My Beginnings

by Luis Gomes

1. I was once lost and in darkness, in the depravity of my own soul. I lived wrapped and consumed with divers lusts, selfishness, and lastly, but not least, full of self-pity for all my shortcomings and failures of a half-lived life, for which I now thank God my Saviour for making it so.

2. Where should I start with this story! It seems ever more strange even to my own eyes, for every time I bring it to remembrance I fall in amazement! Well, I guess that I must start at the very beginning of what I call ‘my beginnings’.

3. My life began within a broken home. My mother, for reasons only known to herself, decided to abandon my real father, rather I should say, my biological father. I use this term as being more appropriate to classify the man, for since I was four years old he stopped all dealings he had with me. Since he never really attempted to make any sort of approach towards me, I can but call him by ‘biological’ father. I do not condemn the man, neither do I justify him, but rather better to leave things unsaid and move on.

4. The story really had its beginnings in the early 1980s and from then developed ever so strangely, not that there be anything special with me, no, not at all, but rather by looking back I can now observe and marvel at seeing the hand of God upholding me and guiding me, in a very peculiar way, delivering me from a darker and more horrible outcome than the one I will testify.

5. My mother was a young, very attractive single mother. Furthermore, if the reader does not mind me saying it, she was, and her beauty by reason of her youth and vitality shined brightly from every smile she cast out, all of which leaves me wondering, even until this day, why she got herself in a relationship with a half-washed, bad tempered footballer that no one else really wanted. Yet he loved himself, and most likely still does, magnifying himself like he was something out of the ordinary: how nauseating!

6. This half-washed, bad tempered footballer became my stepfather when I was but four years old, a little rascal, with little or no choice in the matter. If only single mums would listen more to their children instead of rushing into silly relationships, for I believe children, while in the innocence of their age, have a good natural intuition when it comes to discernment of people’s characters. However, in my case, I believe that all will come to play its role shortly, as it will be evident by the development of the story.

7. My stepfather was a man of strong views and of a very strong character. He was a man totally destitute of religion, in fact he despised it and very often criticised those that had some. But then he would say he ‘believed’ and, in his own way, feared God, but no surprise there, for the devils also believe and tremble. So he made a little progress, yet not passing the level of devils. His carnal views, although not correct, were pressed upon me in a manner quite violent, and how destructive they would have been had not the providence of the Almighty intervened in so many occasions right from an early age.

8. I was brought up under the rod and lashes not a few in this way, I mean that every time something in the man’s life, either because of work or just by the pure desire of his corrupt heart and mind, he would beat me to a pulp. The man hated me vigorously, and why he did not kill me then under his brutality, God only knows.

9. Everybody that lived in my little village knew, and many times witnessed, his charming character come to the surface, and the many marks left imprinted upon my flesh. I feared the man greatly to the point that his shadow was enough to make me cringe, flinch and run for cover.

10. This was my early upbringing. Always in fear, constantly beaten for any silly reason to the point that the neighbours pitied me, and my mother driven to desperation not knowing what to do with her life or mine. Because that same angry rod that fell upon my back often fell upon my mother’s also. So, she soon learned not to intervene, turning her back or simply ignoring the fact. I believe she did not like to see me always being beaten and treated in a worse manner than an animal, but she found herself helpless and powerless in the situation that she had got us both in.

11. So desperate was the state that we found ourselves in, that my mother found refuge for herself in the church, the Catholic Roman church, the mother church, as they like to call it. She had resorted to religion. Well if things were bad at home, and if her dreams and hopes for her life seemed to be vanished and broken asunder, what would be a better thing to do but seek religion? Of course religion will help in times of need, and why not, everybody else does the same. When oppression from an exterior source out of our control seems to drive us insane, pressing one to desperation, what is better than religion to grab hold of some presumptuous notion of salvation and eternal consolation? But it would only bring consolation for all the bad experiences that one had suffered, or is suffering, while yet on earth. Nevertheless, it only seems logical, one would say, perfectly reasonable! And so nods the head of the religious with a silly smile on their faces.

12. But why would someone do such a thing, when the problem lies at the door of the intention? Even a carnal man could see the problem, because the reason for one seeking religion, no matter in what guise it may appear, was based in despair for the exterior problems, and in this fashion trying to get some relief for the oppression one then felt. But what happens when that oppression is removed?

13. If the cause or reason that drives a soul to seek religion is only found in exterior things, and because of them seeks religion with no progress being made into the realm of true spiritual, deep heartfelt necessity, then it is a false and very dangerous move. Whatever may be the circumstances that may force one to seek it, if these were not found in deep spiritual alarms of the wrath of God upon the soul for all its transgressions, for all its innumerable sins, for all that one has done before the searching eye of God, then it is a false presumptuous force. For it is only based upon the desperation of lost broken dreams, and these almost every soul feels sometime or another during its life on earth, and there is nothing spiritual about them.

14. The reason must come from a different quarter, it must be initiated by God, by bringing the soul under judgement, under conviction of sin and leading the soul to true repentance, a true change of mentality, a change from dead works to serve the true living God. This is the beginning and there is not another. The soul must be led to see its desperate state and its condemnation under the wrath of Almighty God before it can feel the need of a saviour, and by the grace of God through the Spirit lead to the feet of Christ for the remission of sins and for regeneration. The soul must cry unto God for a new heart and a new spirit for he then realises that the heart he was born with is corrupt and desperately wicked, finding himself incapable of rendering to God what God requires. To render to God true worship in spirit and in truth becomes a reality to the awakened soul, because he sees within himself an emptiness, a bareness, a darkness, a total depravity and vileness of his own heart. He realises that God must give him of His Spirit without which he cannot worship God, without which he cannot be saved, for it is written, flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and neither if one be not born of water and afterwards of the Spirit.

15. Of these realities my mother was totally ignorant, and how could it be otherwise, for where she went to seek for help, they instead of helping made things worse. For they neither know the gospel themselves, neither have they been taught by God, but they hold a false gospel, a false Christ and a false God whom they preach to the masses blinding their hearts to the truth and hiding them from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. They neither go into heaven themselves and prevent others from going with all their fallacies and traditions of men.

16. Nonetheless, I move on for the sake of the story. I can understand why she did it, but that desperate move was in fact more dangerous than anything she ever did in her life. Because, from that single step she took towards religion, false notions of faith, salvation, and eternal glory were created in her head. In her desperation she had to hold on to something and religion was the closest that she got.

17. In those days my mother seemed to like all the putting on a show in the flesh and head to chapel and, of course, dragging me along every Sunday pretending that we were a proper family and that all was pleasant, but at home all was hell. In reality, I believe that she could not stand for a second the reality of what was happening right under her eyes so she fastened her eyes instead on religion for some comfort and distraction, and in all the idols made of stone from that sick, reprobate religious system.

18. At first I hated the fact that I had to go also, but soon enough the same virus that infected my mother’s head began to infect mine also. I too started to be taken up by the charade of religion. However, it could be argued that in my case it was involuntary. At the age of nearly six, I was placed in a catholic pre-school, and then I found myself under two dreaded teachers.

19. Nuns – or ‘the penguins’, as I used to call them because of their silly outfits. They weren’t bad people just confused and very well deceived. Soon they began to teach me about hell and purgatory showing me all different types of horrible pictures of people being burned in some horrible pit, ‘you see that’s where naughty, bad little boys go to if they don’t do what they are told’!

20. I already knew well the severity of the punishment when little boys don’t do what they were told, they didn’t have to tell me about that! Although never told what I had done wrong, I would just feel the pains of my stepfather’s rod, and now to add to that the nuns added more fear.

21. By their teaching I was lead to believe that I was going to receive even more punishment though not knowing why. I think that it is a sad fate if a man knows not why he is going to be punished, although that is not entirely true. For God has showed in them that there is one God who is pure and Holy, then He must have rights, but all men have not rendered to God His rights. This is more than evident in every man’s consciousness. Moreover, this is why all men turn away from that inward witness, which they were born with, so that they may feed on exterior things driven by the inward lusts. There is a witness that God gives to every child that comes into this world, as it is written, ‘for the gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law,’ ‘which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.’ Then these not having the law outwardly in tables of stone like the Jews had, nevertheless, the works of that law were written in the hearts of all mankind since Adam our progenitor partook of the forbidden fruit. Moreover, like all mankind received this light in their heart, so did I and at my tender age no one had to tell me that there is a God, for this truth I knew deeply within my utmost being, which shined in my consciousness bearing witness that there is one God and that He has rights and I had obligations.

22. Nothing was more apparent when threatened with judgement and hell fire. I had so much to look for I used to think, a life of misery full of sorrow and pain and then meet the everlasting Judge, the Almighty God the Sovereign LORD of the universe in eternity and all that just to be condemn into hell. Nonetheless, that did not put me off from trying to please the Judge of all the earth now.

23. Because in no time I found myself walking in my path of good works to please God, all driven by the dread that the nuns placed in me with their teaching. In turn, I just hoped that God would not put me in a worse hell than the one I already was living.

24. At first, I started to find peace alone in the little hills that surrounded my village. Seclusion was the best I could come up with, surely it did sound better than to hear the nuns with their silly notions of purgatory, and it was not as if I could spend much time at home without having some sort of grief. Therefore it was a win win situation, for at least the air was fresh and pure up in the hills. Moreover, it was better to stay secluded among the birds, bushes, and dreams that the life I was living was just a nightmare, and perhaps if I would awake from it, I used to think, things would be different. Sometimes I would pray and pray not knowing rightly, but in my innocence and simplicity I believed that I was praying to my heavenly Father. Although not knowing well to whom I was praying, but it did not stop me.

25. Pray the rosary they used to tell me. Then I remember being told a story about three young shepherds, (old women fables) that they had been visited by angels and then by Mary herself, that they had been chosen to pray for the pope and for world peace. That they had suffered so much harm at the hands of the people, but then Mary took them away into heaven. My! did that do the trick for me, I was acquainted with pain and had plenty of that for as long as I could remember, harm that did not bother me the least bit, pain what pain, persecution just because the three little shepherds saw someone who called herself Mary but then they were taken up into heaven! If that’s all it takes, I thought, if that’s all it would take for me to get a ticket out of the misery in which I lived, that was fine by me, I just needed to get that ticket. I had to have it.

26. For quite some time I was taken up by this idea, and I must have been about the age of six or seven when that story was read to me. So taken up was I by that idea, that an angel could come down and visit me, oh my, that was all too overwhelming, I thought to myself that no one ever had felt the sorrow that I was feeling, child selfishness yes of course, but what did I know at the age of seven. All I knew was hate, pain and sorrow.

27. I could not turn to my mother for love for she was too busy, at first with her so precious religion and then with her new-born baby. I could not turn to my stepfather for I could easier get a fat lip, a black eye or a broken bone than a smile. So to whom else could I turn but to God, or what I thought was God. Although in time, even those thoughts vanished from my mind and I found myself being driven by my inward lusts just like any other kid of my age. I begin to discover how much the world contains which helps to put out the pain and even the sorrow one may feel. But all that came a little later on. Because at this stage of my story, the account of the three shepherds had a tremendous effect on me. My fervent zeal rose so high, and I would be found praying most of the day in the hills on my knees over rocks, making them bleed, all kinds of popish ideas, the more pain and blood the better.

28. That is what I was led to think by all the stories. So in that silly state of deception I went along for quite some time. O what foolishness! But those were my beginnings, I have no others.

29. Sometime around my eighth year things at home just got worse, sadly it always did, but in that year some remarkable events began to unfold. By the circumstances, which I believe I have given enough to give a reasonable description and impression of what I had experienced by the hand of an angry stepfather, and after being taken up by all the stories told by the nuns and other people, I could not but beg God, and did so for many months thereafter, that He would put an end to my miserable existence. I was taken to the point of contemplating suicide since after so long no word from heaven, neither angel, had come, so I had to take a different approach to the problem.

30. One particular day after filling myself with courage, I went up to the highest hill available, one with a sharp edge on its end, then I prepared myself to make the jump, but could not do it, it was too high, and too scary. Fear took hold of me, so I looked for another way out, one easier and less frightening. I remembered that there was some old medicine of my mother’s stashed away out of reach on the top of an old wardrobe. I waited patiently for my moment, a day that no one would be at home to stop me. I reached the top of the wardrobe with the help of some cases, grabbed hold of the bag and stuffed myself with them, but all it did was make me go to sleep, not even an upset stomach!

31. However, those two failed attempts did not discourage me, for in a particular evening – one that marked me deep that I don’t think I will ever forget it – just before I had turned to bed, I went into my mother’s bedroom. As my stepfather was out at that time in the pub drinking himself silly I was at liberty to visit my mother in her bedroom. I was determined to ask her if it was ok to ask God to take away my life, for I had asked Him but He had not answered. I was just too tired of being rejected by everybody and tired of serving as a punching bag for a washed-out footballer, and a wannabe boxer.

