BOOK REVIEW by Judi Adams
I read your wonderful, informative and riveting book. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this book and getting the information out to the body of Christ. It is badly needed today with all that is going on in so many churches. My heart breaks for those who are being led down the broad road and I will certainly share with others the truth that you have so eloquently put forth. You have really helped to open my eyes even more as I had already found some websites dealing with this very issue but you explained it much more clearly and with more details and examples.
The one thing that I ask the Lord for above all else is discernment, and I am so thankful to Him for leading me to your website and ordering your book. It is through faithful believers like you standing up for God’s truth that help me in my walk with Him. I had been searching for answers for 12 years regarding unusual and supernatural experiences that happened to me a long time ago and I think I may have found the answer in your book.
As a young believer I attended a ” Vineyard Church “. I didn’t know anything about it being charismatic. One evening we had a marvelous time of worship. The music was lively to say the least and I was in a state of expectation because there was going to be a laying on of hands by some of the people in our church and I was one of the ones who was going to be prayed over. Right before this happened though, while we were still worshipping, I saw in my mind’s eye a scene where I was a little girl dressed all in white standing at the foot of the cross watching the Lord as He hung there. I thought this vision was from God. At this point in my journey, the notion that I was a sinner in the eyes of a Holy and Righteous God had not been impressed on my heart even though I intellectually knew that I was.
The reason I am going into such detail is because of what happened next. A little while after the worship was over, it was time for hands to be laid on us and I didn’t know what to expect. Two ladies who I had never seen before (it was a very big church) came up and prayed over me, laying their hands upon me (not my head, though) and prophesied. Suddenly I started shaking wildly, and immediately I felt a presence that was literally imparted to me through them. It was so powerful that I was stunned because it was a literal physical presence, only I couldn’t see it. Of course, I thought this must be God because I am in church with two lovely ladies praying for me so how could it be anything else, and what about all those other experiences… except this was far more powerful than anything I had since encountered.
Ruth, I tell you the truth that this presence entered into my very body and it was as if there were two people living in my body. I knew that I was not alone. The only way that I could describe it as being like when a woman is pregnant (which I have been three times, so I know what it’s like) and she has a child in her, only this was not a child but another living person. But I was not thinking this other person’s thoughts but my own. I felt like I was linked to something so divine that it literally and radically changed me. (These are the sorts of experiences that you explain so well in your book, and how Satan comes as an angel of light in such experiences, to practitioners in many different religions.) Immediately, all fear left me, I felt that I was invincible, that God Himself was literally indwelling in me and I felt courageous, bold and wanted to tell people that Jesus really was alive. I felt that whereby before I believed by simple faith now I had a “knowing” or assurance that God Himself was in me and He was really and truly alive! I completely believed it was God because of the way I felt.
This experience also gave me the most incredible feeling of bliss and rapture for many, many months to come. (In your book, you show how common this is in other, mystic religions.) The strange part of all this was the ladies who were praying for me were saying that God was there with us, that He was pleased with me and had given me a new name and the gift of Evangelism. Needless to say, I completely believed and took as gospel everything they told me. I thought they were some kind of very special ladies to have such power (presence) flowing through them like that into me.
I even received a scripture that I was led to a few weeks later to affirm my experience. It was Acts 1:8. I was so dazed from what had happened that I had trouble living in reality. I could hardly work, pay bills or do anything that involved daily living. All I could eat, drink, think about and talk about was my Jesus (as I thought).
I’m sorry to go into such detail but the end result of all of this was that I immediately and quite zealously started telling everyone who would listen that Jesus was alive, that He was real and that he had changed me and that there really was a spiritual world around us that most of us weren’t aware of, but suddenly now I was very much aware of everything because of this experience. Ruth, this did not make me humble at all but spiritually arrogant and conceited and I thought that I must be very special for God to anoint me like this. I thought because I was Jewish that He had chosen me for something wonderful. I immediately started speaking in churches after that and in retreats. I now think that it was a mistake to allow me to do that.
I know now that to be in the true presence of God makes one totally the opposite of what I was. Many years later, I had to repent and ask God to forgive me for my horrible spiritual conceit. I also had to ask others to forgive me as well. But I had many questions about all these experiences, which you book has finally helped me understand.
God dwells in the broken and contrite heart and mine certainly wasn’t. All that experience did for me was give me the hunger for more power, more presence but was it really Jesus? I think not but sometimes I still wonder. At least now I know that as long as I avoid forbidden spiritual practices, I will be safe and protected by God. The wondering is in the past.
I was always looking for the next high and I was never quite satisfied with just the Word of God. I thought that I needed something more, but God brought me to my knees in repentance when He showed me the power of His Word.
Now many years later, God has graciously granted me godly sorrow and faith in His marvelous Son through His glorious Word, the Word that pricks the heart and brings godly sorrow leading to repentance. This Word is the true life, not all the experiences I was seeking, all the experiences I was chasing after because I thought they were of God. I thank God that He was so gracious to me during that bizarre time in my life and led me to the truth. I do not ever want any other spirit to lead me except Jesus of Nazareth (God’s Son, Immanuel) and I cling to His word for my very life. The reason that I felt compelled to describe Him is because I know now that there are other “Jesus'” out there, counterfeits, and I only want the one true living God to lead me. I desire to bring Him honor and glory and to stand for His truth as He gives me boldness. Real boldness to declare His word, to tell others of the deceiving spirits, and to love Him to the end.
I’m sorry to go into such detail; I certainly didn’t plan to write such a long email but I wanted to share a personal experience and how it almost led me down to destruction.
Once again, thank you for your wonderful book. It has helped me so much. I will probably read it again and hope to lend it to others as well.