A GLIMPSE INTO HEAVEN
My Life Story and How I Came to Know
Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)
The Testimony of the Founder of NCCG
An Address Given in L'viv, Ukraine
It is a great pleasure to be here with you today and I would like to begin by thanking all those who have made this meeting possible. This is my very first time in the Ukraine and I am looking forward immensely to getting to know your country better.
My name is Christopher Warren. I was born in 1954 in Singapore in the Far East though my home was actually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I lived for the first 10 or so years of my life. I first came to my native land, England, to live permanently when I was 13 years old. In 1973 I went to Oxford University where I studied Biochemistry and decided to remain in the city after I had got my Masters degree. I thereafter began studying for a degree in Theology at Cambridge University and then trained to be a Systems Analyst (Business Computing). Finally in 1988 I moved to Norway where I have been living ever since, working as a teacher of Computer Science in an International School.
In 1977 I started writing a book -- an Historical Atlas on modern Europe and Africa -- and that it how I originally became interested in your part of the world. In that year I travelled to southern Africa and central Europe as part of the researches on my book. Central and Eastern Europe has always interested me for some reason and therefore I spent much time reading and learning about these nations and their fascinating history. Even when I was still at school I was fascinated by the changing borders of eastern Europe, the mixture of peoples, and the glorious and sometimes tragic history. My trip here is therefore partly a realisation of a dream to visit these places that I have read so much about. I never got further east than Hungary until today. Now I am in eastern Galicia inthe Ukraine, and particularly in L'viv, and I am delighted to be here at last!
Some Strange Experiences
Well, as you see, I am a bit of a history buff, but that is not the only reason I am here. My other reasons for coming to L'viv have actually nothing to do with science, or history, or tourism, or anything else like that. I am here because of some very strange experiences -- or rather, a set of strange experiences, which over the course of time have seemed to be less "strange" and more "natural". I am talking, in fact, about a dimension of reality which cannot be studied by the scientist in a laboratory. I am talking about something that transcends our physical world and our physical senses, something extraordinary that can only be experienced by those who have the spirit of adventure, by those who are not afraid to explore what lies beyond their physical senses. I want to talk to you today about another world which is both far away as well as close. I want to share with you my journey and experience into this world, the journey of a biochemist and computer scientist in a world which most scientists do not believe exists.
Before I begin, I want to tell you a story about a tribe of South American Indians who lived on the island of Tierra del Fuego on the very southern tip of that continent, which now belongs to Chile and Argentina. Several centuries ago European explorers, looking for a sea route around America from the Atlantic to the Pacfic Ocean, came across this tribe of Indians. This was long before the first European colonisers came. These Indians, though primitive by European standards, had a very sophisticated language which surprised the anthropologists who had supposed that a so-called "primitive" people would also have a primitive language. In fact the assumptions of most evolutionary anthropologists have been proved wrong time and time again as we discover that "primitive" wasn't really so primitive at all.
But that is not what particularly interests me about these Indians. What interests me about these Indians is not what they had but what they didn't have. What interests me is that they could not see things that we can. When the first Europeans arrived in their galleons and anchored in one of the bays of Tierra del Fuego, they were totally invisible to theIndians. The Indians were unable to see their ships! It wasn't until the sailors came ashore in their longboats that the Indians saw them for the first time. I repeat, the ships of the Europeans were invisible to the Indians. Now I am not saying that these Europeans used some kind of magic to make their ships invisible -- no, not at all. The ships were there, anchored in the bay, quite close to the shore. But because the Indians had no experience of large sea vessels, and therefore had no expectation of them, even though they were physically there, they could not see them.
There are many who find this story hard to believe, but I do assure you it is historically true. Even though the European sailors assured the Indians that there were several large ships at anchor in the bay, they could not see them. The Europeans came back and forth many times but still their ships remained invisible. But one day, as they became more acquainted with the Europeans, the ships finally started becoming visible. There they were! The Indians, as they grew to trust these white people more, eventually began to see them. Their eyes grew accustomed to something that really was there after all, and their faith was made sure when they were finally taken to the ships so that they could see and touch them for themselves.
