Jesus Did It!
By: Gene Anderson
The following testimony is that of a man sentenced to life in prison for taking the life of another. Though long, it's a priceless testimony in that it reveals the mercy of God to forgive the most hard-hearted sinners, and it demonstrates the power of God to change lives like nothing - nor no one else can.
It wasn’t going to be a very big island, just large enough to
facilitate the things I deemed necessary to have on it. Drawing our energy from
the sea, sun and wind, I planned on it being a totally self-sufficient nation,
not wanting to be dependent upon any foreign country for anything. There would
be no money, no bills, and no charge for anything.
All one living on the island would be required to do is perform the job they were hired for. Food, transportation, housing, entertainment, etc., would be provided by the government (Island Control = IC).
Having some pity for handicapped people and social outcasts, I wanted to give them chances no one else would, and in appreciation I figured they would be extremely loyal to me. I pictured blind people as prime candidates for telecommunications work, while those with no legs could find their place as engineers. I planned on sending all of them through trade schools and universities to get the training necessary to perform their tasks efficiently.
I intended to run the island sternly, but not oppressively. Although discipline was going to be greatly enforced, I would allow the people to call me and other IC officials by our first names, facilitating a more personal and relaxed relationship between the common folk and high—ranking officers. I wanted the people on the island to trust me. One of my desires was to be able to walk down the street with NO fear or reason to fear that I would be assassinated by any of the populace. I wanted to be “The People’s Leader.”
What one was allowed to do on the island (with few exceptions) would not be according to age, but rather, by ability. For example, if a six-year-old thought he/she were capable of operating a vehicle and passed all tests, he/she would get their license.
I decided on an island because I thought it would be easier to defend. I would have an army, navy, and air force. Attack helicopters and Hawker jump jets would save room by eliminating the need for a lengthy and hard to conceal runway. Undersea lookout posts. submersibles, and trained dolphins would be our underwater “eyes.” And if the enemy did happen to get on the island, we also had something for that, including fake boulders, trees, and tombstones that would have highly volatile liquid pumped through them that would spray any and all that may be in the area or taking cover behind them. It would then be ignited - a terrible end.
Any religion was going to be tolerated as long as it did not require human and/or animal sacrifices, cause hostility towards IC, force itself upon others, or cause island disunity.
Island pride would be strongly enforced. First offense littering would find the guilty party cleaning streets for five straight days - five hours a day before or after their regular working hours.
Unfortunately, the island was going to have its dark side. Our “business” would be compromised of international espionage, sabotage, and blackmail. We would be involved with counter—terrorism with our allies. Those living on the island would be security classified from 1 (high risk) to 4 (low risk). A level three or four wanting to leave the island would have a somewhat fair chance of reaching their destination. However, a level of one or two could come up “missing” all of a sudden, or the plane taking them off the island would mysteriously crash into the sea.
As long as the resident did everything they were supposed to do, and not make any waves, they would be OK. But if something happened that IC (namely me) didn’t like, the consequences could be severe.
This was all part of my ultimate goal: to obtain an island and run it in a Utopian fashion that would set the standard for all other countries. It was set in my mind that nothing on or above this earth was going to keep me from this dream. No matter what the cost — family, friends or stranger — I would one day become the “Supreme Commander” of the nation that was going to be called “The Black Empire.”
Was I at all serious? I started setting the stage early so that when the time came, I would be ready. I made up names for cities, such as Rinzmitter, Westussle, and Borgan-York. I designed insignia for the various ranks of my officers, and spent hundreds of dollars on my own personal hat and uniform insignia. My closest friends at that time already had their offices. One was my Industrial Marshal, one was my Security Chief, and the other would be in charge of governmental “dirty work.” Yes — I was serious!
THE EARLY YEARS
As for my childhood, I guess
you can say it was pretty normal and, for the most part, uneventful. The only
out of the “norm” thing was that at my birth my Mom was 42 and my Dad was 50,
with the closest sister of three being 10 years older than me.
I was born in Detroit in 1964 and lived there until 1973, when we moved to the Downriver community of Brownstown. My school years are very obscure, with memories being few. I do know that I hated school and was an introvert — always sitting in the very back of the class whenever I could, hoping the teachers would not call on me for anything. A lot of the time I found myself just barely getting the grades I needed in order to advance to the next year. Since I did not desire to be a mathematician, science teacher, etc., I figured why waste my time and energy learning stuff that I would have no use for. I hated school so much that instead of going to graduation, i lied and said that I couldn’t make it because I got a new job and my employers would not let me have the day off to attend the ceremonies. So they gave me my diploma and graduation cap early, and off I went.
Never really caring much
for the party/social scene, I mostly hung out with a few choice friends.
Alcohol and drugs played a very insignificant role in my life. It would be an
overstatement to say that I smoked ten joints my whole life. At times I even
hated drugs with a deep passion, especially when I saw what they did to those
who took them; how it turned them into totally different people. It was
incredible to behold. I did, however, drink — and I got drunk. But sometimes I
would go months without having anything alcoholic to drink.
