Many years ago, I found an amazing story which I believed without hesitation. If you are older, as I am, or if you are just a student of history; you will remember a manhunt in NYC for one called “Son of Sam.”
His name is David Berkowitz and he shot and killed 6 people and wounded 7 more. This was so horrific back then. We have been desensitized to killing because the mass shooters of our day have brought killing to a whole new level.
The story which I read was that David Berkowitz, who is in a maximum security prison, had come to faith in Jesus as his Savior. David did not stop at being saved, his whole life is about sharing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ with others in prison.
I think of David Berkowitz when he was “Son of Sam” as a type of Saul of Tarsus. But the new man, David Berkowitz, “Son of Hope” is a picture of Paul.
Remember brethren, Saul of Tarsus was a fierce enemy of Christians and would oversee their stoning. He did this with much zeal, for he thought that he was doing the will of God. Saul was feared by many.
But Jesus miraculously saved this man as he travelled the road to Damascus to continue the slaughter of Christians.
Pauls Defense in Jerusalem
“Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
“Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:6-16).
Now, the reader may think “How is she comparing David Berkowitz (Son of Hope) to Paul, who was the greatest evangelist who ever lived?
Please hear me when I say that both of these men were miraculously transformed into the “New man” after their encounters with our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
David’s life in prison since his encounter with Jesus is the life of an evangelist. As you will see in his interview, certainly the old man who took the lives of 6 people – that man ‘passed away’ and the new creation of David, Son of Hope lives each day for Christ and to see others brought to the Throne of Grace to be saved.
The Skeptics Who Will Not Believe
Years ago, even before I began to write, I came across the story of David Berkowitz. As I said in the beginning of this article, I believed the story without hesitation.
I publish the story on my Facebook page. I was not prepared for what happened next. A couple of my FB friends were excited as I was. But most of the people were very angry that I published this story. They would not believe it and told me that I should take it down.
I asked these brothers and sisters in Christ if the blood of Jesus was not sufficient to cover the sins of David Berkowitz. The responses which came to me were much the same: “Yes, Jesus can save anyone, but I do not believe that Son of Sam is now a Christian.”
That shocked and saddened me – mostly I was sad for their lack of faith. Is anything too difficult for our Lord?
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
The interview of “Son of Hope” is rather lengthy, so for those who would prefer to watch a video of our brother in Christ, David Berkowitz; I am placing the video first.
But I would encourage the reader to make time for the interview (in text) because it is so powerful and inspiring. Also, during the interview – David explains how his involvement with the Occult and directly with Satan with whom he made a pact, led to his violent and murderous actions.
Here is the video of his testimony. He speaks directly to anyone whose life is filled with crime, violence, drugs etc. His prayer is that this video may touch such a person and bring them to Christ:
Another wonderful testimony by David at the Suffolk Prayer Breakfast in VA in 2012 via video. Please give Grace to the speaker – he quotes from the “Message” which is not even a version of the Word. Also, please give him grace that he quotes John Piper. Piper preaches Replacement Theology which is wrong:
For those who are still skeptics, know this: Because of David’s exemplary behavior in prison, the authorities spoke about possibly changing his sentence and letting him out of jail.
To this David said NO! He told them that he should serve the sentence initially given to him; to spend the rest of his natural life in prison. David said that he should remain in prison because this was the consequence of his heinous crimes.
Here is David’s interview:
Son of Sam Becomes Son of Hope (Interview)
SCOTT ROSS: I’ve seen you in news pieces.
SCOTT: And I saw a strange smile on your face, and I wondered what it was. Now you’re sitting here, we’re talking, and you’re saying, “Praise the Lord.”
DAVID: Yes. That’s right. Let me tell ya. God has been so good to me. I was living in such spiritual darkness and mental confusion, but the Lord reached out with his hands of mercy — his hands were outstretched towards me — and he saved my life. And I just thank him.
SCOTT: Going back … after killing six people, wounding seven in a year long rampage in the New York City environs…. One of the biggest manhunts in the history of New York ended for you, and for a lot of people, on August 15, 1977 — over 20 years ago. This was about 11 days after the sixth person was killed by your hand.
DAVID: Well, yeah. I know what you’re saying.
SCOTT: And I was looking at that footage. Replay in your mind. Does it … is it still there for you or is it just a gray, distant past?
