By: Rev. Timothy T. LaFond
I want to give my personal testimony on dying and going to hell, or at least part of hell. I want to share the facts of what happened and how I ended up being cast into "outer darkness."
I cried out! I screamed out at the top of my lungs, "GOD HELP ME!" That was January 27, 1977.
I'll share a little of my past prior to that happening. The first 27 years of my life, I was raised in a Catholic home and attended 12 years of Catholic schooling. One of my favorite nuns, Sister Maria Elizabeth, told me that none of the other nuns or teachers liked me, except her. Well, with that said she was always my favorite and I had a lot of respect for her, but the others meant nothing to me.
I graduated in 1968 and that summer I was introduced to marijuana. That escalated into smoking hash, PCP, (also called angel dust), THC, Mescaline, and LSD. I loved to drink beer and wine along with the drugs.
In 1974, the company I worked for in Ohio went on strike. The strike lasted until early fall. I did my one week's duty on the picket line and then drove to my mother's home on the Cheboygan River in Michigan for the remaining strike time.
One weekend, while doing LSD, I started hallucinating and got very paranoid. After partying, I normally would fish the rest of the night at the end of the dock while doing drugs. This particular night, I couldn't keep focused so I ended up going into the house and went to bed. I was scared and afraid that I was losing my mind. I remember though asking God to let me keep my mind!
The following Friday, my mother said to me, "Last Saturday you were really drunk!' I asked her why she would say that. She said, "About 3:30 I was up and went into your room. I was looking at you and couldn't tell if you were breathing or not, so I sat down on the side of your bed and I bent over you to see closer. Suddenly you grabbed me around the neck and started choking me. I couldn't get away and the more I fought the harder you squeezed! I couldn't say anything! You just kept saying, 'MOM, is that you? Mom is that you?' Finally you let me go. I was so out of breath that I passed out right on top of you, until I could regain my breath and strength!"
Praise God my mother lived the night I unknowingly choked her, and praise God, Jesus lives today. Here, I have to say the words to this blessed old Christian song:
He lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me, and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart,
You ask me how I know he lives.
He lives within my heart!
Now I know that my family would never have forgiven me if God had not intervened that summer night, nor could I have forgiven myself for that matter, had I strangled my mother to death while I was under the influence of alcohol and drugs ' not even realizing what I was doing! I was the youngest of seven children, and considered the Black Sheep of the family as it was. I thank God, for that night was the last time I took Mescaline or LSD! To God Be the Glory!
For the next two years I continued to smoke pot. I also got dependent on speed, or white crosses as some called them, and little did I know that God was bringing me closer to knowing Him and His Glory -- never to be the same person again! All my life I lived for me, for self, for parties, and all I did was sin, sin, sin, and sin. (I later came to realize that God's Holy Spirit was guiding me even though I never knew Him! I was full of the devil!)
Now let me tell you what happened on January 27, 1977 that sent me to hell.
I was living in Columbus, Ohio. My job was building fire trucks for Sutphen Fire Equipment Corporation in Dublin. I had been working there for about four years at that time. It was Friday, about 2:30 in the afternoon. We were putting doors of fire trucks together, punching out the holes on the doors. We would do about 60 at a time, which would be about 3 or 4 trucks worth. Gill, a fellow employee and friend of mine, was picking up the doors and putting them into the punch machine. I would hold them at the top and line each one up on the press, then let go. He would push a button with his foot and the machine would punch out the hole in each door.
The day was a typical cold winter day and a pile of metal was brought in from outside the plant with snow all over it and of course the snow had melted, which left us standing in a pool of water. We weren't worried about it - otherwise we would have left and not worked there until the water dried up.
I would put my left hand on the stack of metal, which was located on the left side of my body, and then take my left hand off the metal, and then put my right hand on the machine to turn a wheel that would punch a hole in the metal for the door locks. I would go back and forth like this all the while thinking that the machine was grounded, which it wasn't, we found out later.
This was happening in the afternoon while others in the plant were also busy doing the jobs they were assigned to. Sometimes the others would have their backs to me and this is the way the accident happened when Gill had walked away.
I touched the stack of metal with my left hand and touched the machine with my right hand at the same time, which caused me to become the ground of the electricity ' completing the circuit. Electricity shot through me and it picked my feet right up off the ground - contracting the muscles in my legs and bending them backwards. I knew right away that I was getting electrocuted, yet I was still able to look out into the shop from the platform that I was on and I could see everything going on as normal. No one knew that I was being electrocuted.
