Dr. Alan Bullock

Alan Bullock   Welcome to the Limitless Spirit podcast. My name is Helen Todd and my guest today is Dr. Alan Bullock.   Alan served in the United States Air Force for four years. He had been looking for answers to life's biggest questions, but didn't find them in his atheism military service or in using drugs and alcohol. But Alan was about to be forever changed, thanks in part to his brother-in-law, who was actually in jail at the time. Today Alan is a Minister of the Gospel, a counselor and author, and an executive at Daystar Television Network. He met his wife Anoosh at the underground church in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. And only through many prayers and God's divine intervention, she was released by the KGB to leave with him to the United States.

   Here is Alan’s testimony.

   After I was delivered from drugs, I began to have a series of dreams. In the dreams I saw the face of a woman that I believed I was going to meet and marry. So my brother-in-law goes to Russia and needs a translator. He meets Anoosh who translates for him in the late 70. He tells her about me, and I take her to the Russian marriage bureaus and the agent says, "No, Net, go back to America. I'm not going to give you permission."

   Well, you know, this doubt creeps into our mind. We got out on our face and prayed and fasted for three days. We went back to that marriage bureau. That guy was gone. There was a new guy there who liked Americans, and God worked it out. So we have to stop doubt in its tracks before, if at all possible, it takes root in our minds and our hearts.

   In this episode of Limitless Spirit, you're going to hear how after becoming a Christian he experienced something miraculous and why his recent book is on the subject of doubt. According to Alan, having doubts is not necessarily bad but how you handle them can make a big difference in your life's outcome. I think you will be encouraged by his insights into faith, doubt, and reaching out to Jesus. Let's listen now.

   Hello Alan, welcome to the Limitless Spirit podcast. How are you doing today?

Alan: Well, good morning Helen. I'm doing excellent. I appreciate this opportunity to be on your broadcast with you today.

Helen: Of course, Chuck and I have known you and your lovely wife, Anoosh, for many years, but let's introduce you to our listeners. Who is Alan Bullock?

Alan: Well, Alan Bullock is, at this point, a Born Again Christian on fire for God. As an evangelist I travel around the world and like you guys do and witness for the Lord in churches and prisons and jails and wherever the Lord may open that opportunity for us.

Helen: But you have not always been a Born Again believer and on fire for Jesus. In fact, you had the rocky start in your youth. So tell me a little bit about your salvation experience.

Alan: Absolutely. I really did. Helen, I wasn't raised in a Christian home. I had never held a Bible in my hand. And the day I accepted Christ in my life, I could not have told you there was a New and Old Testament. I had never read John 3:16. I had never read Psalms 23. So, having not been raised in a Christian home and I don't have that as an excuse, but nevertheless I went to the military. I was in a flight squadron. I flew around the world. I met a lot of people, a lot of countries. I always had a nagging question mark in my heart, "What was life about? Why are we here? If there isn't a God, then what's life all about? What does success mean? And so forth."

   I had all those questions, even as a young child. My parents couldn't seem to answer it and the military couldn't either. When I was overseas, I saw a combat in one particular country. I came back, hooked on pharmaceutical drugs, sleeping pills in particular, and that started a chain reaction on my life in which I became a drug addict for a number of years. It was a dead-end circle. Drugs, alcohol, they're lonely life, they're an empty life. You spend a lot of money on that which doesn't satisfy, but God had mercy on me.

   My brother, Long, was a famous attorney in Florida, where I was living in Miami at the time. He was lost as well and a heavy drinker, but doing well financially. He actually got caught doing some things he shouldn't as an attorney. He went to prison. And while he was in prison, Helen, he began to write me letters about Jesus and I thought, well, this is maybe just jail time religion. But there was something in the letters that he kept writing over and over again about God's love for me, that God could help me, that God could save me. That really got my attention.

Helen: So, what was that one moment that became your turning point?

