Proclamation, Invitation, & Warning

 

How Jesus Rescued Bob Haines

6/4/08 Updated 6/7/08

"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."
Luke 7:47

I was raised in a lower middle class family that made no pretense or profession of religion of any sort. But by no means do I intend to imply that any of what follows was their fault. My mother waited tables and my dad had various jobs, usually in mills.

I do remember sleeping out in the back yard when I was a young boy, and being overwhelmed by the immensity of the stars in the summer sky. At this point, no one would have had to convince me that there was a God, since I had the inherent knowledge in my heart. Even though my parents, my older brothers and sisters, and just about all of my aunts and uncles were constantly asking this Deity to damn this, that or whatever.

I was not an upright, honest or a stable child. I had many problems in school and at a young age they sent me to a psychiatrist. Even at that tender age I could ascertain that it was nothing but silliness, even though I have no doubt that the man was sincere and did want to help me. By the time I was 13 I had defiled myself with sex, and began to steal wine with my friends from supermarkets. Being drunk, foulmouthed and rowdy came very naturally to me as I can see now, looking back.

Various run- ins with the law and obvious problems with rebellion and authority plagued my soul as I finally dropped out of high school and through much finagling, was able to enter the United States Navy on a special waiver. Surprisingly, while most of the other recruits seemed to hate the discipline, the order, and the structure of Boot Camp, I reveled in it for some strange reason: maybe finding a sense of purpose or direction that I had never had in my life. I enjoyed it immensely, excelling in the activities and the scholastic side of it. Yet when I went to my first duty station in Phoenix, Arizona, now being free from all the restraint of my family, school and the like, I ran to sin as a hungry hog does to the trough.

Truly, at this time in my life I became a son of Belial; a rowdy drunk, a thief and a whoremonger. Two circumstances that could have very easily ended in my death made not the slightest impression on my wayward soul. Because some of my friends were getting married, I thought that this would also be a good idea, as I convinced a young woman from that city that she should be my wife. This situation proved to be nothing but foolishness and disaster, and did not last for very long at all.

After many run-ins with the law, and almost being drummed out of the service, I was transferred to San Diego. Right across the border was Mexico, with pharmacies that required no prescriptions, just dinero. When I found amphetamines, with the incredible energy and euphoria, I thought I had literally found the reason that I was created. Little did I know this was a pathway down to the darkest and freakiest destination I could imagine. Adding fuel to the fire was marijuana, alcohol and all the other usable suspects in this kind of a lifestyle.

Days before I was discharged, and hopelessly drunk on ripple wine, I sideswiped a vehicle with a woman and her daughter in it, and at the time had no idea I had even hit anyone. It wasn't until the police found me with two blown tires, stranded on a divider in the highway, that that day's folly came to an end. As soon as I was released from the Navy, I fled the state. But being a civilian did not alleviate in any way my mental, spiritual and moral decline.

At this time rock and roll became my god, unabashedly, and as my first marriage dissolved I became more and more of a loner and by the devil's providence came into contact with Carlos Castaneda's series of books about an Indian sorcerer from Mexico. This was through Rolling Stone Magazine, of all things. It will suffice to say that I was a willing and eager participant in opening myself up to demonic influence and control. This took on a marked reality in my dream life. I will only say this; that what the demonic forces can show a human soul with the intention of deceiving and killing it, are truly beyond the powers of description. I had experiences that were contrived and orchestrated by evil spirits that were as seductive, and as thrilling as anything you could imagine. When the Scripture declares that Satan himself appears as an angel of light, it is not Jewish hyperbole.

I married again in the '70's yet all this while my mental state and my spiritual condition continued to deteriorate significantly. This union was also dissolved, and at that time I began to drink excessively and had been addicted to prescription pain killers for some time. I was heavily demonized and I recall once being in an apartment in Centralia, and literally not being able to get out of bed to do anything but go to the bathroom for three days. There was no physical sickness, only demonic oppression. At this time I also tried to take my life, but was obviously and graciously spared by the
Most High.

