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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some background

In this blog I'm going to express some rather strong opinions. Because of that, I wanted you to know a bit about my background. My name is Jerry Jochem, I have been a pastor of a Spirit filled church for over 18 years and have been recently re-ordained as an Assembly of God pastor. Almost as far back as I can remember, I have been driven by a passion to understand the paranormal and supernatural dimensions of life. I was raised as a Catholic, and at the age of eight years, on my knees in my bedroom, I gave my life and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. Immediately I felt an incredibly intense Presence in the room with me. A Presence so strong and so powerful that I became frightened, jumped in my bed, and hid under my covers. I didn't know that I had met the Spirit of Christ and that he was alive. I had no idea that Christ could appear in your bedroom and that He actually heard my sincere offer. I could not even begin to imagine the He would accept the offer of my soul and spirit by making Himself know to me through the Holy Spirit. In my mind, Christ was supposed to remain in heaven and not appear on this earth through the Holy Spirit!

Because of the initial experience with the Holy Spirit, I became acutely aware of the supernatural, but did not have the necessary Biblical training to know how to grow in that sensitivity so as to please God. As I matured, I got involved with the sin of the world and lost that sense of Presence. All too soon, I lost contact with that initial spiritual experience, which was so strong and profound, and at the same time I got rather discouraged with the Christian church, which seemed to be filled with nothing but ritual and meaningless doctrine. I wanted that conscious contact with God to return, so I began to search for it. By the time that I was in high school, I had already begun to study psychology and parapsychology. I had learned the techniques of hypnosis and was busy developing my hypnotic skill using my schoolmates for practice. I was reading Freud and other psychoanalysts trying to find a reasonable explanation for that experience which blew my mind at the age of eight.

I eventually gave up on Christianity and turned to psychology in search for an explanation; I earned a Bachelor's Degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and went on to graduate school to get a Masters Degree in psychology from the University of Mississippi. But halfway through graduate school I began to study the early research in parapsychology and began to explore spiritualistic and mediumistic practices. Before long, I was getting control of immense psychic energies, functioning as a medium, experimenting with telepathy, precognition, and conducting highly accurate psychometric readings. I began to study all kinds of Oriental and other meditative religions seeking an answer as to how to become God conscious. I was a "New Ager" before the New Age movement was popular!

As a result, I can assure you that I've experienced just about everything that you can experience in parapsychology. I have seen shadow people, I have heard spirit sounds, and seen strange energy phenomena. I have witnessed things move on their own with no apparent explanation of why or how they were moving. As a medium I can easily say I experienced anywhere between 200 to 300 "spirit guides" speaking through me to impart a wide variety of spiritual doctrines. There are experiences which I had, and observations which I made, which absolutely convinced me of the reality of the human spirit and of the world, or should I say worlds, which they inhabit. Yet none of this was satisfactory. I simply could not recapture that experience I had at the age of eight. I had been seeking to reestablish contact with the one who appeared in my room so long ago but could not find him.

I think that many people who are "ghost hunters" or who are involved with the paranormal or occult or mystical religions are really seeking a practical experience to convince them of the existence of God. A hunger to know the true living God. They are seeking a way of establishing a relationship with him based on supernatural events and experiences. They want "evidence" with a pseudoscientific overtone to convince them that there is something beyond this life. I know that I spent 12 years trying to find God again. At the end of the 12 years however I was no closer to God than I had been when I first started. And I was extremely upset that all my experiences with the supernatural had not led me one step closer to a state of God consciousness. I must admit I feel that many who have also taken this path have become lost and deceived by those in the spirit world who would readily keep them from a true experience with God.

After a period of 12 years I realized that Jesus Christ was always close to God. I returned to the church with a humbled heart and with a desire to once again commit my life to his service. Through a series of amazing visions I found myself committing once again to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word began to make sense to me and I began to understand what the Bible was saying about sin, salvation, and eternal life. Eventually I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and when that happened I found an old friend, the same friend I met when I was just eight years old. At the moment that I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit I became conscious of God and have remained so every day of my life since then. After 12 years of searching fruitlessly in the wrong places, I finally found God and his Name is Jesus. I was soon called to ministry, and went to Liberty Bible College (Pensacola) to earn another Masters Degree, this time in Bible Studies. That was 20 years ago, and in those 20 years I have witnessed more amazing and surprising phenomena and works of the anointing of God than I had ever experienced in the 12 years that I was involved with parapsychology and ghosts.

What I have learned in those 20 years, as well as what I learned in the initial 12 years of dealing with the paranormal, I would like to share with you in this blog. I do invite you to make comments and ask questions and share with me. I assure you there are no wrong questions or any stupid questions, and I will be as upfront and frank with you as I can possibly be. This topic is not going to be simple for me to write about or to condense in a blog. So please be patient and return often to check up on the new posts.

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