Regardless of the “good time” I sometimes had when I did partake of these things, I never found satisfaction in them. They never took away the emptiness that filled my soul. All too often I felt more empty after consuming these things than i did before partaking of them. What a miserable existence it must be for those who actually depend upon drugs and/or alcohol for happiness and fulfillment, for I know that these things cannot give them the satisfaction they are seeking. This is one of the reasons why I pursued the idea of the Empire so diligently. I figured my goal was both logical and one that would satisfy. Unlike drugs or alcohol, once I obtained it, it would not go away in a few minutes and cause me to pursue it again the next day. It would be mine to keep — forever!
It wasn’t until late in high school that I took a deep interest in rock and roll. Pink Floyd and Billy Joel were my favorites. Especially Pink Floyd, whose songs about wasted time and fleeting lives really influenced me to go all out in my ultimate quest for world influence, if not supremacy.
I truly believe a misconception about rock and roll is concerning the “subliminal messages” that are supposedly hidden in the words, which you can hear when the song is played backwards. Well, although rock and roll was a big part of my life, it was the plain, clear and straightforward messages these groups were singing about that motivated me. I mean, songs like “Running With the Devil” and “Only the Good Die Young” don’t need subliminal messages to get their point across.
It was not until after I graduated from high school that really significant changes started taking place iii my life. Slowly but steadily, the values, ideals and goals that would shape and control my life began to surface.
whatever reason, I took an early interest in World War II. I became infatuated
with the allied and axis war machines, so much so that as I read about different
strategies and campaigns, I felt within myself that I was at one time actually a
part of that very war. I pictured myself as a former U—Boat commander or an
army general who was maybe killed in battle, and that I was now a reincarnation
of one or several former lives. And as I examined the different phases of the
war, I would think about how I would have done things differently to achieve
victory. My taste for power began to grow.
Naturally, being a World War II fanatic, I was deeply involved with war games. One of my favorites was “Risk.” It was from this board game - which has as its goal the conquering of the world — that my true desire to become a real world ruler was set in motion, and the idea for the “Black Empire” was spawned. So named because black was my favorite color and ‘the one I always used in the game. The means and the methods of obtaining this goal started clicking. Pretty soon I was working out several rough details, some of which culminated in what has already been briefly described. It was also around this time that my two greatest obsessions made their strength and presence very real in my life: Money and Power. The two go hand in hand, and getting one will get you the other.
Although I did have some compassion for my family and those close to me, they were nevertheless “expendable” if, for whatever reason, they got between me and my goal. I was fully set on making this dream come true.
I did not enjoy being under anyone else’s authority, which is one of the reasons I did not join the military. I would even look upon powerful and influential people with disdain, pitying them for making a total “waste” of their lives, knowing that one day I would be ruling my own country - and maybe even them.
My closest friends at the time were (all names being changed) Luke, and two brothers who I will call Ray and Jay. We had a somewhat close relationship and they said they were behind me 100% in my quest for the Empire. They also had a lot to do with its planning. They were, in fact, the IC Officer, Industrial Marshal, and Security Chief already mentioned. As close as we were though, after getting the island and establishing myself on it, I had every intention of purging my ranks of those who were the closest to me and who helped me obtain it, especially Luke, who was a very unpredictable and rather ruthless individual.
I was so “security conscious” not to let any of the island’s secrets get out to my enemies, that after my labyrinth of complex underground tunnels and shelters were completed, I planned on “disposing” of the contractors who built them. They would take their secrets to the grave.
Even though my friends knew of my violent temper, many dastardly plans, and my total disregard for human life, this did not seem to faze them. It really seemed like they would be with me until the end. But evidently, they did not take me very seriously as to what extents I would go to in order to obtain the Empire.
To fulfill my cravings for power, there was obviously a need for a great deal of money; just to purchase the island, let alone build on it. I wanted to be so rich that I could obtain the power I needed in order to control the lives of whomever I desired.
I knew what I wanted, but how to get it was another thing. Many ideas started flashing in my mind. Although obtaining millions of dollars in one shot would have been ideal, I would more than likely have to start small and work my way up.
One way that I thought would bring me some “easy money” would be to rob a dope house. So many times I read in the newspaper about the police raiding one of these places and arresting only a few people while finding hundreds of thousands of dollars there along with numerous weapons. I figured, “Hey, if they can do it, then so can I.” After all, I really didn’t think a dope house was going to report to the police that they have just been robbed of their stock. But this problem could be solved if there wasn’t anyone left to tell them…so I began asking around in order to find one, and it didn’t take long before I was able to put my plan in motion.
Ray, Jay, Luke and Alice my wife) staked it out and even tried to get in by
asking to use the phone. But these people were professionals and vary wary.
And with the haphazard approach we took, they knew something was wrong. 8ut I
was so determined to get in that I didn’t give up. We came back several other
times over the course of a few days. We almost succeeded one time, but things
got a little crazy and Alice was almost killed.
