I Was Delivered
From
The Power Of Darkness

[after  I WAS SEDUCED BY A FALSE PROPHET — A Testimony. ERead this first]

Bro. Shadrach K. Joseph
(aka: Shadrach K. Arjun)
Coimbatore, T.N., India

25 October, 2008


Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (Col. 1:13)

This is the testimony of how the Lord restored me back to the ministry that He once given me. There would not be space enough for me to write about all that the Lord has done for me, but I want to put on record as briefly and as best as possible how the Lord raised me up again.

I was in Mumbai for almost a year before the Lord called me back to Coimbatore. Although at the time I still had a lot of apprehensions about returning to what was once my home, but it was clearly the perfect will of our God.

The brethren in Mumbai did much to help me and my mother materially in setting me up in a small rental flat in Mumbai for a period of time. They offered us spare utensils, furniture and a few provisions to begin our life there. They went further to help us start a small business selling mixed powdered spices and helped even in retailing them in small packets. Two brothers from the fellowship also set up a small eatery and offered me work there to improve the condition of my life. However grateful I was for these small mercies, the fact that escaped almost everyone’s notice, was that I was a 'Jonah' running away from the presence of the Lord and from the responsibilities of my calling. As a result the jobs that I laid my hands on did not prosper. Just as the waves overcame the ship Jonah had boarded and threatening to drown the crew until they cast Jonah out, the jobs I undertook threatened to collapse.

What I observed at that time was this: no matter how hard everyone tried to get me into something that would 'lift me up', so to speak, I kept wrestling with the one conflict in my mind – the burden for the souls in Coimbatore which did not leave me even for a minute. Often the burden was distracted by the good fellowship and company of the people in Mumbai, and detoured by the need to get back on my feet and get my broken life built up again. The burden was temporarily lulled into sleep with the pressure of other mounting cares that took preference – "What are you going to do with the rest of your life? Why isn’t anything working out for you? You’re not trying hard enough. Is this the Lord’s Will?"

No, my mind was not in the jobs I took up. I was in a turmoil, searching for the presence of the Lord, knowing that He wanted something out of me that I was not yet ready to give. And so I searched, and when I found Him He told me what to do, I ran away from Him, thinking, "This can’t be right. I’m a debtor first of all. I have no money, no position, no standing in the place I ran away from. I’m a disgrace to myself and to others. This can’t be the Lord’s will."  And so I ran.

Instead of taking up the time in Mumbai as a period of rest offered to clear my mind of all the sorrow and confusion of the past, I leapt at the chance of building up my life – building up my defences and taking what life had to offer for me at that time.  It was natural – a natural reaching out for comfort, solace, reinstatement in the eyes of others.  But it was not the Lord’s will.  When I stopped working on the things that were set up for me, many of the brethren were angry.  Obviously they thought they had invested in helping a stranger out, and he didn’t even want to try doing what they had set up for him.

There were many who thought and said that I was lazy, never finished the work I began, didn’t want to work at all, just wanted everything to fall into my lap, etc.  They were justified in thinking as they did because they saw with the eyes of the world and not with the Spirit of God.  In the eyes of the world I was indeed someone who never finished what I began. And in the eyes of the world it’s not hard to mistake hesitance for unwillingness or laziness.

In the early years when I was in the timber business and missed Sunday fellowship on many occasions, the Lord had spoken to me through Haggai 1:2–10: "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built. Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit."

However I was not obedient to the voice that was calling me to the ministry and went on investing more in the business until most of our savings were swallowed up and I was left with bleeding debts especially when the cutting permit for Silver Oak logs stopped.  Following this I tried several other jobs such as selling carved doors, preparing and selling powdered spices, a courier job - which all failed.  In fact it was the Lord who permitted these things to happen, so that, I would surrender to His will.

Even while in Mumbai I tried to sell the Silver Oak logs, through agents. To my surprise, at that time I heard that the cutting order had been released and I joyfully came back to Coimbatore hoping to cut my losses. But when I stepped into the agent’s office and saw his face, I knew something was wrong. He told me the cutting order was stopped once again because of a public demonstration. And I can’t forget what he said, "For some reason, I think there’s something really wrong with you; that you’re the cause of all this. When you left Coimbatore, the order was released and the moment you came back it was stopped."  At that time, the voices of the men in the ship with Jonah rang out clearly in my ears, "Come and let us cast lots that we may know, for whose cause this evil is upon us" (Jonah 1:7).  So somewhat mournfully, I returned to Mumbai. After a while I phoned the agent again, just out of curiosity, and he told me the cutting permit for the Silver Oak logs was once again released!  I did not need a knock on the head to confirm that that this logging business was not the Will of God for my life.

