By John Litteral
Intellectually I find that there is sufficient evidence in the historical Jesus, as shown in my most recent book called Confessions of the Free-thinking Christian. The story that I am about to tell is not evidence of Jesus directly, but it was evidence that was shown to me that there is definitely something beyond the reality that we see which truly exists. Many years ago, when I was a Southern Baptist, I was teaching and doing lessons on various Biblical topics. I had been doing some research on Satan and demons, and I was preparing a lesson on that topic. One afternoon I was home alone, and I decided to lay down and take a nap.
During the nap I was woken up and I could see everything around me, but I could not move my body. It was like I was completely paralyzed. I felt a pressure around my skull closing in as if it was squeezing tighter and tighter by the second. I heard a voice whispering in my ear saying over and over, “I am going to kill you.” This was extremely terrifying! The pressure kept getting tighter around my skull and it felt like my head was going to pop like a grape any moment, while the voice kept whispering in my ear telling me that it/he was going to kill me. I was desperate and started praying, “Lord help me!” “In the name of Jesus please help me!” And suddenly the pressure around my head was released and the voice was gone, and I was able to move my body. But for what seemed like 5 to 10 seconds I felt the strongest presence of evil in the room, and it faded off in a bizarre manner. The only way I can describe that fading away was the sensation that I felt one time after a major storm where a tornado had touched down close by. During that storm there was quite the chaotic period of strong winds and trees falling down everywhere, and rain pouring down like I had never seen before. But all of a sudden, the storm stopped and calmness came, but for a brief moment that storm vanished back up into the sky and it was as if you could feel it disappear in a few seconds time, and when it did the sun came out and it went from chaos to sunny and calm very quickly. That may seem like a strange way to compare a demonic attack, but those two times are the only times I had ever felt such a strange sensation, though the demonic attack was by far more frightening and intense.
I have had many years to think about that experience and wonder why I had it. I have always felt like God allowed that to happen to me in order to teach me a lesson. Being the kind of person who questions everything, and I have had periods of doubt and confusion, some of what I have written about in this book. But one thing that the experience taught me was that no matter how much doubt and confusion that I struggle with spiritually, I can never deny that there is a reality beyond the world and reality that we see with our eyes. It also taught me that there is a dark and evil spiritual force that exists. I am thankful to have had that experience, but I hope to not have any more demonic interactions like that. It also taught me that prayer works, because I do believe it was the power of prayer and a cry of desperation that warded off that demonic attack.
Another bizarre thing that happened to me one time was I had a premonition, which was a vivid dream about the death of a coworker. This happened in 1999. At the time I was working at a foundry, and for a period of time I worked with a man by the name of Carl Simpson. I got to be friends with him, and I really enjoyed working with him. He was funny and loved pulling off pranks. He would do things like put grease in the fingers of your gloves, and when you would put the gloves on your fingers would squish in the grease. He would also do things like put a little grease on those cones that we would drink water from, and he would stick them on people’s hard-hats, and they would walk around with a cone on their heads and not even know it. He did that to me many times. Carl loved having a good time. Eventually Carl transferred to another department, and I had not seen him for quite awhile. Every now and then I would pass him by on lunch break, but I rarely saw him.
One day I had a vivid dream that I was at work, and I saw Carl laying on the concrete floor dead and there were people standing around him. I remember asking what happened to him, and someone replied that he got caught in something. The dream was so real, and it left such an impression on me that I felt troubled when I woke up. It was way beyond what a normal intense dream feels like. After that, I remember passing Carl one day and stopped to speak to him for a moment, and I remember that it was almost a little bit creepy because the dream left such an impression on me that it was almost like seeing someone who had died. Then after a few months after that dream I was working evening shift, and when I arrived at work and pulled into the lot, I had a feeling of dread come upon me. I had the strongest feeling that something bad had happened, and as I was walking into work and was approaching my department that I was working in at the time, the feeling of dread kept getting stronger and stronger the closer I got to the timeclock. Oddly enough the dream about Carl did not cross my mind as being the source of that dread.
Finally, once I walked into the lab department that I was working in at the time, my coworkers in that department were standing around waiting for shift change. I asked them how they were doing, and Roy Long, who was one of the day-turn workers looked at me said, “I’ve got some bad news. That boy Carl Simpson got killed earlier today.” Come to find out Carl was killed by a mold machine that he got caught in, which was exactly how he was killed in my dream. I was stunned by the whole experience.
That night when I got off work, I ran me a hot tub of bathwater, and I just laid in there to relax and wind down. As I was laying there thinking about the dream and what had happened to Carl, the funniest thing happened that could have just been coincidence, but maybe not. I was laying there and all of a sudden, my son’s rubber-ducky that we had hanging up in a little net above the tub fell out and hit me right between the legs. I just laughed because it seemed like something Carl would have done, being the prankster that he was.
That whole experience is another thing that I feel God used to teach me a lesson. It was far beyond a coincidence. I feel that God let me experience that in order to confirm that there is more to this reality than what we see with our eyes. There is a spiritual side that I personally cannot deny. Experiences like that have always been a witness to spiritual things even when I have had the darkest nights of the soul when I did not know what to believe.