I was brought up in the Jewish religion. I went to the Sabbath on Fridays quite regularly and celebrated holy days in the temple with my family, like many others. I went to Hebrew school twice a week and eventually celebrated my Bar Mitzvah and my confirmation. In class, I asked many questions about God that the Rabbi could not answer. Although I persevered year after year, mainly to please my parents, I lost interest in their traditional religion. I felt hindered in my spiritual development and so I rushed headlong into the freedom of my own style of spirituality after graduation.

In my personal quest, I read and attended different meetings. I got involved in the New Age movement, became a vegetarian and practiced yoga and meditation for 15 years. For a while, psychedelic drugs (LSD, mescaline, etc.) were part of my religious rites and I smoked pot regularly. During this same period, I also experimented with various religions and the occult. I believed that each form contained a part of the truth of the ‘true’ religion, just as the Rosicrucians teach that all religions are petals of the same flower.

I have studied on the Ancient Oriental Masters, learning Buddhism and Zen and I have kept some of their practices. I had a number of spiritual experiences which I believed – in those days – came from God and which led me to a better knowledge of myself and Him. I discovered and believed that the Ascending Masters were guiding our world on the path of greater evolution. I was involved in UFOs and I was carrying messages. I was sure that I was on the right spiritual path because of the various signs that were coming down. At the same time I was reading the Bible (even the New Testament), without denying my Jewish roots. I began to read more than 50 books a year, driven by an insatiable spiritual appetite, but God was preparing my exit from this spiritual slavery.

Besides, I had started surfing before the beginning of my spiritual pilgrimage. I fell in love with the sport. I travelled, surfed and even competed. Surfing became my livelihood. I was first a New York champion for a few years before I became the East Coast champion. Hawaii attracted me enormously, of course. I moved there with my girlfriend Kathy in the mid-70’s. I’ve been living there ever since.

There I was freer to pursue my first love – surfing – and my own spirituality. Kathy and I felt that we were becoming more and more enlightened by reading books about being involved with the Ascending Masters and “learning” about the past history of the earth (Atlantean). We wanted to become servants of the New Age, convinced that if we all joined together, we would succeed in bringing about an age of cooperation and spiritual enlightenment that many were talking about. Nine years later, my quest reached a critical point when Kathy and I decided to pursue our spiritual hunger in a more serious way by getting involved in the “I Am” movement (La Société du Comte de Saint Germain). Calling upon angels and powers unknown to us and using The Violet Flame to eradicate karma from a previous life, we were learning to become active in the New Age movement. At this time Kathy practiced their affirmations, mantras, studied herbology, polarity therapy, kinesiology and learned the so-called spiritual energies of the body. She was also the manager of a health shop on the island of Oahu.

The Lord then began His rescue plan and we met two friends who were newly saved. One of them was a surfer we had known in New York. We discussed the events of the end for hours. Since I had been reading the Bible for several years, I was particularly fascinated by the end times. (We were still convinced that Christians were very narrow-minded in their perception of the Bible, God and the world. Kathy and I often laughed at the infiltration of the New Age without the knowledge of Christians). In the same week my friends invited us to a seminar on the New Age given by Dave Hunt, Johanna Michaelson and Hal Lindsey. The timing was perfect! It was also during this time that I heard an audible voice saying to me, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not want for anything. “I remembered that this was a passage from Psalm 23 that I had learned in my Jewish upbringing and I had never had such an experience. I knew in my heart that this was the God I was looking for and did not yet know. It was only later that I understood why this voice came from outside me and not from within.

I attended the Christian conference on biblical prophecy and the New Age movement but Kathy had stayed home to make her New Actors statements. She was not feeling well that day and unconsciously had been in a spiritual battle all week. At the conference I was in shock when I heard the other side of the story. The information I was hearing sounded incredible. The speakers were aware of the occult techniques we were practicing and the plans of the New Age movement. During a break, I had a brief chat with Dave Hunt and he answered some important questions, one of which was ‘Why did Jesus say, ‘Why have You forsaken Me? “Although I had been reading the Bible for many years, I was unable to understand the Gospel. I was blinded by the perceptions and influences of the New Age.

