I want to tell you about my achievements in the occult, not because they mean anything to me now that I have found the Lord, BUT SO YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. For years I was into many forms of occult "wisdom", as I used to call it. I was born in Bolivia. From the time I was six I wanted to become a doctor and be able to heal the sick people. But I saw no way to make my dream come true, and by the time I was eighteen years old I had no outstanding success in anything, and everyone in my family let me know it. I tried music and sports, but I wasn't really good in either one. I felt if I couldn't change my life somehow I would be a nothing, and I just couldn't go on living.
Deciding about occultism would bring me satisfaction and success, I studied it in many forms. I BEGAN WITH THE OCCULT RELIGIONS OF TIBET. THESE RELIGIONS WORK BASICALLY WITH THE CONTROL OF THE MIND - ASTRAL PROJECTION, PSYCHOMETRY, TELEPATHY, AND ASTROLOGY. QUICKLY MASTERING THESE, I WENT ON TO THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA, ESPECIALLY HINDUISM AND YOGA - HATHA-YOGA, JNANA-YOGA, BHAKTI-YOGA, AND ALL THEIR VARIATIONS. THEN I WENT INTO THE OCCULT STUDIES OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE - PALMISTRY, TAROT CARDS, TRANSCENDANTAL MEDITATION, EXTRA-SENSORY PERCEPTION, PARAPSYCHOLOGY. FINALLY I STUDIED WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HIGHEST DISCIPLINE OF ALL - THE MYSTICISM OF PRAYER AND WORSHIP.
Prayer and worship sound fine, don't they? But you can pray to Satan as well as to Yahshua (Jesus). And you can get answers from Satan! OF COURSE, IF YOU PRAY TO ANY SPIRIT BUT THYE SPIRIT OF GOD OR YAHSHUA (JESUS), YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY A PRICE. Satan can give a person many things - money, healing, knowledge, protection, luck. Satan is a giver - but a dirty giver.
WHAT SATAN GIVES, I HAVE FOUND, HE ALWAYS TAKES BACK WITH HEAVY INTEREST. A pusher may give you a nice free shot of dope, and for a little while you may get what you think is a wonderful high, but those few minutes or hours are followed by torment, fear, the feeling to being lost, the desperation of not knowing what is happening to you. And the pusher makes you pay a horrible price in the end - always in money - often with your life. The Bible calls Satan the "Tormentor". He gives - but finally he takes everything back, and you have to pay terrible interest.
I ADVANCED IN THE OCCULT SPHERE SO FAST THAT I SOON BECAME THE YOUNGEST GURU IN THE WESTERN HERISPHERE, AND ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED AND POWERFUL.
Twice a week I taught yoga on television. Hatha-yoga sounds like a nice simple set of exercises; everybody thinks it is just gymnastics. I want to warn that it is just the beginning of a devilish trap. After I became an instructor in Hatha-yoga, my guru showed me that the only thing those exercises really do is open your appetite for the occult. THEY ARE LIKE MARIHUANA - THEY USUALLY LEAD YOU ON TO A DRUG THAT IS WORSE AND STRONGER, BINDING YOU SO COMPLETELY THAT ONLY CHRIST CAN DELIVER YOU.
Many people think that occult power is just a power of the mind. This is not true. THERE IS A POINT BEYOND WHICH THE POWER OF THE MIND ENDS AND DEMONIC POWER TAKES OVER. For example, astrology begins with pure astronomy - with the position of the stars and planets and various dates and angles. But there is a point where this kind of information ends and interpretation must be applied to the individual person whose horoscope you are reading. This is where the astrolger senses the need for help. This help will not come from God (Yahweh), for He does not want us to know the future, except as He reveals it. So this is where you open yourself to demonic influence. The demons know something about the future. Satan wants you to desire that knowledge. So here the demon steps in to provide super-human aid in interpreting the horoscope.
While I was still in my teens, the doors all opened for me to come to the United States to study medicine. Very soon I was taking a pre-med course in Los Angeles, but at the same time I was doing things no normal person could do. I could hypnotise people, control them with my eyes, make them do things I willed them to do. I knew things that would happen in the future. I could cause strange things to happen. I could communicate by telepathy, even if the other person were miles away. And I could learn what I needed to without studying.
