Beth's Testimony

Testimony by Elizabeth Axton

I was brought up abroad with very little church contact or Christian knowledge. We eventually came ‘home’ to England and this continued. However when I reached my late teens I had a deep desire to know God. I was awestruck by the great futile swirl of life and felt there must be a meaning and purpose in it all.  ‘Why was I here and what was my ultimate goal?’  I studied all the eastern religions but found no real answers.  Eventually i joined The Moonies, where Sun Myung Moon had declared that all religions were as one and we could embrace them all.  This I believed in but however life in the Moonies was very harsh and scary. One day, I decided that life was so miserable, and that as I was condemned to a life in the moonies for the rest of my life the only escape was to take my life. 

 I thought that first I would find an open church and kneel at the altar and pray a forbidden prayer to Jesus and beg Him to save me.  I had no idea what being ‘saved’, was. There was no immediate answer so I left in gloom and returned home (again forbidden) to see my parents one more time before I took my life.  

My chains fell off!...but slowly!..

It happened to be Good Friday(!) and my parents forced me into an old Anglican Church for the 3 hour meditation!  I believe my father was praying for his woe-begone daughter the whole time.  During a hymn in the service Jesus stood before me, full bodily. He was in His crucified state and looking down.  He stood behind a great locked wooden door covered in brambles, which I could see through. Although in the Moonies I had denounced him, I knew now, that I was standing in the presence of the Almighty God, the maker of heaven and earth and the Messiah of Israel.  He knew everything about me, from my birth to now, and that I was about to take my life, believing I would enter heaven.   There was no merciful love floating around me, but a seriousness and emanating from Him was the knowledge that neither He nor I had anything to do with each other.  I was locked out of heaven as strong as this door, and I was the one who had drawn the bolts on the door. He lifted up a blood filled  nail-pierced hand and began knocking on the door. During all this time He never looked at me and I knew that if He did His eyes would sear through me and it would be my death.  I was so aghast at this appearance ofJesus that I was convinced that the who church was seeing him, but as the hymn gradually faded so did He and everyone sat down and had plainly not seen Him.

I was so bewildered and dumb-struck that I said nothing to my parents but shut myself in my room back at home trying to sort it out without success.
Looking back there were many demons within me and these would speak to me and suddenly they were saying that I must get back to the Moonies straight away.  I begged my father to drive me to the station and although he remonstrated eventually he did, because he saw that I was running out the house and about to run to the station 3 miles away.
It is too long to fully recount here, but in 4 week’s time I met a group of Christians who talked very sensibly with me and asked to pray with me.  They told me I needed to asked Jesus into my heart and life and be born again.  Thank the Lord, I did so, against every voice in my head.  I felt His Salvation immediately and incredibly He also baptised me in the Holy Spirit.  I believe I needed that to withstand various attacks from the enemy that would come.  All that was 45 years ago and I stand today still rejoicing and praising God for my deliverance from this group but also from my own personal sin.  Hallelujah, God is so good to those who know Him and follow Him.

The hymn I have chosen is the hymn during which Jesus appeared to me whilst it was being sung:

Oh Jesus Thou Art Standing Outside the Fast Closed Door,
In lowly patience waiting to pass the threshold O’er:
Shame on us, Christian brethren, His Name and sign who bear,
Oh, shame, three times upon us to keep Him standing there.

Oh Jesus, You are knocking, and lo that hand is scarred,
And thorns Your brow encircle, and tears your face have marred:
Oh, love that passes knowledge so patiently to wait!
Oh sin that has no equal, so fast to bar the gate!

Oh Jesus, You are pleading in accents meek  and low;
“I died for you, My children and will you treat me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow we open now the door:
Dear Saviour, enter, enter, and leave us nevermore.

Mark and Beth on their wedding day