CHAP1 The Coming Storm

    In November 1966 it was extra money for the Hampton police officer who was baby setting teenagers at a popular hangout and hamburger joint on the corner of Pembroke and Mercury Blvd. every weekend. He was technically off duty and enforcing traffic infractions were the last thing he was thinking about doing on this chilly November night. All his attention was on the high school age patrons, who met here, and who, for the most part, were good kids. The worst offense that he expected was open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was glad that he had this extra job, especially since Christmas was just around the corner. His regular paycheck, being what it was for a Hampton City cop in 1966, he really needed the financial boost this extra job afforded.

    However, his routine night changed course within seconds as a 1963 white Oldsmobile Holiday Sedan came through a green light at Mercury Blvd. heading East on Pembroke toward Buckroe Beach at over a hundred miles an hour. The speed limit was 35. The veteran patrolman immediately dropped everything he was doing and ran for his cruiser. He pulled out of the drive-in in pursuit and punched the gas pedal to the floor, fish tailing a little bit, while images flashed through his mind that would have been the makings of a good horror flick. During his career, he had seen more than his share of twisted steel and mangled bodies caused by senseless high speed driving, but this screw ball’s driving was off the charts, by any measure. The patrolman knew that the four lane Pembroke Ave. narrowed in a little over a mile to a two-lane city street and took a turn to the right before dead ending into the ocean. He also knew that this is where he would find his nightmare for the night, maybe even his entire career, as his worst fear would almost certainly be turned into the reality of the carnage created by a high speed crash, with the very real possibility of other innocent motorists being involved. With his cruiser lights flashing and siren blasting, he now did a little high speed driving of his own, running a couple red lights in the process, but there would be no catching up with this “idiot” driving the Oldsmobile. The best outcome he could hope for was that this guy would come to his senses and slow down before it was too late but his gut told him otherwise. Rather than continuing to entertain that hope of a good outcome, he steeled himself mentally for what he suspected he was going to be looking at very soon.

    Earlier, on this same night, I had taken a date and a friend, Robert Long, and his date to a rock concert in Norfolk, Virginia. I really liked this girl, but she was in love with my best friend. The only reason I went to this concert was because she wanted to go, and it was the only way I could get a date with her. I didn’t like one single song this group sang and to make matters worse, it was not my style of music. My date and Robert and his date fell asleep after the concert as I started to drive home. I remember feeling rejected and very alone as I drove away from down town Norfolk, toward the Hampton Bridge Tunnel, which connected my hometown of Hampton and Norfolk. The word of God had no place in my mind and it hadn’t since the age of thirteen. In less than two weeks I would be flying to Oakland, California and from there on to Saigon to be assigned to a combat unit somewhere in South Vietnam. I had just finished advanced infantry training at a place called Fort Polk, Louisiana after completing basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina earlier that same summer.

    How had things come to this? I graduated high school with honors and should be in college now instead of heading for these senseless killing fields as a front line soldier.

    Years later, I now realize that the steps on the path which led me here were so cleverly disguised that no human on earth without God’s help could have ever realized where they would lead in the beginning. Now, I can see that things started taking a wrong turn when I turned thirteen. I simply went my own way and turned my back on God to seek my own path in life. It was a path that would eventually take me to the brink of this cliff I now faced. However, who could have known then that I was heading down a road of no return unless the Spirit of God intervened? I made good grades in school. I didn’t drink. I didn’t smoke. I wasn’t a teenager who followed the crowd. Instead of playing with the other neighborhood kids all summer, I would spend mine working hard on my Grandfather’s farm near Lexington Virginia and had done this every summer since the age of seven to save what he paid me for college. Now, however, in 1966, what started as a slow godless stroll through life, had turned into a seat aboard a runaway train propelled by increasingly steeper downhill political events on a global scale. Many miracles would be required if I were to survive to see my twentieth birthday. Put another way, I was heading for the perfect storm and it would most surely sweep me and everything that was about me from the face of the earth. I would never have a wife. I would never have kids. I would never really know what it was like to live as an adult since I was now only nineteen and still living with my parents and last but not least, my death would not even be counted among the honored dead by many of my countryman. If this was not the description of a “perfect storm” then I don’t know what is.    