32. I had other members of family living close by but even they did not care, or at least nothing was ever done by them to put an end to that entire charade. Some would say, poor kid, suffering so much by the hands of that brute, but none ever did anything about it. True, there wasn’t much they could have done, but then why waste time with much empty vain words. Family members! What family! The word has no meaning or weight, neither should it be used if its proper meaning is not followed by action.

33. Well, they saw and knew as much as anybody else but they had their lives, why bother with one little rascal, that black sheep of the family! Only my grandfather cared and my grandmother, two people among five other households. I remember one specific Christmas where the indignation of my grandfather was made known and heard by all regarding the uncaring and harsh treatment that my mother and I were under. Obviously, my stepfather claimed that all was for my good, that I was a dumb animal in need of correction, but he cared, you see, hence the ‘special’ treatment. He wanted me to have successes in life, a good career, maybe even became a doctor or something of the sort, so he said with his fake smile. Those remarks will sound ironic further down the line. But that’s too big a story to fit in at this stage.

34. Nevertheless all that I have said so far regarding my upbringing does not justify my actions at that early age for all was driven by desperation. Neither do I justify my future events that soon shall be written. That was the case then but little did I know how much more the world would hate me, not because of who I am but because for whom I love and follow.

35. But, as I was saying, as I was entering my mother’s bedroom I found her in a bed of tears, which alarmed me for, although she did not understand me as I would have liked her to, nevertheless I loved her very much and could not stand the sight of seeing her crying. Therefore I hastily approached her and asked her why the tears, to which she answered, ‘I have asked God to put an end of my miserable life and He answered, but then I was afraid for you and your little sister so I could not go’. Talk about coincidence! Moreover she said that she found herself going up in a tunnel and a beautiful light was coming towards her. This of course sounded so glorious. All contrary to my few past attempts, for neither had God taken me out of this world as I had so much begged, neither had the old medicine worked. What my mother was telling me sounded like music to my ears. Fresh hope dropped like rain over my dry soul, God hears prayers after all!

36. As soon as I was able to comfort my mother, I went straight to bed and begin to pray to God to take me, my mother did not want to go because of me and my sister so she said, very well I thought, I had no daughter and my sister was in good hands, she was not despised like I was, so there would be no reason for me to stay in the world.

37. Nothing could stop me, I was too unwavering over the matter. It had to be done. I had no courage to jump off a cliff, I had tried that, so in my childish mind I thought God would understand my reasons for wanting to depart.

38. Now at present I laugh about all that foolishness but at the time in the mind of a seven year old boy who all he wanted was to be loved and to be made to feel normal, it was not laughable it was serious. What can a seven year old boy understand, some could say, ‘look there are boys in a worse state than yours, they don’t have food, neither clothes to wear, or even parents.’ That would all be true, but go and tell all that to a child that is being oppressed daily, wrongly treated for whatever reason, and say that he is being selfish and unreasonable. Will it matter to him? Like I have said, and will say, that there is no justification for what I intended at the time but it was what I was made to feel and by that to live.

39. Nevertheless, for sake of the story let’s go back to that night just after I had gone back to bed. As soon as I got myself in bed, I began to pray like never before, and after a while I began to feel something strange, so strange it was that even now I find it hard to explain. The silence of the night intensified, but instead of being silent it was actually like being under water and that sound just began to grow louder and louder. The darkness of the room intensified and I felt a pulling force lifting me up, but it did not frighten me. In fact, I allowed the soft pull to take hold of me, but when I looked to my side I could see the upper parts of the bedroom walls, and finding it strange, I looked down and saw my body laying down in my bed. Then it struck me, God has heard me! He is drawing me to Himself. Then I realised that what I was feeling, if indeed my soul had left the body and was going somewhere, it was not as my mother had described. There was no tunnel with a bright light, neither did I feel the serenity that she described. Not at all! I felt the surrounding darkness almost touchable, the hollow sound in my ears was unbearable and terrors struck me hard. It was all too real, all too frightening, I cried no, no let me go back! Better to go back to the place that at least was known, than this darkness that I could feel all around me.

40. Nothing of what I felt resembled the slightest of what my mother described. No pretty light, no tunnel, no voice speaking to me at the end of some tunnel, just darkness, and a heartfelt fear.

41. Months went by after that event, and because of it I became more religious than ever. Then I wanted to go to church and hear what the priest had to say. Although nothing ever came from that deceiving source that made sense, I was not dismayed, the force to know more about God grew. My mother witnessing my interest began to say, ‘maybe the Lord wants you to be a priest, wouldn’t that be nice?’ In all honesty I desired to know God, but I did not care much for the priesthood. Nevertheless, my mother took me to see the priest and he being acquainted with the family agreed to take me under his wing, so to speak. I was taken to see monasteries, introduced to monks in silly brown attires, spoken to as if I was their little progeny, but by other people I was just mocked.

42. This scenario went on, I went through my first communion, participated in religious plays, all sorts of rubbish, until one day I was forced to make a decision. I must have been around the age of nine or ten and the question arose and I had to decide if I wanted to go to the cemetery, oh sorry, I meant the seminary. The thought struck me so hard and deep that I could not even breathe. Yes, in a way I was interested back then, but that had been a year or two before. Yes, I was very devout going to the afternoon masses and all, but going from that to being locked in a monastery, that’s a bit too much. Moreover, in my mind, I already had started to envisage the possibility of one day raising a family of my own, but if I would become a priest that could not happen, they don’t get married, I reasoned in my mind.

43. I confronted my mother with the self same reasoning to which my so bright stepfather ever so quickly made his comment, ‘you should go, one less mouth to feed’, and for my fear of not being able to have a family he added that if I was to become a priest I would not lack ‘wives’, ‘lots of nuns around’, he said. Strange remark, but I did not think much of it. When I told the priest that I had changed my mind regarding the future priesthood, let’s just say that he wasn’t very happy.

44. Years went by and life carried on as usual, my stepfather got himself a small business and took me out of school, I was then thirteen. A few months after the business started it went down and he moved to England looking for better life prospects. Two months after, he called my mother to be with him, and I was made the guardian of my younger brother by then aged four. I found myself working on a construction site in the south of Portugal with some distant relatives while my sister was left in the care of a neighbour, for it would be too much for me to have them both. Despite their plan, things did not work out quite as they expected for I encountered some problems along the way with the relatives and was forced to leave and return back home.

45. My mother then came back over to Portugal took my brother, my sister, and me back to England and used me as a permanent babysitter for them both while she was at work. Nice rest for me, I thought, most deserved after working for months on a building site to feed her son and myself. Although the rest didn’t last long, for as soon as my mother got someone to watch over my younger siblings I had to go to work in a restaurant behind a bar in Cambridge. Truly I don’t know how it was all done for I was only fifteen at the time, but somehow it was managed.

46. By that time my religion, my devotion, grew cold and disappeared, just the thought that there was a God remained along with some other misconception of the nature of God. In a few words my zeal, my sweet emotions and thoughts towards God vanished, and for years they did not come back.

47. By the age of sixteen, I was going out clubbing, drinking, smoking and doing things that I ought not at such an early age, but what could you expect, I wanted to try it all right from an early age. I thought that I was a grown man and would not accept any other view. Once forced to work for my own living without outside help or intervention, and made to start making my own decisions, what other reaction could I have?

48. My parents soon grew tired of Cambridge and decided to move to London, leaving me alone in Cambridge, but because the cost of living in London was too high and there was no one to take care of their children, again I was summonsed to go and play the babysitter again. Months went by but like before my parents separated themselves and my stepfather went to work in Leeds, up north of the country, and some months after as expected my mother joined him taking with her my brother and sister. Once again, I was left alone on my own in the middle of London looking for work and a place to stay. Had not someone that I had meet in Cambridge, a fellow Portuguese that had moved to London, given me a hand and a spare space in his room I would have been homeless not knowing what to do with my pathetic existence.

49. I began looking for work, and finding some I managed to find some stability, and was able to rent a room in a shared house. I went along for months until the same story repeated itself all over again. I had to go up to Leeds and join them again, of course this didn’t please my stepfather much, but he didn’t have any other alternative, for the cost of someone to look after their kids was higher than their wages, so my services were much appreciated, but only then.

50. When I was seventeen, they all left England and returned to Portugal, and as expected I was left behind, but soon I was informed that I had to return to Portugal to serve in the national military service to which I did gladly. On my return home, all was so hard, because neither had I roots in Portugal due to my immigration and likewise I lost the few roots that were beginning to grow back in England.

51. No friends, just a job, and the little I gained I had to give to my mother for my food and rent in the very same house that I helped to build. It had to be done, or I had to listen to all the accusation of my stepfather. For since an early age he had made clear that the food that I was eating was by him provided and that he would not feed any bastard that would not work for it, so very early I learned the term, ‘that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’

52. Life went on just the same as before we immigrated, it was like nothing had changed. The atmosphere was so horrible and so heavy it could be cut with a knife. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place, but I had to wait until the military service initiated and finished, so I waited patiently.

53. Meanwhile I met someone who was soon to become my wife, she was 30 and I was at the time 19. Six months into our little romance, I proposed to her to move in together and see how we would get on, but she did not agree. She claimed to be a conservative girl and her family would not allow such arrangements. So I bought it like a fool thinking that she was right, after all who was I to corrupt such a conservative girl and bring down shame upon her head. Therefore we got married and what a horrible day it was, even right from the start. Although I had wanted to get married my conscience did not give me rest. In the back of my mind what I was about to do felt like a terrible mistake. Now at present I can look and see why, but not then. Back then I was too child-like, although I thought I was a grown man and would not take less, nevertheless the reality was very different. I neither knew what marriage was, neither did I know what love was. I knew deep down inside in my heart that love existed and thought, in my ignorance, that she was it.

54. What a deception was I in, what dissolution it all came to be, but how could I then have known what love is when love had always been so foreign to me like rain was to a desert. All my life I lived in fear of torment and in a hate environment, never really had received love before, then how could I judge what love was when the feeling of it was all too alien to me? It was impossible! That was the mistake, and that was the ground and the reason for such a predictable failure.

55. Subconsciously, in the day that I locked myself to a marriage contract, I felt that same heavy weight pressed me down even before I walked in the chapel as if it was to alert me. But, did I give attention to it? No, what a stubborn mule I was. I confused attraction with love, I mistook the attention given to me for real factual, honest loving sentiment. Oh what a mistake, what delusion, and how great was my blindness. What I did then is properly called a leap of blind faith, a step into the unknown, but in whom did I place my faith? On myself to make it work, but like I said, not just was I deluded, but in part I was deceived, so I placed my faith in chance to make it work, just like the fool, and if that’s not a bad place to start tell me what is?

56. I don’t blame her completely, but in part, I am the one to blame and I guess I have paid quite a lot already due to that mistake. Six years later I could not take any more of it, I had to put an end to it. The arguments were so dreadful that at the end of each I would find myself sick like a dog. In defence, when I got married I thought I had married one conservative girl like she had claimed to be, but instead I married all of her family. This being her mother, her older sister, the whole lot of them, and if there was a matter to be addressed it was done by all the council, what I said never having any weight even on the things concerning my own affairs by reason of me being young. So what I had to say had little or no significance at all.

57. On this matter countless events could be recorded, but I think that in all fairness they are not relevant. A mistake it was and I had to correct it. When I expressed my reasons for desiring getting a divorce my wife in panic consulted a medium. She went to a woman in a nearby village from where we lived to consult if I was having an affair with some other woman. Apparently the woman with a familiar spirit (more precisely a witch, although they don’t like to be called witches, but witches are what they are) said that I was not having an affair with another woman but that she would like to see me and speak directly with me to find out my reasons for wanting a divorce.

58. My wife filled herself with courage and asked me if I was willing to go with her to see this woman that claimed to be a medium. She told me that this women professed to be possessed by a long well-known dead doctor, and by him she spoke to the people to help them with all kinds of issues. I never had gone to see such a joke, but had watched in movies stuff about mediums and wizards, all of which was very interesting to me. The occult always had fascinated me, so much so that during my marriage period I had bought a book of a well-known wizard in Portugal and liked it, although never did any of the things that the book proscribed, mainly out of fear. Therefore, my wife’s request was met with intrigue and much curiosity.

59. So being a bit acquainted with all that rubbish, I agreed to go along with it and met the woman in whom apparently the devil worked wonders.

60. I got to the woman’s house along with my wife and, like she had instructed me previously, we entered the house by the kitchen door, and sitting down we remained in silence until the witch came from the back of the house and called us to talk to her. The kitchen was full of people, some sat, and others were standing, all waiting for their own turn, almost like being in a doctor’s waiting room, only in this case they waited for spiritual healing. I felt a bit uncomfortable not knowing what to think or say, everyone was so pale and no one would look at another in the eyes. After a few minutes the woman came into the kitchen and looked straight at me and smiled as though she had long known me, to which my wife asked very suspiciously, ‘Have you met her before?’ ‘Of course not’, I replied, ‘you brought me here didn’t you, how then could I have known her!’ Well, cutting the story short, we went to the back of the house just the three of us and sat on some chairs in a small corridor.

