"How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation.?" (Hebrews 2: 3)
I was born in a nominal Christian family. In my childhood I used to attend Church and Sunday school in Mumbai, India. I was very good at Sunday school by God's Grace, but I never knew Jesus Christ personally nor acknowledged that it was His grace by which I was doing well. Fear of the night times dominated my childhood and I still remember keeping the Bible under my pillow one night to fight my fear. God delivered me miraculously from this fear when I was 16 years old. I was good in my studies and had to go to another city to do my graduation in Medicine. My relationship with God was never intense and my Bible reading was a farce.
THIRST FOR CHRIST
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled."(Matthew 5:6)
In the last year of my graduation i.e. in 1985, a pastor used to visit our hostel room and as he talked about Jesus often and prayed, a need to know Jesus sprang up within me. That was the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Till then my life was one of enjoying the pleasures of life though I did not go to any extremes. Still sin of any kind (thought, word or deed) was sin in front of God and as the Holy Spirit brought conviction in me regarding sin, righteousness and judgment, I confessed my sins to the Father in heaven and asked for forgiveness. He set me on the path to salvation by washing away all my sins and unrighteousness by the precious blood of his Son Jesus Christ. I began a new life. I still remember the great enthusiasm with which I used to read the Word of God those days. I completed my graduation and though not brilliant in my studies compared to others, I scored pretty well. When my colleagues asked me how?, I used to reply pointing to the sky, "Someone up there surely loves me."
"I know your deeds, you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead."(Revelation 3:1)
I started working as a Junior Medical Officer after my graduation and as time passed, because of lack of proper worship and my slackness in reading the Word of God, my spiritual life took a backseat. Of course Jesus was my Savior, but there was no genuine relationship.
A CHANGE FOR THE GOOD
"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."(Proverbs 18:22)
It was not until 2 years later and after my marriage, on the urging of my wife Veena that I started back on the path to doing some patch up work on my spiritual life again .We started our family worship and daily Bible reading mornings and evenings. But lack of proper worship and understanding of the Apostolic Doctrines and living them, left a huge void in our spiritual lives. In the early part of our married life, we passed through a lot of turbulence because of the devil's wicked schemes, but all through the MASTER BUILDER JESUS was at work in our lives leading and guiding us gently along. Meanwhile after working for 5 years since my graduation, God opened up a way for me to do my post graduation MD (General Medicine). Slowly and steadily, my relationship with my Savior grew. I became a voracious reader of the Word of God. I started listening to the Word of God expounded by prominent preachers.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love."(Jeremiah 31:3)
God poured out His love on me. My post graduation (M.D.in General Medicine) were the toughest exams I have ever experienced. The internal examiner was a terror and there were 2 other external examiners too. Those were my earliest days of experience in fasting and praying. I used to fast on Sundays. My exams happened to be on a Sunday and I fasted. Of the 12 of us who appeared only 4 got through and I stood 2nd in the University. That was a great miracle done by God. God gave us our 1st child, Salome a couple of months after my passing the exam, after 3 years of marriage and a lot of prayers and fasting. Our second child Kezia was born 5 years later. They are a source of great blessing in our lives.
"When He ascended on high, He led the captives in His train and gave gifts to men."(Ephesians 4:8)
Our search now was for a worship that could really invigorate our spiritual life. We were not yet baptized in water by immersion, but had received a measure of the filling of the Holy Spirit with gifts of the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge (the Lord Jesus granting us dreams and visions at night during sleep). We did not still speak in tongues but we had a great desire for the same.
A DOUBLE MIRACLE
"For anyone who speaks in a tongue, does not speak to men but to God." (1 Corinthians 14:2)
One day as I traveled to my clinic on my bike in the afternoon, I was telling God:" O Dear Lord, I have been praying to you for this gift since so many years and you have still not given it to me!" and as soon as I finished saying that, out of my mouth flowed a most wonderful language that really thrilled me. When I reached home after my work, I told this great news to my wife and she too received the gift that evening itself as she prayed. A double miracle-that was what it was.
AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE
"We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death."(Romans 6:4)
God guided us to an interdenominational congregation where we worshiped for a while and were also water baptized by immersion.
FIRST SERMON, FIRST TRACT, FIRST BOOK
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."(Romans 10:15)
I preached my first sermon on April 2, 1995 and the topic was John 15:7. By that time, God had already granted me grace to write a tract and my first book in English-"Jesus is coming soon" which was translated into Malayalam too.As our relationship with Jesus increased, He started having fellowship with us more and more. We had to change to a Pentecostal congregation in 1995 itself under the Lord's guidance for want of more propriety and devotion in worship. I started preaching regularly and soon Jesus led us into being His instruments to bring healing and deliverance to many. My 2nd book, "Ende Sanketam"(Malayalam) which means "My Refuge" was published in 1997 and it dealt with many visions and dreams that the Lord had given me.
Till date I have penned 7 books, 8 booklets and 12 tracts in English and Malayalam.
Since the past 23 years, I am running a Christian Ministry in Kerala, South India, called "The Good Shepherd Ministries" of which I am Director.
El Shaddai Fellowship is the church ministry of The Good Shepherd Ministries. We hold our worship services at Karuna Worship Centre, Eraviperoor, Kerala. I have completed my PhD in Biblical Studies in 2006.
Our exciting faith-walk with the Lord Jesus Christ continues strongly till this day and by the grace of God will continue till the Lord's return, which I believe will occur during our times. God bless you.
Dr. Johnson Cherian MD. PhD.
Internist, Evangelist, Lyricist, Author, Bible Teacher
Eraviperoor, Kerala, India/ Doha, Qatar