Our Spiritual Journey in Seeking God
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I am far from the brightest person in the world, to which my journey below sadly testifies. In my first job out of college, I was in a class with about 15 other recent graduates. I was one of the least intelligent. They would finish their lab work four to five hours before I did. They worked eight hours per day, I worked thirteen. What I lacked in intelligence, I compensated with bull-headed, stubborn refusal to give up. The Lord has told me that is one of the reasons why he selected me; he knew the journey would be rough, but he knew I would never give up. The other reason was because he knew I had the strength to speak and write whatever he commanded, however unpopular the words might be. The record of my mistakes in this journey are presented here, and indirectly in How to Receive the Changing Power of God, so that you can avoid the grievous mistakes I made; so that you can advance to the Kingdom faster. Study and remember the lessons of my mistakes, and you will not fall for the same deceptions. The biggest mistake I made, was to become bitter about my affliction, not understanding that supernaturally imposed suffering is a necessary part of the cross. The Lord has told me that with this web site now up, he can put his people on the cross, without them worrying that they somehow might have failed, or might have been betrayed.
Early Childhood Memories
My first ten years were mainly in a small southwestern town, attending a Methodist meeting. My father and my mother separated when I was six; I never saw my father again. I can remember being confirmed and learning the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. I had a copy of The Golden Children's Bible, a still available children's version with many pictures of the events within, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. When I was ten years old, we moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I can remember reading many of the elementary school library's little orange biographies of great men: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Abraham Lincoln, etc; their reading instilled a strong desire to make something good out of my life. I met my wife-to-be in the sixth grade there.
When I was about age fourteen, my married cousin gave birth to a stillborn child. I was asked to be a pall bearer in the funeral. In the meeting house service, the minister stated that the stillborn child was destined to go to Hell, not having been baptized before death; and asked everyone to pray for God to make an exception, even though the Bible, (according to their Lutheran interpretations), said Hell was the sentence for all unbaptized people. I was dumbfounded at such a statement and in a state of shock; I had never heard of anything so unfair, and I was angry that my cousin was being subjected to such grief on top of the death of her child. Despite wanting to stand and scream that the minister was nuts, I sat quietly in my misery. When the service was over, I started carrying out the casket with others, as the organist slowly played in a bell tones: Jesus loves me, yes I know, for the Bible tells me so. I was so overcome, I could hardly walk, much less carry the casket. The cruelty of their god was beyond my ability to accept, and I was in turmoil about a god so unjust that he would punish innocent children on some ridiculous technicality. Today, of course, I understand that the problem is not God, just the erroneous and twisted interpretations of scriptures by supposed Bible experts. (See Is There Hope for All, regarding children; and see the details on how Luther did not believe the Bible's books of James, Hebrews, and Revelation, as well as he was a virulent anti-Semitic.)
In regard to myself, I was not an innocent child; in fact I was determined to sample all the forbidden fruits that the adults seemed able to participate in, but were forbidden to children. I can remember being very sexually curious at age five, and smoking my first cigarette at six, (I didn't inhale). I grew up in the midst of profanity, and spoke the same. But, I was not a total misfit either; I was an Eagle Scout at age twelve. I still went to the Methodist meetings in obedience to my mother's wishes. But I never heard a word that interested me in their school or the worship service. At about the age of fourteen in first-day sect school, which I attended because several cute girls were there, I was being noisy. The sect teacher stopped, calling me out for misbehaving; and immediately began praying out loud for God to please discipline me. That was very embarrassing, and I resented their prayer to a god that might be at their beckon call. I never went back to their first-day sect school.
With those two incidents as background, I began to question whether there really was a God. I began to ask myself questions such as: if we were created beings, who created God? And if no one created God, then maybe no one created us — maybe we just always were, like people said God was. I could reason there might be a God, but I also could reason where there might not be a God. Of course today, I can see the order of the creation — the harmony — how it all fits together, with massive evidence of a master plan having been executed to create the physical universe; and I can see how the universe and us could not have just evolved by accident or random chance — for such random evolution would have left massive evidence of thousands of the random failures in evolution — of which there is not a shred of evidence. (I remember much later reading in Science Digest, that the probability of the human eye alone, having just evolved, was the same probability as three monkeys, pressing keys on their typewriters, to perfectly duplicate a library of 20,000 books.)
At about the age of fifteen, I received a gift subscription to Playboy Magazine. I not only looked at the pictures, I read the Playboy Advisor religiously. I was drawn to the Playboy philosophy, believing it lock, stock, and barrel. So, I became an agnostic, leaning in the direction of atheism. I stopped going to Methodist services, to my great joy, and was happy to tell anyone why. I conceded there might be a God, but thought it just as likely there was no god. I didn't know for sure either way. But I did know for certain that the religion offered me nothing but grief and boredom, so their god was useless to me.
At about eighteen I can remember at least one experience where I was planning to complete some sexual escapade, and I suddenly had a vision with very clear and convincing understanding as to why I should not proceed with my plans. When it finished, I remember thinking: boy that was certainly a perfectly stated case for why I should abandon my plan — I wonder where that came from? (Clueless). But, I continued with my plans, to my regret today. I now understand that this was Christ, the light within me, reproving me. Had I been taught in my youth to expect the Light Christ within me to reprove me periodically, I would have probably recognized the source and would have been far more attentive. This leads me to question what kind of world we would live in, if we were taught at an early age to expect the convincing reproofs of God. The world might be a much better place.
My wife and I attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, marrying in our Junior year and having our first son in our Senior year. After graduation, I continued in school to get a Masters Degree in Business. My first job was with IBM in 1965 as a Systems Engineer, becoming a salesman, then a staff marketing support person. In my several jobs we lived in Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Georgia; Boulder Colorado; and finally Los Gatos, California. Every place we lived, we thoroughly enjoyed, particularly the outdoor activities available, where the beauty of nature could be enjoyed. I left IBM and several other companies because the products I was required to represent and promote did not measure up to the claims the company made regarding them — the products fell short of their stated capabilities, and the companies refused to alter their claims. I left another company when asked to violate the spirit of the contract that I had just spent six months in renegotiating to our benefit; the ink on the contract was not even dry.
Doubting My Doubts About God's Existence
After moving to the coast of California in 1976, I began to see an order in the creation that was just too beautiful to have randomly happened. I remember one evening standing on the beach, watching the sunset over the ocean; everything was quiet, peaceful, serene, perfect, and beyond beautiful; the colorful sky, the pristine ocean, the rugged coastline, the timeless waves breaking on the shore, the ocean birds soaring, the sun dropping into the curvature of the earth — it was all too majestic to be a random accident. The beauty struck me, and I began to question my doubts about God.
One day I happened to catch the Donahue TV show, where he was interviewing Raymond Moody, the author of the book Life After Life. Moody described the common experience of a score of people, who had technically died on the operating table, with no signs of life for up to twenty minutes, and then had been unexpectedly revived. From hospital records, he sought these people out, and interviewed them. They all described rising out of their body on the operating table, watching the efforts of the doctors to resuscitate them, and then going through a dark tunnel towards a bright light at the end. Upon arriving in the light, they described an incredible place of vibrant color, beautiful sound, peace and love; being met by a Christ-like figure, who radiated love to them, and communicated with them without spoken words — just thoughts exchanged. This figure then began a review of their life, with the common emphasis on learning (knowledge) and love being the only things important in life; this understanding accompanied the review of their life's experiences, mostly highlighting what in love they had done well, but also pointing out some of their errors. They were then told they must return to their body. Almost all of them were deeply reluctant to return; but they had no choice. After they had returned, their life had been different from that point on, valuing family, love, kindness, forgiveness, and God. They usually had not told anyone of their experience, fearing others would think they were crazy.