Truly it looked as though the occult was the key to my heart's desire. ACTUALLY, I HAD REACHED THE POINT THE TIBETANS CALL NIRVANA AND THE WESTERN OCCULTISTS CALL ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE. It was the point where I was so in tune with the demon world that I could know things and do things without any conscious effort. I got power and information directly from supernatural sources.
The fact is that I was sent to the United States to help set up the first legal occult medical centre in this country. I WAS PART OF THE HIERARCHY OF THE LEADING OCCULT OPRGANISATION OF THE WHOLE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. In fact, two months after I came to America, I received a letter from my guru in Bolivia telling me that the guru over him had died, and SO MY OWN GURU AND I HAD IN OUR HANDS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TEACHING OF YOGA IN ITS DEEPEST FORM THROUGHOUT THE WEST.
My guru went under the name of "Nero". I had the occult name of "Parrot". The two of us were now the only persons outside the East with so much power and knowledge. SO I AM A WALKING TESTIMONY OF THE WONDERFUL POWER OF YAHSHUA (JESUS). IF HE COULD CONVERT ME, HE CAN CHANGE ANYONE!
The work I now did was dangerous and complicated. In a few months I had trained about fifteen students to the point where they could teach and study at the same time.
While I took my pre-medical training I was giving occult lectures in different schools, high-schools and colleges. Everything was going my way. But you know, the devil is not like the Lord. Under the devil you never know when the magic may backfire and things may fall apart. This was what happened to me next. All of a sudden things started to happen that i did not understand. There were strange problems among my students. Divisions sprang up between them. Some of my students decided to drop out of the classes in yoga. One of the students was a Jewish student named Aaron. I had such complete control over my students that when Aaron came to tell me he had decided to quit, he was crying and fearful. IN FACT, I WAS SOMETIMED CALLED A SECOND CHARLES MANSON BECAUSE OF MY POWER OVER MY STUDENTS. The New York Maus were rough with knives and guns (this is the gang that Nicky Cruz was once a leader of). We were rough with something much worse and fearful - demonic power! So when Aaron got out that he didn't want to learn any more of the occult, I surprised him by answering, "I'm glad." I surprised myself too for the strange thing was that I was truly glad, somehow, that Aaron was not going further into the occult.
I felt a sudden sense of joy that he was getting out. Other students decided to drop out too and all of a sudden there was the strangest tensions and difficulties in the work. The weirdest things happened, which I won't take time now to go into. Let me just say that my nerves were terribly disturbed, and the pains I had been getting ever since I started into the occult got worse.
Within a month I had to go to the doctors. They gave me some pills but said they couldn't find anything wrong with me.
But I was beginning to feel very weal and helpless. The way people sometimes know such things, I knew inside that I was dying - yes, dying. I can't tell you HOW I knew it, but I knew it. When a man is dying you expect him to get in touch with his friends. I didn't have any friends - I had been too busy for friends. I did have my students.
I called an emergency meeting of my students and I was so weak that they had to carry me to my bed. I was still in my teens, and I was dying. The students asked me if I wanted a priest. No, Is aid, I didn't want anybody. I just wanted to die in peace. The students played a record they knew I liked, I said goodbye, wrote a farewell note, and lay down to die. I felt the shadow of death. It was not a peaceful feeling. IT WAS A STRONG, UGLY FEELING. A FEELING OF EVERLASTING CONDEMNATION.
I thought about the reincarnation I had been taught all about. I told myself that my mission in life was over and I must get ready for the next existence. Because of my occult progress I should have been prepared for a much better life the next time - but all of a sudden the thought didn't make any sense. I FELT I WAS SLIDING DOWN INTO A PLACE TOO AWFUL FOR WORDS. I had believed I was fortified against death with my special knowledge and powers. But at that point everything around me seemed to be breaking up.
What I thought was within my reach suddenly disappeared. I felt I was falling, falling - then I wasn't conscious of anything more.
Next morning I opened my eyes to find my students all around me. They had stayed up all night praying for me. We had so many gods in our occult studies, I didn't know who they all had prayed to, but I am sure of one thing: SOMEONE HAD PRAYED TO YAHSHUA (JESUS), AND HE IN HIS AMAZING GRACE HAD ANSWERED THAT PRAYER.
I opened my eyes and I heard a voice speaking in my heart. I didn't know what the voice was then, although I know now that it was the Lord. He was saying, "Julio, YOU HAVE ONE MORE CHANCE, AND THAT IS ALL."
