1. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 17:23
    Portions of personal testimonies are included with comments on certain aspects of them. My interest is Christian testimoninials.

    From Cairo Egypt (an excerpt)


    I Love Jesus

    I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt and attended a denomination. In 1985 I lost my mom in a car accident. In 1988 I lost my dad to a heart attack. I began wondering if God really exists, and if so, where He is and if He loves and cares for me at all. During my last year of medical school, my younger brother left to live in the United States. I stayed in Egypt until April or May 1997. Then I received a letter from my brother telling me he had received Christ.

    ...

    In September of 1998, on my way back home from a party, I heard this clear speaking, “Follow Me.” I said, “Who are You?” and was answered “I am God, Jesus the Christ. Do you want to know Who I am, if I exist or not?” I started crying like crazy and said, “Give me a sign. Make the car in front of me signal right then left.” And it signaled exactly as I asked. God's speaking never stopped and the real living with God for me started right there. I asked where should I go, as the apostle Paul had in Acts, and the answer was clearly to go to my brother's place. Early the next day I opened the Bible and began to read although I wasn't certain where to begin. I called my brother and said, “I need to meet with you. I need to tell you something.” When I told about my experience, he hugged me and wept. He said, “I was praying. We were all praying.” I said, “Who are we?” And he told me, “All the brothers.” Later my brother brought some other believers to visit me at my work. We prayed together and I received Jesus. I realized my need to be baptized, and on September 11 I was baptized. Since then my life with Jesus, sweet Jesus, continues. I love Jesus and love Him dearly.

    RWF


    I enjoy how the merciful God gave this asker a definite response for a request for an indication.

    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=NYC&2=007
  2. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 17:33
    Anonymous from Dallas Texas. I believe her account.


    A Living Person

    I am a housewife with two loving children and a giving husband. I received my college degree 15 years ago. It was in college that my life was radically changed.

    I received the Lord Jesus into my heart at the beginning of my senior year of high school. My salvation was real, but was stunted because of my superstitious belief of God. God to me was some kind of spiritual ghost who I was always to be afraid of. Not until I went to college were my eyes enlightened to see that God is not a scary spiritual ghost, but is a true and living Person. Furthermore, this wonderful Person is very enjoyable and experiential.

    I began experiencing Christ in an inward way when I began attending a Bible study on campus. In this Bible study I met a very special group of believers who daily lived and expressed Christ. Over the next few months, because of their care and their shepherding, I began tasting Christ as life. My heart was drawn to Him to love Him and desire Him. I was also drawn to Christ by their living testimony of Him, and I longed to have this kind of life for myself--that is, a life and a living that daily fellowships with Christ and His people (1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 John 1:3).


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=DAL&2=006

    "Tasting Christ as life". I know what she means. A sweet subjective enjoyment of a Person, an unusual one yet a real and supernatural one. Christ is available. An astounding fact and the "good news." Jesus in His form as the Holy Spirit is a living Person - available for our fellowship.

    "the last Adam became a life giving Spirit" ( 1 Cor. 15:45 )
  3. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 17:42
    Faith Comes through Hearing

    Many years ago, while I was still in high school, my sister came to tell me of the love of Jesus. At that time I received the Lord into my heart. Afterwards I became dissatisfied and confused. My sister had never again talked about or mentioned the Lord Jesus again. Is this all there is to my salvation? Now do I just wait for the Lord to return to make everything better? This was my concept. I grew up in a Baptist denomination and all I remember of their teaching was that we were being saved from hell fire and brimstone. I grew increasingly cold toward the Lord and religion, and after many years I had stopped going to church. My mother would plead with me to go to the Easter sunrise service every year. Eventually I had turned my back on this too. I was fully in the world and not separated from it.

    After I married, my wife and I had started to look at our lives and our beliefs. I worked for a time with a man who claimed to have “spiritual insight,” psychic abilities and out of body experiences. These things were interesting to us, but they did not fill the void in my life. I knew that the Lord had saved me, and by His mercy I was unable to enter the world of the occult. Always in my being I sensed that this was not for me. After many more years we decided to go back to church. It was through a denomination that we both felt the need to be baptized. After a few times meeting with this group, we were both baptized. Hallelujah! Again, I felt as though I had somehow grown closer to the Lord. As before, there was little or no care for my spiritual progress. Again I felt that I was left without any direction.