61. The woman introduces herself, asks if I felt ok with all that stuff, to which I simply nodded in agreement, and so she proceeded to tell me all the story of the famous doctor that had died long ago and that he now continued his work here on earth through her. Once the introduction was finished, she said that she would close her eyes and that the spirit would then take over and speak with my wife and me. She made some strange noises, closed her eyes, and began to speak. The voice was the same only a slight change of tone and what was supposed to be the spirit of the dead doctor began by asking me why I wanted to get a divorce. Staring at the woman’s face, I cleared my throat, for it was as dry as desert sand for the nervous situation that I found myself in, and like so, I told the devil my reasons.

62. As soon as I had finished talking, she smiled, looked at my wife and said, ‘You I like my dear, but him I love, him I love’, the devil said, and my wife’s face dropped to the ground. I guess that all her hopes seemed to vanish with those words. My wife was hoping that the devil would tell me not to get divorced, but it backfired on her, poor soul, how could she expect a devil to say anything right, but neither did I then realise to the full extent that it was with a devil that I was talking. The spirit looked at my wife once more and asked her if she didn’t mind leaving the room and wait for me in the kitchen, because the devil wanted to talk to me alone from there on.

63. I had told the devilish spirit that I intended to get divorced but would not for one reason, because although my relationship with my wife was deteriorating quite rapidly, the arguments were getting more severe, yet we had a child together and she was then four years old, so because of her I had tolerated all that I had. It is true that I was willing to remain until the child achieved an adult age and then, yes, I would get divorced. I could not bear the thought of her getting a stepfather like the one I had.

64. I knew too well what it was to live under the rule of a stepfather, so because of that I feared for the child and would have remained up to this present date had not the problems within the relationship gotten worse. I was willing to live and did for many months in a separate room and it was for this same cause that my alarmed wife looked for advice elsewhere, meaning with the witch. More or less I explained all that, and that the love that I once had, or thought I had for my wife had gone totally cold. Mostly because my wife a few months before we married confessed to me all her dark secrets, which at the time did not bother me for I knew that I was no angel. But hard circumstances and the cooling down of feelings can bring to the surface much that can harm a relationship.

 65. Apparently my wife thought, for some silly idea that I know not why, that it would be good for our relationship to disclose her dark past events, the number of relationships, who they were that she had previously loved, and so on. At the time my eyes were so blind with pink colours that I did not care for all that and thought, ‘well it’s all in the past, let’s move forwards’, but when troubles came, when the arguments started and my love for her clearly was not being answered, the pink colours faded away from my eyes.

66. Then her past became an issue, and when I asked her, ‘did you really love me when we got married? she could not but confess, ‘well not then, but now I do’. Now she loved me, so she said, but only when she could see that I was starting to consider getting a divorce. I said to her, ‘inside me there is a large empty space, and I believed that that empty space was consuming me like a black hole, and she had not even tried to fill some of it.’ ‘Oh but I love you now!’ ‘do you?’ said I, ‘but how could that be true when you loved so many before me, and until this point neither have I felt it neither could I see it, how can you be sure you love me now? Now it is too late, I have given too many chances, and the love that I once had is all gone, there’s no more love left.’ Moreover, I confessed all that to the devil, and said that not all was her fault, I had my faults also, for at times I would go out of the house with one purpose only, to find someone that I could cheat on with, and one or two times came almost to its achievement, which I now deeply regret.

67. Well meanwhile, the woman looks at me very sympathetically, and tells me that I was right by thinking of getting a divorce. However, apparently according to her reasoning, I was not right to wait, because the environment that was being lived in was not good for my daughter’s upbringing, neither was it good for me. So the spirit tells me that he would help me to get the things done. That sounded good, but I quickly replied that there was a little problem, a small detail that to me was important to be dealt with properly. I had lived as a Roman Catholic, sort of. Therefore I knew that God did not view divorce in such easy terms and that too was an obstacle. To which the devil quickly said, ‘well that is true, God does not like divorce, but (oh the buts, how swiftly they always come out when the devil speaks) but I will present your case before God’, said he, ‘therefore, don’t you worry’, replied the devil. ‘God will understand your motives and they are good motives, so don’t worry, ok?’

68. That was the end of one of many interviews which I had with a devil face to face. That night I was promised that by a set time I would move out of the house, because if he did not help me to move out, I would never do it on my own. So many things were promised, but all were lies, but that one thing came true, I did move out and I did get divorced a few months after that first visit.

69. From that night on I made a habit in going to visit the witch. We became good friends, both the woman and the devil in her. In truth, the devil did say that from that day onwards I had become his adopted son, and that he would make sure I would get all that he had promised to me.

70. Visit after visit, watching carefully how he would address himself towards other people, I had spent hours on end listening and observing how the spirit was able to reveal so much of their lives, even without those poor souls ever telling him anything about themselves. He would bring events to their recollection that they with many tears would say, ‘but how can you know of such things, I have not told a soul about it?’ All that began to make me think that something fishy was going on. Because, after having visited and spoken with the spirit so many times, he had hardly ever said something about my past to prove himself to me that he was legitimate. Now he was legitimate all right, but not what I thought he was.

71. Then one particular day I decided to ask him why he had never intruded into my past, and the little he had revealed wasn’t accurate, when with others it all seemed to fit. Surely, it’s because you are too dumb and faint of memory, he said, excusing himself. Surely, at least something could be said, I reasoned with him, that even a dumb person could recognise to be true and remember. Well, he said, it is not my fault, it is your fault that you can’t remember, moreover, what is the need to remind you of sad things, better to leave them in the past. That was a true statement, remembering is reliving, but surely how else could I know that all the things he was telling me were true if he did not prove to be who he was, so I began to reason with that for some time afterwards. Soon I began to grow sceptic, and as the serpent beguiled Eve with much subtlety appealing to her sentiments, so in the same way it corrupted my mind with much flattery.

72. These many doubts fuelled my scepticism, nevertheless, I could not stop going to see him. However, the scepticism did not wear off, in fact, I began to be more attentive in the meetings to see if something that was said could point me in the right direction and maybe lead me to disregard all that the woman had said. I needed proof. I’d got myself into something that I clearly didn’t understand to its fullest, so I needed to be careful. She would bring other spirits besides the dead doctor, sometimes a woman that the Catholic Church views as a saint, although I know not, and most likely, it is not. This other spirit would come forth and speak, and sometimes a dead relative of someone else present would speak. Then there were the special occasions when Mary would speak through her and everybody would be so amazed.

73. The witch was venerated by all who went to see her, and the dead doctor worshipped almost like a god. Some said that at one time Jesus had come down incorporated in the witch, that He had not spoken a word, but had just stretched out His arms like as if on the cross. Now that was all a bit too much for me to take. At that time, I could take all sorts of mumbo jumbo, but Christ coming down from heaven in Spirit and incorporate in her, that was all too strange and I could feel inside that that could not be. Not like that, it cannot be, I reasoned!

74. I did not know much about Christ but I felt that that could not be true, and that being the case I was stuck in some sickening perverse system. When I questioned the witch privately regarding the event of Christ’s descent, it became clear in my face and expression that all that was too much for me to believe, she then defended herself by saying that I questioned it because He had not come down to see me, that being the only reason for my disbelief. But that was not true, I only regarded Christ to be Holy and could not conceive the idea that He would come down to see some people and say nothing.

75. Unfortunately the day of my divorce arrived and with it the beginning of many new sorrows. So much so that because of it I forced to put behind me the many doubts and questions over all that was happening with my consultations with the devil.

76. It was in December 2002 that it all came tumbling down. I was working in my own restaurant and my wife came in at the time I was talking to a neighbour, which conversation my wife joined in. The neighbour said that she and her husband were going out on a trip the following weekend, which my wife either intentionally or jokingly jumped to the opportunity and included herself and me to go along. Well, she knew well that our marriage was hanging by one thread, she had taken me to see the witch, and that the witch instead of convincing me not to divorce her did the opposite, and now she wanted me to go with her and another couple to some resort for the weekend, so pretending everything to be ok, when it wasn’t. What more could I say, ‘I don’t think that is going to happen.’ She asked why, and right there and then I said why, ‘well because of what has been happening in our life, or do you just want to go on pretending that all is well so that others may see?’ That got the woman so infuriated that smoke seemed to come out of her nostrils, ‘right, if that’s the way you want it, that’s fine by me, pick up your things from the house and move out.’

77. That was my opportunity and I had to take it, not looking back I went home packed my stuff and, soaked in tears, I left my daughter behind. How hard it is for me even now to remember that day. I wanted to get divorced, but at that time it wasn’t because I wanted to get someone else to fill the place of my wife, I wanted what was best for my daughter, and me leaving was the best that I could have done. It was unavoidable. It had to happen, the child was suffering more with the arguments than anybody else was. If the reader thinks that I did it all for selfish reasons, it is only because I chose not to say much about the things that went on in that period of my life. Yes, I had done some silly things to which I regret, but what can I say? it was all predictable, had I known then what I know now, things would have been much different. I sowed foolishly, then I had to reap the evil of it.

78. In that same day having no other choice I had to go and beg at my mother’s feet to let me stay a few weeks at her house until I could find a place of my own. My mother gladly agreed, but my stepfather, although he said yes to it all, inside he was not happy about it, no not the least bit. After my move into their house, it did not take long for the troubles to begin again.

79. How I always seemed to be the cause of their problems remains a mystery to me, but it was so, and on that occasion for some apparent reason, to which I still don’t know, my mother had an argument with my stepfather. He had stormed out of the house, according to my mother’s version of the story, and had said that he was going to a festival and would not come back until late, and for her not to be concerned over his dinner.

80. I not knowing anything about what had happened, arrived after work. I believe by that time I had lost my restaurant to my wife. My mother had prepared a meal for me, I asked where my stepfather was, she murmured that he was out and would not return till later. However, as soon as I had sat down to eat he showed up storming through the door with his usual fuming face. The man started to yell, pushing and cursing at my mother right in my presence like if I wasn’t even there. It was all too vivid and horrible, all my worst nightmares had come alive. I had left that house and got myself married to escape that hell and got myself back into it again. Miserable wretch.

81. I could not stand it, I wanted to break them apart before he would hurt her, but if I did he would turn on me and I in turn would not take it quietly, but would bring down on him all the years of abuse that he had given me. But I couldn’t do it, I felt like it, but it was not right of me to break his face, although I really wanted to. I stormed out. My dinner, what dinner! how could anyone eat in those circumstances. My throat was as dry as sand, no water could quench it, but I knew what could, so out I came, and a few seconds later my mother also came out with a bruise on her head. The miserable wretch did it again, he just loved it, he took pleasure in hurting others, but only on those that could not retaliate. In all my years I never really met such a coward as him. Oh, how I wanted to go back and give him a bit of the same medicine, but my mother wouldn’t let go of my arm, she begged me not to do anything harshly but get in the car and drive off so that she could talk to me.

82. Well the man could not stand the idea that I had gone back to the house even the same house that for many years I had paid for. My mother couldn’t say much but the little she said was, ‘what are we going to do, you can’t go back’. Of course I could go back, but it was better for everyone that I didn’t. My mother looked at me and said, ‘Well let’s go and ask your aunts, maybe one of them can offer you a place to stay for a few days at least, maybe for the night’. ‘Slim chance of that happening’, was my reply. ‘Be not so negative, they are your family, I’m sure they will understand and give you a place to stay, one of them even has a vacant house, you could stay there for the night, it’s been renovated, it’s the same house that your grandmother lived in, I’m sure they will not put any obstructions to it’. We got to my aunt’s restaurant, I guess it runs in the family, restaurant business, we arrived and my mother explained all that had just happened hoping to get some sympathy from my aunt, but it did not work. She claimed that her son was about to return from abroad and would need the house. And that was that.

83. No place to stay that night, and nowhere to go, and neither did I know what to do next, all doors seemed to be shut on me. Contemplating over my situation ever more desperate, it was cleverly suggested by my aunt that I should ring my wife and ask her if she would allow me to spend the night. The reasoning of some people really makes me wonder. My aunt was well informed that I had left my own house no more than four days and that I had left for good reasons. But I guess she was trying to see if a reconciliation could be possible, but what in the world made her think to be a marriage counsellor, she didn’t want me to stay at the vacant house, fine, but then why give silly advice?

84. But no, people always seem to send you away when you have need with a pat on the back, saying with a cynical smile on their face, ‘May God help you.’

85. So I had no choice, I had to put my pride behind me and beg my wife to allow me to stay in my own house for a few days because my rich family could not spare a bit of floor and a blanket. So it was, and how my wife enjoyed every minute of it. For a few weeks I stayed in the house, sleeping in a separate room. By then her mother had moved into the house as well so it was all like a dream, only one of those dreams that makes you awake up with cold shivers down your spine.

86. But praises be to God it didn’t last long. A friend of a friend that I didn’t even knew at all offered me a room and a bed in his house if I ever needed it. Out of work, no money, living in my own house as charity, how could I not accept the offer, I needed to move out from my wife. So I thanked the man, and can now clearly see that God opened his heart to give me a hand.

