How Christ Saved Me,
A Miserable, Catholic - Spiritualist Sinner

Hélio de Menezes Silva

Written circa 1976, translated on 2001.

Dear friend,
I would like to take advantage of the opportunity to share with you the 10 most important things that have happened in my life:

As a child, living in the arid, poor and remote interior of Northeast of Brazil, I was reared as a traditional, strict and idolater Papist-Romanist. The priests and teachers filled me with a mountain of dogmas, false ideas, lies, unfounded traditions and legends. Oh! How they used God's name but never studied nor taught the Bible directly, uniquely and judicially. On the contrary, they used only empty "catechism", empty traditions, empty rituals and vain repetitions, empty liturgies and empty commemorations, and, at most, 1 or 2 verses completely taken out of context, offered to us in a "pre-digested" form, in isolation from the rest of the Bible.

2nd - I BECAME AN ATHEIST, for the whole period from 13 to 19 years of age, as I bitterly discovered how the clergy had been awfully prostitute and murderer through out the centuries, and that there was no foundation in what they had taught me. Filled with anger for having been beguiled, and filled with rebellion, pride, and ungodliness, I began to absorb and transpire atheism, and to blaspheme God, I called all the religions the opium and crutch of the weak ones. I foolishly said to myself "Thou art wise and strong"... I began reading the Bible just with the intention of better attacking it, but I soon stopped.

In a time between my 20 and 21 years of age, God opened my darkened mind and heart and made me to ponder in aw the nature, the stars, and the formation of living beings. In a quiet night, alone in a fishing trip in the fields without electricity, gazing to the stars in a sky without clouds, I cried secretly and I asked God's forgiveness for my stupidity.

-     The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalms 19:1 AV)
-    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20 AV)

To me, all religions were right. I read many spiritualist books (by Alan Kardec), books on Ioga, pseudo-scientific-spiritualist magazines ("Planet", etc.), books on angels being astronauts and Jehovah their commandant, etc., etc., etc. Sporadically, I would read the Bible, especially the Old Testament.

But what would REALLY happen to my spirit, after death?

In 1971, while I worked as a chief engineer building thousands of low cost houses for the government, a poor and shy man invited all the engineers to go to a meeting in his house. My colleagues openly mocked the man and this made me to feel ashamed and upset that I told the man I would accept his invitation. His shack was in a poor, infected section of the city and had no electricity nor chairs, but the Gospel was really preached and I felt warmed and even envied the brotherly love, the peace, the joy and assurance of salvation they showed. I was impressed, I had never seen anything like that.

From 1971 to 1972, my wife was pregnant of our fourth child. This pregnancy was marked by serious complications, including an acute kidney infection. In order to protect the baby, antibiotics were not administered nor X-Rays could be taken to discover the cause of the infection. Both my wife and the baby were in constant and very real danger of death. Finally, my wife, through much travail, gave birth to our child, Airton. He was a big, cute, eleven pound boy who was born with the umbilical cord around his neck. He was put into an incubator under intensive care. Twenty four hours later, just when the doctors had assured us "Now, all is well"... our much beloved son died! My wife and I sorrowed very much and cried plenty of tears but we didn't become bitter. Today, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank God for using our treasured son in order to start breaking our hardened hearts, and we don't forget that someday we will embrace him in heaven.

Toward the end of 1972, X-Rays indicated that my wife needed a kidney surgery. We were given the address of the "Centro Espírita Tupiara" (Tupiara Spiritualist Center) in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout all Brazil, Tupiara was famous for its pretended innumerable, Spiritualist "tele-cures" (supernatural healings thousand of miles away from where the medium was). We discovered that, at least in our district, it seems they already had performed one tele-healing-surgery for every major street. We were fearful of the possibility (almost the likelihood) of death in the hands of local medical doctors, so we wrote to the that Spiritualist Center. They mailed us detailed instructions for a spiritualist tele-healing: on a certain day, in the following month, at 10:00 P.M., my wife was to be in total darkness in our bedroom, with a white night gown and white sheets, everything being sterilized, with a bottle of drinking water close by. Surgeon spirits invocated by the mediums 1500 miles away would locate our city, street and house, and would perform physical surgery without any anesthesia nor pain, leaving only a trace of a scar. The water in the bottle would acquire extraordinary medicinal properties and a bit of it should be taken 3 times a day. Both in the 7th and in the 14th days after, there would be two more sessions for bandage changing purposes. After everything was agreed upon, however, we started growing apprehensive and worried. I began to read the Bible along with my wife, up to 2 hours a day. I waited till the end of an evening service and corned the Pastor of First Baptist Church, in João Pessoa, who took me home and gave me a book on Spiritualism.

-    10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 AV)

-    And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? (Isaiah 8:19 AV)

God convinced us that He abominates consulting the deads and will utterly condemn all those who practice anything related to Spiritualism. I argued the subject with my wife's grandmother, who was a prominent medium in the city, and with all my wife's other relatives (Spiritualists). As they could offer no convincing arguments on the subject, they all pressed me to look for guidance from the President of the Spiritualist Federation, in my state. The President, a major exponent and propagator of Spiritualism, was supposed to smash all my arguments. I armed myself with the Bible I was starting to discover, and went to the battle right inside the Spiritualist Federation Headquarters. The battle lasted for 90 minutes. At the end, the President, not being able to contradict the Bible, angrily said "you may remain with this fool 'book of the fools', but I will never accept those prohibitions, I will never cease from the charitable and supreme act of communicating with spirits". The following night was when my wife was to be healed by the spirits sent by the Tupiara's mediums. My wife and I came to a decision. We decided it would be better to obey God, even if it meant dying in the hands of medical doctors, than to disobey God, even if the Devil might have really cured her. We stayed awake beyond midnight, praying and asking for God to forgive us for that which we about did, and asking God to protect us from the demons who wanted to have us over. We went to sleep only when we knew the darkness had been removed.

