By Mark Ellis —
Riaan Swiegelaar, co-founder of the South African Satanic Church, had a dramatic encounter with Jesus recently that inspired him to leave Satanism.
During one of Swiegelaar’s satanic rituals, something remarkable happened after he asked if God really existed.
“I did this ritual, and I opened myself up, and Jesus appeared,” he posted on Instagram. “And I was extremely cocky, and I said, ‘If you are Jesus, you need to prove it.’ And He flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy. And I recognized it immediately because that woman at the radio station showed it to me. That’s how I recognized the love of Christ,” he said.
Swiegelaar referred to his guest spot on a CapeTalk radio program, where he gave an interview on behalf of the South African Satanic Church. During the interview, he boldly said, “‘I don’t believe in Jesus, and I don’t believe Jesus Christ exists.'”
Following the dialogue, the woman who conducted the interview approached him.
“She came to me after the interview, after I said that, and she hugged me, and she held me in a way that I’ve never been loved,” Swiegelaar recounted. “That’s all she did. She just said it was nice to meet me in person.”
“A week later, on WhatsApp, through her status, I saw this woman is a Christian. I’ve never had a Christian do that,” he said. “I’ve never experienced a Christian show that much love and acceptance unconditionally … after I said the things I said, she did that. That stayed with me.”
Because of his sinful lifestyle, Swiegelaar did not believe he was worthy of God’s love. Since his encounter, however, he has had “real conversations with God,” and said he discovered that even as an openly gay man, God showed him that “Christianity is not a gated community; it’s open to everybody.” He found that God’s message is about grace and love.
The Satanic Church of South Africa released a statement following Swiegelaar’s resignation, thanking him for his service.
“We, as the SASC Council, want to thank Swiegalaar for his contribution, both as the pastor and the co-founder of the SA Satanic Church. We wish him success in all his future endeavors.”
Swiegelaar said he originally got involved with Satanism because of sadness and brokenness in his life. “I think the reason a lot of people resonate with Satanism is they come from a very broken place,” he said. “I have met thousands of Satanists over the last three years, and I’m not saying the intentions are bad. They are extremely broken and extremely hurt. … That’s the one thing we all have in common.”
Finding God’s unconditional love was a turning point.
“I’ve never known unconditional love in my whole life and up to today, there’s only four Christians in my whole life that have shown me what unconditional love is. I want to thank those four people. Words cannot express what you have done for me,” Swiegelaar continued as he named a few of those people.
“To show someone love is everything. It is not a simple thing. You have showed me everything. You have showed me the love of Christ. I have seen it in you,” he added.
The former satanist revealed that even when he was a “monster” and an “ugly person,” these people still showed him love.
Some have questioned whether or not Swiegelaar has found the real Jesus of the Bible or the New Age Jesus. These critics have taken down his video and urged people to pray that Swiegelaar would find the real Jesus.
Would Satan drive out Satan?
Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 25:22-28)
Which Jesus is Swiegelaar following?