Then began a frantic 5 year manic phase in my life when I thought I was going to be a great inventor and a multimillionaire or billionaire. The number of pills I would take a day continued to climb, and I had to search out more and more doctors to write prescriptions for me. By this time, even though I tried to convince myself that somehow I was going to be 'successful' I knew that I had dug for myself a tremendous hole and I was terrified to think about going without these pills for even a day. Many
spooky things occurred in these years, and my grasp on reality was really not a grasp at all. If I would have been examined by 'professionals' I surely would have been locked away.

Living from hand to mouth, with debts piling up, and confusion reigning in the heart and soul, I stumbled into the '80's. By this time I became a binge drinker, spending three, four days in absolute oblivion, all the while with the headphones on blaring the music that had become a god to me. The hangovers can not be described. The hopelessness, the shame, the dark
depression, no words could reveal it.

In these later years God in His infinite love and mercy began to shine shafts of light into my darkness. Where I had gone to college just long enough to become a necessary atheist, I now had no doubt again as when a boy, that God was real, I just did not know who He was. As I began to drink more and more, and just work from hand to mouth, my emotional state was not good at all. I had been kicked out of a couple of different apartments, and finally ended up living across the hall from a woman and
her son. She began to approach me about Jesus, and told me how God had 'saved her'.

I remember one night being drunk out of my mind and banging around when she came at about 2 am and knocked on my door. I said some rude and sarcastic things that I would not want to repeat. For some reason, although most of those nights were completely blacked out for me, I remembered this the next day and went over and asked her forgiveness. She invited me to go to church with her and told me some things about the Lord that I don't remember now. I said I would go, probably out of guilt, and about three
weeks later I finally did. I have no idea what was said or what I felt. She began to tell me more about her life and what the Lord had done for her, and it was truly a miraculous story.

I went back a week or two later and someone asked if anyone wanted to give their life to the Lord. For whatever reason, I went up and I said yes. And someone prayed for me, and again, I remember nothing. But the next few weeks, God became real to me in a way only someone who has been born from above can understand. My sin became personal. There was no abstract about it. The Holy Spirit lovingly showed me, one by one, things in my life that were sin against God, and He asked me in a gentle and loving
manner what I was going to do about each one. That is a literal truth.

Somehow, in ways I can't even comprehend, my life began to change. My addictions, my bondage to tobacco, pills, alcohol, pornography I wish I could say melted like the spring snow, but I have to confess that I fought many battles in those days, not always successfully.

Yet God was good to give someone, who had squandered well over 30 years of his life, had no marketable skills and no ability to make a living, a profitable small business as I began to grow up in Him and to get out from under a crushing load of debt that I had created for myself.

As I began to study the Scripture and look around at what was going on in the denomination I was in, I realized that I had to, for conscience sake, flee from it and endeavor to live a simple life before God, knowing very well that I would be judged for the light that I possessed. For many years there was very little fellowship in my life. In 1995, God through His providential hand, led me into the company of some precious believers, where that fellowship became a real and a living situation. In 2003,
God in His infinite mercy allowed me to actually and categorically experience real love, as I met and married my present wife, who without a doubt is the greatest gift that I have been given on this earth.

For whatever reason, I have been blessed with many escapes from death, and I exhort anyone reading this who has not experienced the new birth and had his sins washed by the only One who can wash them, Christ Jesus, not to turn a deaf ear the next time he hears the call of God in his life. I am a living testimony that God is desirous that none should perish. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It is life, peace and joy to walk with and obey Him on this earth and forever in eternity. All Glory to His name!


Please consider more of Brother Bob Haines' writings here.
Missionary Steve Phillips writes, as part of his dedications in one of his books, "MY ESTEEMED BROTHER BOB HAINES Who has passed through Dark Waters; My fellow partaker in the Tribulation, Kingdom and Perseverance in Jesus"
Please consider Brother Steve's book, Out of the Depths: The Mystery of Suffering

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