If you have not read the “Who is the Holy Spirit” article on this commentary please read it first to help you understand this article. Three miracles God performed in this writer’s life are at the end of this article.
(1Cor. 2:9-14) The Holy Spirit, in this church age, is the dividing factor between born again believers and all the rest of humanity (Rom. 8:9) because one who does not have the Holy Spirit living within him does not belong to God. That is why it is imperative that every Christian recognize the evidence and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives. No Holy Spirit = no salvation.
(John 3:8) The Holy Spirit is as mysterious as the wind to the world (people living in the world); where did the wind start; where does it go; I see the effects of it but I can’t see the wind? The Holy Spirit cannot be seen but the world sees the effects of Him in Christian lives because (John14:16-23) He is God living within and communicating with His born again people and (John 16:8-11) at certain times communicating with lost people during their drawing.
(Acts 2:38) The Holy Spirit is a gift. (Acts 2:1-18) The Holy Spirit was first given during the Jewish Festival of Pentecost (fiftieth day) after the Passover Celebration (Ex.12:11-31 esp. V.21-28: celebration of the pass over in Egypt) at Jerusalem. Jesus was crucified just before the Passover Celebration and then rose from the dead. (John 15:12) Jesus said; “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:14) Jesus said; “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
The whole focus of the Holy Spirit’s work is to assist WILLING individuals through the salvation experience, develop a relationship between WILLING Christians and God, to empower and guide WILLING Christians to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and for Christians to do the works assigned to them which results in building the Church. AND (John 6:44 & 12:32) He works in the salvation process to draw people to Jesus.
There is a vast difference between acquaintance and friendship. Example: There is this person you’ve heard about. People tell you He is really the best person you can possibly know (Christian witnessing). Maybe you’ve heard about Him on the news (good news-gospel-preaching on TV or Radio). Quite possibly you have spoken to Him (prayer) here and there a time or two. But you don’t know him.
Let’s just imagine for a minute and use a physical event to illustrate spiritual salvation. Compare your salvation event to the result of a bad car wreck. You crash on the highway, the grinding, jarring and crashing as your vehicle rolls over and over then batters to a stop.
You are shaken and bruised (the wear and tear of your life) but you realize you are OK. “I’ve wrecked but I’ll get out of this and walk away.” Then you realize you can’t. You are trapped with no way to get out. “Oh no! I hope this thing don’t catch on fire (God’s drawing)!”
Other cars are stopping when you hear the “WHUMP” in your engine compartment as something ignites (God’s revelation). “Oh God NO!” Smoke and flames billow out as the fire rapidly spreads (your understanding). You wildly beat on the windows and jerk violently on the door handle.
You notice the people who had left their cars and started running toward you to help have suddenly stopped! They mill about in confusion. You and they stare into each other’s eyes. The heat is starting to get extremely uncomfortable (your realization of hell) and you are starting to choke on the smoke and fumes (your lost condition).
Their eyes are sympathetic and yours are pleading but they are powerless to help you (they can’t do anything about your predicament) and they are afraid for you. You frantically scream, claw and struggle (your inward war) in your fight to survive. With terrifying clarity you know you are really going to die in the fire (hell); it’s the end of you and you are desperately afraid! Then you scream; “OH GOD SAVE ME! I can’t get out of this trouble by myself (repentance)!”
Just like you asked; the wonderful Person (Jesus through the Holy Spirit) you’ve heard about and even spoken to a couple of times is suddenly there beside your car. He is terribly scarred and you know sometime in the past He has been horribly tortured (sacrifice) and your fate is in His nail scarred hands.
He isn’t afraid of the fire and you somehow know He has faced death before because there is an unutterable love, compassion, kindness, understanding and mercy (grace) in His actions. Without effort He rips your door (soul) open, He wrenches back your seat belt (life) that had you trapped, pulls you out of danger and rescues (salvation) precious, precious, precious you.
There beside the road safely away from your wreck (sins) exhausted, shivering but exhilarated you would know; “I’M SAVED, I’M SAVED, I’M SAVED!” and you would adore your Saviour. You would be grateful beyond words and you would really love the Person (Jesus) who saved you with all your heart but you wouldn’t know Him a bit better than you did before your salvation event.
The above allegory illustrates exactly the spiritual, born again, salvation event through the blood of Jesus Christ brought about by the Holy Spirit according to the word of God. You know you are saved, you know the Holy Spirit is living within you and that’s it! You don’t know God, you don’t know Jesus and you don’t know the Holy Spirit a bit better than you did before you were saved.
