I was raised in a fundamental Christian home always being told that your name had to be in the Book of Life or you would spend eternity in hell. Because of both fear and desire I professed to be a Christian around the age of nine but by the time I reached thirteen I told my parents that I did not want to be saved anymore, hoping that I would then be able to join my peers and be 'normal'. However, by the time, I was twenty I had started on a path that would lead to fame and riches for all the wrong reasons and after twenty-five years of this, I had succeeded in accomplishing most of my goals. The way up the ladder was not always easy nor did my survival have anything to do with my own design. It seemed that my curse was that I was as untouchable as I was unhappy no matter how the stories and wealth accumulated.
December 15th, 1995 is the time that stands out most predominately among the warnings and callings that God sent to me. While traveling along in morning rush hour traffic at approximately sixty-five mph and placing a cell phone call, I drifted off the freeway and onto the shoulder. When I looked up there was a stalled semi with a large piece of earth moving equipment on its trailer fifty feet in front of me. With no place to go I hit him so hard in a large car that I reduced it to the size of a compact. The spectators could not believe that I was still alive let alone continue to talk to them while the paramedics immobilized me and prepared me for the trip to the hospital. All I could think was that they had no idea who was lying there in front of them and that this was just one more time that I had cheated death. When they wheeled me to the back of the ambulance I got the biggest shock of my life when I suddenly realized that I was about to die and that I had only seconds left to live.
My first thoughts were about how and when my family would find out that I had died and how would my dog be fed and taken care of. Then it got more serious as I realized that it did not matter whether I was wealthy or poor or whether I was driving a luxury car or a junker because I was about to leave this earth. I did not feel qualified to pray for my life at that time. However, I had a one-way conversation with God and I acknowledged to him that my life had been one of foolishness. I told Him that I no longer had the strength to live and if I was to do so it would take his direct intervention in one way or another because it was now all up to him.
At that time, I flat lined the monitoring equipment and the call went out to the highway patrol that they were losing me and at the same time and for the first time in my life I had peace and was grateful that dying wasn't all that bad. Keep in mind that I was totally immobilized and could only look straight up had I still been able to see. However, I was soon looking at the paramedics eye to eye and at face level as they tried to restart my heart. Their attempts were futile and I was hoping that they would slow down before they ruined the best thing that had ever happened to me. The next thing that happened was that I was taken up into a large area where I could not see anyone else but could sense life around me.
I was then 'brought' up to a large table that had a very large book on it that was open but was placed in such a manner so that it could be read only by someone on the other side whom I could not see. I knew that this had to be the Book of Life that I had heard about as a youth and that if my name did not appear in it I would have to go to hell. This was very serious indeed but as I stood there, the book closed. That did not seem to be a very good sign and I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to go to hell because I had had plenty of opportunities to change but now it was too late. I knew that it wouldn't do any good to cry and beg but that I should at least take it like a man because there would be plenty of time to cry where I was about to go.
Before any sort of trap door opened up to send me to hell I was taken to a second table just like the first one except this book was closed. I was somewhat confused as to what this second book was all about when suddenly it opened up and this scene was a repetition of the first scene. This entire second book made no sense at all as I had only heard of one book but it at least seemed to be a delay in what I already knew was about to happen. Then all of a sudden, my name was found in the second book and I thought to myself 'great' I get to go to heaven.
Before that happened I felt something really good in my throat and thought that they had just given me oxygen temporarily forgetting that oxygen was one of the first things that they had given to me back at the scene of the accident some miles distant. I didn't understand all the uproar that was going on about me at the hospital. It seemed as if the entire hospital was involved around me and I was worried that somehow they had found out who I was. People kept on pointing to me and one of the nurses said she couldn't look at me and ran out of the room as if I was something evil and people kept on asking me if I remembered anything at all while I was unconscious. I told them they were mistaken and that I had been conscious the entire time and wanted to know when I could be released. An investigator from the highway patrol showed up and told me that she was there because they had been told that I had died and then had heard that not only was I alive but that I wanted to go home. She ended up getting rather upset with me and told me I didn't know how lucky I was and that in fourteen years she had never seen or heard of anything like what she was seeing now and that I should be more grateful.
To me it was just another close call but by the next day I started to tell people what I have just shared with you. I couldn't deal with what I had been through as it had affected me emotionally and when I would try and tell people about it and that there was life on the 'other side' they would tell me to get some more rest and maybe I would be okay. This should have been a turning point in my life but it wasn't and I remember asking God why he had done this to me. Far better that he had kept me because now I had something else to hide and I decided to do whatever it took to try and put this entire incident behind me and before long it was 'business as usual'.
I told this story a few more times over the next five years but nobody ever pointed me to the truth until shortly before I was to go to prison. Right before that happened I had made the news in a big way and this time I started the walk that I had been called to take some forty years earlier. A Christian neighbor that had been present at my recent baptism listened to my story with interest. When I was done, he told me that he had heard of other out of body experience stories before this one and that even though they were rare mine was not the first. However, this was the first time he had ever heard of anyone speaking about a scene out of the Book of Revelation. This really got my attention since I had always known in my heart that I had been in the presence of God during this experience. It didn't take me long to find the passage in Revelation. 20:12,15 where the scripture states exactly what I had been through.
Some people have stated that I am wrong about this because in verse twelve the books appear as plural before the Book of Life is opened meaning that I should have seen more than just two books, if where I had been had been the same place where the Apostle John had been. This discrepancy is easily explained since I was present as a participant and not as an observer as was the Apostle John and therefore did not see the books of other person's works, just my own. Even today as then I still feel that God had shown me that I was acceptable to him through my confession as a young child but my works were not acceptable as one of his and for this reason he sent me back so that when this scene is repeated something may be stated for my benefit.