Assuming that I would eventually get my big bust, my attention turned to the movie business. I started writing script and dialogue. Some of my ideas were “WSNT” about a mysterious radio station; “Nature’s Creature” about a strange and extremely ferocious little beast wreaking havoc in a National Park, and “Run Like Hell,” which was going to be “X” rated. I figured with the income from these movies (which of course I thought were going to be box office smashes), I would then have enough capital to purchase and start building on my island.
The events of this year would all culminate into changing my life forever. I guess you could call it the year of “The beginning of the end.”
On January 25th of this year I met Alice, whom I would eventually marry - not even six months later. Even though she was a drug user at the time I met her, I believed she was the perfect woman for me because she went along with my plans and goals. She was also (like me) stubborn and quick-tempered. And if she would back me on my plans to obtain the “Empire,” then she was just the kind of marriage partner I needed.My spiritual life and beliefs were confusing even to me. I semi-believed in an afterlife, but since I wasn’t absolutely sure, I lived this life as if it were the only one I had coming. I prayed to the “almighty power” whoever “it” was or “they” were. I did not, however, believe in the GOD of the Christian Bible. In fact, I told not a few people that the only way I would believe in JESUS CHRIST is if HE came down and stood right in front of me. I also had this idea that if I did “good enough” (according to my definition, of course) down here, that I could attain “god—hood” in the next life if there was one.
My philosophy was simple and wicked. I figured that since evil was the most dominating and “visible” force on earth, then it had to be the most powerful. Therefore I attempted to make contact and ally myself with the residents of darkness. I too, wanted this power.
What Satan and his cohorts can do with a submissive and depraved mind is incredible. I was demonically influenced almost beyond belief. Evil ideas kept creeping into my mind. Each and every day I would develop a greater disregard for human life. I would actually think of ghastly methods of torture for spies or for those who just did me wrong. Brainwashing was another thing I wanted to “experiment” with. This shows the depravity of the human mind. I would be involved with counter—terrorism, while at the same time producing my own form of terrorism. It’s an example of how people think whatever they do is right, even though they say others are wrong for doing the same things!
I should point out that all of these ideas and plans were without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As sickening as these things are, isn’t it strange how movies and TV make them to look so “awesome”? Bad guys are feared and get a lot of respect, and I wanted to be the most feared man on earth.
I also believed that everyone was in a giant game of “survival of the fittest,” where all are expendable, and that it was up to each and every individual to do whatever it took to survive and reach their goals. Some of my favorite sayings were “Do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you, and “Kill, or be killed.”
Because of my interest in the realm of darkness, I began experimenting with demonism. Luke was very into it. He even wrote a prayer letter to one of Satan’s chief demons named “Arioch” in his own blood, which he then burned. Ray’s girlfriend claimed to be able to commune with the spirit world and also said that she had a spirit living in her house. So she, I, and a few others went to an old house for a séance. I began to grow inpatient for something to happen, so I blew the candle out against the wishes of the others present. Once they got it re-lit, Ray’s girlfriend turned her head towards the basement with a look of terror on her face. She asked me if I “seen it,” to which I said, “no.” She then told us that she saw a “white thing” slowly draw back from the light towards the basement. Immediately, mass panic ensued, and all ran towards the door, except me, who was literally dragged out by Alice. I was extremely angry that we blew such a “great opportunity.”
It was early in 1985 that I purchased the gun. But before getting my first contract, a major problem arose: the guy who Duke got the gun from said that it had to be registered because the police were asking about it. I told Duke that was impossible because I already altered it. And besides, I had not the least desire to so easily give up the “tool of my trade.”
After a while, the guy started getting angry at Duke. He wanted to know where I lived, but Duke wouldn’t tell him. When the guy one day threatened to break both of Duke’s legs if he didn’t get the gun back, we knew the situation was dangerous and getting more so each day.
Because Duke was scared, and I wanted this problem taken care of, we decided to do what we thought was the only way out - eliminate the threat before he found out where I lived.It was around this time that Ray decided to take his motorcycle and head out to California on a sort of “scouting mission” in hopes of finding some way to get up money for the Empire. We wished him luck, bid him farewell, and off he went. I think it was somewhere in Illinois that his bike failed and the mission was aborted. After some time of hitchhiking all over, he finally made it back.
While he was gone, the plan to take care of this guy giving us the problem was set in motion. Duke and I worked out the details. I assigned Alice as the emergency getaway driver, and Jay was to be the backup in case anything went wrong.
I chose the Fourth of July for obvious reasons. Earlier that day, I spoke with Jay and told him his role. That evening, Alice and I picked up Duke, and then we went to get Jay. We proceeded to the man’s apartment, and I set the stage as we went. The basic plan consisted of Duke taking over to the man an expired gun permit that I had given him. This was just to gain access into the apartment. Then, Duke was to either somehow leave the door open or let us in at the right time. We had no real concrete plan for me to get in the apartment.
Arriving there, we hung out with one of the guy’s neighbors lighting off firecrackers. For same reason, the scene was just not right, so we left and came back later. One of us jimmied the lock to the outside door of the apartment building and Duke went up the stairs while Jay and I waited under the landing.