Alan: Well, for me it was a series of moments, I guess, because I was probably stubborn or hard-headed. But the day he was getting on a prison through really a miraculous series of events, he invited me up to be there and I felt led to go for some reason, which was unusual for me. I was there the day he got out of prison and there was about 50 Christians that wanted to take him down and baptize him in the ocean. And somehow only God could work this out. Here I am. I'm a drug addict. I actually had drugs in my socks at the time and I had rolled long hair. I look like a hippie, I guess.

   I ended up in the backseat of a station wagon and wonderful Born Again Baptist folks just loved on me. They began to tell me about the Lord. Then we went to the baptismal service and I end up in a prayer circle. I had never prayed before in my life, and here I'm holding hands with all these people, talking about God and thanking God for my brother getting out of prison. And that's really when it all began.

   But when I got back to Miami, where I was living at the time and raised, I had a drug overdose. I was in the hospital. This is my third one since the military and I came too for a few moments and I overheard the nurse tell the doctor and she said, "He's not going to make it." I blacked out again, came to the next day, and three days later was released. When I went back to my home, Helen, I knew that something needed a change in my life.

   I got down on my knees. I didn't ask God to come into my life. I didn't know the sinner's prayer. I didn't know Romans Road. All I knew is somehow I believe that my brother-in-law believe that God was real and I was an atheist. I got down on my knees. I begged God to come into my life. And all of a sudden, I don't know how to describe it to this day, but the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit came over me and washed me, cleansed me. I laughed. I cried. Every emotion, good emotion, for the first time in my life, came over to me. I got up off the floor of my home in Miami and I knew that I was changed. I didn't know what all that meant, but I knew I felt different. I thought different. I saw things different. I knew that God had touched my life.

Helen: You know I never get used to stories like that, when a person physically feels the transformation that happens. This is supernatural. This is miraculous. I love hearing that because I too experience that at one point in my life. So, does this explain why you have such a passion for prison ministry because your brother-in-law got so transformed in prison?

Alan: I think that's part of it. Of course, we do conferences and marriage conferences and all of those things. I mean, we're in a church almost every weekend, speaking, giving our testimony, or travels and does women's conferences and so forth and so on. But yes, prisons and jails, they're very much a part of our life. After I was saved, I joined my brother and my sister in Ministry. We went to Bible School. We went off to a seminary graduate school and graduated and did full-time Ministry. He and I traveled together for years, going to prisons together and then separately. And so, that's very much a part of our Ministry. And then, of course, a lot of our Ministry has been Teen Challenge, which was the start of a David Wilkerson wrote the book "Cross and the Switchblade". Started Teen Challenge up in New York City and then we were with Teen Challenge for 18 years.

   So, that's a part of our Ministry as well. I just have a great passion to see those that are on drugs and alcohol. Those that are locked up behind bars, incarcerated to come to Christ, because I know what all that feels like. And I know though, as well as you do, that Christ is the only one that can set us free. If we'll just ask Him in our lives, He's the one that can bring about the real change that we need in our hearts and minds and souls.

Helen: Very true. You mentioned to me on a series right now that we're doing on the podcast is changed lives, change lives. It is the beautiful part of a changed life is the chain reaction that happens as a result and how with that type of testimony of transformation we're able to impact the lives of other people. So you mentioned miraculous experience that you had with praying for a blind person. Can you share this story with our listeners?

Alan: Yes, I'd love to. That's actually happened a couple of times to us. We happen to be up in Michigan at the time speaking at a good-sized church up there. The pastor asked us to give our testimony. How those prayed for a blonde hair blew an American preacher. And I give my part and she gives her part. At the end of the service we always have an altar call for salvation, pray for the sick when the church likes for that to happen. A mother brought her daughter forward, who was at the time about 19, maybe 20 years of age. I'll never forget her name. It was Linda. She was blind from birth, but she could read Braille, but she had never seen anything. She was about fourth or fifth in this prayer line and I simply prayed for her and it gives me goose bumps to think about it. It makes me want to cry. The Holy Spirit just came over that young lady and just completely opened her eyes.