Salvation is Jesus’ intensely personal introduction of Himself to you! You have made acquaintance with Jesus. (John 15:14) Are you willing to go to all the time, trouble and effort to develop an intensely personal relationship, a friendship, with Jesus? Is He worth it to you?
(Rev. 3:4-5 then 15-16) Above is the reason so many people get saved then sort of wander out of church and back into their old life or become lifelong lukewarm Christians. Too many Christians think salvation is the end of it. “Man I’m on easy street now.” Just like I did! Read the article listed at the top between the HOME page and the JESUS commentary.
(Psa. 31:24 & Acts 28:15-16) It takes a lot of courage “guts” to grow and become an effective (2Tim. 2:3-4) soldier for Jesus and do your part in building His Church. Too many Christians dress up on Sunday, go to church, toss a few dollars into the collection plate, listen, go on home and spiritually stagnate until next Sunday. They become habitual Christians in that going to church is a habit instead of an experience.
(Matt. 11:29-30 & John 15:1-17) Too many Christians miss out entirely on the warm, vibrant, personal, living relationship Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, wants to have with them. (Rev. 3:15-16) Too many Christians just slide into a comfortable, lukewarm, easy believeism state and wait for the manna of blessings to shower down on them. Too many Christians fail to realize after salvation a born again Christian has been given a “sixth sense” that has nothing to do with physical smell, sight, hear, taste, or touch.
(2Cor. 13:14) Your soul (mind), the inward man, the spiritual you, has been given the “sixth sense” of God awareness through the Holy Spirit and you are in direct communion with the eternal God of glory through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Think of that: in direct communion with God!
(John 15:14-17) Now let’s consider friendship: This analogy compares your earthly friendships with people to your spiritual friendship with Jesus. Just because you met someone doesn’t mean you are friends. You become acquainted with a person and you are attracted to their personality then you must make the effort to learn about that person and it is really up to you because the development of a friendship is the giving of self. Friendship always requires change and it always takes time to develop.
(Matt. 11:29 keyword: learn and 1Tim. 4:11 keyword: teach then 2Tim. 3:16 keywords: all scripture) In a friendship you must accept the other person’s values when you realize they are better than yours and he must accept your values if they are better than his or the friendship will not work. There is a discipline about a friendship. There are things you will not accept (put up with) from other people and, if they won’t change, that will limit the extent of your relationship and the same holds true in the way Jesus feels about you.
When you start a new friendship with someone you expect them to want to know you, if they don’t want to know you then you sure won’t want to know them. Jesus is the same way in His spiritual friendships; He expects you to make the effort to know Him. Everything in the New Testament is about Jesus, the four gospels introduce you to Jesus and everything in the Old Testament points toward Jesus. See the three-article series THE KING OF THE THORNS on this commentary for verification and it will introduce you to Jesus in a personal way you have never heard taught or preached! As you learn about Jesus, if you are honest and care enough, you will change and accept His values when you learn they are better values than yours.
When you start a new friendship with someone you expect them to want to know you, if they don’t want to know you then you sure won’t want to know them. Jesus is the same way in His spiritual friendships; He expects you to make the effort to know Him. As you learn about Jesus, if you are honest and care enough, you will change and accept His values when you learn they are better values than yours.
Would you want a friend with a bad attitude; like putting down or talking badly about your other friends? It works both ways because (2Cor. 12:20) Jesus won’t accept your bad attitude about His other friends (Christians) either.
Would you even consider accepting someone as a friend who is a liar? How can you even get to know a person who is a liar because you sure can’t count on what he says? They lie to look big and that is unhealthy pride. That also works both ways because (Rev.21:8 & 27) Jesus won’t accept a liar either. (Psa. 27:1-6 & Heb.13:6) There is a love aspect to friendship because you know a true friend will love you enough to be loyal, to help you and to defend you if the need arises.
That also works both ways because (2Cor. 6:14-18 then Col. 3:2-10) Jesus expects you to love Him enough to be loyal to Him. (John 17:20-23) Then you find out your new friend Jesus is perfect, He is loyal, His attitude is perfect, He always tells the truth, He is with you all the time and He already knows all about you. So, you will have to do all the changing!
Think about this: Picture your nearest friend then your furthest friend that is just barely closer than an acquaintance. You are in varying degrees of closeness with each of your earthly friendships because you will only give #1 the amount of yourself (soul) you will count the other person worthy to have and #2 their amount of desire they have to work toward developing a deeper friendship with you.
