many know who are familiar with my testimony, I was saved at
the age of four at an old fashion tent meeting. It was one of the last
meetings renowned Pentecostal evangelist Jack Coe would hold before
his death a few months later. Sadly, I turned away from church in my
very early teens. But God never turned away from me. Oh the stories I could tell
of my encounters with Him during my rebellion. As it is written, where ever I ran, when I arrived He was already there.
incident comes to mind that occured at an old cottage where I once lived. It needed
service contractor work, so my landlord hired someone to do the job.
Three men came out,
and one of them was a short slight bald-headed man.
He looked like Brother William Branham (BroBran).
scared me. His
face glowed; not just a healthy glow, I mean his face shined! In fact,
there was a glow that radiated from his entire
body. The hippies and eastern religious guys would've called it an
Moses, this man's face shone, yet he gave no clue that he
was aware it. He had such a countenance of peace and kindness. If
someone made a movie of William Branham; this guy could play BroBran;
without having to spend a dime on make up or wardrobe. In fact, he looked so much like BroBran he could have used BroBran's photo ID to sign and cash his checks in his own hometown.
years, much like Jonah, I had been running from the presence of the
Lord; and for several weeks I had been under heavy Holy Spirit
convicition. So I didn't know whether this man might be an angel of the Lord, or what.
But he generally scared me. I can still see it though it was nearly
fifty years ago.
up in the Pentecostal church, more than once I had seen the ambulance
back up the those old double doors in front of the church. I watched as
attendants strapped some hypocrite to a gurney and hauled them away
to the hospital. The Ananias and Sapphira experience was not theory to
us, or based on some ancient story of days gone by, like some fairy
tale. So I steered clear of this
transfigured man. I was afraid to come near him or touch him! I am
very serious here.
Since before I was old enough to drive, I had experienced playing in some very rough honky-tonks. By age
eighteen, I'd had loaded guns pulled on me by jealous men; at least three times. But this man
scared me way worse than any of those bar-room experiences.
So I believe I made up an excuse to run an errand, or something. I left them there
to do what they needed to do and said, "lock up when you leave!"
Later that day, I kept riding past the house to see if they were gone
yet. I wanted to be sure they were gone before I'd dare go back there.
Anyone who knew me back then,
knows how out of character that was for me to leave ANYONE alone at
my house. But that day, I was gettin' the heck out of Dodge until this glowing
man was gone. I was on the run from God and knew it; truthfully I
was running like a scared rabbit.
More and more it seemed, everywhere I turned God was calling me back. Every book I'd
read seemed to have scripture references and illustrations about God. Every song I'd hear
on the radio, somehow I could interpret some inner cry for God's help and mercy, pouring from
the soul of the
singer. At least that's what I read and heard from all of it.
I found out later that my mother had been calling various ministries for prayer, and
setting herself in agreement with them for my deliverance and
restoration. Parents, don't forget that! You may want to do the same, to pray any wayward children back home.
The Drug Party
one Saturday night a drug dealer I knew was having a party at his home. He lived
edge of the Everglades. He had a smorgasbord of drugs and alchohol
for his guests. All night long everyone was talking a mile a
minute, wired and stoned to the max. But God had been reeling me back in for a while, so I'd been under Holy Spirit
conviction for several weeks. It seemed like all I could think or
talk about was Jesus. That was all that occupied my mind. As the
Psalmist wrote, where ever I ran, "HE" was there.
I suppose to counter
my excessive "Jesus talk", satan had everyone else there tell of their
Fellowship, I Ching, and even one old boy there allegedly worshiped the
as they spoke of philosophy, theory, and various world religious
systems, I spoke of Jesus Christ, His power and authority, and the supernatural
experiences I had witnessed as a boy. Sitting
there stoned and wired, talking 90 miles a minute, I must have shared every one of my childhood experiences. I don't
remember for sure, but I must have told them of the young man I
personally knew from a Pentecoastal church who had been stricken with polio from his
youth; we'll call him Carlton (not his real name).
One Friday night, I was riding around doing some under-age drinking with some school buddies. We happened upon an old fashion Pentecostal tent meeting.
