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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Day I met the God I Never Knew




Perhaps it was a rip tide, but Sister Mei also had a vision of a malevolent hand pulling her out to sea.

While she enjoyed the beach in southern China for the first time in her life, she worried about hardships she faced and her prospects for the future. She was divorced — abandoned by her husband. And she was on vacation at Sanya Beach with her boyfriend, a married man.


“I had never seen the ocean before, For some reason, I felt that if I could see the ocean, a lot of my questions could be answered.”

“My husband left me after I gave birth. On the third day, he came to the hospital for the last time. He just disappeared. It really hurt me,” she said. “That’s how I started to take my life in the wrong direction.”

With “no future, no job, no money, no dignity and no identity,” she was approached by a married man and agreed to go to the beach with him. She left her daughter at home with her parents. As she brooded over her “totally hopeless” situation in the water, she lost track of the shore.

Without warning she was startled by what felt like a hand grabbing her ankle. Having grown on the Yangtze.

River, she was an able swimmer, but she was not prepared for rip tides.

“From the bottom of my heart, my mind, my soul, I cried out, Who can help me?’” she said.
Then she began to be hauled seaward.
“There was a hand holding my ankle dragging me down into the water. I was frightened,” Mei said. “I did everything I could to swim to the shore, but I couldn’t.”
 

She tried calling for help. That’s when she felt a hand around her throat choking back the words. Someone on her right turned his back to her, oblivious to her peril. Another on the left also turned his back to her.

“I could not make any noise,” Mei said. “My mouth was moving. I was asking for help, but no noise came out from my mouth. The hand was holding me tighter and tighter.”

Now in deeper water, her body began swirling in the torrent. A wave formed over her head. At the crest of the wave in her vision she saw a horrible face.
“The minute I saw that face, I knew it was the devil. I never was taught about the devil, but I knew it was the devil,” she said. “It was huge. It was coming on the top of the wave. It came to me and it said, ‘I’m going to kill you today.’ When I saw that, I knew I was finished. There was no hope. I was dying.”
When the wave crashed over her face, she choked on the salty brine. She was tossed by waves as she kicked and paddled, trying in vain to reach the shore. She thought of her parents and daughter, Weiwei.

“Mom, Dad, Weiwei, I’m sorry,” she said, beginning to resign herself to death. “They didn’t even know where I was. I never told them where I was, so if I died that day, they would be very disappointed.”
But if the devil seemingly had her in his grip, God’s strong hand was ready to move. Despondent, she cried out to One unknown to her. “My God…” she cried with all her strength. “I had no understanding of what I was saying,” she recounted.

Immediately, the heavens opened and a large dove descended on her. With no prior knowledge of the Bible, surprisingly, she recognized the dove as the Holy Spirit.

Then she saw a tall man in a robe with an aura of light. He motioned with one hand, through which a ray of light penetrated, drawing a semi circle. With that motion, her entire life was played before her eyes like a video, and the words “deadly sin” appeared next to the places in her life when she committed sins.

“I could not believe I was such a filthy sinful person,” she remembered. Her immediate reaction was she deserved death by drowning, but then she heard a voice of compassion.

“My child you have come back at last,” the voice said. “I have been waiting for you so long.”
Then she beheld a startling sight: Out of the man’s heart poured water and blood! She understood this was for her sin.

“I had broken His heart. All the sins had hurt Him and had been hurting Him always,” Mei said. “My depravity, debauchery, immorality, my ignorance, stubbornness, rebellion, stubbornness. Never for a moment had I stopped. Every sin I had committed was like a sharp knife that injured Him deeply.”
Then she saw a pure love pouring from his eyes. “Is that for me?” she asked.

“Yes, it is for you,” he replied. “I love you and never expect anything back from you.”

“I had never experienced such an unconditional love. I burst into tears. Why do you love me? I’m lonely and in pain.  Love kept coming to me like waves.”
Mei was still in danger of drowning. Then she heard a voice from Heaven again: “Go, help her!”