*****The more two souls mesh together (union) the closer (spiritual intimacy) friends you are. (Luke 11:9-13) Jesus is the same way! (V.13) THIS IS HOW AND WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN BY MEASURE: God only gives His individual Christians as much of Himself (His Holy Spirit, soul) as He can trust us with, in an amount we are worthy to receive. It is commonly called spiritual growth and it is based on (Eph. 4:1-16 esp. V.15, 1Pet. 2:1-10 esp. V.2 and 2Pet. 3:18 keyword in all: grow) learning God’s word. (Matt. 11:29 keyword: and learn of me) It is Jesus’ commandment AND (John 14:15) Jesus said; “If ye love me keep my commandments.”*****
(Luke 11:9-13) It is scriptural and it is right for you to ask for more of the Holy Spirit filling. Please understand that to get more of God in you; those bad parts of your personality (soul parts) will have to leave. We will rightly divide all this in detail later. (John 15:14-15) If you want a friendship with Jesus you will have to do the changing and THE LEVEL OF INTIMACY will be decided by you and the amount of change you are willing to make.
(Rom. 6:16 then 1Pet. 1:13-16) The amount of your love for and desire to know Jesus will be expressed in obedience. This illustration of friendship is a perfect example of the possibility of the warm, intimate, spiritual relationship between an individual Christian and God/Jesus through the Holy Spirit. THE BASIC WHY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. What do you really want from God? What do you think God has a “right” to expect from you? (1Cor. 12:1-14) Have any of these gifts and manifestations listed in this scripture been given to you?
(Rom. 8:15-17) Jesus is each individual Christian’s “joint heir” brother. (Prov. 18:24) “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Those scriptures define this scripture, (John 15:14-15), in which Jesus said we could develop a friendship with Him. SO: Jesus will stick closer than an earthly brother of your family lineage because Jesus said; (Heb.13:5-6) (V.5) “—I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” AND: (V.6) “—The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” (James 5:11) “—the Lord is very pitiful (extremely compassionate), and of tender mercy.”
Here are three special times (Rev. 19:16) the Lord of all lords, the King of all kings, (Josh. 22:22) the God of all gods, my best Friend, my dear Brother, took care of me when there was no other possibility of hope or help.
There is one occurrence in my carnal life (unsaved) and two occurrences in my Christian life in which God delivered me, through the power of the Holy Spirit, from certain destruction; two of body and one of soul.
I need to explain our housing arrangement before I tell this event because it is part of the story. We lived in a barn. Daddy hated going into debt with a passion and Mommy had pressed him for years to build a real house. They finished the new house about a month before I returned from Vietnam and I spent part of my 30 day leave from the military landscaping their yard before I returned to my stateside duty station at Camp LeJeune, NC to finish the last 7 months of my enlistment.
#1) It was May, 1967 and my unit was deployed just south of the DMZ in South Vietnam. We were under fire from mortars fired from close in plus rockets and artillery fired from North Vietnam in intermittent salvos every day and night. It is an odd thing about incoming explosive projectiles that the closer it is going to impact to you the less time you have to hear its approach.
ALSO: When a projectile impacts and explodes the fragments (shrapnel) of the device go in straight trajectories until they lose their energy and arc to the earth, OR: they hit something that stops them, OR: they hit something that causes them to ricochet in a different direction. These three things are unbreakable laws of physics.
It was sometime between midnight and 2AM. My flak jacket was buttoned up tight and I was sitting on some sandbags. There was nothing else sticking up to cause a ricochet. I was told later that it was a 122mm rocket that exploded about fourteen feet directly in front of me.
It was like I was caught between two blazing hot, gigantic hands as they clapped together with unbelievable concussion; it was hard! I didn’t hear the explosion; it was too loud; I was part of the explosion. There was tremendous heat and I felt like I had instantly been crushed and scorched on the outside and exploded from the inside, all at the same time.
It was the shock wave from the explosion that crushed me when it hit me then was gone and I felt like I had exploded after it passed. It was instantaneous. I have no idea if I was unconscious for a period of time. I found myself on my back in the bottom of a hole; I was hurting and stunned; I dimly remember frantically rubbing my hands over my head and neck, searching for blood and wounds.
Though addled, I desperately knew I had to find the wounds and stick my fingers or hands into them to stop the blood until a corpsman or someone could get to me to help me. There was no blood; no wounds, not a scratch! I can’t remember much about the rest of the night. To use an old Hillbilly expression; the blast had physiologically blown me into the middle of next week, I was hurting and the splitting headache lasted a couple of days.
