their targets rather than hit them! That's anti-faith in action. Certain Christians are like this, and they operate really well when they 'doubt their doubt'. Funny, isn't it?
I don't have a hard time believing that supernatural powers are floating around out there. In fact, it's part of the Christian heritage to know that this world is full of supernatural things, originating either from the Kingdom of God, or the kingdom of darkness. The Bible is very clear about this fact. It is true that much, if not most, of the so-called 'magic' in various cultures found all throughout the world is nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors. The entire sub-class of eunuchs in India is founded on this exact principle. Anthropologists know this, and have demonstrated fraud time and time again. For example, the movie "Serpent & The Rainbow", is based on actual findings from an anthropologist. The movie is obviously a Hollywood dramatization with many distortions, but the true part about it is that there was an anthropologist who was able to gather the ingredients of various drugs, and expose one of the greatest Voodoo frauds of all time - the zombie. I'm not up to par on all of the detailed specifics, but the way the Voodoo shamans made their zombies entailed the administration of a drug that slowed the heartbeat down so dramatically, that it simulated death. Victims under the influence of this drug could actually be buried alive for a few hours, in a public funeral, then dug up later on, in the middle of the night when nobody was around. Before the effects of this first drug would wear off, the shamans would then administer another more sinister drug, that had various ill effects. Among these effects were the induction of a highly suggestible state of consciousness, as well as the physiological symptoms of pale skin, dilated pupils, and a very 'spaced out' facial expression, sometimes with the eyes rolling up into the head. People under the effects of this drug would be easy to control. In fact, so long as the shamans would continue to administer this drug to their victims in regular doses, they could retain these victims as slaves.
What was the general public's perception of the zombie in that area of the world? They would see someone that everyone talked about as being a powerful sorcerer make a threat to someone else, demanding something. When his demands weren't met, the other person turned up dead. Shortly afterward, after the funeral and everything as a matter of fact, people would see that dead person walking around, all weird and dead looking, doing things for the shaman! No wonder people were scared! Satan works just exactly like this. Most of what he does is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, and a feeding off of fear. Taking the simple principle of the conservation of energy into account, it makes perfect sense. It's probably a real drain for demons to use their ever-fading supply of supernatural power, so they think up various ingenious ways to trick people 9 out of 10 times, and in that rare instance when they're busted, that's when they pull out the real stuff. The problem with anthropologists is that they see mostly smoke and mirrors, and then simply label all of it as a sham, when in fact there really are wicked, supernatural entities at work. I have no doubt that it was a demon that inspired the formula for zombies. Most anthropologists won't concede this notion, however. (A Christian anthropologist probably would, though...)
I think a better source for non-objective cultural observations comes from foreign missionaries. They can spot the charlatans just as well as anyone else, but they also have an intimate knowledge of the spiritual realm. I have yet to hear from a missionary that didn't have some of the most interesting, supernatural confrontation stories of all time. I think the reason for this is that the demons realize it's going to take a little more than smoke and mirrors when it comes to Christians. They have to pull out the real stuff! If you, the reader, are a member of a church - I challenge you to test a theory of mine. If you, the reader, know a foreign missionary, or if you ever meet one, ask that person if he or she ever saw any kind of demonic or angelic manifestations. I doubt you'll even have to explain yourself, because overseas is where the action is! Missionaries usually have some hair-raising stories.
Why is it that demonic forces seem to be doing more stuff overseas than they are in America? It's not that they are more prevalent in other countries as opposed to America. It's just a matter of tactics. Satan is fully aware of reverse faith, which is different than anti-faith. Reverse faith, (another term I'm inventing here), is what I had that drove me into a closer relationship with Jesus, and was primarily responsible for me getting baptized. The way reverse faith works is that someone finds Jesus not because of what he or she experiences with God, but rather what he or she experiences with Satan! It's the dark side that drives people to Jesus, oddly enough. The end result is the same, which is good, but faith comes about in a reverse manner.
The Western world has the following two dominant influences: 1. The Judeo-Christian heritage, and 2. The scientific paradigm, which purports the philosophy of naturalism. Naturalism finds its roots in the pseudo-science of evolution, and promotes the idea that nature is all there is. Currently, the philosophy of naturalism has the upper hand in American society. Since the dominant influence of Western society is the philosophy of naturalism, and its primary precept is that there is no such thing as anything that can't be explained as a naturally occurring phenomenon, then Satan knows it's in his best interest to keep the supernatural stuff to a minimum. That's why we don't see demonic manifestations and accept them in America nearly as much as they're seen and accepted overseas. This doesn't mean he isn't doing anything. It just means he's doing different things. In the business industry, he propagates corporate greed. In government, he's orchestrating a hierarchy of select offices that are extending beyond public knowledge, and control. He's using the media to propagate the extreme tolerance of all forms of immorality, and extreme violence. His work is also evident in the educational institutions, and in the scientific communities, where the demonic doctrine of evolution is propagated, and scientific knowledge is pushing the envelope of ethical issues in research such as genetics, and artificial intelligence.
Taking all the above details into consideration, what are Satan's chances of deceiving people if he empowers a certain man in a small town with satanic power? Would people fear, respect, and give heed to this man? I doubt it. He'd be an outcaste, most likely. And for those that actually did believe he had satanic power, they'd probably be the same kind of people that would go to a church for help! That Judeo-Christian heritage is still a force to be reckoned with. Reverse faith would kick in, just like it did with me. Is that what Satan wants? Absolutely not! So for cultures that have heard very little about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and are dealing with a high degree of superstition and paranoia, it's highly beneficial for Satan to demonstrate his supernatural power. As for the Western world, it's not a good idea at all.
Is Satan's supernatural power completely absent in America? Now here's an interesting twist. Of course it's not absent; it's all over the place! You just have to know where to look. Let's start with the New Age section in any local bookstore. I'm a living example that the supernatural stuff is alive and well in America today - but the way Satan has this engineered is again, ingenious. I can go to any New Age bookstore, buy a book on astral projection, learn how to do it, and from that, cultivate an extreme amount of demonic, supernatural power. With my power, I could do all kinds of things. If I were to follow the general guidelines in most astral projection books, I'd use it to gain wealth, power, and prestige. I wouldn't, however, advertise that this is what I was doing! Why? Because I'd be operating in a counter-culture that currently isn't widely accepted in American society, due to the philosophy of naturalism that I've already mentioned. People generally scoff and ridicule those that claim an affiliation with the New Age movement, associating a belief in UFOs, astral projection, and the like with 'weirdness' at best, and insanity at worst. This is in the process of changing, however, and I'm certain that most people reading this material know what I'm talking about. Many very notable people, especially those in Hollywood, are claiming an affiliation with the New Age religious movement. Because of their notoriety, they're able to get away with it. This is all to Satan's advantage too! As far as Satan is concerned, it's okay to contradict the philosophy of naturalism, just so long as it isn't contradicted with anything relating to Jesus. Since the New Age is, by definition, 'anything but Jesus', Satan loves it! Actually, he's the one that invented it - and it isn't new at all. It's just a modified form of eastern mysticism. Satan is actually the mastermind behind the migration from naturalism to New Age philosophy. This will be a necessary step in his rise to power, because the anti-christ will be known as one having supernatural power. With the New Age movement paving the way, it won't be long before the American mainstream will be leaning away from naturalism, and in favor of New Age philosophies. This is all a part of Satan's plan - like always - to take the worst of both worlds. The New Age movement takes all the deceptions of naturalism, primarily the demonic doctrine of evolution, and simply adds a god to it - who isn't Jesus. According to most New Age philosophies, people were created by some cosmic being, but he's not the often depicted - 'narrow minded, intolerant' - Jesus Christ that Christians believe in. He's an all-accepting, anything goes kind of god. You know - the devil.
I'm sorry about that tangent. I started with my teacher's story about Voodoo and ended up talking about how Satan's deceptive strategies vary throughout the world. It's amazing how cunning his deceptions are, but please don't be dismayed! The devil might be intelligent, but he became the stupidest creature ever created when he contrived the idea to go head to head with God. What an idiot! What was he thinking? He spends so much time and energy contriving wickedness, but God perceives no threat whatsoever. God is on His throne - searching the hearts of men, women, and children all over the world - looking for that spark of faith. As for the devil, he's going to pay for the things he's done, and the things he thinks he's getting away with. God makes no threats. He makes promises, and they're in writing. I'm sure Revelation 20:10 was drafted the day Lucifer stepped over the line, and became Satan.
10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Explanation of the
When I wrote "Aliens in the Bible", I mentioned the concept of the Trinity in one area of the book, and stated that I heard a sermon on it once that helped me immensely to understand God's triune nature. I wasn't talking about the Trinity specifically in that area of the book, so I simply concluded that readers should email me if they wanted to hear me explain more about that sermon. As it turned out, I had about 3 or 4 people email me about it, and I had to retype the same information out all those times. So by popular demand, I'm going to detail what I remember from that sermon about the Trinity as best I can - right here, once and for all. Now the next time someone emails me asking about this info, all I'll have to do is send them this page.
Some people find it difficult to understand God's triune nature. How is it that one being can be manifest in three individuals? Does the Bible really teach this? YES! If it didn't, what would be the point of the word "Godhead", found 3 times in the New Testament, (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9)?
Before talking about how God has
revealed his triune nature, I'm first going to briefly make it clear from the
Bible that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - are ALL God. They are three
individuals, united as ONE God, (1 Timothy
Corinthians 8:6), and at the same time, spoken of as three individual
beings. Without going into huge detail, the Father is the Head of the
Godhead, declared by Jesus to be the Greatest, (John
14:28). Jesus is the mediator between the Father and man, (1 Timothy
2:5), and the Holy Ghost comforts man, dwells in man, and reveals truth, (John
14:15-17, 26, 15:26-27).