I went out and bought the book. For the first time, for me, I had convincing evidence there really was a God. So I began further reading about God; among those books read were by Swami Satchidananda and J. Krishnamurti. These books spoke of a required holiness and a purity that I had never heard of before. Krishnamurti said that all thought was worry, a lack of faith; and that through meditation, the brain could be stopped to arrive at peace, which he said he had done. They both spoke against anger and of the necessity of an unselfish, ascetic life, denying the pleasures and material possessions of the world, along with the reasoning of why — to be free from being possessed by the possessions and the servant of pleasures. They spoke of meditation as the key to change. These books spoke of love, defining love as giving with no expectation of return. This definition made me realize I had never given love, even to my wife. These Eastern teachers further spoke of the necessity of giving up everything to find God; making the statement that should God decide he would like to have you as one of his devoted followers, and should your wife or children stand in your way of further progress, they would be taken away from you, even by death. They taught that seeking God was a journey, not immediately accomplished, but the greatest journey of life. These books were an inspiration to me, I was excited about the possibilities, and I began to struggle to meditate.
In this area, there are many people who are fascinated with the beauty of nature. While the beauty of nature around me was glorious, I realized it like being fascinated with footprints in the sand. I was not content to examine the footprint, I wanted to find and know the far more complex and glorious being that had left the footprints.
About that time in late 1978, my wife, being encouraged that I was beginning a spiritual seeking, suggested that I also read her copy of the New Testament. Despite being very skeptical of Christianity, I thought: why not read what they had to say; it couldn't hurt me. In reading the New Testament, I was shocked at how wonderful the teachings of Jesus were. In the book of Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of a religion that did not even faintly resemble anything I had ever experienced in the Methodist meetings, or any so-called Christian I had ever met or heard of. And Jesus spoke in such simple, plain, concise, easy-to-understand language that it was clearly superior to anything I had ever read. I particularly remember his teachings about the sin of anger, committing adultery in your heart just by looking at a woman with lust, the requirement to love even your enemies, turning the other cheek, giving to all who ask, being perfect, counting the costs before starting, loosing your life to save it, forsaking all, (even houses, wife, and children), and hating your own life. Christ's teachings described a requirement of holiness and purity that exceeded anything I had ever read. Christ had clearly defined the particulars of a godly life, and how my life so differed. I knew that it was Jesus, whom I somehow had to follow. I read about the cross of self-denial and the necessity of picking it up every day to follow him, but I didn't have a clue as to how to follow him and carry a cross.
Once I started to believe there was a God, I knew I had to discover how to be pleasing to my creator. I greatly admired and respected the life of Jesus, showing and teaching me about godliness — and telling me I had to become godly too, perfect like my Father in heaven. I reasoned that if he told us we had to be godly and perfect, there must be a way to comply with his instructions.
For years I had occasionally been drawn to watch Kathryn Kuhlman and Oral Roberts on TV, in a state of distasteful amazement. I knew something was not right about them, but there was a slight color of truth in the things they said and did. I remembered repeating the Lord's prayer hundreds of times, and particularly the words "thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." My will had gotten me nowhere in happiness. The thought occurred to me that if I could somehow let God take over my life, He could make the decisions, He could direct me — and then I would be happy. Jesus had said: I only do what I see the Father do, I only say what I hear the Father say. So, I knew doing His will was possible — but of course I did not know how; and while many people thought they were doing his will, on close questioning, they would admit they were still following their own minds, with presumption, (which they called faith*), that what they were doing was acceptable to God. This led to my offer and promise made to God: if he would show me He was there, I would dedicate the rest of my life with my best efforts to find His will for me and then do it; whatever, even if it meant becoming a TV preacher like Oral Roberts, which I disliked and considered the worst possible thing that He could ask.
A few days later, thirty years ago, I was jogging on a remote mountain road, and while thinking about God, even expecting something to happen, I was suddenly overcome with a wave of sensations in my whole body, which I had never before experienced; it was very pleasant and intense. I thought that was my answer. I was hooked. About a week later, I received another answer to my prayer with evidence so strong that my hunger for righteousness and His approval still gnaws at my spiritual stomach. (Evidence, which he has told me, he will give to anyone, who humbly asks; but such humility is only possible after a life-shattering experience.)
I had been up late at a company dinner for all sales personnel, and I arrived home late at night with a headache. I went to bed and placed my face down, pressing on my forehead to relieve the pain. Suddenly a light in darkness appeared, and I rose up out of my body to view the San Francisco Bay area from the air. I could see how everyone in a chain reaction was passing on the hurts and injustices received from their neighbors to anyone around them, and it just kept going on: injury for injury, insult for insult, blow for blow, anger for anger, etc. No one was absorbing their hurts; everyone was passing them on to others. I understood, if many people would stop passing on their hurts and injustices, the world would be a radically different place. Suddenly I was viewing a cosmic swirl in space, and then I was traveling through space, passing stars, galaxies, — as he began to explain several things to me. I had been reading a book by Alan Watts, who had posed a couple of interesting conundrums, (i.e., does the past predict the future, or does the future change the past; if a tree falls in a forest with no one there to hear, is there sound?) The Light explained the conundrums perfectly making them seem very trivial. I was able to relate to my wife, next to me in bed, exactly what was going on at the time, to the point that she understood everything. By this time, I fully knew it was God revealing his existence to me. Then the Light told me I was being too hard on my children — I expected them to be perfect, and that was not realistic — I was to cease being so critical. This took 5-10 minutes. After He finished, my course suddenly reversed and I was hurtling back, but not heading to the earth — rather heading into a star, or very bright light. I got frightened, to my regret today, and thought if I continued, I would die. So I raised up and shook my head to stop the experience.
Well, needless to say, that was a life-changing experience. I started making some immediate reforms in my life.
Knowing there was a God who saw everything, as best I could, I stopped lying, exaggerating my expense reporting, reading or looking through Playboy, (and I canceled my subscription), overt flirting, fudging my income tax deductions, etc. I feared God and turned from evil as best I knew how and was able at the time. I suppose I had an advantage over many of the so-called Christians today: I was not accustomed to deliberately sinning in the sight of God, presuming they are favored by him based on the false prophets having convinced them they were going to heaven while still sinning. I feared this God who saw and heard all, even our thoughts; my fear made it relatively easy to turn from evil — at least the evil committed by my hands and feet. The evils of my tongue and heart were not under my control to stop.