I RAISED THE GUN AND WALKED TOWARDS THE MANThe plan was going far better then expected: the man answered the door and let Duke in, leaving the door wide open. With the gun in my belt, Jay and I proceeded up the stairs. We waited in the hallway where Duke could see us but the man couldn’t. I peeked in around the corner and seen the guy sitting at the kitchen table writing something, and Duke stood towards the living room. After several times of shaking his head “no,” we waited until he finally gave the go-ahead. Duke backed up as I entered. I raised the gun and walked towards the man. He looked up…..it was too late…..
After the crime, Alice and Duke didn’t seem the slightest bit fazed. In fact, exactly two weeks later on the 18th of July, Alice and I were married. After Luke found out about what i had done, it seemed our relationship grew stronger, and from that time on until my arrest, he would become my closest friend. My friendship with Jay, however, was beginning to deteriorate. Evidently, what I had done was just too much for him. Whatever the case, he was just not the same towards me after that.
When Ray finally got back and heard about it, his attitude towards me changed 180°. Once all “gung—ho” for everything I had planned in order to obtain the Empire, he now voiced his decision to withdraw from the “Enpireacle cause.” And even more, he persuaded Jay to do the same. I was now without two of my original officers, and if they grew hostile, could be detrimental to the security of the island. Needless to say, I decided that one day they would have to be eliminated.
The day after the crime, Alice and I attended a motel party. I do not even know who was invited, but she and I were the first ones there. I remember sitting on the bed looking at myself in the big mirror on the dresser. My conscience was tearing me apart. I was feeling terrible, but I managed to shake it off. What helped was telling myself that I could not have these feelings of remorse if I wanted to make killing people my profession. With some struggle, I silenced my conscience and my heart grew harder as time went on.
Although Duke and I were interviewed by the police a few days later, we had our stories straight, and they only spoke with me twice. There was no doubt in my mind that we were very clever individuals.All I basically did after this was work on things that I thought would help me obtain the Empire, which included making explosives. My whole life was wrapped up in getting the island. Then things started going sour between Alice and me. I think part of the reason was that the “big money” I always talked about wasn’t coming in fast enough for her. And besides, she liked the social scene, which I despised, so we clashed quite frequently. She eventually decided to go and live with her mom and stepfather until we “worked things out.” The only thing I asked of her was that she do nothing to interfere with my goal, to which she consented.
We never did “work things out” though. I knew it had to end sometime, so I filed for one of those “quickie” divorces. I called her and told her all she had to do was sign a few papers and it would be done. But she refused to do this unless I gave her alimony and one of the cars. Even though I was mad with rage inside, I managed to keep my cool while talking to her; her stepfather had a bad habit of recording phone conversations. She began to yell at me and said she was “dead serious” about her demands. I silently answered her in my mind: “No, you’re just dead.” With that, she also went on the same “hit list”, as Ray and Jay.
On July 4th, 1986, shortly after my breakup with Alice, I took an interest in a friend’s wife. He was also one of my coworkers. Because he sometimes got overly physical with her and cared nothing for their two young daughters, I thought I would “rescue” her from that troubled marriage. What helped matters was that she was attracted to me, so things went quicker and smoother than originally predicted.
In order to get what I wanted, I would sometimes go to extremes, and moving in on this woman resulted in some of the most underhanded tactics I’ve ever used against anyone. I even offered my “friend” the opportunity to move in with me after she told him to leave their apartment. I told him he could stay with me until that “nasty” wife of his came to her senses. All the while, I was seeing her behind his back.
this time I began to keep a fake diary, dated several months before I actually
started it. In it I wrote about the “long terrible struggles” of affection I
was having for my “best friend’s” wife. I also added to this detailed sessions
with a psychiatrist whose help I hoped would cure me of this severe “problem.”
After several months (and a few close calls) I presented him with the diary, hoping to get his sympathy and understanding. It worked far better than I thought it would. He said he understood, and around September of that year, I unofficially moved in with his wife.
Although it seemed like things were going my way and I should have been happy, I was miserable. Each and every day that passed by I saw as time lost in my quest for the Empire. As an alcoholic or drug addict gets desperate for their “fix,” I was desperate to make sure my life would not consist of a regular, boring, life-wasting nine—to—five job in some stupid office or factory. To me, everyone was a peon, and I did not want to spend the rest of my life as a peon.
This miserable life continued through January of 1987. In this month, my wife finally consented to the divorce, which was final on the 16th. I also came out practically unscathed concerning a $1500 lawsuit against me by my ex-stepfather—in—law, who blamed me for damages done to the house that I was renting from him during a break-in. After all these trying events, I thought to myself, “No more problems now!”
Never expecting her to do so, my ex-wife began to “talk.” In early February of that year she reported the year-and-a-half—old crime to the police, and they began an investigation to gather evidence.
OUT WITH THE OLD - IN WITH THE NEWMarch 6th, 1987. A day I will never forget. At around 7:20 AM, as I was preparing to go to work, I started into the bathroom when, as if a hand were gently placed on my chest, I was stopped in my tracks. As clear as day I heard the words, “Your life is going nowhere.” I stood there wondering what was up, and for a few seconds I pondered those words. I agreed with what was said to me, then I made the decision as to what action I should take: go out and get money for the Empire by whatever means necessary. What I now consider to have been my last warning, was spurned. About an hour later while I was at work, I was arrested.