Of Things Invisible
I begin my talk to you today with this story for two reasons. Firstly, to persuade you that there are things which are real which, because of certain mental attitudes we have, remain invisible to us until we experience a change in mind. Second, to challenge you to see beyond your traditional upbringing, and not to prejudge a matter until you have seriously studied it out. Our world is bigger than our physical senses would at first tell us and indeed I could tell you many similar stories like the one about the Indians of Tierra del Fuego. But these were other people's experiences. We can listen to these stories and be fascinated by them. We can believe them or sceptically laugh them away. Unfortunately for scientists, however, experiences cannot be dissected on a laboratory table. They can only be listened to. We can only make a mental note of them until maybe we, too, are touched by similar experiences.
Some people, like a group of scientists at Oxford, have formed a study group called the the Centre for the Study of Psycho-physical Phenomena, which investigates ghosts, poltergeists, and other unusual phenonena. It is regarded as a very respectable organisation by most traditional scientists. I believe that in the former Soviet Union much work was done on psychokinetics, the science of mind over matter, of the mind moving physical objects. These things are all very fascinating and indeed there was a time when I was a student that I became very interested in the paranormal. However, in my view, studying phenomena is not particularly useful unless we understand the root causes. Why do these things happen? Of what use are such studies to humanity? Will a knowledge of unseen things solve our personal and national problems? These are important questions but not every answer is useful. What I would like to do now is tell you my personal story. Obviously I cannot tell you every detail for that would take weeks. But rather I would like to share with you some of the most important events in my life that have brought me to where I am today and particulary those which lead me to be in the city of L'viv today.
Mystical Childhood Experiences
As I mentioned to you at the beginning, I was born in the Far East, in Singapore. Malaysia is a beautiful country, hot, tropical, and rich in wild life, a wonderful experience for a young boy. My father was an architect. I had no religious upbringing though I was taught simple moral truths about being honest, industrious, and orderly. If I had a "religion" it was probably nature. My home was next door to a jungle and I would often take long walks into it, exploring the wildlife.
It was a happy childhood. I loved anything to do with building houses, aeroplanes, or ships. I would swim alot. Each year my family would go for a holiday on the west coast of Malaysia to a beautiful bay called Port Dickson. There I would spend carefree days swimming in the sea, hunting for fish and crabs in the rockpools, and building sandcastles, as most children do! We lived in a bungalow with other guests, eating our meals outside in the shade of a large tree. In stormy weather I would goswimming in the sea with my father, enyoying the thrill of being carried up and down by the enormous waves, and feeling the fish tickle my legs as they swam by.
One year, when I was seven or eight years old, I had two experiences that changed my life. It was a typical day. I had gone off to a rock pool when the tide had gone out, and was fishing for fish. I found a particularly large eel that day but couldn't catch it. But I refused to give up. I spent hours trying to trap it but it always escaped. While hunting this animal I cut my foot on a sharp rock and began to bleed. I was far from the bungalow, perhaps 1 or 2 kilometers, and so I had a long walk home. I lost alot of blood and got weaker and weaker. There was noone to help me, I was all alone. I struggled to the bungalow and collapsed on the floor of the bedroom.
An Out-of-Body Experience: Discovering Spirit
The next thing I can remember was seeing my mother. She was standing with her back to me. I tried to call out to her but for some reason she could not hear me, so I went up to her and began to tap her on the shoulder to get her attention. But to my great surprise my hand went straight through her body. It was as though her body was made of water or air. She couldn't hear me, or feel me. I was confused. For some reason, I turned around, and to my surprise I saw my body lying on the ground in a pool of blood next to my parents' bed, situated in such a way that it was not easily visible to anyone coming in the room. The shock of "seeing myself" caused a sudden inner explosion to occur, and the next thing I remember was feeling the hard floor and pain in my foot. I later learned that I had experienced an "out of body projection", called by some "astral projection", which is the temporary separation of a man's invisible spirit from his visible body. Thousands of people have had this experience, frequently those who have been in hospital having an operation, or people who have been in serious accidents and have been close to death.
Of course, my mother eventually saw me and came to my aid. I told her about my experience of trying to touch her but she told me that I must have been "dreaming" or "imagining" it. This is a typical response from people who have not experienced such things or who are too frightenedto admit that human beings have another part of themselves.