Now, the journey of many years really began. Someone from my office invited me to go with them to see a Reverend* Ike in Oakland, who preached how God wanted to make us rich. This rankled those teachings of Jesus I remembered, but they insisted and I went. I was shocked. Here was a minister literally telling me to "reach up in heaven, grab God by the toe, and say: 'Gimme some."' He said that God was there to be our servant, but we must demand he give us whatever we want; as he strutted on the stage in his diamond rings, and $1000 suit. The evil in this person frightened me. I remember covering my heart with the New Testament my wife had given me to read, and praying to God to shut this person's lying mouth, while protecting me from the evil dripping from his lips. The gospels of prosperity, rather than the gospel of purity through the cross, are an abomination. Before honor of spiritual or material riches, (the least treasure), your selfish sinful nature must crucified.
I assumed that the failures of my Christian experiences were because the sect, in which I had grown up, was not a Bible-based, Bible-believing sect,* and many were. There was a Bible college about 15 miles from my house, so I went to visit them. I called on the President, offering my services as a computer advisor, in exchange for his guidance in spiritual matters. Inquiring if I might enroll in Bible College, he informed me that for the first time in their history, they had a waiting list of applicants, over one-hundred people. (I now realize this was the Lord's doing — no coincidence, to keep me out of Bible College; to keep me from being brainwashed by their repetitive false teachings). He suggested I visit the local Assembly of God.
Searching for the Right Sect to Belong
So that next first-day of the week, my family, (wife and two sons, aged 14 and 9), and I headed out to the Assembly of God. I was very excited at the prospect of joining a group of serious seekers, hoping to find the will of God. There was an altar call, and I responded along with my two sons. After the service, the preacher came over to introduce himself. I told him, "I was a seeker of God." He replied there was no seeking necessary; everything had already been done; there is nothing else to seek. I looked at him like he was crazy. He replied: "it says so right here in the Bible," pointing to his side and quoting Rom 10:9-10. I made a vow to myself at that instant: never again would anyone be able to intimidate me, quoting from the Bible — it was only one book;* and I vowed to become so familiar with that book, that I would never have any questions about the meaning of any of it. We left that sect, never to go back.
Today I often look back on the Assembly of God experience, now realizing that this preacher stood at the beginning of the path in the journey to God, saying: 'Turn back, you are righteous, just by believing;' which is even worse than the Pharisees that Jesus criticized saying: But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so. Mat 23:13. Woe to you, religious lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered." Luke 11:52. Today, the so-called Christian preachers, being far less righteous than the Pharisees, who at least tried to teach others to obey the law, stand at the beginning of the path to righteousness, saying: 'Stop, you have done everything. don't seek, don't obey, don't fear, don't strive.' Woe be to them, for they are worse than the Pharisees who killed Christ; they tell us not even start seeking or to pursue obedience which leads to righteousness, when seeking God is the whole purpose of life.
I began to listen to Christian radio, watch Christian TV, and read every Christian book I could get my hands on. I was searching for the fire, but only read about smoke. As the Lord later told me, I was reading about people 'arguing over the husks, having never discovered the corn.' I listened to the radio all day and in the middle of the night. One day I heard a preacher state: if one sin is OK, then two are OK, then three are OK,..... then thousands are OK, etc; so there has to be no sin, and when Jesus said: Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect — he meant, NO SIN! This was the first person on the earth I had ever heard that believed what Jesus had commanded was true; and it was exciting confirmation to me that perfection was not only possible, but a logical necessity. I understood that tolerating sin and claiming to be saved, was like trying claim yourself 90% unpregnant. I immediately ran downstairs to tell my wife. She was devastated, feeling that all her own experiences were threatened; but she too lost her fear of failure, and instead looked forward to the possibility of change.
Soon after my own spiritual experience, my wife had an intense experience from the Lord. We were in the living room one night, and she heard a trumpet sound, (which I also heard), and then she heard a rustling outside of the side door. My wife somehow knew this was Jesus, and asked me what she should do, because he apparently wanted to come in. I told her to invite him in. She said of course, I love him; and he immediately appeared, standing in front of her. She stood there for some time with him in front of her, not knowing what to do. She could feel his power and his patience. She held his hand for a minute, then got nervous and asked him to stand back a little, which in great humility, he did. It was getting late, and she asked me what she should do? I replied, I guess we should go to bed, because it is very late. The Christ figure immediately transferred to the landing on the stairs going to the bedroom, without movement — just from one place to another in a wink. So we went upstairs and went to bed. He sat at the foot of the bed. When my wife awakened the next morning, he was still sitting there. Bowing before him, she said to him, "I don't know what to do, what do you want me to do?" He put his hands on her head and then he superimposed himself over her like a veil, as she heard him say, (without words), to her: "strengthen your backbone." I saw none of this, but I did not doubt it for a second. Today we know that he was strengthening her for a difficult journey, full of pitfalls, full of grievous mistakes, and full of frustrations. He gave her an experience that she could always fall back on, no matter how bad our circumstances appeared.
We visited a Pentecostal assembly in Sunnyvale, complete with guitar, organ, drummer, tambourines, and members jumping around "praying in tongues." Willing to try almost anything, I got saved there too; but without any effect. On one visit, the minister asked those who wanted the gift of tongues to come up and he would give it to them. He then laid his hands on me to no effect. So he next told me to repeat his sounds after him, which was to trigger the gift in me; no effect. Every time the minister would say something wonderful, the band would start playing, and a couple of spirit-filled customers would jump up and start dancing around while praying in tongues; the females shaking their tambourines too. Finding their spirit to be anything but holy, we proceed to look elsewhere for our beloved.
All of the Christian buzz was about the return of Jesus being imminent. Hal Lindsay produced a movie, The Late Great Planet Earth, predicting nuclear war, the destruction of the earth, and great suffering. I believed it. I started thinking about moving to a farm to be prepared to survive.
My job (not IBM at this time) got worse. The product I was responsible for selling was overstated in its claims of performance. I had brought two prospects to the point of running a benchmark of jobs to compare the performance of our computer to their's; in both cases, our product performed at 60% of advertised capability; my prospects were lost. I had talked to the engineers, and I knew they did not know how to match the claims of performance. I went to my management and asked them to change the false performance claims in their literature. They refused to change the advertised claims. I resigned in early 1979. I was determined to find another way to earn an honest living, while devoting most of my time to seeking God.
We started looking for a farm for sale, close to the city. We found an old farm, with plenty of room to grow vegetables and twelve horse stables, including a show riding rink and all. I thought I could grow my own food and rent horses — knowing nothing about either. So we sold our house, moved to a farm, and bought four horses; hoping for a new means of income. I now realize that was a mistake, I should have stayed in the position I was called, and only followed what I was told to do. We only stayed at the farm for one year. The upkeep on the farm and horses took a lot of my time, and the horse rental idea never panned out. A herd of twenty deer jumped the fence one night to consume the large garden. We sold the farm and horses, and moved to a rental condominium, determined to live off our savings as we sought the Lord full time. We never took a dime's worth of assistance from anyone or government agency; we totally lived from our savings and equity from the sale of our house.