One fine morning as I was out walking and contemplating the repeated failures in my life, especially the falling apart of my jobs in Mumbai, tears filled my eyes. I was not able to control myself as my heart was so heavy. Suddenly, the Lord, in His still small voice said, “Get back to Coimbatore you need to do my work there.” The Word came so clearly and I continued to pray over this matter. Then towards the end of the Convention in Khandala, after the last meeting held in Agripada, Mumbai, Bro. Gan gave me a word of advise: "Go back and carry out the Lord’s work in Coimbatore". A short while after this, Bro. Solomon Jacob – a minister from Amravati, Maharastra also gave me the same counsel - to go back into the ministry in Coimbatore. "In the place you have been put to shame, the Lord will raise you up again". Both ministers gave me the same counsel and I knew it was the counsel of the Lord. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established"  (2 Cor. 13:1).

So with the encouragement of a few believers, I left Mumbai and began my life once again in Coimbatore.  Bro. Vally from the Mumbai fellowship, whom I came to know back in 1994, during a convention in Nasrapur, Pune, proved to be a great source of comfort and consolation during those trying times.  I had stayed with Bro. Vally’s family for quite a while in Mumbai and they had understood my past experiences well and knew the Lord was leading me. They provided me some money to tide me and my mother over for a few weeks while we settled back into our Coimbatore life.

Another brother from South India helped me out with the deposit for a rental house in a place called Kovaipudur. After purchasing most of what was required for our daily living including provisions; all that remained in my hands was Rs. 450 (about US$10).  It was with this, that I began the ministry in Coimbatore once again.

At first, Bro. Vally, Bro. Jacob, and another two dear ministers from Ahmednagar - Bro. Bhalerao, and Bro. Sona Dette alternatively supported me with their tithes and offerings. After a while however they were not able to continue, due to circumstances beyond their control, but sent an occasional offering and supported me with their prayers.

By this time of course, I had sold off my house on the hill where the church was located which fetched me about Rs. 40,000.  That plus the amount of Rs. 53,000 which Bro. Gan sent me, helped me to pay off a substantial amount of my debts. My other debtors were still hounding me however. And I prayed to the Lord to provide some way out of this. Rather than giving me the means to pay them off what was rightfully a joint business loss, the Lord kept them at bay, even though they knew my address. Till today there has been no trouble from them.

At this point of time only one family of 6 members and 2 other brothers gathered along with me and my mother for fellowship each Sunday.

At times there was not enough food to spare, as we shared what little we had each Sunday with those who came to fellowship. Sometimes when there was no rice in the rice bin, and all the flour was gone, we fasted and prayed that the Lord may provide for us, and help arose from some quarter or the other. One such incident is still vivid in my mind. We had a jackfruit tree in our backyard, and that week, when there was nothing to eat, I just went out in the backyard and saw a huge jackfruit ripe for the plucking on the tree. The amazing thing was – it was a fruit out of season! Such are the wonderful mercies of the Lord! That fruit fed us for two whole days and it was the tastiest jackfruit I have ever eaten until today!

Still, there were temptations once again to venture into some business or the other and escape the suffering I was enduring. A brother came forward suggesting I start some marketing work for potato wafers. Another woman came forward and said she would help my mother with the old spices business. A few others also suggested I get into some part time work. But once I put my hands into it, again, the venture was a failure (as always). This was the final confirmation for me to do nothing but the Lord’s service.

It was not (as many thought at the time) that I did not want to try.  It was because even before putting my hand to the plough, I knew what a hopeless end it would have. I was not being pessimistic, but realistic.  Yes, the suffering I endured – going hungry at times, having no security to fall back on, having to face the uncertainties of each new day and the bleak view of my future – all this I knew was the chastisement and training of the Holy Spirit to become a seasoned servant of the Lord.  It was because I had put my trust in man and left the counsel of God, that God had to take away from my life, all that which I could trust in – my money, property, goods, prospects, earthly joy, earthly friendships. He laid bare my follies before me, showed me the true face of the people I had once called friends, showed me how fleeting the wealth of the world was. After all I had done against Him, would it not make more sense to burn in the furnace of affliction and come out as pure gold? To know that it is in your power to do something which could possibly give you a comfortable life, and to choose not to do it because it is not the Lord’s will, is one of the hardest sacrifices that you could ever make.

Once two sisters from our small fellowship told us that their 92 year old mother (who was in Chennai) had stomach cancer and it had eaten so much into the stomach that there was an open wound on the side, and the doctors had plugged in a waste bag to drain the body wastes. They had given up hope for her. It was then that Bro. Vally, Bro. Balerao (who had come to Coimbatore for a visit) and myself prayed over some oil and asked the sisters to have faith and apply it on their mother’s wound and pray and trust in the Lord Jesus for healing and deliverance. After a while their son came to us with the joyful news that the cancer was healed and the wound had closed up on itself, almost resembling a suture, and all their family members were surprised. God was glorified in our midst.