Suddenly a man appeared out of nowhere and dragged her to shore. Resting on the sand, she was trembling and exhausted. She lay down and slept, asking herself: Who was the man of the vision? How did he know her whole life? How did she get pulled ashore? What was the light?

“That night I met the God I never knew,” she said.
Though she had encountered God, still she didn’t know anything about Him. When she returned to her village, she found a church and asked for a Bible. At that time in China, Bibles were scarce, and so she had to wait some months.

When she finally obtained a Bible, she devoured it, beginning in Genesis. Everything seemed foreign, difficult for her to understand. She began attending an English class taught by “Doug,” who included messages of the gospel in his teaching.

After a year, the Bible resonated with her.  When she finally got to the Gospel of John when Jesus told Thomas to stick his thumb in his nail hole. She remembered the ray of light that shot through the hand of the robed man in the vision at the beach.

Wei finally received Jesus into her heart as her Lord and Savior and was born again, the beginning of a journey that would take her in directions she could never imagine.




 excerpted from http://blog.godreports.com/2016/02/raised-an-atheist-in-communist-china-she-came-to-christ-when-she-nearly-drowned/
 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lessons From Padre Pio


Padre Pio seemed to know aspects of the lives of his penitents which they tried to hide from him or even from themselves. 

Albert Cardone first learned of Padre Pio in 1944, when he was eighteen, through the testimony of a neighbor, whose name he could not disclose because she may still have been alive at the time when he related the incident in March 1990:

 "She went to confession. Padre Pio, before giving her absolution, said, 'Try to remember the other sin.' The woman said, 'Padre, I think I gave you all the sins I know and I think this is it.' Padre Pio said, 'Then, for your penance, go to the cross to say fifteen Ave Marias and fifteen Our Fathers.' 

Now the cross was at the top of the mountain. The penance was not the Aves or the Our Fathers, it was the journey to get there, as it was a very bad road... So she did that and said the prayers and went back to Padre Pio for a second confession and Padre Pio asked, 'Do you remember all your sins?' She said, 'Padre Pio, I've confessed everything.' 

Padre Pio said. 'No, you still don't remember all. You've got to go to the cross at the top of the mountain again.'


She went for the second time and when she still did not remember he sent her for the third time to the cross on the mountaintop. When she returned for the third time for confession, Padre Pio asked, 'So, do you remember everything now?' She replied, 'No, Padre, I don't have anything more to confess.' Then Padre Pio said in a loud voice, 'What do you mean, you don't remember anything? 

Don't you know he could have been a good priest, a bishop, even a cardinal?' She started to think and then began to cry, 'Father,' she said, 'I never knew abortion was a sin.' 

'What do you mean,' he said, 'you didn't know that this was a sin...Abortion is Murder!'  

Then she said, Nobody knows about this, only me and my mother. How could you say the baby would have been a priest or a cardinal?'  Padre Pio responded by saying, 'It's a sin, a despicably evil sin.' 

Padre Pio On Abortion of Children
with Possible Disabilities


The following was told by Mary Pyle to author Dorothy Gaudiose: 

One morning, Mary met a distinguished-looking woman who asked Mary to pray for her. The woman was accompanied by two of her daughters, one fourteen years old and the other four. The older daughter was deaf and dumb, but the younger one was normal. The woman had left her other two children at home-a girl and a boy, both deaf and dumb. 


Between spells of sobbing, the woman told Mary why she was there. On her third pregnancy, when she already had two deaf and dumb daughters and was feeling the same symptoms she had experienced during her first two pregnancies, she feared that the third would also be born deaf and dumb. Both she and her husband felt that they would not be able to stand the suffering of seeing most of their children deaf and dumb. 


The struggle was great, but finally, with her husband’s consent, the woman made the decision to have an abortion. From that moment on, she had no peace. The woman went to confession. The priest who heard her confession, after sharply rebuking her, extracted a promise from her that she would do no such thing again, and absolved her. Still, she did not feel calm. 