Before we had moved, we visited a Methodist service, and liking the minister, we stayed. However, I became unhappy with his lack of Bible orientation. I remember one sermon on the day of Pentecost where the minister started talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He told everyone that their talent in sewing, cooking, painting, music, etc. — were all gifts of the Holy Spirit, which was totally unscriptural. At another time I remember sitting in the first-day service as the minister started urging everyone to give ten per cent of their income; this was particularly galling to me because: 1) my school-teacher, divorcee mother had annually been very pressured to pledge and tithe, and 2) many of the congregation were elderly widows living on nothing but Social Security. I was miserable listening to him, and began to inwardly groan. Suddenly I was standing, and the minister had come over to hug me. I had been seized by the Holy Spirit to stand and loudly say: "By whose authority do you say such things?" The minister had said, "what?" and I had repeated, "By whose authority do you say such things?" I don't remember any of this, other than the end, but my family gave me the details. At the time I did not know how Christ and Peter had forbidden ministers to preach for money, confirmed by Paul; neither did I know that tithing had died with Christ — or even that tithes were only of crops, not money; and they were collected for the orphans and widows, not just for the building or minister.
I clearly remember laying in bed, as usual having been up most of the night reading and listening to Christian radio broadcasts, and feeling like I was reaching over a wall, unable to see what was on the other side, groping for something with my hand. This symbolized my attempts to resolve what Jesus taught and commanded vs. what the sects were saying was required, which ignored his commands, saying just believe and/or baptism is enough. I knew there had to be an explanation, but I couldn't figure it out. And of course, the more I listened to the standard lies coming out of Christendom, the more difficult it became. One scripture that kept nagging at me was:
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven,
I assumed that the scripture was talking about rejecting Christians from the sects that only "believed" in Jesus without a Bible foundation, as opposed to those sects that were really Bible oriented. Of course now I know that the scriptures plainly state three reasons why these people, who named themselves Christians, were rejected: 1) only those go to heaven, who do the will of my Father in heaven, (those who hear and obey Jesus within), 2) he never knew them, (we know Him, if we keep His spoken-to-us commands) and 3) they still sinned. He really said the same thing three times: because you still sin, you practice lawlessness, you don't obey my commands, which is the will of the Father — listen to and yield to and obey his son.
We started looking for another sect, visiting a Baptist congregation in an affluent section of the city. They were much more Biblical. I still remember how they collected money in the service. The ushers in the aisles, with a black bag on a long pole, would hover the bag over each member in the pews, waiting for them to put their money in the bag, and then move the pole to the next person; the vision of these people fleecing the sheep with Judas' bag, not even trusting their own congregation was vivid. I thought, that if someone needed the money that badly, let them have it. Nevertheless, we decided to join, and went to an orientation meeting for new members. In this meeting, the pastor in discussion asked if someone was saved, could they lose their salvation by sinning? He explained that they believed, once you are saved, you are always saved, quoting the scripture: My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch out of the Father's hand. John 10:29.* I asked him if their belief included saved Baptists who later committed mass murder and mass rape? He said yes, once you were saved, it was impossible to lose your salvation, no matter how many, or how grievous the sins. There were twenty other people in that room, and not even one of them doubted that ridiculous claim. I told the pastor that believing those saved, who later committed mass murder and mass rape, would go to heaven was ridiculous, defied common sense, and forced the discard of hundreds of other scriptures. Their faulty logic forces them to accept any level of sinning as acceptable to God. They seem to think that Jesus, who told us we had to loose our life to save it and to be perfect, is going to defend them in judgment for disregarding all of his explicit commands and warnings. This is not Christianity, it is Babylon, where the man of sin rules and sits on the throne.
We left the Baptists, never to go back to another service. I went home, threw myself on the bed, and sincerely said to God: "if those are the people going to heaven, then send me to Hell with the sinners; because at least the sinners in Hell will not be hypocrites, and I would rather be in their company." I was a bit lost, not knowing where to turn. I wanted the company and fellowship of fellow believers, but I couldn't find those who were seeking the same freedom from sin, holiness, and purity that the Bible insisted on. I did not want to fellowship with people, who believed in sin being acceptable to God, disregarding his commands, and living in lawlessness.
One other thing bothered me; leaving the Baptist service, I noticed sitting in the parking lot a Lamborghini automobile. Such a car costs about $200,000 today, and I saw it as a great injustice to the poor throughout the world, for a so-called Christian to be wasting money on his vanity. So I made an appointment to see the minister, in hope of alerting him to the problem. As I made my case with the minister that Christians should share with those less fortunate, citing the example in Acts, he looked at me like I was crazy and challenged my scripture reference.
I also asked him why he never spoke against divorce, when the Bible clearly stated divorce and remarriage resulted in adultery; he answered, if I did that, my congregation would disappear. (Notice: as society's morals decay, the standards of all the deficit sects decay proportionally; less than one hundred years ago, the churches did not tolerate divorce, drunkenness, living together as partners, illegitimate children, etc. Today, our sects tolerate any degree of sin, sympathizing and consoling the shameful ministers publicly exposed in some outrageous excess of sin: Haggard, Baker, Swaggert, etc.; plus all the Roman priests, exposed, but usually not defrocked, for molesting the young boys of their congregations. )
So I continued seeking; and trying to be like Zacchaeus, I continued to give 1/2 of my savings away, mostly to radio ministries, (which was a mistake), particularly those who claimed to be caring for orphans. We bounced around visiting several other denominations, finally giving up. I concluded there was no sect or meeting in the world that really followed Jesus; they all claimed to, but failed. As the Lord recently said to me: "They gutted Jesus' teachings." So we pulled back into our home, with 3-4 similarly hopeful friends that occasionally visited us. There was a minister on the radio, preaching perfection, purity, and the love of God, saying that it was reached in the closet by lava hot love from God. We kept waiting on God, and we began to hear the word of God from within again. As he will early-on show you too, the Lord showed me how my whole life was centered around enhancing my sexual image: clothes, house, cars, investments, hobbies, recreations, etc.
The Deceptions Begin
One evening, while teaching me, he said: "the ice man cometh." I immediately perceived a cold white light from the left side of my closed-eye vision; and I heard a voice saying "there is Jesus, right in front of you;" my wife was directly in front of me. In error, I bought the lie, thinking I needed to love my wife like she was Jesus; so I was distracted to lust of the flesh for sometime.
At another time, after I had finished a long time of waiting on God, I heard a voice say: "go and tell your friends and family what God has done for you." By this time, I had been unemployed for almost two years, I no longer owned a house, and my prospects in the world were non-existent; plus I had very little to tell. Stupidly I bought a 30 day Travel-America bus pass and traveled across the country visiting old friends and family; which was a great mistake, interesting no one, and conflicting with several members of my family. Once again, I bought off on the deception, not knowing that until you are told exactly what to do, when to do it, and what to say — leave it alone. The voice did not tell me exactly what I was supposed to tell my friends and family, plus I was not told exactly who to go to, "friends and family" being too vague. But this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way, and one that I have never seen written as a caution in all my readings. One of Satan's greatest temptations is to tempt you into teaching, preaching, or even witnessing before you are able to speak words from control of the Holy Spirit; only by speaking from the spirit, can you reach your listener. The words from your carnal mind do not reach the holy part of your listener, and you only scatter instead of gathering, thus incurring condemnation on yourself and damaging your listeners too.
I returned home frustrated at my failures, suspicious I had bought a lie. But I kept on waiting on God. The basic mistake I made in my waiting was to assume I was to be a minister, and expect him to answer my question of where I was to move. I did not know that I should go to waiting on God, with no pre-conceived questions, only the desire to learn whatever he wished to teach me. Again, this advice was not to be found in any writings I had seen.
