The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

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In a series of prior postings I have communicated how a life threatening illness sent me to the emergency room where the doctors did not expect me to live through the night. Being close to death, my spirit left my body and I experienced the truth of our spiritual reality. I traveled to and swam in the Lake of Fire (also called the second death) where I experienced unimaginable horrors. I then went into Hell where I was confronted by Satan and experienced the incredible hatred that he has for me. Next I traveled to the Judgment Seat of Christ and heard the words from God that no one wants to hear, which were, “Why should you live?”

If you would like to read the details of all of this please use the following hyperlinks:












The Last Judgment by Rogier Van Der Weyden

But I made a promise to God that I would be better if He would work with me. The next thing that I knew was that I woke up in the intensive care center. I had lived through the night but what was about to become clear was that the battle for my life was not over. My problem was an exploding pancreas was filling my body with digestive enzymes that are used to decompose meat. So in effect, my body was disintegrating from the inside out. To slow down enzyme production I was placed on a strict fast until such time as a more definitive direction could be made. Then suddenly my vocal cords became swollen and choked off my air supply and an emergency operation was performed that saved my life. Another operation was performed to insure that I had proper levels of nutrition entering my body. But there still was no answer to what to do about my broken pancreas.


Then, for some reason I picked up a Bible one day. I had never read it before but since I had the time I thought that perhaps it would be as good a time as any. I was still in the hospital and was tired most of the time. I would often read just a few chapters at a time because even reading tired me. I started by reading the book of Matthew and hung in there until I eventually finished the entire book. I read the words but for what ever reason, they did not hit home. I remember thinking that they did not seem to make any sense. They left me feeling flat. The book of Matthew seemed like a series of nice stories—not much more. I wondered why anyone would get so excited about these simple stories. After finishing Matthew, I continued reading but after a while I gave up. The Bible just did not make much of an impression on me. Little did I know at the time that God would honor my meager attempt to find Him. The following paragraphs tell the story of what happened shortly afterward.


Jesus Heals the Leper

After being in the hospital for a couple of months, my surgeon came to talk to me. This was shortly after I had a second set of CAT scan examination performed. These examinations were performed to look at my pancreas and to determine weather it has healing or if I would need an operation.  My doctor communicated that the pseudo cysts on my pancreas were not being reabsorbed. This meant that I would need surgery to correct this condition. He also said that in the short term they posed little risk because the pseudo cyst tissues were soft. Over time they would harden and be in danger of breaking. Therefore, he indicated that it would be very dangerous to leave these pseudo cysts in their current condition.

He provided me with a long list of reasons why my condition was dangerous and recommended a pancreas operation when I got stronger. When I inquired about the risks of the operation he explained that the procedure would be very complex and risky. They would have to make a fifteen-inch cut in my abdomen and physically remove my stomach, kidneys and much of my intestines just to get to the pancreas. All of this would be necessary because the pancreas is located just inside the backbone and it is inaccessible from the back.

Once the internal organs were out of the way, the pseudo cysts would be lanced and then sewn to the wall of the intestines. This procedure would enable the pseudo-cysts to drain directly into the intestines where the powerful enzymes excreted by the pancreas would not be harmful. Once this phase of the operation was complete, they would replace the removed organs and stitch me up.

The surgeon again admitted that this procedure was classified as extremely risky. On the other hand, he believed that the risk was warranted as he was sure that I would have major, potentially fatal, problems without it.

But the complexity and risk of this operation seemed excessive to me. After all, I had believed from the very first day that I would recover and that everything would be fine. In fact, during my hospitalization I refused to let any negative thoughts into my mind. Bad news from the surgeon was not going to change my mind about the overall outcome. It seemed to me that the risk of the surgery was greater than the potential problem with my pancreas. The surgery just seemed intrinsically wrong. It felt wrong in my head and wrong in my gut.

Members of my immediate family thought otherwise however. They certainly knew much better than I just how lucky I was to be alive (since the doctors told them that I would not live through the first night but chose to keep me in the dark.) After discussing this situation with them, I decided to get a second opinion. So, I contacted my family doctor to see if he could help.

He did some research and found a very experienced pancreatic specialist who was assigned to another hospital in town. Little did I know what a firestorm would be started by bringing in a doctor from another hospital. Apparently, this kind of thing was just not done. My viewpoint was that I did not understand why anyone would want to do it any other way. I already knew that the other doctors in the hospital would agree with their cohort’s opinion. What I needed was a fresh set of eyes, an open and independent mind, and an environment free from political influence. My family doctor did an excellent job playing the middleman in making it happen. He pulled strings to get the independent second opinion set up.

The day that the doctor from the other hospital showed up, I could hear the nurses and the doctors talking about it in the halls. In fact, it seemed that everyone in the building was talking about it. With all the fuss you would have thought that someone had robbed a bank. In any event, the new doctor showed up and did an excellent job. He asked me a lot of questions, examined me, reviewed my records, and ordered a completely new battery of tests including CAT scans, X-rays, and blood tests. A few weeks later he reported his analysis of the new tests, and the results were shocking. He reported that the pseudo-cysts were shrinking! That meant that I would not need this very dangerous operation.

By comparing the two sets of CAT scans, he was able to report that the pseudo-cysts were smaller than before, which meant that they were being reabsorbed into my pancreas. He projected that within three to six months time that they would be gone completely. My body was being healing! This was great news.

However, I did not give God any of the credit at the time. I thought that it was my good positive attitude, a strong body, and good luck. It was quite a bit later in my life that I came to know the love of Jesus that I truly understood what really happened. When I look back at this event now it is as clear as crystal that God intervened. Something happened between my first and second battery of tests, and that something was that I had tried to find God by picking up a Bible and reading it. Regardless of how feeble the effort was, God responded with a healing miracle! It did not even matter that I found the experience empty; God honored my search for Him. It was as if God was saying to me, “Okay son, you took one step in My direction, and you think that nothing will come of it. But, you have My heart. I am going to show you that I am real. My desire is that you live.”

Jesus "The Life," Raises Lazarus from the Grave

Interestingly, I did not even ask for healing but simply reached out to try to find Him. Sweet God in heaven, I praise Your holy and sacred name. I praise You for loving someone unworthy of Your love. Someone who could never change the error of his ways without Your love.

As you can see, God was there again. He was looking out for me and taking care of me even when I did not know it. I think about these things now and wonder why the Lord would love me so. He has saved me from the lake of fire and brimstone, from the pit of hell and the savagery of the devil. He has given me life even though I stood before Him on the Day of Judgment with the stains of sin all over me.

But the battle was not over. The second opinion was not received well by all of the members of my immediate family. In addition, it was not received well by the hospital doctors either. In my next posting I will tell how they both tried to get me to have the operation anyway.


Read the truly amazing life story about how the forces of good and evil battle over a man and the vision that God gives him. Joseph W. Gordon’s Possess the Vision (Xulon Press, $12.95, 140 pages, ISBN 1-59781-205-6) tells about the mysterious spiritual experiences that occur throughout his lifetime.