   What was unique? Not just the fact that God opened blind eyes, but here was a young girl that could only read Braille. But she went back. We all saw this. She actually went over and grabbed the Hymnal and just happened by happenstance. I believe it was God opened up the Hymnal to Amazing Grace. Now, here's a girl who could not read and begin to read the words of Amazing Grace. So it was one of just miraculous event.

Helen: Double miracle.

Alan: Double miracle. And of course, then she went on to go to Bible School, got married and went on mission trips. And so, it just one of those stories that you hear about. We wonder today, even in the church today, can these things happen? And, yes, they can. That's what the book "Doubt" is all about. It's how we, in America, you know, you travel overseas as we do. You see things overseas you don't always see here. But we want to see those miracles here. Not just for the sake of miracles. We don't seek miracles. We seek God. We seek the Lord. We seek the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting and seek His face on our knees, especially in times like this.

   But God still does miracles today, not just physically. But it's phenomenal when we pray for people who have never ever accepted Christ or had been in church. I've had the wonderful opportunity to lead 14 people to Christ that were not raised in church like I was. All fourteen were on drugs and alcohol. They had never been in a church before. You know when a drug addict or an alcoholic gets down on his knees and cries out to God and gets gloriously saved, you know there's been a real change. You know that God just did a miracle.

Helen: Very true. Salvation is probably the greatest miracle that we witness and everybody has experienced that who accepted Jesus into their heart, in their personal lives. But the healing of a blind girl, this is what I call the New Testament caliber miracles. These are the ones that promoted Christianity from a little country of Israel all across the world. So, I want us to talk about your latest book "Doubt". It's not even in print yet. It will be released within a month. I feel privileged that we get to talk about it as its still being prepared for release. Doubt is something that we all face at one point. No matter how strong our faith is, doubt is something that we all face at one point or another in life on various levels and in different areas of life. So, was there a personal experience in your life that really made you think about writing that book?

Alan: One of the things that spark this book was the pandemic. It was COVID-19. As you know, I also have a counseling practice and it tripled and quadrupled to the degree that I had to begin to refer folks to a good friend of mine, a PhD friend of mine that is also a professional psychologist. I was getting calls from pastors. I was getting calls from pastors' wives. They began to ask really I think all the typical questions, "What is God up to?" I had pastors asked me, "Alan, do you think this is the end? Is this the virus that's in the Book of Revelation?"

   So, between the calls that I was getting and my counseling clients who really at this time during the height of the pandemic began to say, "Well, does God love us? Has God forgotten the church? Am I such a failure that God doesn't love me anymore? Is it my sin? Does God forgive me?" People again begin to doubt their salvation. Am I really saved? Or I've lost a loved one. I've got a child on drugs and I prayed. God hasn't answered my prayers yet. I feel like I live in this swamp. A doubt is, is there hope for me?

   So, all these questions began to come to me through counseling clients and then by phone and just friends and talking on the phone, brothers and sisters in Christ, who begin to have a little bit of doubt creep into their lives maybe for the first time. You know what's happening now. Are we going to come out of this thing? So, that's really what gave me, I think, the feeling, the emotions, the desire to write a book on doubt. I've read hundreds of books over the years. This is my eighth or ninth book. I'm a reader as well. I like to read a book a week, sometimes two. But I just saw big question marks over the heads and in the hearts of people that were coming to me and having doubt during this particular time.

   I was in prayer about this asking God what's my part here. And He brought me back to Mark 9. Do you remember the story of the father of the demonized possessed boy? He cried out, "I believe God but help my unbelief." We know that God is doubt tolerant. He doesn't get upset. I don't think when these times, these seasons of doubt, but we know that in Psalm 72 He says that He's going to deliver those that are needy when we cry out to Him.

   The thing about doubt is that we need to remember doubts don’t need to equate or equal defeat. Everybody has doubts. People throughout the Scriptures had doubts. But it doesn't mean that we are defeated because of them. So we need to refuse to feed those doubts by asking questions that cannot be answered here and now. A lot of people say, "Why did my baby died? Why did this happen? Why did my husband die of cancer?" They begin to doubt God and God's love for them. So we need to be comfortable with the phrase, "I don't always know what God's up to, but as His child, I take the posture that He's my heavenly parent and I can trust Him and I can trust His motor."