87. I moved into his house, and the Lord got me a job selling bread and for a month until my first pay cheque, the Lord sustained me by bread and water. Better is just bread and water than a full table with contention, and indeed, it is ‘better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman’, Prov. 21:19.

88. My visits to the medium began in its full force again and fresh promises were made. I was promised that everything would be all right, that I would get a new house and a new family, but this time it would be with someone that would truly love me. In a way, due to all the false promises, I really begin to think that all that had been said would be possible, so for a month I was a bit reassured. However at the end of the month debts were starting to accumulate, I had taken a second job along with the one selling bread, sleeping four hours and working twenty, still the money wasn’t enough to cover all the debts. My wife had taken the restaurant and the house, well these were her words, ‘If you want me to sign the divorce papers you will have to give up the house and all that in there is’. I went to the marriage only with my clothes, and after six years the house, the cars, the expensive furniture, leather sofas, king sized bed, all gone, that was the price for my freedom. And I gladly gave it all up, but I never really realised that what I had lost I would never get it back again.

89. After the second month of me living with the friend of a friend, I started to pay rent for the room also which was fair since by then I had started to receive my wages. During that period I got myself a Bible and started to read, but all I got from it were facts, and my head was already full of facts, so it did not profit me much, but the little that I could understand was enough to use to confront the witch one more time, at least that’s what I thought.

90. This was the question, ‘I have read in the Bible that the Lord God in the old testament commanded the people of Israel to kill all witches’, and this was the passage that I was referring to, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’, Ex. 22:18. And again in Deut. 18:10, ‘There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,’ My! that got her attention all right, she stared at my face, and with a fake smile said, ‘Oh that, well all the prophets were seers in those days but so am I, you don’t know what you are reading.’ Well that was true, I didn’t at the time, and that stopped my mouth not having any argument with which to counteract her reply.

91. That was the last time I tried to argue with her. It seemed that I had been defeated, but I did not lose the battle, because One mightier than me has already won the battle.

~   ~   ~

92. Not long after that episode I decided to return to the UK. Having been here before it felt like a good idea to come back, and maybe it would help to heal the many wounds received by the divorce. At that time, there was an advert from a company recruiting people to go and work in England in some meat factories, so I took it upon myself to apply and was granted an interview.

93. A few days after receiving the letter with instructions of time and date of the flight I found myself in a plane on my way to London soaked in tears, with my heart so squeezed that I could hardly breathe. How hard it was for me to leave my own daughter behind, the only creature on this planet that ever loved me without questioning. She was as dear to me as air is to breath and the thought of being away from her pierced my little heart so deep that I truly thought that I was going to die. I didn’t want to leave her, it was never in my plans in the first place, how did all this come to happen? In one day the divorce, the next going to a different country miles and miles away from the only person that I loved and had in this horrible world.

94. But it was happening, it wasn’t a bad dream, it truly was happening, but I had to go.

95. I hoped to save some money fast to pay some of my debts and then go back again. Well that was the original plan, but that wasn’t what happened. I was twenty-six then and the year was 2003 when my feet touched Britain’s soil for the second time. At my arrival the firm to which I had enlisted had arranged a coach to take us down to Plymouth. There were about sixty people or more in that coach and all of them were in a similar predicament to me, some needed money to pay for their house, others for various debts.

96. The coach driver when arriving at Plymouth begin to drop people in different houses, giving them timetables so that on the following day they would pick up the bus that would take them to the factory where they would be working.

97. That was my arrival in Plymouth. There is not much to tell of that particular period, except that when I got my first day off from the factory I decided to explore the city centre. I will never forget that day and the night following. The local people of Plymouth welcomed us with cold stares, some noticing that we were not English and most likely didn’t even speak the language, so felt at liberty to spew out their utmost displeasure of seeing some foreigners in their city. Some had the courage, as I walked past them, to curse and say, ‘go back to your own country, you don’t belong here you ##**## !’. Because I understood well what they were saying I told the others, but they didn’t care. I on the other hand thought it to be very distressing.

98. It was all true, England was not my country, and in fact I should not have been here, but is it right to treat people that way? Some had spat right towards me along with all the curses. Back in Portugal, although a small country, many have taken residence there, immigrants from all over the world, some from Russia, Angola, Brazil, even Britain, but I don’t remember welcoming any of them with spits and curses. Actually the very opposite happens, but take not my word for it, go and see if it be not so.

99. Take Algarve for an example, people flock to that place every summer and if they do it, it is because they feel welcome, otherwise no one would ever go back again. The things that I have endured I care not to say any more about it. However, I do say this, it is all sickening. Horrible, proud, uneducated people treating other people like rubbish. I never had much school but knew this much, when the so-called British Empire was at its prime and invaded other countries, the British people did not go into those countries that they invaded to make an honest living, no, they went to kill, to rape, to exploit, and to enslave, that is a fact of history. Then I come into their country, not robbing, not raping, neither enslaving, but to work honestly and all I received was evil looks, curses, spiting and more, I care not to say.

100. That’s people for you, and that’s the British pride. Not to say that other nations may not do the same or that Portugal is different in some respects, but that’s what I was made to feel when my hurt was so fresh, that’s what I received from the world and from men.

101. I roamed the streets of the city till late hours of the night witnessing what words cannot describe, but only to the eyes can be revealed. I was no angel, I think my language made that clear, but what I witnessed was at a new kind of level. So bad it was that my words were, ‘My! where have I ended up, is this Babylon?’ People running up and down the street, some bleeding, others shouting, ‘that’s the one, get him’, others so drunk that they couldn’t even stand up. My, I never had seen such things in all my life, not even when I lived in Cambridge, Leeds or London some ten years past. Perhaps it was that back then I didn’t go out much, and was always working, or maybe because my eyes hadn’t been open to see it before. But now it was happening right before my very eyes, that Saturday night all was opened before my eyes and it was horrible even to look at it. Some of the guys that were with me just laughed, as though nothing was out of the ordinary. I made my way home, locked myself in and promised myself never again to go out at night, I did not want any part of that living. But what a fool, how did I think to keep such a promise.

102. What made me think I was any different from those people but so quick to judge them was crazy. Oh what a self-righteous fool, proud and arrogant, blinded by Satan to think that I was any different. There is no difference, the same depravity that worked in them was also working in me, only I could not see within me, there was no light to reveal it. Not long after, maybe a few months, close to a year perhaps and I found myself stuck right in the middle of that crazy world doing the same things that I had criticised before.

103. A year had past, and during that time I did not step out of the house other than to do my shopping. During that period, I became a bit devout, both to the letter of the Bible and to the mass in a Catholic Roman church that was situated just a few blocks down my road. Every Sunday, I presented myself in the church, and after a while having made some enquiries if I could help distributing some tracks around, (very concerned was I over the people of that town because of what I had witnessed) to help inform others of hell.

104. By reading the Bible, I got some notions of sin and of hell, and thought that the people around would be appreciative to hear it. What a blind fool, full of self-righteousness, never had I a thought about my own sin, and if I did it was too superficial. A confession, a few hail Marys, and all would be just fine. Sin, what sin, I couldn’t see it, I had the confessions for that. Salvation? Well I had the mass, I would take the bread and the wine and that would solve all the problems. I went along in this stupid state for ages praying the rosary at least once a day. Reading bits of scripture, meeting with an old man from the church and discussing the best strategy of delivering some tracks to welcome people to the mass.

105. However good that sounded to me there was one small problem, the little I was gaining from my readings of scripture never mentioned leading people to the church, much less to the Roman Catholic church, but instead, that being my interpretation at the time, that it was Christ that people needed to hear about. When I told this to the poor old man, he replied that that was not important as such, but that we should convince people to come to the mass. Well I did not agree with what he said, so that was the end of my zeal for tract distribution. If I could honestly see that it was Christ that people needed to hear, and I thought in my blindness that I had Him, then that was what was needed to be transmitted and not some mass. But what in the world gave me the idea, me a self-righteous arrogant fool, that I could approach a Holy God with so much vileness pouring out of my disgusting soul. No proper view of myself or of my own sin and depravity, but it did not bother me. I had lived since the time I came out of my mother’s belly speaking lies, doing filthy things that I care not speak of for shame, and I thought that God would accept my prayers, stupid blind fool.

106. In a matter of weeks I stopped going to the church, stopped all my communication with the old man, got myself a TV, and in a few weeks had forgotten completely the idea of going from house to house telling them about Christ. But what did I know of Christ? Nothing, absolutely nothing. All I knew was that He was the Son of God that had given His life on the cross to save humanity and that He loved everybody.

107. That’s what I had been taught and heard since I was a little boy. Other misconceptions also, but it was all head knowledge. So in the end I just stayed home, having then decided that there was nothing else left for me in this world. Therefore there was only one thing left for me to do, and that was to wait for the day when death should come and take me from this plain of existence into eternity. But, time and loneliness are a man’s greatest and most terrible enemies, and no man can overcome them. No, they overcome him, and in my case, that was what exactly happened.

108. Slowly things in my life began to change. I got a job working behind a bar, a jazz bar, a bit more conservative, not so frontal regarding lasciviousness like the other bars that were more like meat markets where people would meet and decide which piece of meat they were going to take home that night.

109. Well but the flesh is never content, once given a little he wants it all. No sooner than four months down the line, I found myself working as a doorman in a night club right in the very same places that I had so much criticised in the past, and in no time was doing the same as all the rest. In my pathetic integrity I had thought that I would not get involved with just anyone, so I used to say, I want someone real and genuine, someone that the prospect of a life within marriage could be found, someone that true love could be made felt, an honest and upright girl, not just a girl for a night, no none of that.

110. But swollen with loneliness, slowly I began to let go of my restraints and the boundaries that I had raised. I looked for the real thing. When asked by others for the reason that they never saw me with someone, I told them why, and of course, they laughed at me and said that I was too old fashioned. They said that what I was looking for was a delusion, a dream, that most likely I would be left alone for the rest of my life if I did not loosen my standards. But how could I, that was all I had left, what more did I have to lose? But they were right, what I was looking for was just a dream and an illusion created by a scarred silly heart.

111. In time I let go of my standards completely, with time I found myself doing the very same things that months earlier I had condemned. In time, I was in the open and enjoyed doing the same things that the rest of the world loves to do and has pleasure in doing. Where was my integrity, where was my religion, my love and devotion to God? All was gone and forgotten. All for just some temporal pleasures!

112. Years went by with no restraints, ignoring my conscience, and for a time I lived like the rest, no difference at all. I wanted to fit in, I was tired of being excluded, so I gave it a good try. If you can’t beat them, join them, that was what I thought, and that’s what I did.

113. But soon it all dried up. Working on the doors of clubs, I began to see more and more the carnality and the evilness of men’s heart. Then I hardened myself to those things and stopped going out with the usual, so-called friends. I stopped getting myself drunk, because in the mornings following my conscience would come upon me ten times harder than ever, plus, what was the point, the people that I used to see out at night couldn’t satisfy what I longed for.

114. Months went by and I changed jobs, instead of being a doorman I began to work as a security officer, which was a bit more up my street for I had started to get too cynical towards life and needed to change course. Due to the nature of the new job, I met many new people and made a few new friendships that later on turned out to be backstabbers, but one particular is quite intriguing. There was one lady that worked in a shop that was frequently targeted by heroin addicts, which used to leave all the shop staff very alarmed, so I had to go and visit the shop at least once a day. One of the managers became more than just friends and the other like a surrogate mother as she classified herself. Why older women always thought that I needed another mother, I don’t know why, but this one in particular after long conversations confessed to be a wicker, a white witch, as she liked to be called. I had left one back in Portugal, but found another even without trying to find one, all too strange, but not so strange once one has an idea of the workings of the devil and how he operates. He always tries to keep you under his wings, so to speak, and does that by his many soldiers.

115. Well to cut the story short she became very friendly and I grew intrigued and more interested about all her stories regarding card readings and all. How much into all of that stuff was I in? Well right up to my neck! So much so that I started to see things, feel things, and dream things that are better not told and left in the past. Again, this lady gave me fresh promises, but like before nothing more than lies after lies. Although I could clearly see that all were lies, I could not stop, I so much wanted to have a family, a house of my own, the true love, that I always came back for more lies.

116. No relationship that I had got myself into ever seemed to work out, not because I would finish it (taking aside my marriage), no, I guess I was too intense, or too adult, too serious, too realistic, or too poor for the likes of some that I had met. But the fresh promises kept me hoping that maybe one day I too could find happiness. Well one could only hope, right? So once again I found myself stuck in the same very crooked path that once before I had walked, getting engrossed in things that are not good for a person to do, messing around with the occult. Highly puffed up in my fleshy mind I went along with all that rubbish!

117. All this went on up to the time I decided to go to college. I was about thirty and it was time, so I thought, to start doing something productive with my life. Once the college started there was no more time for silly card games, neither was there much time left for anything else, it was hard work. Trying to learn all that was being given to me in a foreign language was tough, so my attention and time had to be prioritised, for what was more important for me at the time. I was taking an access course in science so that after I could go to university and take a course in chiropracting.