When it finally became daylight that morning, I found that my steel helmet was gone but I still had the fiber glass liner. A piece of shrapnel had turned on a ninety-degree angle when it was just touching my flak jacket in the center of my chest. It cut across the left side and tore off my flak jacket pocket and left a few dangling threads of it. The pocket had contained my cigarettes and lighter. The shrapnel had gone on past my left arm without touching it. The science of blast dynamics says shrapnel that close to the explosion travels 7,000 miles per hour and is ahead of the shock wave. My flak jacket would not have stopped it from going through me and on through the back of it.
Once again; it did not solidly hit my flak jacket, it just touched it enough to cut the cloth across the left side of my chest but it did not touch or cut the fiberglass threads of armor plate underneath the cloth, then it tore the pocket away! I never considered why that piece of shrapnel had defied the laws of physics. I never did find my cigarettes, lighter, or helmet either. At the time I simply accepted the event as being; “that’s just the way it is.” And I and my men marveled about it for a day or two. I did enter the event, date and time in my notes though. I did not have a journal; I wrote notes on loose leaf paper and put them in envelopes.
Months later when I returned home, I was in the bathroom shaving; at least I thought I was. The door shoved open and Mom loudly said; “What are you doin’?” “Mom I’m shavin’!” “No you wasn’t. You was right up close to the mirror and was lookin’ at your own face and mutterin’ “Why did I live when so many good men died?” Nobody had ever heard about survivor’s guilt back then.
I had not written and told Mom and Dad about the bad stuff. But Mom and I did go into the living room, sit down and have a conversation and I told Mom about it. She gave me a strangely startled look and started asking questions about when it happened. I got the date and time from my notes and taking the International Date Line into consideration we narrowed the time down to exactly when it happened in her time zone. Mom had that “other worldly” look on her face when she told me that she had had a terrible premonition that I was going to be killed and she had gone into a marathon prayer session that had lasted several hours.
I must clarify this before I continue. I was raised in a barn. Yes, a real red barn. Daddy traded for it and the lot it sat on when I was about 6 years old. He put floor joists in it and floored it with fresh sawmill sawed, rough, pine lumber. He partitioned the rooms and built the ceiling rafters with the same type of lumber. Then he covered the ceiling and walls with the old fashioned cheap 4 ft. wide and 8 ft. long paper covered sheetrock. Then he put linoleum rugs throughout the house to cover up the cracks between the floor boards. The living room and kitchen had 2 single electric lights controlled by one switch and the 2 bedrooms had one overhead light each. He put a very sparce number of receptacles here and there.
He covered the outside of the barn with that old fashioned red brick siding that you buy in heavy rolls, roll it out and then nail it on. We used an outdoor toilet for our bathroom, drew water from a well and carried it into the house in buckets. We carried the coal into the house in buckets to provide winter time heat in our 2 coal stoves.
NOTE THIS: Before we were born you and I have physically struck with our tiny hands, kicked with our tiny feet and butted with our tiny heads our dear Mother’s tender, loving heart. After we, you and I, were born we then started our emotional and spiritual assault upon our Mother’s tender loving heart with the reckless and uncaring way we lived our lives.
From what I knew: Even now I can imagine how my Mother must have looked while she was praying: Middle aged, graying hair that had never felt the caress of a beautician, five feet tall; old, thin, wore out clothes and shabby, broken shoes; kneeling on our rough lumber floor that was covered with cracked linoleum. Her calloused, red, work hardened hands hoed the garden, fed the chickens, slopped the hog, picked the garden produce and canned the seemingly endless cans of corn, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and etc.
From what she told me: She physically crossed the much cracked linoleum rug broken when the fresh cut pine boards had buckled as they dried over the years. She knelt on that floor there beside her bed. Her tears started flooding down her sun roughened face as she clasped her hands to pray. With a Mother’s steel resolve she spiritually threw her bleeding Mother’s heart on the altar before the throne of the greatest royalty, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the God of all gods. With terrible grief stricken tears; a love filled, fear wounded, Mother’s heart my Mother whispered, pleading words of supplication.
She did not realize how long she had prayed as she fought there at God’s great golden altar for my life. When she received the blessed assurance of my safety and with the gushing tears of joy she thanked and praised God over and over then she tried to get up and could not. She realized her legs were numb and her knees were aching. She reached up and over and grasped the bed covers and started clawing her way up. She finally made it up on the bed and laid there while she rubbed and massaged her legs until she could get up and walk and go about her work.
God is love and my Mother’s words touched His soul and God answered her prayers. God summoned an angel there in that place called everlasting and gave these instructions; “My servant’s prayers and alms are brought up as a memorial before Me, her child has certain destruction coming upon him like a whirlwind, so you go save his life from the coming calamity in just this way.” And God sent the angel on his mission.