Levitation and a Prophecy
That same day, or perhaps it was the next day, I had another experience which was even more dramatic than the first. This one was not an "out-of-body" experience but quite different. It was night time. I was sleeping in a cot covered with mosquito netting. My parents were asleep in a large double bed at the other end of the room, also covered by a larger mosquito net. I awoke at about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning which is the time when the sun starts coming up over the horizon. The chickens had begun to wake up and I could hear them running about outside. The first cock had begun to crow in the distance. The jungle was alive with the noise of crickets, monkeys and other animals. I was awake. I could feel a strange rocking motion. My bed (cot) seemed to be rocking from side to side. Was my mother pushing it? I looked around. It was just bright enough to be able to see around the room. My parents were fast asleep in their bed, both of them snoring. But the cot was still moving. It wobbled or rocked from side to side. I sat up, curious, and to my amazement, I found that my bed was suspended about 1 metre in the air off the floor with no visible means of support. I was floating in the air! I was gripped with a sudden fear. I tried to cry out to my mother but my tongue seemed unable to move. Was I dreaming? No, I was completely awake. Everything was as it should have been.
After a short while I calmed down and enjoyed this gentle rocking. There was an atmosphere, or spirit, of peace in the room. And then, without warning, the bed, with me in it, began to glide through the air towards the door. I was sure that we would crash into it but to my amazement the bed, with me in it, went straight through the solid door without my feeling so much as a tickle. The cot went into the corridor and then into another room. The cot went so fast that I couldn't see very clearly. It came into a bare (empty) room and gently settled on the floor.
In front of me was a very old Chinese man sitting on a simple log bench. His hair was as white as snow. His clothes were that of a very poor man -- they were torn in places. He hardly moved but almost at once started speaking in Cantonese, a dialect of Chinese common in Malaysia. I didn't understand a word he said. After several minutes he stoppedspeaking, the bed began to lift into the air again, and to slide noiselessly out of the room in the same way it had come in before. Again it went through the solid door and settled onto the floor of the bedroom in exactly the same place as it had been originally. As soon as it had touched the floor, I sank into a deep sleep.
The next morning I was so excited that I could hardly control myself. I tried to tell my mother what had happened but she told me that I had been dreaming and not to bother her further about it. But I knew it was real. Being an introvert boy I told noone else about my experience.
Returning Home to My Roots
The years passed by. I came to England to a boarding school when I was 10 years old as there were no schools for Europeans in Malaysia then. It was not a happy experience. I was lonely, in a foreign country (for I regarded myself as a Malaysian), and I was often given a hard time by older boys. Despite the hardships of the English weather, the different people, not seeing my parents for a whole year at a time, and other difficulties, I learned to survive and adapt. It was not good for my emotional development but I received a good education. My parents eventually left Malaysia when I was about 13 and returned to England. I was happier because of that as I was now nearer home. At 18 I was given a holiday in Malaysia but I hardly recognised the place. My roots were no longer there. I was culturally now a European and not an Asian. Upon returning home I went to work in a laboratory for 6 months to earn my first wage. It wasn't much but it gave me some independence and taught me to be responsible for myself. At 19 I went to Oxford University, perhaps the most famous university in England, where old traditions live on. It was a beautiful city and I ended up living there for 15 years.
I had become interested in science at school, and particularly in Biology and Chemistry. By the time I was 18 I was an atheist and a Darwinian evolutionist. I had no belief in God. Indeed, I actually hated religion which was compulsory at school, and I did everything I could to avoid going to church. My interets were principally science and history, and I had even started writing my historical atlas whilst I was at school. But after my first year at Oxford everything changed. And it changed in adramatic way.
A Powerful Dream
It was either in the summer of 1973 or 1974, probably the latter. It was very hot. Like many students I stayed up too late and got up too late and therefore got tired in the daytime. I was back at home taking an afternoon siesta. During the hour I was asleep I had a powerful dream. In the dream I was back in the bungalow at Port Dickson reliving the levitation experience I had had there 11 or 12 years before. Everything was exactly as it had been in the actual experience, detail for detail. But there was one difference this time. Instead of speaking in Chinese, the old man spoke in my own language, English! What before had been a meaningless collection of sounds was now crystal clear. The old man told me that when I became a man (I was 19 when I had the dream) I would search for the "Master", and that when I had found him, I would serve him all the days of my life and find "unspeakable joy and peace." This was his main message to me.
When I awoke from the dream I was a changed person. There was a power in me that had not been there before, an inner strength, like a fire. My consuming desire was to find the truth. So powerful was this force that I could never forget it. I was filled with a burning desire to search for the "Master", whoever he was. One moment I had been an atheist, and the next moment I was an agnostic searching for something beyond the physical world. I had had a mystical experience.
