By Rami Kivisalo
I am Rami Kivisalo, a former professional criminal, gangster, drug dealer, weapon dealer and everything you could ever imagine. To put it bluntly, I was a very sinful person, full of all kinds of evil. I would like to share my testimony with you, how my life changed years ago, through God’s power, while I was in prison. This is a genuine testimony concerning things that have happened for real. I would like to encourage, through this testimony, everyone who is reading this. It really doesn’t matter who you are, I would like to share my testimony with you and to encourage you. When we come into such a situation in our lives, were nobody can help us or solve our problems, I would like to tell you: Do not give up, there is still hope! What ever the matter or the situation in you life might be. All is well! The Best is yet to come!! This testimony can be found at the official website of Faith and Sports, at address: www.uskojaurheilu.fi
When I was 12-years old, I started to get interested in marshal arts. I had my first boxingssack and I began weightlifting. A few years later, my parents moved to Tanzania for work and I had to go with them. There I got to know one of the best African teachers in marshal arts. He started to teach me Kungfu, Karate and Tae Kwon Do.
These things soon became the most important things in my life and they took me over completely. Because I had completed the Senior Grade, I used all the days from morning until evening training in Marshal Arts. We trained really hard and when we returned back to Finland two years later, I had reached the highest level, having black-belts in three different disciplines of Marshal Arts. I had gone so deep into marshal arts that I had opened myself to the spirits of violence. They made me very violent and dangerous. I stopped going to school due to continuous fights in the streets.
I got acquainted with many professional criminals. Because I was very violent, I got rapid appreciation and I was finally involved in all kinds of criminal stuff. I started to create international relationships to criminals and very soon I had dealings with Mafia. Everything became lawful and normal to me, I didn’t care about anything else. Still nothing in this world could give me real satisfaction. I drunk alcohol much more and took more risks. Many times I was near death but miraculously I didn’t die.
The first day of 1997 the Police captured me. I got a four year prison sentence. While in jail, I was full of hatred and bitterness. Even though I knew I deserved a prison sentence of more than 10 years, I was still bitter. I realized that I would never be able to build a normal, peaceful life and change my lifestyle.
Something that no human could make whole again, had broken inside of me. From prison I started to plan bigger and bigger international criminal businesses. I had accepted that prison would be the place where I would spend many years afterwards also.
One day something, that stopped me, happened. Suddenly in the middle of the day somebody told me: Rami, unless you turn away from your bad ways and repent of your sins, you will die soon and die in your sins. I knew immediately that Jesus had spoken to me. After this Jesus called me everyday and drew me to Himself. I tried to escape His call, but after a few months, my back was against the wall. One day I knew in my heart that now I have to decide what I am going to answer to Jesus who had called me to salvation for months.
I made my decision and dropped to my knees in my cell and said, “Jesus, if you can forgive me my great sins and change my life – I will give my whole life to you. Forgive me of my sins”. After this I stopped my criminal businesses and told some of my friends that I do not practice them anymore. Even though I had made my decision, I was not well. Satan pressed me and I felt that somebody inside of me was trying to get me back to my old life.
Few months after this I got vacation from prison and I went to my parents place and asked them if they could pray with other believers for me that I would be delivered of the things that made me feel troubled and pressed. So my parents along with one believing woman laid their hands on me and started to pray that Jesus would set me free from demons. They commanded Satan to depart from my life in Jesus name. Suddenly the power of Jesus came over me and I fell to the ground and I got free from all bondages in my life. After this, I started to experience freedom that I had not felt before in my life.
I was free from violence and all criminal stuff that had bound me for years. One Year after this I got released from prison. Adjusting to normal life was not easy for me. I have had many hard times since that and sometimes I have felt that I can’t go on but Jesus has always given me a new power to arise and go on. Jesus never leaves or rejects a person who comes to Him. I’m thankful to Jesus for what He has done for me. Jesus came to the most failed and sinful man’s prison cell and gave me new life.
I know that there is no one who is such a big sinner, that Jesus could not help that person. He can help and He wants to help and save everyone. That was the reason why Jesus came and died on the cross for all of us. The Bible promises that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts. 2:21)
It is not possible for me to share here concerning all the miracles and God’s supernatural protection in my life that I have experienced, but I am going to share one very wonderful experience, in order for us to be able to understand what it feels like when a human being leaves this physical body and dies. I have experienced how my spirit has left my body and I have died and returned back to my body. Something happened to me, that caused it, but I am not going to share it here. I remember that prior to my spirit leaving my body, I was laying down in the ground and I felt like I was from top to bottom covered with sweat and I felt really hot. Suddenly I didn’t feel anymore pain or agony.