I wondered what it meant - whether it was my conscience or my subconscious trying to give me a message. But I knew I had better listen. I slowed down. I stopped teaching and let my students take care of the work. I slowed and slowed until the work was almost dissolved. I told my students: "From now on we are doing something different. We will not have the instruction any more. Each of you will continue your studies on your own." As I was dismantling the work I had laboured so hard to build up, I felt power working through me that was different. I thought this was the power of my mind but I was wrong. I REMEMBER THAT WHEN I WAS RELEASING THE STUDENTS, I TOLD THEM: "YOU ARE FREE," AND I FELT A GREAL RELIEF. I, too, felt free. Something was working within me that was different from anything I had experienced before, causing me to joyfully unto all I had been doing. Naturally, the devil didn't like it!
I felt low. The headache I had been having ame back worse than ever and everything was terrible. Things got worse and worse.
One day I was at school with my books on my arm when a girl went past wearing a poncho. The poncho looked familiar and when this girl came back, passing very close to where I was standing, I asked her, "Is that poncho from Bolivia?" I don't know why I asked her that. The thought just came into my mind, all of a sudden, to speak to this girl. This girl - I discovered later her name was Cathy - this girl stopped and smiled. She answered my question: "Yes."
Now I am not a timid person. Usually I have no difficulty talking to anyone, but at that moment something froze my tongue and I couldn't say a word. Finally Cathy walked away. Then something happened to me. Some friends were nearby. They used to be my students, but now they were no longer under my control and they were becoming my friends. I said to them, "I'm going to run after her." I threw my books down on the campus - I remembered there were some occult books I was holding along with some chemistry and medical books - and I ran. I wasn't really running after Cathy. Cathy is a nice girl, but she never became my girl friend. I was really running after Yahshua (Jesus). What attracted me to Cathy was Yahshua (Jesus) in her.
As I threw down my books I was saying to the world, "I don't care what you think, and I'm through with the things you think are important." IT WAS JUST LIKE HEARING YAHSHUA (JESUS) CALL, "FOLLOW ME", AND GIVING UP EVERYTHING TO DO THAT. I ran for almost a block. I almost missed Cathy, but finally I caught sight of her and caught up with her. I said: "Excuse me. Ah - I don't know - I hope you don't think that I was making fun of you or anything like that." Cathy answered, "How did you know I am a believer?" I started to freeze again. I was aware of something happening that was completely beyond my control. I said, "I didn't know you were a believer." "Then why," asked Cathy, "did you ask me if I was a believer?"
Truly the Lord was working a miracle! When I asked Cathy, "Is that poncho from Bolivia?" I was no more than three yards away from her. I know I have an accent, but not so bad an accent that what I asked could sound like, "Are you a believer?" I remember that I had pointed to Cathy's poncho as I asked my question.
But God had let Cathy hear, not what my mouth was saying, but what my heart was asking. So I now asked Cathy, "Are you a believer?" "Yes," she said. "Are you?" "Well, yes," I said, "I am a believer." Cathy didn't ask me whyat I believed. At that time I believed all kinds of things, true and false. Next day Cathy and I went for a walk. I started to tell her all about the occult, although I didn't call it the occult because I didn't know I was working for the devil. At that point I didn't even believe that the devil existed. I believed that there was a negative force in life that fights against the positive forces. THE FIRST TRICK OF THE DEVIL IF TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE THERE IS NO DEVIL.
Cathy listened to everything I said and finally she invited me to go to a religious service with her. I asked if my guru could come, and we went.
The service was being conducted by Kathryn Kuhlman. As my guru and I listened - I had to translate alot of it so the guru could understand - we sensed a power different from anything we had known. And we saw that power at work.
When we saw people being delivered from all kinds of sickness and problems, we blew our minds. All around us people were getting visibly healed and healed and HEALED! We did not believe that such a thing was possible. For the first time the real and true power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, got through to both of us.
I had been working in healing before I came to the Lord. I searched desperately for things to help the sick - hypnotism, magnetism, all kinds of psychic therapy.
But it wouldn't work. Some of us did get a few small results once in a while. I would hear that a certain guru had healed someone of cancer, and I thought that was marvelous. I tried to do something similar, but I was never able to. The devil may heal someone once in a while because WHAT HE REALLY WANTS, AND WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET, IS A PERSON'S SOUL.