Something inside made me insist we stop and go inside. Finally,
reluctantly they agreed. When we went in the power of God ws moving.
These guys look on with eyes the size of silver dollars. Their only
experience was with civilized church services. They had never seen
anything like this. But I was used to it, I realized I missed it, it
felt like home to me. I saw faces I knew from childhood. I saw
Carlton arise from the crowd. He was still afflicted with the polio
symptoms, but still standing in faith for his healing!
Suddenly, as Carlton stood to his feet he began to forcefully take off his leg braces. I
begin to hobble
seat, stepping out in faith. Then the power of God struck him, he
took off trying his best to run until at last he was running through
the tent. With the look he had on his face, he
might as well have been an Olympic sprinter crossing the finish line,
going for the gold; he did all of that in front of a
of thousand witnesses. I heard one of the guys I was with mumble
something like, "I'm gettin' the hell out of here!" So we left,
I feel reasonable sure I must have told my fellow partiers of what I witnessed with Calrton.
cadets at the party must have thought I was either lying, wearing a foil helmet, or just stoned slap crazy out of my mind; with
all the sthings I was saying. Because I remember them gazing at me with their vacant stares; like I
was from Mars. At
last, it was 4AM, Sunday morning, and the party had wound down, and it ended. The host gave each attendee a
gift of buds and dust. So I climbed into my old truck and
As I drove down the winding dirt road, I thought of the myriad of conversations I had listened
to. I thought of all the stuff that had gushed out of me. I wondered,
where did all that come from? In my hippie affected jargon I thought to
myself, "Woooow maaan!
I probably talked more about Jesus at that party than most
preachers will tell in their churches this morning". Then, as that silly thought sunk in; a seriousness overwhlemed me. I wondered, how I could have gone so far away from God's
will? That was why I didn't like being alone. When alone, the guy in
the mirror always asked me hard to answer questions like, "what
about the Lord Jesus?"
Today as I reflect on those times, I see that like Jonah, I really was running from the presence of the Lord. Now,
I can see how I had gotten ensnared so often without even knowing it.
I was always on high alert being very careful not to ever commit a
offense, or blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, or an Ananias and Sapphira
kind of offense. But being too self-assured, I
let my guard down for so many other transgressions against God. My diligence
in one area, became my weakness in another, until at last I got
ensnared. That same demon spirit that caught hold of Simon Peter; the
one that made him deny our Lord Jesus Christ, ensnared me.
Certainly, I never denied my Lord Jesus Christ affirmatively by word, as Peter did. That's not
what I mean here.
Peter, I had witnessed the Christ, had tasted of the miraculous,
and had been partaker of the supernatural world to come. But in moments
of extreme weakness (usually being drunk or stoned),
the enemy would bring me to a place where he would remind me of those
old fiery Pentecostal sermons; and I'd start believing I had
drifted too far from God to ever come back home. He would tell me that
God's grace had now
Like Peter, fearing I had lost my Lord, I was consumed with a crippling
fear. I feared rejection by the only ones I felt I had left (so-called friends).
So I was trying to be accepted by this new crowd. In those moments of
dispair, I believed this new crowd was the only one I was worthy to hang out
with anymore. Surely, no church would ever accept me. In my mind, I was unworthy to set foot in a church. I
perceived these as "my new peers". So like Peter, I was on a quest to prove to them that I was "one of them".
perusal look at all four gospel accounts of Peter's denial, shows that
it came in three successive stages. Each stage increased in intensity,
descended to a deeper level of darkness. The repetitious practice of
any sin produces predictable results. Each time one commits a sinful
act, the next time it gets a little easier, until at last is becomes
effortless. The maxim is true, practice makes
perfect; and sin is no exception. In fact, if a perpetual sinful
practice is not arrested, it will progressively evolve into a habit
that comes as natural and involuntary as breathing. This is part of satan's strategy; capitalize on human nature.