   So what we don't want, we can wrestle with God like Jacob did, but we don't want to wrestle over God. So, we don't know any everything that God is doing in our lives. And we don't know why He allows us to be afflicted with doubt, but we can still face our questions with the confidence. As the Romans 11 says, I'm going to quote this for a memory, "O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"

   So we all have doubt from time to time about different things and there are many kinds of doubts that we face. And so the book covers all of this and so much more. It is actually completed and the cover work is being worked on this week and it'll be out within about 30 days. So, for God's people in the Bible, questions and doubts were a part of the process. As we read the Scriptures, we're growing into maturity. So doubts aren't necessarily a bad thing, but we need to use them to draw us closer to God. Ask questions. God's not thrown out of heaven or disturbed because we may have asked Him a question about why things are happening. But we don't need to get upset if we don't get the answer right away. We simply need to get back to prayer, get back on our knees and God will reveal Himself and He will bring about a response to freedom and a miracle.

   We're all blind. We all had issues. The woman that came to Jesus, she was bleeding. So she had a bleeding issue. So we all have some sort of issues in our lives from time to time. So we bring those to the Lord. Humbly bring our request to the Lord and we know that God loves us. He cares about us and He will bring about change and freedom in our lives.

Helen: So, let's talk about whom is this book for? Who can benefit from this book?

Alan: Well, good question. I think that even if you're a person of great faith and have the gift of faith, I think you're going to find some things in this book that you never thought of before, that you never read about before or never experienced before. The Bible overflows how long, as you know, were the examples of far from perfect people who responded to God with honesty and humility about their doubts. You remember in Genesis 17, you've got Abraham who chuckled to himself when God says well, "That promise that I'm going to give you that great nation, it's going to come true." Sarah, well, we already know that was impossible with man. So even Abraham and Sarah laughed. So they both doubted God.

   In Luke 1:34 Mary asked, "How can this happen?" When the angel reveals God's plan that she's going to carry the Messiah, Jesus, in her womb. So there were some doubts there, and yet she was the one chosen to give birth to the Messiah. Matthew 14, Peter wants to believe Jesus ends up walking on the waves on a stormy sea, but he sinks in fear. He gets distracted, and he begins to doubt God. There are a lot of all these stories in the Bible that can help us learn from people who had doubts just like some of us.

Helen: As believers, probably more frequently than doubting God, would doubt ourselves. Do you think your book can help people who are experiencing doubting themselves?

Alan: That's a very good question. And the answer is I actually addressed that very issue throughout this book. As I mentioned, there are actually nine categories of doubts all throughout the Scriptures. And so I can doubt a, let's say, product that I purchased. Let's say I live in the bush of Alaska or in the woods of North Carolina or Arkansas or something, and I bought a tool. Let's say I bought a chainsaw. I get it home and it doesn't start. It doesn't work. Well, now, I may doubt the fact that that particular product or brand may not work for me again. But when we begin to doubt ourselves and not trust ourselves and have confidence in ourselves, then we're telling God will guide.

   You can't do in me what you promised you were going to do. Because He who began a great work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. I may not have this very moment. I may be going through a dilemma. Several years ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer. The first thing that came to my mind, Helen, was I began to doubt myself. Well, hey, do you have the faith that you preach about? Do you have the faith inside of you that you need to get rid of this problem? Well, we don't do it. What we need to learn is we're not by ourselves. We're not on an island. The Lord has promised what? He will never ever leave us nor forsake us. God will never allow us to be tempted or tested beyond that, which is beyond what God can work a miracle in our lives.

   So, yes, there are people who actually begin... Even Christians. I have sat with pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, evangelist, that begin to doubt themselves, they begin to doubt their call, they begin to doubt the fact that, "Is God going to heal my marriage? Is God going to save that loved one? Is God going to deliver my child on drugs?" So the book addresses all these things and more.

