Dr. Cesar Brooks


    I was just enjoying life, and they promoted me to management within 6 months and I was partying, having money, doing things in Las Vegas. And I made friends with some people that were entertaining on The Las Vegas Strip. It's really quite by accident. A young lady had a contract that was coming due with the Flamingo Hotel and her agent had got arrested for cocaine use. And he had started with them, and so she didn't have anybody going negotiated contract, it was almost all done. I just read through the notes. I talk to other people that were in the industry to find out what you need to do, what you need to say. And I will pretend to be your agent. And I got her more money, more extra comps and different things like that, and so she told to other friends. And so I got to know people in the entertainment business there. So in that arena, one of the ladies that I had encountered had a singing job someplace. She introduced me to this young Italian guy and his name is Anthony Giovanni at the time. But I think he's changed the names of couple different times. But he had connections to some Italian businessman out of Florida and he let me know they were coming into town and wanted my help, that Joey Birdino wanted help getting him a good table at Cesar's Palace where Frank Sinatra was going to be up here. Well, I knew the guy that worked at the door there that the big arena where they had the performances. And so, Joey had sent him with $500 for tickets, weren't that much. But he figured I might have to give somebody a bit of money to be able to just get in the door. So I went to my buddy and he said, "Just a hundred bucks, he says, and I'll fix them up really good." "I'll make sure he says. He said "Frank Sinatra loves these gangster types", and he says, "I'll put him right in the front." I said, "Well. That's going to make him very happy." So the next day I find out that he put him front row center, Frank Sinatra came offstage shook his hand and then sing a ballad to his girl that was with him. So he was like, "Where is that kid, Cesar?" So I met up with him about 2 days later and I brought him his change and he's like, "What's this?" I said, "Well, I mean, it haven't cost me a hundred bucks to get you that table. He said, "Nobody ever brings you that change." He said "So what's your story?" So I told him a little bit about my story. And he said he said "We're going to look out for you." He said, "Whenever we come to town, if you can help us get places and you can look out for the guys, we're gonna look out for you." I said, "Great." About 2 or days later, Anthony picked me up, took me to Cesar's Palace and that's real fancy mall there. He said, "Let's go shopping." He said, "Joey says he wants you looking good when there are guys coming to town." Well, in about 3 hour’s time, the guy spent $10,000 on me. Give me amount full of money, buying sweat jackets, we just need shoes. I was a poor kid and somebody spending money on me and they said, "Price is no logic."

   So that started my relationship with these guys. They come into town, I try to get them into a place where they wanted to see performance or I'd introduce them to somebody so they wouldn't be lonely. With you were in town and Joey always told him, he said "Look, that Cesar guy"; he used to call me Cesar. He says "He's a good guy, he doesn't cuss, he doesn't swear. Now, he's getting back to change." He says, "Don't get him in any trouble." I didn't exactly know what he meant by that but I found out later. When Anthony had come to me about a business proposition and he said, "Joey, we got some guys that are coming in and they're work in the casinos. They're gambling, they're making a lot of money, but there has to be a steady flow of cash. We need somebody to get cash to him." I had a business at that time. He said, "If you let us use your account to send the cash to, and then if he just take the cash to somebody down at the casino that we tell you to, you can get 10%." I'm 23 years old, I was making alright money but I said, "Well, sure. I mean, every little bit helps." And so the first wire shipment of money that came through a $67,000 and I'm like, "That's more money than I'm making the whole time." I'm getting my 10%. And so that was going on about every couple of weeks they were spending money like $ 40,000 here, $20,000 there and $60,000 there. So I bought a nice car. I bought a house. I got a fur coat. Why I'm really got that? 'Cause you [inaudible] one day either. And I had all kinds of gold jewelry, and I'm living the life, and I'm partying, and I'm having fun.