    I had become a Christian when I was eight years old. It happened through a bible study led by a white-haired neighbor whom we called Mom Cole. Mom Cole taught some neighborhood women one night of the week in my mother’s home. Being born of the Spirit is the first pillar of Christ. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:5, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.  While being born of the spirit guarantees eternal life in Christ, it also guarantees that conflicts will follow. In my case it immediately caused a huge wall to be raised by satanic forces between my spiritually dead father and myself. Although my father became born of the Spirit much later in life, that wall between us never came down. In Luke 12:51-53, Jesus said as much when He said, “You suppose that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division; For from now on there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law”.

    At age eleven I received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which is the second pillar of Christ. Now I am aware that some Christians believe that one receives the Holy Spirit when we become born again and if you believe this you are absolutely correct. God’s Spirit does live in our spirit from the very instant in which we become born of the Spirit. If God's Spirit dwells in us then we must also possess all three personalities of the Godhead because The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are one God in three completely different personalities. However, the anointing of The Holy Spirit does not just automatically jump from our spirit into our mind when we become born of the Spirit. Jesus, himself, received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at the Jordan River as he was baptized by John. Later, after his resurrection, Jesus, addressing his disciples as brethren (Only a born again believer can be Jesus' brother) said in Acts 1:5, “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." This is just one of many scriptures which describes the anointing of the Holy Spirit as a separate event from salvation. Many times it is accompanied by various types of emotional responses fueled by sensations which are far more pleasant than the feelings from any self-medicating which the reader may have experimented with in the past. These pleasant emotions are the result of God's love flowing into and quickening the dead areas of our mind for the first time. This anointing also impacts the strongholds that Satan has built up in the mind of the believer so its possible for an observer to witness a freshly anointed Christian doing a lot of strange things like neck jerking for one. Speaking in tongues can be another. If my Baptist friend sees this, he will no doubt say to himself, "Ooo", That's of the devil", but it isn't. Acts 1:8 says, "But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth".

 

    I was about to become a testimony to that awesome power of God and its purpose because I had received that anointing after listening and praying with four young men who came to Hampton, Virginia from Texas. One of these young men was a man named Bobby Ewing from Waco, Texas and a graduate of Baylor University. That same year I was elected president of my sixth grade class and did very well in school while witnessing to my classmates and leading some of the troubled boys in that class to Christ. Things were really looking up for me and my mother. Even with the deep hooks that Satan had placed in my mother’s soul as an infant, from which she never received deliverance, she had been able to host the bible study which got me saved and now she was opening up her home on Sundays to a part time minister named Tom Jones. With my mother’s help and Tom’s leadership, a church named New Covenant was established. That church at 1079 Big Bethel Rd. in Hampton, Virginia is still in existence today. However, my new found commitment brought more tension between myself and my father. Although my father respected Tom Jones tremendously, he wanted nothing to do with confessing Christ Jesus as his Lord. Of course that meant that his entire being continued to be owned by Satan and he was a real cancer in my mother’s life as well as the rest of the family. One does not help start a God ordained Christian Church without repercussions from Satan. Satanic powers were now working overtime to bring to fruition the destruction in not only my father but his entire family and the most vile crop that was springing up to destroy the entire family came from a single evil seed which had been sown into my father's soul when he was sexually molested at the age of twelve. If his parents had been able to put in place all three pillars of Christ in their personal lives then much of the misery that was now starting to befall my father, my mother, myself and my four brothers and sisters could have been abated or prevented altogether but sadly, no one in the Wade family had any understanding whatsoever of The third pillar of Christ which is deliverance, including me.

