|3 years ago :: May 10, 2010 - 9:29PM #1|
“Before and After”
The Lord’s Testimony
Mark Thomas’ Life
Before I begin please join me in a simple prayer to honor the Father, “God”, in heaven who allowed us to murder His innocent, and precious Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our sins the sins of the world. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 3:14).
Father we come to you humbly, on bended knees asking you to forgive our sins, which are many, and that are against you and only you, and for this we are truly ashamed! With forgiven hearts Father we come praising your Holy name, and only yours for there is no other. We come as your children lifting your name on high, worshiping you and only you through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ your only begotten Son. Thank you for your love, grace and mercy that sustain us on our earthly journey. We too come thanking you for the prayers that you answer, and the blessings you bestow on us each and everyday. We thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit that guides, protects, and provides for our every need, and not our desires. Most importantly we come thanking you for your Son Jesus who died a horrible, tortured, labored death on those blood soaked, splintered beams of a “CROSS” on Calvary for our sins. He spilled out His precious blood; so pure it cleansed us white as snow. Purged us of our iniquity, and reconciled us back unto you Father God in Heaven. Thank you for our families, & Christian families, our friends, & Christian friends. Continue to protect and provide for them all. Please save the lost among them! Continue to protect and provide for the widows & orphans, the poor, homeless, helpless, and hungry; the sick & the dying, the young & the old, and the wicked & wretched. Save the lost among them O’ Lord! Protect those in dangers way. Guide us Father! Father make these words yours’ and not mine. Help me to glorify you and not sin. Help these words to touch someone’s heart as your Sons’ have touched mine. Help these words to free someone of depression, anger, drug addiction, and alcoholism as yours’ have mine. Thank you my FRIEND, my BROTHER, my SWEET and PRECIOUS SAVIOR! Thank you Father. This I ask of you in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Be it your will Father not ours! Amen… (I Thessalonians 5:17)
Where should I begin? I must start by saying I believe Testimonies should be heard and not read, but then where would we be with out His written word of the “New Testament” under Jesus Christ?
I was so lost in sin headed for an eternity in the lake of fire, and drowning in the muck and mire of my worldly desires, which I mistook as pleasures. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, suffocated by depression, and full of hatred, bitterness, and anger. College educated with an executive position in a prestigious firm. It is one of the largest companies in the world and the largest in the State of Kentucky. I was making a grotesque amount of money while doing literally nothing. Married to a beautiful woman. Living in an exquisite home in Florida. Surrounded by a loving, & supporting family. Life should not have been any better, but I was dead in my sin. I was selling kilos of poison fully aware the profits I generated for the Drug Cartels, and the wicked governments propagated terrorism throughout the world that killed many innocent women & children, for which I am responsible. (II Peter 2:15)
Now in retrospect, lying in the arms of my Savior Christ Jesus, Saved by the BLOOD, I now know there was never a day which passed that He was not knocking at my heart as He carried me through the troubled waters of my life that I created with my worldly choices. I lived such a life of sin, and like Paul I was the “Chief of the Sinners”. I was truly the devil’s right-hand man. Forgive me Father! Amen. (John 8:44)
I committed adultery, I fornicated, and I was a racist, a liar, and a thief! I spilled the blood of innocent people. I used the Lord’s name in vain. I was truly filthy…(Mark 7:21-23) Forgive me Father for shaming your Son’s blood. Forgive me for grieving His Spirit. (Romans 3:23)
I never considered myself an abusive husband because I did not berate my wife, nor belittle her. I never called her filthy names nor mentally or physically abused her, however, I now know I was a most abusive Husband because I was not there for her when she needed me most while I was out whore-mongering, drinking, drugging, selling my soul to the devil. (Ephesians 5:25) My selfishness rose above all measurable means. I lived a lie of acting as if I put others before me, but this fact was never further from the truth, because it was always about me. I fed my so-called friends drugs & alcohol, and showered them with gifts while the entire time using the blood money of the drug trade to fund this life of hell filled with lies, murder, betrayal, and deceit! (James 3:16)
The damage I’ve done is untold!
