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PRCUALife, protecting life through all its stages. All right, for my YouTube channel, it's If Not For God with Mike Zwick. Just like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell so you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Welcome to If Not For God, stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick.
If Not For God with Mike Zwick. We've got a very special guest today. We have a young man named Justin Neup. Justin is originally from upstate New York. That's right. He actually came down to North Carolina, but he has a very, very interesting story. And Justin just turned 37, is that right? That's right, April 3rd.
April 3rd, man. But you grew up in upper New York state, and you didn't have much of a religious background. Can you tell us about that?
Yeah, I did not. I grew up there. Yeah, I grew up in upstate New York, was more Roman Catholic. But, you know, we went to church from time to time, Easter, Christmas, things like that. But I really had no regard for God.
Really, it wasn't something that was on my mind. So I like to tell people when I was converted, when I gave my life to Christ at age 23, I was a clean slate. A lot of people don't know this, but I had never even read the Bible. When I was converted at age 23, then I began to read the Bible. So you were converted at age 23. So when did you come down to North Carolina?
I came down to North Carolina at age 15. Okay. Yeah. What brought you down here? My parents.
So my parents work, different things like that, family situations. So. Okay. You came down here at 15, and then you got saved. You met a girl, is that right? Yeah.
Yeah. So backing up just a little bit, my background a little bit was where I grew up, there was a lot of alcoholism and stuff like that. And so by the age of 10 is when actually I was introduced to alcohol. And so I tell this backstory a little bit because a lot of people don't understand the radical past that I came from.
And that's why I'm so radical for Christ. So by age 13, I was actually drinking alcohol and partying every weekend. And then at age 15, that's when we moved to North Carolina and I was immediately able to find that crowd in my high school and began to continue the process of living my life as if God didn't exist. But that led on into, of course, my college years. I went away to Wilmington to go to college.
I ended up dropping out of college, coming back for medical reasons back into Alamance County where I live. That's where I met this girl. Right. And so we went out one night in Greensboro. I meet this girl. And it's funny to tell this story because I ended up having a one night stand with this girl and I lived that way.
So that was very normal for me. But then eight weeks later, I get a text message from this girl. I don't even know her last name. And she says, hey, can I talk to you? But as soon as she said that, I knew exactly what she was going to say. And so she calls me and she says, hey, I don't know how to say this, but I'm pregnant. Wow.
Yeah. What happened next? So I, of course, had her over and we began to discuss what we wanted to do. And the good thing was the way that I was raised, even though I wasn't raised with any biblical background, I knew that I needed to take responsibility for what I did. So I told her, I said, listen, I know a lot of people put different things on the table like abortion and stuff like that. I said, I don't believe in that. I'm not that way. I don't know what our relationship will look like, but I will be here to take responsibility for this child.
Even though I was an alcoholic and a partier at the time, I was just trying to say, hey, I can offer you the best I can. I can't promise I'll marry you, but I'll be here for that baby. And then so you said I'll be there for the baby, but then you started dating. Is that right?
Yeah. So as time went on, we of course continued in communication. It's so weird to say, I want to throw this out there. This is now my wife.
Like, where are you going with this? This is now my wife. And so that process through her pregnancy, it allowed me to actually, this is, this is kind of how the Lord was working. And he brought me to himself because my mother-in-law, this woman, she attended a Baptist church locally at that time. And so she began to invite me to this church and I did everything I could possibly do to get out of it.
And when I went, I wasn't even listening to the message, but this is what kind of began to introduce me to at least being in the religious realm and, you know, being in the realm of talking about God or something like that. So, yeah. Yeah. And so when you started to go to this church, you started to hear something that spoke to you?
Yeah. I love to tell this part of my conversion story because up until this point, nobody had shared the gospel with me. So this is, this is 2009.
This is actually in around February and March of 2009. So I'm living at my now mother-in-law's house with my pregnant girlfriend. So I'm walking down the hall one day and I begin to hear this inner voice. And this thing is telling me, Hey, Justin, the road that you're leading on is going to end destruction.
Remember I didn't listen to the Bible or I hadn't read the Bible up until that point. And so I hear this voice and it becomes haunting for like a couple of weeks. I'm hearing this thing.