It was the worst day in my entire life. After a year and a half’, I thought I was scot-free. My coworkers were shocked. I never felt so embarrassed as I did that day, sitting handcuffed in the back seat of that police car.
They took me to the Woodhaven jail. As I laid in that cell, for a brief moment I contemplated suicide. Not only did I hurt for myself, but it pained me to think about what this would do to my family and girlfriend. Too bad I wasn’t thinking like this before I committed the crime and caused another family immeasurable grief.
The police questioned me, and I denied it all. The FBI seemed more interested in my Island than in the crime itself. They confiscated all my plans from my girlfriend’s house.I was charged with first-degree murder. After the arraignment, I was taken to the Wayne County Jail. As I sat in the holding cell, I kept hoping to awake from this nightmare. “This can’t be happening to me” kept flashing through my mind. “Is this as far as the ‘Empire’ is going to get?” Hours before, when I was still a “free” man, I had little doubt that the Empire would become a reality. I thought, “It’s such a magnificent idea. Surely I will have the backing of the ‘gods’ on my side. How can all these dreams, plans and goals be wiped out with one stroke?” As much I struggled against it, this was real. I was awake. This was no nightmare that you just wake up from and it’s all over. What I thought was the perfect crime, now had me facing the rest of my life in prison.
My family was completely shocked and my girlfriend was in hysterics. The police went to her house to search it, since I was staying there. Instead of just knocking on the door (they already had me apprehended), they began to pound on it, as if they were kicking it down. My girlfriend already had instructions from me that if anyone tried to break into the house when I wasn’t there, she was to chamber the Uzi and call the police. She did just that. But to her surprise the officer on the phone told her that those at the door are the police! Thankfully, they didn’t get in before she found out who they were. Only GOD knows what would have happened if they did.
After spending the weekend in the “old” jail, they moved me to 9N.E. on the new side. I was on the exact floor and in the same corner near where they conducted most if not all of the Christian services. As I spoke with my Dad one day on the phone, I noticed a service being held. Not having even been in a church since before 1973, I told him about my idea to go. He said it would be “good” for me.
IN THAT CELL WERE TWO BOOKS
I was the only one in a two—man cell for a few days. In that cell were two books; the Bible and a paperback titled “Pulpit in the Shadows” by Freddie Gage. This book was about a Houston teenage thug and all the evils that he did. Even though he never said he committed a crime like mine, he was active in many smaller things.
He told the story about how he accepted JESUS CHRIST as his SAVIOUR, and how JESUS CHRIST had transformed his life. I thought to myself, “If GOD can forgive this guy, then HE could forgive me also!” It was around this time that I actually began to be conscious of a real God - the GOD of the Bible…the same GOD who forgave Freddie Gage.I began reading the Bible quite regularly. I remember picking it up and turning to Genesis: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (1:1,2). I thought these were some of the most awesome words that I had ever read.
In my 23 years of life, I do not think I read so much as one verse out of the Bible, but GOD was working on me daily. One thing that made me realize this was what happened after I got a WWI book from the book wagon. As I laid in my bunk reading it, the Bible was at the foot of my bed. I kept peeking over the novel at the Bible until I put the book down and picked up GOD’S WORD and began to read it with diligence. Since that day, “The Sinking of the Lusitania” was the last war novel I read.
I went to the services whenever I could. The LORD gave me favor with the deputies, and even though I wasn’t supposed to, they allowed me to attend every service. The LORD knew that in order to break my hard heart, I needed to hear the Gospel as much as possible.
Even though I was on a “rock” that housed 20 men, not one of them were Christian — at least none of them seemed to be. There was one guy. who said he was a minister, but this was his second time in jail for armed robbery. For some reason, his claim to Christianity wasn’t too convincing.No one on that rock told me about Jesus. Not one person attempted to lead me to the Lord. But God has ways of doing things that are beyond human comprehension. I can’t remember exactly how it came about, nor do I recall what day or month it was. I can only guess that it happened in late March or early April. All I know for sure is that one day I got down on my knees at the side of my bunk and began crying my eyes out to God. I asked Him to forgive me of all my sins, and that I believed He sent Jesus to die for my sins. Never witnessing a conversion before, I had no idea that all it takes is one prayer from a broken and sincere heart, and God will forgive you. I felt so filthy about my past sins that I cried, prayed, and confessed my sins to God several times a day for about a week, not knowing exactly what it would take to get “right” with God. Although it was not what most would call your “typical” conversion, I knew that I had been forgiven nonetheless. I felt a definite change. A huge burden had been lifted. I knew that I had the Spirit of God dwelling in me and I finally realized the value of that precious Blood.
Holy Spirit and with the help of the precious servants of God at the county
jail, I began to grow in the faith. But, as some reading this who are saved
know, baby Christians can come up with some “far out” interpretations of
scripture. One of my biggest blunders was when a guy asked me if it was ok to
have sex without being married. Possibly basing my response on what I had read
in Deuteronomy 22:28, 29, I told him, “Yeah, as long as she’s not a virgin, and
if she is, then you have to marry her!”
