Personal Testimony of Michael Fackerell

Many people have amazing dramatic testimonies. Its true – some people
get off drugs miraculously and quickly become the most radiant, wonderful
joyful people so quickly that you can wonder: “God, what about the rest
of us?” I am one person who had a gradual conversion experience. Later
there were moments of profound spiritual experiences with God, but initially,
I was very stubborn and it took God a long time to get me to be willing
to change.

I grew up in a Christian family. I was baptised as a baby in the Dutch
Reformed church. Dad would always read a portion of the Bible after the
evening meal and we learned to pray before meals. As a result, I grew
up with lots of knowledge of the Bible. I thought I was a Christian because
I believed the Bible was God’s Word and that Jesus died for me. However,
Jesus was not really the Lord of my life. I did not really know him at
all, though I knew all about him. Although I believed totally in the existence
of God, I’d have to acknowledge that, for the most part, during my childhood
and adolescent years, I never experienced or knew God personally.

Its easy to be religious without knowing God. I’m sure there are still
many people like that today. I wasn’t only religious though. I was proud.
Very proud. This pride made me obnoxious to others and as a result I suffered
from lots of rejection as a grew up. I felt the pain of this intensely
for many years. However, I seemed powerless to change myself, nor did
I really want to. Instead, I resolved to prove my worth and significance
by academic achievement. It mattered a lot to me to prove I was smarter
than everyone else. I couldn’t stand to lose even a game of chess. I used
to cry when that happened or when my classmates mocked me. This only made
matters worse. The result was that I was very miserable. My belief in
the doctrines of the Bible did not seem to help me.

Hyper-sensitivity was not my only problem. I was also extremely critical
of others, negative and unpleasant to be with. I’m not saying I am perfect
or wonderful now, but I can say that Jesus has made a big difference
to my personality. For many years though, I rejected Jesus also. I did
this because I desperately wanted to be in charge of my own life. I was
happy for Jesus to be my Savior, but not my Lord. I wanted to go my own
way and somehow prove that I was great. My motives for acknowledging Christianity
had more to do with a desire to be right even if others were wrong. I
didn’t care about others at all, but due to the influence of my parents
I did have some moral principles which I generally stood by, though not
perfectly. One of these was honesty. In the end, it was the love for the
truth which God put in me which helped me to humble myself and receive
God’s love into my life. It didn’t happen instantly. It was a process.

In the Anglican church in which I grew up, it was very commonplace to
do Bible studies. I was very proud of my ability to know the stories and
have an opinion on everything. I grew up with the feeling that I had the
right religion and that I was better than other people. I was so proud
of my academic results at school also. I looked down on others and had
little regard for their feelings. As a result I failed to develop socially.

As I entered into adolescence I had a hyper-active mind. It was constantly
thinking and planning according to the thought “What’s in it for me?”
It was constantly seeking to inform me of things to feed my pride. My
grandmother said to me a few years ago, “Michael, when you were growing
up, you were a ball of pride.”

At the same time I was convinced that I was a Christian. I knew I had
sins and was basically selfish, but I had confidence that I was saved
because I mentally assented to the idea that Jesus Christ died in my place.
I convinced myself that I had God’s forgiveness even though I was still
living for myself. There were times, however, when certain people made
me uneasy, because of their obvious joy in serving God. There was something
about certain people that made me very uncomfortable with myself. I now
know that was the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, when
he first comes to us, makes us realise that God is good and we are rotten
sinners. During times when this was happening to me, I was always waiting
for an escape so I could get back to enjoying my various hobbies and avaricious
pursuits.

After finishing high school, I went to University determining to be a
great computer scientist. I was already pasionate about computers. I’d
written my first commercial game program at 14 in 1980 and I know now
that the love of computers (which were essentially tools to praise me
and my cleverness) was a major form of idolatry in my life. But I was
sure I was a Christian! I had felt sorry about some of my sins and had
even asked Jesus into my heart! I was doing what others in church were
doing! I could discuss theology with the best of them! I was outwardly
moral, principled etc. – but utterly self-centred.