    My wife and I moved into a small home under some most remarkable circumstances. I believe today that this was the sovereign hand of God placing us there. One warm evening while my wife was working and the kids were in bed I was lying in bed with the bedroom window open. It was fairly early and I just lay down to rest. I heard some sort of speaking from my neighbor's home. They were calling loudly on the name of the Lord Jesus! After a time they started repeating and repeating aloud verses right out of the Bible. This was so strange to me that I tried to peer out my window to see for sure where this had come from. My neighbor's living room window sort of faced our direction but I could not see what was going on. I just lay back in bed and listened to them pray and call on the name of the Lord. At first I was offended because I felt as though I knew the Lord. After all I had accepted Him into my heart about 9 years before. Also I considered my baptism. I knew right then that my faith was not so strong as the people next door to us. How could anyone call on the name of the Lord so boldly? The more I listened the more I was convicted. I prayed a simple prayer to the Lord in great big tears. I prayed, “Lord, I desire to have a faith so strong as to call on Your name just like our neighbors.” RJS


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=DAL&2=010

    What I like about this person's experience is how faith was encreased by hearing people enjoy the word of God and calling upon the name of Jesus. He is rich to all who call upon Him. I too can say with the Psalmist -

    " I love the Lord because HE HEARD MY VOICE, my supplication,

    Because He inclines His ear to me; Therefore I will call upon Him all my days." (Psalm 116:1,2)


    I
  4. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    02 May '16 17:49
    Originally posted by sonship
    Portions of personal testimonies are included with comments on certain aspects of them. My interest is Christian testimoninials.

    [b]From Cairo Egypt
    (an excerpt)

    [quote]
    I Love Jesus

    I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt and attended a denomination. In 1985 I lost my mom in a car accident. In 1988 I lost my dad to a heart attack. I began ...[text shortened]... equest for an indication.

    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=NYC&2=007[/b]
    As a mental health professional I would be curious to know if the voice he heard was a one off experience or if he continues to hear voices.

    I know that sounds harsh, but every day I see clients who hear voices in their heads, many actually claiming those voices come from God. - Indeed, trauma is often the catalyst for mental health issues, including voices and hallucinations, and the chap who gave the testimonial clearly experienced trauma.

    How do you know where mental health ends and God begins?
  5. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 18:104 edits
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    As a mental health professional I would be curious to know if the voice he heard was a one off experience or if he continues to hear voices.


    I have heard of dramatic testimonies like this often from people in parts of the world where the odds seem more strongly against them in terms of hearing the Gospel.

    Not everyone comes to Jesus in such a dramatic way, speaking of a voice. But I know a Iranian woman whose testimony I believe, which is similar to this.

    It is interesting that skeptical people in one moment complain that Christ is too narrow and not willing to reach people in "far off" places. And then when He does graciously manifest Himself to them in a more dramatic manner, the skeptics still have something else to complain about, like you are doing here.

    I know that sounds harsh, but every day I see clients who hear voices in their heads, many actually claiming those voices come from God.


    Your profession is a good one and sorely needed. And we are thankful for your professional training. Of course there are Christian psychiatric workers too. There are Christian psychologists too. There are Christian mental workers also.

    And broad generalizations that God would never go to this extent to reach someone are assumption overreach.

    That such occurrences are rare, I would grant. That they could never be, I would not grant.

    How do you know where mental health ends and God begins?


    I offer no cut and dry easy reply.

    - Indeed, trauma is often the catalyst for mental health issues, including voices and hallucinations, and the chap who gave the testimonial clearly experienced trauma.


    Often is not "always". Often is often. And exceptions are not impossible.
    Testimonials of people coming to Christ is Moslem nations or where odds are not in their favor to receive a presentation of the Gospel, I have noticed, may be more dramatic.

    He desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.
    I rather rejoice. Not that this manner must be the norm but that at times God would go so far to attract a lost sinner.
  6. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 18:26
    A man from Bolivia - a man fleeing from religion and brought into the living Christ and the rich normal church life:


    A Happy Finder

    I was born in 1976 in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, into a family of eight children, of which I am the third. I lived there for the first eight years of my life. After that my parents moved to Blue Creek, Belize in 1984, for which I am eternally glad. They moved not because of outward things but because of religion. The religious beliefs of how to be saved were very outward, such as what you wear, not driving cars, not having music, no electricity, etc. I didn't know it then, but I realized in a couple of years that my parents were seeking for Christ and His satisfaction.