All three are considered to be God for the 8 following reasons I was able to
1. All are referenced by the term Godhead, (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9).
2. The Father is essentially a synonymous term with "God", and is explicitly stated to be God, (1 Corinthians 8:6).
3. Jesus said that He and His Father were as one, (John 8:58, 10:30).
4. Within Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead, (Colossians 2:8-10).
5. The Holy Spirit is of the Father (Ephesians 4:30).
6. The Holy Spirit is given from and sent by the Father (John 14:15-17, 26, 15:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).
7. The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus (Matthew 1:18-20).
8. Believers are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19).
Now that it should be fairly clear that God has a triune nature, exactly how has God revealed His nature to us in a way that we can understand? According to Romans 1:20, we can understand the Godhead by studying the things that are made. Now what did the Apostle Paul mean by that?
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Falling back to the most fundamental interpretation, if we want to study the things that are made in order to understand the Godhead, we need a small physics lesson. All things, according to physics, are made of energy, and require time, and space to exist in. What is it about energy, time, and space, that can reveal to us God's triune nature?
ENERGY: Energy is a single entity, yet consists of a relationship between mass, velocity, and the constant of the speed of light. Without any one of these 3 unique components, energy could not exist.
TIME: Time is a single entity, yet consists of the past, present, and future. Without any one of these 3 unique components, time could not exist.
SPACE: Space is a single entity, yet consists
of height, width, and depth. Without any one of these 3 unique components,
space could not exist.
Wrapping everything up, the THINGS THAT ARE MADE are the single entity of the material universe and all things therein, yet it all consists of energy, time, and space. Without any one of these 3 unique components, the things that are made could not exist.
So there you have it! It's all as simple as that. We are all familiar with time and space, (though the energy one is a bit complex), so nobody should have any problem in understanding how ONE God can be manifest in 3 unique, individual beings.
READ: Matthew 3:13 (This is one of
those rare passages when the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - are ALL witnessed
16And Jesus, (The Son) when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God (The Holy Ghost) descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, (The Father's voice) saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Animals have spiritual gifts too
I remember one time while watching a show about miracles on the Lifetime channel, there was a story about a cat that saved its owner's life. The cat, through its peculiar behavior, convinced its owner to follow it outside. It then led the elderly woman to a place in her flowerbed, and proceeded to dig a hole, much to the woman's dismay. When the lady tried to stop the cat, a potent burst of gaseous air shot out of the ground and made the woman nauseated. She called around town, telling various authorities about what she found. It turned out that there was a massive gas leak in the main gas line that ran under her house. Her entire neighborhood had to be evacuated; there was enough gas in that woman's house to blow a crater sized hole in the ground. City officials were amazed that the woman was alive. She could've been dead on two counts; poisoned by toxic fumes, or death by explosion. When I saw that segment, I laughed hysterically. In Christian terms, that woman's cat demonstrated one of the spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit, called a "Word of Knowledge", (1 Corinthians 12:8).
I can't claim that an animal's ever saved my life, but a lizard sure helped me out once. I remember one time when I was a kid, I was camping with my dad and some other folks high up in the Sierra Nevada's. I wasn't familiar with this particular place, and like always, I went off exploring. Being an avid camper, I've never been lost before, at least up until this point. When I'm trekking in the woods, my primary tactic for remembering where I am is to stick to the river. (Most of my camping trips have been near a water source). Doing this, I'm always able to go up or down stream from camp for several miles, then simply follow the river back to camp. This is a very simple, effective tactic, but it didn't work on this occasion. On this particular river, there were many feeds that I crossed without paying any attention. I crossed one intersecting stream after another, and before I knew it, I was lost! I tried to follow the river back, but found nothing but new territory. For the first time in my life, I was actually getting scared of being lost in the woods! I was about 16 years old at the time, so I didn't think there was any way this could ever happen to me. My confidence got the best of me.
I wandered around for about an hour or more, trying to deny the fact that I had absolutely no way of finding my way back to camp. The river streams in the area were very complex. River feeds fed other river feeds, creating a meshwork that was impossible to backtrack. I looked for landmarks, and found none. I was at a loss. Finally, after various attempts at shouting for help, I gave up and sat down. Nobody could hear me. The water was too loud, and I was miles away from camp. I started to pray. "God, I have no idea where I'm at. Can you help me get back to camp please?" Now at that time in my life, I wasn't the Christian I am now. I believed all sorts of weird things that are completely incompatible with the Bible. Of course, I never read the Bible, nor did I hardly ever go to church, or pray for that matter. But like many people, I called out to God when I was afraid. He was very gracious to me.
No sooner had I finished speaking the last word of my prayer, did I notice a very large lizard on the ground, right in front of me. I'd never seen lizards like that in the Sierra's before. This one was huge! It scurried about 2 feet, somewhat slow for a lizard, then stopped. It then repeated the action. I noticed it was going in a particular direction. Then I began to wonder, "Perhaps God sent this lizard here to show me which way to go? After all, I just prayed. What was I expecting, a glorious beam of light to shoot through the clouds and a booming voice to say 'THIS WAY JOHN!'"
Intrigued by the lizard's behavior, I began to follow it. It didn't seem to try to evade me. It would just scurry along about 2 to 3 feet at a time, then stop. I followed this lizard for about 30 feet, and took note that it had a well defined direction it was traveling in. "Okay God, I sure hope this is from you" I mumbled to myself. I then thanked the lizard for its advice, and continued in the strait line that it was traveling in. It wasn't but about 15 to 20 minutes later, I managed to find my way back to camp!
READ: 1 Kings 17:1-6
1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
The hangman's noose
One time while living in Arkansas, my sister Sharon and I went for a walk on our neighbor's property. We reached the edge of one of his fields, where there were some bluffs that overlooked a river valley below. It was a beautiful place, and I mention it in this book in ("A minor experience of my own"). There were caves in the bluffs, (actually they were more like nooks), and Sharon and I would hunt for arrowheads there sometimes. Arrowheads are easy to find in Arkansas; they're all over the place.
While standing on top of the bluffs with Sharon, I pulled out my binoculars and peered through them. We were just sight seeing. Suddenly a horrible feeling came over me, and I lowered the binoculars. "Sharon, I don't feel so good. Something isn't right." I then handed her the binoculars. She looked at me inquisitively.
"Yea, huh. What is that?" She then looked through the binoculars, eyeballing the beautiful Lee Creek in the valley below.
"I don't know, but it just hit me all of a sudden, and it doesn't feel good. I feel like there's something here that doesn't want us here. We better get out of here." The sickening feeling hit me so strong, I felt nauseous, almost to the point of vomiting.
Sharon handed me back the binoculars. I decided to take one last look before we left. While I was looking through the binoculars, something flashed in front of the lenses that caught my attention. When I lowered the binoculars, I realized that I was staring face to face with a hangman's noose! I have no idea how we didn't notice it before. It was swaying in the wind, and I guess it was just at the right height, and snuggled in the tree there that we just didn't see it. "LOOK" I shouted.
"Let's get out of here!" Sharon yelped, already 10 feet behind me. We ran across the field like our feet were on fire, and didn't stop until we got all the way home!
The feeling of being watched, and completely unwelcome was undeniable that day. I felt like I was punched in the stomach it hit me so hard. Sharon felt the exact same thing. I simply couldn't figure out who, or why that hangman's noose was out there. It made absolutely no sense.
About a week after this incident with Sharon, a friend of mine, Arthur, came over to visit me. When I told him about the hangman's noose, he just had to see it for himself. I didn't want to go, but he insisted. When we went to the spot, I saw that the rope was fairly new. It was practically a display model, tied in the perfect hangman's noose knot. Somebody knew what he or she was doing. Furthermore, it was tied to a puny branch no more than 2 inches thick. The only thing anyone would've been able to hang on it would be a small animal, but there were no traces that the noose had ever been used. Who put it there, and why? It was completely pointless! Nobody ever went out there. All the years I lived in that house in Arkansas, I never once even saw the owner of that property, let alone other people.
Arthur tore the rope down from the tree and ripped it apart. As for me, I kept my distance. I didn't feel that nauseating feeling that day I was out there with Arthur, but I never felt quite the same about that place. Perhaps whatever it was I was feeling was pleased to see Arthur rip the rope down out of the tree.
It wasn't until the last time I went down those bluffs that I discovered other people had been down there. The small nooks in the bluffs had been turned into an archeological site. Excavation work was being done, and various trays full of Indian artifacts were laying around, with a few assorted hammers and chisels. It must have been a fairly recent discovery, because I never saw any people down there excavating before. I forget who was with me, but we were browsing through some of the things that were dug up. I remember picking up a piece of human skull laying on an excavation tray, and looking at the maze-like designs the brain imprinted on it. Whoever was with me said "Keep it", but I quickly set it down.
"Are you crazy! That's some ... human being! Don't you know anything about Indian burial grounds! You better not take anything, either." Now that I recall that last day I went down through that area, it occurs to me that perhaps one of the archeologists tied that rope in the tree above the bluffs. Who else would've done it? I still don't know why anyone would tie a pointless symbol of extreme hatred in a tree out in the middle of nowhere, but I suspect it had to be one of the archeologists that did it. Maybe he or she was a racist or something.
I have the impression that more than a couple of bones were dug up...
READ: 1 Samuel
11Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. 13And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. 15And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?
Lacy's horse and the mutilated cow
I had a room mate named Lacy, back when I was in the Army. Since he was my room mate, he was exposed to me a lot, and we would talk about many things. On one occasion, we happened to be talking about strange things, like UFOs and such, and I asked him if he ever saw anything strange in his life. He was a pretty easy going guy, and really down to earth, but as it turned out, he had a wild tale he hadn't shared with very many people before.
Prior to joining the Army, Lacy lived with his parents on a very large ranch in Montana. They were the caretakers. One of Lacy's jobs was to ride across the property, ensuring everything was properly maintained. He had to make sure there were no wounded cattle, breaks in the fence, or whatever else needed attention. He said the ranch was so massive, it took one week just to ride his horse from one side of the ranch to the other side. During that whole two week period of riding, he wouldn't see a single human being, much less any trace of civilization - not even a road. I envied him. I can't say I've ever been to such a pristine territory, (other than my fishing trip to Alaska, but even that place had people around).