The radio minister preaching perfection by lava hot love issued a newsletter with a prophecy that those on the coastlines would be destroyed by giant 100 ft. high tidal waves, hinting of a probable war (maybe nuclear) to follow. Living in a coastal town, a 100 ft. tidal wave would have utterly destroyed the entire coastal population. This minister had published a significant prophecy that had come true, specifically that the Lord "will smear offal on the faces of the TV evangelists," of that time, ( as later occurred to Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Baker); so I believed the giant tidal wave prophecy too.
Now I was really looking for when and where to move. While waiting on God, I saw the numbers of a date appear in a vision — about three weeks off, but with no understanding accompanying the vision. Nothing was said about this being the day the tidal waves would hit, but I stupidly assumed so. A couple of days later, while waiting on God, I saw a sign which spelled the name Feather River, a small town in Idaho. I again incorrectly assumed this was from God. I was too prideful and eager to believe God was answering my prayers, too ignorant of the wiles of Satan, and so I threw caution to the wind; I was like those men whom Gideon long marched, and when coming to water, drank water without watching for the enemy, without caution; God told Gideon to send them home, having failed the test, and therefore unqualified for his army.
Today I know that any vision, without clear understanding accompanying it, is to be ignored. Today I know that any incomplete phrase or sentence is never to have the blanks filled in by one's self; it is to be ignored, unless clearly and immediately understood. Only follow precise moral commands. These lessons, I learned the hard way. There was no written record of any such warnings that I have seen.
The car was in the shop, and I was riding the bus to have some dental work done, when it occurred to me I should warn others of the pending disaster about to strike; despite being in terrible conflict for not warning people, I fortunately managed to keep quiet. We withdrew a sum of money from the bank and headed to the remote town Idaho, stopping in Reno, Nevada to watch for any sign of the return of the Lord during the day the tidal wave was supposed to hit. Nothing happened. We pulled over to the side of a street in Reno, and a drunk staggered out from a bar. I saw him stop, stand straight up, and shudder. He then confidently and perfectly walked over to the car, bent down to look me in the eye, and ridiculed the preparedness for the trip that I had made, with details he could never have guessed — I was being ridiculed by Satan. But we pressed on to the little town in Idaho, expecting to arrive in a western wilderness of forests and streams. It was a ghost town, abandoned, without a soul in it. No stores, no services, no people, nothing. Most of the sizable trees had been logged. The whole area was desolate. It was only twenty miles from Mountain Home Air Force Base, a SAC B52 nuclear bomber base, certain to be hit in the event of a nuclear war. I knew I had been fooled again. So we packed up and went home. My children were not so confident in their dad any more. My wife was disappointed, but still committed. I was devastated, but determined not to give up and keep trying.
Discovering the Early Quakers
After returning home, a few months later, I decided to go to the library and research the history of all the Christian sects, looking for the same spirit and power that existed in the early church of Peter and Paul. I looked through a whole shelf of books in our city library. I was skim reading the books when I came across a book, called Early Quaker Writings, not written by Quakers, where they mentioned that the early Quaker men wrote letters to one another, expressing their love for each other — something they said was unique in all their historical research. That was the tip off for me to dig deeper into the early Quaker record. I read a little about their founder, George Fox, and requested his two-volume Journal from the inter-library loan program. When I read his Journal, I knew I had found the record of what I was looking for.
The letters of the New Testament began to make more sense to me and when I read John 17, I was astounded at the promises detailed, which I had never heard anyone mention. One day while waiting on God, I heard the Lord say to me: "get rid of those dog books." I had a bookcase full of so-called Christian books, and the Lord basically said they were all written by Judiazer dogs. I immediately took them to the trash.
Withdrawing from the World
We received instruction while waiting on God to stay in our home, stop all social visits, and concentrate on prayer and waiting. We eagerly complied with this instruction, remembering the instructions the disciples had to remain in Jerusalem until power came from on high. He even showed me that I should meet people at the door and deal with them there, without inviting them inside. We told our friends what we were doing, and shut the door. We launched into even more intensive waiting, trying stay seated all night to wait, rather than going to bed.
At this point in our journey, I was still very subject to deception. The voice of the opposition can be indistinguishable from the voice of the Lord. The enemy will pretend to be the Lord, always tempting you to do something wrong that you want to do, or tempting you to do something that you have been told not to do. When the enemy succeeds in tempting you, then the messages you receive become 90% plus from the enemy, with the Lord only gently and very infrequently repeating His warnings and orders that are contrary to what you are doing; but because you have so many more messages from the enemy encouraging you to continue down the wrong path, it is very easy to think the Lord's messages are the enemy's. The enemy also speaks with messages that are obviously not from the Lord, but which criticize or complain about what you are doing wrong, further convincing you that you are right.
Usually one is convinced by the enemy that they are serving the Lord in whatever they are tempted to do before they have been sufficiently changed to properly serve Him. Think about the millions of ministers and teachers in Babylon who are teaching flagrant doctrinal errors all the while hearing messages, which they think are from the Lord, but which are guiding them and their listeners down the path to destruction. Suppose you think you have been given a gift of healing, a gift of miracles, the authority to teach, etc., but you are not able to speak words from His Spirit that you hear immediately before speaking. Now you perform your deed for the Lord, but the only words you have are from your carnal mind; your deed would not serve the Lord because your words would be from the nature of death and could not properly reach the hearts of your listeners. Until your carnal mind has been sufficeintly destroyed so that you only have words from the Spirit, (only words from the Spirit), that you hear immediately before speaking, you are not fit to serve the Lord doing anything that requires words of explanation or credit to Him; that is a simple test, which you can use to defend yourself from being tempted before you are properly equipped to serve. Remember the teaching by the Word of the Lord within: "When you speak words from yourself, it doesn't matter what you say; you say them with the wrong spirit, and they don't reach the heart of your listeners. " So suppose you are told go to to someone and warn them about what they are doing; unless when you arrive you are sufficiently in His Spirit, (as George Fox wrote about speaking a previous teaching: "be sure the light is up"), to hear the exact and only words to speak, even repeating words from Him that you have heard in the past will be spoken with the wrong spirit; don't do it.
I have asked the Lord why He is not more firm in correcting those of us who have been deceived and are traveling down a wrong path; the answer I received was: "the cure is worse than the disease." Apparently we are left to slowly discover our own mistakes with only His very gentle and infrequent reminders because His firm correction would be more harmful to our eventual progress. If you have been deceived and gone the wrong way for some time, it is very easy to become bitter or offended that you were not corrected; don't. Remember the Lord is pure, perfect, kind, gentle, wise, and love Himself; and everything He does or doesn't do is to your ultimate benefit. If He firmly corrected us, either our confidence would suffer too serious a blow, or perhaps we would only fall again to a more subtle scheme to tempt us in the future.
I have been fooled several times, suffering very long delays in my progress. The below guidelines are from the experience of my failures. The guidelines are to protect you from being deceived. Do not throw caution to the wind when you hear a message that violates any of the below guidelines, confident that you are an exception because you think the Lord told you to do it. There comes a time when we will be able to accurately distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy; until then be extra cautious and refuse to violate any of the below guidelines, which are provided to keep you from being deceived by the opposition:
Again, to my knowledge, none of these deceptions have ever been documented before. So, maybe I had to experience them, to clearly and deeply learn them, in order to communicate them to you.
