Who I Am » Life After Salvation
What I have experienced since February 19, 1974
This page may draw skepticism from the secular and religious world, however, all of it is true, and I am convinced that there is more to come.
There are people in the secular arena and the religious world as well who are skeptical of anything that doesn't fit into their perspective of what God will or will not do in this generation. There are religious sects that deny cardinal tenets of Christianity, others who refuse to accept that certain biblical gifts are for this current generation, others who renounce Christ as God, and still others who are known as cults that have extra-biblical teachings but still use scripture where it is to their advantage to do so.
There are also Christians who depend on others to study and relate the meaning of scripture to them, and they are very gullible in many ways because they have no first hand knowledge and understanding of scripture. Many of these are eventually swallowed up in philosophy or cults or religions that have nothing to do with Christianity, Atheism and even in New Age beliefs that deify man and deny Christ.
In the secular arena denying Christ is rampant in music, film, philosophy, colleges and universities, science, and other venues. It is not surprising that the secular mind is antagonistic where Jesus is concerned, because what scripture teaches concerning him is a total reversal of what secularists believe. Humanism and Evolution and all other man-centered beliefs must, of necessity, relegate Christ to the status of insignificant and/or irrelevant in every way because the gospel calls men to repentance and trust in the Bible rather than the finite intellect so revered by the worldly. The secularist can't have it both ways, so they renounce Christianity as mythical in order to sell their adherents on their world view.
So, what is my point? It is that all the above will find my claims to be beyond belief or perhaps offensive. They may even say I am making things up or imagining them or that I'm out of touch with reality in one way or the other. Rest assured that what I am about to share is very real. supernatural, and beyond any finite rationality of unregenerate hearts and minds. You are free to believe what you wish, but know this, we are all accountable for what we do with God and his word, and so I don't share these things lightly.
THE FIRST MIRACLE
I came to the Lord on February 19, 1974 at around 10 pm. This is the first miracle. I hesitate to share my experience because I know that some people will think that if their experience isn't like mine they will think their experience is not or was not real. I MUST OFFER THIS IN REGARD TO THAT MINDSET: God meets us where we are at. Nobody will have the exact same experience, but everyone who every was truly born again or saved will have the assurance of their salvation given to them by God either at the point of salvation or shortly thereafter. God does not dangle this experience in front of us and then pull it away to toy with us. Salvation brings assurance of forgiveness of sin but also assurance of eternal life.
My salvation experience was phenomenal! I was an intellectual and a skeptic, and I believe that God knew that my experience had to move me past my own "wisdumb." I look back and laugh at my ignorance posing as knowledge and also with thanksgiving that God was able to move me past that roadblock to salvation. I even had a predetermined idea of what godliness was like and was trying to find a place where I could fulfill my fantasy, but thank God he turned me around and brought me to people who knew him rather than those who just knew about him. That knowing makes all the difference in the world! Anyway, to make a long story short, I knelt down and prayed, "Lord Jesus, I am so sorry for the sin in my life and the way that I have been living! Please forgive me, and come into my heart and change my life so that I can love others more than I love myself!" This prayer came from the innermost depths of my being and was more sincere than anything I have ever said in my entire life. The answer God gave was startling, overwhelming and absolutely convincing! I literally felt the power and presence of God pour over me and begin a cleansing process that went through every part of my being, body, soul and spirit. God's presence was so powerful that I could only repeat "WOW!" over and over again. It seemed as if God and I were alone and everyone else was gone. In that moment of time God removed five major issues from my life instantly, and the knowledge that he did that was certain and undeniable. I was delivered from a six year drug habit with no withdrawals, 17 years of cigarettes with no withdrawals, an incredibly filthy mouth that cursed God and Christ daily and many times a day, 12 years of drunk living; sometimes so drunk that I couldn't stand up, and one time drank myself sober, and I was also delivered from a huge problem of sexual lust. For about the first two years of my salvation, the only thing I thought about when I looked at a woman was whether she was ready to meet Christ or not. Even women who were scantily clad and seeking to seduce me presented no challenge to that cleansing. It was utterly amazing! To be free of cigarettes after all the times I tried to quit smoking and failed was wonderful, and the same goes for the alcohol and drugs. I didn't think the good life existed outside of party life. To quit cursing after so many years was a great thing to me, and in 41 years I think I slipped less than 20 times and most of them were very early in my Christian experience. So that is the first night, and the greatest miracle. God took a sin soaked and evil man and totally and radically changed him!