Deviation into the Occult
I knew that there was something more that the physical world, but what was it? My search began in two simultaneous directions. Firstly, I got interested in the parnormal -- ghosts, poltergeists, astral projection, UFO's, indeed anything that was unusual. I began buying books in large quantities which has led to my present library of some 5,000 books. I began to practice astral projection -- to actually project my consciousness, personality, or spirit out of my body into physical space. It was exciting, thrilling. I discovered that there were different spiritual worlds inhabited by the spirits of those who were dead. I spoke to many of these "spirits", establishing that this was not my fantasy but real. Then one day I stopped all this out-of-body projection. I was lying on my bed in my room at college (university) and was coming out of my body whenthis red ball of fire, about the size of a tennis ball, came flying into my room through the door. It at once flew at me towards my throat where it tried to strangle me. I was so frightened by this hostile phenomenon that I never consciously projected my spirit from my body again. I became aware that this world of spirit was inhabitied by both good as well as evil entities.
At the same time as I was investgating the paranormal, I associated myself with a Buddhist group in Oxford. Remembering that the Chinese in Malaysia were almost all Buddhists, and since this search had all begun because of a Chinaman in Malaysia, I concluded that I should begin my search in Buddhism. I was not interested in Christianity because of my bad experience of it at school, where there was certainly no "peace and joy". I was associated with these people for about a year. I was intellectually fascinated by their teachings on the structure of the universe and in particular of man's own spiritual makeup. As a scientist I wanted to understand the relationship between spirit, mind and body. I was now asking myself the three great questions in life:
- 1. Who am I?
- 2. Where did I come from? and
- 3. Where am I going?
The Buddhists taught the doctrine of reincarnation, that we had lived on this earth many times before, sometimes as people and sometimes as animals or even plant life. They taught that we had evolved from a plant-like state to godhood itself, which they call Buddhahood. As a biological evolutionist I was, of course, most interested in this theory as it offered the hope of combining religion and science together. Despite the fact that I had had enormous conceptual problems with evolution, I believed it to be an established, proven, scientific fact and that this "truth" had to be reconciled with my religious or mystical experiences. I do not believe in it anymore.
Though intellectually stimulated by Buddhism there was something in it that was missing. The promise of "peace and joy" was not to be found there. Despite hours and hours of chanting, the people I got to know inthe Buddhist group weren't changing, and after a while I became sceptical that a person could change his karma, or destiny, simply by repeating Japanese words. But I continued with the group as no new doors opened.
God Speaks Directly to Me: Jesus is God!
My next major discovery -- I call it an inner revolutionary change -- occurred in a Buddhist theological class in Oxford. We were discussing the Buddhist heaven, and the ladder of evolution from the primitive animal state of consciousness to Buddha-consciousness, or Buddhahood. Our teacher was telling us about the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and how he had achieved Nirvana, the Buddhist "heaven", the highest degree of all. He then made a remark that was to trigger off a spectacular reaction in me, which even today I cannot adequately describe. He said: "Sakyamuni reached Buddhahood, but Jesus (Yah'shua) only reached Boddhisatva", which is the degree beneath Buddhahood on the Buddhist ladder of progression. No sooner had the teacher said these words than a power entered my body with such force that I was constrained at once to leap to my feet. The force was so strong, and yet at the same time so gentle, that human words cannot resolve the apparent contradiction. I heard a voice, so powerful and yet so sublime -- and it said only one word: and that word was "NO!" In that instant I knew, beyond mental reason, that what the teacher had said was false. I knew, by a personal revelation directly from God, that Jesus (Yah'shua) was greater than Buddha, and that He was in some way God. (At that time I did not know the Hebrew Name of Jesus, Yah'shua or Yeshua).
As I said, this force caused me to leap to my feet. Having heard the voice, I walked out of the Buddhist meeting and never returned. I learned more in that one moment than I could have done in years of study in books. I simply knew, with every particle of my being, that Jesus was God.
Now this came as a great shock to my intellect for as I mentioned earlier, I did not like Christianity and had no belief in Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah). But I was confronted with a certain knowledge now and I could not deny it. I therefore had to bury my intellectual and emotional prejudice and commence my search in another direction.
I had only two guidelines to help me. First, I knew that Jesus (Yah'shua) was the Master (though in what way, I did not know), and Second, that I would find peace and joy through Him. I had not found the peace and joy yet, and it was this which I was now searching for.