With most of the above deceptions still deficient in my understanding, I was destined to fail, and fail big-time. I was still drinking water without the caution of watching for the enemy, and without understanding that whatever the Bible defined as sin, would never change.
But, before I continue with the dismal record of my failures that occurred in 1980-1, I am pleased to say that through the mercy and patience of the Lord, long after, he has brought me to success — rescued me from the prison of the pit, restored everything I lost one-hundred fold — everything but my pride, which he lowered into the dust — praises be to his holy name forever — for he is flawless, perfect, clean, kind, forgiving, merciful, patient beyond belief, encouraging, loving, supportive, helpful, humble, powerful — true beyond what words can express — always there, always ready to begin again, always ready to help you learn, always there to help you stand back up and shoulder your cross to continue the journey to union with him, in his glorious kingdom. All is well that ends well.
We waited together as a family, all of us receiving many visions, (which I now know are useless and to be ignored), and occasional understandings. I thought I had instructions to get rid of our excess clothing, which continued until we had only two of everything: shirts, pants, underwear, socks, etc. Then I had a vision of loading up our beds onto the Goodwill truck; understand, I was not told to give our beds away. By mistake, I assumed the vision meant to give our beds away, which we did. We all slept on the floor, which was fortunately carpeted. Then I had visions about the children's toys, the over-the-counter medicines, etc. We gave every non-essential thing away, including our dog and our car to a Christian charity in town, (my choice); the male founder of which was later indicted for sexually molesting the young boys sent to his care by the county youth authorities. At the time, we were happy to do it; it actually felt good to be rid of our possessions. Again, the visions were without immediately clear understandings accompanying them, therefore should have been ignored.
Trying to interpret the visions, I was gradually suckered back into satisfying my lusts of the flesh, which kept increasing and increasing, stupidly thinking I was following the Lord's wishes. There were many supernatural occurrences to accompany these deceitful visions, supporting my guesses of their meaning: freezing cold or intense heat applied to my body, many popping sounds, lights flashing on and off, drawings on the carpet, visions on the walls, etc. We were under attack, and I was too stupid to recognize the enemy. I wanted to believe God was doing these miracles for my benefit; my pride was my downfall. At this point, we had slid down the slippery slope, a long way. (See the Opposition for more on the deceiving supernatural signs, lying wonders.)
About this time a young couple, with whom we had occasionally fellowshiped in the past, came and knocked on the door. They had not seen us for several weeks. They needed to borrow some money. Instead of simply lending them the money, without thinking, I invited them into the house, which led to further conversations as to what we had been doing. (Remember, I had been told by the Lord to not let anyone in the house, to meet them at the door and provide whatever was needed there only). So, one thing led to another, and they started spending time with us at the house, joining us in waiting on the Lord. The husband was working, so he could not spend as much time as the wife. Feeling bad about his having to work and missing the time he could be spiritually progressing, I gave them half of the money I had left over, (half already given away), so he too could pursue the seeking of the Lord full-time. They moved in with us to avoid travel time, and then things deteriorated. I failed further, not totally, but pretty miserably. Fortunately the young wife became repulsed and left; the husband left to join her a few days later. Everyone thought we were doing right, and it was very hard to admit we had been so totally fooled, to have gone so far wrong; but I finally realized and admitted we had made a series of massive mistakes. I felt like I was doomed, lost, and without hope of forgiveness. I started crying and explaining to the others, (except the wife, who had first realized we were not right and had left), how we had been so wrong, me being the worst offender as the senior member of the group. As I was crying, I heard his voice, loud and clear say: "Because you grieve over your mistakes, you are given another chance."
A little before realizing my blunders, one first-day morning, I recalled that several of the old people in the Methodist congregation we had left were going to die without knowing that there was a greater hope. I had been asked to be a guest lay preacher there one first-day. I felt that maybe I should go back and warn them; this was immediately confirmed by deceiving signs of loud popping. (Recently my wife has understood from the Lord's teachings that he allowed me to go, having preached there in the past, because it was good to warn them and not be the least responsible for their problems to come after death). So we all walked to the meeting, and as we entered they were performing communion. I walked up to the front and turned to address the people with a short message. A woman from the congregation immediately got up and came over grabbing me by the wrists and urging me to leave; I flicked my wrists down to release her hands from me. The minister told everyone to leave, which they did, going into the lobby. Then one of the men of the congregation grabbed me around the arms and chest, roughly and angrily dragging me out of the building. I went limp with no resistance, and the minister told him to halt. With no one to talk to, I left. As I was went outside, the police arrived, handcuffed me and put me into the squad car. The minister came over to the window of the car laughing and said to me: "see Hall, it is just like the Bible says in Revelation, you persecuted me today." I replied, "no, you've got it wrong, I am the one sitting in the police car, handcuffed, on the way to jail, being persecuted by your calling the police to prosecute me." Fortunately, my family was not arrested.
As we drove off to jail, I began singing, joyful I was counted worthy of persecution. The officer stopped the car, and radioed to his supervisor, requesting the authority to not take me to jail, which he received. He took me to the police station, took me inside, and handed me the citation for breaking a state law that I did not even know existed — interrupting a religious service. After I signed an agreement to appear in court to answer the charges, he released me. I met my family walking home and joined them. When I went to court, I answered not guilty to the charge, and exercised my right to a speedy trial. I was determined to serve as my own lawyer. The judge asked us into his chamber and pleaded with me to waive my right to a speedy trial as well as get a lawyer. I agreed to waive my right to a speedy trial, and the District Attorney immediately handed the judge another pre-typed charge to add to the case, which the judge immediately accepted; he charged me additionally with battery, supposedly by flicking my wrists downward to remove her hands from me. (I had been snookered by the judge, yielding my right to a speedy trial, which allowed the DA to add to the charges). I was determined to fight the charges, but I heard the Lord's voice say, "don't put your family through this." So, the day before the trial was supposedly scheduled, I appeared in court to advise the judge that I was not prepared for trial the next day. I leaned over to the Assistant District Attorney and told him that I did interrupt the service, but I did not in any way act against the woman as charged; I said, I will plead guilty to the charge of interrupting the service if you drop the charges of battery. He agreed, and I told the judge I had reached an agreement with the prosecutor, and pled guilty. The judge asked the prosecutor if he had any recommendations, and he said no. The judge looked at the details of the charges, saying "they did not look good, but I refuse to severely penalize you." He sentenced me to one year's summary probation; the penalty for violating any laws during that year, (including jay walking), to be an immediate jail sentence — explaining that if I moved out of the county, any violation would not count. He further said that if I complied with the probation, the record of the misdemeanor conviction could be removed. I had no difficulty complying with the probation.