    I received the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior at the age of 12, I would say partly out of fear for my eternal destiny, and partly because I loved Jesus because he died for me. Not many years after that, I found out that even though I was saved (and I knew I was saved) I was looking for something more, some deeper satisfaction. Shortly after, I joined a Mennonite religion, but I soon found that this was not what I was looking for.

    In July of 1991, I for the first time met the Christian brothers and sisters in the local church. What a happy day! From the first time I met these brothers and sisters I knew that they had what I was seeking. What made me want to continue meeting with them was not so much what they said at first, but what I saw. I saw that not only did they have the Lord, but also they enjoyed and loved him in a genuine way. What they had was real. I'm ever thankful to the Lord that in His mercy he led me to find these brothers and sisters in the local churches. Not only have they led me to enjoy the Lord Jesus in a real way, love Him more and know the truth in the Bible, but I have found that the Lord is a real and living Person, whom I can enjoy, with all the brothers and sisters.

    I would say the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, is to find and meet with the brothers and sisters in the local churches. To the Lord be the glory forever and ever. Amen. F.B.


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=BLZ&2=002
  7. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    02 May '16 19:14
    Originally posted by sonship
    As a mental health professional I would be curious to know if the voice he heard was a one off experience or if he continues to hear voices.


    I have heard of dramatic testimonies like this often from people in parts of the world where the odds seem more strongly against them in terms of hearing the Gospel.

    Not everyone comes to Jesus ...[text shortened]... hat this manner must be the norm but that at times God would go so far to attract a lost sinner.
    A couple of points:

    Suzianne has mentioned once or twice that God does not want to interfere with man's freewill and that man must come to Him of his own volition. (Apologies that these are not her exact words). Wouldn't hearing the voice of God therefore be an infringement on man's freewill?

    I think my most pertinent question was 'How do you know where mental health ends and God begins?' to which you answered 'I offer no cut and dry easy reply.' (Which to be honest is slightly disappointing). My reply to your post was less as a skeptic and more a mental health practitioner who encounters people regularly who hear voices. I was not 'complaining' about God 'graciously manifesting himself in a dramatic manner' but suggesting professionally that you at least take mental health into consideration when presenting these testimonials.
  8. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 22:134 edits
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Suzianne has mentioned once or twice that God does not want to interfere with man's freewill and that man must come to Him of his own volition. (Apologies that these are not her exact words). Wouldn't hearing the voice of God therefore be an infringement on man's freewill?


    I don't think so.

    I had a friend who I loved very much. I shared the Gospel with him again and again. One day he told me the he prayed and told Jesus Christ that he didn't want him.

    He seemed to have enough belief to speak to God that he wanted nothing to do with Him. I assume that even if God should manifest Himself to someone in this unusual way, that person could still close their heart and say no.

    Hebrews 3:15

    "While it is said, 'Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the day of provocation."


    That passage suggests that you could "hear" God in one way or the other, and harden your heart. We should not.



    I think my most pertinent question was 'How do you know where mental health ends and God begins?' to which you answered 'I offer no cut and dry easy reply.' (Which to be honest is slightly disappointing).


    The Holy Spirit is in the business of renewing the sinner's mind. As you allow Christ to enter deeper and deeper into your mind, emotion and will God does a renewing work, a healing work.

    We are all mental cases in the fallen sinful world.
    As the light of Christ shines inwardly you come to realize what a mental case you really were. Our minds have been damaged by sin.

    Some people have life long mental health problems. Some forms of depression may not automatically dissolve just because you receive Jesus. Christians are not exempt from maladies and misfortunes which inflict all other people.

    If God sees fit to allow some mental condition to persist, it functions to cause the believer to lean and trust in Christ all the more. The remaining weakness may press the person to have to take Christ all the more and even moment by moment.
  9. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 22:21
    One day they can look back at how God used that weakness to compel them, to give them the incentive to seek Jesus. He fills them. He saturates them. He spreads His life in them. And they can say one day -

    "Thankyou, old weakness. You helped me to gain more and more of Jesus Christ. I now say goodbye to you with my new glorified soul and body for the kingdom of God."

    If Jesus is only the Savior of those who have no depression, or who never suffered divorce or never lost a job or never had a parent die or a child die or some other tragic matter, then He would not be much of a Savior. He would only be the Savior of fortunate people.

    As it is He is the Savior of people who come to Him in all kinds of situations. And they find that no matter how low they feel underneath them are the eternal everlasting strong arms of the Son of God.