The one thing I was most uncomfortable with in those days was telling
others about Jesus. Being socially backwards and with lots of acne on
my face, it was not something I wanted to do. I felt uncomfortable with
strangers.

But there came a day when a young ethnic Chinese man from Campus Crusade
for Christ gave me a call on the phone and invited me to meet with him.
I don’t know why I agreed, but I did. Over the next few months with this
man, my life began to change. He helped me to start telling the good news
about Jesus to others. Doesn’t the Scripture say that if we keep on confessing
Christ as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved?
Strange as it may seem, it was at this point that I believe I truly surrendered
my heart to God. For I had surrendered to Christ the thing I was most
unwilling to do for God. And I think until we come to that point, we still
have not received Christ as Lord. Until that point, we do not really belong
to Christ. I didn’t know that Jesus had to be Lord in my life before I
could be really part of his spritual kingdom and receive the forgiveness
of sins I needed.

One of the surprising things for me was the joy I found in doing the
thing I was most fearful of – to talk with others about Christ. What I
found was, Christ became real to me as I went in His name. Before that,
I knew lots of Bible and had done some things for God (I thought), but
I was still miserable. However, taking these first steps in living for
God released a joy and a happiness in me that I was not expecting.

The Bible says that the Kingdom of God is "righteousness, peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit". There is a surprising joy that comes
when you give your life to God. That’s my experience.

At that stage I was still going to the Anglican church. No one explained
to me the importance of being baptised in water as a believer. But I had
begun my walk with Jesus – even though there was still plenty of things
God needed to change in me. It was later that God brought me to the point
of understanding that I should follow the example of the Lord Jesus in
baptism.

There is no way to be at peace with God if you are inwardly rebelling
against his desire to govern your life. The only way to be in the Kingdom
of Heaven is for Jesus to be your King!

Since the time I really began to go after God, I’ve been changed in many
ways. I’m learning to think of others more. I really enjoy God’s presence
and I’ve learned to humble myself so that God can use me.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

At the time when I started living for God, back in 1984, there were still
a lot of things that God wanted to deal with in me. (I’m sure there still
are!) Until that time, my desires had been after intellectual stimulation
and personal recognition based on performance. I was still into computers
pretty heavily and still played Dungeons and Dragons with my friends at
times, sometimes until the early hours of the morning. I was no longer
playing in a rock and roll band as I had done in high school, but I was
still listening a lot to the radio.

It still seemed to me in many ways that the really appealing things were
in the realm of fantasy, and that reality was kind of boring. Yet God
had begun to work in my life. The fact that my pursuits did not always
coincide with my belief in the gospel didn’t worry me too much, since
most of the other Christians I had ever seen were the same. It wasn’t
until later that God really began to change my desires in these areas.

While in second year University, the popular Anglican preacher we listened
too began to preach about the Holy Spirit. I didn’t realise it at the
time, but he was preaching against charismatics. The effect his preaching
had on me, however, was to stir up curiosity. We had been so well taught
that the Bible was the final authority on matters of faith. So I decided
to check things out against the Bible. I was not satisfied with this preacher’s
response to my question: “If being filled with the Holy Spirit in the
New Testament was accompanied by supernatural spiritual gifts, why is
it not like that today?"

Around the same time, I was invited to a pentecostal cell group by some
people I had met around the University campus.. I decided to check it
out. I remember feeling really out of place there. Everyone had their
hands in the air and the leader was saying, “Come on. Just reach out and
touch God!” I thought it was quite embarrasing really. I was not used
to such demonstrative practices in worshipping God.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with what I saw. I thought: those so-called
prophecies – anyone with a knowledge of the Bible could have made them
up. But then again, who knows? Maybe there is something in it. I asked
a lot of questions. I said, “If you guys are right, where are the miracles?”
The leader said words to the effect of “We’re getting there”.

The leader of that group came and visited me in my college dorm, wanting
to pray with me so that I would speak in tongues, but I put him off, since
the exams were near, and I didn’t want my brain to be addled before taking
these exams.