My wife had now lost confidence in me, for which I could not blame her. But we stayed together and waited intensely. Suddenly I was seized with a strange, painful, continual disturbance in my private parts, which I later learned was a common experience of David and referenced by Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Lamentations. It was obvious that it was supernatural. I thought I was being punished. I tried going to a motel to get away; the problem followed me. I remember one day, being in pain and very depressed, I decided to take a walk in the country. As I started walking out of town, I could see a nice new office building being erected over the site of a former slaughter house. I was angry and thought God had betrayed me. Shamefully, I shook my fist at God, looking at the building across the way, and said why are those people so lucky and I am so betrayed? (More on this building over the former slaughter house later).
I felt like I had been betrayed, my flight was in winter, the worst possible time; I was cold, with little or no love left. I incorrectly thought I was being punished for failing, and I became resentful and bitter. There was something in me that began to curse God in thoughts, blaming him — it was the most miserable experience of my life. I was in agony because I could not stop the thoughts in my head. They drummed through my mind. My only relief from the thoughts was for my wife to stroke my forehead, or to be asleep. It is a terrible thing, to know you are thinking the worst possible thoughts, unable to stop them; particularly when you know the thoughts are being heard by all the spiritual beings all around you, plainly evidencing they have heard you. I wished to be dead, many, many times. I think this is partially what Hell is like; there is nothing worse that I can imagine — I greatly pity everyone in Hell, who will have to endure what will probably be much worse for them; particularly those who think they were saved, and then to be banished to Hell. The physical pain was bad; but my thoughts, which were read, were far, far more painful. My sorrow and grief overwhelmed me. I lived from minute to minute in despair, constantly expressing my hatred of myself to God and begging him to stop it, kill me, forgive me, over, and over, and over; but never completely losing hope. I must have sinned 100,000 times, never with my lips, but my mind was my literal Hell. But, in feeling sorry for myself, I never looked back at the world, never regretted anything I had given up, or ever longed to return in any way; I knew the world was false, with false hope, and only offered pig fodder.
I have since learned that a part of salvation is to not only be forgiven of your sins, but to have the memory of them washed away by the blood of Jesus sprinkled on your conscience, purifying you from your dead works, and erasing the memory of your grievous errors — this I look forward to. It is very difficult to stand before God, with the memory of your sins; it can only be done, holding onto the blood of Jesus, having paid for your grievous sins. I did this once — it was hard, but he helped me. When the Lord sprinkles his blood in your conscience, then the agony of the recall is gone; then you can stand before God as a true man, instead of a worm; but this can only happen after you have been purified.
The pain lessened after a few weeks, and I heard the Lord simply say: "it will be less now." So I knew he was involved in it somehow; I just didn't understand exactly why. I read where Peter and Paul said:
I did not know if I was being punished for all the stupid things I had done, or if I was being put through tribulation. I never really understood, until much later, that it was tribulation. For some reason, the Lord cannot directly tell us what is being done to us; somehow it violates us suffering in faith. (For more on Tribulation, see Christ in You, and How to Receive the Power).
But now gentle reader, you know what to expect, and when afflicted with a fiery and painful ordeal, not to be concerned that you might have been betrayed; but rather know it is for your benefit, your growth, the removal of sin, the cross that crucifies your sinful nature, the death of self, the loss of your selfish life to gain your godly life. Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2. The Lord only chastens those who he loves, so let his rod and staff be a comfort and reminder of his love for you.
After a few months the suffering ceased in 1982, except for short recurrences as reminders, whenever I failed at lusting for women or even thinking sexually immoral thoughts. Over the next several years, the painful reminders trained me to avoid lusting for, or thinking about, women. But the lust was not removed, until the Lord showed me by his orchestrating my life experiences, how my lust, (as well as any lust), is only a deceitful illusion. He showed me that my lust blinded me to the realities of a woman's character. This was a lengthy, humiliating lesson to learn, but very convincing, very eye-opening, and indelible in my memory. Then, by the power of his grace, he removed the lust: increment, by increment, by increment; each increment accompanied by mourning and pleading for more grace. Today, I thankfully report that lust for women has been removed from my heart, by his needed discipline and his infinite, merciful grace; for this alone, I am eternally grateful.
Starting Over Again in the World
In 1983 when I had only $5000 left in the bank, I knew it was time to go back to work. Fortunately an old boss of mine was the President of a nearby company in Los Gatos, and he agreed to hire me. My salary was at about half of what I had made at the last company I had worked for. I bought a used car, two suits from JC Penney and went back to work. Driving down the mountainside into San Jose that first day, I broke into tears, feeling like I had failed in my quest to find God. But, I did not give up.
Today I know, I should never have quit work. The Lord wants us to be honestly employed, contributing to the creation. I should have simply looked for another job, and waited and listened for the Lord in my free time. I am sure I would have progressed more quickly and more easily. I write this for your benefit.
As we we were accustomed to spending very little money, in one year I had saved almost $20,000, half of my gross pay. I worked very hard and helped the company turn profitable for the first time in their several year history. There were some serious problems with their plans, and I began speaking too strongly against their unwillingness to address the problems. The Lord told me: "be a good and loyal servant;" but I was too full of self-will and continued my critical comments. I realized things were coming to a head, and begin to look for another job. One day at noon, I was offered another job. At 4PM the same day I was fired, and in retrospect, deservedly so. I had disobeyed the Lord's command. I can deeply sympathize with anyone who is terminated — it feels like you have been kicked in the stomach, destroying all your self-confidence.
After I had joined the new company in 1984, I realized I had made another mistake; without a widely demanded product, their long-term survival was very doubtful, (they went bankrupt about 3 years later). So, I told my wife, I either had to start my own company, or I would soon be looking at jobs on the bottom of the barrel. In this job, I had identified a lack of a low cost solution to provide a needed function. I decided to try to provide that solution, by writing a unique computer program to do the job on an ordinary PC and dot matrix printer. So I bought a printer and PC and began to program a solution. Having not written a line of code for seventeen years, I was not very competent. I hit a snag, which I worked on for weeks trying to solve. Every night and all weekend, I worked on this one snag. My very bright young son came home one evening, having watched me struggle daily with this problem for many weeks, and said, "give it up Dad, it's hopeless." I persisted and finally had a breakthrough. My program worked. I put an ad in a magazine and had my wife handle the few inquiries and sales while I continued my full-time occupation. Eventually, there was so much interest in the product, that I had to make a choice — do the honest thing and quit to devote full time, or try to minimize the conflict of interest. I quit in 04/1985 with great hope, devoting full time time to my little software company, working in my dining room.
Once I went full-time, I began to see other opportunities and began to write better, more functional programs. Five months later, my wife was writing checks and she told me we were down to $2000 in the bank. I told her to let me know when we had $1000 left, and I would get a job driving cabs at night to support the continuation of our little company. One weekend afternoon I was waiting on God, and I heard the Lord say: "make him great." About two weeks later, the day after labor day, we had sales of $1000 in one day; software sales were about 95% gross profit. We had turned the corner and were profitable with a strong positive cash flow. I started writing even better programs, one with a capability that had never before been written; the Lord encouraged my efforts, telling me I would be successful in my attempt. The program was successful. We eventually sold over 300 copies of this program per month. From our garage-shop operation, we moved the business out of our rental house to a leased 2000 square foot office a few blocks away. Our company was run on the teachings of Christ, as they applied to our business, posted on the wall for all employees to see and be reminded of. I was very happy, working 100 hours per week, but grateful to be able to direct a company, which made its first priority on observing the golden rule, to our customers, suppliers, and fellow employees. And following his rule, we owed no one anything, except a debt of love.