I was looking at myself and I saw how I was laying on the ground without moving, I looked into my own eyes and I wondered why I was staring at one place, I thought to myself, that now I am in very bad shape. I remember how some folks who were very close to me arrived in that spot and they found me. I watched how they were touching me and the other one of them cried out: “Rami is cold as ice! He doesn’t breath anymore!” I remember how I suddenly returned back into my body and started breathing again. Before my spirit left my body, I remember that I felt very hot and I was perspiring throughout my whole body. During that whole time period, I didn’t cease from thinking or remembering things. . yet I didn’t understand that I was practically dead.
If someone thinks, that when a human being dies, that person doesn’t know anything and that everything is over, I can tell you based on my own experience – you don’t even know that you have died, when it happens, you won’t cease to exist or just disappear. Death is not an end. It is the end of your physical body, but a real man isn’t the physical body. Man has got a spirit, soul and body. It is God’s great grace, that I am alive. I shouldn’t be, as death has been more than close to me on various other occasions.
Many folks who hear my testimony or read concerning my life, tell me: “It was a very good thing for you, how God has helped you and all those miracles that have happened to you..” However, I just want to tell everybody, that it doesn’t matter at all how good or bad folks have been, if Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives and our personal Savior. Each one of us has to make a personal decision and to confess our sins – whether they are little or big things and to ask Jesus to become the Lord of ones own life.
The Bible is telling us in (John 3:16-17) ”For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the World to judge it, but that the World would be saved through him…” We will get saved only by faith in Jesus Christ, not through our own works. I know that I have committed a lot of sin and wrong. However I need to live close to God on a daily basis. The same as the drugdeals, robberies, violence and murders are sin and are things to be judged, the same we have to repent of our lies, evil thoughts, evil speeches, our lusts, all of our sexual sins, our fornications etc.. It is easy to pay attention to big mistakes and to be blind to less things, that are also wrong in God’s eyes. Remember, that everything we keep in secret, it has power over our lives.
We are getting saved by God’s grace, when we believe, that Jesus bore our sins on our behalf and that He rose again from the dead through God’s power and He lives today. Yet we cannot practice or approve of any kind of conscious sin in our lives… a conscious approval of sin and practicing it consciously separates us from God, although we would believe in Jesus and in that what He has done for us. You can believe in God and be very much aware of the spiritual matters, but don’t let the goodness of God deceive you. God is a God of mercy, but he doesn’t approve of sin – whether it is big or little sin.
Many folks are being shocked or made angry, when such a person like myself, who has such an evil past and full of sin, admonishes to repent of even the minor sins. My testimony is an encouragement concerning what God can do for a human being. It is an encouragement for each one of us, whether you are a killer, drug dealer, murderer, terrorist, prostitute, a thief, a cheat or how ever of a sinful person… I would like to tell you, that Jesus came into the world just for you, He died on a cross and bore your big sins – You can be delivered and live!! I have also an encouragement for you, those who are attending the Church and who are wishing many blessings to your fellowmen. Maybe God has blessed your life in one way or another…you might be rich, famous, or a person who has had success in some area. Folks would like to be your friend or they are envying you… and in spite of all of your blessings, you might be addicted to various kinds of addictions: like pornography, lying, cheating on your partner, lusting after things that are none of your business or you are stuck with another kind of bondage. If Jesus can set free a big sinner and criminal. He can also deliver you and give you power to put away your smallest sin.
In God’s eyes sin is sin and all manner of conscious sin separates man from God, remember that, while you are reading this. It is a different matter, if you experience weakness and you fall in some areas of your life, when you are asking for forgiveness from the bottom of your heart, God does forgive you. But do not tolerate sin in your life, how ever small a matter it might be and it might feel so minor. The moment we approve of living in a conscious sin in some area of our life and thinking at the same time, that God does forgive us, we have gone astray. God doesn’t accept a conscious sin in anybody’s life. Sin must be confessed and one must repent from that, how ever little or big the matter might be.
God, who delivered me from my big sins, has awaken me from the dead and has given me a new life. He forgives you and sets you free, whoever you might be, a small sinner or big sinner. God’s grace is power to live right and free from all bondage of the sin, what ever kind they might be. I just want to say, in conclusion, that I am not here to judge anybody. You might have got upset due to something that you read or you do not believe any of what I have told you. I love you! I do not judge you or accuse you. The Word of God says that anybody who does not believe in Jesus Christ – has already been judged. Jesus died, in order for us to get free from judgment and hell. Believe in Him. Each one of us has to choose either life or death. We have a free will. We ourselves decide what we choose.
It is my prayer that this testimony will encourage you and give you hope and will bring about change. Whoever you are, I have called you my friend, I want to share my testimony with you. I want you to have good things. I want your life to be changed! Tomorrow might be a better day, regardless of how bad or good things are right now.
Rami “Rasmus” Kivisalo