Man doesn’t know what power i
I grew up in the Eastern U.S. When I was young we were very, very
poor. My three brothers and I all slept in a room the size of two
double beds. All of us slept in one double. My family was Christian
and at the age of 11, I said the sinner’s prayer and was baptized. I
counted on this as my salvation experience for many, many years, but I
was not really saved.
When I was 18, I moved to Spokane, and two years later I met my wife
of 42 years. Now, my father always told me that I had to marry someone
who was a Christian. I ended up marrying a beautiful woman who was not
a Christian. However, she became a Christian shortly after we were
married. My wife and I then moved to Los Angeles and lived there for
30 years. I was very involved in church all this time. I was a deacon,
chairman of the deacons, a Sunday school teacher, and I even preached
on occasion. I did everything in church that a person could possibly
do in a church, but I was not saved. My life was empty.
During this time I had all kinds of signs to me of the power of God.
For instance, my son was in football and he had to have an operation
on his knees. When they did the operation his blood pressure went up
to 400 and we thought we were going to lose him. We found out that one
of his kidneys from birth had not been connected and the Rennin which
the kidney produces was just running out into his body. They said they
would have to go in and operate; this was a very, very painful thing.
He could not be put to sleep through the operation and they had to run
a line up through to his kidney and put a screen on it and watch
everything. They did all this, and of course they found that it was
disconnected. He was probably 14 at this time. When they brought him
right through after the operation, he looked at me and said, “Dad, I
don’t want to do that again. I’d rather die, the pain is so severe”
The doctors said “Well, we’ll go ahead and take another picture of the
kidney before we do the operation.” Now about two weeks went by while
my wife and I and our church prayed for my son’s healing. When he went
in for the operation, they took another X-ray to verify. At first the
doctors were upset and thought that they had been given the wrong
X-ray because it showed that the kidney was whole. It was the right
X-ray, and the Lord had healed it. Just like that.
The power of God was revealed to me through this and through other
things, but I still wasn’t saved. As I worked for a company in Los
Angeles, the pressure was so serious that I developed an ulcer . I
said the sinner’s prayer again, but I didn’t tell anybody except my
pastor, and he baptized me again. That’s the second time I was
baptized in this process. Finally I started searching and started
dealing with myself. At this time I was the owner of a big company I
had started; we had offices in Portland, Seattle, and L.A. We owned
the company as a family, and my wife was big in Xerox, so money was of
no object, but I was so depressed. I kept dealing with it and dealing
with it, and as time went on I kept getting more and more under
One day I was laying in bed right before I got up and I was so
depressed. I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want my wife to
know I wasn’t a Christian. So here I was... I used to say to her,
“Honey, on a scale of one to ten, me as a Christian and my
spirituality, where do you have me?” She would say, “Oh you’re 9 1/2
or 10” or something like that. I didn’t want to hear that. I did NOT
want to hear that, because I was working at my salvation and I knew
it. I said, “Oh my lands, I’ve got her so deceived, so deceived.” But,
anyhow, that’s where she had me, and as I was laying on the bed that
morning, Jesus appeared to me right at the bottom of the bed. I looked
up and I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, but my
eyes were wide open. It was just like he appeared there hanging on the
cross, and he said, “Put them all on me.” I looked down at my hands
and they looked like they were all covered with axle grease and pus
and blood. They were just filthy, and I looked at him and I thought,
“How could put those on him? He’s the Lord!” And he said “Put them on
me.” And then I reached out and put my hands on him and he
disappeared. I didn’t tell my wife about this yet!
About a week later the Lord did something else. He revealed hell to
me. What he wanted to do was he wanted to scare the hell out of me,
and he did. He said, “Arnie, no good is in hell. Good is only in
heaven.” I don’t know if you’ve ever grasped that. God showed me
vividly what he meant. Let me give you an example. Can you see any
color? There is no color in hell. See the sunshine? There is no
sunshine. Do you hurt everywhere in your body except for the tip of
your little finger? That the tip of your finger does not hurt is Good.
In hell, from the top to the bottom, there is pain. You cannot see
clearly because seeing clearly is Good. You can taste and smell
because the smell... a human being could not smell hell in his mortal
body... it would kill you, the stench is so horrendous. Nothing good
is in hell, and the instant you see that, you can’t fathom even your
worst enemy going there. It scared me to death. Now I had been
thinking about asking the Lord to save me a little ahead of time, but
the devil would say this to me: he’d say, “Arnie the church will think
you’re crazy. They know you. You’re a deacon. A chairman of the
deacons. You teach Sunday school. You sometimes preach.” The devil
said these things to me to the point where that was my whole problem,
but when the Lord revealed hell to me -- and that’s all he did -- I
said “I don’t really care. If they kill me, or excommunicate me, I
don’t care what they do to me.” The next morning when I woke up I
asked the Lord into my heart. Then the Lord said to me, “Go in and
tell your wife.” She was in the bathroom getting ready to go to work.
