For me, hearing the voice of the LORD was the first major difference I realized, which happened in Oct '96. I was raised in a Baptist family and became a confessor at an early age. I went to a Christian elementary school and was made to go to church every Sunday until reaching my high school years. I was exposed to and came to partially believe the diluted, warm and fuzzy, watered-down Gospel that many Christians believe today. This basic teaching being that to be saved a person only need to believe that Jesus is LORD, that He died, rose from the grave, ascended to Heaven, and is coming back again one day. Even at a young age, I believed the Bible seemed to be a large and overwhelmingly detailed book and the LORD seemed to be conveying much more than this simple message. I remembered reading Scriptures that seemed to contradict this warm and fuzzy message and would wonder how it all fit together. I can recall times during grade school religion class when we would talk about soul salvation. No matter how hard teachers and classmates tried to convince me, I didn't believe that if I died at that very moment that I would go to Heaven to be with Jesus for all eternity. Lastly, and probably most compelling, I also recall having this repeating thought, at times it even seemed as though it were a voice, repeating itself over the years. This thought or voice told me that there was more, (MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE) to the true Christian walk than what I was being taught. So as I listened to teachers at school and heard the preacher every Sunday supposedly talk about how to live for the LORD, on the inside, I just knew that something was missing.
    I also remember that every Sunday during altar call, I would be convinced about not going up to the front of the church to truly join and be baptized. Every Sunday, my aunt and grandmother would look over at me as if to say, "Get up there," but I would resist. I resisted until one Sunday, I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. After the sermon, the pastor invited those that wanted to join the church to come to the front. I remember I felt as though something picked me up off the seat and made me go down the stairs from the balcony into the main sanctuary, and down to the front to shake the pastor's hand and join. Two or three Sundays later, I was baptized. I remember my aunt asking me how I felt after being baptized. I was actually disappointed in that I actually expected some kind of miraculous change to happen inside of me upon being dipped into the water, but, of course, nothing happened. I also remember feeling as though I were supposed to all of a sudden change the way that I was and be the way the LORD wanted me to be, but didn't know how. At that time, I did not know that water baptism was symbolic of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mat3:11 Acts2:38) which is truly the life-changing baptism, and would not begin to happen until years later.
    The church had new member classes in which the pastor and elders of the church would teach the Christian walk to those that had just joined, but I don't remember anyone ever telling me when, or where the classes were held. So I was left in the dark.
    Years later, during the summer of '96, the LORD's working in me became much more noticeable. I was at the end of my second year of college at UIC, and to catch up, I decided to take a full load during the summer semester. I also decided to work at UPS handling packages from 10pm to 3am during weekdays. The LORD had brought me to the point in my life were I decided that if I considered myself a Christian, then I needed to do the things that a Christian does, I needed to live as a Christian lived.


I began to attend the family church every Sunday, I also attended Bible study sessions with University Bible Fellowship (U.B.F.) and Campus Crusade for Christ, as well as spend hours a day studying Scripture on my own. I remember very distinctly that even with all the studying I was doing, my understanding of Scripture was increasing very, very slowly.
