Testimony
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Testimony of Allan Ask - Who Escaped the Dark Planet in August 1980

I wanted to share my testimony about coming into a real and living relationship with the true Creator and God of the universe Jesus Christ. There is a bit of reluctance because many things I have done reveal the vanity, pride and sinfulness of my heart. Oh, did I tell you that the God of the Bible says we are all under the "power of sin" (see Romans ch 6). Well, my personal experience and behavior has confirmed that for me.

I was raised in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada from about age 5 until age 19, from there I went to the University of Calgary and have resided in Calgary since then.

My parents attended the local Lutheran church in Drumheller. It was there that I took the Confirmation classes, which cover the basics of the Lutheran faith and upon completion allows you to take communion. At that time in the mid 1960’s I don’t recall anyone urging me to repent of my sins and receive Christ as my Savior or to be born again by the Holy Spirit. The Lutheran Church had a much lower key approach and perhaps assumed that a living faith would somehow take root and begin to grow.

I do remember God speaking to me in my thoughts when I was around twelve years of age prompting me to turn my life over to him. But at that point I made what would become the first of around 13 years worth of bad decisions. I said to him, that I didn’t want to decide for him or against him yet, but would like to see if the world was really like his Word said it was. In putting God off for a while I headed away from the light into the darkness of sin. It did not take long to find it because the world was just hitting its stride in the 1960’s with sexual promiscuity, partying, drugs and rock and roll. Once I made that decision it was not long before attending church became a distant memory. The lure of the sins of the world had captured my eye and my mind. I don’t know for sure, but it was like God stepped back a bit and gave the devil a chance to lead down a number of sinful paths. I’m not trying to blame the devil for my behavior but Ephesians 2 v 2 says that "wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience". So, the combination of my own behavior with encouragement from the devil led to the inevitable place of practicing sin.

Through my teen years there were many "moments" which captured my state of mind. I remember in grade 7 winning the prize for the highest grade average for boys and receiving applause as I went up on stage and received a crest and $10. I remember being puffed up a bit but when I sat down in my chair I thought, "Is this all there is?" The applause of others was gratifying but it did not satisfy. The lure of the party lifestyle was very powerful in Drumheller and in my generation. The tantalizing prospects of girlfriends, drugs, alcohol and music was an intoxifying atmosphere in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I basically spent the next six years from age 13 to 19 pursuing those past times. It was these years where the power of sin in my heart really blossomed.

In the Bible, it says that sin allures and entices with its offer of pleasures and highs but its end is slavery. I remember the good feelings and loads of laughter the first few times I was intoxicated on alcohol and stoned on smoking dope. I remember when the subject of doing psychedelic drugs came up with myself and a couple of friends. I mused within myself that I would only drink and smoke dope and not indulge in the harder stuff. A better decision but I never really escaped from the inevitable lack of pleasure and slavery of drinking and smoking dope.

I remember when I first listened to Led Zeppelin I and II while drinking where my girlfriend was baby-sitting. The rock music of this time had a powerful impact. I was astounded at their "spiritual" rock. I remember going to a Jethro Tull concert in Calgary astounded again at the type of music being made. While in the concert it was like I caught a glimpse that there is a supernatural event happening here. It was like God revealed to me the spiritual dimension that you could not see but its presence was there. I remember seeing the movie Woodstock in 1969, another powerful lure to living for pleasure with no real purpose. It’s not the destination but the journey that’s the main thing, enjoy to the fullest The times were intoxicating and the pleasures of sin for a season beckoned.

Other moments were not so intoxifying however. God definitely used my circumstances and sins to humble me and bring me closer to the point of surrender. Of course I did not like to see my shortcomings and sins and resisted. A humbling moment was around 16 when I was at the point of needing to wear glasses. My vanity and pride did not want to accept this hard reality of the frailty of the human condition, a big downer. Anyways I did not wear them full time until I was around 19 and basically had to. I still rankle at wearing glasses but in hindsight I have been blessed with very good health so far in my life. I see many younger than me facing big health problems of all kinds.