In my case, I got into some wild and
bizarre behavior. Like Peter, I tried to "blend in" by looking like them,
dressing like them. As with Peter, if that didn't work, I tried "talking
like them", the jargon, the dirty jokes, even "cursing like them". If that
didn't work, I'd get competitive and be tougher than them,
live more dangerously than them, do more outrageous acts than them, and out do them in every way;
including partying, drugs, and sex. I confess these things with tremendous shame and humiliation.
wasn't just because of my foolish unbridled youth, it was something beyond that. It derived
from a hopelessness driving me to get so stoned out of my mind, trying
escape the reality I so hated. But the demon driving me wanted me to be
shackled to its jet-powered treadmill; and ultimately, to lure me into a lifestyle
that would passively deny Christ. He knew he couldn't get me to deny
Christ with my words, so he took aim at my weakness (rejection), just like he did with
denial wasn't done with words alone. His words only confirmed what his
acts were already screaming to the world around him. Peter's words of denial were not
spoken from a heart that no longer loved Jesus Christ. His words were spoken out of his overwhelming hopelessness, and his
crippling fear of man. How many times as a young boy had I judged Simon Peter
for his denial. "How could he have done that",
I'd say. Then those same demons outsmarted me. Now unknowingly, by my
actions I was doing the same thing I had judged Simon Peter for doing
with his words, i.e., denying
Jesus Christ. My conduct was driven by the same ingredient as Peter's
words, an overwhelming fear of man's rejection. Jesus' directive is
true, "Judge not, lest you be judged!"
man running from the presence of the Lord will do almost anything to
escape facing the guy in the mirror. I surely did. During the entire
time, I had no idea the spirit behind it all was primarily there to make me deny
Jesus Christ as Lord! Ironically, I should have known because that is the antithesis of "...any spirit that confessess that Jesus is come in the flesh...."
I did stupid daring dangerous things that I wish to God I'd never done;
things so stupid I could have been killed. But even my most
sinful acts were no match for the Blood of Jesus Christ! He forgave my sins and cleansed me of all unrighteousness. While I say these things to my utter shame; I proclaim my weaknesses and failures to the
glory of my Lord Jesus Christ, who delivered me and saved me from ALL my foolish sins!
I will glory with great rejoicing in my countless weaknessess, that His
Shekinah Glory may tabernacle in me...for when I am weak (in me) I am
strong (in Him)...." II Corinthians 12:9 (my expanded translation).
But I digress....
Anyway, by the time this party was thrown, I had gone to a
place so far from God, a place I never dreamed I would go; doing things I never
thought I'd do; especially partying with
such a high echelon in the drug world. How on earth did I get to this place? What had happened to me? Then I
thought of how
many times I had promised God if He
wouldn't give up on me, I would find my way back home someday, and serve
Him for the rest of my life. Why was I doing these things? Why couldn't I stop? I liked
standing up and proclaiming Jesus
Christ to those lost heathens! It felt good! It felt like home again; except that I felt dirty,
filthy. Because I knew I was filthy!
No Place to Turn
As I meandered
down the dirt road, I finally reached a paved road
that ran parallel with a deep canal. Typical of canals in the Glades,
there was a steep bank about 45-degrees and about twenty to thirty
feet high. So I had to drive carefully as there were no guard
rails back in those days.
It was narrow, dark, and extremely dangerous. As I drove along, suddenly
I looked in my rear view mirror and there were police cars
everywhere, with light bars lit up and
My mind began racing. I couldn't believe I was being busted. Where
could they have come from? How could so many of them sneak up on me
like that, on a lonely one
road in the Glades? They couldn't have followed me from the party, I
would have seen that. They couldn't have just driven out of the marshy
swamp. Where did they all come from? What
was I going to do?
I had sat in
court rooms, and watched drug cases proceed. Back then, when a
prosecutor stood in court waving charging papers for even simple
possession in a "White
Powder Case"; to
a Florida judge, that was like waving a red cape in front of an angry
Why didn't I listen all those times the Lord called me to come
back home? Now I
had no place
to run. Deep canal filled with gators on one side, snake filled swamp
on the other. With all the
lights on me, if I threw my stash in the canal, they'd see it and
it. That would only add to my charges. The only option left for me
to cry out to the Lord for mercy and help. So I did!
