The Encounter

The Encounter

The story of a man saved by a vision of Christ on the way to join the Mafia”

My Name is Joe Rodriguez,

This is How I encountered Jesus. I was the ripe old age of twenty three, and full of piss and vinegar. I was ready to take on the world and to fight for my peace of the pie. When SUDDENLY all went awry, everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was as if God had it out for me. I became angry and depressed, my world was falling apart. I decided I didn’t care any more, the gloves were coming off. I would do what ever it took, to get to the top. I decided to take an offer to join the mafia from a long time family friend that had watched me grow up from infancy. I called the family friend that had made me the offer and told them I wanted in. They said OK but you know the deal right? I knew, it was “you can’t get out or you die.” I said yes, “I know the deal.” They said, “OK then, let me make the arrangements.” They said “we will have dinner and make it all official, call me tomorrow night and I will tell you where to meet us.”

I said OK and hung up the phone.

I had been staying in a home I was remodeling for my sister, it was late evening and I was all alone when I made the call from the back bedroom. As I hung up, I instantly heard a voice in my head that sounded like a whisper. It said; “What if there is a God?”

I automatically thought, well if there is a God, I am going to hell for all I am about to do. I was ready to kill if need be to stay alive and free. It would only be a matter of time before I killed someone. Then I heard another voice, this one sounded angry and mean, it said; “don’t be stupid, there is no God.” I thought this is true, what am I thinking? Then I heard the whisper again, He said; “what if? Just consider it.” I started to ponder but then I heard the cruel voice speak again, he said; “what are you thinking? have you ever seen God? have you ever heard God? Do you know where God Lives?”

I became confused, I didn’t know what to think. I went and grabbed some bible on cassette tapes I had seen laying around my sister’s house, then took them to the bedroom to try and figure out what I thought. I listened to them into the wee hours of the morning. The more I heard the more I began to get upset. I had lived a rough life, I didn’t think He was fair and I blamed Him for all the hurt I was feeling. That was really what was driving me, anger and resentment. It had been eating away at me and I was in pretty bad shape. After hours of hearing about all kinds of promises and blessings, I couldn’t take any more. I jumped to my feet from the edge of the bed I had been sitting on. I thrust my fist towards Heaven in a rage and said; “Lies, lies, lies! They are all a bunch of damned lies!” “You say your the God of Love, you say you are the God of peace, you are the God of joy, well; Where in the hell are you right now? You don’t give a damn about me right now, You are a selfish God. I care about people, if my friends need help, they know, they can always count on me. I will always be here for them, but as for YOU, what have you ever done for me? And how about the old lady that gets raped, and how about the old man that freezes to death in the alley, or how about the child that starves to death and all the children born with birth defects and all the Jews that died by the Hand of Hitler!! WHERE WERE YOU THEN? Just then, I fell like a dead man to the floor, and my Spirit left my body. I found my myself standing up in the same positions screaming the very same words “How about all the Jews that died by the Hand of Hitler, WHERE WERE YOU THEN??” Just then, I looked to my right and there was a Catholic bust of Jesus that my sister had hanging on the wall that had the bleeding crown of thorns. I looked at it, and to my amazement, the eyes on this ceramic bust were REAL! I know that sounds crazy but it’s true, and as I locked my eyes on the eyes of this bust, His eyes were staring into my soul, I knew He saw everything. I could also see into Him and what He was feeling. I could see that my comments had grieved Him deeply. It was breaking His Heart that I didn’t believe. His eyes grew watery from the tears that were building up in them. They began to flow down His face and as they did they turned to blood. I saw an entire scene like a movie opening up around us both, and it was no longer a ceramic bust, it was now live and in color happening right in front of me. I began to see His flesh, the flesh of his body beneath the tears as they rolled all the way down, revealing that He was on the cross. He looked at me, and without actually speaking, spoke into my mind, He said “You asked, What have I ever done for YOU?” “LOOK!” I began to see the large crowd around Him, to mock, and ridicule Him. There were even some spitting on Him. I knew He was a God, and I knew He had the Power to get off that cross and destroy them all. I was bewildered as to how He could keep His gaze on me the whole time and endure their insults. The pain was becoming too unbearable for Him and He began to quiver as He fought the need to turn away from me as He cringed in pain. He began to let out a loud cry that sounded like The Roar of a Giant Lion, yet also like the sound of all the people of the world letting out a loud cry in one voice, and still also, like the sound of all the waters of all the oceans thundering at the same time. THEN, there was a great earthquake, and all the earth shook, and Hell opened up and swallowed Jesus then tried to swallow me to. Somehow my spirit went back into my body and I began to scream in terror, then flames shot out and started licking at my heals as they tried to wrap themselves around my ankles to pull me down. My life, in that moment, flashed before my eyes, I could see every sin I ever committed. I saw every lie I ever told, everything I had ever stolen, every person I had ever beaten up, every girl I had ever slept with as well as every other thing, I ever did that hurt others as well as God.

Then Jesus shot out of Hell at the speed of light. He was so big that, His feet were on the earth, His Head was in space, and His hand was raised into outer space. The angels appeared and they filled the heaven’s as Jesus stood in the middle. It was as if the universe was covered in a pure white silk sheet and I was a black speck that needed to be removed. I was in agreement, I didn’t belong there and I needed to be destroyed. It felt as if they were all pointing their weapons at me and Jesus was about to drop His hand and say FIRE and I would be reduced to less then powder. I cried out; I am so sorry

JESUS! Please forgive me, and He did, instantly! Jesus and the angels suddenly disappeared and I was left in the presence of The Father. I felt total peace, all fear was gone, I felt like what could be best described as a blank video tape. No fears, no worry’s, no cares at all, total peace. I was laying prostrate on the floor and I could not even lift my head because of His GLORY but I could still feel Him staring at me. I stayed quite and waited for a while for Him to speak, but He would not say a word. I couldn’t believe He was waiting on me, I thought, You are the creator of the universe, The ruler of all and You have time to wait on me? I could tell He heard me and that my comment had made Him happy. It’s as if He was saying; “yes, exactly, now your getting it.” He was communicating with me, it was as if He was smiling. I said, I never knew you were real, I had no idea, but now that I do, all I want is to KNOW you. I will go anywhere you want me to go, I will say anything you want me to say, and I will do anything you want me to do. Just show me Your will. Just then it felt as if God reached inside of me and began to tickle me from the inside of my navel. I began to giggle like a child uncontrollably. Then, it was as if He lifted me into His arms and began to cradle me as a child. I felt as if I fell into an ocean of Love and was overdosing on it! I began to weep tears of joy and I said yes Lord yes! I will give you everything, you can have my mother, my brother, my sister’s, and all my relatives just don’t ever take this feeling from me. Then the POWER of the Holy Spirit lifted to my feet where all I could do was jump up and down and say He is ALIVE, He is ALIVE, He is ALIVE! JESUS IS ALIVE!

I met and married my wife Deanna a year after this experience. The Lord KNEW to bring the two of us together. We both had supernatural stories that only we could relate to and understand. We have been married, and doing the Work of the Lord for almost 30 years now. Praise God, and Thank you for reading.