Oh my lands! The devil was really hammering on me now. “She’s going to
know your crazy and she’s going to admit you to an insane asylum.” I
went and I tried to tell her and I literally got sick. I could not
tell her. I could not say a word for probably 15 minutes. The
struggle... you can’t believe how hard that was -- that’s the hardest
thing I have ever done in my life. Here I was trying to make hand
signals, when the Lord said, “Arnie, just say one word at a time.” I
said, “I... just... got... saved.” Between each word was probably a
minute or minute and a half. After I said it that one time it was easy
because the devil had lost. I was so happy... I remember driving to
work. I was screaming and yelling that morning on the Santa Monica
freeway, the most travelled freeway in the world at 6 lanes each way.
I was yelling “Praise the Lord!” You could have killed me and I
wouldn’t have cared. I was set free.
That very day I went to the church and I told my pastor and he said,
“Arnie God bless you.” What a pastor! He said, “Now we’ll get you
baptized. We just got you wet before.” The pastor told all the people
in the church, “If you want a surprise like you’ve never had, you show
up at 7 o’clock tonight.” The church filled out. That was tough; it
was a tear-jerker for me. My wife finally had to come stand beside me.
I told them I had just gotten saved, and instead of them being upset
with me like the devil said they would be, they loved me. I asked them
all to forgive me for being such a hypocrite, and of course they did.
And everything from point has been wonderful.
I got saved probably when I was 41 or 42. I don’t remember the date,
but I remember the experience. Pride is what kept me from being saved.
If you ever see somebody who won’t get saved, you have a pride
battle.Pride is a wicked and evil thing. It is so evil and it is hard
for this body not to have pride. You have to fight pride. it is one of
the hardest fights you will ever have.
I used to doubt my salvation all the time, but I have learned that
salvation is free. If you have to work for it, you don’t have it. You
cannot work your salvation. Even the faith that you have is not your
own; God gives it to you. Everything is free...it makes you free. That
doesn’t mean that you do everything right. As long as you live in this
body you will do things wrong. If you could get this body cleaned up
it could go to heaven, but you can’t. God has to give you a new body.
This body is corrupt. It is designed to wear out. When you get to
heaven, God will give you an eternal body that will last forever. The
body we live in now is just a house.
Did you ever hear the song ‘Time is an eraser’? Time erases your
life. But if you are a Christian time can only erase the time you
spend in your body. As a Christian you will never die. Your body will
die, but you won’t. However, a nonbeliever dies eternally. A Christian
lives eternally. A nonbeliever never stops dying. He dies forever.
Dying is a total separation from God, and you die for eternity. I
learned all this when God revealed Hell to me, and it forced me to
make a decision, regardless of what anybody thought.
The Lord has dealt with our family in many ways. When we lived in
L.A., we owned companies and made a lot of money. The type of business
we were in in those days was one of the largest of our status. My wife
would say to me, “Honey, I think I’d like a Mercedes”, and I’d go and
put down the money and walk out with a car. I mean, we had money. But
the Lord wanted us to have him.
When we were leaving L.A., we decided to sell our company. We got the
company sold, but in the process of selling it was stolen from us by
two attornies and one banker. They really knew what they were doing.
We never got any money for our company... we never got a dime. The
Lord took that company from us. He told me, “Arnie, all you need is
Money is of no consequence to God. You are consequence to God. We are
the most important thing on the face of the earth. Just stop and
think: God made the universe and yet he put you and me above all his
creation. The earth is a small ball compared to everything else. God
created everything and then he created us. And here we are, a little
speck that he did everything for. He gave everything for us. God has
power. Man doesn’t know what power is. God does more with a wink than
all the human beings in the world could do from now on. God is
powerful and he loves us so very much. He gave his only son for us.
Now that I know this, I witness to everybody. I don’t care who you
are. I’ve had the bucks. Money will buy you anything but peace. Money
will buy anything you could possibly desire between your ears, and
everybody has a price, and the devil knows it.
God gives you trials and tribulations to give you faith in him. It
was a big trial for us coming through losing our company like that.
You will always be going through trials and tribulations. We are
refined through the problems that we face... we are refined by going
through the fire.