   

    Although I got off to a good start, my soul would most surely perish, not because I did not have the God given power within to overcome sin but because I lacked knowledge. In my early teens, with Satan's help, I sank into the trap of disbelieving everything, which could not be proven by the science of man. As Tom’s church grew and moved into a building the family stopped attending regularly. At the same time the tension between my father and I eased a bit which I believe helped reinforce these feelings which seemed to push me to become more and more like him, although I hated the way he treated me and especially the way he treated one of my sisters. Now to become more like him even though I felt wronged by his actions makes no sense in the natural but it is true never the less. You see, without God’s intervention and The Holy Spirit’s guidance, we become like the very thing which wrongs us. My father had been wronged as a child and now he was treating his family worse than he had been treated. Repeated sin turns into iniquity (a certain pattern of sin) and iniquities are passed on from one generation to the next. My rebellion toward God was further reinforced by the influence of a high school biology teacher, who was an Atheist, but the rebellion, itself, was a choice which I made in ignorance, and that ignorance was encouraged by that ever present internal voice which most definitely was not the voice of The Holy Spirit. After starting out, as such an ardent believer, I now started following that voice which had been with me for so long and which masqueraded as my own thoughts. It said that I would prove that Jesus was not God and the savior of the world, by performing a very simple act. That act would be to do the following. It is written (John 10:28-29) that no man can pluck one of God’s own from his hand. I would prove that statement to be false by removing my own life from his hand and by doing so, I would be able to prove that the statements of the bible were not the divine word of God. In my troubled mind, when I did this, I would disprove everything the bible has to say, including Jesus being who he said he was. As I accepted this train of thought, it was as if a switch had been flipped, by a very dark side of my personality, which simply took over and suppressed the good things which The Holy Spirit had been doing in my life. Like many Christians today, I had gained some understanding of the first and second pillars of Christ, but I had gained absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the third pillar of Christ, which is deliverance. This lack of understanding was the root cause of this drastic change in my relationship with God, and it was to bring enormous suffering and pain, not only to myself, but to every other life which my life touched, until I was able to receive the deliverance I needed.  

    After high school graduation, I was very much looking forward to the freedom college would bring, especially the freedom from my dominating father and manipulating mother. It seemed to me that my father never had a good thing to say about anything I ever did, no matter how hard I worked around the house to please him. It was a relief for me to get away and work on my Grandfather’s farm in Western Virginia every summer. From that work my Grandfather paid to my mother the proceeds of the sale from one steer a year to be placed in savings for my college and he had been doing this since I started working for him at the age of seven. My Grandfather showed me the statements from the calf sales every year and the accumulated total over the years would have been more than enough to put me completely through four years of college. However, to this day I have no idea what happened to that money. I do know that only a very small amount of it was spent for my education. I was never shown any statement balances whatsoever by my mother but I did not think that this was strange because I trusted my mother. As high school graduation drew near she learned that the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp.) program at Virginia Tech, where I would be attending, was paying a small monthly sum to members of the Military Corp. so she pressured me into signing up. She said a co-op student who worked with her had told her that I would only have to attend drill once a week and weekend training once a month. She said that he had said it would be much like belonging to the National Guard where I would still be able to live my life on campus as a civilian which she knew was the only way that I would ever agree to do this. It was all a lie. Yet, it would take many years for me to realize that my own mother had a real problem telling the truth not only about this but also about many other things as well. Now I wonder if she spent some, if not all of my college money and was looking at this as a way to shore up the upcoming outgo of expenses for my college tuition. At the very least she had some very sloppy thinking going on and my mother was not a sloppy thinker. She was a very bright woman. Could she have had an internal voice guiding her, just as I did? I believe so. Put the two of us together with a demonic father thrown into the mix and you can get nothing other than a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, I believe that voice encouraged her to discourage me from going to the freshman orientation, where I would have surely discovered the error I was about to make in time to change my mind about signing up for ROTC.

