The UFO finally makes sense, and I follow it and see where it leads.
The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 2:
"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [literally sorcerers, linked potentially to Zoroastrianism] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way."
One day near the end of July I remember coming home, and going out on my balcony late at night in Hägersten to smoke a cigarette. The sky never quite gets fully dark in Sweden in the summer, so it was still slightly blue. As I stepped outside I noticed a rather bright star. Looking more closely, I noticed it was moving very slowly but at a fixed rate, about the speed of a drifting balloon. It was a single point of bright light, brighter than any star I had ever seen. One second after I noticed it was moving, it faded away gently and disappeared. “What the heck did I just see?”
Every day I was experiencing what felt like a battle around me. When I would come home I would feel the presence of angels now guarding my apartment building rather than the dark presence I had felt before. Dark presences were there, they were just in the background.
My notes from this time:
“On some occasions I feel a dark presence, an overwhelming sensation of blackness and hatred. But not like the demonic presence in my room. It is an external weight, and even makes me feel ill. On one occasion I heard demons in my spirit scream at me “we hate you, we will kill you.” I have asked why, and they reply “we are permitted to torment you.” I once replied firmly “do your worst.” And they have been.”
One particularly difficult night I remember walking to buy cigarettes, and as I walked back through a tunnel, alone, I saw a man I had never seen approaching me. Something felt off about him. As he passed me, coming from the direction of my apartment, I could see his face was twisted into a grotesque and furious shape, as if he was about to kill someone, and he stared straight at me as he walked by. If there were demons, they were sure all aware of what was going on.
In these days, the star would appear again often when I was on my balcony smoking a cigarette - often in a different location and at varying intensities - but I took it every time as a gentle reminder that I was being watched and that I was not abandoned. Every single time I saw it, it would gently disappear as if acknowledging that I noticed it. It became commonplace, but each time I saw it I would feel an overwhelming sensation of awe and presence.
At this point, I was still thinking that I was onto some deeper, magical understanding of the universe that maybe nobody else had reached. After all, nobody I knew had experienced ghosts talking to them, UFOs, and demons and angels warring in their apartment all at the same time. I was not ready to adopt any particular views on sin, or church, or theology, or doctrines and for a while thought that maybe I was one of only a handful of people in the world who had a clue what might be going on - but even I was unbelievably confused.
One day I got an urge, as if something was screaming at my soul: “go to church”. I ignored it. I had had enough of church, I wanted God in my life through paranormal experiences. Church was full of ridiculous theology and arguments about doctrines and creeds. I wanted the real thing. Besides, what church would I go to? What churches have theologies about stars in the sky guiding people and demon-possessed subway dwellers snarling at you as you walk by them?
A week later on Sunday, the voice yelled “go to church!” so strongly that I remember watching my legs move in front of me as I got dressed and left my apartment to go to church for the first time in only God knew how long.
At this point in time the only church I knew in Sweden was the one my friend Mari, the first person I met in Sweden, attended. I was so embarrassed asking her! I had come to Sweden announcing how ridiculous religion was and how adamantly atheist I was and how ridiculous all theology and supernatural experiences were and here I was messaging the only Christian I knew in Sweden to ask her if I could go to church with her.
That experience of walking up to the chapel is one I will never forget. About 20 meters from the entrance, I was surprised to feel the presence of angels, and they were singing - almost laughing with joy. It felt as if they were singing “we got you!” The verses came to my mind about how the angels rejoice when one sinner repents.
Ironically, when I entered church I saw that an old friend who was known living the playboy life was there too. Two of us? “Wow, Matt, how long have you been coming here?” “A couple of months, I just started. Felt like something was missing.” He alluded to some experience back in late 2018 that scared him so much he felt he had to get his life right.
That night we had dinner and I told our little church attendee group all about my ghost experience, but did not tell them anything about the star or the dark presence. There were so many strange paranormal experiences during this time that it would take a volume to write about them, including strange smells, a friend from Spotify telling me she could see a white aura “like a whirlwind” around me, and a picture that had never budged falling off of my wall after I felt an angel nudge me to stop drinking so much.
Now at this point even though I had seen the two ufos with my friend and I had also seen the “star” fade away a couple more times, I was not convinced it was anything supernatural and was thinking maybe I was seeing satellites or really slow shooting stars. I mean, perhaps this was all in my head and I was connecting things together, despite the religious “feelings” I had, in ways that were not rational. It occurred to me one day walking home that the only way I could know if it was supernatural was if it moved in an impossible fashion, like darting across the sky.
The very next night I saw it again. My text messages to my friend Adrien from this time:
“Aug 4, 2019 23:30. Just saw my third ufo. Small star that was moving that as soon as I looked at it started to disappear. So I looked away and then looked back at it and it lit up again. Then it started to fade and then zipped away at amazing speed, faster than anything Ive seen. I got goosebumps and then got terrified. Heart started to beat insanely fast.”
(Note: at this point in time I told Adrien I had seen it only three times, because I was not “sure” about a few of the sightings I had had. The reality is that I had probably seen it 5-6 times at this point but was being conservative in my estimate. I still was not sure what I was seeing.)
The star faded out twice, while moving, each time exactly as I looked at it. Then the third time I looked it accelerated exponentially down toward the horizon, faster than I had ever seen anything move in my life. Each time its appearance and fading was directly timed to when I looked.
Around this same time I briefly dated a woman who I will call Sally. Due to all the failures in the past and my ridiculous selfish tendencies, I blew things up but this time in extraordinary fashion as soon as I started liking her. One night feeling a pain of failure I walked home and it felt as if the angels had completely abandoned me. For the first time in months as I entered my apartment it felt spiritually abandoned and I begged God to give me a sign he was still there. Out on my balcony I saw the star again, but even in that moment I felt so alone it barely affected me. You might wonder how in the world a person could experience something like this and not be affected, but the truth is that spiritual presence or lack of it can blind you to any miracle. What had I done wrong? Also, what in the world was this star doing? Could it maybe give me a clearer message?