While I was getting electrocuted crucifixion style, the electricity was flowing right through me and shortly thereafter I saw my spirit leave my body. Instantly, I was in hell!
At that time, I didn't know anything about the Bible. I wasn't a religious person or a Christian and didn't know any Christians. I just know that I was cast into black outer darkness. I heard the most horrifying, tormenting screams imaginable. I heard these time and time again, and although I never saw who was screaming, I myself, would scream because of the fear of those frightening screams and what was about to happen next.
MY SINS WERE TORMENTING ME IN HELL!
My sins began tormenting me while I was in that horrible place. I saw my sins pass from my right to my left like on some sort of a movie screen, viewing them all the way back to the age of five. As I viewed each sin, it would make me scream out in torment!
Now'here I am a young man of 27 years of age while this was happening'seeing all my sins pass before me in living color, screaming in torment by every sin I saw. I saw my very first sin committed at the age of five. It was the sin of disobedience - not honoring my mother and my father. My mother said, "I don't want you boys to eat those marshmallows. We are going to roast them over the fire in the backyard with the family tonight." My mother caught my brother, Cliff and I, hiding behind a stump in our backyard in Farmington, Michigan, eating those marshmallows. This wasn't a sin of murder, or rape, or whatever the world considers a horrible sin, but a simple sin of disobedience. It was the last of a long line of sins shown to me. I saw sin - after sin - after sin. For every sin, I screamed with torment! The pain of that torment cannot be expressed in human words.
People have asked me, "How long were you there?" Well, it felt like eternity. It seemed that long! I couldn't tell you how long I was there, but I know this much -- I don't ever want to go back!
Besides the screaming of other people in torment, there were also demons. Yes, there really are demons! I could see their grotesque faces. They came up to me and taunted me with indescribable horror and fear -- yelling in my face with such intense volume; things like: "We've got you now!" Laughing and sneering at me saying, "We fooled you! We got you now!" ' followed by hideous, evil laughter.
While this was happening, I began to realize I had been spiritually blinded ' deceived my whole life about the actual reality of there being evil spirits deceiving us without our realization ' demons working under Satan's command ' but worse yet ' there being a literal hell where people suffer torment for their sins because they didn't accept the pardon God gives us through Jesus Christ -- Jesus Christ taking the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross, so we can be forgiven for them and not have to suffer for them once we die like I was experiencing at that moment.
Worse yet'while I was there'I had the great realization there was no hope ' NO HOPE of ever seeing God, but rather suffering for my sins for all eternity! No hopelessness in this life compares to the hopelessness I was experiencing at that moment, but yet even in my hopeless state, I somehow managed to cry out to God during this time, pleading, "Oh God - help me!" Again, "God - help me!"
Now here is what is both stunning and amazing. On my last scream pleading for God to help me'I felt God's hand reach down and touch my shoulder. He is everywhere. In the Bible you will read it. He is in Heaven, and on earth and even in hell if He wants to be, and I'm sure glad beyond what words can describe that He wanted to be there at that moment for ME! He heard my plea. The right hand of the Lord touched me. I felt His fingers and thumb on my shoulder and He pulled me out of hell. He set me free from not only from the torments of hell, but that electricity as well!
One of my fellow workers, Joe, who was the safety foreman in the shop, was about 150 feet from me, at the other end of the shop. He had heard my scream, but he didn't know who had screamed nor did he hear the words I screamed, 'God help me!'
Immediately he started asking people, "Who was it that screamed like that?", and they exclaimed, 'Tim!" Then he quickly walked over and asked me, "Why did you scream like that?"
I told him, "Joe, that machine bit me! It electrocuted me!"
Joe exclaimed, "Tim - that was the most horrifying scream I have ever heard in my whole life! It was just like a scream out of hell!" (See - he didn't hear me crying out, 'God help me!' when I was actually in hell, being tormented by my sins being played back to me while the demons were taunting me and I was hearing the torments of other people screaming. Joe had just heard my frightening scream).
While I was in the tormenting outer darkness of hell, the moment God touched my left shoulder with his right hand, I saw my spirit instantly go back into my body and I came back alive. Thank God for Him touching me! I was set free from the electricity, though I was instantly propelled 12 - 15 feet from where I had been electrocuted, doing two summersaults before ending up on the ground. My left knee hit the corner of a two wheel cart and made the tires spin and propel the cart up in the air, as if a ghost had taken a ride on it.