There is no doubt, a fraction of a second before that piece of red hot piece shrapnel traveling in a straight line to rip the life from my body, an angel finger turned it on the ninety degree angle across the left side of my chest in a way that defied the law of physics. He even let it slice the material but never touch the fiberglass threads of the plating then slash off my flak jacket pocket five or six inches to the left to show what God had done. I was too stupid to understand and I am ashamed that, at that time, I took God’s mercy so for granted.
#2) I was thirty-six years old and had been a Christian only about three years. I was a very young Christian. A terrible sickness had me within its bloody talons and I felt the rotted, fetid breath of death as it sucked the straining life from my body. I was in a fetal position and I was crying in grief because I knew no other man on earth would love, provide for and protect my beautiful boys like I did.
What would become of them if I died? Through my tears and gasps I whispered this simple prayer; “Oh God, I’m about to die. Please, Lord, heal me so I can help my boys grow up straight and strong in Your ways. Thank You. I ask these things in Jesus’ name and for His name’s sake; amen.”
Suddenly I was looking inside myself. I could see each individual muscle, ligament, bone, joint, vein, artery, gland, each part of me like some magnificent medical chart picturing all of me. Each part was surrounded by pure, clear gold. It resembled the effect of holding up a clear jar containing golden liquid through which I could plainly see an object but in this case I could see all of me, every part, and the parts were alive and functioning in the beauty of life.
Suddenly through some supernatural magnification I was able to see the molecular structure of me. The electrons were whirling about their nuclei in a wonder of busy, controlled frenzy of living and each particle was immersed in that same golden flow.
I didn’t know about DNA at that time but another supernatural magnification took me still deeper into the golden bathed living of me and I realized I was looking inside the molecular structures. Each of those molecular parts was filled with even smaller parts bustling about the wondrous, exuberant, enthusiastic business of life and they too were swimming luxuriantly in pure clear gold.
There was a road not more than one hundred feet outside the window but no sound penetrated this timelessness and I was in absolute silence; it was then that His voice whispered silently through the essence of my soul. “That is My love that surrounds every part of thee My child.” It was over. I have no idea how long it lasted. I have no idea if I was awake, asleep, or in some other state. When I became aware of being back I knew beyond any shadow of doubt I was healed.
All I could do was lay there and feel thanksgiving because I had no words. After a while I stood up and, after a few seconds to gain my equilibrium, I flexed my arms and turned my head back and forth. I stretched and took a step; then I walked. Yes, I was still wasted and scrawny but all I had to do was eat, exercise and rest and in a few days I was back to my old self.
Then and now I know beyond any shadow of doubt I am nothing and I have done nothing to deserve God’s love and it is only because of His tenderhearted mercy, lovingkindness, and endless grace that He even noticed such a useless, unprofitable, dependent servant as me.
#3) (Deut. 19:15, Matt. 18:16, 2Cor. 13:1, 1Tim. 5:19, Heb. 10:28 & Rev. 11:3) All through the Bible is the instruction there must be at least two witnesses to prove the truth of an event. There were two witnesses to the physical aspects of the following situation, one to the time (an EMT) and one to the condition (a mortician), which proved beyond doubt, this supernatural event really happened.
My oldest son, Jimmie, told me; “Dad, I’m nineteen years old. I’ve been in school thirteen years. I’ve finished one year of college. I want to go to the Marines like you did. Let me out of my promise to go to college after high school and I promise you I’ll finish when I get back home.” Of course I agreed; he would learn nothing if I held him to his promise and he became an unwilling student.
So, he joined the Marines. My wife was the baby daughter from a huge family and her brothers and sisters, their children and their grandchildren lived scattered across a two county area. Jimmie decided to visit a different family of aunts, uncles and cousins each night for the two weeks before he shipped out to boot camp. Jimmie’s old beat up car was disabled so his good friend decided to drive Jimmie in the evenings.
That particular Sunday night, March 25, 1990, we went to bed as usual; the four of us held hands and said our prayer then we went to bed; my wife and I in our bedroom and our other two sons in their bedroom. I went to bed happy because my sons were saved and they had participated in church services that day. Jimmie was filled with a strangely beautiful happiness I had never seen before.
Several people at church had commented about how good Jimmie looked and how he had such a special radiant glow about him. I had noticed it too but I dismissed all of it as his excitement about going on his upcoming Marine Corps adventure. It never entered my thoughts he was going much further, much faster, for a longer time than I could have ever imagined.
I am never aware of going to sleep; I think, then I don’t think and I am asleep. Suddenly, weirdly, I was in the back of an auto. I had the sense I was somehow bodiless because I had no awareness of my body. There was no sensation of my feet on the floor of the car, I couldn’t touch the back of the front seat, there was no sensation of sitting on the seat; I was somehow an observer without a body.