One time while riding across the territory, he was slowly meandering along in a fairly wooded area when suddenly his horse froze. He spurred and prodded the animal, but it had a fit, and refused to move forward. Lacy was stumped. He didn't see any snakes on the ground or anything. Actually, there was snow on the ground at the time, which meant that snakes were out of the question, and many animals were in hibernation. He got off of his horse and looked around, but couldn't see anything obvious for his horse to be acting up. Being somewhat familiar with the area, his light bulb finally flipped on, and he recalled that his horse acted just the same way on one other occasion in the past, when he happened upon an Indian burial ground. He was almost certain that he was in close proximity to that same Indian burial ground, but couldn't see it from where he was at. From what he recalled, the Indian burial ground was easy to find, with wooden stands and such. He saw nothing of the sort in his immediate vicinity. Not far ahead, where he was intending to ride before his horse acted up, was a cluster of trees and a small mound that obscured the view. Leaving his horse behind, he decided to investigate on foot.
As he walked over the small mound and was able
to see what was on the other side of it, he found something that completely
shocked him. Laying in the snow was the carcass of a cow that had all of
the blood drained out of its body. Even more odd, there wasn't a trace of
blood in the snow, or even a single footprint around the cow. To further
complicate things, the skullcap of the cow was cut off with surgical precision,
and the brain was missing. Lacy didn't know what to think. Aside
from the collection of seemingly impossible circumstances, he knew he was out in
the middle of nowhere. People simply didn't roam around on that property,
much less bring surgical instruments to mutilate cattle and steal their
I wonder what Lacy's horse was seeing out there?
22And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. 31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. 34And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. 35And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
My mother tells the story that when she was younger, she and my dad took a trip out into the foothills not too far out from Madera. She said the she and my dad got out of their car and wandered around on someone's property, not knowing who owned the place. She said they saw a barn on the top of a hill, so they decided to check it out. For some reason, it peaked their interest.
When they finally reached the barn, the noticed something highly unusual about it. There were no cracks! She said every single crack between the wooden planks were covered with smaller pieces of wood. The barn was locked, too. Neither she, nor my dad could figure out why anyone would go through the trouble to build a nice little bard out in the middle of nowhere, and take the painstaking effort to cover all the cracks between the boards. This barn really got their curiosity going.
They walked around the barn, looking for a crack to peek through, and noticed that even the knot-holes were covered up with lids from tin cans. Someone definitely didn't want anyone to see what was in that barn!
While analyzing the strange barn, both my mom and dad saw a small, petite tree behind it, with a white picket fence around the tree. Giving up on the barn, they walked over to the tree. Oddly, the fence had a small gate with a tiny lock on it. The small display appeared to be highly manicured. My mother recalls that she wasn't scared or anything. In fact, she noticed that the place seemed to make her feel comfortable, despite the oddness.
"What on earth is this all about?" she questioned, fiddling with the lock. "Who would put a fence, gate, and lock, around a tree?" While scratching her head, my dad noticed a little ways down the hill that there was another circular fence. They left the small tree behind the barn, and investigated the second site.
As my mother descended the hill, her mood descended as well. She wasn't feeling comfortable anymore.
Again, there was a small, circular fence with a gate, and a lock. This time, instead of a tree, this fence enclosed a shrub. My mom said that this fence was slightly more worn than the fence behind the barn, and that the lock was also a bit older, and slightly larger than the tiny lock on the gate around the tree behind the barn. Feeling somewhat disturbed, among other things, she started to look around, to see if there were any roads, or a house near by. This place was starting to give her the creeps. While gazing about, she saw that on the very bottom of the hill, there was yet another strange monument. Almost with a grudge, she and my dad proceeded to investigate the remaining anomaly.
By the time my mother reached the bottom of the hill, she was sick to her stomach with depression and overall negativity. She recalls that the fence was so old that it was in pieces on the ground. All that remained standing was a gate, with an ancient, gigantic padlock on it. In the center was a muddy seep hole. The place filled her and my dad with such utter disgust, that they had to leave! They didn't even bother to go back to the barn, or look around any further. There was something about the sight of that seep hole drove them away from the entire location like people-repellent.
My mother never went to that place again. I've asked her to take me there before, but she can't remember where it is. That just kills me! I just have to know! Now my mom lives in Alabama, so I can't bug her about it anymore. Maybe I'll start bugging my dad. I never heard his side of the story.
Recounting this story, it seems to me that someone went through a lot of effort to symbolically depict something. What on earth could that be? Let's start with the barn. It's completely sealed, hiding what's inside. What's the greatest unknown of all? I'd say that the question of whether there's life after death is near the top of the list. I realize that Christ conquered death, and that death is no longer a fear for those in Christ, (1 Corinthians 15:55), but for everyone else in the world, death is that seamless barn. Now how about those three landmarks?
The tree is clearly the "Tree of Life", which is both a symbol of Christ, and of eternal life. It's pretty fence and gate, and a petite lock, make the statement of 'not everyone is allowed', but at the same time, 'it isn't that hard to get in'. The second landmark is an in-between place, that seems to serve the only purpose of delaying someone prior to searching for further landmarks. What does this place represent? This place is the temporary life we are currently in. Take note that it's not as nice as the spot at the top of the hill, and not nearly as bad as the place at the bottom of the hill. As for the bush inside this landmark, it is a symbol for God, because in every instance of the word 'bush' in the Bible, all 9 speak of God communicating to Moses through a bush, (Exodus 3:2, 3:3, 3:4, Deuteronomy 33:16; Mark 12:26; Luke 6:44, 20:37; Acts 7:30, 7:35). Is a trend starting to develop here? Who can guess what's at the bottom of the hill? Hey, no cheating! You guessed it - the pit of hell. Notice that the padlock on the gate is so ridiculously large, it screams to people that this is not some place people want to go. However, since the fence around the gate is completely deteriorated, it remains the easiest landmark to enter. Unlike the landmark at the top of the hill, this place makes the statement of 'everyone is allowed', and 'it's super easy to get it', yet at the same time, 'you'd be crazy to want to get in'.
What a peculiar place!
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
My trip to the Fresno
Shortly after I got out of the Army, back in 1992, I got together with a friend of mine, James Phipps, and we contrived the idea to take a trip to the local Fresno cemetery in the middle of the night. I wanted to bring my camcorder, and see if I could catch a ghost on tape. Yes, I know, I have to admit yet again that I was a complete idiot. Doing things like this is just asking for trouble, spiritually speaking. I'm certain that many of the things I used to do played various contributions to my later encounters with the demonic realm, which I talk more in depth about in ("My best friend Jack").
James and I did some filming on the way to the cemetery. We pointed the camera at the people in a Taco Bell drive-up window, and continued with our goofy commentary. When we arrived at the cemetery, I proceeded to take the video camera out, and we walked around with the camera, filming various grave stones. It was a very foggy night, and we had to have a couple of flashlights just to do the filming. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was quite boring, actually.
On the way home, we were hoping the action would come out when we viewed the tape. Our hopes were dashed, however, when suddenly the VCR started mangling our VHS tape! It didn't appear to destroy very much of it, so I carefully weeded out all the shredded tape. The parts it did destroy were shredded, but I know how to cut and splice VHS tapes. It's quite easy, actually. James and I operated on the tape, cutting off the shredded section, and splicing it back together with scotch tape. When we popped it back in the VCR and started watching it, we were highly upset about the outcome. It just so happened that the tape was eaten by the VCR starting at a point about 10 seconds of filming prior to reaching the cemetery. It didn't recover from the damaged portion of the tape until about 10 seconds of filming after leaving the cemetery. In essence, my VCR completely destroyed the exact portion of the tape that covered our filming of the graveyard. The timing on this segment of tape was so uncanny, it was as if something didn't want us to see anything that was filmed while we were in that cemetery.
READ: 1 Samuel 6:19 (Curiosity
lacking respect can be lethal)
19And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
My sister's experience with the Ouija
My sister, Sharon Stone - and no, she's not the actor, tells of a time when she once played with a Ouija board. All it took was one time.
She was at a friends house when her friend pulled a Ouija board out of her closet. "Let's play with my Ouija board!" her friend cheerfully exclaimed. Not knowing what a Ouija board is, my sister excitedly agreed. All board games are good, so she thought.
"What do we do?"
"First we just sit on the edge of my bed, and put the board on our laps, touching both our knees", Sharon's friend instructed. Once in position, her friend continued. "Now we take the pointer, and set it right here" her friend placed the Ouija board pointer down on the center of the board. "Now all we do is ask a question and put our fingers on the pointer. It's will spell out answers to us."
Looking at the pointer, Sharon was slightly puzzled. "It'll do what?"
"Ask anything, and the pointer will spell out the answers. All we have to do is put our fingers on it, and it'll move."
"But there aren't any wheels or anything. How does it work?"
"Just do it, and you'll see."
To humor her friend, Sharon decided to comply, not believing the game would actually work. Her complacent attitude was soon replaced with shock, however, when she went to lay her fingers on the pointer. Before she ever touched it, it flew across the bedroom and slammed into her friend's bedroom door! Sharon screamed and fled the bedroom in a panic. Needless to say, she never played with a Ouija board again.
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
My own experiences with the Ouija
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my sister told me about an experience she had with a Ouija board. Her experience is mentioned above in ("My sister's experience with the Ouija board"). While her story was creepy, it peeked my interest. I wanted to know how, and if a Ouija board really worked. It wasn't until I was in High School before I finally had the opportunity to try using one myself. (NOTE: This was not a good thing. The Ouija board opens a doorway into the spiritual realm, using people as conduits, and is nothing short of a symbolic means of inviting possession.)
When I was in band class at Fresno High School in Fresno, CA., a group of band kids brought in a Ouija board one day. They took it into one of the back practice rooms of the band room, and began playing with it. I went into the practice room, as asked to join. There were about 5 or 6 of us. I was amazed at what was happening. No matter what questions we asked, answers would zip out of the pointer, one right after another. I didn't feel like I was moving the pointer. Instead, I just had my fingers lightly touching it, and going the direction I felt everyone else pushing it. Everyone in the room was convinced that someone there was moving it to produce specific results.