If you continue down this road, it will lead to destruction. It basically haunted me for enough weeks to where the next time I was at church, I found this pastor and I tracked him down after the service. And I was like, Hey, listen, man, I don't know what's going on.
I'm hearing this voice, you know? And luckily he was like, uh, he's like, son, I think this is, this is actually God speaking to you. And I remember at that point that it struck my heart that God would reach out to me like that. And that through even not even hearing people share the gospel people, not reaching out to me, he reached out directly to me. And, uh, and so I repented that day and I gave my life to Christ and my repentance was very, very genuine.
Nobody had to teach me what it was to repent. I just knew that I wanted to get rid of the old lifestyle and give my life to Jesus. That was in March of 2009. I was looking up, I think it's Hebrews 4 12.
It says that the word of God is quick and powerful and it's sharper than any two-edged sword. But so you got saved in 2009, but then you were still having some struggles and you, and you felt like maybe there was something more. Is that right? Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. So I had a genuine change in where I didn't want to sin anymore, but certain things left me. I was a, I was an amazing cusser before Jesus that left. I didn't, I didn't want to do that anymore.
I didn't struggle with it, but there were certain things like the alcohol that I struggled with, the addiction that had run in my family that I was still struggling with lust, things that a lot of people struggle with. And I just couldn't kick them for multiple years. And so we served in a church locally. We served in a youth ministry and we did what normal Christians do at church. And then something happened in 2016.
That was amazing. I got invited to an event and this lady was putting on and she asked us to be part of the prayer team. So we agreed. And on the first night, this is, I believe it's August 26 of, of 2016, a man comes up and that my wife had been talking to, he actually was a pastor and he asked if he could pray for us. So he prays for me.
He lays hands on me and I'm a very logical guy. I didn't mention it, but I had gone to Bible college prior to this during that time, because I thought, how do you know Jesus, me being a logical person, you study him, right? Like you would study a book. And so that's what I did. I didn't quite get there all the way, but this man prays for me. And I can't tell the story in any other way or what to compare it to than this, but I felt like electricity began to run through my body. And as I'm thinking in my mind, I'm like, am I having a heart attack? Like what's going on? I'm thinking this can't possibly get any more intense. And so I began to fall to the ground and this is not like me.
Like, I don't even know what the word charismatic means at this point. Like this is not my background. So I fall to the ground. I'm on the ground for like 30 minutes. And I feel with like what, what feels like fireworks going off in my body. And I stand up a different man.
This is in 2016. I mean, I woke up with a piece over me that I couldn't, I couldn't, I couldn't explain what happened later on. The Lord showed me that what he was doing was actually delivering me. I received deliverance from actual demonic spirits that had been afflicting me up until that point. How I knew this was one, I felt like the Lord spoke it to my spirit, but number two, I didn't deal with those things anymore. The anxiety, the panic attacks, those things were gone.
I actually had anxiety so bad I would grind my teeth at night and it caused TMJ, completely healed of that. I no longer was dealing with those things. Wow. So you were no longer dealing with these, those things, but then you felt a calling to step out and do more. Is that right? Yeah.
So this is in the summer of 2016. Honestly, I just, at that point, I was just amazed that God could, could do miracles still today. So this was an experience that didn't develop my theology, it challenged my theology. So it caused me to look back into the scriptures and with a fresh new perspective. And so when I began to look in the scriptures, I noticed that there was a big detachment from how the church is living compared to how the early church looked in the book of Acts. And I didn't, I didn't want to live in that gap anymore.
I want my life to look like this. So after that, I actually worked in a local hospital. And so I had plenty of opportunity to pray for the sick. So I began praying for the sick at my hospital.
That was the first thing I understood. I'm like, well, Jesus still heals today. So let me just start praying for the sick of the hospital. So I prayed, I worked in the radiology department, started praying. I prayed for about 17 people.
I remember I was counting and nothing happened. And then on the 18th person, 17th or 18th person, I pray for this woman with two years of neck pain. And she turns to me and I'm like, you know, what's going on? She says, all my pain is gone. Wow. And I'm more freaked out than her.
She's like sitting there like, praise God. Thank you. And I'm like, are you serious?
Did this work? So that just set me on this trajectory to where I just had an openness to God, like, God, whatever you want to do, I want to be in it. Yeah.
