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 conviction.
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 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 me.”
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.