118. While at the college, I met someone that I really did fall for, but even that relationship didn’t last long. The poor girl wanted to go out with her friends more often, and I seemed to be a hindrance, so off she went. So she did what she wanted and went on to live her life and I was thrust down again back to the cold reality of life. Just another failure. How many failures can one soul take in just one life time? I don’t know but at the time it seemed that I reached my limit. It was not just because some girl did not love me back, it was the fact that all my life seemed to be a failure. After so many lost causes, after so many failures, I could not but despair. In all my life I had tried to climb out of the horrible pit that I was born into, and all of my strength was gone.

119. To go out and meet people I found to be a lost cause and a waste of time, and I started to get too tired of my own failures, it was like my own soul was being stripped off from me bit by bit by every failure, it was like torture, it had to stop. I could turn to my job, but what job, working as a doorman, is that a job? I had tried other things such as joining the police force but even after three attempts it was more than clear that it was a shut door. Friends, what friends, some people that called themselves friends, but in reality never cared, it was useless. When you need them you can never find them, and they only remain close while they can gain something back. If nothing can be gained there’s no point to stay around, that’s the reality, call it what you will. People will only get close to another if there is something to gain from it, and I don’t just mean money, there are other things to gain besides money. But real heartfelt attention towards another human being, I have not yet seen it nor felt it from anyone I ever met, and I think I have met many in my time.

120. All seemed to be shut, all became gross darkness, and sorrow filled my heart. Then even food lost its taste and the wine its sweetness, for it only made me cry. No more comfort could I extract from anything. I could go back to Portugal, but I didn’t even have a place to stay without strife. I was at college trying to make something of myself, but for what nobody really cared. I felt like I was invisible, that I could pass right between two people, and yet I would not be seen. My daughter, eight years old by then, no longer cared if I was close by or not. She was growing fast, forming her own personality, and we were drifting apart. I do not say that it is her fault, no, of course not, but it was enough to grieve me. It was my fault and I was to blame, and did blame myself utterly.

121. My family, well, I never really had one, at least one that I could count on. God, I could turn to God, but where was God? I could not see Him, neither could I feel His love. In times past, I contemplated on His love and by it found some comfort to my dry, dead soul, but at that time how could I say God loved me when I only had tasted sorrow upon sorrow. Joy? where was the joy people so much speak of? I was not accustomed with joy, in fact very rarely had I felt it, pain, yes, I’d had plenty of that, but not joy. The little joy I had tasted no sooner had touched my lips, it rapidly would be taken away, and then grief would fill its place. Better stay away from it, my soul many times begged me.

122. Life was nothing more than a dry bone and I had lost all my teeth, so now I couldn’t even try to have a bite at it. Was I dramatising it too far, perhaps I did, but what I felt all my life no words can ever describe. Many, countless more in this world have felt life harder and I do not compare myself with them, they had their pain and I had mine. I do not say that I was made to suffer more, neither seek I pity, but only give a brief account of what has been my soul’s meat.

123. The family that I so much longed for was but an illusion, created by the intense heat of my own childish dreams in the desert of my soul. I looked at life head on, I stared at its eyes and the animal was as ugly as my own reflection in the mirror.

124. Oh night of nights when my soul could no longer contain the grief, I cried out to God in desperation. Oh bitter lamentations that pressed my soul, I had to open my mouth if not I would explode. Under the dark sky I cried, ‘Lord why did I have to be born, was it all for this? Lord what is the meaning of life, is it to come into this world, feel sorrow and die? Would it not be better not to have been born at all? O that I could but put an end to this miserable life, just like men put down a dying dog’s life, am I of any more worth? I’m no better than a dog, at least some of them have better lives than mine. Can I, O Lord, put an end to mine? But if I do you will throw me into hell. But in hell I now live. O that death would come and take me. O that she would come and sit by my bed and rip my soul away in one breath.

125. For thirty long years, I have felt nothing but sorrow, grief, and pain. How life seemed to be no more than a waste, so much energy seeking happiness, so much energy seeking love, but all vanity, there was no true love found and much less happiness. To be born and then to die, is that all that there is in a man’s life? To know sorrow and then die! Oh such piercing and agonising questions filled my mind, they cut me like a sword.

126. I was not angry, but I could not contain the bitterness that came forth. Many days and weeks went by and no more joy for living was found in my heart. The few people that knew me asked what was troubling me, but I couldn’t tell, they wouldn’t understand.

127. At times I pretended that all was fine so that I would not be asked, but inside only my soul knew. I would lie in bed and struggle to stop my crying, but for shame that my neighbour below could hear, I would stuff my mouth in my pillow. I was at my wits end, everywhere I looked seemed like a good place to put an end to it all, but the fear of hell always prevailed. I knew very well what would await me if I had such an end. For many years I had felt sorrow and trouble in heart, but nothing like in that year, nothing like what I was feeling. I just wanted to close my eyes and not awake again, but morning after morning I got up. I thought that maybe I was getting depressed so I asked my teacher of psychology what she thought of the many questions that troubled my heart, questions such as ‘why are we in this world, what is the meaning of life, and its real purpose?’ to which she said, ‘they all sound like intelligent questions, but they are dangerous questions. Most people that ask those types of questions end up crazy. I think you should make an appointment with your GP.’ If I was starting to fear that I was losing my faculties, well I mean the few that I had left, after what she said really did the trick. Good thing I didn’t tell her that deep down all I wanted was to disappear from off the face of the world, otherwise I think she would have turned me over to the authorities for fear that I would take my life.

128. Wearied and burdened with that massive weight upon my shoulders, I promised to myself not to discuss with anyone else again of what so much troubled my mind, neither the true reality of my emotions. However, I was wrong, because I did it only a few months later.

129. During the course at college around the time of May 2006 one of the topics given in biology was the study of evolution by Charles Darwin. The professor gave all the material for the respective study and at its end requested an essay from everyone, either approving the theory of evolution and if so, why it was accepted, or if not accepting the theory then say why. All this of course would have to be presented with strong arguments reinforced by proof and empirical references. However, the Bible was not to be accepted as proof, neither could it be used as an empirical reference, but only for stating an argument.

130. Everyone in the class was exited with the task at hand. Never had a task been given before that was met with the same fervour. In thirty students that were in my class, I was the only one that did not accept the theory of evolution, much less the big bang, despite all the science given by the professor, despite all that pressed and burned in my heart.

131. So I set myself to look for evidences to back up my belief that there was a God who created the earth, the heavens, and all that in them exists, although I did not know Him, but thought that I did. Not knowing where to start I began searching on the internet under the topic, creation vs. evolution. I went through all the matches to my query and came across a series of lectures by a professor called Dr Walter Veith.

132. I sat in front of the screen and for hours on end I extracted not the evidences proving the existence of God, but evidences debunking what men called evolution. The evidences put forward contradicted with compelling evidences all the bases upon which the theory of evolution stands, and by the end of my work there was no question in my mind that what men teach in schools, colleges and universities are no more than foolishness and outrageous lies.

133. At first, I could no longer contain my curiosity. I was spending all my spare time listening to this professor, so-called, Walter Veith. All his lectures on Genesis were but a desert, but then he went on to describing the dangers of secret societies, what they teach and in what they believe. Moreover, he revealed the reasons for the Reformation, the departure from the Catholic Roman church, that she was the Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots that the Book of Revelation teaches, that most of the reformed denominations in the world were her daughters, and lastly he went into prophecy. After such a dose of electrical shock thrust down into my brain, I could clearly see that God was going to destroy this planet and that I was going to die without any hope of salvation.

134. At the end of all his series, I couldn’t get over the fear that overtook me. It got a hold on me so deep within that I thought the world was going to end there and then, and I wasn’t ready to meet God. My sins flashed before my eyes and the wrath of God was clearly sounding in my ears, as if someone stood next to me shouting through a loud speaker. I could not explain it, it was as if God was angry with me. And I well knew why. I wanted to pray but I couldn’t, I would not even dare, for my past and present sins were right before my eyes and they stopped my mouth from uttering a word. My conscience was giving me no rest, it accused and convicted me of an impenitent heart.

135. I just could not stop, I got myself busy trying to excuse myself, but it was all in vain, I had broken all the holy commandments of God. All the years that I had lived thinking that God was love and corruptible as men are, but He is not.

136. I pressed myself and made my way to the local Christian bookshop, as they are called, although there’s nothing Christian about them, and got myself an AV Bible and did not rest until I had read it from cover to cover.

137. I had read bits of the Bible before, but not with that thirst. In my readings I could see that God was God of a truth in a way the like I had never believed or seen before, the Lord was Holy and lifted up above all powers and principalities, there was none like unto the Lord. He began to be so real, my eyes were opened and it was as if I could see His glory, and for a while I hid myself in my bedroom and could not tell a soul about how different He was from what I had envisaged. I could see that all the world followed after the beast, they were all worshipping the devil and hating God in the process, and what was more grievous, I too had all my life done the same. There was no question about that, I couldn’t speak, I too had offended Him in all points, I had broken the Law and I found myself lost and without hope.

138. I knew that I had broken every single one of God’s commandments and for that I was going to die not just in this life, but in the next life also, and I well deserved it.

139. I carried on watching some more presentations and hearing other theologians from the same denomination as Dr Veith, the Seventh Day Adventists, and when one of them said that all we had to do was to accept Jesus as our personal Saviour and keep the Law, and by doing so we would be saved and with Him live in the new world, that all we had to do was to recite a prayer that he soon began to speak out, my heart weeping and full of convictions made me jump out of the couch, (just like coming to the front) and could not but cry out and recite all the foolishness that I was hearing.

140. But that was not enough, inside me I thought it all seemed too easy, too superficial, it didn’t reach deep enough. The conviction of my sinful life still sounded in my ears, I still felt hopeless, and without any real hope or assurance in my heart that could give me peace. I had to know Him, I had to have Him, on my knees in prayers I waited and waited.

141. But I began to grow impatient, my sins flashing over my eyes and the sound of the thunders of the law grew louder. I meditated on His word day and night reading psalms and the prophets, but there was no rest, it just wasn’t enough. Weeks after and I could no longer contain the fear that was building itself up in my soul by a broken law, an angry Judge, just waiting for me on the other side of death.

142. Then in sheer desperation seeking after the truth, I began to search the internet trying to find if there was someone else who described the Lord in the same way I was feeling and perceiving Him to be. Nevertheless, I was too fearful in being deceived, so in turn I turned to the Seventh Day Adventists, naturally, though you could not get more deceived than that, but what did I know then? Not much. But once I had found an Adventist church in my area I was the first one to arrive at the place of crime, or should I say, where errors are taught.

143. There I was welcomed with open arms, they asked me how I had come to hear of them and I told them in the same fashion as I have written here. The pastor straightaway took a liking to me and invited me to go along with him to other churches of theirs dispersed around Devon. He soon began to indoctrinate me about prophecy, telling me about the Law and Sabbath keeping. I begin to be the first to volunteer to help distribute tracks and go visit people at the hospitals, so well did I go in my road of good works that everyone started to comment that, due to my zeal, maybe I was being called to the ministry. And in the mist of all that worked up religion, I could not but wonder if indeed what I was hearing was the truth.

144. Deep down in my soul I did not feel at home and it seemed that more was yet to be revealed, so I would drop to my knees and pray that if I was being deceived that the Lord would be pleased to help me see it and get me out of there and lead me to His truth. In that state of uncertainty and mistrust I remained for about two to three months, but felt anguished and troubled throughout that time. While in the middle of all that confusion, I met a Brazilian fellow and with him we used to read and study the Bible, although I was getting nothing of any worth but head notions, namely regarding prophecy and Sabbath keeping. Do this, do that, touch not, taste not, handle not, and not much else.

145. At this time I was contacted by a friend of the family who lives in London, she used to get in touch with me occasionally to check up on me during that period. Now this friend belongs to a charismatic church and when she heard of what was happening to me, my searches, my discoveries, how my life had changed, and how quickly it had all been turned upside down, she just could not contain her enthusiasm, and said that I was born again. ‘Born again?’ said I, now there was a strange thought, I did not know anything about being born again, but took the thought and carried on telling her where I was worshipping.

146. That of course caused her some alarm, and soon she begin to say that we didn’t have to keep the Sabbath, that the Sabbath was part of the old law, only for the Jewish people, and that we kept the Sunday instead. Well that made me confused, because in the law it does command to keep the Sabbath day holy. Full of fear, mixed with zeal and rubbish inside my head, I began to contend against her reasoning. Quoting scripture after scripture and saying that I had heard that those that do keep the Sunday are the ones that have the mark of the beast, because Sunday used to be, in the old days, the worship of the sun god Baal.

147. I tried to prove my case, but ignorant of the truth myself, soon gave up, and if I was already with doubts over all the teaching that I was receiving from the Adventists my squabble with my charismatic friend just fuelled it all the more, even to the point of despair.

148. She said that I should not trust them, because they were a cult, although she never gave me any evidence to support her claims, not even any valid scripture, just some philosophical reasoning to do with the Gregorian calendar and other similar stuff. But I eased her troubled mind with a promise to stop listening to them and to seek the Lord instead, which I already had done, but did it again, and in truth have not stopped since.