DAVID: Well, the past, the scars of the past are always going to remain and haunt me. But I’ve given my life to Jesus Christ. And he has let me know in his Word that he has forgiven me completely. All my sins are washed away.
SCOTT: It is hard for a lot of people to accept. I’ve talked to a lot of people on the streets in New York. And said, “What would you say to this man?” It’s amazing to me, but honestly two-thirds of them said they would forgive you. Yeah. People are very compassionate, but there are other people that would still hold that against you, for those heinous crimes.
Son of Sam. There’s been a lot of confusion about the name. Who was the Son of Sam? Who was Sam and the Son of Sam?
DAVID: Well Scott, it’s a long story, and it would take hours to go into everything and unravel the case. But I at one time had gotten into Satan worship. And this entity, this demon, that was his name. It was just the stupidest thing I had ever done in my life. I just let the devil take control of me. And back in 1975, ’76, even before the crimes started, I made a pact with the devil.
SCOTT: Did you hear voices in your mind? Is that how it came to you?
DAVID: After some rituals, initiations, and things I went through, I began to experience … now that I look back, they were like hallucinations. And Satan had come upon me with his power. They were like audio-visual things that came, and so forth.
SCOTT: Give me a little background on this. You were adopted and raised in a Jewish home and family … a relatively nice environment, right?
DAVID: Well, I was just in a middle class, loving home. My parents had a lot of love for me. They basically were on the poor side. And I was an only child. My parents tried to raise me up the best as they could. They gave me a lot of love. We lived in a small apartment in the Bronx, in the inner city. But I had a lot of emotional and mental problems.
SCOTT: Even then?
DAVID: Yeah. Even then they couldn’t control me. It was like something came upon me. This was just when I was a small child. And I would just go berserk in the apartment. I know that now, after I became a Christian, and many years later, I realized that this was a demonic power that had his hand on my life … even back then.
SCOTT: And these voices were telling you to go kill people. Just kill them. Was it ritualistic?
DAVID: Ah, well, yeah. Well, you know, this was very complicated case, as I said. There was more than that. Umm …
SCOTT: Still painful?
DAVID: Yeah. Yeah. This was something down the road, years of conditioning, and grooming. It’s ah, a very complicated story.
SCOTT: Did you want to get caught?
DAVID: I wanted to get delivered. I wanted to get delivered. I was living without hope. I had surrendered myself to … to serve the devil.
SCOTT: When you were finally apprehended, it was through freak circumstances. Your neighbor’s parking ticket was overdue, correct?
SCOTT: And the police finally did apprehend you. Was there relief?
DAVID: Ah, yeah. I was going to be killed anyway. Someone was going to kill me. Someone from the group that I was with was probably going to do me in eventually.
DAVID: One thing that I found out about the devil is that you serve him and he uses you, and when he’s done with you he throws you away. You mean nothing to Satan.
SCOTT: So you were not in this alone. There were others involved in this with you.
DAVID: Yes, yes, that’s right.
SCOTT: They were never apprehended.
DAVID: Some of them died shortly after I was arrested, and some of them were, I think, were arrested for other things from what I’ve heard. And some are still around somewhere. But God is in control and God will deal with everything in his own time. You know, he’s a God of justice, as well as a God of mercy and compassion, and he will bring every hidden thing to light one day. And that’s why I’m saying that this is a very complicated … um .. case. I know that there is victory in Christ over this thing.
SCOTT: You pled guilty from the outset.
DAVID: Ah, there was a lot of pressure …
DAVID: The whole criminal case, court, going to courts and everything was like a big circus. It was just a time of torment. I … ah … my mind, my mind was gone, my mind was shot. And ah, I was like, almost like an emotional vegetable. I … I didn’t even know if I was coming or going anymore. And I had just given up on life, and wanted to get it over with. And I said, I just plead guilty.
SCOTT: And the sentence was what?
DAVID: Ah, well, consecutive sentences totaling hundreds of years. And ah …
SCOTT: Over 300 years.
DAVID: Right, the court says I’m in the rest of my natural life.
SCOTT: No hope of parole ever.
DAVID: That’s right, that’s right.
SCOTT: When you heard that sentence from the judge, what were your thoughts?
DAVID: Scott, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t care. I didn’t. I was just in such a rage and just so fed up with everything, I just didn’t care. I just came to prison with my head hanging down, and just accepted it as fate.
SCOTT: Any suicidal thoughts?