And so you started to see healings. You said it challenged some of your theology more than anything else instead of confirming it. But then, you know, the Bible actually talks about casting out demons as well. Is that right? That's right. You know, I'm looking at Mark 3 15 and it says, and to have authority to cast out the demons.
Yeah. Matthew 10 8, he tells us, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons freely. You received freely give Mark 16 17. These signs will accompany those who believe in my name. They will cast out demons. They will speak with new tongues, Luke 11 20. But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you and it goes on and on and on. I mean, that's not it, but I just wanted to pause real quick because there are people who think that maybe casting out demons or healing the sick that may have just happened in the first century. What do you think about that?
Sure. Well, I think there's an argument that can be made against cessationism, believing that the gifts of the spirit have ceased or miracles have ceased and things like that. I think that's probably a whole nother topic, but for me, it wasn't something that I necessarily agreed or disagreed with in scripture. It was something I ignored. And I think that's where most of the body of Christ stands. Those are the verses you just read are the ones we either skip over or glaze over.
Right. And so for me in 2016, there's an experience I want to share that happened in December of 2016. That changed everything for me. I call it my Peter experience. It was one of those things where like, if you remember, Peter had that vision up until the point where he had the vision of the blanket that came down in the animals. He believed that the message, it wasn't to go out to the Gentiles and then God gives him this experience and it actually causes him to rethink his theology.
That is maybe the message of the gospel is for everybody, not just for the Jews. So in 2016, I had a very close personal family member that we went over to visit me and my wife. And as we're talking with her, she begins to share some very concerning things that were happening to her in the night. And I'm talking about things I think happened to a lot of people, but we're scared to share. She was having these encounters in the night to the point where she said, when I wake up in the night, I feel like something is laying on me and covering my mouth. And I'm like, and this is a very close family member.
So I'm really concerned. And she stepped away for a minute. My wife looked at me and she said, I'm trembling inside. We need to pray for her.
And I said, okay, I agree. I thought as your typical Christian, you know, lay your hand on their shoulder, bless you. I just pray that God keeps you safe.
Well, little did I know God had a different idea. And so we began to pray and I hear something. God deposited something in my spirit. It was just this. All I heard was this small voice say, spirit of fear. I remember I've never seen a deliverance.
I've never seen a demon manifest, anything like that. So what do I do? I just repeat it. And so I'm praying and I just say, yeah, this spirit of fear. I've rebuke you in the name of Jesus.
No lie. This woman instantly falls to the ground and begins to manifest a demon. This is not, this is, this is a personal family member. So I'm looking down on the ground and she is, she is going back and forth like somebody's pulling her, but there's nobody touching her. And I'm just as freaked out as probably most people hearing this story at this point. And so I look over to my wife and I'm like, what do I do? And she says, do you cast it out? And I'm like, how?
And she's like, I don't know, just tell it to leave. I mean, I've got my phone out. I'm looking for pastors to call like somebody more qualified than me. Right. But the problem was is that there was nobody more qualified because we were the people there. And then I thought, well, I have the Holy spirit. So I guess we're all dependent on Jesus anyway. So I began to command the spirit to leave and guess what? It didn't leave. Like most people would have thought, well, Jesus just commanded it to come out of word. Well, that didn't work. And so what happened was we prayed for about 30 minutes and it didn't come out. And then I told her, I didn't know what to do. So I said, just say the name of Jesus.
We were just fully dependent on Jesus. This is the scariest part. So she goes to say the name of Jesus and she can't talk.
The demon had made her mute. And I mean, I've got tears in my eyes because this person is very close to me. And so we just continue to pray, continue to pray. We didn't know what else to do in about 45 minutes, even in this thing releases. And I hear the words come out of her mouth, Jesus, Jesus, and the thing goes and it's gone. And we all just kind of collapsed on the ground and are looking at each other.
Like what just happened? Wow. Wow. And so this is not something you were looking for necessarily.
This is not something you were expecting and it just kind of fell in your lap. And so I guess when people hear that, you know, so this happened, you did that, but you're still doing this today. You actually have, this is your ministry or one of the things that you do in your ministry. How did it develop from that to where you are now? Yeah.
So in 2000, that was 2016, okay. For about six months, we just processed that. We didn't go out or try to read books or anything like that. We just processed it with the Lord, looked in scripture to see what we saw. And we saw that this was a normative practice for the early church, especially in the gospels, in the book of Acts. And so my wife and I were processing that.