149. I promised her that I was going to take some time off from the Adventists, not just because of what she had said but because I had my doubts too, and from that day more or less I have not set foot in that place, neither did I give ear to their so-called theologians.

150. At that time I had a month’s holiday over in Portugal and it seemed a good idea to use that time for quietness and reflection over all that had been happening. Days and nights spent on my knees in prayers and fasting, it didn’t seem like a holiday because there was no rest, the law was always sounding in my head, do this, do that. ‘No rest for the wicked’ applied to me in all the sense of the word, I was like the troubled sea, but the worst was yet to come. Little did I know then about troubled sea, but in time I not only got to know of it but felt it like never before in all my life.

151. All I used to pray was, ‘Lord let me not be deceived, lead me Lord to thy truth. Forgive me Lord, have mercy Lord, save me from the wrath to come, and from the mark of the beast.’ What the mark meant I didn’t know, but I knew that I needed saving from that too.

152. On my return from Portugal I stopped for three days in London to visit my charismatic friend. Moreover, as soon as the weekend arrived she took me to her so-called church. At my arrival there were lots of people near the entrance of the meeting place. My name was asked and to what church did I belong. I did not know what to answer for I had no denominational affiliation, neither membership, so I just gave my name and went into the hall. There were about 150 people in the meeting hall. There was a huge stage with all types of musical instruments, an altar with lots of chairs behind it, such as like I never had seen before as a place of worship. At the commencement of what they call worship lots of men in suits sat in the chairs that were behind the altar, and then one lady approached the microphone and gave thanks for the visitors and mentioning their names.

153. Then it was announced who was going to preach that evening and the people started to cheer and clap their hands, the loud music commenced, the people got up and started singing and clapping their hands. I thought that was all a bit too strange, the loud rock music, people clapping their hands, lifting their hands up in the air, seemed more like I was inside of a rock concert than in a place of worship. Who did they think God is? But the strangest thing was when the preacher began to preach, well if that can be called preaching, I call it more screaming and gibberish, for I couldn’t understand a word.

154. After a few minutes the people got up and began clapping their hands and shouting some stuff that was neither Portuguese or English, to which the preacher followed them in like fashion. It was all too weird, strange fire is the word, and for the most part, scary. I thought that I was stuck right in the middle of crazy people, but what could I say? there were 150 of them, so very quietly I kept seated while all that show went on. At first while they were singing hymns, well what can I say, songs more like, I tried to participate but my conscience struck me so hard, making me realise that all this show was not at all pleasing to God. So, like I said, I just remained seated. But my face must have revealed my indignation and reproof, because the preacher, shouting ever so loudly, and looking at me said, ‘there are some in here today that are not well with the spirit, some in this place are restraining the fire!’ Did he really mean me? I have to say that he did, for I was the only one still seated, as quiet as a mouse in my chair all the duration of that nonsense.

155. At the end, on my way back to my friends house, she asked if I had enjoyed it, but I did not want to be bad-mannered, so I just said, No. In turn I asked if she would answer me a question, she said, go on, ‘What is the similarity between a maggot and a man?’ She said that there wasn’t one for they were totally different, so I said, ‘well that is true, they are different, and so are we to God. For God is Holy, far past all understanding, and because of that I do not think that all that music, shouting, and easiness would be much accepted by Him.

156. Her answer was that I didn’t know much, and because I had been raised a Catholic much orthodoxy was in my understanding, and for that reason I found it strange the way they worshipped. But I just couldn’t conceive the idea that anyone could worship God in that away. Don’t they know that God is Holy and He must be worshiped in Spirit and in truth? They called on a spirit but I did not think that it was the Spirit of God. All the books of the Bible that I had read, especially Exodus, revealed such reverence towards God and how the Jewish people of old were prevented from approaching Mount Sinai, for if they did God would kill them.

157. Then after the giving of the Law, the LORD God gave them the sacrificial law, which was to show that they could not approach God without a proper sacrifice, and even with a sacrifice, that sacrifice had to be offered upon the alter with the blood of the lamb then having to be sprinkled upon the mercy seat. There between the cherubim of glory God would meet with them. No other way or form could be possible. The acceptable sacrifice had to be offered.

158. It didn’t make any sense to me, how could people lose all their restraints, shouting like mad men and pretending that that would be accepted by a Holy God. Where is the sacrifice, for we know that without a sacrifice one cannot approach God. But they didn’t even mention such a thing as a sacrifice. They spoke of a Jesus, but the Jesus they spoke about was not like the Jesus Christ Son of the Most High God, no, not even close. Their Jesus was not the Lamb of God.

159. I couldn’t wait to get back to Plymouth far away from all that nonsense. O foolish people with no understanding, ‘wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men.’

160. A lot of clapping, a lot of singing and jumping around like mad people, and will they think God will accept that as worship? But for this the Lord made the hearts of this people fat, and made their ears heavy, and blinded their eyes lest they should understand with their hearts and convert and be healed. ‘They are drunken, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink.’ As it is written, ‘God hath given them the spirit of slumber’, professing to be wise they became fools drunken with iniquity.

161. Back again into my story: on my return to Plymouth I received a call from the Pastor from the Seventh Day Adventist church asking me why I hadn’t been to church, to which I said that I was going to be attending a Baptist church instead, because I had many doubts in my mind over the Adventists. Therefore I needed time for the Lord to reveal to me the truth of the matter. He seemed ok with that, but asked me if I would be happy to meet with him in a coffee shop in town to discuss things properly. I agreed and so we did. Once I had told him my reasons he looked at me ever so differently and said, ‘Well you do what you have to do, but let me tell you, those that don’t keep the Sabbath shall be destroyed, and may the Lord have mercy on you for turning your back on Him.’

162. My! although I was fixed on not going to that church anymore, nevertheless his warnings gave cold shivers down my spine, piercing my soul, almost sick to death over my decision, but then comforted by reading in Proverbs, ‘Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ And in psalm 115:11 when it says, ‘Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.’ And again ‘It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.’

163. I went and tried a Baptist church. I even visited them a few times but they sounded more like the charismatics than anything else, so no help there. I turned to the Lord but as days went by my troubled soul was tossed and turned all the more. I listen to all sorts of preachers but none seemed to describe God the way I could feel Him inside, it just didn’t add up. Through correspondence with some pastors over in America, I was given the contact number of a preacher that lived in Liscard. I then got in touch and arranged to meet up with him the following week.

164. We met in town and I told him all that had happened to me in the past months, that I was a sinner and that Christ was the propitiation for my sins, which all sounded good to him, and impressed by what I had told him he invited me over to his house for dinner and to hear him preach, which I gladly did. We had dinner, then all his big family sat in the living room and he began his preaching, but it didn’t move me inside the slightest bit. Oh he talked all right for almost an hour, how the life of a Christian was easy, and that all we had to do was accept Jesus into our hearts and we should be saved. Easy! I thought to myself, now that is a strange reality. When he finished he walked with me to the train station, exchanged a few words, and promised that we would do all that again.

165. I got back to my old routine searching the internet for gospel messages, and reading the Bible, and in the midst of all that searching and listening and praying, affliction began to arise, the sound of the law sounded more and more clear in my soul with all its curses. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’

166. But I had stopped keeping it, I had decided to trust in God, so why did my conscience afflict me so much? I knew that if God really wanted me to keep the law and the Sabbath I had to keep it, but I had tried to keep it and failed miserably. When I would leave my room and go outside all types of evil thoughts would arise, things that I never before had thought of I was able to think of them. For sure, I was the worst person alive. No one could be as wretched as I was. The more I tried not to think about those filthy things the more they did rise in my head. Then guilt consumed me and grief stabbed me deep. The more holier I viewed God the more unclean I appeared, the more I would set myself to keep the Law the more sin would show itself afresh in my mind, past and present, filthy thoughts pierced me like blazing arrows. I would try to shake them off but too late, oh the despair and sorrow, I was but a lost soul condemned for all eternity. God would not pardon me, I was lost and without a hope.

167. Was I wrong to stop going to the Adventist church? Was I wrong in stopping observing the Sabbath and keep it holy unto the Lord? I asked myself, but no longer knew what to do with myself. Days passed and instead of finding peace I found pain and turmoil, so I would go to the Bible to find comfort like I had found before, but no, no comfort, only bitterness. If I opened the Bible in the Old Testament passages such as these would find me out, ‘Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.’

168. I thought this can’t be, it must be my imagination, why would God be angry with me, all I did was entrust myself to Him to teach me the meaning of the Sabbath, but I have loved God, I would say, but that did not stop the thoughts of doom and destruction piercing every time I opened the Bible.

169. No more! Would I say, I will not open that book again, but somehow I would find myself reading it repeatedly, but wrath was in every page, pain and fury was my destiny. Thoughts would come to my mind such as the prayer that I had made when hearing the Seventh Day Adventist theologian, but it only made things worse, clearly those things did not please God.

170. But I had believed, I would reason, but then ‘cursed is every one that continueth not in all the things that are written in the book of the law to do them’ sounded in the depths of my soul so vividly that I thought I was going insane. Day after day every time I would open the Bible, I could feel the wrath, the hot displeasure of God towards me by a broken law and by my stinking depraved soul. Then I would think, ‘Why would God want me anyway? I’m nothing more than a repulsive foul creature, self absorbed, living for pleasure and sin, all I deserve is eternity in hell, for in hell was I born and hell is what I deserve, cut me down Lord, put an end, there in hell shall I have my abode.’ And with that reasoning my insides burned, bursting with enmity towards God.

171. My sins flashed before my eyes, things I had done in the past that had been long forgotten, but still somehow they found me out. Oh my soul, it had been better never to have touched that Bible at all, for many days did I cry, but all was darkness. I would turn to the Psalms where before I had found some comfort, but there was no comfort, all verses seamed to curse me, ‘God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.’ Then I read that ‘Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.’ And that was what I was feeling, God was raining down fire and brimstone upon my soul. I could feel that God was angry with me and that He was going to utterly destroy me and send me to hell, He the judge, and I cursed, driving me to despair.

172. I would put the Bible down and promise again never to touch it, but then my conscience would pierce me so hard that no sooner had I put down the book, that I would just drop to the ground in bitter cries and tears. O my soul there’s no one that can help, you carved your own end, you digged your own grave, so now lay in it.

173. The thunders and wrath sounded so clear within me that I would run around like a headless chicken, cast myself on the ground begging forgiveness for all the years that I had taken His Holy Name in vain for praying to Him with my filthy lips. What fury burned within my soul, ‘I tried’, I cried, ‘I tried O Lord to keep thy law, but I’m too wretched, I can do nothing but sin, oh have mercy Lord, thou must save me for I can’t stand, I tried oh Lord not to break thy law and live right, but from within evil springs forth, I’m altogether vile.’

174. Oh the thought that for many years I had used my body for such vileness, and at the same time addressed myself to God who is so Holy cut me deep. Day upon day, weeks went by in that state.

175. When reading the Bible I could see that there was a people saved by Christ before the world was, and in the fullness of time, Christ shed His blood for them, redeeming them by His blood. How I envied that people, but it was not for me, for God’s fury, not His blessing was upon me. Where was the God of love that for many years people had told me of? Oh no, God seemed to be a sovereign Judge and He judged me severely. I could see that there was a people elected by God to be saved and only the elect would be saved. I felt that there was no more hope for me, I was totally lost and condemned for ever.

176. The Jews were that people, but I was not a Jew, Christ came to the Jews, but that was two millennia ago, but as I was not even born then, what hope was there for me? The remnant was going to be saved but who were that remnant? God was in the Church, but where was the Church? I had looked for it but all I found was confusion, lies, easy believing, and a law that I could not attain to.

177. The Adventists called themselves the remnant and the true Church of God, but they didn’t even believe in election, neither in sovereign electing grace, they claimed that Christ died for everybody but I didn’t feel He had died for all, at least not for me. If all I could feel was wrath and anger from God, that clearly revealed that they did not know what they were talking about. If God loves everybody, why then does He hate me? To whom could I plead my case? Oh that God would hear my prayers, but He didn’t, I had broken His law and for that I had to pay.

178. Then one day in my searches on the internet I heard a man called Henry Mahan claiming that he was a preacher sent from God to preach the gospel of God’s sovereign, electing grace, so I gave him a try, why not? I had listened to so many others, so one more would not hurt. He preached the election of grace and opened in the book of Romans and quoted,

179. ‘For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.’ Rom. 9:11-16.

180. Then he went to Romans chapter 11 verse 5, ‘Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace’, and said that he realised that there would be some objection to his message, but I did not object, all I wanted was to be part of that little remnant. So I heard what the men had to say and by the end my greatest fear had come alive, I was not one of the elect, ‘how could I be?’ I was nothing more than sin personified, so much so that in my own eyes I abhorred myself, much less could I stand before the Almighty God whose eyes are so pure that He cannot look upon sin.