    Though we sink to the lowest pit we can never go lower than His mighty hands.

    " Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me." ( Psalm 23:4)


    You can NEVER be too low for Jesus Christ. And even in mental health issues which remain with one for a lifetime, Christ's everlasting arms are beneath. In His own way He will sustain and strengthen you.


    My reply to your post was less as a skeptic and more a mental health practitioner who encounters people regularly who hear voices.


    This unusual manifestation I would not expect to be a regular occurrence.
    I would expect it to be rare, particular, and infrequent.

    Anyone saying that every day they heard an audible speaking of God, I would be concerned about. But for God to meet a person in a thickly Moslem country in this dramatic way, once or twice, I would not doubt is possible.

    The Christian must learn not to linger in past experiences forever. There is much more to experience of this unsearchably rich Jesus. I am glad that person shared their experience. I doubt that that person still speaks of daily encounters with voices.



    I was not 'complaining' about God 'graciously manifesting himself in a dramatic manner' but suggesting professionally that you at least take mental health into consideration when presenting these testimonials.


    Sorry if I seemed to hard on you there.

    I do take these things into consideration.
    And this was only one out of a number of samples I submitted.
    Had they all spoken of voices or visions, that would have been rather peculiar.


    It matters less HOW one comes to Jesus. The important thing is that you COME to Jesus.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    02 May '16 22:22
    Originally posted by sonship
    We are all mental cases in the fallen sinful world.
    As the light of Christ shines inwardly you come to realize what a mental case you really were. Our minds have been damaged by sin.
    Ah, I see what you've done here. 😉
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    02 May '16 22:283 edits
    Originally posted by sonship
    Anyone saying that every day they heard an audible speaking of God, I would be concerned about. But for God to meet a person in a thickly Moslem country in this dramatic way, once or twice, I would not doubt is possible.
    Are one or two cases like this, in your mind, indicative of your God figure's sincerity and seriousness in the exercise of his "desires [that] all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth" in the country where I live?

    Those two, presumably ~ according to your ideology ~ aren't going to get tortured forever as a revenge for not being Christians.

    But what about the millions upon millions of others? Where is the evidence that the supernatural being you believe in "desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth" and is carrying it out in some way other than making people hear voices in their head?
  12. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 23:27
    I was born into a Christian family, and I received Christ at the early age of eight or nine. Although it was many years ago, I can still remember the day that I first opened my heart to the Lord Jesus. How wonderfully He cleansed me of my sins and filled me with joy and peace within! As good as my initial experience of salvation was, the next twenty years of my Christian life were very difficult for me. I attended a Christian college and eventually earned a Master's Degree in Physics. Although I tried to live a good Christian life, I was deeply troubled by my failures and was dissatisfied. Finally, I reached what I would call a dead end in my Christian experience, and I truly did not know how to go on.

    At that juncture the Lord had mercy on me. He brought me into contact with some believers in a local church in California. What impressed me about these people was their simplicity and genuineness, their experiential knowledge of Christ, and their understanding of the Bible. I had never met a group of Christians who loved the Lord so deeply and were so absolute in giving Christ the preeminence in their lives. I began to read books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and through the ministry of these two men the Bible gradually became an open book to me. For the first time I gained a clear understanding of such important matters as God's eternal purpose, Christ's redemption, God's full salvation, and the building up of the church. I saw that God created me with a human spirit and that the very Christ whom I had received twenty years before had come to dwell in my spirit (2 Timothy 4:22). Through the fellowship in the church I learned how to contact this living Christ in my spirit and how to enjoy Him and live according to Him and not according to a set of religious teachings or practices. This was a great help to my Christian life. B.D.


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=ANA&2=005

    I enjoy this testimony because even after 20 years of difficulty God was faithful to shepherd this man into a deeper experience of Christ. Practical help became his in meeting those who could help rather than hurt his faith.
  13. Standard membersonship
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    02 May '16 23:36
    The growing of Jesus within this woman made her conscience ever more keen. One begins to see things through the eyes of God. She looks back over her experience and realizes that she moved from dead superstition to a real touch with the living Christ.

    Tis marvelous !



