Hi All, my name is Rhista and the Lord has been leading me to share my testimony of how I have been saved from hinduism and new age to now being in the kingdom of light. This testimony is a story of how I came to Lord Jesus Christ and what He has been teaching me along my journey and walk with Him.
I thank my Lord Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father Yahweh for everything that I have learned along my journey. I believe that we all have a purpose and destiny in this life that God has written in our books of destiny. My journey as a believer started in January 2016, however, I can say that my relationship with God progressed from much earlier in my life. Even though I was born into a Hindu home, I always had this feeling of God surrounding me and being with me. In a way, I was very fortunate to be born into a home where my mother had taught me how to pray from a very young age and I can say that even though I have come to know Jesus Christ for just 6 years, I’ve always in some sense known about the Creator and the importance of prayer.
Since I was six years old, I could remember myself praying before I went to school. I would get up really early and after dressing up the first thing I would do is go to our prayer place and I would light a prayer lamp. As I progressed in my beliefs, I somehow never believed that God was all those deities that were represented in hinduism, but I believed “god” was light. I would pray to “god” and this often involved reciting different mantras, and after reciting those, I would talk to “god” and tell him what I wanted for the day and I would thank him for what he did for me the previous day. At this young age, I still somehow knew and felt that I was talking to one overall “god” and not the many deities represented in hinduism. (One of the beliefs in hinduism, is that god took multiple forms i.e. the various deities)
At that time, and until I got saved, I did not know how deceived I was. I was unaware of the concept of being saved, or why I needed to be saved. I did not know that I was believing a lie. What I can say from my experience and what I’ve seen, is that although there may many other beliefs (and all of them come from satan and are a form of satanism)…there’s only one truth and way to God the Father and that is through Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6 (KJV)
I can see now and it is more evident that Lord Jesus Christ was always drawing me closer to Him…because I’ve always had this intense urge and need to know and seek out who our true Creator is. Even though I didn’t know His name, I now understand why I went through the different beliefs and sects even within hinduism, and that God indeed had and still has a plan and purpose for my life. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end – Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV).
My mother told me we initially started out as Hare Krishna believers and then we followed a few other sects including the Sai baba faith. At 11, I started following an end-time religion called Raja Yoga or the Brahma Kumaris movement. This end-time movement, combined beliefs from hinduism, islam and christianity. Thus it was actually a religion of half-truths. However, I am thankful for my journey, because having been in this movement actually helped me to understand some of the concepts of being a believer in Christ. This movement didn’t believe in idol worship or doing rituals… yes, it had its own fair share of false beliefs but it was defnitely a stepping stone to knowing Lord Jesus Christ.
At a later stage in my journey, I started questioning what happens after a person dies, is there a heaven or a hell? And then I realised how dangerous it is when beliefs combined half-truths and christian beliefs and that it is indeed one of the techniques of the enemy to confuse people to actually seek out the truth because they would feel at that point in time that they have the truth. Only later did I come to realize that other beliefs and faiths don’t tell you the truth about heaven and hell (these even include satanic religions like luciferianism). Some may not know about the son of God or some just call him a prophet.
How I eventually came to realise that the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed the son of God and came in the flesh, was only through the Holy Spirit working in me. I realised why we need a Savior – and that is to redeem us from sin and eternal death i.e. the torment of being eternally separated from the true living God (YHVH).
In many false religions, they discredit the fact that Jesus Christ is in fact the son of God, the existence of the devil, and that hell is a real place. These religions downplay the need to get saved and the fact that we are all sinners and they don’t speak about how good and evil came about ( I can go into a lot more on this – but I don’t want to digress from sharing this testimony). All these beliefs may seem good because they follow a set of good principles but that doesn’t necessarily make it the truth or that it takes you to the truth of having a true living relationship with the living God. It is aptly stated in 2 Corinthians 4:4 about the vail that is currently over a non-believer and how they are blinded by satan.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
The many trials and tribulations I faced from a young age, are what helped shape me into who I am and helped with my journey to find the true living God, Yahweh. My family was being persecuted from the time I was born, attacked through black magic and different forms of witchcraft practised within hinduism by close family members. This was usually due to jealousy, but now I realise it was much more than that. It was in fact a way for the enemy to attack our God-given destinies and about the forces of darkness trying to keep us away from the truth. Now that I understand a whole lot more of how the supernatural realm works, I appreciate even more that God had always saved us from these vicious attacks and people trying to kill us. I truly appreciate that He preserved our lives so that we could have an opportunity to be saved and have eternal life, for which I will forever be grateful to my amazing Lord and Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m definitely going to be sharing in later blog posts about the type of enemy attacks that we faced and warfare scriptures and prayers you can pray to defeat the enemy. Being in an indian family in South Africa, a lot of the attacks that we faced was a combination of occultic practices from both indian cultures and religions such hinduism and islam as well as african occultic practices which involved witchdoctors (sangomas). I believe a combination of all of these things brought us closer to God because we finally saw the reality of this darkness and that evil like this does exist, it wasn’t just something made up in a fiction story.