In the year 2003, there was a Convention arranged in South India in different parts – Chennai, Conoor, Pollachi and Coimbatore. And many brothers of like faith, from Coimbatore, Ooty, Coonoor, Mumbai and Ahmednagar came down to fellowship with Bro. Gan and Bro. Solomon Jacob as the speakers. This served to lift up the ministry the Lord gave me in South India. After this many ministers came against me, and one such person from South India was Ronald Watson who published a false report against Brother Gan and myself. Nearly 5000 copies were printed in English and circulated. Maybe they thought my ministry would diminish. Rather, it has flourished to the glory of God. In fact there is a lot of confusion in their camp until today - their congregations are divided, strange teachings have entered their churches and many have fallen for money power.

Keeping these things in mind, I and my mother went on for a fast for 7 days asking the Lord to lift up the ministry work. Immediately after this, there were a couple of ministers who had invited Bro. Gan to Warangal, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, South India. Bro. Gan told them about my ministry and on receiving an invitation from them, I began visiting Warangal. In this way, the Lord opened a new door for me.

Following this, Brother James Veremu from Zimbabwe came over and we conducted meetings in and around Coimbatore along with Bro. Solomon Jacob, which also proved to be a great blessing for the ministry here.

Ultimately, even as my material life was mainly a race to make ends meet, my spirit was being strengthened day by day. That is why, when it was no longer possible to pay the rent, and it gradually got cut off against the deposit, I knew there was one place the Lord was leading me to – that was the Church that we had built on the hill close by, which had been kept locked for nearly two years after the ministry in Coimbatore had split due to the problems caused by false brethren.

So, I and my mother decided to make a home of it, since the claim for the land was in my mother’s name. So we cleaned up the place and made it a bit presentable. But there was no kitchen, no bathroom, no bedroom. We just laid out the furniture and utensils we had. Bro. Vally had given us a stove, some mats, mattresses and pillows. And my cousin brought us some of our old blankets.

One incident that occurred during this time to the glory of God was the deliverance of a demon possessed woman – the sister of one of the fellowship members. She had been attending fellowship for some time before the Lord exposed the demons that were in her. And during one service when the Lord moved me to cast out the spirits, she moved towards me exactly like a snake on the ground and collapsed with a scream. And the demons were cast out of her that day and she was set free.

Slowly and steadily the Lord began bringing souls to the Church, until there were about 10 – 15 members who began supporting me in tithes so that I could do the work of the Lord unhindered. The brethren came forward voluntarily to fix up the place a bit more. During the rains, the water seeped in through the roof and we had to catch the leaks in pots and pails and sweep the water outside. The doors and windows were broken, so the gale winds swept in and made the whole place very chilly at night.

A visiting minister gave me an offering to make a bathroom for the church. Another sister contributed some more for this and we finally constructed a bathroom. This minister also made a pulpit for the Church, and bought some chairs. However later on I discerned that all his gifts were to cause a split in the church. But that’s another story.
 
Bro. Vally also sent us help to alter the roof to stop the leaks, and patch up a small partition we had built to separate the church’s main hall from the side room. Other brothers from the church came forward to have the place painted, the floor shined, the windows and doors fixed up, the bolts put in place, and electrical fittings put up. So slowly, the Lord moved many brothers and sisters to contribute for the church building and the work of the Lord.

The ministry also suffered hardships. Three families left the church because they did not want to submit to correction by the Holy Spirit. One of these families caused continual problems to the church. But the Lord took all things in control and through much prayer and fasting the Lord has kept all things in order till today.

At that time, the Lord was providing me with just enough tithes to get by with our daily needs. It seemed futile to hope for a life partner to share in my work because my living conditions were miserable, even though I longed for a companion – a help meet.

Bro. Vally’s daughter, Benita, had been a wonderful friend to me in Mumbai. We shared a pure relationship – a mutual liking for each other, common thoughts and interests, and discussions about the Word of God. As I’d known her since she was a little girl, there was an easy familiarity between us. What began as friendship slowly matured into love.

As time went by, this love grew all the more. Through much prayers I finally learned that this was the Will of God for me but was afraid that the girl would not accept me as her family was well settled and she wasn’t used to material hardship. I guess in many ways we knew we loved each other long before we confessed our feelings to one another.

When I finally did propose to her and she agreed, I spoke to her parents and they accepted although a bit apprehensively, not knowing how their daughter would get along with a man 8 years her senior from a different culture and live in a part of the country where she couldn’t even understand the language. But the Lord was our matchmaker, and the Lord saw us through some tough times. I had saved up enough for a small ‘promise’ ring which she wore proudly while resigning from her high paying job and decided to leave her hometown to settle in Coimbatore. Benita’s parents, also decided to shift their residence to Coimbatore, since Bro. Vally wanted to retire from his work and they came to know it was the Lord’s will for them.

