Not Afraid to Die
The Story of Jim Sepulveda
by Jim Sepulveda
The testimony that follows tells of a
gentleman who had no need for God until He was handed a death sentence.
Let's move quickly into this powerful story.
"Jim, if you own anything of value,
you'd better make out a will," my doctor told me after severe chest
pains sent me to the hospital. Tests revealed an enlarged heart, a damaged
main valve, and two main arteries blocked by cholesterol. I would need
double bypass surgery and valve replacement. "We give you only a 10
percent chance of making it," the doctor warned. I was terrified. At
age 35 I was too young to die.
Six weeks before surgery God intervened in
my life. Much against my own personal wishes, God arranged for me to
attend a healing meeting. Once there, I was greatly agitated by what was
going on, and was going to leave during the service when suddenly the
speaker announced: "The Holy Spirit is telling me there's a man here
who is scheduled for open heart surgery. If you will come down now, I
believe the Lord's going to heal you." I glanced around as he waited.
Surely he didn't mean me. No one came forward, "God has a work for
this man," the speaker continued. "Let us pray and see if the
Holy Spirit might reveal the man's name to me."
Incredibly, God did reveal my name, and reluctantly, I went forward. After
answering a few of his questions, here's what happened: Suddenly my knees
buckled and I fell to the platform, wrapped in a warm blanket of peace and
love. A red light appeared toward the ceiling, which came down and touched
my head. A pure warm heat ran up my left side and stopped in the area of
my chest. Then it felt like two little fingers moved things around inside
my heart "YAHUSHUA, I love You." The words slipped from my mouth
without conscious thought. "I know that I know that You've healed me.
I love You." Up to this moment, I hadn't been to church in 13 years,
sad to say.
Upon returning to my doctor, I told him about my experience in the
auditorium. He wasn't impressed. "Jim, if you don't have open heart
surgery, you won't last over 6 months." We discussed the situation at
length, then a clear thought came to mind: Catheterization. Do it for the
glory of God. I knew that was a procedure when doctors make an incision in
one main artery, then feed a catheter into the heart to take pictures and
ascertain the exact state of the heart.
"Doc, listen. I don't want that open-heart surgery. I want a
Catheterization." He argued, but I convinced him. Several days later
I was on the operating table. I was awake during the whole Catheterization
process. Everything seemed to go very well. Then during the last maneuver
I suddenly felt like a white-hot poker was stabbing my heart. Agonizing
pain ran across my shoulders and down my side. I began to lose
consciousness and felt the doctors pounding on my chest. As dark shadows
closed around me, I could hear voices from far away, echoing like sound in
a tunnel: "We're losing him... losing him... losing him...
I opened my eyes. I was standing in a field, surrounded by acres of green
grass. Every blade of it glowed, as if a tiny spotlight lighted them. To
my right stretched a dazzling expanse of flowers, with vibrant colors I'd
never seen before. I walked over a nearby hill, stopping as a light began
to appear near me. The blinding aura was too bright to look at directly. I
squinted down toward the ground, then saw a pair of sandals begin to
appear at the bottom of the light.
As my eyes moved upward, I glimpsed the hem of a seamless white gown.
Higher, I could make out the form of a man's body. Around his head shone
an even brighter brilliance, obscuring a direct view of his face. Even
though I couldn't see clearly because of the dazzling splendor, I knew
immediately the identity of this Man. I was standing in the presence of YAHUSHUA.
"Jim, I love you." His voice washed over me . . . indescribably
gentle, tender, peaceful. "But it's not your time yet. You must go
back, for you have many works for Me to do."
The brilliance surrounding Him reached out and engulfed me, immersing me
in love and peace. I don't know how long I stood transfixed, but finally I
turned away and began walking back over the hill. Then a blue mist of
light began to come around me like a fog. It turned into a dark shadow,
and everything turned black. Opening my eyes, I realized I was back on the
operating table, covered with a sheet. I didn't know that until later my
heart had stopped beating for 8 minutes. They had given me up for dead!
Everyone had left the operating room except for the main surgeon and one
of his assistants. They were at the back of the room, filling out a report
on my death. As I sat up, the sheet slid down my lap. They turned and
looked at me, with their faces ghost white. "Get the rest of them in
here quick!" the surgeon urged his assistant. The doctors performed
numerous tests. Early the next morning the surgeon came to my room and
announced he was releasing me from the hospital. "Come back this
evening at 8:30 to my office. We'll go over all the results of your new
That evening I told my doctor what I'd experienced during the 8 minutes I
was clinically dead on the operating table. "Jim," he said,
"let me show you something you won't believe." He showed me the
new pictures of my heart. Rather than being enlarged, it was now normal
size. There had previously been 85 percent blockage in two arteries; now
there was none. The main valve was functioning normally. My doctor looked
at me, tears in his eyes. "Jim, this YAHUSHUA you've been talking about
has either replaced or repaired your heart."
Shortly afterward God called me into ministry. Since then I've had the
opportunity to share my testimony to thousands - both here in America and
in Europe. It's been the thrill of my life to see the Lord use me to touch
so many lives, to see people turn their lives over to YAHUSHUA and see
the positive change that follows, as they grow in their personal
relationship with Him. Before this all happened, as I faced the good
possibility of dying, I was terrified. Now my fear is gone, as yours can
be, replaced by the joy of knowing someday I will see my Savior again face
Thank you for taking the time to read my testimony and it's my prayer that
it helps you come to believe on YAHUSHUA as your Lord and Savior. If
there's any doubt that YAHUSHUA is the one to put one's trust in for
eternal salvation... there certainly wouldn't be doubt any longer if you
had seen what I had seen during those 8 minutes I was dead.
Let us never forget YAHUSHUA's promise to humanity as recorded in the Bible
in John 20:29. Thomas was one of the Lord's disciples at the time of
YAHUSHUA's crucifixion. After YAHUSHUA's resurrection from the tomb, He
returned in bodily form and revealed Himself to His disciples, but NOT
The disciples who had seen YAHUSHUA was later telling Thomas what they had
seen and heard YAHUSHUA say, but Thomas was as doubting as you and I might
"Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my
finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will
Eight days later, YAHUSHUA then revealed Himself to Thomas also. The words YAHUSHUA
Messiah spoke to Thomas still echo across the universe, and through
the soul of every person who longs to be right with God, and grow in
relationship with Him:
"Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believed."
What does scripture then say is the benefit?" That you may believe
that YAHUSHUA is the Messiah, the Son of YAHUVEH, and that believing you may have
life in His name. (John 20:31). There's a great difference between mere
religious activity . . . and LIFE in YAHUSHUA isn't there?