What does this mean? You know, we weren't looking for this, remember? But what happened was in 2017, this is a whole side story, but we ended up going into some training. So we traveled and got trained as missionaries. That's what our heart, we wanted to go on the mission field.
So we did that and we thought, well, you know, we'll just handle this as it comes up. And it followed us. It followed us onto the mission field. So we had an outreach after our initial three-month training in the Philippines. So we spent two months in the Philippines and our particular team would rotate through who preached. And so a lot of times I would preach at a church and then afterward we would call people forward. These were not charismatic churches. We would call people forward for ministry time.
And so I'll give you an example. One instance, I began to pray for a woman and again, the Lord deposited something in my spirit again. He said, peace that surpasses all understanding. So I'm praying for this woman, nothing's happened. I lean in and I whisper in her ear, hey, I just want you to know that God gives peace that surpasses understanding.
This lady lets out a scream like somebody's shooting at her and then just falls to the ground and passes out. And this is not a Pentecostal church. No, no. Right.
Cause that would be, you know, you're like, I didn't even have a, I didn't even have a grid for that. Remember I didn't grow up in any of that. And I didn't attend a charismatic church at the time. I was just in a non-denominational church.
So this began to happen on a regular basis. In other instance, we went in and we were praying and meeting with a, these are in villages in the Philippines. So one of these churches had like 12 members in it. And the pastor is just like, just we're dealing with persecution.
Just, just pray for us. So this is another crazy incident. So I lay hands on the pastor to pray for him, invite the Holy spirit. And this man actually there's that there was, I remember there was a fan behind him actually flies backwards as we invite the Holy spirit, hits the fan, knocks it over, falls to the ground.
I mean, not like you wouldn't do that to yourself if you were faking this. And again, so my wife and I are pro we're like, Lord, what are you doing? And we didn't even know at that point, what do we do? Do we continue to pray for the person?
Like how do we handle these situations? But I want to tell people out there, you know, this may sound alarming and we'll get into some of the scriptural backing and stuff, maybe later in future show. But I want to tell people the Lord is gracious to walk you through a journey, working with what you have.
Okay. You're dependent on the Holy spirit. You're dependent on Jesus. He's going to work with you with the place. He's going to meet you where you are basically. And he met us where we are. And he's taken us on that, on that journey.
So. So you were going to, I believe Lamb's chapel at the time. And then you came back and I think you, you started to go to a church.
Was it the river in, in Elon or Burlington? That's right. But then you decided you, you started to do, was it a home church or a community or yeah. So, um, so, so we actually ended up going to Africa part of that.
I didn't mention that. So we started to experience different, the same thing in Africa. So this stuff was just following us everywhere. This is where things kind of shifted and changed for us. We came back to America in 2000, the end of 2017, we had planned to go permanently on the mission field in 2018. I'll share that in a minute, but into early 2018, so meeting with people, talking with people about our future plans, we were going to go to Nepal. We're going to travel to Nepal to be missionaries as a family in 2018, uh, something crazy happened and we had began to invite people into our home.
I'll go ahead and share this. What happened was I was in the kitchen with my wife one day, and I was a little frustrated because we had gone on the mission field. We had seen miracles. We had seen things happen. We were sharing the gospel, seeing people give their life to Christ.
We came back home and a lot of people that we were with were in the same exact position as when we left and we weren't mad at them. We were just like, Lord, why isn't everybody on fire? And the Lord corrected us in that moment. He said, well, what are you doing about it?
And I was like, whoa, what? And I said, well, we're sharing with them. We're sharing testimonies with them. And he said, yeah, but what are you doing about it? And that's when the Lord began to teach us that this is more about just sharing testimonies with people.
This is about inviting people in. What did Jesus do? He brought people with him. He taught them. And then he demonstrated. And so that's when the Lord began to teach us that take what you've learned, what you've experienced, demonstrate it, and actually train and equip people. So what we began to do is invite people into our home and do just that. It started off with questions like, hey, have you ever heard of the great commission? And believe it or not, most Christians were like, I think I've heard my pastor teach on it, but I'm not sure exactly what it entails. Hey, do you know how to share the gospel? You know what?