Shortly after being electrocuted the numbness wore off and great pain set in throughout my body. I was taken to the hospital and admitted for three days. While in the hospital, three times a day my cardiologist would come in and take an EKG. I would watch his eyes as he could not believe what he was reading. Back and forth he would run his fingers over the EKG printout.
I learned to read a person's eyes while teaching scuba diving lessons to determine how much fear they were dealing with, and his eyes told me of his deep concern as to my EKG and my heart's condition. My doctor expressed his concern for me by asking me, 'Tim ' do you feel okay?'
I looked at him and said, 'I think so' ' yet we both were scared. But I was scared a whole lot more than he was, because I had experienced a part of hell and feared having to go back there if I died, and all he was scared about was losing a patient.
Later on in the hospital my cardiologist said to me, 'Tim ' I am not a Christian; do you know any?'
'No. I don't know any personally. About the only people I hang around with are my drug friends. Why?'
He responded, 'I have some Christian friends and I believe that if I told them about you being electrocuted, they would agree you should be dead. I also believe they would say you are a living miracle, as I do also believe, and that God must have a plan for your life to let you come back to life.'
He went on to say, 'Tim, I understand electricity. The hospital uses electricity to bring back someone whose heart has stopped beating, but Tim, when you got electrocuted - crucifixion style through your arms and through your heart - you should be dead instead of being brought back to life. Honestly - I don't know why you are alive. And to think, you were standing in water. That makes it 10 times worse!'
Looking at the doctor'I thought to myself: Doc ' if you only knew where I went when my spirit left my body - you wouldn't believe that either!
Upon my release from the hospital, my cardiologist told me that it's natural to have some heart irregularities, but in time they most likely would subside and I should be fine. However, that wasn't the case. I kept having frequent strokes, and I had to start going to my cardiologist's office often because I was having 2-3 strokes every week. He soon realized I was still such a high risk stroke patient that he told his office secretary, 'Whenever Tim LaFond comes into this office, I want to see him right away, no matter whether I'm with another patient or not! He's that critical.'
Here I had the top cardiologist in the state of Ohio, one of the most highly rated neurologists as a brain doctor, and a top back specialist, which should have comforted me by most earthly standards'but inside of me I was empty. I had a great void in my life, plus I was living in fear; the fear of dying again and going back to hell.
I returned to work two weeks later, and while at work, I realized quickly that I could not remember the kind of work I did. My co-worker Gill found me in a corner weeping and asked me, 'Tim ' what is the matter?'
I said to him, 'I know I work here, Gill, but I can't remember what I do.' He said, 'Maybe we should go talk to the boss.'
My boss told me to go home and see a neurologist, which I did. My neurologist told me that most people do lose their short term memory when they are electrocuted. She told me I probably lost around 30 million brain cells. She scared the living daylights out of me, because I didn't know how many brain cells I had left, but told me not to worry, because my memory cells would grow back in time.
Memory loss wasn't my only problem. My back also started to hurt with unbelievable pain when I would stand up. My wife would leave for work and come home and ask, 'What did you do today honey?'
I answered, 'I got up and locked the door after you left and moments thereafter fell to the floor because of my intense back pain. I laid on the floor for nine hours in intense pain ' crying - until about 15 minutes ago. I just couldn't get up because the back pain was so bad.'
Time and time again as the days followed that would happen, even though my back specialist told me that they had done all the tests they knew to do and couldn't find anything wrong with my back.
Interestingly'I still had a lot of electricity in me for four to five months after the electrocution. I found that out the first time I kissed my wife. We would shock each other when we touched! And it hurt! Now can you imagine - every time you reach for your wife, you were shocked again! We got so we would touch each other's hands first at the same time to lessen the shock before kissing. It really wasn't as funny as it might sound. The electricity that came into me didn't come out of me completely at the shop. My doctor said, 'Tim ' the electricity could have literally blown your feet off. It could have blown your hands and even arms off, or even blown off the top of your head. It could have done any number of different things, but for whatever reason you lucked out, though it didn't completely leave your body yet.' I was having all these strokes that hurt so bad and made me curl up into a fetal position. This is why the doctor would see me whenever I was having these strokes. Of course, he couldn't do anything to help me.
All the while this was going on, an aching void was intensifying deep inside me. I knew in my heart who saved me! I saw where I was headed - HELL! I saw eternity and met death and I didn't want to meet it again! God had touched me, but now I had no idea how to find Him.