I remember the intoxicating feelings of dating and having someone interested in you and vice versa. I did not know that God had already counseled people to guard their hearts until they were mature enough to make a real commitment. It’s just the way of the world to date in the teenage years. Needless to say it led more to being hurt and hurting others, than healthy relationships which take into account the fallen human nature. I am still ashamed when I think of some of my prideful and rude behavior. As you can see things were definitely heading downwards at the end of my teen years.

At this point I made an effort to go to University, but because of all my sins I really felt like a guy walking around with a dark cloud over my head. Let’s just say if you met me, I was not the guy with the charismatic personality. I remember reading a job resume where the guy was asked if he had any references. The guy, give him credit for honesty or twisted humor, said that he didn’t have any, because he had left a trail of destruction behind him as far as relationships go. I could identify with this guy!

Well, University was a beginning of a change of lifestyle. I proved you could not party and pass university courses. I remember getting drunk and stoned from the night before until the next morning and then going to write a psychology exam. Guess what, yep, I failed. LOL! (LOL = Laugh out loud) Anyways, I began to party less and apply myself more to my subjects. As I came back to reality, I think it took at least a year to clear my head (please don’t legalize pot Canada) I became more active in sports. So, while I adopted a healthier lifestyle I still had the nagging thoughts "Is this all there is?"

It was after University that God again began to deal with me. I began to read my Gideon’s New Testament which everyone in those days received in grade 5. I was in my 26th year and had not read the Bible in 13 years. Here are a few passages, which God used to show me my condition before him. Needless to say I was shocked and dumbfounded.

Matthew 5 v 20-22, 27,28

V20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven

V21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

V22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say unto his brother, Raca (empty headed one), shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.

V27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

V28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

I remember reading this passage with great concern as I realized that just the thoughts in my mind were enough to condemn me. And not only that, I had acted out many of my sinful thoughts. I recognized I was doubly condemned. Needless to say, not a comforting position to comprehend yourself in.

Galations 5 v 19-21

V19 Now the works of the flesh (sinful nature) are manifest (clearly seen), which are these; Adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage), uncleanness (morally corrupt), lasciviousness (not caring what others think about or being ashamed of your behavior),

V20 Idolatry (putting other things as more important than God), witchcraft (occult practices including drug use), hatred (wrong attitudes towards others), variance (disputes with animosity), emulations (jealous or malicious rivalries), wrath, strife (provoking and arguing), seditions (rebelliousness towards authority), heresies (false teachings about God),

V21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (living to party and pleasure seeking), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things (i.e. practice as consistent behavior) shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

These verses were really hitting the nail on the head as it pretty well described my behavior the past 13 years. The next set of verses reveal God’s view of my condition and the outlook was not pretty if the Bible was true.

Romans Chapter 3 v 10-18

V10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

V11 There is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God.

V12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

V13 Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps (snakes) is under their lips:

V14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

V15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

V16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

V17 And the way of peace they have not known:

V18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Wow! What a reality check these verses are. Was I righteous, not even close. Did I seek to do God’s will, no, just my own selfish will. What was my tongue like? Well, full of cursing at the right moment, many times speaking out of selfish motive, many times boastful, many times full of empty and foolish talk, and perhaps sometimes reasonably kind and caring (probably God helped me on the kind and caring part and I didn't realize it LOL). Had I practiced the way of peace? Exactly the opposite, when people crossed me I would cut them off or just not hang out with them for awhile, when I had offended people would I go back and apologize, not likely. You’d be lucky to get me to admit I’d done anything wrong or I’d put the blame elsewhere justifying myself.

Well, needless to say I was totally undone. I saw the ugly reality of my own sinfulness and said within myself, it is impossible to get to heaven. How on earth does one get to heaven?

God, in my reading led me to Matthew chapter19.

Matthew Chapter 19 v 16-26

V16 And, behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

V17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

V18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

V19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

V20 The young man saith unto him, All these things, have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

V21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

V22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

V23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter the kingdom of heaven.