When I cried out the name "Jesus", the cops instantly vanished. My mirror went dark again. There was
simultaneous relief, confusion, and awe over what had just happened?
Though there was a certain calm, my heart was racing, and I was shaking.
hallucinate? Was it a vision? I slowed down, almost to a stop. Instantly, I was
no longer wired and stoned, but cold sober; yet I couldn't stop
Then it seemed as if
the spirit of the Lord came upon me and overshadowed me. In my youth, I
experienced His presence so many times before. As I sobbed uncontrollably, I reiterated
promise I had made since I was a young boy; "...Lord, please don't give up on me...I promise, someday I'll come home and serve You for the rest of my life...."; the same promise I had broken
But this time was different! This time I cried out honestly to the Lord.
This time there was no pretense about who I was, or what I was doing. I had in some way reached the end of myself.
I knew I was filthy. I had nothing to bargain with, nothing left to offer
for my guilt and shame but the blood of
I Couldn't Let Go
still couldn't bring myself to dump the little drug stash. But for the
next two weeks, I could
function, and I barely ate. I was 5'9" and wasted down to 125
pounds, or less. With thick flaming red hair to my waist, a beard four inches
navel, I was a sight. No matter what I tried to do, I couldn't shake
that experience. I reasoned it
could not have been a hallucination since they are demonic. The devil
is not going to send me something to scare, drive, or draw me back to
the Lord Jesus Christ. Clearly, it was drawing me back; seemingly at
the speed of light!
NOTE: Today, reflecting back all those years ago,
it seemed more like the visions men
like Brother William Branham described. I have no doubt whatsoever that Brother Branham was the
authority in my lifetime on biblical visions; in fact more than anyone since the Ante Nicene era.
devil had pulled out all of the stops; doing his best to tempt me. A couple of
knuckle-heads I knew
claimed they were planning a drug smuggling run; to Columbia of all
places. These two clowns were always
dreaming up schemes to make a quick easy fortune. But they couldn't
less an operation like a major smuggling run to Columbia. As I
think of it now nearly fifty years later, I chuckle when I picture what
such a smuggling run might have looked like, had those two been
able to carry it
out. If I merely imagined it in black and white, it would look like a
But what I did was equally absurd! I
actually tried to bargain with God with this idea. If He would let me do just
run with those guys, I would have money to give to several
imagine that? Like God needed drug money to support His servants. But that's
how far I had drifted. That's how darkened my soul had become, and how stupid my reasoning had become.
Aside from the absurdity of considering doing anything as stupid as
drug smuggling to begin with, then worse the idiocy of doing it with
those two knuckle-heads; then the audacity of presenting it to our Holy God like some bargaining
chip. My trying to get Him to cut me a deal is more than I can fathom today. I cannot believe I was ever that "non compos mentis".
I am grateful He didn't allow any such deal; otherwise I might have been
stuck in some Columbian prison to this day. Mark Twain was right
asking, "Why must youth be wasted on the young?"
So thankfully there would be
no bargains, no concessions, and no deals on the table. The terms
of my surrender would simply be all or nothing.
THEN: ...at 3 o'clock, on a
in the south room of that two
familiar with the testimony of Kenneth E. Hagin, knows what I meant by
the above section title. It connotes an event so burned into one's
memory, they can never forget
it, even down to the minute detail; the arrangement of the furniture,
everything! I especially remember
WHERE I KNELT AND SURRENDERED!
That Wednesday began early in the morning with my arguing with the Lord; and it ended with all
the arguments bowing in defeat. The devil had just one last card
to play. He said, "...how
are you going to tell all
your friends...they'll ditch you!...."
That was a lifelong weakness with me; and that day it seemed like a mountain standing before me. Everyone needs friends.
Many of these guys, I had known since elementary school.
three o'clock my very last words were, "Lord,
if this doesn't work, I'm gonna go
and then I let go of the reigns; suddenly, I collapsed to my knees.
Then like an over-flowing dam that had breached its banks until at last
everything gushed out of me. Massive wholesale catharsis ensued.
years ago, my wife aptly named this process "Spiritual
Then, it was as if the whole world was lifted off my
shoulders; and finally, I was free! I hadn't been so free and clean since the Old Days among
the Pentecostals, and my brethren in the Branham following. In fact, I don't know if I'd ever been that free in my life!