Two other things happened around that time. One was, my mother gave me
a tape from a charismatic Anglican preacher about the Holy Spirit and
speaking in tongues. It turned out my mother spoke in tongues, but she
had not wanted to push it on me. The other thing was my best friend told
me he had started to speak in tongues while he was alone in his room.

Another event worth mentioning is that God led me to ask forgiveness
from my father for certain things and to forgive him myself. I believe
this was very important for what was to come.

I continued my search, reading the passages in the New Testament and
wanting to know more. I visited an Assemblies of God church with my friend.
I was under the impression that Pentecostals were like a cult – pretty
heretical. Imagine my surprise when I heard the preacher preaching Jesus
Christ and Him crucified, and salvation through the blood of Jesus. I
concluded it couldn’t be that bad after all. I’m so glad it wasn’t some
fund raising message or something really far out that day, like you can
find from time to time in Pentecostal churches. Something like that would
most likely have turned me off completely.

I ended up seeking this pastor out at his house. I did want to be filled
with the Spirit, if this could happen for me. After sharing with some
things with me, another appointment was arranged. This pastor told me
that he had seen blind eyes open in Jesus’ name while ministering in Fiji.
Also God had also saved his life miraculously in an amazing way out of
the biker scene. Somehow, I sensed he was telling the truth, though I
had never witnessed any miracles like that in my life.

On the second appointment, this pastor asked me, “Do you believe you
will speak in tongues when I pray for you?” I said I wasn’t sure, but
he assured me it would happen. I was scared that nothing would happen.

After further discussion, I prayed to the Lord something like this: “Dear
Lord Jesus, I want you, and only you. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and
give me the power of God.” I prayed this prayer based on Luke 11:13. God
will give his children the Holy Spirit if they ask, not a serpent (a demon).

I believed that I should open my mouth and speak what came out – so I
did. At that very instant something very surprising happened to me. I
felt like 240 Volts of power was going through my body – it was also a
bit like pins and needles. I thought, “Something real is happening”. I
had never experienced anything like that before. At the same time, I continued
to utter syllables that I did not comprehend at all. It was something
that was right outside my experience. I had never felt anything like that
when I prayed before! I knew it was God’s power that I had asked for.

I went home and kept praying in tongues. Then I went to a Christian conference
organised by Campus Crusade. I noticed in my life a greater desire to
serve God, a desire after holiness and purity which I had never known
before. Up until that time, holiness had a very negative connotation for
me. It was something I didn’t want. But now things were different. The
first unbeliever I talked with prayed to receive Christ.

When I returned to University, I knew that what I had experienced was
not going to be accepted by most of my Christian friends. And I was right.
I had already made the commitment though, that I was after truth no matter
what it would cost me in terms of social relationships. I have never regretted
that decision.

I started attending an AOG church. It wasn’t long before the matter of
water baptism was brought up. Having now experienced the Holy Spirit in
a new way, I was eager for everything God had for me. I had long suspected
that baptism was for believers, not babies. I remember wishing I could
be baptised before as a believer when I was in the Anglican church. I
was glad to learn that it was still part of God’s plan.

I was baptised in water in July, 1985. To me this was also an act of
consecration. No longer was I to live for the old desires, for the old
nature. I was dedicating myself “unto all righteousness”.

In 1985, while in my final year of University, studying computer science,
several significant events took place in my life which changed my life
and destiny. I had gone to University with the plan to become a great
computer scientist. I wanted to do honours in Sydney and then a PhD at
Stanford University in the States, and I was very much on track until
the end of my third year at Uni. But these goals and ambitions seemed
less and less meaningful to me after the encounter I had with the Holy
Spirit.

This encounter with the Holy Spirit made an impact on my world view.
I had entered into a totally new realm about which I knew very little.
Many of the assumptions which I had held about the way God works in the
world changed. I read the New Testament with a new perspective.

