by Angus Wootten

I once had a dramatic experience that truly left me a changed man. While I already knew Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), my experience forever affirmed to me that nothing, absolutely nothing, should ever be lifted above the importance of my personal relationship with Him. It also showed me that we must be careful in regard to our “works.” True that we show our faith by our “works,” or actions (James 2:18), but we need to beware being caught up in “good works” that we dream up. I know. I have done that.

I also know that a day is coming when each one of us will need to have Messiah Yeshua do for us what He did in my life-changing experience.

In the mid-eighties I had an extraordinary experience that forever wrote on my heart an indelible understanding of our need to be born again, to have a personal relationship with Yeshua, and to be covered by His shed blood. It happened in the fall of the year as I was preparing for a meeting of my board of directors the following week. At the time (seventies and eighties), I was living in Southwestern New York, and operating an oil company that drilled over 400 hundred oil wells in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Oil has always been a volatile commodity, and in the mid-eighties the price had plunged from a high of over $46 a barrel to a low of $9 a barrel. This dramatic price reduction sent waves of financial destruction throughout the US oil industry. My company was no exception, we too were battling to contain the waves of red ink. So, I called a meeting of my board of directors to deal with our pressing financial problems.

The board meeting was scheduled for a Monday morning. The preceding Tuesday night I experienced a startling vision. I felt as though I were in front of a giant movie screen, and being portrayed on the screen in three-dimension, technicolor, and stereophonic sound, were my good works. Most of them showed the financial contributions I had made for various causes in support of the fledgling Messianic Jewish Movement. Also reflected was the Chaplain I had hired for the oil company, and the time I flew him to Texas so he could pray for a former employee who had been injured in an oil rig accident, and our daily prayer meetings. There were pictures of people being baptized in the company frac ponds, pictures of me taking people to the local Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting, and there was a cross country motor coach trip to promote Israel at the FGBM annual convention. Also shown was a picture of the oil well I had drilled and dedicated the profits from it to the State of Israel.

Then, as suddenly as it had started, the film presentation was over. I was now wide awake. I could not even blink my eyes. Where did this dream or vision come from? Why? What message was I supposed to receive from it? On one hand it seemed very complimentary. Maybe the Father was just telling me how pleased He was with me. On the other hand, I felt uneasy, as though something was not right. So I decided to keep pondering the vision and not to tell anyone about it.

The next night I had the same experience. Once again, I felt the primary emphasis was on my financial contributions to the Messianic Jewish Movement. While the film still seemed to reflect a complimentary theme, I felt even more uneasy than I had the previous night. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that one of the key reasons for the company’s financial problems and the need for a board meeting was because the company literally had no reserve working capital. This problem was a key factor in the breakup with a company that was partnered with me in a large drilling project. They expressed their concern that I was devoting far too much of my resources to what they called the “Jewish Church.” Once again, I decided to keep pondering the vision and not to tell anyone about it.

Thursday night I had the same experience. To say I was a basket-case by now would be an understatement. I knew something was wrong. I knew the message from the visions was not really a complement endorsing all my good works. But what was the message, what was the Father trying to tell me?

I spent most of the day Friday reading the fourteenth chapter of John over and over again. And again, I did not mention what was happening to me to anyone.

Friday evening a fellow Believer, a close friend and board member, arrived to spend the weekend with me and to attend the board meeting on Monday. While I did not tell him about my visions, I did express my concern as to how the Lord might be feeling about our financial challenges. He assured me that he felt the Lord was with us, and while he felt sure we were going through a time of testing, still, all would be well in the end.

There was no vision Friday night, nor on Saturday or Sunday. I was beginning to feel better. Perhaps my friend was right. We were going through a time of testing, but everything would turn out all right.

By Monday morning I was feeling pretty good. The meeting with the six board members was being held in my living room. They were seated in front of the fireplace, and I was leaning on the fireplace mantel soaking in the warmth from its flames. I was confident that I had everything under control. As I was about to start the meeting, my Executive Assistant said, “Angus, before we get started I would like to read something.”

I had not been in the oil business long when I realized that it was hard to find people you can really depend on, so I had hired a military officer I once knew, and who had retired. He had served under me when I was Company Commander of Company A, 1st Battalion of the 29th Infantry Regiment. John Eisenhower, Ike’s son, was our Battalion Commander. While the retired officer did not fully share my Messianic beliefs he was someone I felt I could count on to guard my back.

I would have liked to have known in advance what my assistant was going to read, but since all the board members had heard his request, I felt the best thing to do was to agree to have him read it.

He began by saying, “I woke up very early Saturday morning and felt compelled to write down the thoughts that came to me.” He then began to read from a yellow lined legal pad. What he read was a description of what I had seen in the three visions the prior week. Keep in mind I had told no one about them.

I immediately realized that the board members reaction to his presentation would undoubtedly deal with how wise, or unwise, I had been, and whether I had exceeded my authority in the utilization of funds to support various elements of the Messianic Jewish Movement. As he read from his yellow paper, I mentally began to formulate my response.

Then suddenly, I realized I was not in my living room! Where was I? I felt I was in a place much like the Capital Mall in Washington, D.C. and that I was standing in the area of the Lincoln Memorial. And, as I looked to my right, I could see a figure dressed in red and black. I immediately recognized that it was Satan. He was standing at what would be like the foot of the Reflection Pool, looking towards where the Washington Monument would be. However, rather than having a pool of water before us, there was a crystal-like surface. Also, rather than the Washington Monument, while I could not see it clearly, I realized that in its place was the throne of God. In addition, I could sense the presence of a vast multitude of witnesses looking on from the clouds.

