The event was a Women’s Aglow Retreat. The year was approximately 1992.
The setting was Sonoma County in Northern California. That’s an area where the grape vineyards are grown in the flat land as well as along the sides of the golden hills about 30-40 miles inland. There are wineries in the area. The landscape changes to that of a Redwood forested area, heading west towards the Pacific Ocean.
The town was Occidental, California, in the forest about ten miles from the ocean. The Christian retreat center was Alliance Redwoods.
The fragrance of the forest and the fresh crisp air was so refreshing to breathe in. There was a sense of peace taking walks along the trails, sitting near the creek hearing a gentle waterfall, hearing the birds chirp and just enjoying God’s creation. The fellowship with others was sweet to my soul. That weekend I discovered a fellowship much sweeter than any earthly relationship, and breathed in a Heavenly fragrance much more beautiful than any other aroma on this earth.
How could it be that just a mere sweet fragrance could be so intoxicating where you don’t want the experience to end? How could it be that such a delightful fragrance could be so transforming to my soul and impact my life forever?
There was a tangible Presence of God or Anointing or Shekinah Glory in the perfume itself.
Why was the Glory of God shining on my countenance after that experience of just breathing in this fragrance?
At the end of the Saturday night service, a group of us ladies lingered at the Altar just worshipping, singing praises to His Name and adoring Him. After we had been waiting in the Lord’s Presence for a while, I was standing near the front and began to smell a very strong aroma.
It was the most beautiful fragrance I had ever breathed in. There was delight, life, physical strength, and the Glory of God in the fragrance.
It had the scent of a mixture of frankincense, myrrh, spikenard, cassia, cinnamon, roses and other spices and floral scents.
It was as if that fragrance would come and go. One minute the aroma would be so strong. Then it was as if it would slowly fade as if to be from a distance, then as it got closer again, the aroma got stronger.
Now as I look back, I know that Jesus was there in Person, walking among us, but was invisible.
I know this because when the fragrance was exceptionally strong I also felt a Presence standing next to me. Then I would feel the Presence walk away and felt a breeze as He walked back and forth among us.
Since this was a new experience for me, I didn’t say anything to anyone to see if they were experiencing the same thing.
A few moments later, the president of Aglow, who was standing on the stage, announced that the fragrance of the Lord was there. That was a confirmation to me that this experience was real and others were experiencing the same thing.
Several of us ladies just basked in God’s Presence for a while with that beautiful abiding fragrance and Presence walking in and out among us.
What we experienced was the Shekinah Glory of the Lord, or Jesus Himself.
One woman said she didn’t necessarily smell the Lord’s fragrance, but felt a wind blowing in the place (and the doors were closed). The Holy Spirit, and Jesus, also manifests as literal wind blowing like on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
After we had been saturating in the Glory for a while, one of the Aglow leaders came up to the podium, got the microphone and said something that forever changed my thinking.
She announced the simple statement: “The Presence of the Father is in this place.”
How could that one statement forever impact my life and shatter old religious mindsets?
Being Trinitarian, I separated the Father, Son and Holy Spirit TOO much. They are also one (yes in unity, but also literally).
Jesse Duplantis and Kat Kerr who have been to heaven and witnessed it for themselves both said the same thing. They testified that the Father and Son are two separate Beings, each having their own Throne.
The Holy Spirit also has a form of a human body, but more transparent like, and much taller, with rainbows issuing out.
However, Jesus can literally “step into” the Father and they literally become one (1) Being. Then when He steps out of the Father, they are two separate Beings again.
Several Scriptures say that the Holy Spirit is the Presence of the Father AND the Son. The Holy Spirit issues out of both the Father and the Son, and does their will. The Father and Son share the same Spirit.
John the Beloved said that Jesus comes from the bosom of the Father, and he meant it literally and not just figuratively.
I always thought of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as being so gentle and kind, and I had an easy time relating to them.
I grew up with a mindset that the Father was hard to please, a God of wrath and ready to punish you for any wrongdoing. I was afraid of the Father and lacked boldness to come before His Throne with confidence.
However, Jesus was approachable, and the Holy Spirit was my friend and Comforter.
I thought that if the Presence of the Father was present, that there would have been thunder and lightning, as He is so powerful.
This reminds me of the passage in 1 Kings 19:11-13 where Elijah heard God’s voice. God was not in the wind, earthquake or fire. His voice was a still, small, soft voice. The Living Bible says His voice was “the sound of a gentle whisper”.
I’ve learned that I need to be still before the Lord and become quiet to hear His Voice.
Religion does NOT believe that God is Good all the time.