Our wedding was our first test of faith as a couple. We were worried because Benita only had whatever she had saved up from her last job and did not want to trouble her parents with the expenses of the wedding. I had nothing. One night I cried to the Lord asking him why there was such a delay in the marriage, and when it would be possible, seeing that I had no funds. Once again, there was that still small voice telling me, "I have already provided for your wedding. Go ahead with the preparations."  I asked the Lord for a sign to confirm this Word to me. As I went to see Benita the next morning, she told me that even she had been crying to the Lord with the same petition that night, and she heard a voice say, "I have all things in control. I will do all things for you. Do not worry.”

We joyfully went forward with the initial preparations, but Benita and her parents were still worried about the expenses. That was when I told her that being her head, the Lord would give me twice as much to spend for the wedding. As the days went by, many brothers and sisters from the fellowship, without being asked, came forward and offered to help with the wedding expenses. So the Lord provided for me through the brethren in my congregation. At the last minute we were still short of a certain amount, and I was concerned as I had to pay off some of the bills. It was then that a dear brother in Israel sent me an offering which was more than enough to meet these expenses. And so the word I spoke about having twice as much, was fulfilled. "I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth." (Psalms 121: 1,2)

We were married on the 26th of May 2007. And so it continues – this walk of faith – taking everyday as it comes, knowing full well that our Heavenly Father who feeds the sparrows does surely care for our needs.

Today He has provided enough for all my needs – enough for my house rent, (as I had to rent a house after my marriage since we extended the church’s main hall and dedicated the place completely for prayer and fellowship) enough for my daily expenses and family provisions, and enough to be of service in tithing to other ministers in the Lord. God daily added such people to the church who would willingly contribute for the Lord’s work, and some have become pillars for this ministry today.

I have begun seeing the gifts of the Spirit such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation, discernment, and the word of knowledge being made manifest in the church. I praise the Lord for blessing the Church with the Spirit of love and harmony, with believers who humbly give whatever they can to the Lord, and share when others are in need. (1 Cor. 12:4–11)

The Lord has also made it possible to start a Media Ministry through which the message of today may reach more souls caught up in denominations and other end time schisms through the distribution of CDs and DVDs.

For those of you who have read my earlier testimony on this website, I need to mention how the Lord has been dealing with the Jerry Fernandes group. After I returned and began a fellowship in Coimbatore, these people too began prayer in a brother’s house there. Some time ago, they began the construction of a big church building in full view of the road leading up to the hill where our Church stands. Seeing this being built always grieved me. Our church is the only one in this area in which the baptism in Jesus’ Name according to Acts 2:38 is preached. I was very upset as since Jerry’s group also claimed to preach in Jesus’ name, they would most probably lead a lot of gullible people astray as they had done before – even those who might come seeking our church. So I and the congregation here had been in prayer asking the Lord to do some thing about the matter. We learned a little later that the man mostly responsible for building the church there was put in prison due to some shady dealings of his, as a result of which it remained partly constructed. This man is now out of jail and the group had decided to continue with the construction. But a week ago (after Bro. Gan left in his recent visit) the whole front portion of the foundation and the wall for the building collapsed. I myself had seen the foundation work that had been done was indeed very strong. For something like this to happen is truly the work of the Lord. How the Lord is going to deal with them in the future is between the Lord and them. One thing we know for sure: God is on our side.

I write this as a testimony for what the Lord can do to a man broken in mind and Spirit – How He can lift up a worthless sinner and appoint him a worthy work to do.

I write this for you ministers who are perhaps struggling to minister to your flock in hunger, in financial trouble, in harassment from society, in ridicule by the ones you are sent to preach to. Do not give up! Our God is a Living God. He will give you the fruit of your labour in due time.

I write this for you ministers who might not be able to trust the Lord completely and let go of the world and turn to serving Him with your whole heart. He is Jehovah Jireh-Our Provider – Our All sufficient God and He will provide all your needs if you will but do His Will.

I write this for you believers who feel you have wandered too far away from the truth to ever hope to come back. Our Lord is ever patient waiting for the straying son to return. And if you confess your sin before him and endure chastisement for a season, he will turn your mourning into dancing!

It has been five years since my return to Coimbatore and the resumption of the ministerial work of the Lord Jesus. I am very happy for all that the Lord has done for me and to those who are touched by this testimony, I pray that God will also do wonderful things in your lives.

Amen.

God Bless you.

In Christ Jesus,
Bro. SHADRACH  K. JOSEPH

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