181. If I should come before Him, He would burn me and cast me out from His presence. The preacher did say that if we believe and have faith in Jesus we would be saved, but I tried, O how I had tried, but I had no faith! Nothing prevailed under the scourging of God’s wrath, nothing was left but my sin and doubt. How could I believe that the Son of God had shed His precious blood for me, I who had committed so much sin?

182. No sooner had that thought taken hold of me than I began to grow angry, and my bowels burned with wrath, and blasphemous thoughts came out of my mouth. I tried to stop them but I could not contain them, out they came one after another, and then I would drop to the ground begging God for forgiveness for what I had just said, ‘come not close, neither hear me Lord, for I am too unclean, too disgusting, too filthy, even to open my mouth to thee.’

183. Clearly if anybody would have seen me they would have turned me over to the authorities on grounds of insanity. Cursing the day that I was born, I wished my mother had killed me at birth, for what good had my life been, ‘Is this what life is all about? Is it just to know sorrow and pain, to do evil and then die and burn in hell? Oh most miserable wretch, it would be better to be a dog, at lest they don’t have a soul, their life is in their breath, they die and go to the ground, but not me, I will die, but my soul shall live in hell for all eternity.’

184. O the thoughts that consumed me, the despair that filled my heart, where was my hope, where was my simple prayer now? Nothing but vanity and stupid presumption, all was gone like a vapour, nothing left to hold on to. Yet I could but beg for mercy, and so for mercy I begged day after day, night upon night.

185. Meanwhile the so-called evangelist from America rung me and asked if I was interested to meet up again for lunch, and so we did. We went for a pizza, his favourite dish, and not long after we had taken a few bites of the dried up pizza, he began to ask me if all was ok and how was my reading going. More or less, I told him what had been happening for the past few weeks, to which he seemed very perplexed and looked at me as if I was saying something out of this world and completely erroneous, at least to his understanding.

186. But I told him that I did not believe that Christ had died for everyone but for the elect only, and by my very experience I had proved without a shadow of a doubt that He had not died for me, because all I could feel was wrath and indignation coming down from God, and if that was the case with me, I was quite sure that there would be others in the same predicament. Moreover, if there were people in hell it meant that God didn’t love everybody and I for sure was one of them.

187. The man’s face changed so drastically and said, ‘That’s not true, Christ did die for everybody, and if some go to hell it is because they did not accept Him as Lord and Saviour of their souls’. Well, said I, if that is the case then God is a liar or else you don’t know Him at all, because it is written ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated’, and ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’. To this he answered, ‘it’s not all black and white like you said, it’s more like this: God looked through time and saw who would believe on Jesus’, he went on and on, but I could not take his mumbo jumbo. He said that salvation was a gift, but we had to take that gift otherwise salvation would remain ineffectual. But that did not make any sense at all to me and I said, that if someone had given me a gift then by reason that gift was mine, I didn’t have to take it, it was mine if it was given to me. But he said, ‘no, we have free will to take the gift or to reject that gift.’ Oh really! how can you tell me that I have a free will to take it when I’ve tried, and still after all this time all I feel is the wrath of God?’ Free will!

188. ‘All I do all day long is sin and you tell me that I have a free will? So how come I can’t stop sinning?’ To that he asked what type of sin was I doing, and I said, ‘well my thoughts, I can’t control them, and then there’s lust, and anger towards God.’ Then he said that sin is like a bird flying over your head trying to make a nest, and when you see the bird just don’t let him make a nest, because it is when he makes his nest that sin comes to its fullest. But what kind of rubbish was he telling me! The Lord said if a man hates his brother in his heart it is as if he has killed him, how could this evangelist tell me that sin is only when the bird makes his nest in my head.

189. He soon realised that he just could not win me over, so he hurried to finish his food, put an end to our little debate claiming that the problem with England was that same sort of reasoning that I appeared to have, ‘Hyper Calvinism is a damning heresy brother, but I will pray for you.’ Then we parted in different ways and I have not seen him again up to this day.

190. Continuing in prayers and hearing the gospel of God’s free grace, the preacher pointing to Christ and my conscience saying look unto Christ and you shall be saved, but I couldn’t but question it. Can that be so, but what about the law, I have broken God’s Holy law, ‘For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all’, but I also read that ‘Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ Oh that I could believe, if God would be pleased to give me faith to believe. It was all too wonderful to believe, could it be that Christ died for me? ‘Christ came to save sinners not the righteous’ sounded in the depths of my crushed bruised soul. Could it be that He died for me?

191. But awakened by the Judge of all the earth by a broken law, the sound of the wrath to come shook my soul and fear took hold of me. The wrath to come so vividly set between the eyes of my soul I took cover amongst the trees of the garden. I went to hear men preach and between them I thought that all would be all right, a profession of faith here, a presumptuous prayer there, but when the voice of God sounded again with thundering curses by a broken law quickly I set about again to patch up an apron of fig leaves. How quick did I move about? Very quickly, it was a matter of life or death, either of eternal bliss or an eternal life in hell.

192. Righteousness by the law? Let’s keep the Sabbath, and must not forget the Ten Commandments, do this, don’t do that, oh vanity of vanities. How I thought that my works of law keeping would do the trick, but soon they were all burned away just like the apron that Adam prepared so carefully for himself. What about my past sins, how fast they all came tumbling down upon me, how could I then go about to set up a righteousness by the law when I had already accumulated so much sin? O blind fool! But soon I learned that nothing can be hid before the sovereign eyes of Almighty God for they are like fire, and who can stand before His gaze? Peter learned this very same lesson and like him I shamefully confessed that all self-will, all carnal strength is no more than an illusion. In no time, my fig leaves were burned off and taken out of sight.

193. Then naked and stripped of all hope of ever standing before God by my own strength, I cried like a new-born child helpless in his father’s arms. ‘Have mercy on me Lord, for I am altogether vile and I perish before your eyes.’ And from one day to the next reading the word of God in the prophets, mostly in the book of Isaiah, God set before my amazed eyes a perfect unblemished Lamb who never had sinned. ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’

194. As God made me to see Christ in all His glory and Majesty the scales dropped from my eyes and I could see Him. Christ was the Son of God who had come into the world to save sinners. At first, I could not believe it, but in the blessed Holy Scriptures guided by the Spirit I could not but believe. I saw my Lord slain on that wooden cross. For ‘as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his sheerer,’ all for me. Wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of my peace fell upon Him at the cross, and by His stripes I was healed, for I had gone astray, I had turned to my own way, but God had laid upon Him my iniquities, God bruised Him instead of me, making His soul an offering for my sin and for the sin of all God’s chosen people.

195. Oh heaven could not contain my shouts for joy. I had heard of Christ, but not like that, now He was all to me, He was my hope, He was my salvation, He was my joy, I could not take my eyes from off the cross, oh the Lord gave Himself for me, oh mercy of mercies, how could God love a sinner like me to give His own begotten Son for me!

196. The Bible no longer sounded curses or wrath upon me. The dark clouds that once rained curses drew back, and the Sun of righteousness shined in all its glory. Then when reading the book of Isaiah this passage sounded as though it had been written just for me: ‘For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee’, how sweet were these words spoken into my heart.

197. How could God love a sinner like me? I could not tell, neither did I fully understood how a man could be justified before Almighty God, but I could see Christ that gave His life for me, the just for the unjust. And that was enough for me. For all my life no one had ever loved me, all my life I had spent my time and strength to find true undying love, but then it was God’s love that found me, Christ my Saviour who redeemed me to God by His shed blood upon the cross. I looked for love in the world, in the things of the world, but I looked for something that does not exist, and when all hope was gone, God revealed Christ to me. The love of men or women will always wax cold, but the love of God towards His people in Christ is eternal, it’s a never-ending love from eternity to eternity.

~   ~   ~

198. After being ‘born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever’, I desired the sincere milk of the word, so that I could grow thereby: so I dived headlong into the pages of the Bible, searching more and more for the things that belongeth to Christ. I just couldn’t stop, I was too taken up with love for my redeemer. I desired to know more of Him and feel His love for me in my heart experimentally, I did not yet fully understand that Christ Himself is not to be found in the pages of the Bible, but truly they speak of Him and testify of His wonderful works. But the Bible in itself, if read without the Spirit of truth and of life, is no more than the letter. But in time I learned that lesson.

199. I would spend most of my time off from work reading and then listening to preaching of the gospel on the internet by the mouth of two American ministers, first by Mr Henry Mahan and then by Mr Don Fortner who gave me the contact number of a brother that lived not far from me near Exeter.

200. Just a few weeks after the Holy Ghost brought salvation into my heart I expressed my desire to this brother to be baptised, because in the scriptures it said that ‘he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved’, and, ‘what doth hinder me to be baptized?’ The brother said, ‘if you believe with all your heart’, ‘I do’, I said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ I believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God’, so in my heart there was no clear reason for me not to be baptised.

201. But then this brother told me and warned me that although in scripture all things may look simple, in reality it is not always so, for sometimes things can be a bit more complicated. Moreover he said that I had to wait for the visit of one of the American preachers, Mr Don Fortner, to be baptised, he said this because here in England there was nobody that would baptise me without imposing upon me to join their church and sign up to their creeds. Now this I would not do, for I had visited some so-called churches and had got myself in something of a mess already, and for that I thought better to stay away from organised religion.

202. So it was planned that on the visit of Mr Don Fortner I should be baptised, news that I gladly received. Meanwhile the brother invited me over to his house where he gave me some pastoral guidance. I also got from him some books, one was written by Mr William Huntington a preacher greatly used of God to whom I straight away took a liking.

203. This was the title of the book, ‘The Fountain of Life’ from the collected writings of the author and these were the works I believe that were used –

‘The Dimensions of Eternal Love’,
‘The Destruction of Death by the Fountain of Life’,
‘The Eternal Setting of the Sun’,
‘The Saint’s Seed-time and Harvest’,
‘An Innocent Game for Babes in Grace’,
‘The Broken Cistern & The Springing Well’.

204. After I had read that book I searched for more writings from Mr Huntington and came across his autobiography, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN TAKEN BY PRAYER, and found that much of his experience could be related to my own, which was overwhelming to my still bruised heart. The works of Mr. Huntington became the most read at the time and his exposition of the gospel the more authentic to my amazed eyes. Reading his work I could feel that it was from heaven, for it always brought me peace and cleared much doubt.

205. When the brother heard of my exceeding joy regarding the works of Mr Huntington he said that he knew of another man that preached with the same power as he did, but even more clearly. A man he knew had been sent by God to preach the gospel, and that he was still alive, and lived near London, his name was John Metcalfe. This brother gave me some of his messages and one in particular that shook my rocky heart in pieces was, ‘How should man be just with God?’ Never had I heard anything like it. Forget all about the American preachers, yes, they preached the gospel, but not like this, I reasoned in my heart. But although it shook me and the truth did come in power, the gospel that he preached soon became a little obscured. My heart was all over the place and my head, well, I never really had much brains anyway, but to my defence I must say that in part it was due to the approximation of the day of my baptism.

206. As soon as I entered in that last week just before my baptism, I began to be attacked from all corners with divers doubts and fears. I wanted to get baptised, no doubts about that, I believed in Christ my Saviour. I knew He had given His life for my life – that much had been revealed to me. I stood tall and firm upon that ground, but what had started to come over me in that week can only be revealed at the last day, the day of our Lord when the books shall be opened.

207. I was working night shifts as a construction site security guard with plenty of time on my hands to read the scriptures or any other book that I had. Nonetheless, the expectation grew heavier by the hour and as soon as I had settled myself at work upon a chair with the Bible open before my eyes, heavy doubts compassed me about from all directions. The first night of seven had begun and I thought that I was going to lose my mind all over again.

208. I neither could affirm afresh what had happened to me months earlier, neither could I affirm that I was a child of God any longer, and if I could not see myself as a child of God, how in the world could I go and get baptised?

209. My head was being filled with so much questioning and accusations that I thought I was inside a court room with the judge right in front of me, and on my right hand an accuser, ‘you hypocrite, to whom do you pretend to lie to? Is it to God, you know well how evil you are, how much sin you committed all this time, how can you be a child of God?’ My defence, where was my defence? I had none at that moment, so I thought.

210. The enmity rising up and the guilt burning within drove me to despair. How could I think that I could be a child of God, I knew who my redeemer was, that it was Christ the Son of the living God, but how could I assume that He had died for me. I had believed, and not so long ago, no more than six months had past since I felt the wrath of the Almighty upon me, and then the Spirit of God setting my eyes upon the cross of Christ, so how come I doubted? Why do I feel the wrath of God again? But was it the wrath of God this time? What have I done? All I want is to be baptised, to profess before men that my Lord saved me when He gave himself for me upon the cross at Golgotha.

211. Those thoughts did appease the accusation that filled my mind, and with the daybreak and the end of the shift, a bit of rest from the battle came at last.