   And then about a year into this, Anthony comes to me, says "Listen, we need you to pack your bags. You need to be getting out of town." I said, "What do you mean getting out of town? He said "Yeah, there's an indictment coming down with your name on it. We need to get you out of town." I said, "What?" I'm 24 years old, I don't know what he's talking about. He said "Yeah, all that money we run through your account.", and "I'm like, I'm just helping those guys that are gambling." He said, "Did you really believe that?" And I said "Well, that's what you told me." He said "Look, it's this drug money that was being put through your account. So we need to get you out of town." I said, "How in the world did you guys get me in this [inaudible]?" So, they hooked me up with this guy. This guy was dangerous, crazy. He reads surgery; Fortune magazine’s all the time. He's always had guns and different things like that. And they told him, they said, "Listen, we need you to move him from Las Vegas to Scottsdale, Arizona and I need you to keep it on the quiet. Don't use anything that would identify him as you travel or that would identify you." Well, Bark just took that as his mission to get me from Las Vegas, to Scottsdale, Arizona without paying for anything. So he's stealing people's credit cards along the way, he's holding people up; he's just a one-man crime. The one time I saw him stick a gun in somebody's face, I'm like "What is this I got myself into?" So, they get me in Scottsdale, Arizona. They tell me that they can run my business for me, which they were going to blow it out. And they'd send me money every week to live on down there. So, I mean, there's a couple thousand dollars every week, getting money at Western Union. I'm partying and stuff like that. I was used to work in my business and working on stuff and staying busy, and I'm just sitting around. I mean, I'm just sitting around; I'm laying out by the pool. I've got as dark as I could possibly get in that sunshine in Scottsdale, Arizona. I said, "You got to do something with me. I'm bored out of my mind." So Uncle Joey recommended that they move me to Atlanta, Georgia and I could be useful in helping them with some problems that they had in Atlanta, which was keeping up with money. And so they were moving money around. They had invested in some restaurants that they call "Po Folks" because everything was cash and they could move money into this account, to that account. So I'm basically a bookkeeper or something [inaudible] were you working with organized crimes. I said, "Well these guys were criminals, and sometimes they were organized but a lot of times they weren't." And after I had been involved with them for 5, 6, 7 years, I'd had developed a cocaine habit because it was everywhere. He did it for next nothing. And the cocaine had a profound effect on me. I just warped my head and so I walked in constant fear and anxiety. Now, it's taking other drugs and medications to try to balance that thing out. I was on this roller coaster loop, and it just caught me at a really bad time when I was at work at this place and these guys from the FBI came in and sat down at my desk. And they said, "Look, you mean keeps popping up. We know that you're in a bunch of different stuff and we're just letting you know, your days are numbered, and we're watching everything that you do." Well, that's not something you tell somebody that's paranoid all the time. And so I would just stick with paranoia and lock myself up in my house. I had a house out in Dunwoody and I had a little apartment that I kept right off of Piedmont and I locked myself up in that apartment at Piedmont. It was coming into the winter months, its freezing cold. And the ceiling came down, we had an ice storm and the ceiling came down this little apartment and I started to have stuff going on in my head. I thought because I had to become visit me and I had this machine gun. I didn't know how to use it but somebody give it to me that owe me money. And I thought that the pigeons up in the rafters were wired for sent. I just knew that somehow, everybody was out to get. And so in that state, hold up in that department, freezing cold, the ceiling had come down, starving myself and doing the drugs. I just was literally out of my mind and I just can't live with the torment any longer. And I remember one night, about four o'clock in the morning; I got down on my knees. And I just pleaded with God to take my life. I was afraid to kill myself, but I was okay if he decided to do it and it was the first time in 7 years that I'd heard God, speak to me. And he said, "I'll take your life but not the way you're asking me to. Now, you need to return back to what I called you to do, turn to preaching the gospel, and I get you out of all of this." And me, I started praying in tongues and I hadn't done that for several years. I asked God to forgive me. I wept the next morning and I've gathered up some of my stuff. I called somebody that ran a furniture business in Pocola, Alabama. She's a big-time gambler. She spent $10 - $20,000 on the Super Bowls and I can escort her around the casinos when she would come the days. And so she took me, she had a house at Lake Martin and I just immerse myself in the word. I didn't know what I was doing then, but I know now is starving those devils out. And I was asking God to restore my mind. And I would say I have the mind of Christ because I knew I wasn't thinking, and gradually, over the next month, God supernaturally, miraculously healed me. Now, the first church I attended while I was there [inaudible] little Baptist Church. And I showed up my burgundy suit, with my burgundy shoes and my three-hundred dollar tie, a pink shirt. This old guy at the back door is big overall said, "You aren’t from around here. Are you?" But I tell you what, when they started singing Amazing Grace, I just broke down and started sobbing. So I called my mom, because anytime I had talked to my mom, during the 7 years, I call it my 7 years of insanity. In fact, one time, I headed up this production that was doing the standard for modeling competition has [inaudible] and I said, "Mom, come in to town, put you in a limousine, you need to stay in a suit." She said, "Caesar, you know, I'm not interested in any of that stuff you're doing in Las Vegas. But when you go back to preaching the gospel, I'll be sitting on the first row." I always had an excuse. I thought, well, there are still things I want to do with my life before I turn into one of those people that surrendered everything to Jesus. Well, when I told my mother, "I'd given up. I stopped running. I was turning my laptop over to the Lord." She flew out immediately to [inaudible] and it was Easter Sunday morning that we went to the sunrise service together. And the pastor that Little Baptist Church was really sick. He's burning up with a fever and he lost his voice and caught up [?], the pancakes and eggs and bacon, and said "I don't know that we're going to have an 11 o'clock service today because I'm just so sick." He said, "Everybody leave your phone numbers with Ethan Brown and you'll call you. And let you know if we're going to have a service.