The Long Search Through Christendom
Oxford is a cosmopolitan city. Almost every religion and Christian denomination is to be found there. There is a Jewish synagogue and a Moslem mosque. Traditionally Oxford is a Church of England city though like most cities in England it is, in reality, a secular, non-religious one. There are many Christian denominations, including Roman Catholic and many protestant churches, like the Baptists and Pentecostals. There are many new groups too like the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons. Because there are many foreigners in Oxford, you can also find a Greek Orthodox Church and a German Lutheran Church. So really I was in a unique position to search through a good cross-section of Christian denominations.
If there is one thing that I have learned over the years it is that God opens doors to those who are searching for Him. We are finite human beings with finite possibilities. Most of us don't have the possibility to travel all over the world investigating different religions, and most of us don't have the time. If we were to spend one day investigating every single religious denomination, and devote all our time to searching without eating, sleeping, or doing our daily work, we would never manage to get through them all. To study every religion and denomination would be like trying to visit every island on this planet -- it is utterly impossible. How, then, is a person to search for truth? Is it possible that there is a Supreme Power pointing each life in a particular direction?
Human beings are complicated. Everyone of us has a different background. No two people are the same. Since everyone lives in different circumstances, how can everyone arrive at the same truth? Indeed many people ask us: is there a Single Truth? Or does that "Truth" manifest itself in many different ways? Is there one true religion, or is all religion true...or false? These were questions that faced me, and which face all seekers after truth.
Soon after my experience with the Voice of God telling me that Jesus (Yah'shua) was the supreme Deity, I saw an announcement on the bulletin board of my College. It was advertising lectures on the Bible. Though I had always been skeptical of the Bible because of my upbrigning -- I had believed it was just a collection of fairy tales and myths -- curiosity got the better of me and I went along to the first lecture. I astonished myself. The man who spoke was very knowledgeable on the Bible and he proved to my scientific mind that Biblical prophecies were reliable and true. I was convinced afterwards that the Bible was not a human creation but had a supernatural origin.
I then proceded to investigate many of the Churches in Oxford as well as my home town of Guildford in south England. It was a long search. I came to know many people, many doctrines, many different ways of worship, many of which seemed valid in their own way. After three years of searching I became very tired. My mind was filled with different Christian teachings which on their own seemed convincing yet which often mutually contradicted one another. How was I, a mortal man, to resolve these contradictions? I had devoted considerable time to study but simply wasn't sure which, if any of the churches, was right. I was attracted particularly to three of them but they were all very different from each other and each taught things I could not entirely agree with. Often their teachings contradicted what I had myself experienced, like a conscious-awareness of life after death. (There are many groups who teach that there is no awareness after death).
Many Christians join particular churches because that is what they were brought up in. They do so out of a sense of tradition because that is all they know. Often there isn't any choice anyway because there might only be one Christian denomination in any particular area. It is my belief that God uses all churches that are earnestly seeking to do His will, even if occasionally their traditions and teachings are not entirely correct. If it had not been for the many different churches I doubt I would be where I am today.
So people are attracted to different churches or denominations for different reasons and it may perhaps be God's will for them to bemembers of the denominations they choose. But we all have a moral responsibility to find out what God's will is, and I was determined that I would find out what it was for my life. But how? I had experienced revelation before -- when God spoke to me in that Buddhist meeting, but I had not consciously sought for that -- God chose the moment and supplied the answer to a question I had not consciously asked. But now here I was with a specific question, and it had by this time become an urgent one. My final University exams were coming and I had not had very much time to study. I needed to find out soon.
There was a scripture in the Bible that was particularly meaningful to me. I believed it was the Word of God by faith though had never had a direct revelation confirming that it was, save the intellectual testimonies I had had. I had, of course, studied the Bible alot over the months and was coming to love it, but I still needed something more. The scripture, which is in the Book of James in the New Testament, reads as follows:
"If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a generous supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it. But when you ask Him, BE SURE THAT YOU REALLY EXPECT HIM TO TELL YOU, for a doubtful mind will be as an unsettled wave of the sea that is tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you turn first this way, and then that. If you don't ask with faith, don't expect the Lord to give you any solid answer" (James 1:5-8, The Living Bible).
This was a very important scripture in my life. Up until this time I had never been particularly serious about prayer because I had been so skeptical of it. I think, in retrospect, I was proud, for I wished to know by pure intellectual reason also. But God cannot be reached by the mind alone. He is an intensely personal God and must be approached with the heart also. And added to that, there must be a real faith that He lives and is willing to answer prayer. I had prayed before but it was mostly me talking to myself. In the end you tire of such things, unless you are a schizophrenic.