I was always taught about the Old Testament passages where God poured out wrath and judgment on evil doers. However, I was mis-led by religion. God only poured out judgment and wrath on His enemies, and Satan, but not His children.
But if you take a closer look at those Scriptures, often God put off judgment for hundreds of years, giving people an opportunity to repent.
The Father is actually very merciful and kind. And technically He is no longer the Judge. The Bible says that the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son.
I grew up with a father who was very mean, cruel and abusive. There was nothing I could do to please him or get him to love and accept me. He rejected and despised me even from the womb, because he didn’t want children, and then I came along. He always hated me and made sure that I knew that.
He was very jealous and angry with me because he wanted my mother all to himself, and resented the fact that my mother spent so much of her time taking care of me. And then 16 months after I arrived in this world, my brother was born. Then my mother now had a toddler and a newborn to take care of, plus her elderly sickly mother who lived with us.
He was abusive to the entire family and the dog, but especially targeted me for some reason. I had a very difficult time trusting the Heavenly Father and thought that maybe He felt the same way towards me that my earthly father did.
The Glory I felt that evening at the Aglow retreat was a very gentle Presence (and it was supposed to be the Presence of the Father).
The Presence was very nurturing, very tender, very sweet, very kind, very doting, very loving … almost like a loving mother who nurtures her young children, or a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings and protects them.
I received a whole new revelation that evening of the Father’s tender loving affection. I could never call God “Abba”. Abba was too affectionate … like calling Him daddy or papa.
The Presence of the Father walking among us and settling on us at the Altar after the Saturday night Aglow meeting in 1992 was the beginning of some major healing in my life, as well as the Lord calling me into ministry.
Progressively over the years, the Father has been giving me a deeper understanding of His Fatherhood. He said that He would be a Father to the fatherless.
After leaving the sanctuary that evening after the meeting, a group of us ladies went to the dining hall for a fruit snack before bedtime. While sitting at the table, the other ladies got their purses and Bibles, and headed back for their cabin.
I remained at the table by myself for a few minutes, and then suddenly that strong fragrance appeared out of nowhere and surrounded me. It seemed like I basked in that fragrance for a minute or two, then the fragrance faded away.
I got my purse and began to head back to my cabin for the night. On the way back to the cabin, I realized I had left my Bible on the dining room table. I went back to retrieve it.
When I went to pick up my Bible from off the table, that beautiful fragrance appeared again for a minute, and surrounded me, then faded away.
After returning to the cabin and climbing into bed, twice I smelled a faint aroma of Jesus’ perfume before falling off to sleep.
The next day, which was Sunday, the retreat ended around noon time and a group of us headed on home.
Later that evening, I attended the Care Group I was involved in at my church I attended at the time. I was still very excited about this new experience I had that weekend.
When I walked in the door, later on the leader in charge of the Care Group said that my face had a glow on it, and he knew that something transformational had happened. He knew I had been with Jesus.
At Care Group I shared what had happened and others were touched and seemed to express a hunger to experience God’s Glory as well.
Since that time, I have experienced breathing in the sweet perfume of the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit on several occasions.
Sometimes it happened in dreams which were Heavenly or Prophetic in nature. Other times it happened in waking life while worshipping with music.
A few times it happened in a church setting where people were soaking in God’s Presence, and a few times at Benny Hinn conferences when the Glory was strong or when watching his program on TV.
I wish it happened more often. It’s been several years since it last happened.
Besides coming to a new revelation of who the Father is (so tender, so sweet, so doting), this was also a time in my life of being introduced to the concept of intimacy with Jesus (in spirit and soul).
Prior to 1992-1993 I had often spent hours soaking in God’s Presence privately at home, and feeling God’s Glory, but had not necessarily received teaching on the subject of intimacy with God.
God used several key people in my life to introduce me to this level of relationship with the Lord. The first person to introduce this teaching on intimacy with Jesus was Rev. Pat Chen http://www.firstloveprayer.net/
Pat Chen’s passion for the Lord was very contagious, and it put a deep desire in my heart to know Jesus in that intimate way as well.
Kat Kerr, Jesse Duplantis and others who have been to heaven all say that all of Heaven is filled with this lovely fragrance I have shared about. They all say that this fragrance is the Glory of the Father, and the aroma permeates all of Heaven.
When you begin to breathe it in, it is so intoxicating in a positive way that you don’t want the experience to end. Just the fragrance itself infuses life and strength into your body, and fills your soul with joy, peace and great delight!
The fragrance contains the tangible Presence of God, Anointing, and Shekinah Glory itself.
Romans 8:15-17 NKJV
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Galatians 4:6 NKJV
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”