   So, we're back at the house and the moms, like, "Why don't you tell me first?" I said "To where I have spent the last 7 years, I said the only people God is going to let me preach to are pimps, prostitutes, thieves, you name it. These are good, honest, Baptist people." I said, "That's not going to start me off preaching to these folks." No sooner did I get that out of my mouth, the phone rang. And Ethan Brown said, "Brother Brooks are you a preacher?" I said, "Why would you ask that?" I said, "Are we going to have church or not?" He said the Pastor said you're supposed to preach at Easter Sunday service. My mom's like "What's he asked, what is that?" I said, "They asked if I preach." "Tell him yes; tell him yes, you'll do it." And I did. And so when I got up in that pulpit and I looked down and saw my mom on the front row, I thought about all the time she had told me. Prophesized "When you come back to preaching, I'll be there on the front row." And I just started crying and then did the best I could to share with the congregation why God had transformed my life.

   See, the amazing thing about the Prodigal Son. In the 15th chapter of Luke, Jesus gets up and tells a story that was designed to turn these men that were listening to it against the young man that had betrayed his father. He tells the story about a young man coming to his father and said, "I want my share of the inheritance now." Be like one of your kids saying, "I can't wait for you to die, divest all of your property, all of your assets, and give me my share now." Now, in the Bible days, the older son would get two-thirds, the younger son would get one-third. Because the older son had the responsibility of taking care of any sick, and firm people and parents retirement, so to speak. And so, in order for the father to obligate himself to that younger son, he had to sell. He had to clean everything out. He owned nothing after he had turned everything over to his eldest son and giving that money to his younger son. Now a group of Jewish businessmen have a son that would do that to you and disgrace your family. You're gone. You're never spoken of again. And then he said this young man took that wealth and went out as squandered it. Even worse to tell Jewish men that their son has done that, squandered as well, unrighteous women, living and drinking, living his life. And then he took a step further and went out and hired himself from somebody from a foreign country doing the one that detestable thing the Jews were never to do, which was to take care of pigs. They don't touch pork. They don't get around pork. It was absolutely detestable that a Jewish boy would find himself in a pig heard taking care of these pigs. He was as lost as a human being could be in their eyes, written off, never be heard from again. And one day, this boy came to his senses. And he said, "You know, even my father's servants are eating better than I am and living better than I'm living. I should go back and ask him to forgive me." And so he started to make his way back. And his father had been watching that road for years, waiting for his son to come. He saw him a long ways off, and he just started running toward him.

   And when he got there, he threw his arms around him. He said, "My son, that was lost, he's back." The Bible says that there were 3 things that he did, he had the service put shoes on. Only those people that were in slavery walk barefoot in those days. He put a robe around him. He covered his past, his ugliness, the filth, the smell, put a robe around him, and he put a ring on his finger. Back in those days, families of wealth, you would have issue a signature ring, kind of like a credit card. You went into market, you can buy medicine if you need a medicine, and you can get an assistant, you could hire people if you needed to, you buy supplies. That means that you were connected to a family that had the money to honor those bills. And he put that ring on his finger and said, "This is my son, anything he asked for my family's name, he's got it." But the older brother that worked all those years, he was furious because this younger son deserve judgment. He needed to be put in his place. He needed to be humiliated. He needed to be embarrassed. He needed to be wiped out because of what he had put his father's through. And the father said to his older son, when he tried to reason with him. It really bothers him, the father threw a party, and killed the fatted calf and older son is like, "You've never thrown a party for me." And of course, when you realize that he had to divest himself. He was actually killing a fatted calf that wasn't his. It was of the older brother. And he wants a judgment. He said "Our son, your brother that was dead as come back to us, and he's alive."