First I had many important personal issues to deal with that were a result of a long time spent following the desires and temptations that I was surrounded with. In all, actually I had become a product of my environment. Every one of my friends had betrayed me in order to save themselves no matter how much I had done for them in the past. Some of them even owed me their very lives as I had protected them from violent elements of society that preyed on people such as themselves. At the very least I had put them in big houses, successful businesses and their children in private schools along with large sums of cash to allow them to continue in a business that I had retired from. Somehow, for some reason I thought there was truth in their words of professing loyalty and felt honored when they would say such things or have their children baptized with my name as their godfather. This proved to be very foolish of me as in the very end they planned their future around trying to seal my fate for as long as possible.
As this became evident to me a new problem arose, anger and animosity with hopes of vengeance ruling my thought process from the time I woke up until I went back to sleep. At the same time this was going on, I was trying desperately to change who I was and what I had become but as hard as I would try, I could not escape myself. For me to make a successful change I had to undergo a complete metamorphosis like a leopard that wants to change his spots but by myself, this was impossible.
By the time, 9/11 happened my hope of forgiving others for what they done to me was another impossibility and the word 'forgiveness' would get stuck in my throat when trying to recite the Lord's Prayer, I couldn't even finish the prayer. My 'walk' towards God had hit a roadblock and there did not seem to be anyway for me to find peace. I was trying to approach God without Jesus Christ even though when I had made my profession forty years earlier I had done so through John 3:16. I felt a little guilty about it, like I was now trying to leave Him out of it and deal directly with the Father but my neighbor said it was okay since it was all the same.
The same neighbor invited me to a weekday evening service that was soon after 9/11 so as you can imagine the place was packed. I wasn't there because I was afraid the world was coming to the end, all I knew was that if I couldn't get past this problem of forgiveness I wasn't going to find the peace that I needed to find. The service was interesting and the pastor's personality drew affection from the people who were gathered together. When the service was over an altar call was announced for those who felt inclined to come forward. There was no way that I was going to walk to the front of a large gathering and openly pray however since everybody else was praying it seemed like a good time to ask God for help with my problem. So with my head in my hands and sitting in a church I began to pray to God asking Him for help in becoming able to forgive those people who had wronged me.
While praying a shiny area appeared in front of my eyes with a mound of earth, blue sky, clouds, and a cross with Jesus Christ. This surprised me so I opened my eyes and while I could then see the pastor and the congregation the Cross of Jesus Christ still remained completely visible. When I would shut my eyes or open them again Jesus and His Cross were always there in front of me, about ten inches away. I suppose you can imagine how completely shocked I was but since it wasn't going away I decided to study it in detail for as long as it remained.
The first thing that stood out to me was the color of His skin. It was nothing like the pictures I had seen. His skin was quite dark in color sort of an olive-brown about the same color as the wood that he was nailed to. The other thing was that I could only see His Cross and not the ones to either side of Him. This continued to last for several minutes and then it gradually faded away. Shortly after the pastor finished praying, everybody started to lift their heads and I told the couple that I was with what had just happened. When we went out for dinner afterwards I tried to take part in the conversation but my mind was fixed upon what had just taken place.
By the time, I went to bed that evening I realized that what had happened to me was a vision and while I was both grateful and happy, I didn't really grasp the significance until I woke up in the middle of the night. I had been reading the Gospel of John at the time and what I now understood was that God was showing me that I as a person would never be able to forgive. It is not the nature of a human being to forgive. People make compromises such as, for this reason, I forgive you or we are sometimes willing to overlook events just to obtain some sort of goal. The fact is that people do not forgive and I was probably the least forgiving person of all. So what God did show me was that even though I myself (the old man) never would forgive, Jesus Christ existed in me as a new person and had done all the forgiving that has ever needed to be done.
However, He was also telling me that I had to allow him to become me. Much easier said than done and to explain that to people back then as I have just explained it to you brought a lot of blank looks from people who were supposed to be able to help me in things relating to the Bible. At that time, there was no one then around here that really grasped the total meaning of Spirit. So even at that time I had an elementary understanding of 'Him in Us' but it was far short of comprehending 'Us in Him' as in passing through the veil of His flesh so to speak.
Many times, I have crawled back to that Cross of Christ seeking relief from the fiery trial and especially so when total failure seems imminent. At other times, it has been to seek forgiveness for failure to follow the Spirit and yielding to whatever nature of the flesh that I had allowed to have dominion. Through the experience that followed my car accident, I have been able to gain an insight into the three distinct separations of body, soul and spirit. I have also gained a comprehension of the Apostle Paul's statement as to whether in the body or out of the body he could not tell (neither could I).
As the same as the Apostle Paul I have had a continuous battle with the thorn in the flesh as a price to pay for this knowledge but through learning to overcome failure by not frustrating His Love in me, He may have a place on earth to rule from.
Peace and Blessings.
Date NDE Occurred: Dec 15 1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal. I was conscious the entire time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? IMHO I was conscious the entire time.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Ditto.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I heard and was made aware of the facts included but not audibly.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain Read the testimony.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm read the testimony
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace at first, then apprehension that changed to relief but ultimately included disappointment. In other words I would have preferred to stay where I had gone to.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control Read the testimony.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Found it in the Bible.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate I believed in a God
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes From now on I will write ditto when you need to read the testimony for your answer.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist I feel that all answers to what has been and will be are in the Holy Bible however the church is really in the dark
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes From now on I will write ditto when you need to read the testimony for your answer.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Ditto.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes It is an ongoing progressive awareness.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Eventually but only for a while I pushed it out.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Read the testimony.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Read the testimony.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. Real ditto.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Real ditto.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Ditto.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Ditto.