Dave confronted me about my occult practices. He knew the practices of the “I Am” company. So he asked me: “If you are God, did you create the universe? “I had never thought about that. If I was trying to become God using New Age techniques, how could this be possible when God was eternal, omniscient and omnipotent? Following this question, a chain of events led me to receive the truth of the Lord in my heart and mind. At the end of the conference Johanna spoke and I could identify with much of her experience, especially about the Ascending Master ‘Jesus’. She began to talk about another Jesus – the true Jesus of the Bible, which was quite a shock to me. I never thought there could be a false Jesus who would present himself as the real one. These false Jesus only had His Name and were not the One who came as God in the flesh. That made all the sense in the world. When she prayed my heart was pierced; I knew I had heard the truth but what would I do with it now?

When I returned home I was struggling with the realization that I had wasted 15 years believing and doing the wrong things (I used to think that Christians were very narrow-minded but now I had to reconsider the fact that my too much openness had led me to believe a lie). I asked several questions to my friends but they could only answer a few because they were saved young people. They repeated to me “We know that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus is the Truth. »

Kathy was waiting for me. It was getting late and she was afraid that I would come back from the conference a Christian convert! As I entered my home, peace came into the house and onto her. I shared with her how Christians saw the last days and how different it was from the teachings of the New Age. It was then that the Holy Spirit revealed to Kathy that not only had we followed the ‘evil’ Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4) but that we had worshipped Satan and that he was a real being. Then the fear of God took hold of us and, for the first time, we knelt down and prayed to the true Living God, asking Him to forgive us for our occult beliefs and activities by which we had been deceived. The Lord laughed last and it was a pleasant laugh of victory.

The next morning we went to a Christian assembly and the pastor mentioned that he had been told to change his message. He talked about sin, Satan and Jesus Christ. Kathy and I believed that our friends had spoken to him but it wasn’t the case, it was the Lord. We heard the explanation of the Gospel and we dedicated our lives to the Lord, repented and asked Him for forgiveness. Thank you Lord that He intervened! This was in 1986. In the same week I realised that my conversion took place on the same day as my confirmation, 20 years earlier, when God had spoken to me through a verse of Psalm 23. At that time, the last thing I had read before the congregation in the temple was Proverbs 4:1-2 “Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father, and take heed to know wisdom, for I give you good counsel: do not reject my teaching. “Unfortunately, I have forsaken His Law for twenty years – but God has brought me and my future wife Kathy back to Him. Five weeks after our new birth we got married and today we have a 15 year old son who is very interested in the debate of creation versus evolution among other things.

Immediately I began to study the Bible and learn apology so that I could answer those who would ask us why we believed in Christ and why Jesus is God in the flesh. Since 1988 I have continued to teach about sects, how they deny grace and turn to works to be accepted by God. This includes Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and also the occult (the New Age worldview) and is now very present in the Church.

By the grace of God, I have had the privilege of teaching at Hope Chapels, Calvary Chapels, Church of Christ, Youth With A Mission, United Methodist Church, Grace Brethren, Assembly of God and various congregations in Hawaii. I also had the opportunity to share in small Bible groups on the island and was involved in a number of discussions. In addition, the Lord has recently given us the opportunity to host a television programme as well as a local radio programme in Hawaii. I am currently a missionary for Witness Inc, the world’s most widespread ministry to help the captive people of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1994, the Let Us Reason Ministries website was founded as an apologetic resource to instill trust and a desire to lead people to Christ. We do this by equipping believers with biblical and logical answers for their Christian faith. I have learned many things along the way that need to be shared with others to encourage them as well as to equip them in their witness. I hope that this ministry will encourage believers to meet and evangelise those who belong to sects and false religions as well as to discern and pay attention to false doctrines within the Church.

Mike Oppenheimer

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