    One day during the first week of the Fall '96 semester, I was meeting with Patrick from Campus Crusade in the cafeteria. Patrick and I had been meeting pretty steadily for over a year. He possessed a more thorough understanding of Scripture than I did and we always had a good time together. We were finishing up our session when Robert walked up to our table, saw our open Bibles, and asked if he could join us. We accepted his offer and Robert pulled up a chair, sat down and listened. I had seen Robert around the campus many times and thought he was a professor due to his neat and tidy appearance. I remember that Robert patiently waited for Patrick to finish talking, then started in with a question. From there, the discussion started. Patrick disagreed with most of the things that Robert mentioned as he began to talk about various aspects of the Christian walk that are not taught or believed by the current church. This caused Patrick to quote Scriptures to Robert in an attempt to show Robert's error. Before I could even turn to the Scripture reference that Patrick mentioned, Robert had quoted it, told us its meaning then quoted another Scripture to validate his statements. I was astonished that Robert was able to quote and explain every Scripture reference that Patrick mentioned along with all the ones that he was interjecting into the discussion, and he never once opened the Bible during our discussion. Robert even interrupted Patrick numerous times and finished the quote that Patrick was attempting to make. Robert interrupted Patrick so often that Patrick complained that Robert was not letting him finish his statements. The Spirit had quickened Robert to "know" Patrick's intended quote and counter it in the hope of edifying, teaching, and reproving, that Patrick be helped to see the full gospel. Patrick truly missed the point of Robert interrupting him on many occasions. These interruptions were in fact the Holy Spirit speaking through Robert. This was an instance of rapid-fire evangelism, a type of evangelism that I had never witnessed before. More interesting still was that many of the things that Robert mentioned, such as being led by and obedient to the LORD's voice, for example, were concepts that I had never heard of, nor believed. What I did believe was that maybe these concepts that Robert was talking about, though seemingly outrageous at the time, were possibly the things that the repeating thought on my heart was put there to alert me to. After maybe sixty to ninety minutes of Scriptural bantering between Patrick and Robert, Patrick finally asked Robert to leave. Robert eagerly agreed, gave me a handout and said, "If any of the things I said sound interesting, then you will get more out of this." I took the handout. When Robert left, I remembered first of all being in awe. Secondly, I remembered Patrick saying, "…the voice of GOD, huh, I don't know what voices he is listening to." This statement shows again that Patrick totally rejected the edification of the Holy Spirit through Robert. We briefly discussed a few things that Robert mentioned during the conversation before Patrick departed. I then went to class. The whole encounter was a living, personal witness of how we can be used by GOD's voice - HIS Spirit-led utterance.
    Later that afternoon, I went back to the cafeteria where I usually did my homework, and Robert popped back in. He came over and asked me to pull out the handout that he had given me earlier. He went through some of the Scriptures with me, my understanding was negligible, but I enjoyed the discussion.


It was at this time that he told me he was part of CCCInc. and that the LORD was in the process of building it, nonetheless, I was interested. It was at this time also that Robert told me that he was homeless. This was very shocking because as I said earlier, Robert's appearance did not give the slightest hint that he was homeless.
    Over the next few weeks, from August into October, I continued to study Scripture. I studied CCCInc. material but I continued to study with Campus Crusade and UBF as well. Another thing that was very interesting to me was that I would bump into Robert almost every day all around campus. Sometimes we would chat briefly but most of the time we would sit down and discuss a scripture or two. As I spent time with Robert, I began to learn so much about how the LORD can truly lead, guide, and provide for a person that truly seeks HIM and puts HIM first. Robert began to meet many of my acquaintances, as he would spend time with me. Some liked him and some didn't. Many Christians unfortunately don't grow or progress from mere confessing believers into anointed, Jn14 level believers, and even fewer grow into Jn15 level believers to receive soul salvation. Day to day, I was amazed to see the food that Robert ate. Some days Robert would have only bread and peanut butter provided by the homeless shelter that he stayed at. People would offer to buy Robert food, but he would not accept. He would, however, accept food that a person no longer wanted and would have otherwise thrown away. This is a way in which the LORD keeps him humble. Other times, Robert would have very extravagant, even gourmet meals that would put the cafeteria food to shame. When I would inquire as to how and where he got the meal, he always had an interesting story to share as to how the LORD led him to it and provided it for him. Robert never spent money on food.
    One day I remember noticing that Robert had some cold symptoms; he was coughing, sniffing, and sneezing. Knowing that he was in a homeless shelter and had no money, I offered to buy him some medicine. He refused, of course, and told me that he had to trust the LORD to take the cold symptoms away and keep him healthy. This really impacted me because I would always get sick when I was growing up. I had allergies and asthma, both of which would flare up every now and again. After hearing Robert, I felt compelled to try his approach also. Little did I know that the LORD was setting me up to deal with me in the same matter after receiving the Anointing.