As her uneasy continued, she decided to go to Padre Pio.  With trepidation she approached Padre Pio’s confessional. He had no sooner opened the shutter than he shouted at her: "Assassin! You have murdered your child!" And he closed the shutter of his confessional and left. 


Pierced by suffering, the woman returned home and told her husband everything that had occurred. They were both distraught and spent several days wondering what they had done and about what they had been told. 


The woman became pregnant again. This time a boy was born; and he too was deaf and dumb. The woman returned to San Giovanni Rotondo. In the confessional, Padre Pio said to her only these words:

 "Do God’s will." 

The woman had still another child. This one was a beautiful little girl. Padre Pio, after blessing the oldest of the woman’s daughters, placed his hand on the newborn girl’s head and, looking into the mother’s eyes, said: 

"You see what comes of doing God’s will? This little girl will always be good, beautiful, clever. She will always remain beside her mother." 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jesus Christ is the Key to all locks

"Seek Me in the midst of the battle," the Lord spoke in an inspiration,  to a Christian woman named Sarah Young.

 "Sometimes events whirl around you so quickly that they become a blur. Whisper My Name in recognition that I am still with you. Without skipping a beat in the activities that occupy you, you find strength and peace through praying My Name. Later, when the happenings have run their course, you can talk with Me more fully. Accept each day as it comes to you. Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances. Instead, trust Me enough to yield to My design and purposes," 

Sarah wrote in Jesus Calling. "Remember that nothing can separate you from My loving Presence; you are Mine. Nothing can separate us, that is, but hatred; but confusion."

Power comes quickly when we think of Him in that desert and repeat over and over in our minds in the midst of busyness or perplexity:  

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..."  






Thursday, February 4, 2016

Randall Rathbun sees Almight GOD After Major Car Accisnt



He was a computer scientist-engineer working on avionics for the F-22 stealth fighter aircraft in 2002 when he suffered a nervous breakdown and a massive automobile crash in which he nearly died.
As his car hurtled through the air and hit a freeway stanchion and a tree that hot August night, God gave him a spectacular vision of the afterlife that changed his life.


He attended church regularly and was part of a worship team, but something was amiss. “I wish I could say I lived a pure, pristine life, but I wasn’t and that’s what got me in trouble,” he recounts.
“On Saturday evenings I was living a double life. I was going down to San Diego, visiting prostitutes, not realizing I was setting myself up for a very serious encounter with reality. Every time I visited a prostitute, my conscience would severely condemn me and I always ended up feeling more filthy and dirty in my spirit than ever before.”

As he drove north on Highway 163 in his Mitsubishi Eclipse toward his home in Escondido, he suffered a nervous breakdown.
A nervous breakdown or mental breakdown is usually temporary in nature, and often tied to psychological burnout, severe overwork, or other stresses that may temporarily overwhelm someone who is otherwise sound mentally.


As his car raced ahead at high speed, he thought he heard a voice telling him to take his hands off the wheel. By the time he put his hands back on the wheel it was too late. The car was out of control, went off the shoulder, and hurtled into the freeway stanchion and a eucalyptus tree.

 Suddenly I awoke to find myself arising about 20 feet above my car, but bound in chains,” Rathbun recounts. “I struggled with all my might to break free, but it was totally useless.”


He could not imagine where he was. Then he began to fall. “The sensation of falling continued to grow as I picked up speed. It felt like an elevator in free fall. I could sense that my descent was quickening, faster and faster.”

He was not prepared for what happened next. “An extremely loud scream burst right beside my head.” The scream was so loud, it almost deafened him.
“It was a voice that was screaming like a jet engine… an angry defiant voice…

And I recognized what it now was saying…”
“He’s mine, he’s mine,” the voice screamed. “His name is liar, liar, liar, and I am taking him to the Lake of Fire.”
Down he went, descending into darkness and smoke.
He cried out amidst the onrush of gloom, “Why?”
Suddenly three scriptures appeared before him, written, but somehow also spoken. He says those three Scriptures are burned indelibly in his mind.
The first said, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)

The second said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.” (John 8:34)

Then a third spoke to him, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap” (Galatians 6:7)
“As I heard the third living verse, I was stung right through the heart, totally rebuked.” Suddenly the remembrance of his secret sins flooded upon him in a convicting manner.