   So the amazing thing about God is that as a father, He loves us, each and every one of us. It's hard to even comprehend how much the absolutely loves us. He is willing to forgive you for anything that you've done in your lives. You see, His love outran judgment. We're all guilty of things. We all have things that deserve judgment and if we got what we deserved, there are probably a lot of hard things that we come through. But the love of God, the mercy of God is so complete that He picked me up out of a hellhole, dusted me off, healed my mind, restored me to my family, and trusts me in the ministry. And I was in Atlanta a few weeks before I made my way to Huntsville, Alabama. While I was in Huntsville, Alabama, I started attending a full Gospel Church. I met my wife Sherry there. We've been married for 37 years now and if you ever watch the TV show, "I Love Lucy", Sherry is just like that. She is just like that. Somebody phone called and said, "We have a gospel group that was very well-known and very prominent. They have a huge following and they need to use your building. Because we had to set up at another building that something happened. I said "When?" They said, "Tonight. We need to use. We're going to get on the radio to tell everybody where it's going to be." And that woman just showed up. And they're just now many people know where it's going to be at this group is so popular. I get to the church in those buses everywhere. There are four or five hundred cars out the parking lot, the church's back. And Sherry is sitting right on the front row. And one of those guys that came out on, what was the name of that group? Anyway, some people claim is Quartet. He's going down line, shaking hands. He says, "Well, young lady, how did you get a seat on the front row?" She says, "I slept with the pastor." That's the kind of person she is.  But 37 years of marriage and we are so blessed on those years. We had ministry in Nicaragua. We got to hold Crusades when they first opened up Russia. We got to go over there and hold Crusades and see people come to the Lord. I remember one of these huge auditoriums we're in. It was an opera house with big beautiful velvet, curtains, and the praise and worship was amazing that these young kids have played. And this guy stood up. He had to been 6' 7", and he had a white pony tail, broad shoulders and a barely voice, and he's yelling and screaming and thrusting his fist at the stage. And I'm asking [inaudible] "We got a problem? What's going on?" He said he is saying, "You heard me preaching on the Square. You heard me prophesy for years that one day; this building would be used to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And today's the day. Today is the day that you come to the Lord." That auditorium held 1800 people. I think 1500 people came down to accept Jesus as their savior. We saw them like I've never seen before who just weep and cry everywhere we went. And I was so grateful that God had allowed me to see that hardest. I believe that there's a harvest coming. I believe that there's one coming. When a country falls on hard times, people start looking for answers. You know, the Great Jesus Movement of the seventies is when I got saved, and it was because of the Vietnam War. People were praying for their sons and their daughters and kids that were over there in the war, and some of them coming back in body bags. And people started going back to the church and asking of congregations, "Pray for my kids. Pray for my kids." And I think there's a season coming. And amazing grace of God for our country, and for our people and for you individual is He loves you so much that He'll outrun judgment and give you an opportunity to get right with God, give you opportunity to surrender your own will and say, "Okay, God I give up, I give up. What do you want me to do with my life?" And it's not a hard thing. It's an amazing lesson. And I thank God for the many years I had at His service.

   Let's all bow our heads for a minute. Father, I thank you. I'm so grateful for your love, for your mercy. And right now, Father, I'm praying if there's anyone here that needed to surrender their life to the Lord, needed to just give up and surrender to the love of God and allow him to love them and take care. I'm asking father that their heart is hoping and ready today. If you're here today and you haven't committed yourself to make Jesus the Lord of your life. You haven't committed yourself to allow him to forgive you, and to love you. Well, He's going to love you anyway, but I'd like to invite you to just say this prayer with me right now, as we all say, together out loud. Just repeat after me. Say, "Father, I ask you to forgive me for all my sins and mistakes. I invite you to be the Lord of my life. And from this day forward, I going to live my life the way a good Christian should. In Jesus' name, Amen."

   I used to have a lot of young people in our church that we saw so many get saved and sometimes they would ask me, this "How am I supposed to know what to do, as far as what I can do and what I can't do as a good Christian?" I said, "Do you still have a lot of your friends that aren't Christians?" They told me, "Yeah." Ask them what Christians are not supposed to do. I said, "You start with that list, you'll be all right." Because people will tell you "Oh no, once you become a Christian, you should be doing that anymore." They got a pretty clear understanding.

Dr. Cesar's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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