    During this tilling and preparation time, I also ran into 2 other Christian groups on campus that invited me to participate in their Bible study sessions. Even though I was receiving information from many different sources, the CCCInc. Bible study material was the most challenging to read and study. The CCCInc. Bible study material caused me to question every aspect of my faith, it caused me to re-examine all the things that I thought I knew about GOD and about being a Christian and compare it to what is stated in Scripture.
    Up to this point, I tried to play both sides of the fence. I agreed with some, even most of the CCCInc. doctrine that the LORD allowed me to understand at the time but I still agreed with some of the mainstream Christian doctrine. I wasn't allowed to straddle the fence for long though. Due to the LORD working in me, and causing me to question everything, I quickly came to a point of total confusion and I felt as though I didn't know anything anymore. I still knew that the LORD existed, but I honestly didn't know if HE loved me or cared about me, if HE heard my prayers, I knew nothing for sure.


I cut off communication with Campus Crusade, UBF as well as the other Christian groups that were trying to draw me in and told everybody that I was looking to the LORD to show me which direction HE wanted me to go and to clear away my confusion. I didn't have to tell this to Robert because he miraculously seemed to disappear during this time of confusion. For three consecutive days, I felt as though I was in a cloud, I was just totally confused about almost everything. My bedtime prayer was simply "LORD, please put me on the right path, AMEN" as I truly didn't know or believe that any of my requests would even be heard or acknowledged.
    After the three days, I began to come out of the fog. I still had a desire to want to play both sides of the fence, but I knew that the LORD wanted me to choose a path. The LORD had given me enough insight, understanding, and confirmation to know that HE was pointing to CCCInc. as the path that HE wanted me to take. If I chose any other path, I would basically be taking my life into my own hands. In the process of contemplating which path to take, I came to believe and accept that the LORD was going to require me to give up everything and live in a homeless shelter like Robert. I knew that if I chose the path that the LORD was pointing to, it would be paved with pain, suffering, and sacrifice, all to serve, obey and give glory to the LORD. This is how I pictured the road ahead of me, though not totally accurate. I remembered praying, "LORD, if this (CCCInc.) is the path that you want me to take, then I accept." At this point, I didn't hear a voice from Heaven, no trumpets blew nor did I feel different on the inside. I basically continued studying Scripture and talking to Robert which eventually led to receiving the anointing in October.
    There were a few other events that happened during this tilling period that the LORD has shown were also key to receiving the Anointing in October, but I am not able to recall exactly when they happened in terms of date. I was, however, able to recall the circumstances of the events and why they were so important and tried to detail it below.
    Some time during this tilling period, I had the pleasure of dealing with my first cavity. For this first cavity, I had to have a root canal. The procedure was completed over three appointments. During the first appointment, which was on a Saturday, the dentist began by hollowing out the tooth and filling it with a temporary filling. The second appointment was set for the following Thursday. The first appointment was no problem at all. I had heard so many horror stories from people that have had root canals I was expecting a nightmare. The dentist gave me some very potent 600mg Motrin (painkillers) to take every 6 hours to help control pain and swelling. I think I had smooth sailing for the rest of Saturday and my personal nightmare began on Sunday. I began having tremendous pain in the tooth in spite of taking the Motrin every six hours. What was so strange is that the pain would come and go but it didn't seemed to be controlled or even affected by the painkillers. The pain would subside when I became hungry which allowed me to eat with no problems at all. After I finished eating though, the pain would come right back almost right away. This was very strange because I would take a Motrin after each meal, which, theoretically, should have helped control some of the pain. Towards the end of the 6 hours, the pain would subside and allow me to eat, when theoretically, the medicine should have been wearing off which would open the door for more pain. The pain would be most intense when I would be at home by myself. A few times I even hit the ground gasping for air because the pain was so intense. This pattern continued until Thursday when I paid a second visit to the dentist.


