According to a recent Pew Research study, 75% of Americans believe in one or more New Age doctrines. Pew Research states,
"Roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults in this category hold one or more New Age beliefs, including six-in-ten who believe spiritual energy can be located in physical things and 54% who believe in psychics."
The rise of paganism is evident in the younger generations, many seeking powers through energies utilized through various channels. Yet many of those who practice New Age spirituality don't realize the darkness lurking behind the curtain, awaiting the perfect time to seize them.
I sat down with Rob Radosti, former Satanist and now Christian to get his story.
Radosti, now a traveling preacher, was a man who once found himself building an altar in his closet to Satan. How did he get there? More so, how did he escape?
Radosti's story begins in his youth, after his parent's divorce left his mother as the sole caregiver. As he grew into his early teens, a longing to be accepted swelled within him. The problem was this: He could not find a group of peers who welcomed him. He ended up among the only group of people he felt accepted him, Satanists.
Not only did Radosti find his identity among his new clique, he began to cross-dress, relaying he felt as if he should've been born a woman. Plagued in dark shaded makeup and wearing feminine clothing was his outlet of expression, but he desired more. He wanted meaning; he wanted power over his life, so he began to pursue witchcraft.
The more he traveled down the jaded roads of dark magic, he began to experience interactions with demons. He held seances in graveyards, and used Ouija boards to summon spirits. He witnessed books flying off the shelves and doors slamming. Moments like this initially freaked him out but became more common. He felt an eerie connection with the darkness, and it spiraled him further into the abyss. It led him to a place of despair, yet he still worshipped at the altar he built to Satan in his closet.
Sunken deep into darkness, thoughts of ending his life consumed him. More than that, he started planning a school shooting to take the lives of others.
But then something happened.
Radosti walked in on his mother weeping with a Bible in her hand. His mother pleaded with him to give Jesus a chance, but the moment she spoke the name of Jesus, he erupted in anger. The voice which erupted from within wasn't his own, and it yelled, "Don't mention that name!" It scared Radosti so much that he ran out to his car because he was afraid he was going to strangle his mother.
His mother gathered the courage to invite him to a Christian heavy metal concert, which he initially rejected. However, he began to plot his revenge; he thought he'd go to this concert and convert Christians to Satanism. He pitched the idea to his friends, and they all decided to go and disrupt the concert and hand out pamphlets and drugs.
Fortunately, his plan failed, and they found themselves on the last day of the event out of drugs and out of pamphlets. In a last-ditch effort, they decided to disrupt the worship service and mock those who were worshipping. As they did this, the singer began to preach the gospel. Radosti listened, and then something began to happen. He felt an overwhelming weight on him, a weight he describes as a ton of bricks on his shoulders, and he collapsed face down on the floor. He explained this feeling of bubbling coming up through his throat, followed by his mouth opening. "Jesus!" he screamed. He began to repent of everything, and he could hear the life-changing words in his spirit. The voice of God said, "You are forgiven." Radosti had never felt an embrace like that in his life, he said. It was different; it was powerful; it was full of love.
As this experience came to a conclusion, he lifted himself up, and his friends looked astonished. Radosti immediately pleaded with them to come to Jesus, and he threw what was left of his drugs away. They didn't believe he was serious. In the days proceeding he rode his bike 30 miles to witness to all the leaders of the satanic chapters in the area, preaching the gospel.
He didn't stop there.
He preached on street corners; he preached in restaurants. Radosti met Jesus 20 years ago, and he has not stopped proclaiming Christ since that day.
With this incredible testimony, I asked him three questions.
With the rise in paganism, what advice do you have to those pursuing dark practices?
I completely understand the need to dig deeper to understand the unseen realm. You think, I need to figure out how this can make me more powerful and give me a better life. But when we access the supernatural without being in covenant with the source of the supernatural (God), we open ourselves up to things that can be hurtful and things that can destroy us. Take a minute and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Because when we access the spiritual realm, we open ourselves to so many things we don't realize. If you can come to the realization that "if" God Almighty is the source of all things supernatural, then at least you can give him a chance. Then you can avoid opening yourself to things that can damage you. With God, you have this indwelling relationship, but with paganist practices, it's all about how to get more power—and it will leave you empty.
What is the main contrast between the spirits of darkness you dealt with and the Spirit of God?
There is a huge difference, and I knew it immediately. Wicked spirits and those kinds of things make you feel uneasy, even though you like it: It's like an exploration of finding your identity with them; it's an ongoing mystery. But with the Spirit of God, your very spirit instantly connects with God's Spirit, and I knew there was space in the heart of God for me when I thought that was impossible. Yet with the darkness, nothing bears witness. With the darkness, there was no purpose, no belonging. My soul didn't shake like it did when the Spirit of God came upon me. Witchcraft would always lead me into deeper darker desires of perversion. Yet the Spirit of God convicted me of sin. I had godly sorrow; I got filled with joy. It's the complete opposite.
What would you say to those in the church who lack faith in modern-day gifts of the Spirit?
When we let the Holy Spirit be Himself, that's when revival happens. He unwraps our inheritance with Christ. Without a personal connection with the Spirit, though we have an inheritance, we're not allowing Him to unwrap those gifts and work through us. I was having this conversation with a pastor of a church that holds cessationist doctrine (they don't believe in modern-day gifts of the Spirit). The pastor was relaying to me that his congregation didn't have a passion for God; they had no desire to go out and share the gospel. I asked that pastor if I could pray with him to baptize in the Holy Spirit. He smiled at me and told me he'd have to pray about it.
The thing is the Holy Spirit can be unknown. Some people treat Him as this strange divination or witchcraft, and we just stay away. Sometimes people are pushed the wrong way, and they just shut the door on the Spirit. Listen, in John, it says that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth: I know this might be controversial, but it doesn't say the Bible will lead us into all truth. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Scriptures and brings it all to life inside of us. So we don't just get to read the Scriptures, we get to be engaged with it as walking epistles. Please put down anything that has pushed you away, and say, "Holy Spirit, reveal yourself to me." We cannot discount the ministry through the Holy Spirit.
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