Blessed Father we thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy, and your forgiveness through the pure cleansing blood of our Christ Jesus. We thank you for a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Colossians 3:15) I was a broken man with a contrite heart. (Psalms 51:17) Life had spiraled out of control. The depression had turned inward and was twisted into rage and anger. The drugs and alcohol had taken their toll on my mind as well as my body. The money was gone and so were the friends that pursued it. The aforementioned is now considered a blessing. Thank you Jesus!
I was in Louisville, Kentucky one cool October evening when my life was forever changed and one that, due to my actions, forever changed the lives of so many others. I was drinking heavily, full of prescription meds, smoking dope, and angry with my Father. My Father and I have had a tenuous relationship throughout our lives. This particular night was one of the roughest. (Exodus 20:12) While searching for some rock cocaine I entered into a local bar. It was a night no different than most in my life at this time. I was so full of pain; my heart was empty, and sin’s prison had crippled me spiritually, mentally, and physically. There was an unfilled void in my heart. There was no love, no peace, there was nothing left at all to live for. I was too much of a coward to take my own life, so I searched endlessly for someone to do it for me, and this night October 9th, 2002 was that fateful night. As I sat drinking myself deeper into hell I noticed a young pretty woman looking my way & smiling. I returned the smile with lust in my heart. She approached me and said something, which I did not understand. I then commented on her sweater, and as I was leaning in to speak to her I observed a young man staring at me intently. (I John 2:16) I then asked if she was with another man and she exclaimed, “yes.” I immediately excused myself from the encounter and returned to my table and friends. Moments later I once again noticed the young man, now accompanied by another man, staring at me and talking. I realized it was time to go! I went to the bartender, and requested a cab. When I returned to my table to await the cab the two gentlemen approached me. They challenged me to “take it out to the parking lot”, which I willingly accepted. It was just what I thought I wanted. When I exited the bar I made the drunken mistake to exit first, and I got exactly what was coming. I was struck from behind, and went down at once. Upon hitting the concrete they were on me straight away breaking my jaw in two places, fracturing two vertebrae in my neck, breaking three ribs. They fractured my skull in two locations resulting in a subarachnoid & a sudural hematomas; they broke both cheekbones, and sinus cavities. They kicked my teeth out! I had been blessed with a beautiful, warm smile, but it was now gone as I literally spit my teeth onto the pavement. The next thing I remember is being on my feet with two figures hitting me repeatedly. I pulled my pistol from its’ holster, and heard the words; “what are you gonna do with that?” I pulled the trigger once, then twice, then four more times until the two were lying at my feet in a pool of blood. I subsequently collapsed, and fell to the ground again. (Genesis 9:6)
I was laying there, my blood spilling out, surely dying. My supernatural body, my soul, my spirit then rose above the carnage, and hovered above as if I had been crucified with my arms spread, and my feet together. I could see all the mayhem that my actions caused. The two men I’d shot were lying in their blood, surely dying, people were running and screaming, and crying in terror. And, there laid my bloody, beaten body so lifeless. I only pray that I could tell you God then spoke to me, but He did not. I believe He did gently fill my heart with faith, hope, and charity. “And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Corinthians 13:13) I believe He next put this one single thought in my heart; “this is not you my child, this is the work of satan who dwells in you, if you desire come to me and I will heal you”. Blessed Father thank you for my salvation through your Son Jesus Christ! AMEN!
The devil and I had carefully placed four .45 caliber rounds at pointblank range in one mans abdomen, but the hand of God directed them past all his vital organs leaving him basically unharmed. Thank you Father for allowing those bullets to pass through that man harmlessly. Thank you for sparing both their lives. Thank you for rescuing me from Death Row. Thank you for sparing my Mother the agony of watching her only son be put to death by the State in an “execution chamber”. Thank you for guiding the additional two bullets through the other young man causing him no harm. Praise be to your Holy Name! Praise be to Jesus!! Thank you!!! (Luke 11:27)
Most in this world today would consider shooting a man at pointblank range in the abdomen four times, where 80% of their vital organs are located, with a weapon especially designed by the military to do one thing only; TO KILL, and not killing them to be “LUCKY”. If you believe that then read the remainder of this TESTIMONY now, for you my friend are in need of it most.