His willful sins, uncleanness, and defiance of God’s clear teaching flashed into his mind. “I could see a long, long trail of sexual sins. Worse yet, I could see how I had deceived myself.”
 
“I had truly deceived myself into believing that I could willfully sin, yet God’s grace would cover me.”
Now he realized he deceived himself, but had not fooled God at all. He felt God would not forgive him and he was about to receive the full payment for his disobedience.

“I became paralyzed by fear as a worse thought gripped my soul. It was a thought so tremendous in magnitude that human minds cannot comprehend it fully while on earth. I was going to hell for all eternity, forever and ever and ever.”
“No matter how long I could think, eternity was yet an infinite distance beyond that.”
He realized that God is perfectly just and he was about to receive that perfect justice, the fruit of his sin.

As he descended, the atmosphere became unbearable. “It began to get very warm and oppressive. I began to have trouble breathing; it was as if thick smoke was starting to smother everything.”
Then he heard a strange roar — people screaming!
“It was the worst screams you can imagine…thousands of people screaming… no… millions of people screaming.”
“The screams were so awful, that you couldn’t bear them. Just one scream alone would make the hair on the back of your arm stand up. But I was hearing millions of them,” he recounts.

“Everything was discordant and worse, everything was a scream of pain, beyond anyone’s imagination. It was screams of torment… screams of pain, screams of suffering, screams of obscenities, screams of rebellion, but most of all — screams of hell by the damned.”


Then he heard a new sound, as terrifying as the screams. The sound was caused by flames of fire, a conflagration beyond description.
“It sounded like continuing rolling thunder, or of flames consuming but yet not consuming. I had heard fire while living on the earth and had seen 100 foot flames incinerate hillsides in a few seconds, but the flames on earth were nothing compared to the sound I was beginning to hear.”


Suddenly, a very loud popping sound rang out, like gunshot being fired next to his head from a 30-30 Winchester or M80 firecrackers. The popping sounds rang out as he was about to hit the Lake of Fire.
Then things went dark.

In his vision, his chained body hurtled downward toward the Lake of Fire and he heard awful screams and felt choking smoke and heat. He also saw three Scriptures that convicted him about his double life. He had been attending church regularly but visiting prostitutes on the weekend.
 

As the roar of hell’s fiery flames rose to meet him, suddenly everything went dark for a second and he found himself 3,000 miles above the earth.
“The first thing I said, was ‘I got out, I don’t know how I escaped, how I got out.”


Then Rathbun had a personal encounter with God the Father. Rathbun says the Father was obscured so he could not see him.

“My son, you have an important decision to make and I’m going to let you make the decision and give you all the time you need to make it,” the Father began.
Rathbun was struck by His authority. “His voice had so much authority the universe would shake. You couldn’t get any more authority than that voice. It was the authority that said ‘let there be light’ and it was done. I had never heard that kind of authority my whole life.”

Then the Father said something that surprised him: “I trust you my son.”

“I hadn’t heard my own earthly dad say that in 51 years. My own dad didn’t trust me. Here was the person with the most authority telling me he trusted me.”
Rathbun tried to argue with Him. “This doesn’t make any sense at all. I was almost in hell. I almost hit the Lake of Fire. I did everything to disobey you. I went against your Word. How could you trust me?”
“I know all that and I have put all that on my own Son,” He said. Rathbun knew that all his sins had been placed on Jesus on the cross, but now, it became much more real. It was only by the precious blood of Jesus shed on the cross that atoned for his sins and allowed him to escape the judgment he deserved in hell.

Then the Father told Rathbun he would let him see areas of heaven. “After you are done sampling these areas of heaven you can decide where you want to go and be.”