THE FIRST MONTH AND SOME INTERESTING HAPPENINGS
The next morning a member of the group made a loving sacrifice and gave me his own personal Bible. We had a brief breakfast, got into a vehicle, and headed to the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to do some street evangelism. I was told that I would be teamed with another member of the group and we should stick together. Then we prayed in the vehicle, got out and I was told to stand on a corner and witness. My companion left me and went to another corner not far away. I was really happy to be able to tell people about Jesus, however, I really didn't have anything to say except "Jesus Loves You" so that was my line to everyone passing by. Now before I even said that line once I prayed, "Listen God, I have never done anything like this before so you will have to help me." After a while a couple came by, and I gave them my line, and they stopped and started to come toward me. I thought, "Man, what am I going to say now?" They began to ask me questions, and to my amazement scripture began to pour out of my mouth for every question. They left satisfied, and I stood there wondering how that could have happened. Later in the evening when we headed back to the camp I was told that the Holy Spirit had given me what to say. I only ever read the New Testament through once fifteen years earlier to get a Bible for my mom with her name on it, and so the Holy Spirit reached back in my memory cells and gave the answers to me for that couple earlier in the day. After that I went out with confidence and that happened more times while I was becoming familiar with scripture. While traveling with that ministry for a little over a year, I saw many people healed, demons cast out, food multiplied in answer to the prayer of a young girl, miraculous provision of food when we had nothing to eat, children who told us angels came and played ball with them, and much, much more of a miraculous nature.
One incident that was supernatural and brought on by my lack of understanding and zeal without knowledge occurred on the beach as well early in my experience. A Hare Krishna devotee was showing a book called the Baghavad Gita to a girl, and as I watched them I wanted to warn her to get away from him because I knew the truth about Jesus now and was full of desire to share it. In my ignorance I went over to them and I said to the girl, "If you ask Jesus to save you, you won't need that junk!" (The book) Then I left and continued to witness and watch them, and she purchased their book anyway. After she left the devotee came over to me, and he was in a fit of rage, and it was written powerfully in his face. He screamed at me "I OUGHT TO KILL YOU!" He raised his fist and it began to come toward me. Now I came from the streets and nobody had ever hit me in my face in my entire life, so my natural reaction was to clench my fist and lower it to come up and flatten him before he hit me. The Holy Spirit spoke to me in an instant and said that was not the way to handle this, so I opened my fist and waited for the expected blow. I am still amazed that I would have done that, but nevertheless I did. When I opened my hand, his fist stopped in mid air, and he got the most frightened look on his face that I have ever seen. He began to scream in terror and ran down the street away from me, and God had delivered me from the threat. I could not comprehend it or even understand it was him until later in the day. To this day I am convinced that God must have allowed him to see an angel behind me, and I can easily understand why that would terrify anyone who doesn't have God's salvation.
I can't tell you how many times that I was out witnessing for the Lord and money for food or food was brought to me in answer to simple prayer in the name of Jesus. It was just something that God did and did frequently. I didn't have to ask anyone for it, I just prayed and people would come along and bring me money or food. I didn't even know who they were - perhaps more angels - I just don't know.
One of the most beautiful experiences after my salvation was getting baptized. At that time the new believers with the Christ Is The Answer Ministries were baptized in the Atlantic Ocean in Ft. Lauderdale. My experience was exciting and unique to me. I was standing in line waiting to get to the brother in Christ who was doing the baptizing when a huge wave came in and pushed me under. It was like God himself was baptizing me, and that is how I took it. I still was baptized by the man who was doing the baptisms, however to this day I still choose to believe God baptized me first.
In the time that I spent with this ministry we traveled all over the United States and ministered on the streets, on beaches, in churches, in front of topless bars, in porn districts, and everywhere we set foot. We had a band called The Joyful Noise that booked bars, and while they were playing in the bar we would go from table to table talking to people about the Lord and seeing people get saved. It was a bold ministry, and we were jailed a couple of times as well. The one I remember the most was in Jacksonville, Florida. 137 members of our group were ministering outside of a mall and being careful to stay out of people's way. Someone went inside and complained to the manager, and the manager lied to the police and said we were lying down in the aisles of the store and blocking people from going past. We weren't even in the stores except when the girls would go in to shop, and nobody was lying in any aisles, but the police bought into the lie and we were arrested. We went into the jail and they put us in a catwalk. We sang and praised God, read our Bibles and witnessed. The people in charge got mad at us and put us in with the felons where we did what we did before. Among the felons were two men that were up on murder charges, and they got saved and many other people there got ministered to, and the devil suffered a defeat because he thought he had us beat, and in reality he put us in a place to witness that we could not have been invited to before being arrested. Satan always loses when he attacks God's people who love and serve God fully. This short page hardly constitutes all that has happened but it is, after all, just the beginning of my Christian experience. I will continue this on the page entitled The Story Continues. Thanks for reading through all this! I pray that God has blessed you in some way through my testimony.
GOD IS STILL IN THE MIRACLE WORKING BUSINESS!