DAVID: Yeah, sure I was plagued with suicidal thoughts. I had tried to hang myself in the beginning. A couple of times I was sent to a psychiatric hospital that was controlled by the prison. Spent some time in the mental health units, and so forth. But the depression and the suicidal thoughts would come and go over the years.
SCOTT: Now you have a scar on your neck.
SCOTT: What is that from? Is that from your attempts at hanging yourself or is that from something else?
DAVID: No, in 1979 another person tried to kill me.
SCOTT: Tried to kill you?
DAVID: Right. He slit my whole neck open. And I came within a fraction of dying, you know. He missed the main artery or vein, and even the doctor in the prison infirmary said it’s a miracle that you’re alive. And I didn’t know the Lord at the time. And so God had a hand on my life.
SCOTT: Why did he try to kill you?
DAVID: I don’t know. Just to make a name for himself. Or, you know, I feel that there was something. Satan was in him to try to kill me, because the devil was afraid of me back then. He knew, you know, he knows what I know about him.
SCOTT: You’ve skirted death time after time after time. Now there came a point where one guy tries to cut your throat, another prisoner approached you in another level.
SCOTT: Now what was that?
DAVID: Well, ah, I was 10 years into my prison sentence. You know, don’t forget I’m doing natural life, so when the door shut behind me, like that was it. When I came to prison, I had just turned 24 years old. And I had this whole lifetime to do.
And I was 10 years into my prison sentence, and I was constantly in trouble, you know, a disciplinary problem. I had a really bad attitude. Living with a lot of anger, and so forth. And one night I was walking the prison yard, and another inmate came up to me and introduced himself. And said, listen, I know you’re David Berkowitz, and I want to tell you something. He says, I want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you, and he’s got a plan and a purpose for your life. And I says listen, I don’t want to hear that, because, you know, I’ve done too many evil things and there’s no forgiveness for me. Maybe there’s a God out there someplace, but I don’t think he has any interest in me at all. He says, no, you’re wrong. David, God has sent me here to this prison just to tell you that he loved you, and he can forgive you. And he says I would like to be your friend. Well, we started to talk a little here and there. I would see him in the yard, because he lived in a different cell block. And we would meet in the yard, and we would walk around together, and he started to share Christ with me. And within a couple of months time he led me to the Lord.
SCOTT: That’s the first experience you had … had you ever heard anything about Jesus prior to this?
DAVID: When I was in the army there were some Christians that would try to take me to church, and everything. But I really didn’t have a personal relationship with God. I just didn’t know. There was just so much … so many demonic strongholds in my life over the years since childhood. You know, I was a rebellious child. I believe I was demon possessed. I was totally out of it when I was a child. And so, there was such a stronghold that I just couldn’t understand god’s love and forgiveness.
SCOTT: Now there are those who are the skeptics.
SCOTT: They say, Okay, jail house conversion. Fox hole religion. The term is used. It gets you a couple of breaks here and there. They say come on…. One woman I talked to out on the streets said, “Yeah, God, yeah, but he’s crazy.” Now you’ve got to deal with people who don’t believe this and are very, very skeptical. So, how do you deal with it?
DAVID: I know what Jesus Christ has done in my life. And I can understand that people in prison, out of prison, can be skeptical. But I have put my faith in Jesus Christ. He has done so much for me. I believe in him, and no matter what people say, I’m going to continue to serve him. I serve the Lord, ministering to the men in here, ah, doing Bible studies with the guys, I go into the chapel, I’m a chaplain’s clerk now, and I preach the gospel even overseas through correspondents and testimony tracks, and so forth. So, I know I’m living for Jesus, and no matter what man may say, I belong to him. I’ve been purchased by Jesus Christ with his blood.
SCOTT: I lived in upstate New York the time these crimes were taking place. On one occasion, my wife and I prayed for you. And prayed, and said, “God, the man is demonized, and we take authority over the demons.” Now this was prayer, and I was a pastor of a church, and we prayed. And now you’re saying here, telling us, that this had actually happened in your life,
SCOTT: That these demons had been brought under control. That you’re now serving Jesus Christ.
DAVID: That’s right. That’s right. The Lord delivered me. The Lord set me free. I cried out to the Lord, and one night in my prison cell God spoke to my heart. And he set me free.
SCOTT: So, in a strange sort of way, God brought you to prison to set you free?