The first things that were spelled out seemed childish. When we asked who was speaking, we learned that something that said it was a young boy about 5 years old was speaking. This puzzled me. Why wouldn't a young boy be in heaven? Shortly after this, one of the kids, Donny I think, said "Let's talk to Lucifer!" I ripped my hands away from the board.
"Are you crazy! What's wrong with you! Why on earth do you want to talk to pure evil and hatred?"
Donny laughed, not believing the game I suppose. He thought I was being ridiculous. I was still fascinated with the game, and continued to play, but not while Donny was coming up with stupid ideas. We didn't get to play with the game for very long before something came through identifying itself as Gor. It said it was a prince of darkness, and I didn't want to converse with anything like that. We kept pausing in the game, and demanding that the evil spirit leave. It appeared to leave several times, but would soon return and interrupt our conversations with what we thought were other spirits. They were all probably the same demonic creature. A few of the kids said that some Ouija boards are just bad, and all you can get are bad spirits. I now know that all anyone will ever get from any Ouija board is a demonic spirit. Ouija boards are a form of divination, which is strictly forbidden in the Bible. I wasn't that enlightened back then.
Convinced I could communicate with something good, I borrowed the board from whoever owned it, and took it home. I tried to use it by myself, but it wouldn't work. I then began to wonder if someone at school really was controlling it. Why wouldn't it work with just me alone? Perhaps it was just a hoax.
I brought the board back to school, and one of the other kids in our group decided to take it to his home for the weekend. He invited all of us to join him at his house, so we could all play with it without interruptions. He lived too far away for me to attend, but others in our group accepted his invitation. When they brought the board back the following Monday, most of them wouldn't play with it anymore. One of them told me that they saw a misty cloud form up in the hallway of their home, and one of the girls playing the game fell on the ground and went into convulsions, and started screaming. A few of the kids wanted to destroy the board, but the kid that brought it back to school didn't want them to. While we were in this heated discussion in the band practice room, Mr. Ruffner, our band teacher, ripped the door open.
"What's going on in here!" Our debates were immediately silenced; we all glared up at him wide-eyed and suspicious. His attention was immediately focused on the Ouija board in our hands. Suddenly he reached down and snatched the board out of our hands. "This stuff is demonic!" he bellowed out, then left the practice room with the board in his hands. While he walked across the band room, he continued yelling. "Don't ever bring one of these things in here again!" He then threw the board in a trashcan. I'm glad this was all he did. I once saw him pick up two fairly large kids - with one in each hand - and shake them around like rag-dolls. They were serious trouble-makers, and he was a serious trouble-breaker. He wasn't particularly fond of drummers either, (which is what I am - and what those two trouble-makers were). Drummers had a bad reputation in band for doing things like playing with Ouija boards in the practice rooms. We drove Mr. Ruffner insane sometimes, and he'd lose his temper and throw music stands at us. Those were the days...
A few years later, after I joined the Army, my curiosity got the best of me again. I wasn't fully satisfied with my experience with the Ouija board back in High School. I still thought that maybe one or two of the kids in our group might have been manipulating the pointer on the game board. Why wouldn't it work with just me alone? I never came to any conclusion about how the Ouija board works, or even if it worked at all, but I still wanted to know. I asked my best friend, Frankie Joe Carducci, if he'd be willing to try using the game with me. I told him about my experience with it in High School, and explained that I just wanted to know if it would really work. I trusted nobody more than Frankie Joe, so if the game actually worked with just the two of us, then I'd know for sure that there was really something to it. We also thought we were Christians, so neither of us figured we'd be in any danger. We just wanted to try to talk to an angel from heaven, or an alien from another planet, or a good being from another dimension or something. Neither of us had any desire to communicate with anything evil.
I went to the nearest Toys-R-Us toy store in Monterey, not far from where I was stationed at Fort Ord, California, and purchased a Ouija board.
Prior to using the board, I got a bizarre idea. I filled a cup with water, grabbed a piece of copper wire, and conjured up some of my most cherished memories. I then dipped the wire into the water and recounted the memories, forcing myself to re-experience the emotions. Frank did the same thing, adding his cherished memories to the cup of water. The idea of this activity was to make our own "Holy" water, and anoint the Ouija board with it in case something evil crept in. I got the idea that water held 'emotional energy' from various other sources, and that copper might be a good channel for transmitting that energy from our bodies into the water. Whatever...
It was early in the evening when we started using the board. The pointer moved very slowly. It wasn't making much sense at first, but then things started spelling out, slowly. I was amazed that anything was happening at all. Only Frank and I were using this game, and the pointer was moving. We both felt we were just going along with pushing it where the other one was pushing it. At first, words spelled out from someone that sounded like a soldier. We asked him what year it was, and he said 1960 something. He said he lived in our barracks. We assumed this was the spirit of a man that had died in our building.
As the evening went on, it started getting dark outside, and the darker it got, the quicker the pointer started moving. Then the words being spelled out changed dramatically, donning a poetic quality. It then started to ask us questions, rather than the other way around. Clearly, something else was speaking. It was also much more powerful than what we were previously communicating with.
"Who is speaking?" we asked the board, then touched the pointer.
Instead of answering, it asked "Who are you?" We looked at each other. Frank wasn't sure if it wanted to know who both of us were, of just one of us.
"Who, me, John, or both of us?" Frank asked.
"I know who you are, Frank." Pause. "I do not know who John is. He is a ghost among shadows. I know not whence he came."
Frank pulled away. "Wow, that's cool" Frank commented.
"Why didn't it answer our question?" I asked Frank. "I don't want to talk to something that doesn't identify itself. It knows I'm John, so now we should know who it is. Who are you?" I repeated the question.
"I am the Tiger that roams the night, seeking whom I may devour." As soon as this spelled out, a sickening feeling set in my stomach.
"I don't care how poetic this thing is, I don't want to talk to it. Let's bless the board" I instructed Frank. We then dipped our hands into the cup of water we 'blessed', and wiped the water all over the board. After this, we both verbally affirmed that we didn't want to talk to whatever it was that identified itself as the 'Tiger'. Placing the pointer back on the board, we asked, "Is there anyone there?"
"I envy you" came a response. Frank and I knew the response had something to do with the thoughts we placed into the water.
"We don't want to speak to the evil thing. Who is this?" We placed our hands on the pointer, and it wouldn't move. It's like the game just died. We sat for about three minutes or so, and the pointer didn't move anywhere. "Is there anyone out there?" we asked again. Finally the pointer moved.
"I will take thy heads from iniquity, and feed them to the venomous beast" a reply finally spelled out.
"What's iniquity mean?" I asked Frank with a disturbed expression on my face.
"I don't know."
"I don't know either, but that didn't sound good." While I was irritated that the tone of the reply sounded hideously wicked, I was still fascinated by the fact that something was spelled out that neither Frank or I had the vocabulary to understand. If the word 'iniquity' was really in the dictionary, it would confirm the fact that there was really something speaking through the Ouija board that was completely independent of both me and Frank. This would rule out the possibility of the Ouija board being a 'subconscious' phenomenon, as some have postulated. I took out a dictionary, and looked up the word 'iniquity'.
"Here it is!" I excitedly spoke up, but my excitement quickly dissolved. "It means ... 'wickedness', or 'evil' ", I droned. "Well, I guess that settles it. The Ouija board really works, but all you get is crap." I then picked up the board and immediately busted it in half.
"Why did you do that! Don't you want to keep trying?"
"No. The last time I used one of these boards, something evil came through that time too, and I didn't want to talk to anything evil back then either. That's all anyone would ever get. Don't you see? That's just the way it is. The more powerful spirits that are in the spiritual plane of this world are demons, and they zone in on these opportunities when they get the chance. Probably even if there are spirits that aren't all that bad, they don't get a chance to communicate, because the more powerful, evil ones kick them out. These boards are just demonic."
This was the conclusion I came to - even before I became a devout Christian. I believed in some 'Christian' things, like the existence of demons, but I also played with Ouija boards, a totally un-Christian thing to do. Frank and I took the board out into the woods and burned it. No - it NEVER reappeared back in my dorm room, or anything dumb like that. The board was intimidating, and probably did some damage to me and Frank spiritually speaking, but it wasn't an 'all powerful' thing, as some some horror movies portray.
10PUT IN A BIBLE VERSE HERE (XXX)
Mark and I (1st and 9th
One of my earliest paranormal experiences that happened to me that might be related to PSI occurred when I was 6 years old. I remember my very first day of school in the first grade, attending Milview Pirates Elementary, in Madera, CA. It was an awful day. I couldn't believe my mother was actually leaving me with a bunch of strangers. After all her talk about staying away from people I didn't know, and here she was - leaving me behind in an entire institution full of strangers!
Right after my mom peeled me off of her and jetted out the door, I started bawling. The teacher sat me near the back of the classroom, and I finally stopped crying. Not many other kids were acting up as bad as I was. I sat quietly, not saying a word.
After a little while had passed, a kid got up from his desk and went over to where I was to get a toy or something. I was in the back of the class where all the supplies were. When the kid approached where I was at, he stopped what he was doing, then stared at me for a long pause. I stared back.
"Your name is Mark, isn't it?" I don't know why I asked this question. I didn't know who this kid was, but for some unknown reason, I simply felt that he LOOKED like his name was Mark.
"Yes. Your name is John, isn't it?"
"Yea, how'd you know?"
"How did you know?" he asked me back.
"I don't know. You just look like your name is Mark."
"Well, you just look like your name is John." We stared at each other for a minute or so more, wondering about the strange event that just transpired. Finally Mark got himself a toy, and we started to play together. We both felt much better, now that we had someone to talk to. Mark became my very first friend in school, and together, we helped each other through that most momentous day of school.
Over time, Mark and I made other friends that we hung out with more often, and we slowly drifted apart. By the time I was in the 2nd grade, I think Mark moved away, because I don't remember seeing him anymore.
