Caught Away Into His Presence
I believe I am sharing
this experience by His permission, I surely hope so.
Around June 1975 (twenty
years after the Stigmata), while praising Him
in my prayer closet, I was caught away into God’s presence and
engulfed into His glorious light. It was consistent with what Isaiah
described, what Ezekiel described, what Paul described, and what John
described. It also bore similarities with the Mount of Transfiguration
It was thick, blindingly
bright streams of light swirling around me. I've never felt such awe,
sheer terror, and helplessness; yet at the same time perfect love,
peace and joy. I was frozen.
The sounds were beautiful,
yet they weren’t loud, they weren’t discernible words or music,
or any other sound I’ve ever heard. They were perfectly beautiful
heavenly sounds. They truly were sounds whose description no man is
able to utter, or put into human words.
It felt noticibly cooler, yet not cold; just a perfectly pleasant beautiful temperature.
While I was able to speak,
I was in speechless awe. It was simultaneous fear, love, and
indescribable awe. “AWE” is a word I could easily wear out in my
frail attempt to describe His presence.
That experience profoundly
changed my life, forever. Since then, I’ve been tested harder,
disciplined more strictly, and defended with a ferocious jealousy
that makes me tremble.
after that experience, others began to notice a profound change in me,
even in my countenance. I visited a pastor friend's church I
hadn't seen in several months. They were old time Pentecostals from the
Great Healing Revival Days. During the praise service the song
leader stopped, then looked at me and said, "Brother
Gerry, I don't know what you've been doing, but you need to keep it up;
'The glory' is all over you!" I had no idea
there was anything different about me except what God did on the inside.
Not long after that, I
visited a very dear friend and photographer buddy who owned an independent
photo processing lab.
He shot the pics for an album project I attempted in the late 1970s.
He's the one who got me into photography back in the 1970s. While I was
there that day, he needed to test a camera for
leaks. Since I happened to be
there, he asked to shoot some pictures to test the camera. He made me a
contact sheet (copies).
Then as a gift, he generously made me a 20x24 enlargement of the one
below. Everyone who saw it was struck by the difference in my eyes.
Apparently, God had done something I could not see in myself. When our
pastor saw it, I was instantly nicknamed "Old Honests
Below is that photo.
"Old Honest Eyes"
NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE IN ANY FORM
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM
THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER
AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
reflection, God's hand has been on me all my
life. He has directly revealed Himself to me in His power and glory at
least since I was four years old. With all the signs, wonders, and
revelations, how could I not follow Him anywhere He leads?
recently discovered an old letter I wrote to a fellow preacher in the
Following. In that letter I gave a brief narrative summary of my path
back to the Lord Jesus. Therein was a thumbnail sketch of how the
"Caught Away" experience unfolded. Here are excerpts from that letter:
passed, the Lord quickly restored me and soon I was ordained. Single,
I lived in an old two-room cottage. I took everything out of the
bedroom, set up a little alter, a phone line, and a Bible.
Now it was officially my “prayer closet”.
Soon, people began to
call me for prayer and counsel. Within two months, people from as far
away as New
York City were calling for prayer.
an off Broadway actor
called me from NYC, depressed
and suicidal. That plus street preaching kept me busy. When I wasn't
doing those ministries, I would be attending church services 6-nights
a week. I remember the feeling of loneliness that there were no
full-gospel church services on Saturday nights. I wish I had more of
that energy today.
Didn't do much pulpit
preaching, as my hair was too long and I was still rough around the
edges. But the hippies would listen to my message. White Pentecostals
didn't receive me very well. But they loved it when I brought young
people into their churches. So like Paul with the gentiles, Lo I
turned to the black churches. They accepted me with love...I soaked up
their love and acceptance. I loved their
music, I loved their humility, and I mostly loved the results. God
resists the proud. That's a military phrase, to set up an armed
resistance. Oh brother, but He draws near to the humble. So many of
vibrant white pentecostal churches had become deader than a door nail.
so many of those black churches were bristling with that 'Quickening
Spirit'. You can hear those experiences coming through in my
night in my prayer closet, I had a lifechanging experience. I was
praising the Lord with great zeal
for the service we had just experienced. I wasn't seeking anything,
just expressing my thanks to Him with a grateful heart. Suddenly, in
the twinkling of an eye, I was caught away into His presence. I was
frozen, I was perfectly conscious of being somewhere else. I believe
could have moved or spoken, but didn't dare do so. This was like
nothing I had ever experienced before. I know what Brother Branham
meant when he described how he'd seen wild beasts frozen and
couldn't, from the Lord's presence. I sensed His Majesty and power. I
studied what was going on, but only understood that I was in the
presence of my Creator. I didn't know if I had died and gone to heaven
or what. I was literally snatched away. I learned how powerless we are,
helpless the power of darkness is in God's presence. I understand
what D.L. Moody meant when he said he would have died had God not
lifted from him. I know what Spurgeon felt when he said he would not
have stood alive had God not stayed His hand. I understand better those
the experiences Brother Branham described. How I wish I
could sit down with him and discuss these things today. Oh my! Brother,
have never been the same since that experience.
on to make millions of mistakes, and countless dirty diapers. Being
caught away into His presence
did not make me holy, or no longer able to commit sin, it didn't even
make me super spiritual. But I now know what Brother Branham meant
when he said he had nothing to do with it, he didn't earn it or
deserve it, and he had not control over it. It comes “...as he
I wasn't even seeking anything. He just came and caught
me away. While I'm still just as much a sinner, I don't see how I could
ever be an unbeliever. I can understand why God chose Brother
Branham, but I do not understand why He chose me, or allowed me to have
glorious experience. No matter how hard I've tried to do right, the
closer I come to Jesus the more I feel like Spurgeon did when he said
“I have the darkest soul
in London”. The closer I get to Him, the worse I feel about
my carnal being. I don't see how He could ever use me...."
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....