Helen: Going back to your personal experience with doubt and colon cancer, it's a big challenge. I mean, cancer is an experience when our faith gets tested to the utmost. So, how did you overcome these doubts in a practical way?

Alan: Well, I would like to be able to tell you that I've always been a great man of faith, but that just isn't true. Let me give you a quick example. After I was delivered from drugs, I began to have a series of dreams. In the dreams I saw the face of a woman that I believe I just knew I was going to meet and marry her. So my brother-in-law goes to Russia. He needs a translator. He meets her there. She translates. He tells her about me. Long story, of course, as you know, but again in the rush of back in the late 70s and we go to the marriage bureaus, its [inaudible] Russian. And the guy says, "No, Net, go back to America. I'm not going to give you permission."

   Well, you know, the first thing that happens to us sometimes is if we're not careful, this doubt creeps into our mind and it wants to take the throne room and then our minds and our hearts, and replace faith that's there, confidence that's there, our hope that is there. And if we allow that little doubt to sit there on that little throne room in our minds, then we can find ourselves in trouble. But what we did and what every believer needs to do and should do to get free of doubt is simply get on your knees before God. You may need to fast. You may need to read a chapter a day that you're not reading. You may need to get counseling. You may need to see the pastor. But if you'll just make sure that your heart is right with God as much as you can, make sure your heart is clean, seek God with all of your heart and God will help deliver you and remove those doubts on your mind.

   So we got down on our face and prayed and fasted for three days. We went back to that marriage bureau. That guy was gone. There was a new guy there who liked Americans, and God worked it out. So, we have to stop doubt in its tracks before, if at all possible, it takes root in our minds and our hearts.

Helen: That is very powerful. You know, as I was listening to you, what came to my mind in this situation like cancer or another challenge that seems impossible to overcome, the first thing that we address is not that problem, but the problem of doubt. Once we fix that, then everything falls into place. Did I get your lesson correctly?

Alan: Yes, that's a good way to put it. There's another way to think about this very quick and it's this, that when we allow doubt to creep in, that's one thing. But when we allow it to stay there without attempting to do something about it, with God's help. We have to remember that when we doubt, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not necessarily an evil thing. It's that we allowed that doubt to take root and you continue to stay there. And if it does, then we begin to dwell on the doubt more than we begin to dwell on the promises. It is the promises of God that are the antidote for any kind of doubt that we're facing. So if I'm facing cancer today, if I'm facing leukemia today, if I have more bills than I'm able to pay and I'm wondering where in the world is this money going to come from, doubt can creep in. So we need to replace that doubt on our knees, on our face, and then God brings a renewal - A renewal of our mind and a renewing of our spirit. It is faith that can overcome that doubt.

   You remember in the Scriptures that when Peter began to sing, Jesus didn't slap him. He didn't condemn him. He didn't get mad at him. He reached his hand out and lifted him up out of the murky waters. So one way that we can think about this is, let's say I'm suffering from doubt right now. I'm doubting myself. I'm doubting God. Just stretch out your hands towards Jesus. He's the one that calms the waves. He's the one that calms the winds. He's the one that calms the seas in our lives. We can't do that all the time by ourselves and we shouldn't. The Disciples made a bad mistake when they kept rolling and water was coming in the boat knowing Jesus is on the boat and they even cried out until they were sinking.

   So we don't wait until we're sinking. The moment doubt comes in and we're wondering what do I do, go to God. Go to God in prayer. Immediately say the name of Jesus. Jesus, I don't know how to do this. There's a great army coming against me. I'm in the midst of a battle. I have no clue how to handle this, but I know that you do. You're my Heavenly Father. You're my guardian. You're the one that's going to deliver me and see me through this saying. And if we will pray that, with the mustard seed of prayer, God will come and rescue us.