No, I don't. And so we began with simple things, foundational things. What is salvation? What is the response to the gospel?
How do we do this? So that's how that kind of developed. And we noticed that immediately there were some people that needed prayer, they needed baptism.
And so this thing just started to grow and to multiply organically. So that was how we started meeting in the homes of people was really just a desire to see people equipped and trained. I think that there's something that people can only get probably by being in church and listening to a sermon or listening to a sermon online, where it's quiet and they're listening to that person.
But I also believe that there's something that people can only get by being in a small group because you have that interaction where you're able to talk to people, ask questions, get the questions answered, or sometimes say, hey, if I don't know the answer, I don't know the answer. But it's interesting because what you said reminded me of James 2, 14, and it says, what does it profit my brethren if someone says that he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. And so one of the things I think we were talking about this a little bit before, but one of the things that you talked about, and a lot of people are probably surprised by this, but in one of your videos, you said, I have seen people, I've seen absolute miracles in people, healings, salvations, demons released, I'm assuming. And then you said a few weeks later, they're back in the same position.
How is that possible? Yeah, well, I think it's because a lot of people don't realize that salvation isn't, it's not just about an instance in time decision. You know, even the word faith means trust. So it's about a life handed over to Jesus. Well, what is a life handed over to Jesus? What does it mean to make Jesus Lord?
Well, it means that you've given him full control to your life. And by that, you're saying by that commitment, you're saying I choose to obey you. And so I think a lot of times, I think there's going to be people that don't have action in their life because their faith is not genuine. But there's also going to be people that have genuine faith, but they don't know what to do. Does that make sense? But you can tell by talking to that person, because there's usually something that will come alive inside that says, I just don't have language like this is what I've been looking for. You'll talk to those people.
And so what we were trying to do is number one, give people language for that and then teach and equip them. This is what you do. This is what the normal we talked about this earlier. This is what the normal Christian life looks like. Yeah, I think it was I don't know if it was Adrian Rogers or who had said this. He said that the average Christian is so abnormal that when they meet a normal Christian, they think that the normal Christian is abnormal.
That's right. And I'm like, what's normal? What's normal? The church down the road or the book of Acts?
What's normal to you? I actually saw an interview that you did with, is it Torben Sondergaard? Yeah. Is that right? And so you actually talk about where that baptism is not just a symbol, though.
You said it's a little bit more than that. Well, I like to land into a place that people get really, really nervous around the talk of baptism. Francis Chan has a really cool video on it. A lot of people came up to him at his church and they want to know, is baptism required for salvation? And his response is, why do you ask? And I love that response is because people want to put you in this pickle to where you're trying to take this definitive stance when I think the Bible has strong language around baptism and something powerful that takes place in the midst of that. So I can publicly say I don't stand in the position of baptismal regeneration, but I also don't stand in the position of baptism as a pure symbol. There's no power. Here's where I stand. There's no power in the water itself. But when your faith is placed in an action, if your faith is in God, in this action, God does something supernatural in the water.
So that's where I stand. And I've noticed when I've actually put my faith in, hey, God's going to do something in this action of obedience, things happen. We've seen people come up out of the water manifesting demons. We've seen people come up out of the water healed.
We've seen powerful things happen in this action of faith. Absolutely. And we've got about a minute left and we're going to have you back on another show. But if people want to check you out, you actually have a YouTube channel, is that right?
Yeah, we do. We're on social media right now. So I've got my normal Facebook, but we've also got a YouTube channel. You can search Unshakeable Kingdom and it will pop up and we've got multiple videos speaking on different topics.
Getting more into the depth and the nitty-gritty of what we're discussing on the surface here. Yeah, I actually saw a video that you did on talk where you were casting at a demon out of a woman and you got 175,000 views. So people are interested in this and we're going to talk a little bit more about this on the next show. But the world is actually, they're obsessed with demons.
They're obsessed with all this stuff and a lot of the churches a lot of the churches don't want to talk about it. But I believe this is something that we're going to have to discuss and I think it'd be something that we're all going to have to deal with. So Justin, I'm so glad you could come on today. Oh yeah. Like I said, we'll be back with you for another show next week. Thanks for coming. Been a pleasure.
If not for God. All right. For my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like, subscribe and hit that notification bell.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 12:05:40 / 2023-04-20 12:18:24 / 13