DAVID: Well I got here somehow! (laugh) I got here somehow, and the Lord has just reached out and touched my life.
SCOTT: You’re never going to get out of this place. When you awake in the morning, what do you deal with? What do you think about? I mean, this is it — your world.
DAVID: Well, God’s put a lot of hope in me.
SCOTT: For what? For what specifically? What specifically is your hope?
DAVID: I live, day to day, under the strength of the Lord, under the joy of the Lord. And my hope is just to share Jesus Christ with other people, and to serve him with everything I’ve got. You know — to give my life to him and to grow up in Christ. And I know God has done so many wonderful things for me. It would take me hours to tell you thing after thing the Lord has done. Prayers that he has answered. People he has allowed me to help win to the Lord. People he has allowed me to minister to. Other inmates that were suicidal that the Lord allowed me to share Christ with, and they turned away from those suicidal thoughts and gave their life to Christ. Ah, so many miracles, so many things.
You know, God has just showered me with his hope. And he has taught me that no matter what the circumstance or situation that anybody is in, whether they are in prison, or whether they are anywhere else, even if they are in their home, and their home is in turmoil, that God is a God of hope. He answers prayers.
SCOTT: You talk with these guys here. You pray with other prisoners. You’ve said that.
SCOTT: Their response to you — David Berkowitz, the former Son of Sam, is now — what do you call yourself now?
DAVID: Well, the Lord calls me the Son of Hope.
SCOTT: So the Son of Hope is following the Son of Man.
DAVID: Yeah. Yeah.
SCOTT: And you tell other prisoners this?
SCOTT: “I’m no longer Son of Sam, I’m Son of Hope.”
SCOTT: Their response to you is what? Like, get off of it Berkowitz, you’re just pullin’ a scam?
DAVID: No. No. No. No. These guys know my walk with the Lord and I have a lot of respect here among the believers, among the chaplain, the inmates all know I’m like the preacher man in prison, you know. And the other brothers are doing the same thing. You know, maybe my case was notorious, so a lot of focus is pointed toward my direction from time to time. But there are brothers here that love the Lord, that are going around ministering. People are getting saved, delivered — there’s a spiritual light shining in this place, this dark dungeon. There’s the light of the gospel here.
SCOTT: What does your day consist of? What do you do?
DAVID: Well, I get up in the morning and pray. And I talk to the Lord and start my day by reading the Scriptures. Then I have to work most of the week doing chapel. I’m a clerk there. There’s a minister there. Guys come in with all kinds of problems. Guys come in, they need bibles, tapes, or — you know that’s my daily function, kind of like an administrative gifting to serve the Lord there. And I’m always going through the hallways.
SCOTT: Do you get outside at all?
DAVID: Yeah, outside into the yard. Yeah, sure.
SCOTT: And that’s it?
DAVID: Yep. Yeah.
SCOTT: What do you miss most about outside life?
DAVID: Privacy, there’s very little here. The men have individual cells. This is like an ultra-maximum security prison.
SCOTT: Had you had hope in any part of your life about getting married, having children, about being a dad, about being a husband, all those sort of things?
DAVID: Well, you know, my mom and dad, as I said, were beautiful parents.
SCOTT: They still alive?
DAVID: Ah, no, my mom died many years ago, about 30 years ago now. And my dad is still alive, but he’s remarried. And uh …
SCOTT: No communication?
DAVID: Yeah. Yeah. right.
SCOTT: What does he think about your conversion, and your changed life?
DAVID: Ah, well, ah, he’s not all that happy with my being a Jew. I’m a Jew that believes in Jesus. I believe Jesus is the Messiah … haven’t changed my religion. I’m a simply a believer. I’m one of the Jewish people that believes that Jesus is the Messiah. He’s not happy about that. But my parents, they had a dream that I would be happy, successful, a successful child, and get married. And of course I destroyed all that with my sin and rebellion and ended up a failure. I failed my parents, I failed society. I can’t go back and change things, but I tell my dad and I share my faith that Jesus is the Messiah with my dad and I tell him that there is hope in the Lord. I give him Bible verses to read and I know that one day he’s going to come too.
SCOTT: Does he come to see you?
DAVID: Yeah. Once every three or four years he makes his way up here. It’s very hard for him. He’s old now.