Many different things started to happen in my life in 1985. I had an
increased desire to win souls to Christ. But more than that, I wanted
to know why the Pentecostal church I belonged to fell so short of the
mark as far as revealing the truth of the promises which I had previously
assumed to be “not really for today”.

It wasn’t that the leadership of the church wasn’t aiming for it. The
leader of that church (now retired) had led revivals and been used by
God in the healing ministry begore. That church had a great record as
far as evangelism and church planting, and in the 20 years in 1977 from
when it was planted from 9 adults and 5 children it has grown to a worldwide
movement with tens of thousands of people involved. However, my soul was
reaching out for something more.

Why was it, for example, that there was so much talk about divine healing
and so little concrete evidence that it was actually happening? My mind
rebelled also against the teaching that one should say that they were
healed even when there was still no sign of change. The whole thing seemed
unreal.

There were meetings with loud contemporary music, enthusiastic preaching
and salvation appeals that drew 10-15 new decisions for Christ every meeting,
but where was the promised power of healing so much talked about?

Earlier that year, however, I had been to a meeting organised by a charismatic
pastor on the north side of Sydney. He had invited a certain gentleman
by the name of Gordon Gibbs to preach there. Oddly enough, it was my mother
who took me along there. I was pretty skeptical still about divine healing
even though I had spoken in tongues and knew that was real.

There were about 100 people at this meeting. After the time of praise
this old preacher was introduced. It was nothing like I expected. Basically,
all he did was share different stories from his experiences with God,
and a few texts of Scripture. He didn’t shout – he just talked, and he
had the funniest mannerisms.

What was interesting though was what was happening on the inside of me.
This incredibly warm presence gripped me in the area of the stomach. I
can’t describe it exactly, but it was like molten iron was in my belly
(but absolutely no pain). I found myself absolutely riveted by the presence
of God in the place.

Then something equally astonishing took place. The preacher had finished
preaching, and some had come forward for salvation. But the meeting didn’t
end there. The preacher started calling out all these medical and emotional
conditions – not general ones like back problems that someone is bound
to have but very specific things. It seemed like he called out about 30
different things and always it matched someone in the crowd exactly. People
were coming forward, receiving prayer, falling to the crowd, and getting
up testifying that the pain was gone.

At the time I had RSI from typing too much at computer keyboards. He
never called that condition out, but what I noticed was that the blood
in my hands started circulating very quickly it seemed, and the pain left.

Some friends of mine and myself returned with an unsaved friend to another
one of these meetings. It was much the same, but this time the preacher
started naming the problems that our friend had. Our friend would not
respond. But the preacher kept going into things in more and more detail.
When my friend still refused to come out the preacher addressed him personally
in front of everyone and asked him to respond. He got saved that night,
and is in the ministry today.

All this put in me a strong desire to know God like this preacher did.
Yet in the church I was attending, it seemed there was more smoke than
fire.

Another important thing happened to me in August 1985. One night I had
a dream in which I saw what seemed to be the faces of a multitude in darkness
being sucked down into everlasting perdition. I woke up so shaken by that
dream. I said, “God, I want to be an evangelist. But I’m asking you to
confirm this by giving me 5 prophetic words from others in the next 10
days.

What was interesting was that although people didn’t usually prophesy
to me, in the next 10 days I did receive 5 prophetic words which indicated
to me that I should make the preaching of the gospel my central activity.
One of them was from a preacher. He said in the name of the Lord, “I’ve
been calling you for a long time. And don’t let a career get in the way.”
This was significant for me because in those days I had the opportunity
to earn a lot of money with my computer skills. I had made $10,000 at
least in my third year of University without much effort and it seemed
the world could offer me a lot in that area. But now my direction was
to change. Money meant nothing to me, winning souls meant everything.

Around this time, I was still agonising about the Scriptures concerning
divine healing (like Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 53:4,5; James 5:14;
Mark 16:17,18; John 14:12; Matthew 8:16,17) and many others. I wanted
to believe it was true, but I could not! I felt tortured in my mind whenever
I considered the matter. I had already seen some concrete evidence for
it in life, but the failures in this area were all too evident to me also.

