God was in the process of delivering me from the depths of the occult when I was overwhelmed by the truth of my salvation in Christ. I had no idea when they spoke of Jesus breaking chains, that I would actually live to tell a real tale of release from the bondage of eternal slavery. Honestly, the experience is something I could probably spend the rest of my life trying to express properly and never do justice.
BY TERESA YANAROS, MAY 14, 2021
The pit of hell had pretty much overtaken me when God chose to drag me out of it. There is literally no reason I am here today other than the fact that God had sovereign mercy upon my soul, called my name out of the darkness, and, for his own good pleasure, delivered me into the kingdom of his beloved son, Jesus. This story is about the moment of transfer I experienced from deliverance to salvation.
A Call to Prayer
I woke up in the middle of the night last night (at 3:33 AM to be exact), and was immediately called by the Holy Spirit to begin praying. Without hesitation, I began to praise God for his sovereign authority over all things. I glorified him for having mercy upon us and for giving us grace that we as sinners do not deserve in any way.
At that moment, my heart swelled and I felt the depths of love for my savior, Jesus, who came down to earth to finish the war against evil once and for all. It is because of who he is and what he did--living a perfect life, offering up his perfect blood in sacrifice for us, dying, and rising again--that we are forever changed.
It is because Jesus was the only one who could, supernaturally, carry us into the presence of God. There is something about the blood that is the life on this earth. It is both a physical and supernatural substance. How perfect was God's plan for us to be restored to eternal life by the personhood and actions of Jesus through his precious blood? Is this not the reason to rejoice forever?
As I reflected upon this, I was hit with a Bible verse and began to pray it.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises." -Romans 15:13
The concept of belief locked into my innermost being and I began to cry out, thanking God from the innermost parts of me that I was given the eyes to see so that God could reveal his plan and I could receive it and believe it.
NOTE: It is through the experience of our faith that we grow to overflow with confidence in his promises.
I remembered back to the confidence that poured into my life for God and his promises when I was transferred into the kingdom. We will approach this in three phases:
SURETY: When God was delivering me from the occult before I knew Christ
REMISSION: When God started to introduce me to Christ
PROMISE: When I received God's grace and my salvation in Christ was revealed
Jesus Christ: The Surety
An excerpt from The Blood Covenant by EW Kenyon describes how Jesus Christ is our surety or the one who undertakes our debt.
"Jesus is our personal surety. This is the most vital of all the ministries of Jesus at the Father's right hand. Under the Old Covenant, The High Priest was the surety. If he failed, it interrupted the relationship between God and Israel. The blood of the atonement lost its efficacy. Under the New Covenant. Jesus is the High Priest and the Surety of the New Covenant. Our position before the Father is absolutely secure. We know that throughout our lifetime we have at the right hand of God a Man who is there for us. He is representing us before the Father. He always has a standing with the Father. Always, regardless of our standing, we have one representing us before the Father. Our position is secure." - EW Kenyon
My whole life growing up, this was really hard to wrap my head around. Why in the world would God even come to Earth as a man to wrench us from the powers of death and destruction and give us a way into the kingdom? We don't deserve to be in his presence!
I didn't feel worthy of God's love, grace, or mercy at all! How could I accept something so perfect and wonderful? How could it even be true? Why should God, the most perfect, divine being of all, transcendent of all realms of space and time, give his grace... to me?
At 32, I became so fully aware of the disgustingness of my sin and how I was living my life in utter rebellion against the God who created me. I looked at myself with not only disdain but incredulity and panic. I was offended by my actions. I hated myself.
Oh, the nights I spent sobbing in the fetal position in my bed, clutching the Bible in my arms, crying out to God, apologizing for all the ways I had failed him. Because of my own choices, I had continued walking away from God, over and over, to the point where I felt completely alone and unprotected. It was then that God called to me. He started baptizing me in His Word. He started to show me:
When I started to learn about God's promises, I started to realize that God has a master plan in all this. We are in the time of imperfection where we see in a mirror dimly, a blurred reflection, an enigma. We aren't yet in the time of perfection where we will see reality face to face. We are quite literally living in a grace period where God is giving us free will to come to realizations of his divine character and promises. I started to reflect upon God's promises.
During this time, I was undergoing an intense spiritual transformation. There was witchcraft being launched at me (I had just left a dangerous cult) and all kinds of spiritual warfare coming against me. I was burning thousands of dollars worth of occult items, books, and idols. God showed me Psalm 91, which I memorized and it became somewhat of my anthem. I recited it constantly as I spent hours and hours a day reading my Bible and listening for God's voice.
"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation." - Psalm 91:14-16
Oh, what a lovely promise of God!
Transition into Christ's Kingdom
Months later, I finally started to pray, "Jesus, if you are real, if you really want to have a personal relationship with me, I am praying that you come into my life. I pray that you will reveal yourself to me." I felt foolish even praying this. As a new age author, I had spent years on stages promoting heretical notions. I had no idea what was about to happen.
Then, God showed me the book of Romans. This is when everything started to change even further.
Jesus Christ: The Remission
In the words of EW Kenyon:
"[Remission] is one of the great words of the New Covenant. It means wiping out as though it had never been. When an army is disbanded, it is remitted... it stops being. When God remits our sins, they are wiped out as though they had never been. The word "remission" is never used but in connection with the New Birth. After we become Christians, then we have our sins forgiven on the basis of our relationship and the intercession of Christ." -EW. Kenyon
God knew what he was doing when he dropped me into the book of Romans at this point in my spiritual journey. It was time for him to reveal to me the depths of spiritual war. I was a living, walking, breathing testimony of spiritual warfare, as I was in the throes of being delivered from occult bondage. I had experienced demonic vexation, bruises on my body, demons physically manifesting in front of me, witchcraft against me, and I was beginning to see that everything in the Bible was true. It was literally playing out all around me.