HOT DOG I GOT IT!
That day I
learned experientially what Jack Coe meant by something he would say
in those tent meetings, back when I was only four years old. Jack was a
large man with a booming voice. When he "got
happy" his voice thundered as he spoke of back when he received
the Holy Spirit baptism, he'd get happy. The Spirit would come upon him,
stomp all over the platform joyously recalling his experience. He loved to tell how one
day while on his knees, travailing for the Holy Spirit baptism; the
power of God hit him, and he lept to his feet, and began running and
yelling...and the only words he could get out in English were, 'hot dog I got
it! hot dog I
got it! hot dog I
Unless you've ever experienced one of those "got happy" Holy Ghost moments, what I'm describing is probably like Greek to you.
When Jack would launch into that experience, the power would seem to fall upon the entire tent, and he'd call
for anyone needing a healing or miracle. Then he'd say something like, "...if you have
faith 'run' down here, 'quickly', and receive your healing...." As God's
presence continued to intensify he'd say, "...even
if you don't have any faith, come on down here anyway...I've got enough
faith for all of us...come, quickly, run down here, now!...." Oh, how I miss
those days! But I digress.
Something very similar hit me
while on my knees that Wednesday afternoon; like a flash of
lightning. I'm not cognizant of ever getting up from my knees. But when
I came to myself,
I was running through the house yelling and shouting praises,
reminiscent of when Jack Coe would yell, "hot dog I got
it! hot dog I
Considering how I had been living, and some of the crowd I hung out with back then, it's a
wonder that the neighbors didn't call the cops, thinking that all that yelling was someone beating me.
the Spirit lifted and I regained my composure, the first thing I did
was run and grab the little stash. I took it to the toilet and flushed it where
had belonged all along! And so it was!
Now, I have a song about that
day entitled, “I'm Back!”
The hook in the last line of the chorus is directed at satan himself, “I got some bad news for you Jack, I'm
The prodigal son had finally returned home; and though he was naked, filthy,
tattered, and broken; when his Heavenly Father saw him coming, He ran
to greet him while he yet a
great distance away. HALLELUJAH!
Now I was really back,
was I ever back. In an instant I went from asking God "how am I
going to tell my friends" to "which one of 'em can I tell first!"
And tell them I did! I wore them out! I heard rumors that some of them
placing bets on me, even giving odds on how long I'd last. The Gerry they
knew, following a religion? No way! Well, yes way! Not a religion, but
an intimate relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ, confirmed with signs, wonders,
and miracles. He proved to me He truly is Jesus Christ, the same
yesterday, today, and
BECAUSE HOT DOG I GOT IT!
Countless times, old
friends in a pool room on Biscayne Boulevard had seen me witness Jesus Christ to
hookers standing next to the street sign out front. So it became a sort of
running joke, "...Gerry
would witness to that street
sign, if he can get it to listen to him...." Everywhere I'd
go; restaurants, grocery stores, gun stores, tackle shops, pool halls, “Hooker Alley”
on Biscayne Boulevard, where ever;
the Lord would always open up an opportunity
for me to witness, and then I would. It was glorious!
you want to believe what I saw that night
was a vision or a hallucination, matters not one iota to me. I believe
it was a vision. What matters to me is, I came home to Jesus, and the
experience I have shared here was instrumental in that process.
I did not Share the Supernatural Signs, Photos, and Experiences
people ask me, “why
didn't you share
these photos, and tell the people about these supernatural signs and
experiences when you first came here?”
inference is that it would have enhanced my ministry here. That is
probably correct. Had I exploited the sacred gifts, experiences, and
signs God has given me, I probably could have avoided those 32-years
of poverty, shame, and humiliation. But at what cost?
did not give them to me to be merchandised. I should not be forced to
choose between exploiting holy gifts, and poverty. No one should have
to defile sacred things to get the church to do the right thing!
