By Gary Teitel
Four months ago, I was traveling on a musical expedition to Key West, Florida when I, Gary Teitel, was disrupted from my journey and experienced a conversion similar to that of Saul of Tarsus, who later became known as the Apostle Paul.
Being a member of the sixties generation, a member of the peace patrol from Woodstock, New York, I was brought to the Lord through a miraculous connection of a series of events which could only be labeled as God’s intervention. The result of this journey was meeting the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua) and being baptized in water by Bob Cohen, the leader of a Messianic Jewish congregation in Jacksonville, Florida.
Today, after four spirit-filled months of walking with the Lord and having received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I am forever grateful that the Savior Jesus Christ reached down and rescued me from a life of certain misery and misfortune.
Instead I have my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and have the privilege of being able to share with you, whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, that the Lord is alive and wants to come into your life and ignite a flame of peace, love and joy and make all of your dreams come true.
Yes, I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but this God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is for real. Jesus says, “Ask and you shall receive, knock and the door shall be opened.” These are real promises to real people, unlike the false gods and made up fables many worship. Jesus is real and true spirituality is based upon Him.
I came to this revelation as I was traveling on Interstate 95 south from Woodstock with two other companions, along with my two keyboards, amplifier, 3.5 kilowatt generator, 10 speed bike and art portfolio when we made a planned stop in Richmond, Virginia where the driver’s family lived and where we were to spend the night.
When we got there we were told, in an inhospitable manner, that we had to find our own place to sleep. This made two of us have second thoughts about the rest of the trip. It was the beginning of a long series of disastrous situations.
To make an otherwise long story short, we were separated from our driver, but made arrangements to meet him in Daytona Beach. After we had arranged a ride to Daytona, we discovered that our driver had broken down in North Carolina and could not afford to fix his car. I decided to head down toward the Keys anyway, hitchhiking to a meet a friend who had promised us a place to stay.
After setting two specific times to meet this person without luck, I began to have a dreadful feeling of gloom and depression which lasted my entire stay in the Keys. After deciding to leave this dreadful place, I started hitchhiking up toward the place where my musical equipment was being held and hoped to make it back to Woodstock.
I made it as far as West Palm Beach, about 300 miles, when I began praying profusely to God to help me out of this situation. My heart and soul was pouring out to a God I did not know. After three more rides as far as Daytona Beach, praying all the while, a tractor trailer truck stopped and I climbed in.
I began to tell my story to this gracious man, who gave me counsel and comfort. He began to share how he had once been addicted to crack, cocaine and alcohol and was about to die in the streets when the Lord Jesus Christ saved him and he began his recovery. He told me about the ministry that helped him get off drugs called “Just for the Love of Jesus” in Jacksonville where I was about to be let off.
He told me that if I wanted to stop at the ministry that I could call them and get a nights rest and a good hot meal. Stopping to let me off, we joined hands in prayer. We must have reached into the heavens because my entire body and the whole cab were filled with light and a joy that lifted my exhausted emotions. I said good-bye beaming with love and feeling a glow around my body.
While waiting for several hours for another ride, I began to feel that I should go to this ministry I had heard about. A state police officer made the decision easier after I received a ticket and a verbal warning that if I was caught hitchhiking on the highway again I would immediately be arrested.
After calling the ministry for directions, I proceeded to walk several miles literally exhausted, although I felt like I was walking on air. When I arrived at Just for the Love of Jesus I felt like I was coming home. There was a familiar feeling and a rightness about it and after being there overnight, I had the feeling that I should stay there and rest a for a while.
When the people at the ministry found out that I was Jewish, they decided to arrange a meeting between me and a Jewish believer from New York. Soon I was startled upon hearing someone yelling out my name – “Gary Teitel!” This Jewish believer happened to be Eliot, a childhood friend from Far Rockaway, New York, whom I had not seen for twenty years.
I went with Eliot to a Bible study held by a ministry for Messianic Jews – Jewish people who had accepted Jesus as the Lord and Messiah. By the time the Bible study was finished, I had accepted the Lord Jesus into my life, repented of my sins and received forgiveness.
I have found that the saying – “With God all things are possible” is true.
“Peace and Love” – is another saying that has always meant a great deal to me. Being a product of the 1960s generation and having experienced the Woodstock era, I shared in many belief systems that appeared to make some sense out of the confusion of life and appeared to explain what life on this planet really means.
But four months ago, I met my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and after having received the Holy Spirit, I have come to a completely new and meaningful understanding of these ideas and what the terms “Peace and Love” are really all about.
Being born in Brooklyn, New York – 100% Jewish and educated in Hebrew school – I was taught strictly the Old Testament. I was one of those people who prayed fervently to God the Father (Elohim), but I did not realize that without using the name of Jesus, God did not hear my prayers.
Being Jewish is something that I had been embarrassed about and not very proud of throughout my life. But since I have come to know Yeshua (Jesus’ name in His native Aramaic), He has shown me an entirely different meaning and feeling of what it means to be a Jew.
I can honestly say that a complete turnabout and even a passionate interest to relearn the Hebrew language has been stirred up in my life and I am studying and speaking God’s word in its original form for greater clarity and meaning.
My message for the “Woodstock Nation” is: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
The Woodstock Nation has been preaching peace and love through the music and the arts for many years. To this I say: “Hallelujah!” But my message to all those who have ears to hear and eyes to see is: “Be aware, sober and awake!” Jesus stands at the door and knocks – He is the only way to the Father. Sorcery, crystals and witchcraft are not the way to God.
I have come to understand that the only true peace comes from the Holy Spirit – not from earthly situations or wisdom of the mind. There is no peace without Jesus (Yeshua) and there will be no lasting peace on earth until the Master returns with His army of saints and disciples to take His rightful reign over all the earth.
Jesus, Who was one with the Father from the beginning, and was and is fully God, came to earth to take away all our sins through His Blood shed on the Cross and now He has freely given us His eternal life. These are the last days and my message to all people is: “Repent and be loved! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
All we have to do for the true peace and love of God is simply to ask the Lord to forgive us for our sins and to come into our lives to be our Lord and guide. Any problem, be it spiritual, physical or emotional, can and will be healed by our Lord if we but simply have the faith the size of a mustard seed.
Prayer is the answer. But remember – God the the Father (Elohim) is receiving our prayers through the name of Jesus Christ.
Gary Teitel is a former member of the “Peace Patrol” and one of the key organizers of the Woodstock Music Festival ’89, an event which drew over 250,000 people, commemorating the 20th year anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Gary is now serving the Lord Jesus Christ on a full time basis.