Startled, I realized that Satan had in his hands the same legal pad my assistant had and was reading from it while making a presentation to the Father and the multitude of witnesses. However, there was one giant difference in Satan’s presentation and the one my assistant was giving. It also differed from the visions I had experienced. Every time Satan related one of my good works to the Father, he added the comment, “And You did not tell Angus to do this, so he served another god!”

“Angus served another god!” The awful words kept on ringing out in that heavenly setting…

What came on me during this time was not so much fear, but an appalling realization that Satan was absolutely correct. I had served another god. I was that false god! I was following my own good ideas!
Rather than follow Yeshua’s example, and not do anything that the Father had not told me or shown me that I was to do, I now saw that many of my supposed “good works” had been based on my own initiative. In my heart I realized that I had done many of these things out of pride, fear of man, and a host of other unholy reasons. False gods.

Satan’s presentation to the Father finally came to a close.

Then I heard a voice from the throne ask, “Are the accusations that Satan makes about our servant Angus true?”

I realized that the question was not directed to me but to a figure that I now saw on my left, and I realized that figure was Messiah Yeshua.

Relieved to see Him, I was devastated when He answered, “That is not the half of it…”

While that surely is not something that anyone would want to hear their defense council say, I had to nonetheless agree that Yeshua was absolutely correct. Satan had only talked about what I thought were my good works. He had not even mentioned my sins.

The Father then asked, “Is there any reason that we should not take our servant Angus and throw him into the bottomless pit and burn him to a crisp?”

Suddenly, there was a period of silence in the heavens. Again, it was not so much fear and despair that came over me, instead, I felt the absolute justice of the sentence being proposed against me. Truly, I had served another god. I had failed the test of loving Yah with all my mind, heart and soul and listening to His voice alone. I had instead let my own fleshy desires and the desires of others guide me. Rather than being sure I was walking step by step with the Father, rather than trying to make sure His desires were my desires, I had gone my own way, and in pride, I had called it “His way.”

However, the question being asked had nothing to do with how I felt about my proposed sentence. Again, the question being asked of Yeshua was, “Is there any reason that the proposed sentence against Angus should not be carried out?”

¬†Then Yeshua answered, “Yes! Angus is saved by My blood!”

As long as I live, those words will resound in my mind, heart and soul, “Yes! Angus is saved by My blood!”

Then the verdict came down from the Throne, “Case dismissed!”

My destiny was not eternal damnation, but was instead eternal salvation. I was granted the gift of eternal life with, and in the presence of, my Heavenly Father. And it was granted to me because I had faith in the shed blood of my Messiah.

Suddenly, I was back in my living room and my assistant had finished his presentation. But before I could say anything, my friend from out of town said, “Angus I know you have a lot that you could say about what has just been read; however, I believe that this is not your day to say anything, and surely not to try and defend your actions.”

My friend was right. Rather than attempting to justify my fiscal decisions, I, with tears (which is really unusual for me), hugged each man present and asked each one to forgive me. I then pledged to them that in the future, I would seek their council and seek to be truly led by the Lord.

Fortunately the fiscal problems we had gathered to consider that day, but had never discussed, were miraculous resolved.

What I learned from this experience was the absolute necessity of having a saving relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, my Messiah and Redeemer. Nothing is, or will ever be, more important to me than that relationship. Further, I realize that my relationship with Him is not just a one time affair, but a life-long relationship, one that will continue for all eternity. I also know that the best way to keep that relationship in proper order is to always desire to only do things that are pleasing to the Father. So, to the best of my ability I now seek to follow Yeshua’s example, and He said, “I do nothing on My own initiative,” and, “I always do the things that are pleasing to the Father” (John 8:28-29; 14:10).

My experience forever taught me that, when I do things out of my own thoughts, wants, or desires, or with wrong motives, I am serving another god. As harsh as that may sound, it is the truth, and we all need to realize it. When I am instead led by the Father, I can say, as Joshua did, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).

I want to emphasize that during my time in the Throne Room of Heaven, I was never asked any questions, nor given opportunity to say anything. The proceedings were handled by the Father, who was the Judge, by Satan, who was the accuser and prosecutor, and by Yeshua, who was my Advocate, my Defense Attorney. When I remember this experience, I cannot help but wonder, what would have been the outcome if I had not had a Defense Attorney?

I wanted to share this vision to encourage others to make sure they too have Messiah Yeshua as their Defense Attorney. Make sure that you, too, are covered by His shed blood. If you have not done so already, ask Him now to forgive you of your sins, to come into your heart, and to help you live a life wherein He is your Lord and Savior.

For those of us who have already asked Yeshua to be our Lord, let us remember to always be asking Him to help us to better hear His voice as He whispers in our ear, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Let us also remember to pray the prayer of King David in Psalm 51:1-13:

“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge….Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.”

By Yeshua’s grace may we be a people who do not do things based on our own fleshy initiative, but instead truly serve the One True God.Amen and Amen.¬†Angus Wootten is a retired Army Colonel who now serves in the Army of the Holy One of Israel.It is Angus’ heart’s desire to see full restoration of the Kingdom to Israel.For more information, see his book, “Restoring Israel’s Kingdom.”