I finished my University degree without doing my honours year and, responding
to the call of God, entered into student evangelism on the Universities.

Read the Next Part of My Story
Here

 

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. I noticed in your testimony that you had some struggles growing up which I won’t mention here. I also know a man that preaches the gospel today that had a speech problem. He stuttered. When he was in his teens, he was required to take a speech course. When he would get up to give a speech he would start stuttering, his ears would turn red, and the girls would start laughing. He said it always seemed like the teacher would call on him first. That man is Joseph Prince.
    Our struggles are what make us the kind of person we are today. We learn from them and grow stronger because of it, wouldn’t you agree?

    • We grow stronger when we overcome issues. But please, my opinions on Joseph Prince are on this website and you know them well I think. Anthony Robbins, the famous motivational guru also has stories about how he started off rather ineptly in life and became a popular and sought after speaker.

      I am interested in whether a person is preaching truth, or soul destroying doctrines which lead people to believe that they can sin with impunity and all will be well eternally. If a person preaches error, I would rather wish they would repent, but if not, it would be better if they remained uninfluential and inept.

  2. noeoliver says:

    i can totally identify with your journey from a powerless denomination to a charismatic spirit. I grew up Catholic, very uncomfortable with charisma and very far from God. When i married my husband i converted to Methodism because he had such a faith that I wanted. I began my relationship with Jesus and when the time was right he put two charismatic friends into our lives who have introduced us to a church with pentacostal roots. My husband is currently a methodist pastor and I want so much to help the Methodists develop a charismatic faith, but it seems nearly impossible. Do you think its possible to put new wine in old wineskins?

  3. mitcherator says:

    Thanks for sharing your testimony . Praise God for what He’s done in your life

  4. Very interesting, may you turn many to the Lord through sharing it.

  5. I was shown Hell and the Throne of God at age 15

    No One Seeks God

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: There is none that doeth good, no, not one (Romans 3:10-12).”

    In the fall of 1992, my older brother, Desma, felt an urgency to visit home because of startling revelations from the LORD concerning our family. At the time, Desma was in the service and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. While lying in bed he had an out-of-body experience, whereby the LORD allowed his conscious self to depart from his body and enabled him to observe the world from a point of view other than that of the physical body and by means other than those of the physical senses. He said that he was able to see and hear things — objects that were really there, events and conversations that really took place — which could not have been seen or heard from the actual position of his body.

    He felt his spirit leave the barracks in North Carolina at an unimaginable speed. He recalled traveling in the air until he was outside our childhood home. Immediately, he thought why would the LORD show me my parents’ home? He recalled seeing our parents conversing and carrying on day-to-day activities. He also noticed that our grandmother was visiting that particular day. He smiled to himself because he was amazed at what he was seeing.

    Suddenly, the LORD focused Desma in on my room. His body hovered outside my window as he peered in on me lying in bed asleep. The LORD opened his spiritual eye, and he could see demonic spirits surrounding my bed. His heart sank in disbelief. The LORD told him that although He had His hands upon my life, He was going to allow the enemy to attack me in my mind.

    As my brother shared this experience, my heart sank as fear overtook me. I did not want to believe him, and instead, I believed he had had a hallucination. “Acacia, do you understand?” he asked. “The LORD is going to allow you to lose your mind, yet He will open your spiritual eyes and show you things you never thought possible. “It’s not even about you. There are so many young people that are dying and going to hell,” he continued. “The enemy has deceived them to believe that there’s no hell or made them to believe the lie that they can commit their lives to Christ when they’re older. But the reality is that many of them are not living to become older adults. They are dying unprepared for eternity and are suffering the consequences of not accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior while they had a chance to on earth.”

    Desma then shared a horrific vision with me that the LORD gave him concerning a clown.

    This is the vision of the clown, which my older brother interpreted and revealed to me during the fall of 1992. (A full explanation of the vision is included in the chapter The Wide Road to Destruction featured in the author’s book, Launch Out Into The Deep!)