A Long Fast and Prayer Vigil
So I made a decision. I chose a long weekend when I had no lectures at university to attend to and I made sure I had done all my written work. I locked myself in my study and began to fast (stop eating). And I decided that I would not come out of my study until I had got an answer from God.
Now some people might think that a little strange, perhaps even a little fanatical, but it was my act of faith. A person who has no faith doesn't make such a decision, unless he is a madman, and I hope I am not that. That was my act of faith. I believed in God enough that He would personally speak to me, just as the Bible promised.
I prayed for many hours with great fervour of heart for I knew that I had given everything of my time and effort in my search for truth; and whilst I knew I had found many priceless truths, I had not found the truth. And I was not about to give up after so much effort.
During the long hours of that night I had many experiences including visions. For the first time in my life I saw the devil and came to a sure knowledge that he was an actual person that lived, and not just a psychological invention of the human mind. I will tell you about this particular experience, not because I wish to be sensational, but because I wish to warn people of his reality and the great danger he poses to humanity through his numerous works of darkness.
Satan Appears as Sun Myung Moon
I had been praying about a particular church which had attracted me because of its mixture of Buddhism and Christianity. I asked God if the leader of this church, who calls himself a "prophet", was genuine. I then saw a vision. I saw this man infront of me. He was glowing a golden colour -- it was most beautiful, so beautiful, in fact, that I thought I was looking at an angel. But I was suspicious. A still small voice from deep within me seemed to be warning me to be careful and not to trust this manifestation.
And so, remembering the Bible teaching to test every spirit in the name of Christ, I did that. I spoke to the manifestation directly, and commanded it, in the Name of Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah), to reveal its true identity, knowing that if it was from God nothing would happen. No sooner hadI mentioned the Name of Christ than the golden aura disappeared and underneath the mask of this so-called "prophet" I saw the ugliest and most cruel face I have ever seen in my life. It was a grotesque red colour and it was angry. Without any doubt I know that I was looking at Satan himself. Though terrified by what I saw, I believed in the power of the Name of Christ, and I said: "In the Name of Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah), I command you to go away!". At once he obeyed and disappeared.
I was in a state of shock after this experience but at the same time became aware that some evil power was trying to prevent me from getting the answer to my question. It made me even more determined to press ahead with my quest. But this was not the last time I would have to confront Satan, as I shall tell in you a moment.
There are many -- and that once included myself -- who believe that both God and the devil are the products of man's own fantasy or imagination. They say that they are simply psychological projections of man's desire for a supreme father-figure because of his fear of the unknown. But there are many people who, once believing that there was no devil, now believe there is one because of the evidence around them. Man has done terribly barbaric things and we call this his animal nature, but to my knowledge no animal has ever sunk to the depths of such depravity. Animals may be wild and ferocious, but they do not torture and main the way men have, and still do. The head of Tibetan Buddhism remarked, following the occupation of his country just after the Second Word War, that he had seen so much evil that he was persuaded that there was a devil. And you may know that in Buddhism there is no belief in a personal devil. Neither do they believe in a personal God -- to them "God" is a balance of good and evil in a kind of perverse harmony, or yin and yang, an impersonal force of male and female. But I do not believe that, even though I do not reject every Buddhist teaching by any means, for I believe that much, like the Tao Teh Ching, is inspired.
Paralysed by Evil
But now I return to my long fast and prayer. Having seen the devil, some time passed as I continued in prayer. I began to get weary in body for I had used much energy in my prayer. So I lay down on my bed torest my body. Without warning, a thick, black cloud suddenly appeared in my room and started pressing me into the bed. It was suffocating and it paralysed every single muscle in my body such that I could not move. I thought I would be crushed to death. Even my tongue was bound. I recognised that evil presence once more and again called upon God, in the Name of Christ, to deliver me from this power. At once it evapourated, like the dew on the morning grass as it is bathed by the strong sunlight. The contrast was astonishing.