I lived with a lot of guilt at times. I know that the Lord has completely forgiven me, even though I don’t understand it. I know that Christ has forgiven me. His arms of mercy have been outstretched. But my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. I pray for them all the time. And I know they will probably not forgive me, and never will. And I would do anything if I could go back and change things. But, ah, today I just hope and pray that they will come to know the God that I know. That they will be able to experience some of the peace, and the joy, and the healing, and the forgiveness that I have experienced in the Lord Jesus, my Savior.
I’m very active in ministries. The Lord has opened many doors. And it sounds so unbelievable, but I’ve been able to share my testimony through video tapes, and through radio programs, through written testimonies. It’s gone all over the world, and in many countries.
And I would like for them to pray that the Lord would use me to really reach a lot of teenagers with the message of salvation, because they’re crying out for some love, and for purpose. God has a wonderful plan for their life. And many of them are following the course that I went down, which is just getting involved in the cult, getting involved in Satanism. Even though I just kind of wandered into that, you know. It wasn’t my intention in the beginning for this to happen.
As I said, the story is so long, but I pray that I will have the chance to witness to teenagers … to share my testimony to others. That I may point others to Jesus Christ. And I would like to grow in the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness. You know, I pray that people will pray for me that I could become a better Christian, and I can continue to live my life here with hope and joy in the Holy Ghost.
SCOTT: Do people write to you?
DAVID: Yeah. I get a lot of correspondence. That’s another ministry the Lord has given me — a ministry of correspondence. I write to dozens of people all throughout the United States and even overseas.
And it’s beautiful! Some people are unsaved, and I’ve been able to share Christ with them. Some have recently got saved. And the Lord has used me to help restore some marriages. Ah, in 1993, I was on this program called Inside Edition, and a lot of people got blessed by that. I was just flooded, deluged with letters. You know, I was able to share Christ.
I was able to share my previous involvement with Satanism. And I’ve still been ministering to those people. And a lot of them have gotten stronger in the Lord. It’s nothing I do. You know, I’m nothing. But it’s Christ that’s in me. You know, Christ is able to…. I just pray that my hands are hands that will continue to minister to others. And my lips would speak what God would have me to speak, that others could be helped. Others could be brought out of their mess. God wants to save souls. You know, God wants to help people.
SCOTT: You’re a different man.
DAVID: Yeah. God has put a new heart in me, and there’s a Scripture verse that I love, it’s one of my favorites. I would like to read it if I can. It’s found in, um, Ezekiel chapter 36, verses 26-28. And this verse has so much meaning to me. It says:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes. And ye shall keep my judgments and do them, and ye shall dwell in the land that I give your fathers, and ye shall be my people, and I shall be your God.”
And I know no matter what man may say, I know what God has done for me. That he has reached into my life, and he’s taken out that rotten heart of a murderer, of a devil worshiper, a heart that was no good. It was like a stone! I was like an animal! I was like a rock! And he’s taken that thing out and put in a new heart and a new spirit within me, that I can praise the name of Jesus today, and I thank God for that.
I thank God that I can live for hope, and exalt the name of the Lord. And I know that there’s nothing I’ve ever done to deserve any mercy from God. But he showed me, you know, that his hands were outstretched, that he said, “David, I love you, I forgive you, you’re my child now.” And Jesus says, “My blood has watched away all your sins.” That old man who’s nailed to the cross — when Jesus went to the cross he took that old man, that old David Berkowitz, and nailed him to the cross too. And now I can walk in the newness of life. And I thank God for that.
You know, Jesus says that whom the Son sets free is free indeed. And I know that the Lord has set me free in my mind, in my body — every which way. You know, because there were times I’d be — I could never begin to tell you the mental torment I was in … how much hurt and pain was in my life. I just had these desires to kill myself. I had desires to just destroy things. I know that Satan was in me. I know that, you know, I was demonically possessed ever since childhood. But, now God has just freed me from that. Satan still tries to come in and lie to me and say, “Oh, oh, oh we have a pact now. Remember you still belong to me.” And I tell Satan, “you’re a liar! I have been set free, you know. I belong to Jesus now, I’m with the family of God.” And I thank him for that.
SCOTT: So the other prisoner came up to you, and he gave you a Bible.
SCOTT: Had you ever read the Bible before?