EIGHT YEARS and five different schools later - (some in a different state) - I was in the 9th grade attending Fresno High School in Fresno, CA. One day while walking through the racquetball quarts during lunch time, I noticed a tall, lanky kid sitting near the edge of one of the courts. I stopped in my tracks and stared at him for about 30 seconds. He took notice of me, and stared back. We both stared at each other with crunched eyebrows.
"I know you, don't I? Is your name Mark?"
"Sure is. And your name is ... John?"
"Yep. Are you who I think you are? Did you attend Milview Elementary over in Madera in the first grade?"
"Yea! So that is you! Wow!"
Though Mark and I looked completely different, we still recognized each other somehow. Even stranger, we ended up in the same school after years of moving from place to place, even as far as 2000 miles apart.
READ: 1 Corinthians 13:12 (Perhaps
Mark and I experienced a taste of divine knowledge?)
12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
My friend Rami Bridges and I had been best friends since the 7th grade. In my story, ("Jesus in a helicopter"), I talk about how Rami and I had a peculiar bond in which our lives were spiritually paralleled. We were friends in sin, and became Christians at about the same time - so our friendship evolved from being party buddies into Christian brothers in Christ.
This might seem like I'm going off on a tangent, but I'm not. This story requires a small background involving people other than Rami and me. When I was a teenager, I remember hearing a strange story from my brother Charlie that he and my step dad had swapped a portion of their spiritual essence. This had nothing to do with anything perverted! It was all purely mental, or spiritual - or something - I'm still not exactly sure what. Actually, my brother said my step dad did this to him, involuntarily. What a punk! I don't know really how to explain it, because it sounds strange and I don't know what it entails. My step dad claimed that he took some good stuff out of my brother's spirit, and exchanged it with a bunch of his garbage he dumped into my brother. How he did this, I do not know. People I knew noticed that my brother was beginning to act like my step dad in many ways, (all the bad ways), and that my step dad was acting like my brother in many ways, (all the good ways). I think I also remember my brother saying that he confronted Aaron and demanded all his good stuff back, and the weird thing reversed itself. Anyway, this strange tale intrigued me. It sounded like the concept of a blood brother, but on a deeper level. For kids that live in the country, which I did on and off during that time in my life, having a blood brother was cool...
I remember I told Rami about my step dad and my brother, and asked him if he'd like to swap a piece of his spirit with me. I didn't know what I was saying. I just figured we would have a kind of psychic bond. Rami thought the idea sounded cool. "Yea, let's do that. But I don't want all your crap, and you get all my good stuff!"
"No, it won't be that way. We'll make an equal exchange, okay? I'll give you a little good and bad from me, and you do the same. That way, it'll be fair."
"Okay. How do we do it?"
I didn't know, so I just made something up. "All we have to do is mutually agree on it, and shake hands." We shook hands, and thus began a dramatic series of alterations in our behaviors. Rami and I both noticed that many of his common phrases and train of thought became my own, and vice versa. (FOR those of you reading this - I don't suggest doing this! I still don't understand it, but I believe God has given me enough discernment to state with verifiable authority that swapping spiritual essence is not a good thing! The only time it's acceptable is when it's directed by God, (1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:13; Acts 4:32; John 10:30)).
Rami and I laughed constantly about this inside agreement we had, because the changes we experienced were uncanny. Before I left for the Army, Rami confronted me one day after we had another bizarre experience we knew was related to our swap. I can't remember exactly what the event was that triggered his reaction, but the bottom line was that it compared something good I got from him with something bad he got from me. "Okay, I've had it. I want my good stuff back!"
"No. I'm not giving it back!" I retaliated. I then proceeded to calm Rami down and remind him of some of the good things he got from me, and some of the bad things I got from him. We weren't only blood brothers, we were spirit brothers. I also reminded him that I was going into the Army, and that I didn't want to lose contact with him. For all I knew, he might move away, and without our bond, it might be impossible for me to find him again. Odd reasoning, but he agreed and decided not to reverse the swap. I realize that to most people, such an argument would be completely absurd, but Rami and I had experienced enough of our swap to realize that something real had happened between us.
While I was gone in the Army, I did eventually lose contact with Rami. He had moved from where he used to live, and wasn't listed in the phone book. I didn't have any other friends that knew where he moved, either, so I had no way of finding out where he lived. As soon as I got out of the Army, it wasn't long before I found him. I credit our swap to this account.
I wasn't back home from the Army for no more than two or three days before meeting him again. It happened at about midnight one night when I was in my bedroom. I can't remember if I was asleep, or just vegetating on the television. Suddenly I got a powerful urge to get up and get out of the house. I had to walk about a quarter mile from my house to the Yum Yum donut shop on the corner of Palm and McKinley. I ate donuts no more than the average person, but for some reason I knew I had to get out of my room and get over to that donut shop! I didn't even care about the donuts. I didn't have any money. I just had to get there, and not waste any time.
I grabbed a jacket and off I went. While on the way there, I started wondering about what I was doing. Rami popped into my mind. "I bet he'll be waiting for me in the parking lot" I mumbled to myself.
I crossed Palm Avenue, and as soon as I stepped into the Yum Yum donut parking lot, a banana colored Chevy Nova pulled into the parking lot and stopped right in front of me. It was Rami. He and I hadn't seen each other in nearly two years, but he rolled down his window and said as if he were expecting me, "Hi John. Hop in!" Off we went.
"I told you we'd still need our swap to find each other" I mentioned to him. He laughed and said that he was suddenly taken with the urge to go to the Yum Yum donut shop too. He didn't even know why he had to go there, but on the way there, I popped into his mind. He figured I was out of the Army and would probably be waiting in the parking lot when he got there. We laughed hysterically!
As an interesting side note, I don't think it's any coincidence that both Rami and I became born again Christians at about the same. Nowadays, Rami is still a very good friend of mine, though I don't see him very often. For the most part, he's gone his way, and I've gone my way. I still feel a connection with him from time to time, but I think God has turned it into a good thing since we both accepted Jesus into our lives. He replaced it with the right kind of swap - a unity in Christ. I talk a little more about this continued unity I have with my buddy Rami in ("A dream for a dream").
READ: 1 Corinthians
17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Strange Creatures / Mythical Beings
The ball of light that communicated with me
Following is an excerpt of chapter one of one of my other books, Aliens in the Bible. This is a slightly more abbreviated version. It describes a true account of events concerning something very peculiar I encountered in the jungle of Panma.
It was in the summer of 1990, during the Panamanian conflict. I was an M-60 Machine Gunner in the Army at the time, assigned to the 7th Infantry Division. Prior to deploying to Panama City, my unit held up various guard posts in the jungle behind Fort Sherman. I remember gazing at my watch, seeing that I had fifteen minutes left before waking up Corp. Stenger to take over the midnight shift. Sleep at last, I thought, while peering at my sleeping area behind me. I was issued a small net to sleep under, but it didn’t do any good. In the jungle of Panama, it’s impossible to find an area without bugs. Setting up a net in any given space does nothing but trap bugs beneath it.
While staring at the net, I became aware of a peculiar glow that flashed in front of me while my head was turned. The glow was like a dim flash. It disappeared when I faced forward to see what it was. All evening the sky had been flashing with lighting, even though there were no clouds or rain, just a gloomy haze. This is common in Panama. I quickly dismissed the phenomenon as lightning, because the effect of the mellow flash was very similar. The only reason this particular flash caught my attention is because it was noticeably brighter than the lightning that had been flashing throughout the evening. I simply attributed this to a brighter flash of lightning. A few minutes passed, and the flash occurred again, this time while I was facing forward. It was immediately apparent that this flash was not lighting. It flashed from behind the many trees and brush in front of me about 300 yards away, and was much brighter this time.
I rubbed my eyes, repositioned myself, yawned, and leaned forward expecting another peculiar flash. Sure enough, about a minute later, another flash emitted from the jungle, and again, the intensity was increased. This was a prime indication that it was approaching my position. I looked at Corp. Stenger and thought about waking him up. While staring at him, I recalled that I was in a highly unique situation for revenge. For the past year and a half, Corp. Stenger had led the pack of individuals that enjoyed making my life miserable in the Army. I developed a bad reputation of being a complete weirdo. I sort of asked for it, because in the Army, anything that distinguishes a person as different from others is always a target for ridicule. All it took was for people to walk into my room. There, they found themselves in a shrine of the paranormal. Lining my walls were books on every paranormal subject there is. UFOs, ghosts, palmistry, astrology, Tarot cards, tea leaves, crystals, rune casting, miraculous healing, astral projection, Ouija boards, psychic phenomenon, hypnosis, reincarnation, possession, channeling, demons, angels, big-foot, different religions; if it had to do with the supernatural, I was the authority on it. Decorating my room along with the books were items such as crystal balls, Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia, (a game of which I was an avid player at that time), incense burners and a host of candles seated in the most cryptic looking candle holders I could find. For this reason, I was nick-named "Weird", and the title never left me until I departed the Army.
Aside from my dorm decor, I once made the unforgivable mistake of asking Corp. Stenger if he'd ever seen a ghost. I know ... stupid ... very stupid. Of all the things I've ever done in my life, and I've done a lot of stupid things - that was probably one of my Top 10. (Please pardon me while I go off on this slight tangent). It happened during a field land navigation exercise, shortly after I first arrived in my unit. I and three others were in Corp. Stenger's group, and we were given a map, compass, and a list of targets we had to find. Corp. Stenger had completed this land navigation course so many times in the past, he had all the targets memorized. He simply plotted down all the answers on our score sheet, then directed us to a large, secluded Oak tree, where we sat for 4 hours with nothing but time to kill. Finding the setting similar to a camping trip, I figured I'd ask one of my favorite questions I always ask on camping trips. "Hey Corp. Stenger, have you ever seen a ghost?" I think he only heard the 'ghost' part, because he about had a heart attack! Everyone busted up laughing, and wondered what in the heck kind of question that was! Oh brother - I never heard the end of it...
