Man On Fire!
In 1990 John Lewis poured lighter fluid over his body and set himself on fire. John was tired of living. He was ready for God’s judgment and the burning flames of Hell. You see, John had received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour at an early age, but then went on to live a life of unimaginable sin. He had known what was right, but he chose to do wrong.
This is the story of John Lewis as told by John Lewis, because John Lewis didn’t die. Even though 50% of his body was burned, and the doctors were telling his family to prepare for his funeral, Jesus appeared in his hospital room and said that He was not going to let him die.
John Lewis experienced a taste of Hell, and the experience was not what he had expected. The fire was hot, the pain was unbearable, and this is the rest of his story...
It’s been 20 years since I dowsed myself with lighter fluid and set myself on fire. December 1990, suicide attempt. I had disabled the phone so I couldn’t call 911, but after the fire quit burning, and I realized I had not died, I suddenly wanted to live and the LORD directed me to a spare phone that was not disabled. I plugged in the phone and called 911, the ambulance came and got me. I was in the ambulance and I gave them details they would need to keep me alive. I had tried 3 methods of suicide at the same time, a huge overdose of Rx drugs, and cutting myself with RUSTY razor blades and finally the fire. An EMS tech asked me how I knew so much about anatomy and I told him I took biology in high school, and immediately after that my heart stopped beating. Cardiac arrest, as if things weren’t bad enough already. At the ER, they resuscitated me and wrapped me in pigskin since most of my body had no skin anymore; the bones and muscles were exposed. At that point I could still hear, [the morphine in the hospital deadened my ear nerves], and the top burn doctor in El Paso looked me over and said, “Call his mother and tell her he has 3 days to live.” I was receiving morphine IV continuously. For a few days I mostly lived in operating rooms while doctors worked around the clock to keep me alive long enough for my mother who had gone to Germany to come see me before I died. That was their plan. But Jesus Christ had other plans. HE appeared to me and HE was angry, and HE said to me, “I love you! I won’t LET you die!!! I’M going to save your life and your soul too!!!” And HE did. The top burn doctor in town had served as a burn doctor in Vietnam and he said I was the worst case he had ever seen that got out of the hospital alive. There were many people with less serious burns who died.
This is the story, or at least parts of the story, of my journey with Jesus Christ. He said He would never leave me nor forsake me and He has kept His Word. Through much suffering, He was always there with me, caring for me. From before He laid the foundations of the world, He chose me, I’m not sure why He chose me and I’m still not sure what He wants me to do, but many times, when I have looked back at the wreckage of my life, and asked Him ‘’why?’’ He has answered ‘’To My Glory.’’ And so it is that I attempt to write this to His glory. The first encounter I had with God was as a toddler, in my back yard, looking up at the stars, and trying to understand what the stars were, where they came from, and what the meaning of the stars was. And why were the stars up there? I wondered about these things and I knew Someone had created the stars. From that point on, many times I tried to imagine the concept of nothing existing. But I realized that if all things ceased to exist, what about the empty space that would be there? Where did the empty space come from? And if the empty spaced ceased to exist, what would be left? More empty space where the previous empty space had been. And so I was aware that existence was unavoidable and that there was Something Supreme that existed and had always existed and would never cease to exist; an eternal Force without a beginning and that would never end.
After my toddler observations of the stars came hell on earth and I became an atheist. I had many gods, mostly men who were very famous and widely considered to be geniuses, such as ancient philosophers and mathematicians. But I denied any Supreme Being; I was young and foolish and mentally tortured. At about age 13, my best friend, from a wealthy family of Chinese immigrants, received Christ and then worked on converting me to Christianity. As we walked between his house and my house, he kept pounding it into me and finally he said, God is good, right? [I who said God did not exist] after much haggling, I agreed with him that yes, God is good. The next thing I knew I accepted the Deity of Christ, the only begotten son of God, the birth from a virgin, the death burial and resurrection from the dead of the LORD Jesus. I believed the Gospel. I had another friend who was also a Christian, and he took me to a house one night where I received the baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT, and cried like a baby for several hours, and was still crying when I got home. At that crucial point, my father told me not to go to that house anymore and he told me to read a book called Demian, a book that told about a false god that was good and evil combined into one false god.
I was born in Austin, Texas. My best friend’s father was the dean of the law school there [UT Austin]. My father was an academic genius and pursued education at UT and had enough credits for several degrees but he spurned the prestige of getting a degree, saying degrees were for fools. He sold me to a group of Satan worshippers who promised him they would get his books published although they never got published [my dad wrote books]. The Satanists sodomized me and filled me with evil spirits some of which still try to control me to this day. Anyway, my dad was an orderly at a nut house in Austin and his job was breaking up fights between chronically violent mental patients. To my dad, he had to be very macho because his hero was Ernest Hemingway who was very macho and of course an icon in American literature, whom my dad worshipped, trying to emulate him by writing books and being very macho. But his writing brought him no money.
I dabbled in eastern mysticism, western mythology, yoga, astral projection, as well as pursuing a secular-humanist education. I attended a local college at the age of 17; I made the honor roll the 1st semester then dropped out to sell insurance in the hopes of earning huge amounts of money. From there I drifted to my sister's house in El Paso, who put me on a bus to Austin, Texas, where my parents took care of me. I worked flipping hamburgers then joined the Navy (active duty for training) did about 3 months of active duty then went to my parents' house in Austin where I attended reserve meetings (Naval Reserve). But I missed too many meetings and the Navy was threatening to send me out to sea! And of course there are no women in the sea, at least not in the Navy I was in; so I got out of it by joining the regular Army [''real'' full-time active duty]. I was not seeking the LORD, but, rather, I was mostly seeking to get high like lots of other soldiers; substance abuse was rampant in the Army I was in, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc. I got my boss in trouble who promptly drove me nuts so I landed in the local Army nuthouse for 4 months, then was ''temporarily'' retired for disability. The Army knew it was their fault that my boss drove me nuts, so they continued paying me even though I was living [again] with my parents. I was a nervous wreck. So then after about 6 months of boring jobs I robbed a convenience store, ''aggravated robbery''; the persecutor wanted me to do 30 years in prison, but my dad sold his house to bribe the judge, who gave me 10 years of probation.
In my journey with Jesus Christ I have seen amazing displays of satanic power as well as even more amazing displays of the Power of THE HOLY GHOST. Satan has tried to kill me many times but Jesus would not allow him to do it. In fact, the LORD’S plan for me is gradually happening as HE wants it to happen.
Judgmend Day Song
by John Lewis
Well done thou good and faithful servant,
Is what I wanna hear on judgment day;
Well done thou good and faithful servant;
These precious words I wanna hear my Jesus say!!!
Enter thou into the joy of thy LORD,
Is what I wanna hear on judgment day;
Enter thou into the joy of thy LORD;
These precious words I wanna hear my Jesus say!!!
Once my heart was blacker than the darkest night,
Yes it's true my heart was full of ugly sin;
But my LORD Jesus He kept me in His sight,
And one fine day that famous Fisherman reeled me in!!!
Now I'm the property of the LORD,
Bought and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb,
And some day soon I'm going home to my reward;
Eternal happiness with the great I AM;
Eternal ecstasy with the great I AM!!!
Now that was a pretty impressive testimony... wouldn't you say? However, I have just one remaining question for John Lewis: "What about this?"
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:5-7 KJV).
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