What also made me question if I was following the correct path in life to God, was the fact that when we were attacked by this witchcraft nothing really helped. We went to a witch doctor, it didn’t help, we asked hindu or muslim priests and surprisingly there’s very little about casting out devils and fighting darkness in those “religions”. Why is that? Because devils can’t cast out devils. And we see Jesus speak about this when the Pharisees accused him of casting out devils in the name of Beelzebub.
22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then hiskingdom stand?
Eventually what really helped us was praying psalms specifically 23 and 27 and having church members come over and pray. (I will go more into this later in another blog post sharing my mother’s testimony). I’m always amazed and thankful to our wonderful Creator Lord Jesus Christ for He supernaturally protected my family.
A belief that made it easier for me to believe in Lord Jesus Christ was that in the Brahma Kumaris movement, they believed that God was light and they also taught that we should actually not worship idols. How they viewed the hindu deities was that they were people that lived on earth that had special abilities and they were not God (however we now know they were most probably fallen angels or demons)… so in a way this false religion kind of got me away from worshipping graven and molten images of idols.
In a sense, these beliefs were used by God, as a stepping stone in my journey. It assisted with me believing that there’s just one “god” and he doesn’t take multiple forms. Even as a non-believer I knew there is one true living “god”.
If you belong to any of these new-age movements and you are still searching for the truth, I can definitely tell you that that’s not going to give you the truth. You will still have that emptiness inside of not really knowing the living God and you would always feel like there is something missing.
I followed the Brahma Kumaris movement all the way until about 18 years old and then I found myself looking into at that time a lot of new-age concepts that were being released. I remember just after my dad passed away that my aunt had given my mom this book called The Secret as a gift and this started my whole journey of looking into the law of attraction and the new-age movement. I believe the most dangerous new-age belief is that you can be your own God and I had also experimented with this. What I eventually learnt through this whole law of attraction thing is that you really can’t take God out of the equation… This false belief makes it seem as if you can just use your mind and your beliefs to attract whatever you want. Yes, that would work to an extent but I believe there are demonic entities in the background that can also manifest things. There is a lot of examples of people who have been saved from new age, these include Doreen Virtue and Steven Bancarz who go extensively into the dangers of new age and how it’s infiltrating the church. We as true believers shouldn’t actually be doing eastern meditation, practices such as yoga and karate and other eastern practices which are actually are worshipping of their different deities when we mimic those poses and positions.
The first encounter I had with Lord Jesus Christ in my life was when I saw him in a dream where he appeared on my computer screen. I believe He was showing me that I would eventually be studying in the electronics and computer engineering field. This was because at that time, I applied to study for quite a few degrees and I was not sure of which field I would be getting into. However, I did not yet understand the full gravity of this dream, as I was still in new age and slowly coming out of any hindu religious beliefs.
Another turning point in my life was when I started working in the engineering field in 2013. I was based at a railway company and I was working as a signals engineer. I had met really good friends and some of them were already Christian believers. It was at that time where God started planting seeds and used these believers to approach me to say this is the path I should consider following. Actually, I recall that when I was younger, staying in my childhood home, from the time I was 10 years old we had a church that was built directly opposite our house. The pastors of that church always wanted to come and visit our house, from all the other houses in the street. And it was around the time I was studying, when I would visit home that they also approached us to consider following the true living God. This just showed me that God doesn’t give up on people or reject someone, it is usually the other way around. If we look back we will see there were many instances that the Lord Jesus Christ has called us to Him. Did we answer that call? Lord Jesus Christ was in essence saying “I’m always there with you no matter what” and He always had His angels and the saints of God working through the Holy Spirit to eventually bring my family and me to Him.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.John 6:37 (KJV)
This verse shows us that Lord Jesus Christ says that He will not cast out those that the Father has led to Him and given Him. Those who are going to be saved in the future would be saved because they were originally chosen (see the book of Romans) and it’s because of the working of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that we chose to heed that call and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and the price that He paid for us.
In 2014, I met various believers at work, and one of them, I had actually shared my testimony with on their blog. This colleague took an interest in what people’s beliefs were and something he said that always stuck in my head… was that the reason that he has to tell me about Jesus Christ is because it’s about my salvation and that matters most and when he said the word salvation.. there’s just the way he expressed this and the look in his eyes was serious….like do you know “it’s your salvation that is at stake, so that is why I’m telling you about this”.
This was certainly something I pondered about. All of this happened at a time when we met for a work training course in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our company had provided accommodation and it so happened that there was also another friend of mine from work (who actually worked in another city and we just met for this course) and she gave me a CD called Home and I believe it was by singer Kim Walker-Smith. This was certainly no coincidence. I remember listening to her song called, face-to-face and I was just taken aback and touched by that song because the lyrics said… I just want to be face-to-face with Jesus Christ. One of the reasons why I was still open to Christ is also coming from hinudism, they actually believed in Christ as well, but being another “deity” which is not correct but God used it anyway. These were just some of the turning points in my beliefs and what shaped my journey to worship and to find the true living God.