[BACK TO THE JUNGLE] So now here I was, faced with something that I had always longed to see - an unknown. And soundly sleeping to my right was Corp. Stenger, a man who loved to ridicule me endlessly about how moronic I was for believing in such nonsense. (For the sake of producing an unpolluted work, I will refrain from his exact terminology). I stood up, waiting for another flash. Another one came, brighter, and closer. I smiled with delight, strangely unafraid, and burning with curiosity. Two things came to my mind to explain the phenomenon: swamp gas, and ball lightning. (Recall that I was an authority on strange phenomenon - remember all the books I listed?)
When I thought of ball lightning, I realized that I was probably not in a good situation. I was wearing a 23 pound chunk of metal, (my M-60 machine gun), about 100 rounds of ammunition draped around my neck, and a pair of night-vision goggles rested against my chest. Furthermore, my backpack had several lithium batteries in it, along with a field radio that had a three-foot antenna sticking out saying 'Here I am, come and zap me!' Thinking that ball lightning would be attracted to these things, I set the M-60 down, took off the rounds of ammunition and set them next to the M-60, and distanced myself from the backpack a few feet.
Finally, I saw what was producing the flashing. It was a ball of light as bright as a camera flash, and about the size of a soccer ball. The ball was about twenty feet up in the air, would flash for about a half second, then disappear. While invisible, it would move about twenty to thirty feet closer to my position, then flash again. I was utterly fascinated!
My guard post was off the side of a small dirt road. This road meandered through the jungle behind Fort Sherman, Panama, and eventually dwindled into nothingness. There were two other guard posts along the road, each positioned about a quarter mile apart. I wondered if anyone at the other posts were able to see the flashing from where they were. The brightness of this ball of light was certainly sufficient for them to see. "Witnesses" I thought to myself with delight. I figured that if others were faced with this phenomenon, then they would be forced to recant the burdensome reputation that they imparted me. (Unfortunately, this event actually ended up making things worse. They mocked that I was the one responsible for it).
I finally couldn’t wait anymore. This strange ball of light was clearly visible, flashing consistently every two to three minutes, and rapidly approaching my position. Every time it flashed, it was twenty to thirty feet closer to us. I had to wake Corp. Stenger. My shift was over, and it was time for him to get up anyway.
As he rubbed his dreary eyes, I excitedly explained to him that I thought there was some sort of alien probe, or alien life form approaching the camp. This quickly got his attention, but then he crunched his eyebrows, and mumbled a few curse words at me thinking I was making up a strange story. But while he was cursing, the light flashed, and I interrupted him saying, “See! Didn’t you see it! I know you saw it!” A suspicious and confused expression donned on his face. “Well, my shift’s up, so have fun, because I’m crashing” I stated with an unconcerned attitude, hoping he would respond. I actually had no intention of going to sleep. I just wanted to make him squirm.
“Wait a minute. What was that?” Before he was fully cognizant, I seized the moment to take charge. Corp. Stenger was on my turf now, and I was going to do my best to make him remember this moment for the rest of his life. I stepped out onto the side of the dirt road and began to talk to this ominous orb as it approached us.
“Who are you? What are you? Reveal yourself to me…” I questioned it. By this time, it was flashing about ten feet in front of me, still close to twenty feet above the ground.
“Shut up!” Corp. Stenger quietly chastised me.
I then looked at him and with a serious expression and stated, “This … whatever it is,” I pointed to where the ball of light flashed last, “is not of this world.” Silence permeated the atmosphere. The ball of light then flashed almost directly above me, as if in response to what I just said. Corp. Stenger and I both got a clear look at it this time. I also realized that this ball of light was no longer moving. It flashed about three times, remaining stationary, as if observing us. I pointed this out to Corp. Stenger, and he didn’t know what to say. He stabbed at an explanation.
“Maybe it’s some sort of ... bug …” he mumbled.
“Don’t be an idiot!” I was now chastising him. “It’s the size of a soccer ball! You saw it!” Corp. Stenger scratched his head.
“Maybe it’s some sort of experimental technology they’re deploying from one of the aircraft-carriers in the gulf?” he quizzed, wondering now what my response would be. At least he was a little more creative this time. “Maybe some sort of laser?”
I was still wearing my AN/PVS-7s, (night-vision goggles), so I turned them on, and looked up to where I saw the ball of light flash last. I could see nothing. I lowered the goggles and stared at Corp. Stenger. “We have nothing that could do this. A laser shoots a strait beam of light, and needs an uninterrupted space in which to project. This thing is down in the trees, traveling around like a small probe, and is a ball of light. This is definitely not a laser, and it doesn’t appear to be physical, either, because I can’t see it with the goggles, and it’s making absolutely no sound whatsoever.” I then handed the goggles to Corp. Stenger and demanded that he try to see it for himself. He looked around, then suddenly he became startled. He claimed he saw a smaller light with the goggles, something about the size of a silver dollar. He said he saw it hovering about 5 feet above the road, then it disappeared. He handed the goggles back to me, but I never saw what he was talking about. I think maybe his imagination was kicking in and he was seeing more than was really happening. I gave the goggles back to him.
I continued to lecture him about the large ball of light that we both saw without the night vision goggles. “It’s not ball lightning either, because ball lightning doesn’t flash like that. I read about ball lightning, which is almost never this big, but looks sort of like this. But when ball lightning appears, it zips around wildly until it’s gone. It usually dissipates into something that attracts lightning, such as metal objects. Here is a bunch of metal, a field radio with an antenna that is nothing short of a lightning rod, and some batteries”, I pointed to the M-60 and the backpack with the radio in it, “and that ball of light isn’t going for it. It’s just sitting up there, checking us out. Ball lightning doesn’t do that! Ball lightning doesn’t move through the jungle, then stop over the middle of a road and check people out! This thing appears to be resembling some sort of intelligence!” By this time, Corp. Stenger was sweating profusely, scanning nervously with the goggles, and growing with paranoia. I was loving it!
“And it’s not swamp gas, either, because swamp gas is just a glowing greenish mist, not a ball of light as bright as a camera flash. Stenger, we are faced with an intelligent life form probably from another world,” I stated with confidence, and awe. He looked at me with fear in his eyes, and I smiled back with delight. The light flashed again, as if responding to my statements again. “Here, let me see those goggles,” I asked in a calm, collected tone of voice. He handed them to me, and I proceeded to walk out into the very center of the road. “I’m going to try to communicate with it,” I said to Corp. Stenger.
“Are you crazy? We don’t know what that is!”
“If it wanted to harm us, I’m sure it could’ve done so by now.”
Corp. Stenger refrained from speaking any further, and took a few steps backward off the road. He didn’t want to be a part of what I was going to attempt to do. I really didn’t know what I was going to do, but I thought it would sound good to say such a cryptic statement. I felt like I was in an episode of Star Trek. While lifting the goggles to my eyes, I looked up to where the light flashed last. I then cleared my mind, and tried to feel where it was going to flash next. Oddly enough, a strange sensation overcame me. I actually felt that the object was moving. “I can feel it moving” I stated to Corp. Stenger. I felt the object fly right over my head, lower to about fifteen feet off the ground, and stop about twenty feet behind me. I followed it with the night vision goggles, spinning myself around in the opposite direction I was facing before, keeping my goggles pointed at where I thought I felt its presence. I then began to speak slowly. “The next time it will flash, it’s going to be right …about…”, then WHAM! The light flashed exactly where I was looking with the night vision goggles. I was blinded for about a full minute, because the goggles amplify all light, and the flash was as bright as a camera flash. I was astounded! “Wow! Did you see that Stenger!” I excitedly pronounced, blind, and amazed. “I communicated with it! It showed me where it was going to flash next! There’s no way I could’ve known that! This thing is intelligent. It stayed in that one spot until I wanted to communicate with it. Then it moved way over there,” I pointed where it flashed, “and made me feel where it was going! I actually felt its presence! And right when I was about ready to say ‘THERE’, it flashed, as if it even knows what I’m saying!” Corp. Stenger stood motionless, staring at me. He didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm.
I continued talking to this strange ball of light, but nothing more came of it. It didn’t do anything particularly spectacular, like turn into a humanoid or anything. It simply demonstrated to me that without a doubt, it was in fact intelligent, and it was in fact checking us out. It proceeded to circle our post in a complete 360 degree circle, taking about fifteen minutes to do so. Then it slowly meandered down the road, flashing periodically as it went. The next day I reminded Corp. Stenger of the event, and he simply looked at me and chuckled. “Hanging around you long enough, something weird was bound to happen,” he joked. I asked members of the other posts if they saw anything, and one member from both posts did. They said it stopped and flashed above the road at each post, as if taking note of their presence. I told them the whole story, and they got a kick out of it. But unfortunately, the event subsided into a vague recollection, and prompting the event in conversation did nothing for me but ask for ridicule. As stated earlier, they mocked that I was the reason for this strange event. In my opinion, these individuals were faced with something utterly astonishing, and their complacent attitude towards it astounds me almost more than the ball of light itself.
This event stands clear in my memory as if it happened yesterday. I was not alone when this happened. I was fully alert, and completely sober. (You have to be when you're on guard duty; everyone's life depends on it). My prior interest in the paranormal was thus intensified by this event, and I can now speak from personal experience that I know that there are things in this world that contemporary science has yet to explain. At that time, I didn’t think the Bible had any explanation for these things either. I was wrong.
READ: 1 Peter 1:12 (Why was it
checking us out?)
12Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Is artificial intelligence ethical?
| While attending
the University of Phoenix, I took a class on ethics. I chose to
write my term paper on the issue of whether it would be ethical to pursue
the field of artificial intelligence or not. Since the paper
somewhat fits into this particular category of this book, I have decided
to include it. For those that have read my other book, Aliens in
the Bible, you may notice some similarities between this article, and my
chapter on pseudo-life forms.
It is generally agreed upon by many intellectuals that within two human generations, (roughly 50 years), computers will be smarter than humans, (Garis, 1989). In fact, artificial intelligence, (here onward referred to as AI), will not only surpass human intelligence, but dwarf it.