I was looking directly at Jimmie. He had slid forward a bit on the front seat, his right hand was on the dash, his left hand was gripping the front edge of the front seat, and he was facing the driver. I personally did not feel any emotion, nothing! Strangely enough I could feel Jimmie’s great alarm, he was straining and he shouted; “Look out, Scott.” I had and have been in auto wrecks and I know the sound, the skidding and grinding and the crashing impact. There was none of that in this situation.
There was simply the straining, the emotional alarm, and his voice; “Look out, Scott!” Then someone and I were wrapped around each other; intertwined with an odd boneless, somehow fleshless flexibility. There was the vague feeling something protective, maybe like arms, somehow shielded us. I had a sudden impression the other person and I were coming out of an abdomen and we were out; it happened very fast, almost like a gentle whoosh but soundless.
It was Jimmie and me! Jimmie and I were on a black surface, on our knees, but I felt no sensation of roughness on our knees. Jimmie knelt there, leaning forward, with his hands on the front of his thighs. I was right beside him, on his left side facing the left side of his head and my face was no more than two feet from the side of his head. I sensed Jimmie did not know I was there.
I knew everything he was thinking and I felt every emotion he felt and, at the same time, my thoughts and emotions were entirely separate from his. Write something with a pencil on a piece of paper then color over it with a magic marker. Both are plain to see and do not interfere with each other; that’s what both our thoughts and emotions were like inside me.
I personally felt no alarm or sadness, just a great wonder, an awe. Out of my peripheral vision I could see a nude body lying on its back with its feet toward us. Through Jimmie’s eyes I could see the body plainly and the living, unmarked Jimmie I was looking at was looking at his own body. That body on the ground was burst, broken and torn.
Jimmie’s emotions and thoughts were as fast as thought, like a blink. Jimmie’s emotion was that breathless, emotional surge like a jarring in his chest that we all get during emotional upheaval and his thoughts were; “Oh God; what awful wounds!” Another emotional surge; “They’re going to kill me!” Another emotional surge; “I am dead; but I’m not dead!” Another surge; “But I didn’t hurt!” Strangely enough neither of us felt alarm or sadness; just surprise and wonder. Jimmie, I, nor we had felt death! Jimmie had changed but he had not died!
Suddenly a third person was there! He was standing on the other side of Jimmie, just a little behind him. I could not see Him but I could feel Him; oh how I could feel Him! I have never felt anything like that in my life and I knew it was Jesus!
His presence was not simply around us; He was within us; all through us; He was immersed within us as well as surrounding the whole situation. Jesus was everywhere. Jimmie was filled with a swelling, thrilling, gladness and he forgot everything but the Presence; there was no room for anything else. Jesus’ soul flooded us, and filled us, and surrounded us with an unutterable gladness.
There was humor; not the ribald or raucous kind we know so well. This humor was bold and happy; the kind of happy that wraps its arms around you and wishes you the best day you’ve ever had; and we knew He was giving us that day right now. There was kindness, happiness and tenderness in the sense He was greeting Jimmie.
Jesus was filled with anticipation to take Jimmie with Him and to show Jimmie what He was going to show him. But most of all there was love. My words are pitifully feeble and woefully inadequate and completely unable to describe Jesus. His magnificent love was of such power and intensity it was impossible to feel fear, worry, or any badness whatsoever; there wasn’t even a thought of anything bad; it was impossible for bad to exist in the presence of the Master of forever.
I had the distinct impression nothing could ever be needed or wanted in Jesus’ presence because He is all of everything. Jesus’ love was filled with the joy of being, and the joy of loving, and the joy of giving and of endless capacity; it was timeless and all encompassing. Jimmie was consumed with the same glorious emotional astonishment and gladness as I. Jimmie and I met GRACE in person there in the night. I could not see Jesus.
Jimmie started to look back over his right shoulder toward Jesus and I was thrilled beyond measure because I knew I was actually going to see Jesus through Jimmie’s eyes.
I woke up from where I had been with the distinct impression of catching my breath like I had not been breathing! I thought or maybe even mumbled it; “Wow, I’ve never had a Vietnam dream like that!” I became aware the house had gotten cool. We used a Hawke coal stove in the living room and the fire had gone down a little.
The cover was down under my wife’s arm and her arm and neck were cold. I raised up on one elbow a bit so I could cover her arm and tuck the cover around her neck and I noticed it was 11:05 PM. I lay back and in the few seconds I was awake I remember feeling warm, safe and content.