212. The following day came, and with it dark skies full of doubt pressing my soul, and so the attack began. At work, all alone in that dark night, with all types of doubts and fears rising as my solemn company, I thought that I was losing my mind or at least the salvation of my soul. While reading some work of Mr William Huntington, many questions sounded in the depths of my dark soul. ‘How can you be a child of God when your soul is as black as night and full of sin? How can you get baptised if you are not one of God’s elect? And how will you know you are one, did you hear it from God’s own lips?’ I had asked for mercy, I begged for the salvation of my soul, I have called upon the name of the Lord, I have believed and I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, ‘yea, and so the devils believe and tremble, what makes you to differ?’

213. Nothing, I replied, I only know this, Christ died to save sinners that come to Him by faith believing that He is able to save them to the uttermost! That was so, but as soon as that fierce attack began, I began to forget all that God the Father had showed me, even when God brought me to the cross of Christ. I had looked upon the spotless Lamb of God upon the cross when He offered Himself up in the place of the people of God, in place of sinners that come to Him by faith believing that He is able to save them. I had looked and had rejoiced over my salvation, but the darkness of that night was all too different.

214. When I was a young boy I feared the darkness of the night immensely, but those days had past and I was a grown man, what fear is this that I was experiencing? I questioned it and finally managed to reason that fear out of my mind, but the truth is that that week was very strange, the darkness could be felt, and very few times did I walk out of the hut into the night. I kept myself inside, praying and reading the Bible, but the questioning did not end, it lasted all night.

215. Christ came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but you are not a Jew, how then can you assume that Christ died for you? O my soul, how I trembled and feared at the sound of those words, it was true I was not a Jew, so for a while the accusations prevailed. Then my voice would raise shouting, I cried unto the Lord and begged for mercy, in Him I trust, He shall not let me down! But ‘it is not of him who willeth, nor of him that runneth’, sounded in the depths of my soul. What makes you think Christ would love you and give himself for you, you’re not even fit for dogs, how then could the Holy One look on you. Oh how fiercely those accusations pierced deep into my heart leaving me bruised and in tears.

216. Despair had taken hold of me and not knowing what to think or say in my own mind I could only but cry, ‘if the Lord condemns me, be it so, He is the Lord, let Him do as it seemeth Him good.’ If my Lord sends me to hell it is just, for I have sinned all my life, always coming short of the glory of God. But then I started to reason again, but did not Christ come to save sinners? Yes, I would say with a bit of happiness breaking through my soul. There is still hope, and my soul rejoiced, and with this type of reasoning I did battle for hours to the point of exhaustion right to the end of the shift, and then throughout all the week, even to the very moment that I got into the pool, and in honesty even afterwards.

217. I knew I was a sinner, and I knew that I had called upon the name of the Lord, but I could not see myself as one of the chosen lost sheep. A sinner no doubt, but I could not see myself as a child of God, and this state went on for months. Crying my eyes out, I wanted my Lord and I did not know how to get to Him. All I knew was that I wanted to feel His love for me in my heart and when this did not seem to come true, despair would prevail, leaving me helpless, not knowing what to do or what to believe. Now I know why, because in part I was failed by the ministry that I was under, namely the American preachers.

218. So the answers that my heart was looking for were left unanswered for quite some time, resulting in a bit of apathy, drifting along with a carnal ease, but in scripture we read of none like that who are Christ’s disciples. But that’s what you get when you hear preachers who are not sent from Christ, from on high, with a living spirit.

219. For months afterwards I lived constantly doubting, and constantly in fear, never knowing if I was a child of God in Christ or if I was just living in a delusion. The brother who I visited would try to comfort me at times saying ‘just look to Christ’, but never telling me how I should look unto Him. And where I was living in Plymouth there wasn’t anyone that I knew of who believed in the same gospel that I was hearing from Mr Metcalfe, which I had begun to love with all my heart, ‘for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’

220. There were, and still exist, plenty of buildings that men call ‘the church’ in that city with their different denominations, but once ‘God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts,’ to us, the little children of God, ‘to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’, we then know better, for God does not dwell in temples made with hands. Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, then how much less a house that men build with their filthy hands. Christ said ‘believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews’, but the hour even now is when every true worshipper, everyone called of God, shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, John 4:21-24.

221. How can men be so blind to think that they can contain God in their little houses made of brick and mortar? Truly some even think that they can restrain the living God in their creeds and confessions of faith, church order or even the Lord’s Supper, what sheer nonsense. The free will Baptists compel others to come to their big church, to what they call ‘worship’ saying, come brother into the house of God with us and let’s worship Him, but then they themselves don’t even have a clue who God is.

222. I did not know much, but I could tell that what they call worship is not fit to give to an earthly king let alone the Ruler of all the universe. I could tell that all was not right because the Lord opened my eyes and gave me some understanding to see the truth that they don’t know the true living God, much less have they fellowship with the Father and the Son. O yes, they have a form of religion in free will worship, but they worship a God created by their own imaginations. Because the true living God, as He is described by the various teachings and doctrines of Christ found in the Bible, they are totally oblivious and deliberately ignorant to it all.

223. They go on with their social gospel of easy believism, Arminian rubbish, professing to believe in Christ, but in reality it is Baal whom they worship, for they seek him to help them in their careers, in their social lives, and lastly for the salvation of their souls, to which they visit him once a week on the Sunday to renew their passport, but this is a folly, for neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved than by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth the Son of the living God. But don’t they know this to be true? Well they will say, yes of course we are all Christians, and we don’t see what you are getting at!

224. But like the children of Israel of old, just after being saved from the bondage of Egypt by the mighty hand of God, turned around and made a calf and offered sacrifices unto their idol, rejoicing in their own works that their hands had made, so now they do the same, not with an outward idol made of gold or silver but with an idol made by their foolish imaginations, creating a God that is more like Father Christmas, one that smiles kindly and lets them live in looseness and worldliness, giving them all that their hearts desire.

225. Being fattened for the slaughter with all their worldliness they don’t even care for the salvation of their souls. That is not the priority with their so-called free will idol, it is to live and let live. But they have never been awakened by the wrath of God which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, Rom. 1:18, totally blind by the veil that is upon their hearts, but do they care? No, why should they? They are too happy pretending to worship Jesus with their silly jazzy songs which are sometimes louder than if you went into a night club, for truly all that was needed was the pretty lights to make it all complete. Then they all look so solemn reading from their NIV pseudo-bible, translated by people including New Age Sodomites that have corrupted the word of God from the original text into this new international version, but don’t they know this is all corrupt religion?

226. Some may say, oh that’s not very nice, where is the brotherly love, you are speaking like a self-righteous Pharisee. Is it so? When I visited one of these places instead of hearing the gospel I heard fables, instead of Christ being preached I heard something about how good the film ‘the Chronicles of Narnia’ was, how wonderful Harry Potter the wizard played his part. Where was the gospel of God concerning His Son that my soul so much needed to hear? Where was free justification by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ shed upon the cross? Where was the righteousness of God brought in by the faith of Jesus Christ imputed unto the believer, without which no man can stand before the Almighty God in heaven? Not in their churches, so am I being too harsh? Judge ye. I was starving for that bread that came down from heaven, and all they gave me was earthly rubbish to hear.

227. It is not like that everywhere, you say, that may be so, but I’m only describing the ones I visited, why should I visit any more? That’s the result of free will, it gets you free corruption. Then I looked and saw in the pulpit a Maltese cross which is to do with Freemasonry, the knights of Malta and the Jesuit order, and going further back to do with pagan religions. I could but ask to myself the reasons for such symbolism in that place. It became clear that although the reformation had done some good work in coming away from the Catholic Church it did not take long before they infiltrated the very same denomination that had split from the mother church.

228. Then there was the reformed Baptist church which I thought that it had to be better. So I attended a few times but they preached Moses instead of Christ, but I had been saved from the law, why then do they want to put me under it again. Must not forget to tithe ten percent, must keep the Ten Commandments as a rule of life. But I thought that Christ had saved His people from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. So if that be so why place a believer under the law again?

229. When I asked this question to the pastor he proudly answered, that we needed to keep the law for sanctification, but I thought that Christ was my sanctification, as it is written, ‘For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them his brethren’, Hebrews 2:11.

230. Christ is our sanctification, by blood we were redeemed, by blood we are brought nigh, and by blood we are sanctified, not by the law, nothing to do with the law. To this the pastor could not reply, only saying that this was the danger that he was trying to warn me about, because he knew that I had listened to preachers who clearly do not agree that a believer is under the law, be it rule of life, or not. But Christ is our sanctification, for Christ finished the work at the cross. Moreover, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth, Rom. 10:4.

231. So not being able to agree with the pastor regarding the matter of law and other things that need not be mentioned, I had little choice but to stop attending the meetings at that place. How hard it is not having fellowship with likeminded Christians. All I longed for was to be in the company of free born sons worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth, but there are very few places in all of the country where the gospel is sounded in its purity. Lots of churches and meeting places, but the sounding of the gospel of Christ without leaven is a rare thing to find these days.

232. Also it is rare to find a minister who the Lord has filled with all utterance and power in the Holy Ghost to preach the word so that it would not be in the letter only, but in power. So that the gospel of our salvation would not be hindered but delivered by the Spirit. I do not look for a form of religion, I want to feel the power of it which would mean the word of the Lord coming into my heart in power.

233. Another most important thing for a true child of God is to worship the Father in the person of His dear Son, to do this we must be called out from the world and worldly religion by God to the kingdom of His dear Son. Then it is Christ that builds the church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Lord builds His church not men, He begins the work and finishes it, and it is the Lord that ‘adds to the church daily such as should be saved.’ Christ is ‘the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.’ And the purpose of God for the church is that all His children in one given locality be united in one place in one accord, of one spirit and in the truth.

234. Then in season it is our Lord that from heaven sends gifts unto the church, not men appoint themselves to churches, ‘and he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers’, what for? Well for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Now if it is for the edifying of the body, then by reason it must be for all of the saints and not just for each individual group raised up by someone. That to me sounds like confusion and it is not what God does through Christ in respect to the church.

235. In one place I went to there was given a study on headship from 1 Corinthians 11 to which there was contention over head covering. Needless is to say that the women did not agree, specially one woman in particular. She not only did not agree, she fiercely contended against it, which to me was a massive shock. I could not believe my ears, let alone see with my own eyes that someone who professed to be saved by grace would contend against such a simple ordinance of our Lord.

236. It was inconceivable to me, I truly was not prepared to see that sort of contention. If in scripture it said that I had to worship wearing a special pyjama would I not wear it? Of course, so then, why contend against putting on a veil. To me this was ever so grievous and hard to consider the reasons why. In all honesty, I thought that after the doctrine had been exposed and brought to light there would be no reason for contention or disobedience because it was made manifest, and anyone saved by grace would not think twice but fall under it and obey it heartily. But it was not so, so eventually I had to stop going to that meeting because of the lack of reverence towards the word of God and the spirit of disobedience that in some was clearly working.

237. For some reason all these contentions made me begin to question all over again if I was truly saved, or just deceived, because I had said what I thought was right about the head covering but others who professed to be the Lord’s people had not followed what the doctrine had said, and because I wasn’t hearing any preaching which gave an interior witness like many times it had happened when hearing the gospel preached by Mr Metcalfe. Countless questions drove me to a profound despair.

238. During this period I had been in contact with another brother over the phone. We got put in touch by someone who had little time to talk to this brother who apparently spent hours over the phone, so he said, and gave me his number that I should speak to him instead. When I began talking with this new brother an overwhelming closeness was made felt, and we became friends straight away. It was like if we had known each other for a long time and there was an immediate flow of Christ’s love between us. With him only I spoke openly regarding all my doubts and fears.

239. As I listened more to Mr Metcalfe and read some of his books I became more grounded in the doctrines of the gospel of Christ, but then someone cautioned me about him, saying that at one time he believed like I did regarding him, but once he’d seen where he lived and what people have spoken about him he did not know what to think of him anymore. ‘That may be so’, I said, ‘but I follow not Mr Metcalfe as such but the truth he brings out that I must hear and give heed to’.

240. Eventually after trying different so-called churches and meetings I needed time to sit only under the Lord’s teaching, praying that the Lord would remove all doubts from my heart. In a way I started to hate myself over all the doubts and contentions I’d been through, and if that was all that religion is about then I didn’t want any part of if, just give me my Lord, cried my soul to God, and if not, well then just slay me, but if He is true, and if by grace and mercy I can have Him, then let me live that I may worship Him. I care not for meetings, or preaching and songs and psalms reading, if Christ be not in them. My soul wants Christ, without Him I cannot live, He gave Himself for me and now I can’t stop seeking Him.

241. If I speak like Peter just before he denied the Lord three times, then there’s still hope that after my fall my Lord should pick me up again just like He did to Peter. If I’m overzealous about the things that be of my Heavenly King it is not to boast before men, for they care not for those things but for their own belly.

242. So I decided that it was best to stop going to meetings, and stop hearing appointed ministers preaching, because when they preach I do not hear the Lord speak, neither is it confirmed within me like when I hear Mr John Metcalfe preach, a man that I truly believe has been sent by Christ from on high to teach and instruct the body here on earth.

 ~   ~   ~

My brother can be contacted by email : lgomes_gomes@yahoo.co.uk