There are several factors contributing to the rise of AI; advancements in the fields of microelectronics (UltraLSI), molecular (nano)electronics, neurophysiology, embryology, and optical computing, (Garis, 1989). Even now, there are such things as bio-computers, (computers which process information by chemical means, storing data in genetically created brains), independently controlled robots, and AI that can reason and understand human language to a limited degree, (Garis, 1989).
Computer processors currently process information through electrical circuitry at a speed of over one million times faster than the human brain’s neural-transmitters process thoughts through brain cells, (Garis, 1989). This speed increases exponentially, of course, with the introduction of circuitry integrated with fiber optics; enabling computers to process information at the speed of light. It is for this reason that once AI advances to the degree that computers are at least as smart as humans, they will quickly surpass human intelligence.
With the rise of AI, certain questions come to mind. Will computers with AI develop free will? The natural conclusion to this answer is yes. Free will, in fact, is the key ingredient that defines the system as truly intelligent, and not simply a mechanical puppet. With AI, one may ask the machine a question, and curiously await a reasoned answer that was derived from the machine’s personal experiences. This is what makes AI so fascinating – in exploring AI, we explore ourselves, and our origins as human entities.
|If the conclusion that computers with AI is that they truly do have free will, then it must also be concluded that such systems will develop their own sense of morality. This prospect, though not heavily debated now, will most assuredly be the topic of intense political debate in the years to come. The ethical question concerning the development of advanced AI will simply be, "Should the field of AI continue to the point of the development of systems with free will"?|
While the answer to this question, in my opinion, should be no, I feel that the ultimate outcome will be, yes.
According to theorist and AI developer Dr. Hugo De Garis, there will be two factions in the future political debates concerning the development of AI. These factions will be labeled the "Cosmists", and the "Terrestrialists". Simply stated, the Cosmists will be in favor of pursuing the field of AI with unbridled diligence, while the Terrestrialists will be more cautious about the development of AI. The Terrestiallists will be strongly in favor of their opinion that humans should remain the dominant species on the planet.
|In the eyes of a Terrestriallist, a sentient, created being made from man, will become like man. Man, as we know, has a greater capacity to exercise both good, and evil than do animals, because of his/her intelligence. With this in perspective, an artificial life form, too, will have an even greater capacity than man to exercise both good, and evil, because of its greater intelligence than man. While it is noted that there is an awesome potential for the good, the awesome potential for evil could be destructive to the point of completely demolishing humanity from the face of the earth. Complete annihilation clearly outweighs the benefit of any good, according to the Terrestriallist.|
The Cosmists, on the other hand, will point out that while there exists the potential for evil, they don’t think that the choice of evil will be the natural course of evolution for AI. (Humanistic psychology at is best…) "Good", they will most likely say, "is after all, more rational than evil, and should be the natural course of evolutionary growth", (Garis, 1989). Cosmists will believe that the natural course of evolution for artificial life forms will be the desire to explore the cosmos in search of more natural resources, instead of staying on earth, and competing with humans for earth’s limited supply of natural resources. Artilects, (a term coined by Dr. Hugo De Garis referring to artificial life forms), will not be hindered by the constraints of biological human bodies, and will thus be free to develop different means of traveling throughout the cosmos with greater efficiency than humans. They will also most likely be just as curious about finding other life in outer space as humans are.
While the benefits of highly advanced AI will be astounding, the risk of humans being thought as no more than humans think of bugs, is too great, according to the Terrestiallists. Once AI has developed to the point that artilecs emerge, (sentient beings with free will, emotional awareness, etc.), artilects will then begin to take control of their own development, leaving human involvement in their internal workings behind. Within a scant amount of time, humans won’t have any idea what their systems will become. To assume that artilects will choose "Good" as a natural, logical course for their moral evolution is assuming too much. Simply looking at society today, and the chaotic state of affairs the world is in, it appears from the Terrestriallists point of view that intelligence has little to do with morality. Such people in human history as Adolph Hitler, Gangis Kahn, and other notorious mass murdering atrocities were all highly intelligent. Unfortunately, all of their intelligence was bent purely on evil. When considering the fact that 100 of the world’s greatest minds in human history culminated into a single person would be the equivalent intelligence of an artilect, such an entity would be too dangerous to exist. If such an entity were to develop the kind of morality that drove Hitler, and Gangis Kahn, nothing short of annihilating humanity would be the result.
In response to the Terrestriallists point about artilects extending beyond human control, the Cosmists point out the fact that advancements made in bio-computers could eventually be applied to humans. Such applications would enable humans to acquire knowledge more rapidly, (i.e. downloading information instead of traditional learning methods, or telepathic access to the Internet). Another possibility would be the development of a technology that would allow the transfer, or copying of a human intellect into an artilect – thus, the artilect’s sense of morality will be derived directly from a human being.
"Is this any less dangerous?" the Terrestrialists will argue. Though the artilect will have a human’s morality, who’s to say how stable that morality will be, when placed at the helm of a superior mind that thinks trillions of times faster than a human brain, and is clearly dominant over conventional humanity. Humans themselves are dangerous, but at least they are kept in check with the fact that they are balanced in their intelligence with each other. An artilect with a human’s essence, would none-the-less escape the confines of this equalizing barrier.
Putting aside the views of both Cosmists, and Terrestriallists, there are some general points that I’m compelled to mention. First of all, human nature alone dictates that the development of AI to the point of creating sentient beings with free will is inevitable. Human nature demands growth. People have an innate desire to want to learn as much as they possibly can, and explore that which is unknown.
Secondly, how could such development be stopped. The point at which an artificial intelligent being becomes self aware, sentient, and has free will, is very hazy, to say the least. So what should be done? Prevent bio-computer experimentation? Put a ban on microprocessors with speeds in excess of 10,000Mhz? There is no clear way to draw the line on the development of computers, to prevent AI from evolving to the point of sentience.
Lastly, even if a ban on the development of AI could be implemented successfully, such a ban wouldn’t extend in to the areas of covert government projects, or computer geniuses developing these systems themselves to sell on the black market. Any government not aided with the intelligence of artilects would be at a stark disadvantage to those that will be, thus, in the name of national security, again, the development of advanced artificial intelligent beings that will reach the point of having free will is inevitable.
In light of the inevitable development of artilects, I am again compelled to impart my own personal opinion in this matter. Creating artilects might seem to pass the test of logical ethics, but I think the results will be disastrous. As a Christian, when I study this topic of AI, I can’t help but see a peculiar insight into a passage of scripture in the Holy Bible that many Christians are familiar with.
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon…And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…"
The Holy Bible is famous for its uncanny accuracy regarding prophecy, and I find here in this passage of scripture another example of this. Consider the image; a man-made being that is sentient, (living). This being appears to be highly intelligent, judging from the fact that it has the authority to make policies which effect the entire world population.
Coupled with its intelligence is an enormous ego that demands worship, no less. It doesn’t appear to have any qualms about dispatching with any of those who disagree with its decisions, either, (regarding humans as inferior).
Like a system involving computer technology, the people of the world will be forced to receive some sort of identification mark, so that without it, they will not be able to buy or sell anything. Clearly, a logical, systematic means by which a computer would be able to keep track of all the earthly inhabitants would be to network people into some sort of tracking system – or maybe even a pseudo collective consciousness. Also consider the fact that this computer-like system targets humanity in it’s weakest point; economic dependency.
| If such an entity
had access to the Internet as part of its consciousness, the integration
of its biological counterparts – humans – would make it nearly
omniscient. In effect, such an entity would be a pseudo-Holy
Spirit, knowledgeable about the global economy, the governments of the
world, human affairs, and even people’s private matters considering the
fact that it would possibly know the contents of all electronic media that
passes through the Internet. Even more – depending on the
development of bio-computer technology, it could possibly have access to
biological functions, thought waves, and/or other human faculties, by
having access to an imbedded "Chip" - a possible medium by which the "Mark
of the Beast" will be placed upon humans.
In essence, the image of the beast, according to the Book of Revelation, is Satan’s attempt at being God – to rule over people. Everything God does, Satan tries to imitate. Christ had a prophet declaring His arrival, and likewise, the anti-christ too will have his false prophet. Any in depth study in Biblical phenomenon reveals Satan’s counterfeit in nearly everything that God has established.
The mark of the beast will most likely be some sort of bio-computer technology; a biological computer chip that will enhance humanity’s evolution…so it will be said. Perhaps, it will be a necessary addition to humanity, if humans are expected to compete, or maintain any kind of equality with their AI creations, as previously eluded to by the Cosmists in their argument in favor of the continued pursuit of AI. This makes perfect sense, in fact, because it solves two dilemmas: First of all, to get people to buy into an idea – such as a "MARK" – would be very difficult. People don’t like the idea of being marked – especially Americans. BUT – if this mark were an item of utilitarian value, i.e. a device that would make people like gods in comparison to their natural state – then everyone would be cutting in line to get one. "Sign me up" they would yell, "I’ll take a dozen!" Secondly, this scenario fits because it falls in line with Satan’s plan in such a way that it should slap any Christian across the face with obvious clarity! We could be like gods? Isn’t that what Satan told Eve in the garden?
| Though many
people consider the book of Revelation cryptic, and filled with paranoid
dilutions, I personally feel that it is inspired of God, and find it
revealing to human nature. The creation of an artilect would
be the epitome of humanity's achievements, and no doubt, would be an
artifact of intense human pride. In a sense, I think many people would
consider such an entity, (the artilect), the next step in human
evolution, and in their own way, worship it, and firmly believe that it’s
decisions were god-like. With the introduction of bio-computer
technology as well, people may very well think of them selves as gods too.
Even as I researched the topic of AI, I was not surprised to find that many people, (especially AI developers), approached the subject as they might approach the very throne of God. Many AI developers believe that the intelligence of an entity is a criteria by which to judge an entities proximity to God. For this reason, the artilect, they feel, should be treated with reverence, and awe.
While the future threat of AI looms on the horizon, I find myself in the minority concerning the direction I think it will take. But, the same values and beliefs which reveal to me a message of warning concerning AI, also console me. I don’t think I’m going to be around to experience the worst of things. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for everyone else in the world.