Healing is really against his nature, just as it is the essence of God's nature to heal and restore. Seeing people really healed in Kathryn Kuhlman's services deeply touched my heart. I had stepped into a new dimension, as different from anything I had ever known as stepping into a completely different world. The Spirit of God began to work within me. Softly, softly he worked, breaking down my resistance, showing me His love and power.
After the service I had such complicated, mixed-up feelings! I didn't know what to think about it at all, and neither did my guru. We had seen to many people healed and transformed. And something happened to me too. For a long time my back had bothered me. Right there during the service I knew that my back was healed. It stayed healed, too, which proves that God does not always heal you because you have faith; he may heal you to show how much he loves you!
The next day both of us went to a small prayer meeting. There were about fifteen people there. They all got down on their knees and everyone prayed. I prayed too - I believed in all kinds of spirits and powers, and I prayed to them all. Fortunately, no one there realised how far from the truth I was, or if they did hear what I was saying, they didn't let on that I was making pagan prayers to false gods, and they just prayed for me anyway.
After about an hour there were only about ten people still there. They were laying their hands on anyone whow anted prayer. I was still having those headaches, so I said to myself, "I might as well try it." Then I said to the Christians, "Okay, you can pray for me."
I sat down in the chair where they laid their hands on whoever wanted prayer, and everybody gathered around. They were young people and older people and middle-aged people. As they stood around me and started to put their hands on my head, something started to happen.
I had tremendous emotions in my soul, and there seemed to be a great commotion in the room. An explosive tension wa starting to build up. I KNOW NOW THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD WAS BEGINNING TO EXPOSE THE THINGS DEEPLY EMBEDDED IN MY SOUL - yoga, clairvoyance, astrology, voodoo, belief in reincarnation, the Kabbala, levitation, metaphysical healing, automatic writing, use of the pendulum, extra-sensory perception, and all the rest! THE POWERS OF DARKNESS WITHIN ME WERE COMING FACE TO FACE WITH THE POWER OF GOD. God was challenging the Evil One, and I was the battelfield.
I sensed that each one of those occult things was represented by a different demon that had taken hold of my soul.
There were some people present who didn't realise what was going on and finally left. But there were two ladies, mature in the Spirit, who discerned the demons inside me and stayed with me. It was just as though the Holy Spirit had said, "Het out and let Me take care of this."
My body was shaking and the room was spinning around me. I felt what seemed like a warm electric current coursing through me and it made my body numb. It seemed like the Lord was giving me an anaesthetic before an operation. I truly believe that he did so to prevent the demons inside me from harming me when they were expelled. The two ladies were experienced in delivering demon-possessed persons from satanic power.
One of them sat down on the sofa as though she was simply waiting to see what the Lord should do. The other lady walked towards me - led, as I now know, by the Spirit of God - and as she did this I felt the power of God coming into my body. It came into my head like thunder breaking. It passed through my head, through my neck and back. I was thrown out of the chair. I fell flat on the floor and lay there as though I was nailed down. Somehow I lifted up both arms. I had never before lifted up my arms to God. i could feel the demons going out of me. It seemed as if if my head was broken. At the same time as I felt the demons leaving like an electric current shooting through my body, I felt something else. It seemed like a shock of thunder coming in and shaking my whole body. I started crying out in languages I didn't understand. I was being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues!
For nearly an hour I was crying, shaking, lifting up my hands, and feeling the tremendous power that was filling me. Of course, at first I did not understand what was happening. Then someone came into the room and exclaimed, "You have been delivered! You are being filled with the Spirit!"
Later I wondered how this could be happening if I did not understand it was happening. But the Bible says that God knows the desires of our hearts. After all my years of fruitless searching for God, it was he who found me!
You may think this is the end of the story, but it is just the beginning. The next day Cathy explained to me that I would have to renounce all my occult practices. It took me a while to realise that this was true. I had already renounced some things I knew were wrong, but some of the other occult things were still in me. I FINALLY REALISED THAT I HAD TO RENOUNCE EACH OCCULT PRACTICE OR BELIEF, ONE BY ONE, SO THAT THE SPIRIT OF EACH COULD BE CAST OUT UNTIL EVERY LAST ONE WAS GONE.
A few weeks later I was able to deliver my guru from bondage to all the demons within him. We both came to see that anyone who has been involved in the occult had to do three things about each occult practice: CONFESS ALOUD THE SIN; RENOUNCE IT; AND IN THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST PRAY AND COMMAND EACH DEMON TO GET OUT. It is good to have someone pray for you as you do this, but you yourself can command the demon to leave in the power of the Name of the Lord and the BLOOD!