I WANT TO FIND GOD!
I didn't know then, but I found out later this scripture verse: Jeremiah 29:13 says, " ' And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
I would go out with my party friends and tell them that I wanted to find God. We would laugh about it, but I was serious. They would tell me to have another beer, or smoke another joint! I started asking my friends if I was going crazy, because I really wanted to find God! The only way they knew how to help me was to encourage me to get higher and forget it. They just didn't understand. Yet I kept saying, "I want to find God! I want to find God!" You would have thought that I really was going crazy! I cried, "I WANT TO FIND GOD!"
I hadn't found any help from my doctors or old friends. Just encouraging words that I was all right, that my memory would come back, that my strokes would subside, that my heart was healthy. They only knew the physical heart. My friends only knew the "old Tim". I WANTED TO FIND GOD! I WAS A SINNER WHO HAD DIED AND GONE TO HELL AND HAD EXPERIENCED THE BEGINNING OF TORMENTS BECAUSE OF MY SINS AGAINST GOD! I WAS A LOST SINNER WITHOUT GOD BECAUSE I HAD NOT YET REPENTED OF MY SINS AGAINST HIM AND OTHERS! I HAD NOT YET ASKED JESUS CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS! (My heart's desire is that you will take heed to what you are reading, because this applies to every person still alive. I'm convinced the only reason God spared me from staying in hell is to share my experience so no one else will have to go there, if they'll let Jesus Christ be their Savior and Lord).
I moved to Liberal, Kansas and went to school to become a heavy diesel mechanic. I was also working in the oil fields and in a shop - learning all the basics to become a mechanic.
One day in November, I read an article about Anita Bryant coming to town, with Cecil Todd as the evangelist. I arranged for all my new friends and my wife and I to go see her and hear her sing and minister. I didn't know what a Christian crusade was. I didn't know about all the beautiful music and songs that she was going to be singing.
I had never heard Anita sing before. She was in the orange juice
commercials, and this night she sang "Blessed Assurance". I had never
heard that before and it was so beautiful. She also sang "Victory in
Jesus", and, "How Great Thou Art." My heart was stirred! The songs were
speaking to me, just as they do now when I hear them. She sang eight or
ten more songs, but I only remember those three.
[Sidebar: If you care to
know how intense Satan wanted to destroy the credibility and influence
of Anita Bryant, check out
this video clip. Satan will intensely seek to
discredit brother Tim regarding his testimony more intensely than Anita
Bryant, and or destroy his health and finances, and we ask believers to
lift up Tim and his wife frequently in prayers of God's protection
around them, and to open up more and more doors for Tim to share his
testimony around the world while the opportunity exists. Thanks! -
Norm Rasmussen, Editor/Director].
[Sidebar: If you care to know how intense Satan wanted to destroy the credibility and influence of Anita Bryant, check out this video clip. Satan will intensely seek to discredit brother Tim regarding his testimony more intensely than Anita Bryant, and or destroy his health and finances, and we ask believers to lift up Tim and his wife frequently in prayers of God's protection around them, and to open up more and more doors for Tim to share his testimony around the world while the opportunity exists. Thanks! - Norm Rasmussen, Editor/Director].
Then Cecil Todd got up and gave the message. I couldn't tell you what he said; something about salvation and that Jesus saves. When he gave the altar call and told everyone who wanted to accept Jesus Christ into their life, to come forward, I was the first one to get up! All I remember is that here was the God I had been searching for! I had wanted to find Him for the last 10 months!
Finally - going to a crusade - out of the blue - God led me to Him! I literally ran down those gymnasium steep steps! (I was told later from my friends that I ran so fast down the stairs, they were worried I might trip!). They even called out, "Don't let him fall!" I was on the second row from the top! It looked like angels were carrying me, I flew that fast!
Kneeling down, I asked God to forgive me of my sins. Praise the Lord, He DID! At that moment, I became spiritually born again ' saved from the penalty of my sins ' pardoned for them, so I wouldn't have to go back to hell and pay for them for eternity.
Once I got home, I grabbed the Bible and started reading in the book of John. I remember the words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." (John 1:1) - [You are encouraged to read the entire first chapter of the book of John to discover that the "Word" is none other than Jesus Christ Himself]. I cried in my heart, "If only I would have known! If only someone could have told me! If only someone would have said, 'Hey Tim, read the bible. It's right THERE where you will find God!"