I was jarred awake by my wife standing at the foot of the bed screaming the Sheriff and Coroner were at the door. They were old friends, also Christian brothers, and she had called them by name instead of title. Though older than me I had known the Sheriff since school. I jumped out of bed, jerked on my trousers and ran down the hall with my wife right behind me. When my wife had answered the door they had asked for me and she had simply turned and ran to the bedroom.
They had come on in and were waiting in the living room; old friends in a familiar house; and awful misery was on their faces. I noticed the big wall clock behind the Sheriff said 12:30AM. I stopped about four feet from the Sheriff and our eyes were locked but he couldn’t say it. It was an eternal moment.
I could only whisper: “Is it about Jimmie?” He said; “Yes.” “Has he been in a wreck?” “Yes.” “Is it a bad one?” “It’s real bad, Buddy!” “Is he dead?” He nodded in the affirmative and mumbled; “Yes.” Our world shattered and would never be the same again in this life.
A while later; after family had come to tend my wife and sons, I asked the Sheriff the details. Jimmie’s friend had lost control of his car on a curve because they were speeding far too fast. He had started that overcorrection struggle that lasted on into a long straight stretch of road; off the road, on the road, off the road, back on, over and over; never quite regaining control. A tractor trailer was coming in the opposite direction. The driver locked the brakes when he saw the wreck happening and the truck slid one hundred feet in a straight line.
The car came back on the highway at a ninety degree angle to the truck and impacted the tractor fuel tank on the driver’s side. The impact jerked the car around in the same direction the truck was going and the inertia was so great Jimmie’s body tore the car door off and Jimmie went under the tandem wheels on the back of the tractor.
The impact caused the tractor to jack-knife and it and it’s trailer traveled eighty-five more feet with Jimmie under the wheels. After the emergency responders got the truck jacked up and had gotten Jimmie’s body out, the ambulance attendants had put his body in a body bag and were in a local hospital parking lot awaiting instructions.
The Pastor of our church was part owner of a funeral home and worked as a licensed mortician there. I asked the Sheriff to ask him to accept Jimmie’s body and conduct the funeral. I was in an awful, pain drenched numbness, operating in a slow quagmire of shock. I was soul wounded nearly unto death. I believe the Marine combat experience helped me somehow slog through the motions of instructing, choosing, selecting and answering while I was immersed in a swirling sea of pain.
Monday and Tuesday afternoons and evenings were the viewing and wake. My Pastor had instructed me to stand beside Jimmie the whole time and to not let anyone touch Jimmie’s body because “he might start coming apart“; there was that much damage to my precious, precious son’s body.
Otherwise it would have been a closed casket wake and funeral and I knew my wife could never stand that; so I stood there hour, after hour, after hour; tears pouring endlessly down my face, being hugged and hugging, loving and being loved by an endless line of people; explaining to them through my tears and dying inside. So much was happening so fast I never even thought “in depth” thoughts about the supernatural event that had involved me in the wreck and its aftermath.
An odd thing happened during that time. One of Jimmie’s friends, a paramedic, told me he was a couple of hundred feet behind the tractor trailer and saw the wreck developing. He slammed on his brakes and stopped until it was over then he drove his car up to the wreck and got out to see if he could help.
He said, due to his medical training, he glanced at his watch and it was exactly (1st witness) 11:06 PM. Jimmie was obviously dead under the wheels, the truck driver was in shock, so he helped Jimmie’s friend who had been driving the car because he was terribly injured. He was transported to a major hospital in West Virginia and he lived.
I had wondered about my out of body experience the night my son was killed but I didn’t dare tell anyone. Jimmie’s funeral was Wednesday. That night after the funeral I told my wife and remaining two sons about it but there was disbelief in their eyes and silence from their lips.
I didn’t mention it again until five weeks later. We had gone to church every Sunday because I had seen so many people start blaming God for things like that and I did not want that to happen to my family. It happened to my wife anyway. “If God is so good why did He let my baby get killed?”
After church was over on that fifth Sunday after Jimmie’s funeral I told my friend, our Pastor, I needed to talk to him after church. In his study I told the story of my out of body experience with Jesus and Jimmie and I described the wounds on Jimmie’s body that Jimmie and I had seen. The Pastor’s mouth fell open in astonishment when I described the wounds.
When I was finished he quietly said; “Son, when they got Jimmie out from under that truck they could tell he was dead by the condition of his head and they put him in a body bag just the way he was. I’m the man that cut off his clothes; those heavy Levi blue jeans, his heavy flannel shirt and undershirt, the leather bomber jacket and his boots.”
