I am a grateful, living, breathing testimony to the truthfulness and usefulness of Jesus’ command in Matthew 10:8: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” I have been healed, cleansed, delivered of demons, and raised from the dead in the name of Jesus’ twice. And that’s just the beginning of a journey of life and death, life and death, life and near death and, at last, abundant life!
At 16, I had a serious auto accident, flipping my car end-over-end and banging my head inside the car while I was rolling around. I was hospitalized with a large hematoma and over one hundred stitches were required in my head. This is very important to keep in mind as you read on.
From that time until recently, I was in business as a contractor and professional musician. I wasn’t living for God as I should have been, so there was never enough. The Scripture, Haggai 1:6, which says that while you have sown much, you bring in little and he that earns wages, earns wages to put them in a bag with holes. This exemplified my career. No matter how much I made, it was never enough.
Things Started to Happen...
In 2001, my health also started to go downhill and things started to happen to me.
I was redoing a large banquet floor in an old theatre (that’s a story in itself; the building had a very dark history). My wife, Marylynn, had a check in her spirit that I should not do it and, within two weeks, I was in the hospital with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. A few days after I was sent home with a pharmacy of drugs and a lousy prognosis, I went to a healing service at Harvest Prayer Center where Sister Wanda Studdard prayed a violent and powerful prayer and I was completely delivered and healed – even went back to the hospital for a check-up and could walk long distances problem-free which I could not do before. A few days later, I went back to that same church for a meeting. On the way home, a woman turned directly in front of our car and my wife, Marylynn, immediately prayed, “LORD, please protect my husband!” My head went through the windshield and I was again rushed to the hospital, however I was quickly released. To this day, I have not had a stiff neck or headache.
Returning from Cape Cod to bury Marylynn’s cousin, we stopped at my mom’s house outside of
In October 2003, everything broke loose because I, again, did a couple of things I now know God did not want me to do – not things that were obviously bad or evil, but just things that weren't right. For example, I was getting in the way of His correction for a friend while thinking I was helping him out. My health started to worsen again. Like in Numbers 20:11, Moses got angry and smote the rock twice to get water after God had said to speak to it. While God is certainly a God of grace, He is also a very precise Father. I got in His way and He took me out of His way!
First, I lost all of my energy and started retaining water which is typical for someone with my diagnosis. We had prayed that away, though, and claimed my healing. Then, in April, 2004, Satan started coming after me, but I didn’t admit it because I was always so sure I was right.
"You Shall Not Be Moved"
Now, to show God is a God of every detail: one night when Marylynn and I were going to bed, she had just washed a steamer trunk at the foot of our bed. It had a strong odor of the cleanser which bothered me and I couldn’t go to sleep, so she moved it out to the hall. In the middle of the night, I leaped out of bed and collapsed where that trunk would normally have been. I believe I’d have been physically injured, as well, if it had been there, but as it was, I had, simply, dropped dead. Literally. With a huge thud! (Later, a bruise appeared of solid black and purple from my waist to my knee.)
Marylynn had awakened just in time to see it all and she ran around the bed, knowing I was gone. Our son heard her words from the next room; she shouted, “Oh, no you don’t! You get back here right now!” Then, she commanded me back in the almighty, all powerful name of Jesus and life came back into me just as it is written in Matthew 10:8: “Raise the dead.” (She prays a lot.)
On May 22nd of the same year, she’d received in prayer that I was being refined, and that she was not to get in the way of the refining process or she, too, would be burned. She had my earlier experience as an example. The LORD had also told her she was not to be moved by the circumstances she saw. “You shall not be moved” were the actual words of the command He had put upon her heart. Emotion was effectively removed from her so that she could, genuinely, walk by faith and not by sight because the trauma I was experiencing had become quite ugly and unceasing. 24/7 I was vomiting, swollen, and covered in a complete body rash which the doctors attributed to medical reactions.
Then, early on July 5th, I jumped out of bed once again and dove at the wall, this time knocking pictures off a bookcase and crushing one between my head and the wall. It took more prayer to bring me back this than the first time. Marylynn caught me, saw my eyes roll back in my head and, again, I expired. Once more, I was gone, only for longer this time. Over and over, she used her faith and prayed repeatedly as directed by the Holy Spirit: “IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.” The name of the LORD is sufficient. He had been teaching her this truth for a couple of weeks previously, and the fullness of Colossians 3:17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
After a while, I came back… and yelled at her in a shrill woman’s voice! She – Marylynn, that is – was physically quite exhausted and had to rest to regain her faith because fear had begun to creep in, it was all so overwhelming. She was thinking, “Death had to bow to the name of Jesus, but what’s going on here?” I didn’t appear to be at all well, although I had come back to life. She knew that everyone Jesus or the apostles raised from the dead came back healed. After we rested for a while, I asked her if she’d heard the voice that came out of my mouth – that it was not mine, but a woman’s. We started praying for deliverance. After praying and denouncing Satan for quite some time, another voice came out of me telling her she wasn’t strong enough to perform this deliverance, which was, of course, a lie; she had all the ability she needed IN THE NAME OF JESUS, but I was getting discouraged and exhausted so, in the morning, instead of going to the hospital, we went to our pastor’s house just for prayer. I ended up staying there for several days, “staying the course.”
In the name of Jesus, my pastor, Charles Spradlin, has healed the sick, cast out devils, and raised 13+ people from the dead. At his home, I was up every day, then kept up all night by what we now realize were the demons tormenting me. After eight days of prayer and deliverance, there were no positive, lasting results. At one point, I looked at my wife and told her I was double-minded but I didn’t know what to do about it (as in James 1:6-8: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the LORD. A double-minded man is unstable in all his way.”
At the Hospital
I was taken to the hospital. After several hours in the emergency room and tests being run, I was moved to intensive care. (Now remember, Marylynn, Pastor Spradlin, his family, a beloved sister in Christ, Connie Myers, and others had been praying diligently and persistently.) Once in ICU, I coded: this means all my vitals dropped and I started dying once again. They told my wife all of my major organs had failed and my legs didn’t work, so I would not walk any more. Many medical people began working on me and they ran her out of the room. Next, I heard them ask if the priest was there. I asked, “Why? I’m not going to die” and if I needed prayer, they should get my pastor who was out in the hall. Then I laid back and started to pray in God’s heavenly language. Within just a few minutes, I was stabilized and not in as much immediate danger NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DID BECAUSE THEY HAD PRETTY WELL GIVEN UP ON ME, BUT BECAUSE OF MY PRAYERS AND THE PRAYERS OF OTHERS. (They had called my heart specialist at home and told him he needed to get to the hospital quickly because one of his patients would be dead by morning.)
They got my pastor and my wife. The LORD had told Pastor Spradlin to ask me what the sin was in my heart. He was waiting for something huge, but I had already told and repented for all the big ones, so I looked at Marylynn and asked, “Should I tell him about the disability?” She replied emphatically, “Good God, yes, if that’s what’s bothering you!” I told him I had filed for disability and I felt guilty about it. He was shocked; it wasn’t the size or the substance of the “sin” but my perception, my guilt about it that was killing me. He said we have the ability to forgive, then asked, “Do you repent?” (even though filing for disability isn't a sin, I felt it was for me, at the time). I did, and we agreed I was forgiven. Within two or three minutes, all my vitals were back to within normal range. The doctors and nurses were astonished.
Marylynn had called my mother, a diligent prayer warrior and reader of the Word, who lives in
They came. After a couple of days there, I got bold with Connie because I have always worried about her salvation. I asked her if she died today, would she go to heaven and had she given her heart to the LORD? She answered, “Yes.”
Later that day, she took Marylynn aside and told her of something I had done when I was 16. Remember the car accident? I had promised God that if He would save me, I would serve Him, serve Him with my life and my voice. I was healed. He did His part; I did not do mine. I started a rock band doing danced, bars, and show clubs, and the occasional church. Apparently, I was always double-minded, and I had made a vow to God I subsequently made no effort to remember or keep. Until Now. I had lied to God.
Yes, at last, the sin that had held me in bondage for 38 years was known.
Remember the prayer and deliverance of my pastor, my wife, and numerous others? No matter how hard everyone – including me – prayed and believed with all faith, I could not be delivered because I had this large unforgiven sin in my heart. God WAS answering the prayers. We knew that He was, but we could just not see how. 2 Corinthians 5:7 is a requirement: For we walk by faith, not by sight. That is how we live our lives. HE puts everything together, when we just let Him.
So, Marylynn and I got together in my room and prayed a prayer of repentance that I would be forgiven for this sin that He’d had to bring my sister from
A Last Relevant and Imperative Note
Both Marylynn and Pastor Spradlin were aware I needed to hear the Word, only they just didn’t know how much. You see, up until the hospitalization, although I attended church faithfully every Wednesday and Sunday, I never opened my Bible through the week. Both of them brought in tape and CD players so they could play the Bible in my room around the clock only, interestingly, none of the units they brought in would work. The LORD spoke to Marylynn and said, “Michael has to initiate this himself.” No longer would I be carried along solely by others’ prayers.
Now, I read the Word daily and am serving Him, as I promised over 40 years ago, willingly, cleansed, and with my whole new heart that He has given me. Now since my recovery, I have been going into churches and before groups such as Full Gospel Business Men’s meetings with Word and with music. Now God has also given me a great word of encouragement for others in my personal testimony as to His faithfulness, grace, and mercy to go along with His word and music. Thank You, Jesus, and thank You for working through the ministries and persons of Pastor Charles Spradlin, Sister Denzil Totman, Dr. Richard Bootz, and Pastor Max Colver, as well as Benny Hinn, Pat Robertson, Myles Munroe, Jesse Duplantis, and more. God bless them all.
God does not punish us with sickness or disease. After "the fall," sin AND sickness (to death) became a regular part of the scene here on Planet Earth. God makes it quite clear that "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest... shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22) and "...whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7). You don't plant tomatoes and get watermelons. That's what caused all of this that happened to my husband, Michael; all that which happens to all of us. It's the way it is. Ah! But, Jesus! He came and overcame! Yes, but Jesus didn't come to destroy the laws of God, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). As long as we are still in our flesh suits, flesh things are going to happen. Jesus has now, already, given us EVERYTHING we need to overcome all evil that was brought upon the earth by the actions in the garden, but it ain't automatic. While the gift of God is free, do we not have some responsibilities? Jesus Himself said that DAILY we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross, and follow Him. Then - yes, even now, while we are still in this flesh - we can walk in the fullness of the Truth of the Word of God which declares that by His stripes we were healed, (1 Peter 2:24), Amen in Jesus' name.