Another major mistake I made was thinking that I was so spiritually strong that nothing could shake me. I hadn’t yet fully grasped the biblical teaching on pride and self-confidence, and when a problem arose comparable to a termite in the midst of a herd of elephants for magnitude, I panicked. Needless to say, I learned quickly that growth and maturity are sometimes a slow process and nothing to boast about.
My reading, learning, and growing continued daily. Each day was taking me closer to my trial date. My lawyer tried to get me out on the 180-day ruling, but the courts denied me. I even saw God’s hand in this. For, in the month and a half I would have been out, I noticed that some of my greatest spiritual growth took place.
HE WANTED ME TO PUT MY COMPLETE TRUST IN HIMI remember sitting on the edge of my bunk talking to God and saying: “Lord, You know that I could end up in prison for the rest of my life. You know that I don’t want that. Lord, you’ll understand if I get up on that stand and lie . . . won’t you? After all, my entire future is at stake here!” As I sat contemplating the situation, I happened to glance at a “verse chart” I had hanging on the wall. Of all the verses on it, it was the smallest one that caught my eye. It was Psalm 46:10, and it read: Be still and know that I am God. I knew right then and there what GOD was telling me to do. HE did not want me to get up on that stand and lie; He simply wanted me to put my complete trust in Him no matter what the outcome may be. God is faithful and He wanted me to believe this.
It didn’t take long to convince me. I decided not to testify. Still, I was worried that my lawyer would blow his top if I told him of my decision, but the Lord took care of that too. When he came to visit me just before the trial, he agreed with me 100%. He also thought it best that I just sat mute.
Several days after they arrested me, Jay and Duke were apprehended; Alice was not charged. Since Jay was the youngest and “least culpable,” they offered him 7 1/2 to 15 years if he would testify against Duke and I. The evidence of God in my life was overwhelming. I met Jay several times at services and in the “bullpen.” At one time on my “hit list,” God’s love flooded my soul and I had absolutely no hatred for this man whatsoever. We even had tears in our eyes several times as we met.
This same attitude also flowed out of me towards Alice and her family. There is no other way I can explain it than to say that it was only through Jesus Christ that I was able to do this.Even though the trial, with all the dirt being exposed, it was not pleasant to sit through it. The Lord was with me and comforted my heart throughout the entire ordeal. I basically knew I would be found guilty and that I would be sentenced to natural life in prison. So when the jury handed down the verdict, I was not the least bit surprised. I still had faith that God was in control, and whatever the results, it would be according to His divine plan for my life. God was with me, and I had His promise that He would be with me wherever I went (Matthew 20:28). Knowing and believing this gave me a peace I never had before.
When I say that it was according to His divine plan for my life, I do not mean that my committing the crime was His will. What I am saying is that God is the Master at taking an evil situation and turning it around for good. Even though He would rather have had me come to Him when I was free, it was too late for that, but as the old saying goes, “Better late than never.” My life - the only life that really matters — began when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Since I could not change the past, I had to look forward at my life from that day on (See: Philippines 3:13-14).
God used me to witness to several men while I was in jail. One fellow seemed quite puzzled at my reaction to my sentence and asked me how I could be smiling. I was glad that I told him “because Jesus is with me.” I mean, what good would it have done me to be angry and let others see it? Would this show how much I trust in the God I claimed to be serving?
I was sent to the State Penitentiary on December 16th, 1987. I know it’s possible that I may spend the rest of my life in prison, but I’m reaping what I’ve sown. Physical freedom with CHRIST would be nice, but whether I get out or not is up to God, and if it’s His will that I spend the rest of my earthly life serving Him in prison, so be it. I know that He put me on this earth for a reason, and He wants me doing His will no matter where I’m at. He knows what He is doing and makes no mistakes.Many are shocked when they find out what I’m in prison for and how much time I got. They find it hard to believe that a “guy like me” could do such a thing. But I had many people fooled, and according to what some of them said on the witness stand, even those who knew of my plans didn’t believe me. I was described as a guy who “talked weird” at times, and Alice said I was a “dreamer,” but not as a guy who was capable of killing. To most, I was a polite and quiet person. One who liked to joke, but not one who you think would have such a hatred for others. It’s not like I was some drooling monster that walked the streets looking for victims. No, but my corruption was in the heart. It was full of evil.
I would like to give some advice to anybody who is reading this. If you hear your children or friends say they want to do something bizarre (like kill, or blow something up), take heed to it. One of the young men who shot and killed several of his schoolmates and a teacher told some of his friends of his strange desires. Maybe if they would have taken him seriously and told his parents, they could have sat down with him and asked why he would want to do such a thing. It may be that all he wanted was a little attention, and if it were given him, a terrible tragedy may have been avoided. So don’t take such “weird talk” lightly, you may end up saving someone’s life.
Even though in prison, I do not say that I had a better life when I was “free” than the one I now have, because out there I never had Christ. I never had true peace. I was a tormented individual. Many nights I would lay in bed with my gun on the nightstand next to me and keep looking toward the stairs, wondering if anyone or anything was going to come and try to kill me. This was not the life I wanted to live. This is not the way anyone should live.Since my salvation, my life has gotten better and better. Sure, there are times when it gets kind of rough, and that can be expected. But I have no reason to believe His faithfulness will not continue until the very end. Through prayer, Bible study, obedience and faith, we will obtain the victory that God wants us to have.
PEOPLE CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT - JESUS CHANGED ME
People can say what they want about the existence, works or significance of Jesus Christ, but one thing they can’t disprove is the fact that He changed my life. There is no other way for me to explain the 180° turn that took place in me after I trusted Him for my salvation. I mean, I was very sincere when I was praying to “god” when I was out in the world, but that never gave me the peace I had once I trusted in Jesus. More times than not, I would get the exact opposite of what I prayed for.
Some may ask: “It’s good that you found Jesus, but isn’t He just one of the ‘paths’ to God? Don’t Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims also claim to have ‘peace’?” Certainly. And I’m sure there are even atheists who will admit to having peace without any religion whatsoever, but there is one thing that all these religions do not guarantee their followers - and that is eternal life simply by accepting by faith God’s gift of grace. None of the above religions emphasize God’s grace, and all of them (we can also include Roman Catholicism in this list) either make no guarantees of salvation; require its followers to perform certain types of works in order to have even a chance at salvation, or both.
What most people don’t realize or believe is just how simple salvation is. They cannot accept the fact that such a wonderful thing can be obtained completely outside of their own efforts and works. But that is why it’s called a “gift”: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).And why by grace? Because if it wasn’t by grace, then God would not be the One responsible for our salvation. If getting into Heaven depended on what we did, then a lot of us would be in trouble. Just how would we know if we ever compiled enough good works to get us into Heaven? Can you imagine God saying to you that you can’t enter into Heaven because you didn’t help as many old ladies across the street as another guy? But the Scriptures say the just shall live by faith (See: Romans 1:17).
face it. If you are not saved (from the penalty of your sins and have
assurance you will not be judged for them on the Judgment Day), there are many times you have been trying to
find fulfillment in your life. Time and time again, you have attempted through
your own efforts to find a “high” or a joy that will last forever, just like I
did in my quest for ultimate power. Maybe you seek it in alcohol, sex, drugs,
gambling or whatever it is that the world has to offer. But if you are honest,
you will admit that though these things can bring us satisfaction for a moment,
they are at best only temporary “solutions.” Alcohol and drugs may cover the
pain for a while, but when the high is gone, you are right back where you
started. You usually end up consuming more the next time, possibly leading to
financial, work and family problems. This, my friends, is not an
Whatever you have tried, be sure of this: God knows the situation you are in. He knows what you need, and what lengths you have gone to in order to find satisfaction in life. But best of all, He has the solution. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us so that we may have eternal life. And life in Christ has many precious and never-failing promises:
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Again, God never tells us that we will be free from all troubles and trials down here, but He does promise to give us what we need in order to get through them:“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
It’s much better - and safer — to go through a raging sea with Jesus than to sit on a calm pond without Him.
In the Bible it’s written: “0h taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
Well, I have “tasted,” and I know that God is true to His word. Do I understand everything about the Bible and what God has planned for my future? Certainly not. In fact, the greatest miracle I’ve ever experienced — my salvation - is beyond my total understanding. I cannot fully explain how He was capable of loving a vile, Godless person like me and give me eternal life. Regardless of if I understand it or not, by faith I know that Jesus Christ did in fact save me, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13), and the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16). It was through Jesus and Him only that I obtained the peace I had been searching for. And if God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for our sins, He will also take care of us:
“He that spared not His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
IT FEELS GREAT NOT HAVING SUCH A DEEP HATRED FOR PEOPLEYou may be like a lot of people and think that the Christian life is boring and dead. I used to think this also, but such is not the case. So, what are some of the “benefits”? Well, as I mentioned before, having the Spirit of God has given me a greater value for life, not only of my own, but also for the lives of others. It feels great not having such a deep hatred for people. It feels great to be rid of that paranoia I once had. It feels great wanting to be honest; not wanting to steal, lie and cheat. It feels good to have a clear conscience and not have to worry if I’d be caught doing anything illegal. But best of all, it feels great knowing that God has forgiven me of my sins and that one day I will be with Him in Heaven. And not only does He forgive sins, He also completely forgets them!
“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us...for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Psalm 103:10-13 & Hebrews 8:12)
and the Holy Spirit also help us make wise decisions, such as who we should
associate with — “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion
of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20) A lot of people think they’re
doing the right thing because those they hang out with laugh and think it’s cool
when they get drunk or high and do crazy things. But would a true friend take
pleasure in you doing something that is not healthy? Would a true
friend tell you to disobey your parents and break the law? No. A true friend
is one who looks out for you. A true friend would not want you doing something
that could get you in trouble or killed. And if people don’t like you simply
for who you are or because you won’t do what they want you to, then you would be
better off without their “friendship.”