    “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (John 12:40).”

    The Clown

    Laughter and screaming filled the air, jokes and giggles were everywhere. They ran, jumped, and danced with glee, moving passionately to the rhythm of his beat. The clown was guiding them on a tour. On every corner they would get sidetracked because the clown always enticed them to try something new. Many of these acts were sensual and sinister, tempting the teenagers to push beyond their moral limits.

    Some strongly desired to heed the signs of caution, but they feared rejection by their peers. A few enjoyed the laughs but had a change of heart; they feared that their careless lifestyles would lead to regrettable mistakes. As they turned and walked slowly down the dark and lonely road, they heard jesters and ridicule but continued on. The clown laughed gleefully as he juggled and performed with conviction.

    In the beginning, the clown wasn’t as persuasive because words of wisdom ruled the teens’ hearts. Some followed willingly, knowing the path could possibly lead to destruction, but they reasoned that the ways of the world were more appealing than following Christ. The clown told them that they had now gone too far to go back; God would not forgive them.

    Others walked blindly, not knowing the truth. Yet, deep in their hearts, they knew their ways were wrong. Nevertheless, they allowed the desires for instant gratification to rule their convictions.

    The teens wanted to be accepted and fit in with the crowd, but they didn’t realize they were gambling with their souls. Occasionally, they attended church to please their parents, but their hearts were far from God. Some of the messages they heard there were so convincing that they strongly felt the urge to change. And yet church was not as entertaining as their friend, the clown, who freely granted them their hearts’ desires. The clown did not require that they change; in fact, he encouraged and applauded their independence. He claimed that the youth needed no laws but should be left free to follow their own wills, which would always guide them right; laws were a restriction of their liberty.

    The clown turned flips and stood on his head. He juggled several balls and told humorous jokes in order to entertain the teens. He was very subtle in his motives — he bided his time until he had won their confidence and captured their undivided attention. Behind his fake, painted grin lurked a world of craftiness.
    The teens allowed this clown to persuade them as he had the fallen angels. He knew that they were now bound to him and their consciences rendered powerless and ineffective — thus, no longer a threat. The teenagers no longer felt any compunction and were comfortable in their lifestyles. The clown danced as he led them to the edge of a cliff. They laughed loudly, believing this was a joke — but the clown was not laughing anymore.

    His charm and joking had transformed into an evil grin. They shrieked as darkness began to unfold. Shivering in disbelief, they tried to escape, but the clown’s grip was too strong. Without their knowledge, he had slipped shackles around their wrists and ankles. No matter how hard they pulled and tugged, they could not free themselves. They were defeated and utterly helpless. They now realized his deception and could finally see what their pastors had been telling them all along. They screamed in an unutterable torment as they fearfully heard the cries of the damned — cries that would soon be their own. They fell to their knees and pleaded in terror and self-pity. Tears streamed down their frightened faces. They wept and emitted sobs so deep that they hurt. They trembled and covered their faces from the shame of it all. The clown laughed sinisterly, and as he looked into their tear-filled eyes, he callously pulled the chains. They all tumbled into the depths of hellfire, never to be free again. Now it was too late.

    My brother went on to explain to my mother that the LORD was allowing our family to go through this trial in order to bring us closer to Him. At the time, Desma’s and my parents were not on speaking terms and were having difficulties in their marriage. There was so much bitterness and strife between them. The LORD said in order to get my father’s attention He had to touch what was close to His heart, and that was me. My brother saw a vision of my mother riding an untamed horse and fighting to stay on. He interpreted this to mean that the LORD saw her as a prayer warrior, and although hell would come against her, she would remain steady in her relationship with the LORD. As a result of her faith, the LORD would answer her prayers; He would restore her marriage and restore my mind.

