Saved from a Life in the Occult!
When I was ten or eleven years old, a poltergeist started making its presence known in our house by moving objects and making noises around me. Of course I was a little concerned that this was not the norm and told my parents who did not believe a word of it and simply announced that there were no such things as ghosts! That night, as I lay in bed, I was very much aware of something invisible in my room with me. It threw a few objects around and then sat on me so hard that I thought I would be squashed to death. I was terrified and could not call on my parents for help, of course, because they did not believe in it: So I started praying to it that it would not kill me, trying to convince this "spirit", as I called it, that I loved it and would do anything it wanted as long as it did not kill me. After this, I prayed the same thing every single night for anywhere between half an hour to an hour and a half before falling asleep. Sometimes it felt like it was trying to strangle or squash me and other times it left me alone.
I very quickly grew interested in the "harmless" side of the occult (which I later discovered was just as dangerous as any kind of magic/occult practice). I used "innocent" methods such as candle worship, numerology, astrology, tarot magic and astral projection at first, but they soon led me in to hypnotism/mind-control, mind reading, spell casting, seeing visions (second sight), summoning "spirits" (which is a nice word for demons) and using them to control situations or obtain things. I did not know that by doing this I was actually letting them control and manipulate me! My 'guardian angel' as I had started calling the spirit in my room, had told me his name was Alberto and we would often have conversations. I hated being frightened all the time but I loved being powerful. My 'talents' got me quite a bit of respect from my friends, but they often freaked people out too. So I tended to only tell those whom I thought would convert to my way of thinking. I influenced a lot of people to do stupid things.
...I still lived in constant fear.
By the time I was seventeen, I was smoking between 30 and 60 cigarettes a day, depending on how sober I was. I was drunk as often as possible and when I was not satisfied with alcohol alone I took LSD and "magic mushrooms" because I hated being in control of my senses. I had researched almost every alternative religion under the sun and found satisfaction in none of them. My head was filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful philosophies which, if I am honest, were so complicated that very few of them meant anything to me! I had tried killing myself seriously three times by then, simply because I had absolutely no respect for my own life and thought I would end up coming back again anyway if it had worked. I would never have admitted it, but I still lived in constant fear. I had tried almost everything and still had no real idea why I was on this planet.
Then, one day, I bumped in to a couple of Christians who had gotten a bit lost while visiting my hometown. I thought, "Here we go again!" when they started to preach, because many so-called Christians had tried to tell me before, "Jesus loves you!" I had usually done my best to trip them up with awkward questions and loved to embarrass them when they could not answer with anything but another "Jesus loves you!" I prided myself on being too cynical to be convinced. These two men were not like that though... I cannot remember everything we spoke about but I remember being very impressed when one told me I would burn in hell! At least they were not spineless, even if they were on the wrong path as far as I was concerned! I also had a sense that they knew something I did not.
I had never come across any belief system that was so unafraid of being specific!
Through a series of coincidences, I ended up meeting one of the guys again for a discussion over a cup of tea in which I hoped to find out what he knew and convince him he was wrong! I made a joke that he would Bible-bash and then we sat for I think an hour or so, just having polite conversation. I was so desperate to find out what he knew by this time that, were it not for my pride, I would have begged him to start preaching! When he eventually got around to talking about the Bible, it was as if he had a magic key, which revealed the most amazing secrets. He explained how the Bible actually prophesies a nuclear, world war 3; how virtually the entire history of the world is contained in one book of the Bible, including history that did not happen until after the Bible was written. Every detail was so exact, even the colour of turbans worn by Muhammad's men when they invaded the Byzantine Empire in the 7th and 8th Centuries AD! I was amazed; I had never come across any belief system that was so unafraid of being specific! I tried to argue my own beliefs and ideas but I suddenly realized that none of them made any sense at all, and could hardly even remember any of them. They just seemed so vague and incomprehensible compared to the bold truth of God's Word.
God showed me over the next couple of weeks, that if the prophecies and the miracles were all true then so was the fact that without my following the rest of the Bible then I would be condemned to hell. I obeyed the scripture in ACTS 2:38 which says,
"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost..." I received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and immediately had no desire for alcohol or drugs and stopped smoking straightaway. But best of all, I knew I had found the Truth, and God replaced my fear and yearning with His peace and satisfaction. Praise the Lord!