“I’m the one who worked, and sewed, and sewed, and straightened, and filled so you could have your open casket funeral. (2nd witness) Nobody else saw Jimmie’s injuries. I’m the only human on earth that saw those wounds and you’ve described them completely and accurately! I don’t know why; but God let you be there!” I went out to the car and my family with my head down, tears streaming.
I got Pastor’s statement; “I don’t know why; but God let you be there!” in my thoughts and it wouldn’t go away. That statement and the questions it engendered gnawed at me.
I’m not a super Christian! If it can be messed up I’m just the person to do it! I am truly the most unprofitable servant of all of God’s servants! So, why me? Why would God give me this wonderful experience with my son that, as far as I know, no other man has ever had? Why me? I sure didn’t deserve it! I’m not special! All I have ever been is a nuisance to God; so, why me?
It was months later when I found the answer and, of course, it was in the Bible. (2Cor. 12:9) Jesus said; “My grace is sufficient for thee: my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (Paul said) “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Well praise God! He gave me that “extra” because I’m so weak. In His tender pity and kindness He knew my son’s death would have destroyed my soul spiritually. In His power God gave me that “extra” so I would have a fair chance. He brought me up on a level with stronger people to be fair to me. I weep and rejoice that God loves me like He does.
One day, a couple of weeks after the funeral, I was at work; I’d only been allowed three days off for the arrangements, wake and funeral. Words suddenly started going through my soul. I was panic stricken I would lose those words from my memory.
I had a stub of a pencil in my pocket and I wrote the words on a steel power pole in the electric company substation where I was working that day. I didn’t realize they were burning permanently into my soul. God, in the tender beauty of His endlessly loving soul, wrote the words of Jimmie’s life in my heart.
Just as a small boy Jesus touched his heart;
He saved him so tender, Jimmie chose the best part.
And Jesus He loved him through Jimmie’s short years;
He loved him through failures and helped him through tears.
Then death set up a roadblock, Jimmie could not get by;
and they came and told us that Jimmie had to die.
But I know what happened on that lonely night;
the Master was present to hold Jimmie tight.
And when it was over Jesus took him away;
to live in that dear sweet land of one endless day.
He’s forever nineteen in a world without sin;
he’s living with Jesus, his very best Friend.
There are no words, in any language of the whole world that can properly describe the endless magnitude of God’s love and grace. I can only hump up like a helpless child and accept God’s wonderful gifts from His store of perfect plenty. I sometimes feel so sad I have no precious, perfect, one of a kind gift, including myself, to lay at the feet of the God of glory; you see; I am only a destitute beggar and I have nothing except what He has already given me.
I am blessed beyond measure to have the perfect and beautiful knowledge I will look into my son’s smiling blue eyes again, we will laugh together, we will hug each other and there will be no sign or memory of our wounds.
Now I truly understand what Jesus meant when He said; (John 11:26) “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” BECAUSE: (Heb. 2:9-14 esp. V.9 &11) (V.9) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Then that is clarified in (verse 11) in that Jesus tasted death for “they who are sanctified” which means (Rom. 8:13-17) God’s children and (Acts 11:26) we are called Christians. AND: (John 8:39-59 esp. V.51) “Verily, verily (truly, truly), I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”
THAT’S IT: A Christian who lives and believes in Jesus will not have to suffer dying in this life and he will not eternally die in his eternal life. That’s why there was no physical sensation of dying when Jimmie passed from this life to the next one in the gentle protection of Jesus. My Pastor passed on a few years ago and I’m sure he experienced the same thing.
NOTE: Maybe part of the reason God let me experience all this is because He knew I would share it with you when He told me to make this website fifteen years later. I do know, for a fact, this experience has helped other people find some peace and closure. It was one of those oddly beautiful things God does when my Pastor’s (the mortician) blood-kin younger brother and his wife had their Darling Daughter taken in a car wreck in 2011.
I wish you could have been there to see it when the Holy Spirit took the truth of this event into their Christian souls. I wish you could have seen the dawning understanding and relief in his eyes and I wish you had been there to see his wife smile again when the peace from God entered her soul. I know, for sure, this experience has helped a lot of Christian families understand their loved ones passing in the arms of Jesus. GOD BLESS YOU.
For a further discussion about the autonomic nervous system and its relationship to the above event please see the PART 2 of the two part series I HAVE EXPERIENCED CHRISTIAN PHYSICAL DEATH listed in the menu of this commentary.
There are ignorant people who think children must experience the salvation event before they can go to heaven. Please go to the commentary, Is God Fair, on this website and you will scripturally see how God’s mercy extends far beyond our greatest imagining. You can see your Darling again.