“The single most important thing in life is to find God through Jesus Christ”!!! Amen…George Harrison
Make my words humble not boastful Father. Make them honor you God and no one else. Amen… (Galatians 6:14) He then gently laid me back into my body, and what little I remember from this point is vague to say the least, but what I do remember best is a feeling of peace without fear, forgiveness without bitterness, love without selfishness, joy without sadness. I know these things to be true Father in Christ Jesus for if it was left to me as your word says; I would return to my vomit as a dog does his own! “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” (Philippians 4:13)
After a brief trip to the hospital I was now in jail, battered and beaten, in great physical pain with teeth hanging from their roots, naked and unable to get off the urine and feces marred floors of satan’s lair. I had lain there for several days. No one would come to my aid except one, my Savior, in the form of a man named Cooper a Correctional Officer. He helped me walk to the shower as I asked “why?” and he replied; “It’s my job”. I knew in my heart he wasn’t there just because it was his job, so I asked “are you a Christian?” and he replied gently “I am!” Weeks had come and gone before I next laid eyes on C. O. Cooper when he came to my cell and asked “would you like to attend church?” and I gently replied “Yes!” The only reason I went was rumor had it that the female inmates liked exposing themselves to the men. I didn’t see one. I did not even look. What I did see were men and women, missionaries, of God filled with love & compassion, sympathy & empathy, forgiveness & mercy, and they were there to bring the word of God to me. Thank you Father, thank you Jesus!
Seconds had turned to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, and days to weeks, although, it had gone by in a blink of an eye without a care in the world. It was a beautiful, blessed day in jail, and I was headed to fellowship with other men whom had one thing in common; we were all suffering the consequences of our worldly actions. I remember it like it was yesterday; it was December 19th, 2002 at approximately 9:32 p.m. I wasn’t sure of the time until I spoke with my Mom two days later and she told me the hospital pronounced my Bother-in-Law dead at 9:32 p.m. God had taken a good and honest man home, and replaced him with a SAVED man.
Sister Shirley, & Shirley were there for Bible study, and at the close she opened the invitation to accept Jesus as you Savior as had been done numerous times before by a multitude of Pastors, Preachers, and missionaries, but this night was different. I knew in my heart that He wanted me, and at that very moment in time I was the Lords’ forever. Amen. Lord thank you for my salvation. Thank you Jesus for the BLOOD!!! (II Corinthians 6:2)
Months had past, and my trial by the State was approaching rapidly, and guess what, I could care less. While awaiting trial I was involved in an altercation with another Inmate over, believe or not, the T.V. The rule in the dorm was that whoever cleans the dorm selects what is watched. A new man had been assigned to our dorm, and you could sense right away he was going to be trouble, and he was! I never wanted, nor desired control of the T.V. because I never watched it, although, I did clean the dorm, with other’s help, most all of the time. Well, this new man wanted to flex his muscle, and take control of the T.V. from a weaker man. Then ol’ yours’ truly bit off into that old world as I loved to do in order to stop him, but the Lord had different plans. He was not going to allow me to become a stumbling block to anyone man I had been “walking the walk & talking the talk” in front of for so many months. FORGIVE ME, Father! As I confronted him ready to fight because once I did I knew it was on, and it was! Although, when he started swinging my arms became full of lead, and my head bowed as if I were in front of a king. This man was huge. He began to rain blows to my head, so many that he could no longer hold his arms up to swing. When he had ceased my head slowly rose up and there was not a mark anywhere on my face. You could have heard a needle fall in a “haystack”! Every man in the dorm felt the power of God’s will, and His ability to control the heart of a fool like me with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and stop me in my very footsteps. Thank you Father… Amen.