And then what happened I have described in a hundred different ways to so many people. It was so wonderful -- so fantastic -- that words will never be able to adequately convey fullness of the experience. Having been freed of the evil presence, I began to thank God for my release and continued to ask Him what I should do with my life. Suddenly, it was as though my whole chest began to open up like two screens being rolled back. It was then as though a huge waterfall of light was cascading into my chest, a power so great that I thought I would explode. My mind seemed to expand as never before, my heart felt as though it could love as it had never loved before, and my body felt as though a great cleansing fire had swept through it, renewing every cell. I experienced an entire inner transformation. An indescribable joy filled my soul, and at the same time a peace beyond all human understanding. Without being conscious of having done so, I found myself on my knees on the floor by my bed praising the Name of the Lord with all the energy of my soul. I had been born again of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haQodesh).
I have never been the same again since that experience. This experience touched every single particle of my soul. It endowed me with an energy and a zeal that I never before possessed. It gave me a vision of God and His love that no amount of studying could ever have given me. It made me see people and the world in a totally different way.
Now you must remember that I had been an intellectual up to that time. I am not saying that I stopped being an intellectual for I have always loved, and continue to love, science. No, instead of operating out of my mind, I was now operating from a different dimension which Christians call the spirit. We have, according to the scriptures, several parts ofwhich we are made up, the highest of which is the spirit. It is, if you like, our moral centre, that part which connects us to God. But we are also physical beings too, and we have minds, hearts, and bodies, all of which have been made to bring glory to the Creator. Suddenly, after this experience, it was as though all these areas were united into one harmonious whole. My intellect, though continuing to play an important role in my life, was now subject to a higher order of reality, the spirit, which itself is altogether more intelligent and more loving than the human mind and heart.
My life began anew after that experience. Christians call this being "born again", for you truly are born into a totally new reality. Not everyone has this same experience, of course. Many people, convinced in their minds and hearts of the message of the Gospel, make a decision to follow Christ and experience a gradual rebirth. This may often because they have many inner problems to overcome for which they yet lack the faith to fight. However a person comes to Christ, he or she has a definite turning point, which is followed by a spiritual endowment like the day of Pentecost described in the New Testament. God spoke to me in that Buddhist meeting, telling me that Jesus (Yah'shua) was God, but that did not make me a Christian. Believing that Jesus (Yah'shua) is the Christ (Messiah) is not enough, for the New Testament says that even the devils believe that! (James 2:19) To become a Christian means to have a willingless to make a total change in direction in life and to live a life of obedience to God, a life of faith and trust. If we do that, then God promises to empower us.
A New Life in Christ
I became a Christian in 1977 and since that time I have had so many experiences of the living Christ that I could never deny His reality. Jesus is available to everyone, no matter who she or he is, no matter how bad a life they have lived, so long as they are willing to start again and live in God. He can be found anywhere -- at work, at home, in a church, in prison, because the living God is not confined by buildings or organisations. We need organisations such as churches to provide a meeting point for Christians to study and worship but they are not indispensable. The first Christians lived in an intimate relationship to God -- they lived by daily revelation through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Everyone, as it is written in Peter's letters, was part of the RoyalPriesthood of God (1 Peter 2:9). Increasing numbers of Christians are beginning to live that way again.
My life has been one of constant adventure since that wonderful day in May 1977. Of course, the Christian must struggle, and I have had my down periods, my struggles, trials and temptations. The Christian faith is, most importantly, a suffering faith, but not a suffering in misery, but a suffering in joy. Modern religions such as the New Age Movement which may well have come, or be on its way, to the Ukraine, offer a short-cut to (false) salvation.....mystical experience without responsibility and accountability. I have been involved with the occult and I can say that the mysticism of darkness brings no real joy, no real peace. There are all kinds of sensual stimulations that ruin the human soul -- alcohol and drugs are good examples, that plague both you here in the Ukraine and we in Norway and England. But there are also spiritual drugs too, the drugs of mystical experience not rooted in Christ. They do not bring you the freedom, peace, and joy that Jesus promised, but take a terrible toll. I have seen people ruined by occult forces, forces that seem appetising and wonderful to begin with, but which turn out to be enslaving and rotten to the core. I myself was nearly deceived, as you will recall, when that false prophet appeared before me looking like an angel of light. So be warned -- the way to joy is peace requires that you pay a price.
The Temptation of Hercules
There is a story from ancient Greece about the young Hercules who was a large and powerful man. Like the apostle Peter before he was converted, Hercules was full of self-confidence and thought that he could conquer the world by his own strength. There have been far to many men and women who have thought in the same way. One day, so the story goes, two beautiful women approached him and told him that he had to choose the kind of life he had to follow. The one was called Pleasure and the other was called Wisdom. Pleasure told him that if he followed her he could have anything he wanted without doing any work. He would be rich and have every sensual delight he wanted. Wisdom reminded him, that happiness only comes through hard work and sacrifice. She said that the way would be hard and challenging but that if he followed it, he would eventually be triumphant and find joyand happiness. But she warned him that if he followed Pleasure he would, in the end, be utterly ruined.