Over the next few days, God made it clear to me that my mistake was my fear to be open about what was going on in my spiritual life. It was not wrong for me to be attracted to her or even date her, but it was wrong for me to put my desire to be liked before God’s plan. I was afraid that telling about what was happening would scare this girl away so I was trying to be my old self. So I had been given over to screwing things up.
I promised God that if I had a chance, I would apologize to Sally for my mistake and then open up to her gently about my newfound faith. Sure enough, a chance presented itself and Sally opens up, drunk, about how she felt she had a hole in her chest, she was taking depression medication, and while all she wanted to do was go home and be alone she felt compelled to be out drinking and dancing with men. In the past I would have pontificated about mental illness and finding a good therapist, but for a brief moment I recognized demonic oppression since I had been experiencing it too.
That night I walked home and felt the presence of the angels, and I tried to pray for Sally. No words came to me. I did not know how to pray for her, so I asked God to help me. Here are my notes from a few days after this experience:
“I have been praying for Sally, every day. God told me to pray for “deliverance”. That was the word given to me. My prayer is that she is delivered from the demon tormenting her and the pain it is causing, the “hole in her chest” she has explained over and over. She knows I am praying for her, and I will continue - even though she obviously thinks it is nuts.”
The word given to me was deliverance. I had probably not said that word in over ten years. It was very, very strange. I remember asking the angel “deliverance from what?” After all, it was obvious that everyone needs deliverance, but I felt this had a double meaning. Maybe Sally had some secret she was hiding?
Then one night I remember complaining to God about this stupid star in the sky. How was this helping me? After all, a star does not exactly spell any messages in the sky. Would it not be easier if the star left a note or something? Why is this all so mystical and cryptic? I was getting upset with God, to be honest.
I had been searching for any other events in history, or on YouTube or anywhere that involved a star in the sky like this. In all my Christian life I had never heard of someone seeing a star and having it being connected with angelic presence. But in my searching I could only find one story: the magi in the gospels. Typically, scientists have tried to explain the Magi star in the sky as some sort of astronomical alignment. But in the text the star “appears” and they begin following it. This does not make sense if it was a fixed star because the text says that it “moved” ahead of them and that it stopped over the place where Jesus was born. Then it says the magi were “overjoyed” when they saw it - after they had already been following it for a long distance! If the star was a fixed point in the sky, why did it say they were overjoyed at seeing it after they had already seen it? Because it was disappearing, moving, and reappearing. Even weirder, Herod asked them when the star appeared. Could they not just go outside with him and point? Obviously they were the only ones who were seeing it. Just like my star.
Given this was the only story I could find, I announced to my friend John one day in October that I was going to follow the star. I learned by this point not to do something until I got clearer signs from angels so that I did not make a mistake.
“Angels, if you want me to follow this star please make it move again and I will follow.”
Next time I went out to look which was a Thursday (I believe it was shortly before September 27, 2019 based on my text messages at the time), I looked and looked, and saw nothing. I was disappointed. Maybe I was not supposed to follow it. As I was about to give up and walk back inside, I saw it dart to nearly the same location it had the former time! Gotcha!
Heart racing, I quickly grabbed my iPhone and opened my map and checked my compass. The star had darted down toward the horizon just a little bit to the right of the tip of a crane that was parked to the North of my apartment, which was about 10 degrees to the left of north. I started scrolling that direction on Google Maps, seeing nothing. After scrolling about 7km I saw the words “New Life” appear on the screen. This is odd for Stockholm, where most places are named in Swedish.
Clicking it, I discovered it was a church. It had services on Sunday at 10am and it had a 4.9 star rating. So I texted John that I was going to go. He, probably weirded out, did not offer much of a response. But I had learned that if God or His angels give you even the smallest of breadcrumbs you must follow them.
Browsing their website, I discovered that New Life church was one of only a handful of English speaking churches in Stockholm, so that was good. Thankfully the angels did not take me somewhere unintelligible. The church seemed somewhat charismatic so this was different than my youth, but given my experiences I was quite relieved. They did not seem to be a crazy healing church or anything.
That Sunday, as I sat in the chair near the back I remember wondering how in the world I was going to explain things when someone would inevitably ask me “so what brought you to New Life?” “Oh, you know, just followed a star in the sky, as one does.” They asked if there were any first-timers. I raised my hand and was given a guest card. This was going to be hard to explain during their “welcome” session after the service.
I was surprised to discover New Life was hosting a traveling preacher that weekend. The preacher explained how he and his wife were involved in helping people with spiritual warfare. This was - timely. Then he announced that he was having a three part series on spiritual warfare starting the very next day, and it would go from October 7-9. I shuffled with nervous anticipation in my chair.
When I arrived on Monday, I found a seat and waited. People milled about and we sang a few songs. Then the preacher got up to give his message and on his Powerpoint presentation, on a stark blue background in bright white letters, one word was written across the screen:
I was so shocked that I took a picture. This was too real, too deeply real. This was the word I had written in my journal that the angel had, without explanation, given me weeks before. All the pieces fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle. That day I got the distinct impression that I probably would never see the star ever again, because it had served its purpose and nearly a month later I have not seen it once and I do not believe I will see it again.
“God, I want to be able to reach even the most stubborn atheist, but I do not know how because I do not know what it is like to be one. I am willing to even become an atheist if it will help me reach them for you.”