The Court had set my bond at 100,000.00 full cash. This means bring CASH, and CASH only. It was 17 days until trial and the Judge was kind enough to grant me a property bond, which meant you only had to come up with 200,000.00 dollar in lien-free real estate to gain your freedom. Well, the Lord came up with the money, and I was released on bond. The first thing I did was go to Church. I had been trying to get Baptized for close to a year. The jail would not allow baptisms. I wanted so badly to profess my faith and belief in Jesus before other believers, during my baptism, in a Christ centered, Bible believing church. (II Thessalonians 2:13) I do not believe you have to be baptized to be saved, but I do believe that if you’re truly saved you’ll get baptized! (Ephesians 2:8) There’s so much legalistic doctrine out there beware of its’ trap. Study your Bible and gain knowledge from its’ wisdom. (II Timothy 2:15) While sitting in Bible study, after my release of a whole glorious two days, the Lord put it on my heart to request to be baptized. Brother Jerry said; “how about Sunday?” I said; “how about now?” I did not want to walk out that door dry! (Acts 8:37) He immediately sent one of the Deacons to gather up some Elders as witnesses because there was a dunkin’ to do. Jerry ask; “don’t you want your family here?” I replied; “I’ve already called them and they’re on the way.” The Church was full of other believers, my family, and the Spirit. It was September 11th, 2003. Glory to God. Amen. (John 3:5)
As I traveled from Church to Church thanking scores of people for their missionary work on behalf of the Lord I couldn’t help but notice that there was a liquor store at every bend and a “Crack Dealer” to boot, and guess what, I could care less. I was single-minded. I was focused on one goal and one goal only, obedience to God who sent His Son! “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Well I’m now Baptized. Amen. (Romans 6:6) Jury selection began on a Monday. My Attorney who was once a razor sharp litigator was now a drunken fool. The trial Judge was an idiot, the prosecutor an imbecile, and the trial a farce! The so-called victims admitted to assaulting me first; clearly establishing self-defense on my part. I was without mistake innocent of all charges. However, the Lord had another plan for my life, and needless to say I was convicted of all charges, and sentenced to 24 years in prison @ 85%.
When the Judge, while lying, passed sentence she allowed me to address the court. I had been warned by so many not to claim the Name of the Lord in court, and guess what, I could care less. I told them all “If you don’t know Jesus you had better find Him because you’ll need Him soon!” (Romans 10:9-10) He then blessed me with a simple, heartfelt, apologetic testimony that brought tears to every eye in the courtroom including yours truly. It was glorious, and to beat all, it is preserved forever on trial tapes, but more importantly, a fact I just now realized, its’ recorded in the “Book of Life”. As the Court Deputies led me from the trial chambers to the holding cell a feeling of an indescribable peace filled my whole body, a peace that I want you to experience my friend, so I cried like a child. (Philippians 4:7) I entered into the holding cell, but this time I was not alone. I had the power of the Spirit of God’s Son to comfort & protect me, to empower me, and to strengthen me. Amen! (Ephesians 6:11) The devil wanted me to curse our Lord and Savior, but instead I bowed on bended knee in tears and thanked the Lord for the time and vowed to do everyday of it serving Him. I failed Him! Forgive me Father.
Now, its’ off to prison we go! A close friend, in a letter, told me “that it may sound strange, but it gets better from here”. I thought to myself you’re a fool. Although, what I began to think was; if it gets any better than this Lord I won’t want to leave, but of course I couldn’t tell my friend that because he would of undoubtedly thought I had lost my mind.
You begin your walk with Christ with a burning desire to tell everyone about Him, but you soon realize no one wants to listen not even your own family. This fact is truly heartbreaking. (John 7:5) I arrive at the penitentiary as a young Christian, and ready to fellowship with other Christian Brothers and Sisters. I truly believe the next Revival will come from within the walls of the world’s prisons, so for those of you reading this that are Saved by the Blood get involved in a Prison Ministry today, or start one at your Church. God blessed me greatly while in prison. I was involved with the Church as a volunteer, I had the best job on the yard as a Professors’ Aide & Teaching Assistant, I volunteered as a Tutor for the G.E.D. students, met several dear friends, some of them lost, that I still see regularly. Save the lost among them Father. Save my friend Joe D. It may sound selfish, but I want so badly to see him in Heaven one day.