Well, Hercules, even though he was a wild and sometimes rash man, chose Wisdom, for the higher nature told him that she spoke the truth. These same temptations face man today, and have faced him from the beginning of time. Does one follow the life of self-centredness and pleasure-seeking, or a life of service to others?
Jesus (Yah'shua) said in the Bible: "Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it, but whoever insists on keeping his life will lose it. What is the use in gaining the whole world when it means forfeiting one's self?" (Luke 9:24-25, author's translation).
The End Time is Here
The Ukraine has just embarked on nationhood and has joined the family of nations. It faces, as everyone knows, enormous problems. It also faces agonising choices. With the barriers between east and west gone, not only is all the good of the west moving eastwards, but all its evil too. The West, where I live, is a greedy, self-centred materialist society where everybody is out to get the best for himself. There is an enormous gap between rich and poor. The West is full of decadence and immorality, and one day it will fall. Be careful. Don't assume that everything in the West is good. There are plenty of values from your own tradition, whether it be your Ukrainian culture or your former socialist ideology, that are good and worth fighting for. I personally have no political label because I am a Christian, and a Christian should, in my opinion, have his own values based on the teachings of Christ. This is, however, a large subject which we can perhaps speak more of later.
We live in what the Bible calls the end time. The Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim) is active amongst many Christians and the spirit of prophecy is amongst us. Our particular fellowship has been blessed with many revelations and prophecies as God shares His concern with mankind to repent -- change direction in life -- before the very end comes. Amongst many of the prophecies which we were given was the reunification of Germany, the end of Yugoslavia, and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Many other things are going to happen. We have also been told that the UnitedStates will eventually break down into anarchy. But most ominious and frightening is a prophecy that the European Economic Community -- or EEC -- will eventually evolve into a Super State and be led by a dictator. The Bible gives this man a name -- the Antichrist, who will rule the world for seven terrible years. We believe that he is alive and on the earth today, awaiting his moment.
But the Bible also teaches that Christ will physically return in glory and bring all wickedness to an end. This I believe firmly. I have seen the Saviour many times in vision. I have heard His voice. He told me last March (1992) the exact day an earthquake would strike Norway, and a small one happened the following month and the day He said. Earthquakes had not been expected in Norway for another 100 years. There was an earthquake the day before in Germany, Belgium and and Holland.
Yes, my friends, God is alive and active, and preparing the world for the consummation of its history. And you have the opportunity to play a meaningful, positive and constructive role in that history -- every one of you. The Ukraine has been freed from political bondage but it has yet to be freed from itself, from human nature. It is my testimony that politics and human good will alone cannot save mankind. There is only one way to salvation which is best summed up in this very old Chinese propverb:
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character;
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation;
When there is order in each nation,
there will be peace in the world.
A society, to flourish, must begin with each individual. You cannot create a peaceful and prosperous society by changing laws -- laws can only contain man's selfishness and greed to a degree, but they don'tchange man himself. The communists discovered this too late. I remember reading a report of one of the leaders of the CPSU who complained because he still did not know how the perfect Soviet man could be created...a man willing to forget himself for the sake of society. Communism fell not because it was immoral in its totality -- it fell because it was a kind of Christianity without God. Democracy faces the same challenge -- it cannot survive without God, but will eventually fall and turn into a dictatorship.
Jesus (Yah'shua) said: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6, author's translation).
It is my concluding testimony that there is no salvation for the problems of mankind except through the Lord Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah). Belief in God or in religion is not enough. Indeed, religion has been as oppressive as the modern dictatorial systems we have experienced in the last century. The salvation of humanity is not, first and foremost, through any organised system, but though a Divine Being, Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah). You can know Him today if you desire it with all your hearts. That is my challenge to you today, to the people of L'viv, and to the Ukrainian nation, in Jesus' (Yah'shua's) Name. Amen.
This lecture was given in L'viv, Ukraine, in July 1992, to the organization, Zdannya (Knowledge), the L'viv Polytechnical Institute, and the L'viv Energy Commission, and was broadcast on local L'viv Television.
This page was created on 12 October 1997
Last updated on 11 April 2011
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