Helen: This is a very good point. I can't wait to read the book and get more out of this. You are right. The Scripture is just full of examples of how patient God is without doubts. I'm thinking of Thomas, doubting Thomas that wanted to put his finger on Jesus' wounds and Jesus was okay with that. I'm sure you probably addressing that story in your book too.

Alan: Yes, I did. Let me tell you an interesting about doubt. Let me give you a visual here for our listeners. In the book, in chapter two, I have talked about doubt being a tricky bedfellow. It wants to stay with us everywhere we go. Most of us have watched those shows on television or in the movies about animals in the Animal Kingdom. But we've seen those larger fish under the sea and there in those little triggerfish, the smaller fish, that travel along with the bigger fish looking for an easy meal. And it's interesting that the bigger fish trust the little fish. But what we don't want to do, you can never trust doubt because doubt either comes from the flesh, it comes from a weakness, it comes from the enemy. So nothing good can come from either of those. Nothing good can come from the flesh. The flesh man. The carnal man. And nothing can ever come, we know, good in her lives from the enemy.

   So, we don't want to be like Peter or Thomas who trusted one moment and didn't trust the next. So they travel down life trying to plug these gaps in their faith life. And then they would come to these rooms and hallways and the nooks of their castles of their soul, so to speak, and try and plug them with things. Well, you can't plug a gap in your faith, except with faith, except with believing, with trusting. So, we don't need to hesitate at all when it comes to believing God, because Scripture illuminates our doubts and our questions. And when we have them we are always promised that if we will pursue God during times of trial, He will always lead us. Always lead us back to the cross, back to a healthy life where we don't have to live a life of disbelief all the time like Thomas did. There's a divine moment.

   Let me finish with this. I believe for every believer, Helen, when there's doubt to whatever degree it is, to how big it is, to how strong it may appear to you, and it may seem at that moment that the problem is so big, it's like the Grand Canyon, no way we'll ever get through this. That was Thomas' problem. So, Jesus allowed him to touch him. Jesus is a person that wants to be touched. He's moved when we touch Him. And so with Thomas and Peter, there was this divine revelation that came that the man in front of him was Jesus, the son of God.

   Jesus is always standing there with arms outstretched when we're sinking in a quagmire of doubt, when we've been told that we have a physical issue that man can't heal, that what do I do with COVID? I'm scared to death of getting sick and dying from this disease. What do I do? Reach out for Jesus. Embrace Christ. Embrace the Scripture through prayer, through fasting, and your life will change, your thinking will change. Sometimes it's in our head and not just in our heart.

Helen: Well, this is just the perfect conclusion to our interview. Last question Alan, once your book is released, where would our listeners be able to purchase it? Will it be available on Amazon or on your website? Can they pre-order on your website?

Alan: Yeah, it will be. They can go to www.alanandanooshbullock.com.  You can just Google us. Alan and Anoosh Bullock in our website and different things will pop up. And if they're interested in pre-ordering the book, they can just drop us a line off the email. There's a contact us. Drop us a little note and when it comes out, we'll let them know.

Helen: Well, this is wonderful and I will make sure that the link to your website is in the show notes for this episode. In that way they will be able to click on the link and find your website. Thank you so much Alan. My prayers are with you and Anoosh as you continue to serve the Lord faithfully. We look forward to the release of your book.

Alan: Well, Helen, thank you and give our love to Chuck. We love you both. We appreciate you and we thank God for the incredible Ministry that the Lord has entrusted you with. We look forward to seeing you both again. In between then and now that happens, God bless you. We're praying for you folks every single day.

Helen: Thank you. As another reminder, we have Alan and Anoosh's website listed in the show notes of this episode. I hope you will check it out and learn more about their story, their Ministry, and how you can pre-order Alan's book "Doubt".

   I'm so thankful that Alan joined me for this episode and for the wonderful way that his changed life has changed other people's lives, too. By the way, I want to make you aware of our website too for World Missions Alliance. You can check out all the work we're doing and how you can be involved at rfwma.org. Until next time, I'm Helen Todd. God bless you.

Alan's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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