    I knew in my spirit that there was truth to what my brother said. At the time, the LORD was really dealing with me to surrender my life to Him. I was fifteen years old and it was the beginning of my ninth grade year. I desired to serve Him, yet there was a stronger pull to live contrary to His word because of peer pressure. The desire to fit in was so great that I began to disregard in my heart certain morals and values. I had not overtly changed — I was still the same quiet and reserved person, yet I knew my heart was beginning to harden toward God. Conviction set in daily when I entered the school lunchroom and saw a young man seated in the corner quietly reading his Bible. I had an inward desire to join him, yet I noticed he was alone, and I was not yet ready to make this type of stand and risk being an outcast and having few friends.

    I met a young man named Eric, who was a junior and on the football team. He was very persistent in attempting to win my heart and affection. He asked me several times to go out on a date with him, but I told him several times that I was not allowed to date until I was at least seventeen. He joked, saying, “Don’t tell me you’re one of those church girls. You know, a Christian.” There was silence as I held the phone in my hand. “So, are you a Christian?” he asked. I wanted to say yes, but for some reason fear took hold of me. “No, I’m not a Christian,” I said.

    I cannot say how, but I felt that something in the atmosphere was different. It was as if I sensed darkness and felt as if I was going into some deep depression. I began to lose focus and concentration. I was walking down the hall once and unknowingly dropped my purse. One of my peers ran up to me and said, “Hey, Acacia, you dropped your purse.” She picked it up and gave it to me. She expected to hear a response of gratitude, but all I gave her was a blank stare. She sensed something was wrong and asked if I was okay. Fear took hold of me, and I found it difficult to sleep at night. It got to the point that I was afraid to sleep in my room and asked my mother if I could sleep with her. I asked her to please pray for me because I was afraid and felt an evil presence around me. She said something to me that I will never forget. “Acacia I will pray for you, but you have to learn to seek Jesus for yourself,” she said. “You can’t get to heaven on my salvation.”

    For the first time in my life, I felt that I was in a dilemma that my mother could not get me out of.

    “In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence…. (Job 4:13-16).”

    I lay awake all night close to my mom’s side because fear had such a firm grip on me. While lying in the bed I sensed an evil presence near me. I immediately clung to my mother, only to look up and see there was a demon that had the face of a man lying in the bed with me. I never saw so much hatred. His face was red as he grimaced. I could literally hear him growling under his breath. I screamed at the top of my lungs and said, “Get out of here!” It was the middle of the night. I awoke my mom. She said that when I screamed she jumped up and ran out of the room to get my dad who was lying on the couch in the living room. She recalled hearing me scream, but my voice was deep and sounded like a man. It immediately alarmed her because she knew it wasn’t my voice. She also sensed an evil presence in the room and said she actually heard voices. One voice said loudly, “We’re going to drive the daughter crazy and her mom crazy!” About the same time this took place, my father recalled hearing a voice that said, “Aaron, are you ready yet?”

    I began to notice strange occurrences when I would see things and hear voices. I would ask my parents, “Did you see that — did you hear that?” This was the loneliest I felt in my entire life. I stopped eating and speaking. I ceased to cry because the hurt and confusion were so strong that I felt I didn’t have any more tears to cry. My parents could not get through to me and eventually sought medical attention because I had gone days without a desire to eat and they could not get me to open up and share my feelings.
    Although I would not speak, I had a strong sense of my surroundings and was aware that my parents came in daily and read healing scriptures and prayed on my behalf. I don’t recall them allowing doubt and unbelief to come out of their mouth in my presence, although I knew they were hurting. My mother would try to spoon feed me and would beg me to eat. Daily, she would try to get me to open up and say just one word for her.

    Eventually, they decided to give me a feeding tube. I saw my mother’s pain and would see her cry, yet I didn’t know what to say. It came to the point that I didn’t know reality and confusion had come in so strongly that I didn’t feel anyone would truly be able to understand my pain.

    The LORD revealed Himself to me through several visions while I was in this state. One night while I lay in the hospital bed, I saw a vision. I am confident it was a vision because I was wide awake. The room was completely dark, but the vision brought a bright light into the room. (A full explanation of the vision is included in the chapter, Are You Ready? featured in the author’s book, Launch Out Into The Deep!)