Our software customers began to ask us for hardware related to the software we sold. We started buying and reselling hardware from a manufacturer in France. The demands for hardware capabilities and volumes pushed us into looking for another supplier, which we found in Taiwan. We began to buy in volume from them and began to specify the capabilities our customers were demanding. After making many of the product changes we requested, the manufacturer became unresponsive. So I decided to take the step of manufacturing ourselves. Following the golden rule, I felt that I must give the manufacturer advance notice of our intent to stop buying from him, allowing him time to find other customers. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, for I knew I would probably be competing with the product that I had largely designed. But I informed the rep of our intent, even offering him the opportunity to buy a critical related component from us at our cost to supply to his other customers, until he could complete his own purchase. I asked him if I could somehow arrange to offer a job to his firmware programmer, who was very cooperative, capable, and responsive. He replied that this programmer did not directly work for him, he was a only contractor, and I could talk to him freely. When I talked to the firmware programmer, he understood immediately and agreed to come to work for me and also procure a non-exclusive licensing of the source code he had previously developed, which he successfully negotiated for $5000. So, worrying about a disaster, but following the golden rule without regard to potential catastrophic losses, resulted in the greatest business gain of my life, (and a highly valued firmware programmer). We were quickly in the hardware manufacturing business. Our hardware sales suddenly increased by 300%. Telling the truth will always work to your benefit, however risky it might seem.
I remember when I had accumulated my first large sum of money. I was trying to decide whether I should give it away to charity then, or wait until I was able to hear better and give to whom the Lord instructed. I heard his voice say: "if you don't give it away now, you'll never get there son."
The Lord's Material Blessings
Hardware sales quickly exceeded the software sales. We became a very successful hardware and software computer company. I had been made great. Coincidence? (Remember above, in waiting on God, I heard the Lord say: "make him great.")
In 1993, my company moved into the 13,000 square foot second floor of the building, which had been erected over the site of the slaughter house; the one that I had shaken my fist at God about, declaring the injustice of my life and my envy of those who could work in such a fine building. Coincidence?
Years before, I remember jogging from my rental house to the ocean-side sidewalk, every day passing several businesses on the way. I remember thinking — the people who work here must be the luckiest people in the world, living in a town by the ocean, and having a place to work so close by. There was a vacant lot between two of those businesses. On that same lot in 1998 my company moved into a new 10,600 square foot building which we had designed and constructed, with no debt; paying for it out of current cash flow. Coincidence?
When jogging along the oceanside walkway every day, I would often pass a wooded trail with a creek running beside it, leading into a residential section. I remember thinking, those people who live up that trail are very fortunate. A few years later in 1989, up that same trail, we custom built a new house, now with no mortgage. I jog up and down that trail every day on my way to and from the ocean sidewalk. Coincidence?
For the next fifteen years, (1988 to 2003), the Lord told me to read nothing but George Fox's Letters and Journal, which I did. I would read a letter or two out loud to my wife every morning when awakening. I didn't know why, but I was being prepared to produce this web site. I had often thought about publishing George Fox's writings on the web, but one of Fox's own letters advised to publish nothing, unless it was commanded by the Lord; so I never seriously considered it. After reading his wonderful writings for fifteen years every day, when I came back to reading the Bible, it began to make sense without having to ignore the scriptures calling for holiness, perfection, purity, seeing God, being translated into the Kingdom, etc. The Word of the Lord within said: "In the past only the living knew the truth of the scriptures; secret faith, secret salvation, secret justification." Even after learning from George Fox's writings, I was still in the dark on most of those secrets until the Lord revealed them after I had started writing the website. I remember I had just finished writing the page, Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself, which the Lord had described as a home run; and later as I was reading James Parnell's, Does Christ
or Scripture Rule?, I was grieving over how poor my writing was compared to his, when the Lord said to me: "sometimes what is written from an earthly perspective is more easily understood than the heavenly." He also said, "you are able to communicate with the least knowledgeable."
In most of those years, with only a few day's exceptions, I continued to get up at 4-5 AM to wait silently on the Lord; and most weekends were for waiting. Now I get up at 2AM.
In the summer of 2005, my wife was drawn back to waiting on God, this time with an intensity that exceeded all past efforts. She waited the entire day. When things were slow at the office, I began to take time off to wait also. On Thanksgiving vacation in 2005, I decided to make an intense push. I bought some strong coffee and sat down to wait continually, except for bodily necessities. Around the second or third night I was awakened and told to go upstairs, and be strong. I was met with a time of supernatural testing; very intense, very painful. This time I didn't get angry, bitter, or fall for the bait.
There was a temptation that I had been struggling with for years; never falling to it, but often considering it. I often rationalized its possibility with twisted logic. During this testing, the voices used this logic in an attempt to persuade me to follow through on my temptation. They also took control of my heart, running it up to around 200 beats per minute, while applying intense pain. This appeal and pain followed for several hours. Despite the almost perfect logic, the net effect was to violate one of his moral laws. So I refused. I suffered, refused, suffered...etc. Each time I refused, the pain became worse. I was threatened with death if I didn't comply. I was threatened to be abandoned in my spiritual pursuit, being displeasing to the Lord for being so cowardly. I was threatened with Hell as the consequence of disobedience. I finally maintained through several iterations that if I were to die and be sent to Hell for being disobedient, then I was very sorry; but I chose to suffer the judgment, at least knowing I had tried to do the right thing. I refused to buy off on any direction that was sin as defined in scripture, choosing to die if necessary — and believe me, the possibility was real according to conventional medical thinking. After several hours, the testing stopped as I heard the words, "it is enough, few men could bear what he has endured." That is when I was introduced to the Father, which you can read about in Is There Hope for All. It was the greatest experience of my life. I also received a significant increase in the Lord's spirit, the sealing of the Holy Spirit. I was full of love for my fellow man; I was clearly different. For many activities, particularly using the computer, it was like having to learn how to all over again, very strange. This step in my journey is described in my writing on the Interim Reward, and it is the sealing of the Holy Spirit.
One of the conundrums before mentioned, explained by the Light to me was: does the past predict the future, or does the future change the past? It was clearly explained to me by Christ the Light within, that a ship can be way off course, which is a big problem at the time; but, if it changes course and arrives at the correct destination, the past has been changed to become unimportant. So the future changes the past. I suspect the Light fully knew that I was to be such a ship.
During the last six years, several wonderful things have happened and continue to happen to us as we await entry into the Kingdom. but we are also subject to completing the seven trials or troubles. You can read about our status in Our Testimony.
Learn from our mistakes. There is a complete list of deceptions in How to Benefit web page. Don't fall for the same lies and tricks. The pitfalls are plainly spelled out in greater detail, available for your reading in How to Receive the Changing Power of God. We wish you the best: a quick journey to the Kingdom of Heaven within, to live in union with Christ and the Father, to know the fruit of righteousness, which is the peace of quietness and confidence forever, to see the glory and power of God, to be filled with the Lord's joy, His perfect love, and to bask in their presence continually, forever. May you receive the blessing of God, which those, who hear and obey the word of God within, do enjoy in increasing measures.
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