Seeing as I had already peered into Satan's eyes, it was no surprise to me that spiritual warfare was real. But what I didn't know, was the other side of the coin. In the book of Romans, I started to understand how it was Jesus all along that had the power to break the evil strongholds that usurp control over our lives. When God began baptizing me in the word, right before he started to deliver me from the occult, he revealed two things to me.
The reality and nature of demonic strongholds
I started to see layers of truths around these two concepts. It is palpable to me now. I can feel these things. Along the way, he led me into Romans and started to lead me into how Jesus actually fit into this whole puzzle. Really, at this point, it's probably best to just stop and read all of chapter 5, but I will drop in an important excerpt that started to rewire every spiritual aspect of my being.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.
Sin was [committed] in the world before the Law [was given], but sin is not charged [against anyone] when there is no law [against it].
Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse—Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation].
But the free gift [of God] is not like the trespass [because the gift of grace overwhelms the fall of man]. For if many died by one man’s trespass [Adam’s sin], much more [abundantly] did God’s grace and the gift [that comes] by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to [benefit] the many.
Nor is the gift [of grace] like that which came through the one who sinned. For on the one hand the judgment [following the sin] resulted from one trespass and brought condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift resulted from many trespasses and brought justification [the release from sin’s penalty for those who believe].
For if by the trespass of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one (Adam), much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in [eternal] life through the One, Jesus Christ." - Romans 5:12-17
One word jumped out at me with intense magnification:
Salvation. Restoration into God's presence. Leaving the world behind with all its lies, deceptions, and empty promises. A gift? Could it really be?
My heart was softening. After all these years of trying to think through this, I had followed worthless earthly philosophies into the pit of destruction to find not only physical but spiritual death threatening to overtake me.
And God was clear, earthly philosophies were empty. Boy, I knew that to be true. He would destroy all of the idols and worthless things. And weren't his thoughts much larger and greater than my thoughts? Oh, the one who created me. The one who created all things. Why wouldn't he have a perfect plan that I could trust? Why had I wasted so much time on the things of this earth, that were now growing so dim in the presence of God, who was beckoning to me... calling me toward him. Was this the light? Was I starting to see? Was this an option... a gift... even offered to me? The lowliest of all humans. A wretch of a person really. Someone who had spit on God's design and instead glorified me and my own theories and reasonings over his perfection?
My testimony was quite similar to Paul's, really. A popular author spouting heretical nonsense seeking to invalidate the truth of God. A warrior against God! I was prideful and oh, so wrong. I remember waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat one night during a particularly terrifying few hours of spiritual warfare being launched at me. I shot up out of bed and shouted, "DAMASCUS." I had no idea what that meant.
It was only months later as I began to learn about Paul that God was calling me out of the darkness in much the same way. The world's philosophies now mocked me, throwing humiliation in my face for giving them such serious time of day for so long. It was a perfect ending that the Jesus I had denied and persecuted would be the one to save my soul and deliver me from slavery. I took on another personal anthem as God began to pulverize false beliefs from my consciousness and install the truth of Christ.
"We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete." -2 Corinthians 10:5-6
Jesus Christ: The Promise
As the delusion faded by the power of God, reality began to pour into my life. The kicker was this: the world will tell you there are all kinds of things you can DO to deserve salvation. This is a lie and really the core lie that seeps into every other aspect of life that deceives.
I realized that throughout all the years of seeking truth, after going through all world religions, and new age beliefs, I came up short every time.
Jesus Christ is the stumbling block to all other beliefs. He is quite literally the solution. He is the antithesis to all other falsities because he is the truth.
The truth is, it is God alone who restores. This should be a huge relief actually. But unfortunately, humans have so much pride that we think we can and should do these things on our own, even things we aren't built to do.
I was standing on a hill when the truth broke into my life. My heart cracked open and I felt the grace of God pour out over me like warm water. I fell to my knees, and then I fell to my face. I literally felt the weight of my sin lift from my shoulders. It was so powerful that I could barely breathe. The absence of a weight so heavy, the weight of all the things I was never meant to carry.
It poured out over me like rain and for the first time in my life, I knew that Jesus Christ was singing to me. The truth was singing to me from every single atom of every single living thing. I could hear it, feel it, breath it, Him! All bowed down to Him! I was a living part of His perfect design and his plan that was really real. It was happening then, now, and throughout all time. It always was, is now, and ever will be. The truth is truth completely separate from all the things that we grapple with, all the imperfections in this experience. All the things that don't make sense right now... it will all be revealed. There is an appointed time where all will be restored on this planet. Jesus broke the chains supernaturally and there is a time now in between that supernatural truth and when the kingdom will be installed upon this planet.
This is why we are told to hold fast and retain without wavering, the hope we cherish and confess, and our acknowledgment of it, for he who promised is reliable and faithful to his word.
It was when the truth of Christ's salvation of my soul and path forward into eternity hit me - that I realized... the promises are REAL. I finally was able to see that all the things were in their rightful place and there was nothing I had to worry about at all.
I could write and write about this glorious moment forever. But this post is getting quite long, so I will end with this:
Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching. -Hebrews 10:23-25