V24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

V25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

V26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

In reading these verses we see a man who had made a pretty good showing on his own efforts to merit heaven. Some peoples sins are harder to see, I had worn my sins on my sleeve, easily seen by all. Therefore I was under no illusions that I could be good enough to be allowed in heaven as the rich person was hoping for, but I did notice that God said with men it was impossible but with God it was possible. My reading in Matthew and other parts of the Bible were ruminating in my mind for around a year when it came to a head one night in August, 1980. I came home from work one night having come to the conclusion that the world was the way God’s Word said it was and worse yet I had fully come to realize the power of sin in my own life. In my thoughts I asked God how to get to him. Immediately the thought "Jesus Christ" came to me. In my thoughts, I said that I haven’t been able to believe. God replied in my mind with a definite, "trust me". I began to reply that if Jesus died for me but God said, no, he did die for you. So, I began again and said I did believe that Jesus died for me and loved me and that I would surrender my life to him because I had not done anything good with running my own life. At this point, a warm flow entered me and washed down from my head to my feet and a noticeable burden seemed to lift from my shoulders.

I did not fully comprehend what had happened but I had what seemed like a new set of eyes and a peace. Over the next three months I indulged in quite a bit of sin but when I came home I had this unusual grieving in my spirit. I had yet to learn that when the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in your heart and life it is not a free license to sin but He is given to set one free from sin’s power. It was actually kind of humorous how I began to get some sound spiritual food. I had a few dates with this girl who I thought needed more help than me, LOL! So, I went to a bookstore and looked in the religious section and found a book by Hal Lindsey called "The Liberation of Planet Earth". I brought it home and started reading it myself and lo, it described how God gives a sinner a spiritual rebirth when he turns his life over to Jesus. It covered how God took the penalty for my sins and laid them upon Jesus 2,000 years ago satisfying his justice and now he can extend mercy and forgiveness to any person who will come to Him through His Son. Needless to say, I was blown away when I realized the new birth was the way into Heaven not any of my efforts, sadly lacking as they were.

I remember running up and down the hallway of my apartment doing the high five as I read chapter after chapter of the good news and all its meaning.

1 Peter Chapter 4 v 1-5

V1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

V2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

V3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

V4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

V5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Well, after I was born again by the Holy Spirit, things got worse! Don’t be surprised; because once you get saved you really enter a battlefield. First of all, Satan now knows you are saved and he has eternally lost your soul and he will try to make life as tough for you as he can, within God’s permission though. Secondly, though you are saved you still have a lifetime of wrong patterns of action and thinking built up, crowned by being self-willed and not heeding God. Thirdly, you are still burdened by the flesh and its sinful desires, which many times you find yourself yielding to. Fourth, God has a plan to conform you to be like His Son in your daily life. And last but not least, if you weren’t on the cutting edge socially as an unbeliever don’t expect a rise in popularity as a believer. LOL

Since becoming a Christian over 20 years ago there have been many highs and lows. I’ve experienced the Holy Spirit give me victory to a much greater degree over the lusts of the flesh, the tongue and the mind. I’ve not yet attained spiritual maturity, and am not sinless but I do sin less. I made a self-willed choice in marriage, not waiting for God’s best choice, which ended in divorce after 7 years. I have two daughters and we enjoy biking, hiking and camping together. God has led me on some great outdoor trips to the Grand Canyon and Mt. St. Helen’s as I was studying the Creation versus Evolution issue. God has taken me to India and back on a short-term mission.

The cost is definitely high to follow Christ but it is infinitely higher not to. For what profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but loseth his own soul for eternity. To give up your will and surrender to Christ so he can give you his forgiveness purchased on Calvary and his life through the Holy Spirit would be my counsel to all. For he is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to get what he cannot lose.

Promises to You

John 3 v 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (in love for you he paid for 100% of your sins on the cross)

Acts 20 v 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (agree with God on your slavery to sin and trust Jesus alone for your freedom and forgiveness, surrendering your will to him)

Luke 13 v 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (quit trusting in doing your own will and hoping for the best and comparing yourselves to others)

John 3 v 5-8 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water (repentance from sin) and of the (Holy) Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ( a spiritual birth is required to enter God’s kingdom)

John 1 v 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ( once you repent, trusting in Jesus alone, and put your will under his, God effects the spiritual birth)

Ephesians 2 v 8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.