DAVID: I looked at it, but I never understood it, you know. And one day as I said one young Christian man came to me in the yard — he was a fellow prisoner — and we became friends. And he gave me a little pocket Bible, one of those he got out of the chapel from the Gideons. And he told me — this was a few weeks after we got to know one another — he said Dave, why don’t you take this Bible and start reading it. I know you are Jewish, so maybe you should start reading in the Psalms because the Psalms are here. I said yeah the Psalms, I heard about them let me just check it out, because always, I love to read. And he gave me this Bible and I began to read, in my cell at night and I started to read the Psalms and something began to happen. My heart started to get soft. I started to change. I was like hard, behind the bars the whole macho, the whole nine yards. I had my little knife and I was in and out of trouble. And now suddenly I am reading theses Scriptures from the Psalms, and I would find myself starting to cry sometimes.
I said man what’s going on. I was reading and reading. I said, my goodness, this was some of the most beautiful stuff, I have ever read, I know I didn’t understand what was happening to me, the Lord was beginning to speak to my heart. And the Holy Spirit was moving through me and this went on for several weeks and as my friend would walk the yard he would read the Bible to me and portions of the Scripture. And then one day when I was alone in my cell and it was close to midnight, I started , I just turned on my little lamp, and I just started to read on my bunk. I was reading from Psalm 34 and I got to the part where it says, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. And I read that again … this poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles.
And I read about the angel of the Lord and about those whose fear him and in verse 8, said, “Oh taste to see the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusts in him” and right there something happened inside of me, I began to cry and I shut my light off so know one could see me, and then I just felt this urge to get down on my knees.
And in the darkness of the cell I got down on my knees, and I just began to cry my heart out to the Lord. I didn’t even know what to say or if God was really listening or even hearing what I had to say. You know, because I had so much guilt because I had been such a wicked and vile person. And by my bunk, I just prayed to the Lord and said Lord, I am so sorry for the life I have lived. Lord I can’t live like this anymore, I am so frustrated I ruined everything. I ruined my life. I ruined other lives. I said God have mercy on my life. Lord, if you want to hear me please listen to what I have to say. And I just poured out my heart that night to God by my bunk, and when I got up off my knees — I don’t know how long I was down there, maybe 20 minutes, maybe a half hour — I felt different when I got up off my knees I just felt different. I felt a sense I relief, a sense of peace, and even I didn’t understand it, but I knew somehow God had heard me, something was going to be different.
I went to sleep that night and I slept like a baby.
And the next day or the day after when I saw my friend Rick in the yard, I says, Rick, guess what I did the other night. He says, what did you do? I says, I prayed and I asked Jesus to come in my life, and to come into my heart. He looked at me and he says, what! I said I asked Jesus to forgive me. You know we were in the yard with a bunch of other inmates and people were walking around and you know guys have their little groups and clicks, and he says wow, that’s great, praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! He started to shout, praise the Lord, and I said stop, stop, stop, don’t embarrass me. He says No, you don’t understand, that means you have been born again, you’re saved now. I said what? What do you mean born again? He says, that is what I have been trying to tell you. He says, when you invite Jesus into your life, he forgives you of all you sins, he makes you a new person. The Holy Spirit is in you now. I said, the Holy Spirit is in my now? He is? He says, yeah! You should be happy. I mean I wanted to be happy but I didn’t understand.
Right there that started a whole new life began for me. Even behind these walls, I suddenly began to get a thirst to read the Bible. I said, man, I can’t put this down. I started to read about king David, you know, and I didn’t know all theses things like he had committed murder, and adultery and all these things. And I read about the struggles that he had in life, and how he cried out to the Lord. And I said that like me, king David knew a lot about pain, you know, and that was the story of my life — a whole lot of pain and failure, and misery.
You know, I was never a happy person, never a happy child. Even though my parents gave me a lot of love, they knew nothing about Jesus. And they knew nothing about how to get me help, or anything. They tried their best, but without the Lord there really is nothing.
And that is what started me on my new walk with the Lord. And that has been seven-plus years and I have been with the Lord ever since. I have had my ups and downs and my times of struggle. It hasn’t been a bed of roses. With the Christian life I go through persecution here. I go through attacks from Satan, but the Lord is faithful and he has delivered my and has brought me through storms. I just pour out my life to the Lord and I live for Jesus now, and I believe he has great things in store for me and he has got great things in store for every believer. And for every person that puts their faith in Jesus Christ. He has got great things and a great purpose for their life.