So like most Christians or most Believers when they first start off, we would be what you call “baby christians”. And some of us started with watching channels like TBN and Faith network. However, now I know this was more prosperity gospel and I have grown out of that. In 2015, I was going through a really hard time at work and I found that there were programs that were on these channels that really helped. I was going through my last review as an engineer in training and about to finish my internship to be a fully qualified signals engineer. I also remember at that time I was just being put under tremendous pressure in my job, acting in two other management positions, as well as already doing the engineering work that I did. I found that I was going into this type of depression and it was a feeling that I couldn’t explain… It felt unbearable at times, but all I know now, reflecting back, is that in a way it was the Holy Spirit that was in me that wasn’t happy with me not knowing Jesus Christ and how we were living our lives.
As I became a more mature believer, I realised that the prosperity gospel is dangerous and in fact any other watered-down gospels. These preachers and mega-churches are not showing you, what it truly involves or what it truly means to follow Lord Jesus Christ, they’re just giving you the positive side of everything and naming and claiming things. They do not reveal things or teach you the meat that would help you to grow and mature in Christ.
In 2015, my mother had a powerful dream, about her dad who was carrying the cross like Lord Jesus Christ did to Calvary. (Her dad passed away when she was little, but she had fond memories of him taking her to church when she was a young girl. I will share her testimony in a separate post as she has had many encounters with the Lord Jesus Christ, including seeing Him in person and being healed from cancer. I mention her story here because it was another pivotal point of me questioning everything and then wanting to go to church. ) In my mom’s dream what she described to me was her father carrying the cross, and telling her this is the true path to follow, i.e. following Lord Jesus Christ. (We only found out later that was how Lord Jesus Christ carried His cross, so this dream was definitely, divinely inspired).
Following the depression, I got into in 2015 and it was the worst in September or October and it was around October 2015 that my mother had this dream. We then had a friend who brought a pastor to come and pray over us and he taught us about forgiveness and why it was important to forgive our family and those who did really horrible things to us. I wrestled with a few things, but eventually, in January 2016, we went for the first time to church with the intention of being believers in Christ.
This was exciting for both my mom and me. We also had other supernatural encounters. The first one happened in February 2016, after we just started going to church. I was staying in a city about 80 km away from my mother’s house. I used to have sleep paralysis at times even being a non-believer and I had an understanding from folklore that it was caused by evil spirits. One night, I was sleeping in my bed and I heard what sounds like the footsteps of someone entering my apartment. I had wooden flooring in my apartment and you can literally hear if someone walks in, even tip-toeing, as the wood would creek in certain places. I hear these footsteps and at first, I think, what is going on? Is someone in my place? Am I having sleep paralysis, because I felt something like this at first come over me. I even said in my head something along the lines of, “Oh no, not this again”. Then I see two white silhouettes come through my door, which was in fact angels, a bigger one and a smaller one that looked like a child. I couldn’t see their faces clearly, it was just white. They told me not to be afraid, they comforted me and they kissed me and hugged me and told me that God loves me so much. I was so excited and very surprised. I was shocked. The first thing I did was call my mom to tell her what happened. Only to find out that she had almost the exact same experience with the small and big angels that came and kissed and hugged her too. This was certainly an unforgettable experience for us both. And there were two witnesses. We believe it was heaven rejoicing that we both chose to follow the true living God.
My walk is and was certainly an interesting one. I joined the Pentecostal church in 2016, and later in 2018 I got baptised and started my deep deliverance journey which I still continue to do so. At the end of 2019, I met another brother in Christ that started speaking to me about the Sabbath and the feasts of God. And long story short, I started reading the bible and understanding concepts for myself. I didn’t rely on a pastor or preacher, I spent alone time with the Lord. And He did show many things and give me prophetic dreams of the end times and other supernatural encounters. I also learnt about the Sabbath and the Holy feast days and that certainly we need to keep Yahweh’s statutes, judgements and commandments and that some of the laws are in fact perpetual and we will be keeping them in the millennial reign. (I will in further posts go into what the Lord has been teaching and showing me regarding this).
I pray that this testimony can be a blessing to you. And if you are not saved or have a relationship with Lord Jesus Christ I urge you to pray this prayer below and get baptised. Also know that this doesn’t mean praying a prayer once-off gets you saved, you need to pick up your cross and follow Christ and walk with Him daily. Eternity with our true Lord and Saviour, our Creator is the only thing that matters. Our life here on earth is just a test, a test to see if we will make it to our Creator or choose the temptations of the devil, and this world. Time is so short, we are nearing the time of the end of age or the end of this world. Do not let not knowing Lord Jesus Christ, cost you your salvation and risk being in an eternity of torment being separated from the true living God.
Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I am a sinner, please forgive me for all my sins, and for not following Your word. I ask that You, Lord Jesus Christ would come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour. I am willing to walk this journey with You Lord Jesus Christ and I believe that You came in the flesh and died for my sins. I accept and receive Your gift of salvation and I aim to walk in Your ways and follow Your word, Your commandments. I thank You, Lord. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen