Saturday, August 2, 2008

Angels of Mercy

Beware: Christian Dogma and Blatant Self Promotion Ahead!

Angels are described in the Bible as “Messengers” simply that. The Old Testament Hebrew word most commonly used for these beings is Malak which means a dispatched deputy or ambassador. It is the New Testament Greek word that is used to describe these being that we get our word for these creatures, the word Anglos which means messenger, or one who brings a message. Most of the time in Scripture when they appear it is not the classic winged other-worldy creature we usually associate with angels. No super being with wings. They usually appear (unless you’re a prophet having a vision) as normal humans, there at the right time and then simply vanish. Sometimes figuratively and sometimes quite literally.

I’ve had a few encounters with beings that I would later think were angels. These were people who were there at the right time but simply vanished from any record as if they never existed. One drove in a gold car and taught me a lesson that I shall never forget. He didn’t have to say a word. I just knew. Other times it takes a while for it to sink in that something is not quite right… and you realize you might have had an angelic visitation.

Such was the time when I was Pastoring in New Castle, Pennsylvania. I’ve told you a bit about that church a few weeks ago in “The Not So Holy Spirits of the Church”. After the incidents I described in that article I was very depressed. I had met with one of the District officers about trying to just close the church down and start it from scratch at some time in the future. He dismissed this as nonsense. “All you need is new people to take these others place,” he told me. Just where I would get these people when the judgmental church board always seemed to scare them off was beyond me. One afternoon I was sitting in the church praying about all this when the door opened and someone stepped in.

He was an African American man who looked as if he was in his sixties with in old fashioned brown 3 piece suit and a black bowler on his head. An old pocket watch hung from his vest. He pulled it out and looked at me with a smile. I’ll remember that smile forever. There was just something about it. “I thought the Church would be closed by now, it’s almost supper time. I guess I’m lucky you were here.” He said as he walked forward to shake my hand. He told me his name was Jonas Robertson, and that he stopped by this way once in a while. I told him I was the Pastor and although I never wore a clerical collar or a suit that day he just shook his head while still smiling that effervescent smile and said, “Oh, I know that.”

We started talking and he told me of the history of the church and the people that went here long ago. How that the people back then just served the community out of love and accepted everyone. They even named the church intentionally to show its all inclusiveness. He gave me a knowing glance and said, “Those days are long gone now.” And proceeded to talk about the issues the church was going through without being specific to any incidents. But he hit the nail on the head. “It’s tough to see a good church die. And some just want to keep the corpse around just to show it off. But it always gets to stinking things up.”

He stayed about an hour, and the time flew. He talked to me about faith in the dark valleys of life and how God will be there even when it’s the darkest when we are all alone. Things I knew as a minister of course, but need to be reminded of. During our time he walked over to the piano and played a church hymn that I had never heard before. It was beautiful and of an old style, but to this day the exact music eludes me. All I remember is being very comforted. Just before he left he told me to just be careful. There were going to be dark times up ahead, and even though I might loose those closest to me I’d have to rely on God’s grace. Even if I refused it, the love of God would always be with me. Especially when I was alone, he emphasized. He repeated that so many times I thought that he was having an emotional moment himself, but he never let a tear slip from those deep brown eyes. Finally he shook my hand and walked out the door, saying his ride was waiting for him.

After he left, I waited just a split second and then quickly followed after him to get his address or phone number. I opened the door. But he wasn’t there. In fact he was nowhere to be seen, and I had a panoramic view of a few miles in every direction. No Mr. Robertson to be seen and no vehicles on the straight road that the church was on. It didn’t feel spooky to me, it felt oddly comforting. Later that week I asked all of the older members of the church if they knew of this Jonas Robertson since he seemed to know everyone so well and the detailed history of the church. No one had ever heard of him.

Strange.

But there were the little things that made me wonder as well as the mysterious disappearance and the fact that no one in the church knew about him but he knew so much about the church. It was his clothing. It was as if he had just stepped out of the turn of the last century. About the same time the church had been formed. His shoes especially, they were a shiny black loafer that I had never seen before. And the bowler hat he wore. Who wore bowlers in the 1990s? I briefly thought that perhaps it was an angelic visitation but just dismissed it as foolish coincidence and my overactive imagination.

But then the disasters he warned me of began to happen.

Within a month I was divorced and out of a job. The Christian and Missionary Alliance does not allow divorced ministers to serve in a church. So not only was I going through a devastating divorce but I was out of a job and to top it off since I lived at the parsonage I was soon to be homeless. I basically had no money since the church paid me in free will offerings. And that had become smaller and smaller over time until I was making little more than $25 a week.

Those same board members who wanted to choke me for wanting the country band to play in church came to pay me a visit when they found out about the news of the divorce. For almost an hour they stood in my driveway, yelling at me and blaming me for all the troubles in the church and throwing deeply cutting personal insults at me. A spirit controlled their words that day, but it was not God’s. For those of you who think that the judgmental spirit of that church as I described it previously was but a normal human disposition would have a slight change of heart if you could have heard what those ‘caring and compassionate Christians’ said to me that afternoon. In the lowest moment of my life, it was if the hounds of hell came to have a feast on my wounded spirit.

Even fellow Pastors who I counted as friends shunned me because now I was a ‘pariah’, a divorced Minister. I had a spiritual mentor who was a good friend for many years after my conversion and always called me by my first name. After I became a minister he always called me “Pastor Swope” instead. But a month after the divorce I met him at an evangelical meeting and he called me “Mr. Swope”. No first name friendly basis, no ‘Pastor’ even though I still held the title.

Those were dark times.

I never saw the events that led up to the divorce coming, and I never thought that I would have been abandoned by so many friends because I was going through a divorce. But I had been warned ever so subtly by Mr. Robertson.

And I remembered his encouragement. I held tight to my faith and grew through those dark nights of the soul. I did not like going through those times, but I was wiser and a more compassionate person in the end. I became a better minister of faith and understanding because of those black days. And whatever you may think I know in my heart that Jonas Robertson was a Messenger from God. An Angel. He was sent to warn me and encourage me, and prepare me for the tough road ahead.

Thank you Jonas! Wherever you are now.
I know the dude abides.

Sometimes Angels can come in simple human form to warn us or encourage us. Sometimes they stop us from making stupid mistakes and guide us.

That is the theme of my book just published, “Walking with Awanu”.

In this book we follow the life of a man at the end of his rope. He has lost his job and going bankrupt. He is about to lose his house and has lost the respect of his family. Thinking the world would be better without him, he tries to commit suicide. But this attempt is interrupted by a messenger from God.

Through the book the messenger teaches him five eternal principles to deepen his spiritual life, which in effect brings his life back in order with the Cosmos.

Quietness

Transformation

Liberty

Mercy

Spirituality

He begins to see a world that he never thought existed. A world of Spirit and wholeness.

We journey through his triumphs and failures; all the while the messenger Awanu stands with him and gives ancient wisdom to encourage his weary soul.

It's a book for those who consider themselves 'Spiritual' but not 'Religious'.

Here’s a link to the book if you’re interested. Just click on the book cover below or the Amazon link at the top right of this page:



Walking with Awanu” is like a beginners guide to Spiritual Disciplines that is compatible with any faith or belief system. It incorporates what I have learned through Theological and Counseling Schools with what I have learned from the ‘schools of hard knocks’.

I hope it can help. If just one person is helped by my work, I am blessed beyond measure.

Anyway enough of this shameless self promotion!

Next time we will resume our normally scheduled programming with a strange paranormal Missionary story I have just received in the last month.

Until next time,

Pastor Swope

18 comments:

cryptidsrus said...

Very inspiring story, Pastor Swope!!!

Think I'll order that there book of yours. Looks like a winner.

Especially since I consider myself one of those "spiritual," not "religious" people you talked about. I was born into the Catholic faith but never practiced. Too "New Agey" and "questioning." My mother has gone back to her roots in recent years and become devout, though. Believe it or not, even though I don't subscribe to their tenets, I ocassionally watch EWTN. It's always good to get both sides of a question for intellectual stimulation's sake.

I'm so sorry those so-called "Christians" harassed you.
"Forgive them lord, for they know not what they do." The farther away one gets away from the light of God, the meaner one gets.

One question:
Did you ever try to research whether there ever was a Jonas Robertson who attended the church at the turn of the century?
Did you look through any church or county census records??? It would have been exciting to find out it was a real-life human being who talked to you. Cool story, again.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Cryptidsrus,

Hope you enjoy the book, and thanks!

I too occasionally watch EWTN for the same reason!


I did think of looking back into church records, but they only went back to the 1940's someone had thrown away the old attendance, baptismal, and membership documentation. Heaven knows why. Perhaps I was not the only Minister Mr. Robertson payed a visit too and someone wanted to get rid of any evidence? I know they ran through a LOT of ministers before they got to me.

I never went so far as county records at the time. That was before everything was databased, and you had to pour over old musty records. I am currently doing family Genealogy, so perhaps I can find a trace. If so I will update.

If I find an old picture of the church and all of it's members (as they were frequent to do in those days) with the good Mr. Robertson in attendance I will officially be weirded out.

Sam said...

Great story pastor swope

I too am not a religious man, Im often put off by the so-called "christian" types that you speak of. Its seems as though there are more and more people like that who are so one sided. That being said, I'm very spiritual and believe that I too have been vistited by what I can only describe as Angels. However they were not in human form, rather in the form of a warm golden light, much to bright to be sunlight and intellegent in its own manner. There has never been a message though, only a feeling of re-assurance ( which could be the message in its own way ) The visitations have come during the good times mostly, the last time being the night our baby girl came home from the maternity ward a year ago. As much as I may like they never seem to appear to me during the dark times.

Will your book/s be available internationally?

Best regards

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Sam,

You are blessed by your visions of Light, that is so very special! Yes it seems our world is becoming polarized on many sides. It only breeds misunderstanding and stereotyping. People just are not as friendly to strangers anymore, even in small towns.

My book should be available internationally now through Amazon. I have a link to it on the right side just below my contact information. I am not sure about my account for the book on Createspace, the link I provided in the story via the book cover.

Anonymous said...

I have to let you know that this is my favourite blog. I visit every other day and very enjoy what I read! Thanks! God bless and please don't stop.

Julie said...

Congratulations on finishing your book, Pastor Swope! I look forward to ordering and reading it. The story you have recounted here of Jonas Robertson sounds just like other "modern" accounts of angelic visitation that I have heard, and your storytelling is a delight to read as always.

On a side note, I was able to find the book on Amazon, but the Createspace link was either broken or has some other error. I just thought I'd let you know in case it's something that you can fix.

Looking forward to the next entry from you!

Rndvsr said...

Pastor Swope, don't look too hard to try and find anything about Mr Robertson, because you won't. He knew all about the history of the church and its members because he had access to what I'd call an infinitely large database.

As for those so-called "Christians" not acting in a very Christ-like manner, it isn't all that unusual. My father was a Presbyterian minister for something around 60 years and he ran into a few of those people. I think it is rather interesting that most of them will usually slink away into hiding when people stand up to them. Something about not being able to stand the LIGHT.

Pastor Swope said...

Dear RNDVSR,

Infinite database... Nice. Like that a LOT.

"Christians" in name only are a dime a dozen, aren't they. Most of them seem to be attracted to church government. God bless your father for so many years in service! I am sure he had some 'war stories'!

Melanie Stephan said...

And now for another visitation.

Melanie Stephan said...

In the Spring of 2006 God sent a message. It is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The message is this:
In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the afternoon I die, death.
What does this mean? It means that Birth is Last and Birth is First. God also gives an example so that you can understand this better. Example: Mike Douglas died on his birthday. (Note that Mike Douglas and Michael Douglas are two different people.) This message can also be rewritten as follows, The First will be Last and the Last will be First. It still means that same thing.

Melanie Stephen said...

God sees everything, doesn't he?

This is one small piece of proof that God talked to me:

Like I said earlier, the Holy Spirit talked to me, besides his message about First is Last and Last is First, he had something to say about “Who Killed JFK”. Christ tells me that the man who shot JFK is a policeman. He also tells me the name of the shooter, but it is in a jumbled word. The word is “Fritters”. I see the name F. Ritter right off so I think that is the name of the killer. Now God has lots of other messages for me to figure out, so I put “who Killed JFK” on the back burner for over a year. A year or more later , just recently, I have more time to look for F. Ritter. I can’t find a policeman with that name who lived in Dallas, Texas in 1963. So I am searching for information about who killed JFK and there is a picture of a policeman by the name of J D Tippit. Now Tippit kind of looks like Ritter. Now I unjumble the letters of Ritter to get TIRRET. Now TIRRET looks more like TIPPIT. Now I make the R’s stand at attention, I get TIPPET. One problem is that the I and the E are not the same. So I do some research on the family name TIPPIT. Turns out that in the late 1800’s JD Tippit’s grandfather changed their name from Tippett to Tippit. So the next step I change the E to I. So Tippet is now Tippit.
Now I have FS Tippit and JD Tippit. The first two initials are not the same. Next I go to Wikipedia, there I find; "Some thought that J D stood for "Jefferson Davis" however JD does not stand for anything". That means his name is just J D. So the initials F S , do not stand for anything. I just have two initials that do not stand for anything. Are you following me?

Next what does "FRITTERS" mean. If your following my thinking here, God is going to tell you what happened to JD Tippit after he was shot. Fritters are a dough that is deep fried. Bread also means body, like in the last super Christ takes the bread and says this is my body. Look in the dictionary, PIT means HELL. TIP means money paid, gratuity. There are other meanings to. These meanings tell a story.

JD Tippits body (dough) is placed in the deep fryer (lake of fire). Now I think this clue (Fritters) was ingenius. After all God came up with it. I think he does have a sense of humor too. Kids now have a new game to play. They can play God. Pilsbury dough boy fry’s in the lake of fire. You get HELL! fry baby fry!

If you think this is just crazy. Remember I am just the messenger. Jesus is the one that had to talk about JFK. So he had a reason for doing that. Only God knows who the killer is. This is proof that Christ talked to me and that is the reason he told me "Who killed JFK". It is proof. I had forgotten about the case years ago. This is a cold case now, it been 45 years since the shooting.

I also read the part about giving false prophesy. God says false prophets go to Hell or something like that. I only repeat what God told me. Now what I wrote above is from God. He told me who killed JFK in 2006. The above is not a lie or a joke and I am going to HEAVEN without fear.

Before I forget. Gods messages usually have more than one meaning. F S could also stand for “Fence Shooter”.

Who are the co-conspirators? Turns out that there are two policemen named Tippit, and one Tippett working in the Dallas police Department that same year(1963). Back to the clue word Fritters. That is plural, you know about plural. We have two fritters. The co-conspirators name is Gayle M. Tippit.

Now the Dallas Police Departtment obviously covered up and framed Oswald. He was the Patsy. They did it cause it is very possible that one of the other police officers rushing to the scene saw Tippet fleeing the scene carrying a rifle. They covered it up because of the embarrassment of one of their own was the man that killed JFK? And the Warren commission must have also figured that out so they stuck with the Dallas Dept. story saying that it was Oswald. It could have been a National embarrassment. Now if you look at the evidence like I did. It is easy to see that the DAllas Police Dept tampered with the evidence over and over again. And they did a very bad job of it too.

Now this is my opinion, not Gods. I think God is behind the creation of the Internet. I could never have been able to figure out a lot of his messages without the use of the Internet. People on the Net have been a big help to me. God talks to other people too, they just don’t know it. God let me know it was him.


Now I just made solving the case of “Who shot JFK?”, look easy. I also gave you proof here. Did you see it? You ask where’s the proof. The proof is that it is impossible for anyone to repeat what I just did above. I mean try it. And I do that over and over again in all of God’s messages.
See if you can make up a word that is a fried food (like fritters). Unjumble the letters to reveal the name of the killer (Tippit). Then divide the word Tippit into words that describe what happened. Tip- means that JD Tippit was paid for the job and the presidency was over turned. Pit - means that he went to Hell for what he did. Pit means the worst Hell.

See if you can prove me wrong. Show me how easy it is to make up a name like “Fritters” that solves the crime. This clue is ingenious. God came up with the name “FRITTERS”. God is a genius, not me. I am only the messenger.

Then the two remaining letters F. S. stands for Fence Shooter. It's INGENIUS!

Then on top of that it just so happens that there are two Tippit’s working in the Dallas Police Department in 1963. Fritters (plural) means we have more than one Fritter going in the deep fryer . The other shooter is Gayle M. Tippit. He goes to Hell too. Now I did some research on Gayle M Tippit. There is very little information on him unlike JD Tippit. In my search I found two Gayle Tippit’s still in Dallas. One died in 1967 and the other is married and still lives in Texas. So the other conspirator could still be alive and has managed to avoid detection.

This is where it gets intesting. Does Gayle M. Tippit come forward and ask God to forgive him? I think he also has to ask the American people to forgive him for his part in the murder of the president or he gets the worst Hell just like JD did. God told me that waiting until the 11th hour is too late. God is forgiving, but you can’t wait until your on your death bed to ask to be forgiven.

Now if Gayle M. Tippit wants to save himself from the deep fryer. (This could be a long fry, not a quick dip.) He has to come forward and ask to be forgiven. He still gets death or Hell but it won’t be the worst Hell. Just like the worst death is being crucified.

Gods messenger, Melaine

Melaine Stephen said...

I saw the Pope on the news tonight. Now God did not pick the Pope. God picked me over the Pope. I found that interesting. Now I like the Pope very much. God loves the Pope too. I now realize why God picked me over the Pope. This is nothing against the Pope but God does not agree with what is in the bible. The Pope has to go along with what is in the bible, his job title depends on it. Now I am not in the Church, I am a scientist. My job does not depend on religious beliefs. That is why God picked me to talk to over the Pope.

Pastor Swope said...

Hi Melain Stephen,

That's thinking with yer dipstick Jimmy!

Melanie Stephan said...

God talked to me and no one else. That gives me authority to write on his behalf. God disagrees with everyone. God disagrees with the New Testament. I am the only person now living who knows the true word of God. Anyone else who speaks in Gods behalf saying this is the word of God does not have the Authority to do so. Anyone who points to the Bible and says it is written here so it must be so, is Wrong.

Pastor Swope said...

Hi Melanie,

You cannot be the real Melanie Stephan, because only she knows of the code and the secret button. You are therefore a heretic. You only get 14.95 minutes of fame instead of 15.00. That is if only if you know the password. E-mail it to the constant at midnight of the appointed hour.

There is an extra bag of Cheetos available if you file early so do not be tardy!

Anonymous said...

You've every right to promote your book and your method was extremely inspired. Well done - I will certainly buy it.

I was drawn to this site through a link about a ghost story, but I was reluctant to even read anything at first, after reading that you were a Pastor. My previous experiences with churches was very much the way you described your events (never close to me but enough to make me cringe that hardly anyone seems to practice what they preach as a church-goer). It seems you might be one of the few who doesn't let their ego and self justification take over.

You also have a wonderful writing style, and look forward to reading MUCH more from your works.

Thanks for sharing!

Sue :)

Anonymous said...

On a side note as well Pastor Swope....SHAME on me for being prejudiced as well. You have a very hard job to do that will never be truly appreciated I suspect.

Again...thanks for sharing your work!
Sue

Melanie Stephan said...

Who the Hell is Melanie?
She is a regular human, looks like everyone else. She does not have wings. She is higher up than a Cherub and less than God. She sits on God left side. Never on God right side. Left does not mean wrong side. Left means Gods weak side.