Should I continue? Why not? I was almost immediately assigned to the Honor Dorm, which normally takes years in prison to qualify for. (Romans 10:12) I worked with one of my closest friends, Jimmy H., a Christian and the other Joe D., was my pupil. My Boss, Rick Ray, was a Christian man of God. I was able to spend every Saturday with Don Shelly, who is now my Pastor & friend. I met hundreds of men and women of God who touched my life and that I still think of today. Due to the length of my sentence I had the right to a “Direct Appeal” to the Kentucky Supreme Court. After two years of Appellate work they affirmed the lower courts verdict of guilt, although, by a split decision of 4-3. And, guess what, I could care less! One of the dissenting judges was pro inmate, and it was unheard of for her to rule against an inmate, but she did in my case, so we elected to petition the court for a re-hearing. At that time a “re-hearing” had NEVER been granted to an inmate in the recorded history of Kentucky jurisprudence. Need I say more? Oh, but I must! The Lord didn’t just turn the hearts of the judges of the 3rd highest court in the land and convinced them to grant my re-hearing, but they, moreover, voted in favor of an inmate for the FIRST time in 196,000+ cases for a reversal. They unanimously overturned my verdict, 7 - 0… I was going home! Praise be to God through His son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (Psalm 126:5-6)
Are you getting it yet? God is real, Jesus is real, the Spirit is real. We serve a RISEN Savior! Please believe me. I would not mislead you. (Colossians 3:9) It took several more months before the gates of the prison opened. Upon my release I had to tell the Justices why they had reversed their original decision because I knew they didn’t understand their reasons. I wrote them a letter and claimed the name of Jesus by paraphrasing a simple Bible verse; He holds the hearts of the Kings (Judges) in His hand, as the rivers, He can turn them whichever way He wants. (Romans 21:1)
Do you understand my friend? As Brother Don Shelly would say during a good ol’ Bible sermon; “Are you with me now?” Are ya? Don’t you want to be FREE?
Tell God now that you love Him. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins against Him. Tell Him that you know He sacrificed His only Son for your sins. Ask Him to teach you repentance, so you can turn from sin. Tell Him that you know Jesus rose from the grave, and now sits at His right-hand. Ask Him to SAVE you, and He will! Come my friend and join us. (John 8:32)
Don’t you be misled? There is one thing and one thing only that condemns your soul to hell and that’s denying Jesus Christ as your Savior!
Well, I’m out again! Traveling, once more, from Church to Church thanking the missionaries for their work in Gods’ name, and what they did for me, but this time I’m armed with His Word, His Testimony about my life, and the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to guide me. You had better get out of my way. (Mathew 24:14) I’m kicking doors down now, and still no ones listening! (I Corinthians 2:9) I had been blessed greatly by the Lord to give His testimony about my life only one glorious time just prior to leaving prison. Now in retrospect, at just this very instant in time, I know now why it took several months to get out after my verdict had been overturned. He wanted me to give my testimony, but like Jonah I was not going to Nineveh! I just now realized I wasn’t leaving prison until I testified to those men about God’s will in my life. (I John 4:14) I was released the very next day!
It’s amazing how He can use ol’ dummies like me to do His work. Maybe I should title this “Jesus for Dummies” Ha, Ha. No offense intended. That’s not true; every offense was intended don’t be a DUMMIE. Find God now! (Mathew 7:7) Now it’s off to the second trial we go! I may have failed to mention that although the Court had overturned my verdict they did remand it back to trial by the lower court if they choose to do so. Of course, they did. Another thing I failed to mention was the State at the very least was livid, and tried to block my bond the second time, and guess what, I could care less. They had been beaten at their own game. Well, the Lord said; No, and God made bond again.
This time would be different. Jesus was my lawyer, and God was my Judge, as in the first trial, except the difference now was I belonged entirely to Him. (I Peter 4:11) The Lord had blessed me with a new Lawyer, Mike Goodwin, a fair and honest man who is a Catholic, but I won’t hold that against him. That’s a joke by the way, Ha, Ha!!! I also neglected to tell you that Mike was my Appellate Attorney. The Lord had fired my former Attorney, the “Drunken Fool”, and my Prosecutor the “Imbecile” had also been fired. The second trial was scheduled on my 48th birthday just a few weeks away, and guess what, I could care less. The sooner the better.
Well, when all was said and done, it took almost two years before we got back in front of a jury. This time the outcome was the exact polar opposite of the first trial. The Lord replaced the original trial judge with a competent judiciary, and appointed another imbecile as my prosecutor. The Lord made sure it was a jury of my peers. What more can I say? What more do I need to say? I was found not guilty of all charges and freed! Thank you Father God!!! Amen. (Luke 4:18)
I have failed the Lord miserably over the past few years as a Christian man, and so will you. (Romans 7:19) Don’t fret, but don’t be fooled. He hates sin, but loves the sinner. As you mature as a Christian, and you pray more, study more, read more, and fellowship more those sinful desires of the world begin to be replaced with thoughts of Bible verses. When troubles arise, and they will, you’ll be better equipped with the word of God to guide you instead of Doctor Phil, Oprah, or some self-help book. There is victory in Jesus! (I Corinthians 15:57)
This testimony is only a brief description of how God has worked His will in my life. If I were to try and describe all of what He has done for me since He Saved me there would not be enough time nor computer memory in the entire world to do so. (Ezekiel 34:26) If I tried to tell about all that He had done for me before I was Saved, again there would not be enough time. He rescued me from death’s door too many times to count. I’ve been to the “GATES of HELL” in a tanker truck full of gasoline with Jesus as my co-driver and returned because of His blood and sacrifice! (Colossians 1:13) Today when sin enters my heart, and it does, as it will yours’ I feel as if I’m hammering the nails into the hands and feet of my JESUS, and I pray the same befalls you. The devil is a defeated enemy and I trod upon his back because of the BLOOD. He has no dominion over me now, nor will he you. He will temp you, but you’ll have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide your choice, and if you choose sin it’s on you not satan. There is right, and there is wrong. (Romans 14:23) There is no gray shady area in the WORD of GOD. If you need a self-help book then open your BIBLE. His word will guide you through all your trials and tribulations. I promise you this to be true. God is softly & tenderly calling your name.
Jesus will return again, and this time He is coming to DESTROY not to SAVE. Don’t wait until your only choice is to take the mark of the beast or die without Jesus for the end is near my friend. Read the newspaper, watch the news, and compare them to the prophecies in the Bible; they’re a mirror image of each other. When Christ is your Savior you have nothing to fear. (I John 4:18)
In closing, with tears of joy in my eyes I would like to leave you with these simple words; I LOVE YOU in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST! These words I mean, and I can say for the first time in my life with a truly repentant heart, filled with the peace of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Thank you! (Philippians 2:16)
Father God in Heaven, the Father of my Jesus, who for my sins died on a cross of shame atop Golgotha I ask of you today that you give the blessings you’ve ordained for me to someone who’s in need of them more than I. Cast their burdens on my shoulders for I fear them not God because I know that you will bear them. It is my hearts desire that all who read this Testimony will cry out the name of your Son Jesus Christ as their Savior, and become great Christian warriors. Father forgive me for excluding the many blessings you’ve bestowed on me during our short time together. Thank you for allowing these words to honor you, and only you. Thank you for not allowing these words to glorify sin. In the Holy name of your Son Jesus Christ… Christ…AMEN!
“There is God, His Word, His Son, & His Spirit! All else is opinion…”