I said, "Oh God. I have been looking for You everywhere for 10 months'and here You are in this Bible."
The Lord was really speaking to me. I continuously read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Over and over again I read these books, for five to six years! I just was so thirsty for His Word, and the very life-giving words of Jesus that are recorded in them!
People have told me what a wonderful testimony I have. "No," I reply. "I am just a sinner saved by grace, and a LOT of grace at that! Once I was lost, but now I am found." Don't any of you ever say that your testimony is not as good as mine. The grace of God has saved you! He has forgiven you! I am no different! I just took a harder road to get there! And surely God said: 'This is a hard cookie. We are going to take him a different way before he softens up!'
What I found out by reading the Holy Scriptures, life has been much better than I could ever tell you. Much more glorious than I have ever dreamed possible. I never knew that giving my heart to the Lord would make such a difference! However'I need to be honest by saying that Satan has tried so hard to take my life over and over again since this has all happened, because he does not want me sharing my testimony for God to use it. In 2006, I had a quin (quint) bypass surgery, and in 2008 I almost died of a gall bladder that died and turned gangrene, and on June 4 and 5 of 2010 I had two heart attacks, and clinically died in the local hospital. I was brought back to life by my cardiologist using the heart paddles. Praise God for electricity when you need it!.
Another precious song I love comes to me:
Victory is mine,
Victory is mine,
Victory today is mine;
I told Satan, 'Get thee behind!'
Victory today is mine!
When I asked Jesus Christ into my heart, I found spiritual health, which is most important, and my memory increased when I found Jesus! It was even better than it was before! I was able to remember facts and figures and things! I started to memorize scripture. He helped me to remember! My chronic back pain also went away!
In September of 1987, when I was at the Nazarene Bible College, I was in prayer and God came. God gave me a vivid vision. He took me into another dimension and showed me the "lake of fire" as He held me above the 'lake of fire!' There were millions of people burning in the "lake of fire." Their bodies were whole but they were burning! It was awful! Horrifying! Screaming people! It was a fearful thing to see, but I was at peace, knowing that God had His hand on my shoulder.
I didn't know what to think about that, so I just kept it in my thoughts and went to school the next day. After arriving home, I went again to the Lord in prayer at 3:30 in the afternoon and He came to me again -- again in another vivid vision. This time He showed me the whole thing in greater detail, and showed me the edge of the lake of fire. There were people falling over the edge. People were right on the brink of the fire. He said to me, "I am going to use you to help tell the world that hell is real, and I am going to save them and pull them back over the edge with your testimony and the Truth of the Word of God (See: Acts 4:12; John 3:17-18; Romans 5:8-11) before they go in, if they will reach out and ask Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior before they die.
I want everyone to consider that no matter how great the struggles of our life may be, there is an unseen guiding hand (The Holy Spirit) leading us to know the truth of heaven and hell before we die, if we TRULY want to know. That Truth is found in the Bible. Hell is a place to avoid at all costs, and if we are wise, we must consider the reality of being without God because of our sins - which means no hope either and cast into outer darkness upon dying and most likely...ultimately the lake of fire. Whatever the case, it will be of an eternal nature. Please soberly consider, after having read my testimony, the life you are presently living and ask yourself if you are ready for the Judgment Day. If not, then turn to God and repent of your sins and live for Jesus Christ, because the Bible says that God the Father has delegated Jesus Christ to be THE Judge on Judgment Day.
Contact information for Rev. Tim:
Contact information for Rev. Tim:
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"And this gospel
of the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
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Editorial Note: The above testimony is an updated, 2013 edition from an earlier version of Tim LaFond's testimony.
Below are some Bible passages that address hell for those who may not be familiar with them.
Some Bible Passages Speaking Of Hell
Matthew 8:12: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV Bible Translation)
Matthew 22:13: Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV Bible Translation)
Matthew 25:30: And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV Bible Translation)
Revelation 19:20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (KJV Bible Translation)
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV Bible Translation)
Revelation 20:14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (KJV Bible Translation)
Revelation 20:15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV Bible Translation)
Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV Bible Translation)
Many Bible scholars believe that a time will come when those who are suffering in the 'outer darkness' now will ultimately get cast into 'the lake of burning fire' as well -- basing their belief primarily on Revelation 20:14 and 2 Peter 2:4
- Norm Rasmussen, Director, Precious Testimonies