    When I arrived at Tech for fall quarter, I quickly learned that Instead of being similar to the National Guard, it was more like the military training program at West Point. Freshmen were called Rats and were harassed night and day. We were given no freedom whatsoever. I immediately asked for a transfer to the civilian side of campus, and finally, after six weeks, I got an audience with the Dean of Admissions, who had the authority to grant this request. The answer he gave me still rings in my ears today. “Son”, he said, “I went through the Corps here at Tech. If it was good enough for me then, it’s good enough for you now.” His mind was made up and so was mine. I requested a termination form and signed it in front of him. At this point, the angry Dean spoke into being a curse upon my life, although I did not recognize it as such at the time, and I am sure he did not mean it as such. He, said, "Son this is a decision which you will regret for the rest of your life". He also said I would not be allowed to return to Virginia Tech for a minimum of one year. The Dean's curse was partially right. I did regret the decision to quit school until much later in my life, when I returned to a loving relationship with my God and my eternal Father. At this point in my life, however, the voice that had control over me must have been “jumping for joy” because in just a few short months after dropping out of college, I received my draft notice to report in on June 12, 1966, my mother’s birthday. The thunderhead signaling the arrival of that perfect storm was now within sight.

    The hopeless noose I had gotten myself into with the help of a demonically oppressed mother and an unbelieving father had tightened ever so tightly and was now weighing heavily on me as I drove home from the concert. The voice in my head kept repeating over and over, “You are leaving home for the last time. Take a good look at everything and everyone that means anything to you because you will never return”. It went on to say, “You will be the first person in your family to be killed in a war”. I believed everything that this voice said and I had believed it for as long as I could remember.

    This time, though, what that voice said was backed up by some real life evidence that seemed very credible. The nightly TV news with Walter Cronkite was replete with real life scenes of jungle shootouts and dead bodies. There were now almost five hundred thousand troops in South Vietnam and almost all of the fighting was being done, not by experienced career soldiers, but by nineteen year old draftees like me, who had had only four and a half months of total military training with only nine weeks of that being ill improvised advanced training, which was supposed to prepare a soldier for what he would be facing in Vietnam. It did not. To top things off, this was a new kind of insurgency war with no front lines. U.S. top military leaders had next to no experience, themselves, in fighting a war like this and the rise in the death toll of young Americans was now starting to reflect that lack of experience. Barry Sadler’s Green Beret song would play on the radio every day and the last verse always pierced a very inward part of my soul with an especially sharp blade of hopelessness when it mentioned a young wife waiting in vain for the return of her Green Beret husband, who had just died in combat. I remember thinking, “At least this soldier in the song had someone who loved him before he died. Although I had my grandparents, my mother and father and my brothers and sisters, I really felt as though I had no one. All this wasn’t true but the voice said it was true so for me it was accepted as the truth. Now, what seemed to be true was being reinforced by my date who was sound asleep beside me. The voice inside kept up the torment by reminding me over and over that the only neighborhood girl who I had ever liked, was so unenthused by my presence, that she would rather fall asleep, than keep me company on the drive home. “You are a real looser”, the voice said. My already low self-esteem could take no more and for the very first time in my life I lost it. I mean I really lost it. As I approached the entrance of the Hampton Roads Tunnel coming from Norfolk to Hampton I felt the quiet desperation that I had lived with for years rise to the surface and at the same time my self-control started to slip away. I gradually depressed the gas pedal and the powerful Oldsmobile engine responded smoothly by propelling the big sedan through the narrow two-lane tunnel at over 100 miles an hour.

    The hamburger joint was just a blur when I went past it. A few seconds later, however, as I approached the curve on Pembroke, my self-control returned, and I did slow down to the 35 mile an hour speed limit just before seeing the blue and red flashing lights from the patrolman’s cruiser pull in behind me. We both pulled to the side of the road and surprisingly as he approached my driver side window, there was not a hint of anger in his voice, as he ask, for my driver’s license. Instead, I sensed a tone of relief in his voice. I believe now he was very grateful that things had not ended in the tragedy he had imagined. I could tell by his demeanor that retribution was the last thing on his mind. “I see you have not been drinking so I am going to ask you to promise me that you will never speed like this again before I let you go. You had to be doing over a hundred miles an hour when you past me at the hamburger joint. If I could prove that you would be going to jail. Instead I am going to write you up for doing 45 in a 35 mile an hour zone”. Very relieved, I assured him that I most definitely would not speed again and with that we parted company. My date’s house was only a hundred yards or so further on. I pulled over and stopped in front of it. She opened her own door and got out without a word being said by either of us. It was the last time I ever saw her. What a blessing that was, but I didn’t have the good spiritual sense to realize it at the time. Fortunately though, her affections were elsewhere, so never seeing me again made no difference whatsoever to her. The speeding ticket was dated after the date of my deployment. I never paid it and when I thought about paying it, I remember hearing the voice say, “There is no need to pay the ticket since you will be coming home in a coffin”.