I told the dentist about what had happened. She said that I should have called and told her because sometimes air can get trapped in the hollowed out tooth and put pressure on the remaining nerve. I did not experience any more pain in the tooth after the second appointment with the dentist. The situation was orchestrated for at least two reason that I am aware of. After receiving the Anointing and sharing this story with Robert, he said the LORD showed him that the pain I suffered was part of the preparation to be able to receive the Anointing. The second reason was that it was an introduction to the fact the LORD is the one that is in control. Taking medicine had no effect on the pain I experienced, it came and went as the LORD allowed it to. After receiving the Anointing, the LORD made this fact overwhelmingly clear through different things I experienced. Some of these experiences will be shared later on.
    Another important event that took place was a three-day sickness that I had to endure. Late one Monday evening I was at the gym working out as usual. I began to feel cold at some point during the workout. This was strange because the gym is hot and I was worked up and sweating from my work out. After the workout, I felt comfortable in the steam room but was shivering while taking a hot shower. Finally, I began to realize that I was becoming sick. One of my workout partners offered me some vitamins, which I took. That night, I was unable to sleep. I had the shakes and felt jittery until three or four in the morning. I knew it was because I took those vitamins, but was surprised that my body was reacting in that way to them. Coffee, caffeine pills, not even Thermogenic weight control and other Weightlifting supplements had caused a reaction like this. What did come to mind was the example set by Robert in that he trusts the LORD to keep him healthly and doesn't take medicine when he has cold or flu symptoms. I had subconsciously agreed to do this as well. I didn't know at the time, but that is what the LORD wanted. The LORD didn't want me to take any medication, but to trust HIM through the sickness. I finally went to sleep only to wake up in the morning feeling horrible. I could barely get out of bed to move my car so my mother could go to work. I had symptoms of the flu; I had a splitting headache, aching in all my joints, chest congestion and was sweating profusely among other things. After moving my car and coming back into the house, I turned the house thermostat way up, I turned on my space heater, closed my room door and shivered and suffered all day long in bed. I think I managed to get up to go to the washroom twice but I had very little fluid in my body as I was constantly sweating. My mother came home and busted in my room to see what was wrong. She said the temperature inside the house was over 100° but it seemed as though it was 100° below zero to me. My mother took my temperature and discovered that I had a 103.5° fever.
    Wednesday was basically a continuation of Tuesday but not quite as intense and painful. Thursday, though still sick, I had to go to school to turn in a paper. During most of my academic years I was a procrastinator and didn't complete papers and assignments until the last minute. This time, I had completed my paper over a week before it was due, so the LORD was watching out for me, as HE knew I was going to be sick this week. After turning in my paper, I saw Robert on the way to my car. We spoke briefly and I told him what was happening. Friday, I was able to return to class though not 100% healed.


    What was interesting is that this was the last time I was ever so sick that I was bed ridden. Through Robert's witness, the LORD was beginning to confirm to me that we are to fight and trust the LORD for the strength to keep going, even through sickness. HE alone is the one that determines how we feel, but having a fighting attitude is very important.