    The Vision

    The children were clothed in white, and their hands were clasped together as they slowly walked clockwise in a circle. I knew they were not of this world, yet very real. They made direct eye contact with me without flinching. Their eyes never blinked once; they looked boldly into my eyes as they chanted these warning words from an all too familiar horror movie I had watched as a child, except the words were totally opposite.

    The Chant

    “1…2 Jesus coming for you
    3…4 Say your prayers
    5…6 Get it straight
    7…8 Before it’s too late
    9…10 He’s coming again

    “Are you ready, are you ready, are you ready?”

    I was deeply troubled and confused as to why the kids felt a need to warn me. I was completely perplexed but too frightened at the time to cry out to God. “I’m not a sinner. I’m a Christian,” I cried on the inside. “I don’t drink or smoke, and I’m not sexually promiscuous. This must be some kind of mistake.” Then, I heard a loud voice deep within my spirit. It was too loud to be mistaken for my thoughts. “You don’t have a personal relationship with Me. If I called for your soul tonight, you would not enter into My presence.”

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

    While in the hospital, I had what seemed to be an out-of-body experience. I felt as if I was in this place physically, but my soul had descended into hell. I did not see fire nor did I see people in torment, however, I could clearly hear the cries of the damned. Demonic spirits chased me as I ran for my life, trying to escape from that awful place. I feared what would happen if they caught me. I had nowhere to run or hide; there appeared to be no exit. Out of nowhere appeared a wooden cross. It was as if it didn’t belong there. I was faint hearted, yet it appeared that I was supernaturally given the strength to out-run my enemies and climb up the cross. I sat in the corner of the crossbars and clung to this cross with all the strength I had within me. The demonic spirits tried to pull me from the cross but a fire encircled the cross and it prevented them from touching me. These spirits begin to scream out obscenities and were very angry.

    “When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell (Psalm 27:2).”

    Suddenly, the cross began to ascend into the heavens. It was as if the cross extended farther and farther until it reached a depth so high that I could not begin to imagine or measure how high it went. There I stood in heaven and saw the biggest throne I have ever seen in my entire life, upon which a man was seated. I could not see His face for there was a glory upon it, and I could only see from His waist down.

    I knew that I was standing before the God of the universe. I knew that all authority was His in heaven and upon earth. Upon seeing Him, without thought, I immediately bent over trembling at the awesome sight of Him. I had never trembled in this manner; every bone in my body shook. So in awe, I began to eliminate; I felt the urine fall down my legs. I felt so unclean, unworthy, and like an awful sinner in the presence of a holy God. Tears burst from my eyes. My chest heaved, and snot ran from my nose in ropes. I pleaded between sobs for Him to have mercy upon my soul, to not send me to hell. I awaited my judgment and cringed at the thought of darkness swallowing me whole. Just when I thought I would never be able to stand on my own two feet again and hold my head up high, He extended a mercy and love I had never known.”

    “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD
    (Psalm 40:3).”

    Suddenly, I was drenched in blood, but not my own. Just as suddenly as the blood appeared, it vanished and was replaced with a shiny white robe. I felt such a peace, and a song burst from within me. The spirit of the LORD filled my lungs and sang through me. My voice was like the angels’, a voice that surpassed the voice of many famous singers upon earth. My vocal cords reached notes that were so high, that is humanly impossible to reach alone. The song I sang is noted in Psalm 50.

    The song:

    “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions, I will be whiter than snow, by the blood I’m made whiter than snow.”

    I can’t recall how long this experience lasted. I just know that once I was in His presence I did not want to leave. I pleaded with Him not to send me back to earth. He said it was not yet my time; there was much that I needed to accomplish. I promised Him that I would tell everyone about the love and grace He bestowed upon me in my affliction. I was shown other parts of heaven but cannot bring them to memory, for they were blocked.

    “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him (Luke 8:38-39).”

    This is an abridged version of the author’s testimony; she is currently writing a book to tell the whole account of her story. The author’s book, Launch Out Into The Deep!,is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Acacia Slaton Beumer

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