My guru and I realised that we had to burn all our occult books, just like in Acts 19:19. It was not easy, believe me, after we had been studying and living by these things for so long.
We had tapes, books, pictures - occult materials worth thousands and thousands of dollars. As we were throwing them into the fire in the middle of the night, I looked through the flames at my guru on the other side. I could see the tears shining in his eyes. I went to him and said, "I know, Nero, it hurts me too."
But we were not hurt by the price of all these things in the flames; WE WERE HURT BECAUSE WE HAD BEEN SO TERRIBLY FOOLED. "Julio," Nero said, "I must go back to South America. My wife, my children, my relatives, and hundreds of people down there got involved in the occult through me. I've got to go back and bring them to Christ."
When I had told my students that all the things I had been teaching them were from the devil, they had become bitter against me, and for a time I had felt bitter against my guru. It was a heavy thing to know that we had been preaching doctrines of the devil. But as we burned the books and tapes and pictures, the peace of God came upon us and the bitterness disappeared. After we burned the occult books, the Lord led me to help my former students one by one until most of them were delivered. One by one they were saved and baptised until they got the blessings He had given me. It was amazing to see how He worked. Now I want to emphasise something! The deliverance part is nothing! The hard part is to keep delivered. Soon life for me began to be hard, painful, confusing.
All the memories, all the complicated occult ideas kept coming back into my mind and I had to rebuke them and rebuke them and REBUKE them. The warfare with Satan got heavy. I felt his attacks.
I know how he works. There may be fears, loneliness, desperation, even suicide, and much more. I could feel the demons coming back.
Nero felt it too, and we went to prayer meetings every day to pray and ask for prayer. It was so frightening. I got desperate. I would come home at night and feel the devil trying to terrify me. I knew he didn't want to lose me. I heard him say, "Either you are mine or you are nobody's." I knew the devilw anted to kill me. He tried to drive me insane through the different things that came into my mind - the desperation and confusion.
Truly he did his best to scare me - back into his power. Some nights I would go to bed and I could feel the furniture in my room moving. I heard people walking around when I knew no one was there and I could feel my heaet beating faster and faster. I HAD TO KEEP LIFTING UP THE NAME OF YAHSHUA (JESUS) UNTIL THE DEMONS WENT AWAY.
I read what the Bible says about Satan: "Be sober, be vigilent; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith..." (1 Peter 5:8-9). And I said, "I have no faith, I cannot believe any more. I have been so deceived before, how do I know this is the truth?" as you can see, there was great confusion in my mind.
But Peter goes on to say: "Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory in Yahshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ), after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (v.9-10). As the attacks continued, I found that I was slowly becoming strengthened. THE MORE I CALLED UPON THE LORD, THE MORE I WAS ABLE TO STAND ON MY FEET AND FIGHT THE DEVIL! I got stronger and stronger. The Lord settled me, perfected and established and confirmed me in His truth. I devoured the Bible and learned the whole truth about Satan and his works. After a while I would come home and be attacked again, with the bed shaking and the furniture moving. I would just lie down and the bed and say: "Thank you, Yahshua (Jesus)! Glory to God! Lord, I worship you!" And he gave me peace and quiet, just as He promised!
Then there had to be healing of my memories. As I prayed, and as my Christian friends prayed for me, and as I read God's Word and witnessed for Him, the healing took place. The old memories of all the things of the evil world slowly lost their sting. When I thought of them, I was able to thank God for His redemption.
I have told you how I used to dream of being a doctor. When I found the Lord I gave up everything I was doing, including my pre-medical studies. I gave my whole life to Him. After a while I found myself praying for people who were sick - and they would be healed! The Lord gave me back my dream, and fulfilled it in a way better than I could have hoped or thought!
The demons to have power. But they use their powers just to get people stoned, to keep them from seeing their real problems. When I was in yoga I had some truly frightening powers. BUT ALL OF THEM ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT GOD CAN DO. PRAISE HIS NAME!!
Extract from "Satan on the Loose" by Nicky Cruz, 1978 as published in HAND IT ON - Handbook for Disciples by Brother Abraham (Thor Granlund), 1988, The Small Folk, P.O.Box 2934, Töyen, N-0608 OSLO, Norway, pp.331-340.