In the beginning of 1973, my wife had kidney surgery with total success. Strangely enough, I still had a lot of "light" Spiritualist beliefs, such as on reincarnation, on the Law of Karma, and others. At this time, I had a partnership in a small gasoline station and was building a small camper trailer. I think it was the first one in my state. One day, a car was leaving the gas station and I noticed it had a trailer hitch. I ran after the car and succeeded in getting the driver to stop. He had an American accent and a trailer, and we made plans for him to show me his trailer at a later date, I needed to copy the design of the hitch. A week later my station attendant told me that that American had been through, again, and had left me a tract. When I opened the tract, I could see it was one of those hated and despised "believers tracts" (its title was "Believe Not Every Spirit"). I was scornful of the "believers" Christians, so I squashed the tract in my hand and stick it in the car's ash tray. However, one or two days later I attentively read that tract and I was quickly and deeply impressed.

-    And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27 AV)

After this, I completely forsook Spiritualism. However, I was still confused and I kept anxiously asking myself what would be the destiny of my soul. I moved to a city 80 miles away but, every Saturday afternoon, I would travel and go right into the house of Pastor Charles Smith (that American who owned the trailer) to hear and discuss (and argue) about the Bible for some hours. I began to read the Bible, accepting it and understanding many things I did not understand before, but underlying verses and taking notes on things I did not understood, in order to discuss (and argue) them about. I would spend all week preparing myself to stop the mouth of that man, but I was the one who always went back home made speechless by God's Spirit using Chuck Smith, who was always polite and simply showed me and asked me to read the SCRIPTURES that completely demolished my arguments, my haughtiness and rebellion.

6th - I BECAME CONVINCED THAT I WAS A SINNER LOST AND CONDEMNED TO HELL, A REALITY. (It was the most difficult thing of my life, to admit such a thing!)

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Romans 3:10-12 AV)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 AV)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 AV)

7th - I BELIEVED ON CHRIST, not only that He existed but that He (and He only) could SAVE me from the Hell I deserved, and save me FREELY. I accepted Him, I rested on Him, I accepted this salvation, even though I didn't understand "everything" I would like to.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 AV)

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18 AV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24 AV)

8th - ALONG WITH MY WIFE, I CONFESSED CHRIST AS MY SAVIOR, on a Saturday evening, July 20, 1974, kneeling on the floor of the living room in the house of Missionary Chuck Smith.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 AV)

9th - GOD GAVE ME ASSURANCE OF SALVATION, complete, eternal, incapable of being lost / stealed / thrown away, and not depending of my works.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 AV)

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29 AV)

10th - TODAY, I AM A SAVED BELIEVER, (internally and eternally) JOYFUL IN THE LORD.
My wife, my four children and me have real peace and joy. We all know that should we die today, we would immediately be in Christ's presence. We do not fear the future, death, nor eternity. To the contrary, we are anxious for eternity ...

For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. (Philippians 1:21 AV)

Ah, my dear friend! My dear friend! With our heart burning with love and tears, we invite you to accept salvation in Christ, right now, wherever you are. We encourage you to read the Bible. Open wide the door of your heart. It is not Christ (or our church, or I) that needs you, or needs something from you, dear friend: It is YOU that desperately need Christ. I am not asking you to do Christ or to do me a favor, but that you do yourself the greatest favor in your life, and get saved. What can you lose, except eternal, deserved, awful perdition? Accept Christ, accept His promises. Then, take possession and enjoy assurance of salvation.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26 AV).

Pray in the sincerity of your heart: "Lord, Jehovah, the Creator of everything and everybody, I know that I am a miserable sinner. Under this appearance of respect and happiness and even religiosity, no one can be more lost and deserve more condemnation, in eternal Hell, than me. I can do nothing for my salvation. But now, I rest all my faith and confidence on You, on Your Word and on Your Son Jesus, having confidence and believing fully that He is the Christ, the Son of God and God the Son, who died paying my sins in my place, acquiring my salvation by means of His holy and sinless blood. Oh Lord, I receive, now, Your Son Jesus as my only Savior and absolute Lord (Owner and Controller) of my life. Oh my God, You never lie! Therefore, as You have solemnly promised that, if I would commit all my faith only on the Son and on Your words, I would be saved forever, I am now sure of my salvation. Praise You, Lord! Amen!"

Phone us or write to us. We would have pleasure knowing about your salvation or in talking this subject over with you.

Read the Bible. Believe it, for it is the Word of God.

No matter the distance from your home, select and join a Church that has an anabatist - baptist, fundamentalist, independent, traditional line; believes the King James Bible; honors Christ; has a sound doctrine, a good public testimony, an evangelistic heart of love for the lost, and has proven warm love and unity among its members.

Hélio de Menezes Silva.
58045-160, Rua Buarque 198, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, South America.
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