Now when I think of the prophet Jeremiah … when the Lord was speaking to the prophet Jeremiah, he wanted him to tell the people the he knew the plans he has for his people says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil. To give you a hope, and give you an expected end. And the Lord has done that for me — he has given me a hope. In fact recently he has told me my new name: “David, that Son of Sam thing is over with. It is gone, that is thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. That was an evil time, an ugly time, and now you are the Son of Hope.”
That is the name I tell the kids, I say God has given me a new name — the Son of Hope — because I am about hope and God is the God of hope.
SCOTT: There is not a whole lot you can say after that, so what I would like for you to do, if you would, is pray. You just pray right now, whatever you feel is important to pray. We will agree with you. Everyone who is reading this can do the same thing — to agree together with David Berkowitz and for people who may be reading this, who are hopeless and who may even be in a similar circumstance as you were in. I don’t know if a killer is reading — we are all under the same condemnation of sin, and whether it is the least or the greatest of sins, a sin is a sin it is a rebellion against God.
And for those who may be reading who are into the occult, or into drugs, or people in despair … whatever it is, honestly, this is a man who knows what he’s speaking about, and I can speak for my own life and my own despair, and for my own isolation and my own loneliness and all that stuff. So right now, we will just agree will you as you pray to the Lord who saved you.
DAVID: Thank you, Lord. Father, I just come before you in the name of Jesus. I thank you, Lord, for your mercy, your grace, the hope that you give to everyone who puts their trust in your Son Jesus and comes to know you.
Father, I know that there are people out there who are hurting real bad in their in circumstances, and in troubles that maybe are over their heads. Lord, there are conditions in their life, that they’re really suffering abuse, and they feel like no way out.
I pray in the name of Jesus, that they would come to know you as the God of all comfort, and God of all hope and God of mercy. Lord, your arms are outstretched toward all those who come to you.
Your Word says, “Whoever calls upon you Lord shall be saved.” Lord, I pray for those who are hurting and those that are lonely and those that have no hope, that they would look to you and that they would ask you to forgive them of their sins and their wrongdoings, and that they would put their trust in you. And that they would receive new life from you, Lord God.
I pray that, if there is anyone who feels suicidal or has another problem, that you would touch their heart and not let them do that, dear God. And let them know that they are not hopeless, Lord. I ask in the name of Jesus for revival to come to America and true revival that begins in our hearts.
I ask, Lord, for you to change the hearts of people. Jesus, I know that you are knocking on many doors, and right now I pray that people will open up the doors to their hearts and invite you in.
And truly I thank you for the mercy and grace you had in my life. I was such a wicked, miserable, rotten man, Lord, but you reached down with love and compassion and pulled me out of all the mud and have given me new life Lord. I know that if you have given it to me, you can give it to anybody. I thank you Lord for your mercy, and grace and kindness, and Lord Jesus we thank you for your precious blood that you shed on the cross, and we look to you and believe in you and we thank you Lord in Jesus name. Amen.
SCOTT: Let’s all just agree together now in prayer. Father, this man is a living miracle, and we do pray for him. He is an adopted son into the family of the Son of Man. And Lord, you have brought this man out of darkness into light.
As he has read your Word, as he has prayed to your name, Lord, we pray for you to continue to work miracles in David Berkowitz’s life. What we have seen now and what we are hearing now is a miracle. Only you can do this thing. Lord, your work isn’t finished. And your plans are great. And Lord you are going to do things that are going to absolutely amaze him and others. And you are going to do work that transcends the natural. You will give him great success and strengthen him in his spirit and give him hope for the future, and enlarge his vision, and clarify his understanding.
And Lord, the hunger he has for you will even be increased. Lord, you have put your hand upon him. He is preaching the Gospel. He is a proclaimer. So Lord, in the name of Jesus, let your hand come upon him in a new way and in a new dimension. Lord, I pray that you start working miracles through this man and I pray that people begin to get healed and get delivered, and as he comes against the power of darkness let him know he is not alone. We stand with him in the name of Jesus. He is appointed in your name do it, oh God. And Lord, we pray for those whom he supports throughout the world, that they will be used as a testimony for the name of Jesus. We thank you father. Amen
Praise the Lord, victory in Jesus. We’re more than conquerors. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord! source
Brethren, if you know a person whose life is a total mess – maybe they’re even serving a sentence in prison; would you consider printing this out and mailing it to them? Or if a person has access to the internet, would you email this to them?
God may use you to bring that person to Him!