Then Rathbun went on the tour of his life. The first thing that struck him was the immensity of heaven. “It is huge. It is a very joyous place. Everywhere I looked was praise and worship. All of heaven was permeated with wonderful joy, very harmonious. It was the opposite of hell with people screaming and yelling. I went from night into day, darkness into light. Now I could see how good the good really was,” he recounts.
 

Universities in heaven
The first area of heaven Rathbun visited involved education. “I had been a magna summa cum laude graduate from college. I was valedictorian of my high school and college. The Father let me know there are universities of learning in heaven.”
“He reminded me that all knowledge comes from Himself.” Rathbun was startled to find areas in heaven with colleges similar to his earthly experience. However, one difference is that none of the books and none of the instruction contain anything in error, only truth.

The Father told him he could continue to grow in his understanding of mathematics. “Math is not an earthly invention; it is something God overlaid on all creation,” Rathbun notes. “Mathematics is how God puts things together. God is a lawful God and mathematics is a pure description of God’s law.”

Artistic endeavors continue
In the second area he visited he saw people engaged in artistic activities, making crafts and other things with their own hands.

“I had finished carpentry for five years and had done well. The Father knew I had a carpentry talent. He showed me the place where you take your gifts. He knows the gifts and talents he gave you,” and encourages you to further develop them in heaven.
“You can be a carpenter here like my son,” the Father told him.

“I saw women working with embroidery, making the most incredible tapestries for the homes in heaven. They were using transparent but shiny cloth. It vastly exceeded anything on earth. The women did it out of love. One of the joys of heaven is to continue to make things like this – fine furniture, jewelry, and gifts to give to each other.”

The orchards of heaven
Then God placed Rathbun in the middle of an apricot orchard. “There are vast orchards in heaven,” he reports. “John writes about the Tree of Life and the 12 fruits.”

Rathbun inspected ripe apricots on the trees. “Everything glows with light up there and is transparent. You can actually see through the stuff. It is not like matter down here. It is like looking at glass but they are living things, glowing with the light of God.”

“The flowers were blooming and fruitful at the same time,” he notes. “I could smell the apricot fragrance and it was indescribable, with a slight hint of almond. Then I saw orange groves, pears, all perfect fruit, no blemishes, no yellow leafs. It was very alive.”

Meaningful fellowship
Then God showed him a social center in heaven. Rathbun had always wanted to develop his speaking abilities. “Things didn’t work out in high school and I didn’t get on the debate team,” he recalls.
“Perhaps you would like to learn how to share the truth of heaven,” the Father told him.
Then Rathbun saw crowds learning how to speak “with heaven’s standards.”

“There were also groups meeting together, having fellowship with one another, social centers, areas all over where people could gather for talking, and fellowship.

Then he took me to two other areas that had to do with heaven itself. “He would not allow me to remember this part. It was like a very special treasure waiting for God to unwrap and show you. It is not in my conscious memory,” he says.

The throne room
The ultimate was saved for last, when God gave him a glimpse of the throne room. “The Father had masked out himself in the center because the light was so bright it would have instantly blinded me. What was going on above the throne was what he wanted me to fully taste and experience. Right above the throne there is a rainbow, and that rainbow is multicolored.”
“The part I focused in on was absolutely incredible, gorgeous violet, a deep purple color. The seraphim were immersed in that flame. It was a fire, very hot; it was very pure.

“The seraphim were in there singing and they were going back and forth in a semicircular pattern in that rainbow.”

It seemed to Rathbun they actually passed through each other, with one group traveling clockwise and another group moving counter-clockwise. “Their singing and worship was absolutely the most incredible worship you have ever had a chance to hear.

“Isaiah said he was undone when he heard the seraphim singing. When I heard them sing I was totally melted down instantly on the spot from the beauty and purity and the holiness of that worship. It was in 16 or more part harmony. They were unified in this incredible, holy, worship. I was pulled right into that.”