Garis, de Hugo, Dr. The Rise of the 21st Century Artilect. ATR, Kyoto,
Japan: AI-Magazine, http://www.hip.atr.co.jp/~degaris/essays/Al-Mag.html,
READ: Revelation 12:12-14
12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Mazey's UFO Sighting
When I used to rent out the studio apartment above my garage in my backyard, I once rented to an ex-Air Force member who worked in Communications like me. He was in the Air Force during the Viet Nam era. One of his jobs was to track objects with radar. One one occasion, while working at an Air Force base, (I can't recall the name of the base right off-hand), he said a very bright ball of light about the size of an F-16 fighter jet zipped across the sky and came to an immediate halt over the communications building. At the time, he was sitting in a watch tower with another radar tech. In the tower, there was a highly technical piece of radar equipment that was used for tracking flying objects. It didn't register anything.
Suddenly a beam of light shot down from the object to the top of the communications building. Whatever it was appeared to be 'scanning' the communications building. While the other guy got on the phone, Mike manually pointed the radar tracking equipment directly at the object above the communications building, and still, nothing registered. The object was virtually invisible to their most advanced radar tracking equipment.
Before anyone ever knew it was there, the beam of light terminated, and the object shot strait up into the air and was gone in less than a second. Mike said it must have been going well over a thousand miles per hour, and couldn't see how any human being could withstand the g-force exerted by such a craft. They never found out what the object was, nor heard anything about it. The entire incident was brushed under the rug as if it never happened.
29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken
An Air Force friend who worked at Norad
Back in 1996, while working on a computer in the Public Affairs office at my base in Fresno, someone called the LtCol. in the office, and I couldn't help but overhear bits and pieces of an odd conversation. LtCol. Cotter said it was another UFO report, which we received at our base from time to time. I asked him what we do about those reports, and he said for the most part, we ignore them.
"What if you received maybe 4 or 5 calls in about 15 minutes reporting the same thing? Wouldn't that be perceived as a possible threat?"
"Then I might call Norad" he calmly replied. "But they'd already know about it. They track everything around the globe and into the outer atmosphere. Nothing passes by that they don't know about. If there were a threat, we'd be sent out before anyone ever saw anything."
Since I had this conversation with LtCol. Cotter, I wanted to meet someone that worked at Norad AFB just to ask about what they might have seen. Norad AFB houses one of the largest radar tracking facilities in the world. Being in Communications myself, I figured I might actually get the opportunity someday. Fortunately, I did. The following year, while I was at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, I met a man who was an active duty Air Force member that once worked at Norad AFB. He was in one of my Communications Security courses.
After getting to know him a little, I gave him my card about my last book at the time, Aliens in the Bible, and I told him that I research paranormal things as a hobby. Then I asked him if he ever saw anything strange while working at Norad. I knew I might have been over-stepping my bounds, (possibly asking for classified information), but he could just decline to answer my questions if that was the case. (I don't know why, but I think in most cases, the majority of the Air Force is in the dark about what's really being concealed concerning extra-terrestrial life, and it frequently isn't even an 'issue' when it comes to ensuring certain things be made classified or not. This must be purposefully decided. Two reasons immediately come to my mind why the Air Force allows certain information to leak out. 1. The Air Force has probably learned that making a big deal out of trying to get people to shut up generally back-fires, and 2. It might be a good idea, for the sake of desensitization, to allow certain information to leak out in order to help the public become use to the idea that life exists in outer space. This realization may become a public reality very soon - perhaps within this generation. The government wants people to be prepared.)
I wasn't very surprised to hear this man tell me in a hushed tone that on one occasion, he and several other technicians tracked 6 objects in outer space that were the size of school buses. They were flying in a perfect 'V' formation. He and several other personnel were ordered to 'keep on eye on those objects', but were never told what they were. The objects remained in the outer atmosphere for several hours, then veered off into space until they disappeared off the radar.
When he later asked about the objects, the reply was, "we don't know what they were". Others also asked about the objects, but nobody seemed to know what they were. The general attitude was sheer complacency. I asked this man if they ever told him to never tell anyone about the incident, and he said that that wasn't the case. They acted as if they didn't know what the objects were, and furthermore, they didn't seem to care. Personally, I'm of the opinion that several high ranking personnel had to know what those objects were, because the U.S. Air Force is NOT complacent about the national defense of the United States. That's what the Air Force is for. That all it's for! The higher-ups at Norad must have ordered their senior staff to present a complacent attitude, because 6 school bus sized objects traveling in a 'V' formation in the outer atmosphere is definitely NOT something to regard as negligible.
8Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9And out of one of them came forth a little horn, (the antichrist), which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
Airman Neil Evans and Staff Sergeant Kobar saw a UFO at Keesler, Air Force Base
Here is yet another example of how rampant UFO sightings are these days. I started working on this book while staying at the Inns of Keesler, at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. I've been to Keesler on several occasion for various training courses. At the time I began writing this book at Keesler, I had a friend staying at Keesler also, named Neil Evans. Neil is also from my Air National Guard base in Fresno, CA.
Two weeks prior to my arrival at Keesler, Neil and a classmate of his sighted a UFO while on base. He said that they were standing outside and he happened to look up and see a disk shaped, bluish yellow light in the sky sitting perfectly still. It stayed in the same place for about 15 minutes, while they stared at it and talked about it. The object didn't have any identifying features, nor did it have any blinking lights. Suddenly, after about 15 minutes of hovering, it zipped off in a northerly direction. Neil and the man with him know what conventional air craft look like, and what they are capable of. All kinds of air craft frequent the skies at Keesler AFB, but neither he, nor Sergeant Kobar had ever seen anything remotely resembling the appearance and behavior of this particular air craft.
21And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
My Great Grandmother's UFO Sighting
My Great Grandmother Thelma was born in Kentucky shortly after the turn of the 19th century. She and my Great Grandfather were godly people. In fact, my Great Grandfather Rant was an evangelist during the great depression. His aunt prophesied over him when he was a newborn baby, saying that he would be a preacher of the Word of God throughout his entire life. She was indeed a prophetess, because what she said came to pass. He left home with his teenage bride and traveled all over the United States during some tumultuous years in America, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My Grandmother Ruth said they sometimes lived on potatoes for months at a time, living out of their car, making camp at the side of any given road.
My Great Grandmother saw and experienced a few "different" things throughout her lifetime, and relayed these stories to various family members, including myself. I'd consider her my most reputable source of all my stories, because she was greatly known by all for having a fervent faith. She once told me that she had read the Bible 26 times cover to cover - and was currently working on her 27th reading. My childhood visits to her house were always accompanied with stories about Daniel and the lion's den, David and Goliath, and other famous Biblical accounts. My earliest memories of her and my Great Grandfather were the times they were busily planting seeds of faith in my heart. It goes without saying that she never missed church, prayed for hours every day, read her Bible every day, and dedicated her life to serving God in any way she could.
I didn't get to know my Great Grandfather very well, because he died while I was still quite young, but I am well acquainted with my Great Grandmother Thelma's bizarre tales of the paranormal - before the term "paranormal" was a cliché. She once saw a UFO when she was 17 years old. Our entire family thought it fascinating to hear such an outlandish story coming from her, of all people. Her story about the angel that saved her life as well as her two visions of Christ seemed more fitting, but a UFO?!? Where did that come from? She told this strange story one night when many members of my family were at her house visiting. She was contently reading a newspaper story about a wild goose chase between several police cars and a UFO sighted in the countryside of Madera, Ca. - (where we all lived). She piped up quite suddenly, excited about the article, read it out loud, then blurted out to everyone's amazement, "I saw a UFO when I was 17 years old!" Everyone's mouth's fell open.
My interest in UFOs was peaked at the ripe age of 5 years old when my Great Grandmother made her declaration. I didn't know what UFOs were, but whatever they were certainly seemed interesting, judging from the dumbfounded looks on everyone's faces. It was clear to me that most people thought they didn't exist, but if Grandma Thelma said she saw one, THEN THEY EXISTED. Many say that UFOs are only a product of this technological age, but I don't consider this a valid fact, knowing that my Great Grandmother Thelma lived in backwoods Kentucky and never saw an automobile before, much less a flying contraption. She said she was very impressed by its polished surface; it may have been the first thing she ever saw that had a polished alloy surface.
She said it happened during broad daylight, one afternoon while she and her sister were walking home in the middle of a deserted prairie. They noticed a strange object shaped like a cigar hovering without sound, about 20 feet above the ground. It was cruising fairly slow, and flew right by them, less than one hundred yards away. It had a shinny metallic surface, like aluminum, and a glass bubble on top. She actually saw a man inside. For those who attribute all UFO activity to Top Secret government projects, I don't think our military was developing things like this less than twenty years after the Wright brothers made their debut.
There were some bluffs near by, and when the object reached the bluffs, it went over the cliffs, then zipped off at an amazing speed. She said in the blink of an eye, it was gone. It made a "Zingggggg" sound when it shot like a bullet over the cliffs and out of sight. My Grandmother even made the sound-effect to illustrate her point. If she were still alive, I'd question her more about the incident, and ask her what her Biblical views were. She said she and her sister rushed home to tell their mother, only to be harshly scolded and sworn to secrecy. I suppose she was excited to get it off her chest after some 60 plus years of silence about the strange event. Nobody in our family ever doubted her. A 17 year old girl could be discredited on multiple accounts, (overactive imagination, lying, wacko, or just plain silliness), but an 80 year old devout Christian woman from Kentucky - what motive could she possibly have had to commit the sin of lying to her family about something as stupid as a UFO sighting?
READ: 2 Kings
11And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
1:18-25 (All humanity have been given the truth of God through His personal
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
8The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first...
12There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
10:30 (Jesus and His Father were one in
30I and my Father are one.
29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
1 Timothy 2:5
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
30I and my Father are one.
8Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
7For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
1 Corinthians 12:8
8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
17:14-21, (and also in Mark 9:17-29)
14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
26And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.