Even though good friends are a blessing, they are human and can disappoint us. They cannot always be there or give us exactly what we need. But Jesus is unlike any friend you can ever have; “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
promised us that He will never leave or forsake us (See: Hebrews 3:5), and King David
wrote: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the lord will take me up.”
(Psalm 27:10) God does not lead us down the path of destruction, as some of our
so-called “friends” have done, but His intention is to lead us down the paths of
righteousness (See: Psalm 23:3). You cannot find a better friend than Jesus,
because, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his
life for his friends.” (John.15:13). And this is what Jesus did for us, even
while we were His enemies:
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8-10)
What more can you ask for in a friend? The Bible also teaches us about how we are to treat our parents (See: Ephesians 6:1-3); spouses (See: I Peter 3:1-7); children (See: Ephesians 6:4); friends (See: Proverbs 17:17); and strangers (See: Luke 10:25-37). And it also tells us about personal responsibility (See: Ephesians 4:28 & II Thessalonians 4:11-12).
We are solely responsible for our own decisions, and we are free to live as we wish, but as the Bible says:
“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)God will not judge you by what someone else has done. Likewise, He will not hold anyone but you responsible for your actions. There will be no “passing the buck” on Judgment Day. Unlike the court systems we have on earth, when your sentence is handed down to you from God - it’s final. You will have no defense attorney with you. There will be no appeals. There will be no second chances. But it’s not like you haven’t been warned.
JUDGMENT DAY IS COMING
An impending Final Judgment is one of the most important things the Bible tells us about. That one day every person will stand before God and give an account of their life. No one will be excluded from this.
God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. Whether it
be good, or whether it be evil. . . . Believing all things which are written in
the law, and in the prophets . . . that there shall be a resurrection of the
dead, both of the just and of the unjust . . . so then every one of us shall
give an account of himself to God.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Acts 24:14,15 &
That Day may be years down the road, but it is coming!
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it will be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall He prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13)
Many people plan for the future, but few make plans for eternity. And while the next minute of life is not promised to anyone, eternity, either in heaven or hell, is a guarantee for everyone. And you can never plan for eternity too soon because you don’t know when you are going to die. As the Bible states: “For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)
Death often comes swiftly and without warning, so don’t make the mistake of countless others and think that you’ll have time to “get right with GOD” just before you die. This is pure foolishness. Those who have been killed in plane crashes and car accidents would surely testify to this. They had no idea they would never reach their destination or return to where they came from.
“For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:12)
There are millions of ways to die, but it only takes one. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell:
“As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
“The Lord is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9)
have to accept the means of salvation that He has provided for us through Jesus
Christ. There are not “many paths” to God as some would have you to believe.
He does not have to provide us with many paths if all can embrace one.
A lot of people have trouble with having to accept JESUS as the only way to Heaven. It doesn’t set well with them to be given an “ultimatum”: Repent and believe that Jesus Christ died and rose for you, or you will spend eternity in hell. But the Scriptures are clear:
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
But in all actuality, we are given “ultimatums” throughout life: If you don’t eat your dinner, you will not get any dessert. If you don’t get good enough grades, you will not graduate from school. If you don’t do the job the way your boss tells you to do it, then you will be fired. If you don’t obey the law, then you will be penalized. And the list goes on. So if we (for the most part) take heed to the rules that fellow humans have given us, how much more should we obey the rules that God has established?
“See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.” (Hebrews 12:25)
There are things in the Bible that people find hard to understand. Many find it difficult to accept something that doesn’t “jive” with basic human logic. But the Spirit of God helps us to understand.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)
Before I was saved, I don’t think I ever read even one verse out of the Bible. But through prayer, daily study, and with help from other Christians, the Lord has brought me a long way. Not once in my unsaved life did I ever imagine that I would one day be professing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But as the Bible says: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
I WENT FROM A LIFE WALLOWING IN THE MIRE OF SIN ...
I have been on both sides of the fence. I went from a life of wallowing in the mire of sin as a servant of Satan (who hates even those who love him), to a life of peace and joy through the Mercy and Grace of God, who hath delivered [me] from the power of darkness, and hath translated [me] into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). And believe me, which life I like better is a “no-brainer.” I would rather spend the rest of my life in prison with Jesus than to have several lifetimes in the “free” world without Him.
“Behold, now is the accepted time...now is the day of salvation.”
There is nothing on this earth worth giving up eternal life for, for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26). I had to be knocked down hard before I came to my senses, but this doesn’t have to happen to you. As long as you are alive, you have the chance to accept God’s gift of grace and forgiveness of sin.
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (I Thessalonians 2:19)
Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy testimony. I pray that God has somehow used it to minister to you in some special way. If so ... to Him be all the glory! Please be exhorted in the Lord to be used of Him to get this testimony into prisons around the world, to touch prisoners for Jesus.
THUMB CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
3225 John Conley Drive
Lapeer, Michigan 48446
Other writings by Gene you may be interested in reading:
Let's Rightly Divide ... The Mark Of The Beast
The Next Big Prophetic Thing
Job's Fear ... And It's Relevance To Christians Today
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"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
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JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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