“I told the Father, ‘Here is where I want to be for eternity. This is the best part of heaven.’”
Then God pulled him away from the throne room. He said, “No, I want you to make a fair decision. If I allowed you to stay longer with the seraphim, it would have fixed things for all eternity.”
Rathbun was “miffed” that he was pulled away from such an incredible scene of beauty, purity, and holiness. He sat for a moment, trying to take it all in.
“Have you made up your mind yet?” the Father asked.


How could I answer the Father? he thought. All heaven is so wonderful, beyond imagination. “I don’t know what to say or do. I need your help,” Rathbun replied.

“Gladly, my son, I will help you,” the Father said.

A tapestry of his life
 Then God unfolded a tapestry “like an excel spreadsheet” that described Rathbun’s life. “I saw the beginning where I was born. The 18 years until I was born again were grayed out. After that the things counted. It was a beautiful tapestry.”
Rathbun peered with curiosity at one section of the tapestry and asked, “What is that?”
“Those are your eternal rewards. I have planned (rewards for) everyone’s life. If they are obedient to my will, their tapestry is filled in with my divine works.


“This is different from salvation,” Rathbun notes. “No one can earn salvation. But there are rewards that come from cooperating with God. He showed me the tapestry up to the automobile accident. He showed me the tapestry into the future and I had 30-35 years to go.”

As a result of his vision Rathbun thinks he will live to be 80-85.

“Why are there are more rewards after the accident?” he asked God.

“Because you have decided to more fully obey me.”
Then Rathbun remembered he had just been rescued from hell and the Father had offered him the very best of heaven.

“I realized God had purely loved me with totally unselfish motives and he had not said one thing about what he wanted.”

So he turned to God and said, “Wait a second, Father, You just gave me the very best you had. You haven’t said one thing about what you want. Heaven is about love and I should be loving you. So I’m going to ask you, what do you want? What is your will?”
Rathbun could feel the Father smiling after he said that.


“He made me know he wanted me to come back to earth and talk about Him. He told me what was going to happen in the auto accident very lovingly and caringly. It was like he said. There would be broken bones and lacerations, blood all over and contusions, and much pain.”

“I want to go back,” he told the Father.
“Are you sure?”

“If I can hold your hand I can get thru anything.”
The Father beamed when he said that. “You have made a wise decision,” he said.

Return to a painful reality
Instantly Rathbun was back in the car flying through the air as it hit a eucalyptus tree. “I was screaming in pain. It was just as bad as he told me.”
Rathbun cried out, “No, no I want to go back to heaven.”

The Holy Spirit reminded him, Randall, you made your decision and it is final.

When paramedics arrived at the horrific crash scene, they intubated him. “I had a tube put down my throat for breathing and I choked on that tube for several hours. My body thrashed around and they finally duct-taped me to gurney.
“I had to hold on to God with all my faith. I was fully conscious.”


Rathbun had many broken bones, contusions, and almost broke his back in half. “They had to bleach the car there was so much blood. When I came home I was in a body cast. It took me 8 months to recover.”
After he recovered, he got his clearance back from the government. He is currently self-employed, involved with software development.


As a result of his experience, Rathbun has been profoundly touched by the Father’s love. “Men don’t know who the Father is. When you see him for who he really is it will change you.”


“At the point of the accident I didn’t have a father. The Father in heaven believes in us. He rescued me right before I hit the Lake of Fire. It was all grace on his part. He wants to reveal himself to us, particularly his purity and his holiness.”


Rathbun’s double life is over. His desire for obedience is a response to the love he found in God. “The Father has been increasing his holiness in me. It is the vital factor that will keep us from wandering off, looking for love in the wrong places.


“You want to stay pure for the father because you feel special, you feel treasured by him; He is very loving. He has to be sought out with 100 percent of your heart.”


“A passion for God has to be birthed in a man’s spirit, so that his spirit comes afire and light with passion for the Father’s purity and holiness. If we can get a glimpse of that holiness, it will be crucial towards setting us men free.”


Interview from http://blog.godreports.com/2016/01/computer-scientist-engineer-experienced-frightening-near-death-experience-of-hell-glorious-vision-of-heaven/