    One day in October, while talking to Robert, I asked him what the voice of the LORD sounded like. Robert would often say "the LORD told me…" or "the LORD said…" so I was curious. There are countless references in Scripture where it states that the LORD spoke to an individual. I often wondered about those as well. I asked Robert if when the LORD spoke, was it a loud voice from the clouds that only he could hear. He chuckled and said, "No, it is a quiet, intimate voice on the inside and we have to be listening to hear it." I then responded "the reason that I ask is because over the past few days or so, I have been hearing voices telling me to do things like take out the trash or wash the dishes." Robert asked me if I do the things that the voice tells me to do. I said that I did most of the time because this voice would also tell me to do things like "go outside and rake the leaves" at 11:30PM at night. I asked Robert if I was supposed to do this as well. Robert said "No. As the LORD has a voice, satan has one also and we must learn how to discern the voice to figure out where it is coming from." This was the first sign of the anointing. I would already wash the dishes and take out the trash, but I never experienced a voice telling me when to do these things. This change was weird, but not scary or eerie. I didn't feel as though I had been possessed or anything because I began to hear voices. Nor were these voices telling me to do ridiculous things like sacrifice chickens or go jump off a building and trust that I wouldn't get hurt. Initially, the LORD began to speak to me concerning small, seemingly insignificant things, like when to do chores and other basic tasks. This is how HE helped me to grow accustomed to hearing and trusting HIS voice. As my trust began to build, HE began to tell me to do things which required increasing amounts of faith. Below is an example of this:
    One day I headed home after class. While driving, I heard "Go to your grandmother's house." The first time I heard this, I didn't pay too much attention to it, I could recall no reason for going there. This message repeated a second and third time, so I decided to go to my grandmother's house to test and see if this was in fact the LORD speaking to me. I arrived at my grandmother's house and we said the usual hellos. I guess I expected something to be wrong or my grandmother to be in desperate need of help, but everything was fine. What then came to mind was to check on my grandmother's next-door neighbor, Mrs. Wallace. Mrs. Wallace was an elderly lady who was unable to move and get around too well because of numerous health problems. Mrs. Wallace would often ask me to do little odd jobs for her that she was unable to do. I knocked on Mrs. Wallace's door and was greeted with a big smile. Mrs. Wallace came to the door and said, "Am I glad to see you! I was just praying, 'LORD, I have so much garbage in here I don't know how I am going to get it outside' and then you show up. Who said the LORD doesn't answer prayers!" This really knocked my socks off and truly confirmed to me that this voice that I was hearing was in fact the Almighty speaking to me and directing me. (GOD's voice)


    The second sign or proof of the Anointing was that all of a sudden, Bible study became an entirely different experience. It seemed as though the verses were jumping off the page at me when I would study. I could begin to see how different verses linked together and how one concept fit with another concept. This is something that I never experienced before. It now seemed as though I had had blinders on when I used to read Scripture. It seemed as though someone had flipped a switch because verses that I had just read a week or two ago that seemed dead or totally over my head, now suddenly seemed to have life and meaning.
    The third sign is a little difficult to explain but I will try to make it as simple as possible. The third sign was that the LORD began to introduce me to HIS purging power and began to remove lust over worldly possessions from my spirit. At some point during my teen years, I fell in love with sports cars. The more powerful a vehicle was, the more I liked it. I would read car magazines and memorize the specifications of cars that I liked purposefully and subconsciously. This manifested into having the mindset that I was going to purchase a certain car once I was financially able to. Well one day I reached into my mailbox to discover a car magazine had arrived. I figured that I would go into my room and read it. I opened that magazine and began to page through it, but had absolutely no desire or interest to read it. After a few seconds, I dropped the magazine and went to do something else. A minute or two later, the LORD said, "look at what you just did." I then realized that something else had changed on the inside. As I said earlier, I truly enjoyed reading magazines and books about cars, planes and other things. This time, however, I received absolutely no joy doing something that I used to enjoy doing only weeks, even days before. Initially I was kind of bummed out because I felt as though a part of who I was had been taken away from me. Then the LORD reconfirmed to me that this is the work that the Holy Spirit does within us: HE purges us and removes things that are contrary to HIM to transform us into vessels that are meet for HIS use. It isn't that the LORD is against nice possessions, but the LORD wants us to look to HIM for what HE wants us to have. Furthermore, we aren't to be attached to the possessions but are to enjoy the use of them but should not lust or covet them.
    Allow me to re-emphasize that prior to Oct '96, I had never experienced any of these events or occurrences in my life. As I shared there experiences with friends and family members, they rejected what I had to say and some tried to convince me that I was hearing the LORD's voice all along and other garbage along those lines. I knew on the inside that something had happened. I knew that I was at an entirely new place, a place that I had never been before. My relationship with the LORD changed from having a head knowledge and believing that HE existed to actually experiencing HIS existence in my life daily through HIS voice, Spirit-leading and Spirit-work in my life.