What's the difference in that and prostitution?
did not tell me I was allowed to make these things public, until
recently. For me, it is better to be in obedience and endure the
abject poverty, than to deliberately go out of His will in order to
prosper. I can honestly say, there were times I thought of giving up;
was I tempted to exploit the signs, experiences, and photographs.
Perhaps the following two part explanation will help.
all, the signs were
for me, not for them. The
“Burning Bush” was
for Moses, not for Israel. Moses' “Hand”
becoming leprous then being healed, Moses' “Rod”
becoming a snake and again becoming a rod, and pouring water on the
ground and it turning into "Blood",
each were initially for Moses, not for Israel. Moses revealed these
things to Israel much later, during the "Wilderness
they were initially
given to Moses to help him believe enough to accept his commission
from God; and to withstand when satan would test his faith to the
extreme. Until recently, I was not given permission to share these
before I came here, the Lord gave me instructions on how I would know
who has His Holy Spirit in them. He had placed His Spirit in me and
confirmed that with supernatural signs. He did that for me, to
confirm these things to me and in me. It was not for them, at that
me that if they have His Holy Spirit in them, that Spirit will
recognize who I am by the Spirit He placed in me. His Spirit will not
repel His Spirit.
know how the spirit operates understand what I'm saying here. This
was demonstrated in Brother Branham's ministry, every time he
ministered in the Spirit.
showed me if they repel me, never accept me, reject me, shun me,
never allow me to get close, push me away, or any of those kinds of
conduct, then His Holy Spirit is not in them; regardless of what they
may claim, feel, or do.
another spirit in them that hates the Spirit He placed in me.
So that is
how I'll know who they are, by how they respond to me; not by how
they respond to seeing Him manifest supernatural signs through me.
There's always a multitude ready to follow after the fishes and
loaves. As throughout scripture, the signs were to be shown to the
elect, in the wilderness.
Now I can
just hear some critic arise, citing for example Paul's bitter
dissension with Barnabas over Mark. I would say to Mr. or Mrs.
Critic, remember in your current role that's all you are, is a
critic. Contrary to what you may believe, the Holy Spirit did not
prompt you with your criticism. He knows the truth. He's the One who
revealed this to me. He's the One who confirmed it countless times
with signs. Had “...the Spirit of Truth come....”
prompt you, that would have been to “...guide you into all
truth....” My recommendation is to first get deliverance from
all evils spirits, then seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and
then ask “...the Comforter....”,
and “...He will teach you all things....”
A few months
after we moved here, the Lord gave me Ezekiel
a pattern of what was to come.
years later, He has vindicated me unquestionably as His servant, and
as one of His prophets, just as promised. Over these three-plus
decades, those verses He gave me in Ezekiel have unfolded like a
blossom opens in spring. And just as that passage states, they “heard
but would not do them; they
made a “show
but chased after covetousness; and I was to them as a “...song
of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an
And just as He promised me, “...when
this cometh to pass, (lo it will come,) then shall they know that a
prophet hath been among them....”
As they always
have, those things I have prophesied over this place, and these
people, will come to pass. Woe unto them who have not repented in
purpose for sharing these supernatural signs and experiences is not
to boast, but to testify
of Him! These signs and experiences are not to celebritize me, but to
magnify Him! He gave them, and continues to give them, to vindicate
me as His servant. Further, it is to show yet another reason why I am
willing to repeatedly follow Him into the lion's den; and why I've
been willing to endure the decades of extreme adversity, abject
poverty, insults, humiliation, and public shame. I love Him!
ago, He revealed Himself to me by His power and marked me as "His
Property" with "His
Forty years ago, He revealed Himself to me by snatching me away
and engulfing me into His glorious Shekinah Presence, and similar to
the Mount of Transfiguration account. Twenty years ago, He gave me a
conditional promise of my full ministry and confirmed it by the
sign, which remains to this day. He has made me know experientially
that ALL power and authority is in Him; and that nothing and no one
can stand in His presence; no demon, no principality, no angel, no
disease, no military force, nor satan, and not even death can stand
against Him! Everyone and everything is subject to Him! He’s been
with me, even in me all my life!
has always delivered me! I am His property! He defends me
extravagantly! Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel....