Participants: Mark Fox
Series Code: AMP
Program Code: AMP000007A
00:04 We are racing towards the global crisis at the close.
00:09 God is going to set up His kingdom on earth.
00:13 Preparation for the tribulation and the translation
00:18 is to develop a character like Jesus Christ
00:21 to reach every hamlet, every village, every man,
00:24 every child, every person in India,
00:27 every person in South America
00:28 must hear these three angles' messages.
00:34 These are stories that illustrate
00:36 the kind of fabric of character and perseverance
00:39 that we need to go through the tribulation
00:42 just as certainly as they did.
00:44 The Bible makes it very clear
00:45 we are living in an unusual hour.
00:48 The last grains of sand
00:49 are trickling through the hourglass of time
00:52 and the door probation is about the swing shut.
01:00 The message this morning is entitled
01:02 "You Can Have A Comeback."
01:04 You can have a comeback.
01:06 Psalms 102:13 is our theme scripture.
01:10 "You will arise and have mercy on Zion.
01:13 For the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come."
01:19 "God has a time for everything" Ecclesiastes 3:1.
01:26 God has a plan for everyone.
01:29 "I know the plans I have for you" Jeremiah 29:11.
01:33 God has His time, God has His plan,
01:36 and I believe this is your time.
01:38 And so I believe you can say categorically,
01:41 unequivocally without any hesitation,
01:44 tell your neighbor this is your time.
01:47 "Now it happened on a certain day,
01:50 as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees
01:53 and teachers of the law sitting by,
01:55 who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea,
01:58 and Jerusalem."
02:00 And read this part with me.
02:02 "And the power of the Lord was present to heal."
02:07 The power of the Lord was present to heal.
02:11 The Pharisees didn't get the miracles.
02:15 The Pharisees missed their opportunity
02:18 but there were some in that house
02:20 that received a breakthrough, received a comeback.
02:24 How many want to be in this house with the Lord
02:27 and not miss your miracle?
02:29 Can you say, amen?
02:30 And so there is healing in this house.
02:33 So let's put the two points together.
02:36 This is your time and there is healing in this house.
02:38 Do you believe it? Do you receive it?
02:40 The Bible makes it very clear
02:42 we receive according to our faith, Matthew 9:29.
02:46 Jesus made it very clear
02:48 we receive according to our faith.
02:52 Some of you I believe we are gonna be filled overflowing
02:55 and you will go with a well of water
02:58 springing up onto everlasting life.
03:00 Some I pray will not go having missed their opportunity.
03:05 And so "Jacob went from running in exile for over 20 years
03:12 to a miraculous reconciliation with his brother Esau."
03:17 You can have a comeback.
03:18 "Elijah went from the cave of despair,
03:21 not wanting to live to ultimately
03:23 being taken to heaven."
03:25 You can have a comeback.
03:27 "The prodigal son went from the pig pent
03:29 to a homecoming celebration with his father."
03:32 You can have a comeback.
03:34 "Two demon possessed men went from cutting themselves
03:37 and being a terror to everyone
03:38 to being a mighty witness for Jesus!"
03:41 You can have a comeback.
03:43 The Apostle Paul was a man of dramatic comebacks!
03:47 Talk about he got nine lives, is it.
03:51 He was stoned and left for dead.
03:53 He was shipwrecked, whipped and beaten, imprisoned,
03:56 maligned, ridicule, persecuted
03:59 but the man just kept on coming back.
04:02 You can have a comeback.
04:04 "Jesus went from death to being resurrected
04:07 and ascending to the right hand of the Father!"
04:10 You have Your comeback.
04:13 "The 144,000 go from the tribulation
04:16 to the throne of God!"
04:18 Are you convinced? You can have a comeback.
04:21 In Revelation 2:4-5, I invite you to turn that with me.
04:25 The Book of Revelation, everybody say Revelation.
04:29 Revelation we have been sharpening the focus
04:32 night by night upon this prophetic symbolic
04:35 colorful book of Revelation and its twin companion volume
04:39 as it were the prophetic book of Daniel in the Old Testament.
04:43 These special books have relevance for us
04:47 living in the edge of eternity.
04:49 And so Revelation Chapter 2,
04:52 Revelation 2:4,
04:56 "Nevertheless I have this against you,
04:58 that you have left your" what?
05:00 "First love."
05:02 If you have ever loved the Lord more than you do right now
05:07 you have left your first love.
05:11 What do you do about that?
05:14 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen,
05:18 repent and do the first works,
05:20 or else I will come to you quickly
05:23 and remove your lampstand from its place
05:25 unless you repent."
05:27 Repent of what?
05:28 Repent that you lost that first glow.
05:32 You lost your honeymoon with Jesus.
05:34 You lost that fervency, that vibrancy,
05:39 you lost that radiance, you lost that joy of the Lord,
05:42 that peace that passive understanding,
05:44 you lost it.
05:46 But I'm here to tell you, you can get it back.
05:48 You can have a comeback,
05:50 you can get your first love back.
05:52 Is that resounding good news or what?
05:54 And so remember how do you get it back?
05:57 You got to remember what the Lord has done for you
06:01 and you got to remember your experience with Him
06:04 that that first love experience and as you reflect upon that
06:08 you can get it back through the help of the Holy Spirit.
06:11 "Remember from where you have fallen"
06:12 you got to acknowledge.
06:15 Are you lukewarm now and used to be on fire?
06:18 The Bible says repent, repent.
06:21 You say I had been in the church
06:23 but maybe lost that first love.
06:25 You know, you can be lost in the church.
06:28 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen,
06:30 repent and do the first works,
06:31 or else I will come to you quickly"
06:33 this is judgment.
06:34 How many believe "Judgment begins at the house of God,"
06:37 1 John or rather 1 Peter 4:17 makes it very clear.
06:42 And so "Or else I will come to you quickly
06:44 and remove your lampstand from its place unless you"
06:47 what everyone?
06:48 "You repent."
06:49 How many are willing if you lost that first love
06:51 to repent and say, Lord, I want to get that back
06:54 more than anything in my life.
06:56 Can you say amen to Jesus?
07:00 Hosea 14:4 is a precious promise
07:04 for those who have backslid.
07:07 Hosea 14:4, let's read it together balcony included.
07:10 Here we go, "I will heal their backsliding,
07:13 I will love them freely," I will what?
07:17 "I will love them freely
07:19 for My anger has turned away from him."
07:21 Your backsliding can be healed,
07:24 yeah there is restoration in this house today.
07:28 And so do not "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy,"
07:31 do we have an enemy?
07:34 Are you under attack?
07:36 Are you on the frontal assault of the enemy?
07:39 Let me tell you something the Lord impress a scripture
07:42 indelibly upon my mind that we fight
07:47 not against flesh and blood, we fight against principalities
07:51 and powers of darkness.
07:52 We are in and all out war against the host of darkness
07:57 and you and I cannot prevail without the blood of Jesus
08:02 and the help of Jesus
08:03 and the help of the Holy Spirit.
08:05 And so the Bible makes it very clear
08:07 if you call upon Jesus you shall be saved.
08:11 And the Bible says, "Do not rejoice over me,
08:13 my enemy," we do have an enemy.
08:15 "But when I fall," everybody together
08:18 "I will arise."
08:20 You can have a comeback.
08:21 I love these comeback scriptures.
08:23 I will arise, when I sit in darkness,"
08:26 you can't see the future.
08:28 Things look bleak,
08:30 don't understand what's going on.
08:32 "When I sit in darkness, the Lord" is right there
08:36 "and the Lord will be a light to me" Micah 7:8.
08:39 And so once again in the Book of Revelation,
08:42 we read this together.
08:45 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
08:48 and by the word of their testimony,
08:50 and they did not love their lives to the death."
08:54 Because they fell in love with Jesus who died for them.
08:57 So should we have a testimony?
08:59 Whatever your testimony is it is a special way
09:05 to witness and win souls to Christ.
09:07 "He that winneth souls is wise" Proverbs 11:30.
09:12 The testimony that I want to share with you
09:15 is how the part one of how God has helped me
09:18 to have a comeback.
09:19 All glory goes to Jesus.
09:21 The Bible says,
09:22 "If you are gonna boast you boast about the Lord."
09:24 And that's all I can boast about
09:26 but I'm here to tell you my testimony
09:29 is all about this scripture.
09:31 Jeremiah 31:3, "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying,
09:34 'Yes, I have loved you" I have loved you
09:39 "with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness
09:44 I have drawn you."
09:47 In 1975 I was 17-years-old
09:51 and my buddy Bob and I were aboard
09:53 his 1963 Harley-Davidson Sportster.
09:57 It was loud, it was fast, it got the girls attention.
10:01 So this high school dropout turned hippie
10:04 and I drop out after ninth grade.
10:05 My father a pastor so I was the PPK,
10:09 the pastor's prodigal kid
10:10 and I wanted nothing to do with boring sermons
10:13 and hypocritical church members.
10:15 I had a very negative attitude and so all I cared about
10:19 is when I got out of my workplace
10:21 I would take my meager paycheck and squander it
10:25 like the prodigal son did unrighteous living.
10:28 And so I would get together with my friend Paul
10:31 and I was riding on the backseat.
10:33 We were helmet protestors led in our long hippie hair
10:37 blowing the cool November breeze.
10:39 November 17 I will never forget that evening.
10:42 We were coming from Manchester bar
10:44 there on a way to anther bar.
10:46 Can I insert
10:48 that this is kind of the water down version
10:51 and you say well, oh, boy,
10:53 here we go with another testimony
10:55 this is about somebody who has been out there and done that.
10:58 Let me tell you something, Jesus gave enough details
11:04 about the before of the prodigal son
11:07 so that you could appreciate the homecoming.
11:10 And so as all I'm gonna do
11:11 is do what Jesus tells me to do,
11:13 just share enough details so that people can appreciate
11:17 the homecoming and the Father gets the glory.
11:20 And so I will tell you that we had no care
11:24 and thought on the world, we are on our way
11:26 to another bar and as we begin to approach
11:29 a curve up on the road there in East Hartford
11:33 all of a sudden a sudden uneasy premonition
11:37 swept over me about danger lurking ahead.
11:40 We were going 45
11:41 an opposed 35 mile an hour posted speed zone
11:44 and sure enough as we begin to ease out of that curve
11:47 all of a sudden a VW dotter cross our pathway
11:51 no lights on, no blinker on, cross the double yellow line.
11:54 My buddy Bob barely had time to even touch the breaks.
11:58 We slam head on into that VW.
12:00 When you are driving motorcycle you are the bumper
12:03 if you get on the road.
12:05 And so we were thrown like refuse
12:07 to the side of the road.
12:08 My buddy Bob landed around the welcome sign,
12:11 I landed around the thank you sign.
12:12 Terrible PR for that grocery store
12:14 but there were on the side of the road
12:17 and I couldn't breathe and I was scared to death.
12:22 And looked up at the starlet sky
12:25 and who do you think I thought about?
12:27 I thought about God.
12:29 I said in my mind, don't let me die.
12:32 I knew if I was to die
12:34 I will do down to a Christless grave.
12:37 And so God heard, God heard my feeble,
12:42 unworthy, broken prayer.
12:46 The Bible says, "He will regard the prayer of the destitute"
12:49 in Psalms 102, rather Psalms 103.
12:53 And so the Bible makes it very clear
12:56 "That Christ is longsuffering,
12:59 not willing that any should perish
13:01 but that all should come to repentance"
13:02 2 Peter 3:9.
13:05 And so I started breathing and with that came
13:08 an overwhelming sensation of excruciating pain
13:12 and I panicked and I tried to get up I couldn't get up
13:15 I panicked more.
13:17 I tried to get up.
13:18 A crowd quickly gathered and hovered over us
13:20 there at the scene of the accident
13:22 and they are asking me, "are you okay"
13:24 and I could just grunt and groan
13:26 and I'm looking over to my right
13:29 and there is my buddy Bob
13:31 he sprawled out on the pavement as well.
13:33 The side of the curve and he is asking
13:35 about his bike and everything
13:37 I'm like careless about your bike.
13:40 A real Harley-Davidson enthusiast.
13:44 And then he is asking me how am I doing as well.
13:48 His nose is bleeding, he blooded up
13:51 and bike is mangled and there we are.
13:55 The ambulance arrived and rushed us to the hospital
13:59 with the enquiry Mark, can you wiggle your toes?
14:02 Bob, can you wiggle your toes?
14:05 Well, I could wiggle my toes
14:06 so I thought okay, that's a good sign.
14:08 I guess I'm gonna, gonna survive this
14:10 and they rushed us to the hospital
14:12 and while I was behind white drawn curtains
14:18 there in the emergency room on that hard emergency board
14:24 crying out in agony for the doctors and nurses
14:28 to help me it seemed like an eternity
14:31 that I was there laying helpless without any attention.
14:35 And then my parents emerged and my mother,
14:40 my mother and I were left alone because my dad went
14:43 to go and check up on the medical status of Bob.
14:47 And so my mother and I were left alone there and I said,
14:51 mom, mom, am I okay.
14:54 Mom, take a look at me and she lifted up the sheet
14:57 and with a trembling hand and a crackling voice
14:59 she said, you are gonna be okay.
15:03 Thanks for that assurance, mom.
15:08 The next morning I woke up
15:10 and there bottles hanging over my head
15:12 and I looked directly across the room
15:13 and there is Bob all bandaged up nose
15:16 and he's got bottles hanging over his head as well.
15:18 I got tube up inserted in my nose
15:21 and I got tubes in my arms and so forth
15:23 and we kind of breathe a sigh of relief.
15:25 I wasn't going anywhere fast,
15:27 I had a three quarter fractured pelvis,
15:29 severely sprained back, cut up bruised and humbled.
15:34 The second night I was in the hospital
15:36 the doctors and nurses
15:38 literally came in around midnight
15:40 and literally were pounding on my chest.
15:44 I was groggy kind of heavily sedated,
15:47 kind of out of it but I do recall
15:49 that this was very intense.
15:52 They were trying to help me.
15:54 The next morning when my parents arrived to visit
15:57 their wayward son one of the church members
16:01 from the Hartford Connecticut Church confronted my parents
16:06 and said, she broke the news and say, she said,
16:09 we almost lost your son last night
16:13 because of blood clots.
16:16 And so my parents quickly hastened to my room
16:22 and they said, Mark, we are praying for you.
16:25 Mark, we have the church members praying for you.
16:27 Mark, we want you to give your heart to God.
16:31 Well, then my buddies and my friends,
16:33 the guys and the girls wanted to come in and visit me
16:36 and then they would offer me the drugs and drinking
16:39 and everything and so I started to resume that lifestyle
16:43 even before I got out.
16:45 And so then there was, what ensued was a conflict,
16:48 furious conflict between my friends and my parents
16:52 and, you know, of course my parents' estimation,
16:54 with friends like this who needs enemies
16:56 and so to the chagrin of my parents,
16:59 I said, "Mom, Dad,
17:00 could you just stop visiting me for a while?"
17:02 Because, you know, there was too much tension there
17:05 so I chose my friends above my parents.
17:08 My parents were devastated. My parents were broken hearted.
17:12 Can I fast forward, we are very close now?
17:14 Okay, rewind.
17:18 My parents were very patient, around this time
17:24 my father one night
17:29 around this time they were crying in the bedroom.
17:35 My dad was shaking and as they were praying
17:39 it just came to them
17:42 "Father, He is your son too
17:47 take care of him" and he was able to sleep.
17:52 So there I was in the hospital room
17:58 for ten days and then I was released with crutches
18:03 after a little bit of physical therapy
18:06 and a friend of mine took me home
18:09 and I planned to resume going up to my friend Paul's house
18:13 who was no better than Bob.
18:15 Paul was my best friend, he lived up the block
18:18 just a couple houses down the block
18:20 there in the East Hartford, Connecticut
18:22 and I was just ready to go, ready to have a party
18:26 and my mother said, Mark, wait a minute, sit down.
18:31 I thought, oh, boy, here comes a lecture.
18:34 I sat down, put my crutches aside
18:36 there in the living room and she said, Mark,
18:39 please do not go back to this lifestyle of yours.
18:44 Don't go back to this, Mark.
18:47 Then can't you see that God saved your life.
18:49 Give your heart to God, Mark. Give your heart to Jesus.
18:54 And all I could be thinking to myself is has she done yet?
18:59 I had a very hardened heart, very hardened heart.
19:02 I'm so glad the Bible says
19:04 that "He can take the heart of stone out
19:07 and give us a heart of flesh" Ezekiel 36:26, 27.
19:11 How many believe Jesus does do heart surgery?
19:16 And so I said, okay, mom, yeah, yeah, yeah.
19:18 So I resume, I hobbled my way
19:20 down the sidewalk to Paul's house.
19:23 But, you know, the Bible makes it very, very clear
19:26 that God is a God of amazing breakthroughs!
19:30 Motorcycle accident God saved my life.
19:35 The devil tried to take my life but God won the battle.
19:40 "For You have delivered my soul from death."
19:44 Hasn't the Lord really delivered us off
19:46 from eternal death? Psalms 56:13.
19:52 And so on another occasion my friend Paul said,
19:58 Mark, let's take some LSD together.
20:03 I said, there is no way I'm gonna take LSD.
20:08 I would do marijuana, et cetera, et cetera
20:11 but I knew LSD that's the big leagues,
20:14 that's more potent that I ever want to swallow.
20:18 No, I'm not gonna do that. Can I just say something?
20:23 There are millions and millions of young people
20:27 experimenting with drugs this weekend.
20:31 My heart, I have a burden for young people.
20:34 I have spoken with God's help to thousands of young people
20:37 and I have a burden that young people will realize
20:42 that drugs will not give them that peace,
20:45 that joy, that happiness but Jesus will.
20:48 And so I said, no way but he persisted.
20:53 He wouldn't let it go and there was a party
20:56 and the guys and girls were mingling and dancing.
20:59 The smoke was filling the room and the music was blasting,
21:03 everything was in the context of rock and roll, everything.
21:08 And so I said, all right, give me some other stuff.
21:12 He gave me what is known as four way blotter acid.
21:15 I know you, please, I hope you never remember that.
21:19 But anyway four way blotter acid,
21:21 you are supposed to take it in four intervals
21:25 and spread it out over like a weekend
21:27 never take it and at one time you never mix it with alcohol.
21:31 Give the devil an inch and he will take your mind.
21:35 I ended up taking the four way blotter acid
21:38 mixing it, mingling it with alcohol
21:42 and at first I thought wow,
21:43 this is so real, this is different.
21:45 I was hallucinating.
21:47 I was having out of the body experiences
21:49 and all sorts of strange sensations
21:52 and feelings and observations about what was going on
21:56 that was very distorted.
21:59 And then after a long time what seem like an eternity
22:03 finally the party was over and it came time to go home.
22:09 Well, I was in no shape and no mental framework
22:12 to go home so I said to buddy Paul,
22:14 Paul, I can't go home like this.
22:16 Can I stay overnight here? Sure, no problem.
22:18 So he went to his bedroom and I got in bed
22:22 and I laid down and I close my eyes to go to sleep.
22:29 No exaggeration, all of a sudden satanic,
22:32 horrific nightmarish images, graphic, colorful,
22:38 impressive, devastating images swirled in my days mind.
22:44 I leap from the bed and I said Paul, Paul,
22:47 when am I gonna come down?
22:49 When am I gonna come down?
22:50 He thought I was really hyping things up
22:53 and he said, don't worry about it, you will come down.
22:55 Turned out he didn't take it with me,
22:57 I was alone
23:00 that's why he could go to sleep.
23:05 I was not going to revisit that bed.
23:08 I did not want to go back and see those images again.
23:13 So what did I do?
23:14 All night, this 17-year-old hippie, proud hippie, man,
23:20 I was the DJ get my LPs out, laugh and joke around and party
23:25 but now I was scared to death and I paste the floor
23:32 watching my buddy, my best friend Paul
23:34 taught me into taking this stuff watching him snore
23:39 and I paste the floor back and forth
23:42 wondering if I would ever come down,
23:46 wondering if my mind would ever be normal again.
23:51 Wondering if I would get my sanity back
23:54 I knew I was losing it fast.
23:59 At the crack of dawn I was looking in the mirror
24:03 something teenagers like to do occasionally
24:05 and I was looking in the mirror
24:08 and I look like death warmed over
24:11 and I vigorously shook my buddy Paul, Paul, get up, get up.
24:15 Now there is something about this sort of lifestyle
24:17 you like to sleep in but I was rudely interrupting
24:20 his sleep and I said, come on, man, get up, get up.
24:24 I was scared.
24:25 I didn't want to be alone anymore.
24:28 And all that day I hallucinated.
24:30 All that day I had incredible paranoia sweep over me.
24:35 And then that evening
24:37 after what seemed to be an eternity in hell
24:41 that evening they threw another party.
24:45 Guys and girls mingling and the music blasting,
24:48 the smoke filling the room, laughter, joking
24:53 and then all of a sudden the attention shifted to me.
24:57 Hey, Fox, you still high man, you still hallucinating?
25:02 Hey, do you feel box them.
25:04 And I became the bud of the jokes.
25:06 They laughed at me. They thought it was funny.
25:11 I was thinking to myself if they don't be quiet
25:14 I'm gonna absolutely go crazy.
25:17 And so I talked to myself
25:18 they are not getting up, giving up.
25:19 How many agree sometimes friends can be
25:21 a little relentless in their cruelty.
25:25 And so I talked to myself I got to get out of here.
25:27 So I started thinking I'm gonna go home.
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26:36 Don't know what I'm gonna say, I got to think
26:37 about what I'm gonna say to my parents
26:39 and so I made a beeline for the door.
26:40 Hey, Fox, where do you think you are going, man?
26:43 Come on, man, you are not gonna go home.
26:46 I opened the door,
26:47 close the door behind me with them laughing.
26:50 I stumbled my way down the murky shadows of that night
26:53 and sidewalk and rehearsing my alibi.
26:57 Okay, what am I gonna say? All right, what am I gonna say?
26:59 I rang the doorbell.
27:01 Remember, this is just couple houses down the block.
27:03 Rang the doorbell,
27:04 I'm one of four boys, I'm number two
27:06 and my older brother Kevin answered the door.
27:10 What is going on with you?
27:12 Mom and dad are worried about you where--
27:14 oh, don't worry about it.
27:16 Don't worry about it.
27:17 Didn't want be bothered by him
27:19 and so I made a beeline for my bedroom
27:21 and I thought all right, get your composure together.
27:25 Then my mother, I hear approaching footsteps
27:28 and I thought the enquiry,
27:30 the great inquest is about the comments.
27:34 Mark, where have been? Just up Paul's house.
27:37 Why didn't you call us?
27:39 I should have called you, I'm really sorry, mom.
27:41 What have you been doing? Oh, not much.
27:45 And then I started shaking,
27:46 she knew something was going on.
27:48 I started shaking and she said calmly,
27:52 sweet heart, tell me what's the matter.
27:54 What's the matter, what happened?
27:56 And I'm shaking and I started to cry
28:00 and my mother very calmly we sat down
28:04 at the edge of one of the twin beds
28:08 and my mother wrapped her arm around me
28:11 and she said, Honey, tell me what happened.
28:14 Mom, I've taken some LSD and I can't come down, mom.
28:20 And I held on to her tightly. Mom, please help me.
28:23 I can't come down, mom, please help me.
28:27 My dad emerged there in the doorway,
28:31 what's going on in here?
28:34 And my mother informed him.
28:37 My dad, my loving dad responded by calling the doctor.
28:43 Doc, you know, we don't know what to do.
28:45 Our son is hallucinating on LSD and,
28:49 you know, we don't what to do for him.
28:51 What do you suggest?
28:52 Well, if he becomes violent, you know, we can--
28:56 you can bring him here and we'll put him
28:57 in a completely enclosed padded room
29:00 until he comes down.
29:03 My father pictured his claustrophobic son
29:07 in the claustrophobic padded room
29:10 and my dad responded thank God
29:13 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
29:16 Doc, no our son has not become violent
29:20 but, doc, we do believe in the power of prayer.
29:24 And my parents, my parents were praying for me
29:29 and my mother's intuition was in full gear.
29:32 By the way, I do believe that mother's intuition
29:35 is a gift from God and all the mothers had.
29:38 I believe that with all my heart.
29:41 And so my mother said, have you eaten anything?
29:45 I could barely even smoke a cigarette
29:47 and said no, no, I haven't.
29:49 You need to eat something. I said, all right.
29:52 So she fed me a little bit and I believe that helped
29:56 to absorb some of this acid but that combined with
30:01 put my PJs on and I said, you got to go to bed now.
30:08 And I remember asking my mom,
30:13 mom, just think you can sleep
30:16 in the bedroom here with me tonight.
30:18 Now you got to keep in mind that this turbulent teenager
30:22 was known to shut his parents out,
30:25 lock the bedroom door and blast my,
30:28 so if you hear me say, huh,
30:29 you know, that was Led Zeppelin being pumped in there.
30:35 And so my mother said, yeah, I will sleep here
30:37 in the bedroom with you tonight.
30:38 I did not want to be alone to confront satanic images.
30:44 And so my parents knelt down by my bedside
30:47 clutched my hands and they prayed for me.
30:51 And while they were praying
30:53 here's what I calculated in my mind,
30:57 I know God is not gonna hear my prayer
31:00 but my only hope is if God hears their prayers.
31:07 Thank God,
31:09 for example that Job prayed for his friends,
31:15 I say this beloved, do you know someone
31:18 that needs Jesus pray for them.
31:21 Our God hears the effectual fervent prayer
31:26 of a righteous man avails much, James 5:16.
31:30 There is power in prayer.
31:32 I believe it with all my heart, there is power in prayer.
31:35 Say it with me, there is power in prayer.
31:37 Come on now, there is power in prayer.
31:40 So my parents prayed for me.
31:43 Later on they told me,
31:45 Mark, you had like a green complexion.
31:47 Don't know where that came from
31:48 but anyway I looked like death warmed over.
31:51 Then my dad went dejectedly
31:56 to his bedroom alone,
31:59 my mother got in the other twin bed,
32:02 the lights went out
32:05 and I thought okay, I'm gonna try.
32:07 And I close my eyes and those satanic images emerged again.
32:11 Mom, you there?
32:14 Honey, calm down, I'm here.
32:18 Mom, mom. Honey, I'm here.
32:25 You can go to sleep.
32:27 The Bible says in Isaiah,
32:29 take your Bible and turn with me.
32:33 Isaiah Chapter 66...
32:42 by the way I don't know if you realize
32:44 but Mother's Day is every day.
32:45 Okay, anyway,
32:48 Isaiah 66, so also with Father's Day.
32:54 Isaiah 66...
32:58 give you a moment to locate that.
33:01 Isaiah 66, beautiful, powerful, scripture
33:07 about how God will comfort those who need comfort
33:12 as a mother comforts her only children.
33:15 I want you to notice here for example in verse 2,
33:21 "'For all those things My hand has made,
33:24 and all those things exist,' says the Lord.
33:30 'But on this one will I look, on him who is poor
33:35 and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.'"
33:41 Let me tell you something, I was trembling
33:43 and I was feeling very, very humbled and contrite
33:47 and my mother was praying for me and I wondered,
33:50 I wondered is there any hope for me.
33:54 The Bible says that God will comfort you
33:56 as a mother comforts her child, her children.
34:00 And number one thoughts
34:01 swirling around in my crazed mind,
34:04 what I ever comedown because I knew, friends,
34:07 I knew, friends, that let's put it this way
34:10 their mind was permanently altered.
34:13 These mind altering drugs were so potent
34:16 that some would never be the same.
34:18 Some would be reduced to mere vegetable
34:22 or vegetating state of mind.
34:24 And so I lapsed into a much needed sleep
34:28 and the first thought in the morning
34:31 did God hear their prayer.
34:34 I was afraid to wake up.
34:36 I remembered the sun was shining brightly
34:38 through the window and I was underneath the pillow
34:41 and I just wanted to not wake up.
34:44 I just wanted to stay there because I was afraid
34:47 of what reality would bring.
34:50 I gradually moved the pillow aside,
34:54 I got out of the bed and of course
34:57 I made a beeline for the, for the mirror
34:59 and I'm thinking, am I okay.
35:03 All right, I think I'm okay. My mind was clear as a bell.
35:08 My mind was crystal clear. My mind no flashbacks.
35:13 Many people who take these kind of drugs
35:16 will have flashbacks for years.
35:19 No flashbacks, no withdrawal symptoms, I was delivered.
35:25 I race down the hallway and I declared to my mom and dad,
35:29 mom, dad, I'm okay.
35:31 I'm okay. What you think they said?
35:35 Mark, give your heart to Jesus. Give your heart to God.
35:40 Can't you see that God delivered you?
35:43 You know, the Bible says in Isaiah 61:1-3
35:46 and it's also quoted in Luke Chapter 4.
35:48 Go with me to Luke Chapter 4. Go with me to Luke Chapter 4.
35:57 Luke Chapter 4...
36:02 looking there at verse 18.
36:06 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
36:08 because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel
36:10 to the poor, he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
36:15 to proclaim" what everyone?
36:17 "Liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
36:21 to set at liberty those who are oppressed."
36:23 Let me tell you some,
36:25 I was oppressed by these demonic drugs.
36:27 How many agree that these drugs are from the devil?
36:30 Now you say, Mark, I would never take
36:33 these kind of potent drugs in my life.
36:36 Did you know that sin is the most powerful drug?
36:39 Sin alters your mind.
36:41 Sin alters your perspective, your motivation,
36:45 your decrement, your reasoning, your judgment.
36:47 Would you agree we--
36:49 our Bible says that a whole head is sick.
36:52 The Bible says, the heart is deceitful.
36:54 It will lie to you.
36:55 Let me tell you something, sin,
36:58 sin makes us unreasonable at time.
37:02 The Bible says that the prodigal son
37:04 when he came to his senses decided to go back home.
37:09 Another word sin will make you senseless.
37:12 Aren't you glad that Christ has delivered us from that drug?
37:15 Can you say amen?
37:17 And there is healing in this house
37:19 for these mind altering sins.
37:22 Thank God, you can be delivered.
37:24 I don't know what addiction you hold on to,
37:26 I don't what addicted thoughts you have,
37:29 what's your trainer thoughts but I'm here to tell you
37:31 Jesus delivers you and he delivers you now.
37:34 Do you believe it? Do you receive it?
37:36 And so I will tell you another episode.
37:38 My buddy's, we were six of us
37:41 in my 1966 Satellite Convertible
37:44 and I was driving.
37:45 We were passing around the jugs and somebody came up
37:47 with a crazy idea of breaking into somebody's home.
37:51 I was raised better.
37:53 I went to some Christian Adventist schools
37:56 until I dropped out and I knew better
38:00 but I had discovered it's not enough to know.
38:05 It's not enough.
38:06 Sometimes parents will tell me well, they know, they know.
38:09 It's not enough to know.
38:11 You need power of the Holy Spirit
38:13 to do what you know is right.
38:15 Would you agree we are powerless
38:17 apart from Christ?
38:18 Christ said, "Without Me you can do nothing," John 15:5.
38:22 But Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ
38:26 who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.
38:28 And so I caved into the pressure.
38:32 How many have ever heard of a thing called peer pressure.
38:34 It's very strong among our young people.
38:38 Our young people are not going to make it through
38:41 without a lot of fasting and prayer
38:44 on the part of their parents.
38:46 Show me your prayer life and I will show you
38:48 whether you love your children or not because dad,
38:51 if you are not praying for your children
38:53 I have to ask you the question do you really love them
38:56 in the fullest sense of the word love.
38:58 Love comes from God and would you agree
39:01 the most important bond you can have with your children
39:03 is a spiritual connection.
39:05 Can you say amen to that?
39:07 And so I will tell you.
39:09 They went at a high, drove at a house,
39:11 they took these five guys,
39:13 I mean, idealness is the devils--
39:15 you know, that here in Missouri, the devils worship.
39:18 And so then I find myself in this house
39:21 and my heart is outside of my chest
39:23 and I'm perspiring and my heart is pounding
39:26 and racing and they are gone after the jewelry
39:28 and going after the stereo, going after the TV,
39:32 and I felt like a fish out of water
39:34 and I'm thinking let's get out of here.
39:36 I'm having a panic attack and then we started evacuating.
39:41 We started leaving and they started heading out
39:43 with the jewelry and started heading out with the TV
39:46 and the stereo and I'm here like,
39:48 I don't want to look a damn or anything
39:50 and so I saw a nice little pillow
39:52 and saw a nice little rug so I took the pillow
39:54 and took the rug and out I went and I'm thinking to myself
39:57 I can't believe I did this.
40:00 I'm just telling you the truth.
40:01 And so I went to the trunk, opened the trunk,
40:04 they turn the--
40:05 put in the stereo and the TV and the jewelry
40:08 and I threw in my rug and pillow
40:09 and I'm thinking this was not worth it.
40:13 Be sure your sin will find you out.
40:18 Thank God for forgiveness though. Can I add that?
40:21 And so two months later sure enough they came
40:26 to my workplace and they said, Mark Fox, that's me.
40:31 You come with us, you are under arrest
40:32 and they threw me in jail and at that time
40:36 my parents were in Austria at the General Conference
40:40 of Seventh-day Adventist Christians.
40:43 And so here I was the wayward son in jail.
40:47 Now just so happened that the person
40:49 who got me the job as a shipper and receiver
40:52 in a printing envelop company there in Hartford
40:55 her name Linda Martin
40:56 was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian
40:59 and she took pity upon the pastor's son.
41:01 She got me the job and many times
41:03 the boss should have fired me for coming in late
41:06 because of hangovers or missing work
41:08 but she helped me to hang on this job
41:11 about the only semblance of normalcy in my life.
41:14 And so she made a phone call
41:18 and got one of the church members.
41:20 I had no need for those church members.
41:22 I had negative attitude. All bunch of hypocrites.
41:25 Well, guess what, one of the hypocrites
41:27 came to bail me out.
41:30 I'll never forget, Brother Sam White
41:33 and he had a white beard and hair and short stocky man
41:37 resembled he had his white goatee
41:39 resembled Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame
41:41 but and anyway all I know is when he showed up
41:45 he never looked so good.
41:50 He bailed me out.
41:52 I was in jail for seven hours he bailed me out.
41:56 My parents came home and my mother escorted me
41:59 to my lawyers, executive suite in that skyscraper
42:04 of a building towering over Hartford
42:07 and we went up to his executive suite,
42:11 sat across that executive table from him.
42:15 He took off his glasses, he looked at me
42:17 with a penetrating gaze and he said,
42:19 Mark, I think you may have gone too far this time.
42:23 I felt a pity in my stomach.
42:26 He said, Mark, I think you could get
42:28 three to five years in jail.
42:32 When I boarded the elevator with my mother
42:35 I felt like I was gonna collapse.
42:37 As we came out
42:39 of that skyscraper overshadowing Hartford I--
42:43 the yellow taxi cabs are going this way and that way.
42:46 The people are running this way and walking that way
42:48 and the buses and I'm thinking to myself I may go to jail.
42:55 Jail? Prison? Behind bars, me?
43:00 The court date arrived, my parents had mobilized
43:06 and encouraged church members to pray for me.
43:09 I was in desperate straits.
43:12 And so the church members banded together
43:14 and prayed for me.
43:17 And the court date arrived
43:18 and my mother escorted me to the court--
43:21 my mother and father escorted to the court house
43:25 and I with a trembling hand stuff my cigarette
43:28 into the sand filled ashtray and entered the court room
43:31 with my parents.
43:33 We sat towards the back
43:35 and then the black robed judge emerged.
43:40 Everybody stood at attention and I'm sizing him up.
43:44 I'm looking him over and I'm thinking
43:46 that red face judge looks pretty mean to me, oh, boy.
43:53 And so when he sat we all sat in unison.
43:57 And it seemed like eternity.
44:00 Mark Fox echoed the court room and with my heart in my hand
44:06 I walked up before that red faced mean looking judge.
44:16 Cleared his throat and said, yeah.
44:21 I don't like what I'm about to do
44:24 but I see no other alternative
44:27 because the people have not come
44:29 to press charges against you,
44:30 you may leave this case is dismissed.
44:34 I turned around and floated out of the court room.
44:39 When I boarded the car with my parents
44:41 what do you think my parents said,
44:44 Mark, church members were praying for you.
44:50 They were praying for you, Mark,
44:52 the reason why you got off today
44:55 is because God has had mercy upon you.
44:58 Give your heart to Jesus, Mark. I heard my heart.
45:04 So the devil, the devil tried to take my life
45:10 in that motorcycle accident.
45:12 The devil tried to take my mind on that LSD.
45:16 The devil tried to take my freedom.
45:19 God saved me from going to jail for three to five years.
45:23 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
45:26 nor punished us according to our iniquities"
45:31 That is sheer grace.
45:35 "I will contend with him who contends with you."
45:38 Jesus fights for you
45:40 and He fights for your children.
45:42 There is powered prayer.
45:43 When you pray for your children Jesus goes to fight for them.
45:47 Can you say amen tonight?
45:48 Those grandchildren you are praying for,
45:50 keep praying because there is a fight going on.
45:53 It's a fight to the finish, Isaiah 49:25.
45:57 God save my mind from drugs.
46:00 "To preach deliverance to the captives" Luke 4:18.
46:05 In 1975 that was the real infamous year,
46:10 a lot of these experiences.
46:12 And in 1975 while I was chain smoking
46:16 about two packs of cigarette smoke coming out of everywhere
46:21 and on drugs frequently, high school dropout,
46:26 almost went to jail, I almost lost my life,
46:29 hanging around the wrong people,
46:31 borderline alcoholic and at that time
46:34 when I was at my wore Mark Finley comes in town.
46:39 A colleague of my father's
46:42 and they hold an evangelistic series,
46:44 a Bible seminar like this one.
46:47 A Bible seminar entitled
46:49 or dubbed Radiant Living Seminars"
46:54 And Mark Finley and my parents sent Teenie Finley
46:59 they became very close.
47:00 They worked together for weeks and weeks.
47:03 Mark Finley's meetings would go
47:05 for longer than we are doing our seminar here.
47:09 And so they would confide in him.
47:14 Mark, pray for our son.
47:18 Teenie, pray for our son and they would give him
47:22 the update of what going on in my checkered lifestyle.
47:27 And what was going on in my experience.
47:30 And so, there they prayed.
47:33 They were continually be praying for me.
47:36 The radiant living evangelistic team
47:38 they would get their team together
47:40 and they would pray for me at my worst.
47:46 Well, then, I met surely on the dance floor
47:50 of a discotheque and I--
47:53 we moved in together and we decided,
47:56 or I was the one who really decided
47:58 we are gonna get married.
48:00 She didn't feel the same way that I felt but I thought,
48:04 you know, with my good looks and my charms
48:08 I thought I'm gonna get her and it wasn't working
48:13 and I was humbled.
48:15 You see, I was a very proud teenager
48:19 but God knew how to humble me and she was breaking my heart.
48:25 She was breaking my heart and I tried the best I could,
48:30 try to dress just right, try to impress her
48:34 and she still had an old flame but we were living together
48:37 and my mother and my father and an associate pastor
48:41 that my dad had Dave Holden would keep bugging me.
48:44 Mark, you are living in sin.
48:45 If you want God to bless this relationship
48:48 you got to move back home and do things right.
48:50 I didn't want to hear about that
48:53 and so I thought okay,
48:54 I know what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna quit--
48:56 her name was Shirley and Shirley was a mistake
48:58 but I did right.
49:00 As you would feel the same way.
49:02 But anyway all he knows is I thought okay,
49:05 what can I do to salvage this relationship?
49:08 I want to go to the altar, I want to tie the knot,
49:10 what can I do.
49:12 And so I thought, okay, I'm gonna quit smoking.
49:14 I quit smoking, she didn't ask me to. She smoke.
49:17 I quit drinking, she didn't ask me too.
49:19 She drank. And I quit drugs.
49:21 Now that's one thing she didn't do too much off
49:23 but I equip all of those things for the relationship.
49:28 I quite cold turkey.
49:29 Don't tell me you can't quit with cold turkey.
49:32 I'm here to tell you, you can. And so I quit everything.
49:37 But as I look back
49:38 I know that although I didn't give my heart to Jesus
49:41 any good thing comes from Jesus.
49:44 I believe that He was working with me
49:47 before I had my home coming.
49:48 How many agree, Jesus has to go and chase you down.
49:52 Nobody comes to Jesus except the father
49:55 and Jesus and the Holy Spirit drawn them.
49:57 Can you say amen?
49:58 "And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"
50:01 John 6:37.
50:02 So you know what happened?
50:03 What happened was yeah...
50:08 one week I was free and clear.
50:12 No talking, no smoking, no drinking,
50:16 no drug, no nothing.
50:18 Only I got shakes, I had to withdrawals and so forth
50:21 but I thought for the relationship
50:23 I will do it.
50:26 How many believe that when you start
50:29 to make a little progress the devil is calculating
50:32 and stargazing how to ensnare you again
50:34 and make you worse than you were before.
50:38 And so the devil has a plot in hell
50:42 and it worked.
50:45 She went for a weekend she said, I need time to think
50:52 and she went with her old boyfriend
50:54 for a weekend.
50:56 Can you say humble pie, I was divested.
51:02 I wanted to marry this woman
51:03 and she is now with her old flame
51:05 for a weekend and so I--
51:08 what do you think I did?
51:09 I call my buddies went out in parties,
51:11 smoking, drinking, drugs and so forth.
51:14 Then I came back home she was still not there.
51:17 I had a broken heart
51:18 and now I was really not feeling too good.
51:21 Woke up in the morning--
51:22 practically passed out.
51:23 Woke up in the morning and I had two problems now.
51:28 She was not there, I had a broken heart,
51:30 now I had a hangover
51:32 and I was not feeling good at all, understatement.
51:35 Making trips to the rest room and while I was feeling sick,
51:40 while I was at my worse and my mind literally,
51:44 the ceiling was literally spinning around.
51:47 I said to myself I'm sick and tired
51:51 of being sick and tired
51:53 and I have never touched those things ever since.
51:59 But now I had to focus on Shirley.
52:03 And so she came back home, back to the apartment.
52:08 I remember me seeing her car and keep looking out the window
52:11 and sure enough pulled up with her Pinto, her blue Pinto.
52:15 Remember Pintos?
52:18 And she pulled up and I went out
52:21 and she is crying and she saying
52:24 I'm sorry, made a mistake.
52:26 Yeah, tell me about it.
52:29 And I'm thinking to myself I'll never trust her again.
52:33 But I just had to make this relationship work.
52:37 Have you ever been in a relationship
52:39 which was self-destructive but you are staying anyway?
52:44 So I, I said okay.
52:49 What do I do now?
52:51 So we tried to patch things up,
52:53 try to put a band aid on things.
52:55 My heart was torn up.
52:57 Emotions all and then I started thinking,
53:03 maybe God can straighten her
53:06 and help her to be faithful to me
53:07 and we can get married and live happily ever after.
53:12 And so that was my quest, my new quest.
53:15 Now, I have given my heart to the Lord
53:18 but let me just have, just a few moments.
53:20 Listen carefully what happened.
53:23 Around this time my parents were telling me,
53:28 Dave Holden there my father's assistant
53:31 come on move back home
53:32 and I said, come on I'll move back home.
53:35 So he was ready and eager and Dave Holden,
53:37 Pastor Dave Holden, associate pastor he backed up
53:41 in his pickup there by my apartment
53:45 and I and he loaded up my meager belongings
53:49 and I remember Shirley came home,
53:51 what's going on at there.
53:53 I'm moving out and she is crying.
53:55 Don't move out, why you are moving out.
53:57 And I looked at her she got cigarette in one hand,
53:59 a beer can on the other and I said
54:01 we've got to have God in our relationship.
54:04 She really felt like he is really crazy.
54:09 But I thought well, it feels good.
54:10 Maybe have an upper hand in this.
54:13 And so around that time
54:15 moving back on was very different.
54:16 We started attending church together
54:18 and I'm thinking oh, I hope she gets converted.
54:19 I hadn't given my heart, Lord,
54:21 I have no prayer life, no study life
54:23 I was just focusing on God getting her converted.
54:30 Around this time we got a brochure,
54:32 my father got a brochure.
54:34 His friend Mark Finley, this was 1977,
54:39 his friend Mark Finely was holding
54:42 an evangelistic series of Radiant Living Prophecy Seminar
54:45 was holding it in Springfield, Massachusetts.
54:52 And that was a 45 minute drive from Hartford
54:56 and I told Shirley, Shirley, we are going, let's go.
55:01 And she agreed. We will go to these meetings.
55:04 And so faithfully night by night
55:07 we would travel in her Pinto and we would go
55:12 to these evangelistic meeting dubbed Radiant Living Seminars
55:16 by evangelist Mark Finley and his team
55:19 and his singing evangelist Mills, O.J. Mills and his wife.
55:23 And so night by night my heart was being touched
55:27 but I thought wait, let's first focus on her.
55:30 And so one night Mark Finley made an altar call.
55:34 If you would like to give your heart to Jesus
55:37 and you believe the truth you been listening to
55:39 in the seminar come forward.
55:41 And, man, I'm feeling the Holy Spirit
55:43 talk to my heart and so I said to her,
55:46 I said, let's go forward.
55:48 And she said I'm not going forward, you go forward.
55:52 I'm not going forward if you are not going forward,
55:55 didn't want to go ahead of her.
55:57 Around this time shaking hands at the door
56:00 Mark Finley, Mark Finley said,
56:03 Mark, can I talk to you afterwards?
56:06 Little old me, all right
56:07 evangelist has little time for me.
56:09 Sure, I'll talk to you, sure.
56:12 So after the people disburse we sat down
56:14 of the edge of the stage there in the auditorium
56:18 and he said, Mark, I know you've gone through a lot
56:22 and I have a Bible promise for you.
56:24 And the scripture he shared is Joel 2:25,
56:30 "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming
56:33 locust has eaten, the crawling locust,
56:35 the consuming locust, and the chewing locust,
56:37 my great army which I sent among you."
56:39 Chewing locust and he said, Mark, let me explain.
56:42 He said, Mark, all those years you gave in the drugs
56:45 and drinking and partying.
56:47 If you give your heart to Jesus
56:49 He will restore you.
56:54 I was a dropout. I was going nowhere.
57:00 But He gave me that promise.
57:03 Sometime after that crusade
57:06 God in a series of incredible miracles
57:09 that I will share next Saturday morning,
57:12 God brought me to the foot of the cross
57:16 and I gave my heart for Jesus.
57:19 As we close you can have a comeback.
57:25 You can get your first love back.
57:28 You can find Jesus. He is your everything.
57:33 Your best friend. Your personal Savior.
57:39 Although sudden and alarming changes
57:41 are sweeping across the globe you and your family
57:44 can be prepared to face the future with confidence.
57:48 The complete set of Amazing Prophecies
57:50 on DVD are available for a gift of $60 or more.
57:55 Call us at 1-855-336-FREE
57:59 or send your check or money order
58:01 to Forever Free Ministries, 2001 Munro Park,
58:06 Corinth, Texas, 76208.
58:10 If you would like to have Mark Fox
58:11 hold an Amazing Prophecy seminar
58:14 or a marriage seminar weekend in your church
58:16 contact us today,
58:18 markfox @foreverfreeministries.org