    Something is different in me

    I grew up in a Catholic home and never minded going to mass, even continuing to go after I moved from my parent's home throughout college and after. The God I worshipped then was very far away and really big. At the age of twenty-five 25, I came to know Jesus in a more personal way, really falling in love with Him and seeking Him with other Christians. After meeting with a non-denominational fellowship for 5 years, I met some believers who were meeting as the local church. They really impressed me with how much they knew of Christ, how they lived according to the Bible and how they focused on Christ in their meetings. As I met with them, the Lord began to change me from the inside out. My conscience became keen and I realized that previously I really had not lived any different than I had when I was unsaved. This beginning of experiencing the Lord moving inwardly was something new and different. Hebrews 4:12 became my experience. Now after years of meeting with the local churches in many different states and even different countries, I can testify that here I have enjoyed the Word becoming real to me. Through the fellowship with the Christian brothers and sisters in the local churches, I found the meaning of my human life: Christ, the church, and the New Jerusalem. Praise You Lord for bringing me into such enjoyment and reality of You. M.A.


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/city.htm?1=DEV
  14. Standard membersonship
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    04 May '16 11:283 edits
    All around the world I can experience the oneness and the Body of Christ.
    This oneness transcends culture as this person's testimony indicates.

    My Wandering Days...

    Looking back I can see the hand of God in all the circumstances of my life. My life has been one of seeking for truth and fulfillment. It can be summed up in the lines of a hymn:

    My wandering days grew increasingly empty.

    As I search for the way,

    Just to fill this gap inside me-

    Found my seeking vain.

    A search in His Word found my hardened heart softened,

    And earth's vanities faded

    In the brightness of His presence

    Jesus came into me.

    Hymns #1328


    In April of 1999, I took a break from university to backpack through Europe. Before the trip I had been “church hopping” for several years. In one campus group I joined, I enjoyed myself and even experienced Christ in a small way, but this small taste just made me more hungry for spiritual growth. I needed to find a way to be more constant in my spiritual pursuit. The times of satisfaction were so few and far between. By the time I left for Europe, my view was that I would just seek the Lord on my own: I could make it on my own and I didn't need anyone else.

    The only contact I had with other believers on my whole trip was one gathering with the believers meeting with the local church in London. The rest of the three months were on my own. Although I need a deep, secret relationship with the Lord, I also need to meet with other believers. This trip showed me I couldn't “make it” on my own. When talking to a fellow believer in the local church in my city, I described to her my deep inward feeling of being “dry.” Just as the Samaritan woman in John 4 needed living water, I did too.

    Within a few months (October) I was on a plane to Taiwan, for an earthquake relief/evangelical trip. This trip revealed to me a vision of the Body of Christ. I was in a place where we all spoke different languages, had different cultures, and yet when we met together, we all had the same burden. One afternoon I looked around the room to see faces I had known for less than five days and yet really saw my brothers and sisters. I had to leave my own country to experience such oneness with believers that corresponded to God's original intention. Only within the local churches all around the world have I seen the oneness of all the members of the Body of Christ. TM


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/city.htm?1=BEL
  15. Standard membersonship
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    05 May '16 11:391 edit
    It is easy in the US to be a "cultural Christian" for years. That is not knowing the Spirit of Christ through regeneration and not being born again.

    Then it is also easy to be born again but left without nourishing care and fellowship to grow in that new life. This seeking one found both.

    I love the local church!!!

    I grew up always thinking I was a Christian. When I was 21 years old, I went to a denominational Bible study on campus and received the Lord through faith in Christ (John 3:16). I experienced a dynamic, living relationship with the Lord and gave Him my whole life through the love of Christ.

    About two months after I received the Lord, I specifically prayed for fellowship with believers who were sincerely seeking Him, loving Him, and bearing fruit at Ohio State. I told the Lord that if He just gave me fellowship with Christians that went to “church” on Sunday that I would never make it. After praying this prayer every day, (based on Matthew 7:8. “For every one who asks receives, ....” ) I met some college-age Christian brothers who were meeting with the church in Columbus. The Lord went way above and beyond what I asked for.

    At that time, I had met with four different Christian groups. It was clear to me that the Lord was pleased with the believers meeting on the ground of oneness because: 1) He answered my prayer for seeking ones; 2) The brothers had amazing revelation from the Lord in the Word of God; 3) I saw such oneness; 4) I saw that they were people overcoming and reigning in the Lord's life over Satan (Romans 5:17); 5) I saw that there were normal families (WOW, check out the believers that grew up in the local church; they are so normal and in love with the Lord). The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:17, “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit.” Also in Matthew 7:20, “So then, by their fruits you will recognize them.”


    http://www.localchurches.org/testimonies/testimony.htm?1=COL&2=003
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