    Just a few days later my parents drove me to the airport. I don’t remember much about that day but I do know that it was the last time I left home as a boy. The airport was located in Norfolk, Virginia. People around us at the airport were able to see me attired in my dress greens with all the ear markings of a new recruit. On the inside, where they couldn’t see, I was clothed in a low grade anger which glowed a little brighter now. I don’t remember the last words that were said between my parents and myself and it is hard to say exactly what they were thinking but this much I do know. Any true understanding of the emotional feelings that my parents may have felt would have been explained away by the voices in their own heads as it always was. Those voices never failed to give them some phony reason why everything happened as it did. This time, why their son was now going to war would be no different. The voices would give them their phony excuse and it would become as truth to them. There would be no twinge of quilt for tricking me with false information to join the cadet program at Virginia Tech. although that was a major reason why I was now headed for the frontlines in Vietnam instead of getting ready to start my second year of college. Furthermore, I can never remember seeing either my father or mother come under condemnation for anything. Every conflict in their long lives, and there were many, were always the other person’s fault. Needless to say I have no idea what happened to my college money.

 

    What am I trying to say here? Am I saying that my parents were bad people? Am I trying to say that they didn’t love me? Absolutely not. What motivates us to do what we do in life is much more complicated than just being a good or a bad person. Here is what I AM saying about my parents and about myself. All three of us were following a destructive script written by Satan. Although my mother and I were now justified from all sins and anointed with the Holy Spirit, that still did not mean that we were able to come to an understanding of how to choose that next right step in life. Isn’t that crazy because the Holy Spirit always makes a way for every Christian to take the next right step. However, to do so, we must stop listening to the voice of all others except Him and believe it or not that is a very hard thing for Christians to do. Secondly, a Holy Spirit anointed believer cannot stop making ever increasingly bad choices unless he or she is able to put the devil in his place and neither my mother, nor I, were able to do this. My father didn’t count since he was not born of the spirit at this point in his life. You see, just because my mother and I were spiritually ignorant about the wiles of the devil was no preventive from us being thrust at the instant of birth into a huge spiritual battlefield. It’s in this battlefield of the mind that Satan springs one ambush after another in our lives by making use of all the spiritually hostile terrain surrounding us. And “Oh Boy” would Vietnam ever become spiritually hostile terrain for me, even more so than the physical dangers I would face in combat. Eph.6:12 says, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. So no, my parents were not bad people. They were victims and Satan is very good at turning victims into perpetrators, especially if we listen and then follow the directions of the wrong voices and all three of us were following the beckoning of our personally assigned demonic voices from hell.  

 

    Here is an interesting truth which the reader can bank on. As long as any person, believer or non-believer, obeys the evil voices in their mind, he or she will never come under the condemnation of the devil because the devil won’t accuse and condemn someone who is following his directions. He only condemns those who are trying to do the right thing. Just follow the thoughts that the devil puts in your mind and it will always be someone else’s fault. The three of us, my father, my mother and I were obedient to those evil voices so all three of us never accepted the blame for anything that happened in our life, ever. On that point we were very much in unison while standing at the airport that day waiting for my plane to arrive. I would now depart to follow the Devil’s plans for my life on a foreign battle field and they would continue giving him ground in their minds right here in “The good ole U.S.A.”. Interestingly enough, my mother would follow him while reading her bible almost every day and going to church almost every Sunday and even paying tithes. How about you? What’s your poison? What voices are you jumping in obedience to and who are you blaming for the way things are turning out? The reader may or may not be surprised to know that a lot of people blame God.