by Russell Pond
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." (Acts 2:17)
Today is September 4, 1991. The most incredible thing happened to me last night. My prayers were answered. Not only my prayers, but the prayers of my friends who I asked to pray for me were answered.
Over the past week, everything in my life slowly began drifting away. My problems were intensifying. My emotions were on a roller coaster. My finances, or lack there of, began catching up with me. I started dreading the meetings at work. My life was crumbling. I spent Labor Day weekend alone. I wouldn't even let Jesus into my lonely life. Oh, He was asking, but I wasn't responding. I started asking all of my friends to pray for me as I struggled through these times.
Monday night, I was watching Benny Hinn's Sunday service that TBN broadcasts every week. He was teaching on prayerlessness. It was a great service, but the one thing that caught my eye was the little brief memo that flashed across the screen to let people know that Benny was going to be in the Dallas area. TBN's Praise the Lord was going to host Benny for an interview and prayer service.
After work Tuesday, the day of the show, I went straight over to my hairdresser to get a quick haircut. The show was at 9:00pm, but the doors opened at 8:00pm, which means get there about 6:30pm. Darlenne was a close friend, as well as, my hairdresser. Over the past month, she had been going through some tough problems with her life. Trying to comfort her, I bought Good Morning Holy Spirit, and loaned it to her to read. She loved it and was really moved by the Spirit when she read it. I told her I needed a quick haircut, because I wanted to go and see Benny Hinn. She wanted to hurry so that she could join me. After a quick haircut, we arrived at the TBN studio at about 7:30.
There was already a long line when we arrived. Earlier, I had called the studio to find out how many seats were available. After hearing there was only a hundred, I figured we would never make it inside. An hour passed, and the line was getting shorter. At about 9:00, we were standing at the front door, ready to go in. I was getting excited. Then my heart dropped.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the show is full. We will have to shut the doors." He went on to say that if anyone were to leave during the show, they would let the next few people in. Okay, so there was a little hope left.
At about 10:00, the people in line began leaving. The ones that did stay, however, were some fun people. We were singing praise music and praying outside of the studio. It was wonderful! I saw people falling under the power of God. People were praying for each other, and many were filled with tears of joy.
There was one young lady, Debbie, who was so gifted. The Spirit was with her as she would walk up to people and ask them if she could pray for them. She was an anointed woman. People would fall under the power of God when she would pray for them. She could see things in the Spirit that were as clear as day to her. I wish I could be in touch with the Spirit like she was.
At about 10:30, I started getting pretty tired. I hadn't eaten dinner, and I was standing up all evening, not even knowing if I was going to make it inside. As I was relaxing, I remember thinking, "Maybe I should ask her to pray for me, because at this point, I had asked all of my friends to pray for me." But, I didn't feel very comfortable because of all of the people standing around.
Seconds after thinking that, she flagged me from across the foyer, and said, "You want to be blessed, don't you brother?"
I agreed with no hesitation.
She walked over and said, "The Spirit is going to bless you."
I lifted my hands and began surrendering to Him. She started praying, and immediately, I felt the Him all over my body. She knew it, and she was surprised at how easily I was filled. As she was praying, she mentioned something that made me feel so good. She told me that the Lord is very pleased with me. When she said that, it released an incredible amount of burden. One of my worst downfalls is that I try so hard to please the Lord, but when I fail, it destroys my confidence, and I feel the Lord is displeased. When she said that, an inner peace engulfed my body, and the reality of grace filled me.
As she prayed, she told me some things that were astonishing. She told me that I have been given a gift. I don't know what that gift is yet, but I knew that I was given one, even before she told me. In fact, I feel that I've been given more than just one. She continued praying for me, and I became drunk in the Spirit. Here I am standing outside a Christian broadcast studio, hoping to get in so that I get blessed, but I was getting blessed outside with these ordinary, everyday people.
As the time passed, I realized that it was about 11:30pm, and it didn't look like we were going to get in. My legs were killing me, and I was tired and hungry. I kept asking Darlenne if she was ready to go, because if she said yes, I was gone. But she insisted we stay. Two or three times, I asked her, but she held her ground. I never said, "Hey, let's go." It was always, "Are you getting tired?" or "Feel like going yet?" But she never gave in, and I thank her for it, because at 11:40pm, they opened the front doors, and we were right there, first in line.
As we entered the studio, Benny was already praying for people. He was off the main stage, walking among the people, praying for them. I remember my first thoughts, "This area is small, I'll be able to see him up close." But, I noticed that I didn't feel anything. No anointing, no Spirit, nothing. I was just excited to see Benny Hinn up close.
As we moved closer to the stage, people began falling under the power of the Spirit, but I felt nothing. Then as he walked right passed us, I realized that I was standing there focusing on Benny, the man, when I should have been focusing on Jesus, our Lord. Instantly, when I came to this realization, I began to feel the Spirit. He slowly started to work His way into my body. I had total control, but the feeling was wonderful, I didn't want it to stop.
Benny went back up to the stage and called out for all of the people who were standing outside to come up to the front. With my hands lifted and eyes closed, I began picturing Jesus. As Benny blew into the microphone, the Spirit filled me. Everyone around me, about twenty in all, fell under the power of the Spirit. My body was like jello. My hands were shaking and tingling, and I felt this powerful feeling of glory all over my body. At this point, everyone began standing back up, but I couldn't stand up. My body was so relaxed, like an incredible burden had been lifted.
As I tried to stand up, Benny pointed at me and said, "It's all over you brother. Get up here on the stage."
With the help of a few people, I made it up on the stage with Darlenne.
Benny asked us, "Do you two want the anointing? Do you?"
With hands lifted and hearts opened, we said, "Yes!"
"Well then take it!"
As he waved his hand, we were both slain in the Spirit. I laid there in total freedom. My body was numb, and I felt this powerful feeling of peace that just filled my entire spirit. But the most powerful feeling was my hands. This incredible sensation covered them completely, inside and out. It was a different feeling that what my body was feeling. It was as if the Holy Spirit was holding my hands. I felt as if they weren't even mine. It was a numbing sensation, tingling and electrifying. It felt like my hands had fallen asleep, but without that painful tingling. It was more of an intense tingling. It was nothing I had ever felt before.
As we laid there on the stage, Benny kept talking about us to the people watching. He was telling everybody that we were never going to be the same again. He pointed at me and said, "God is going to use that man. I can see a calling all on his life."
As they stood me back up, he asked me what I was feeling. Before I could answer, he knew that my hands were covered with the anointing.
"You feel it all over your hands, don't you?"
Since I couldn't speak, I just nodded yes.
Then he asked me, "You've had people praying for you, haven't you?"
Stumbling on my words, I replied, "Yes. I've been asking my friends to pray for me."
And he said, "Well, they're being answered right now."
He waved his hand again, and I fell.
At this point, my hands were completely numb. I could feel them, but the sensation had increased immensely. As I lay there, my mind was racing a hundred miles an hour, but nothing was entering my mind. No problems, no burdens, no worries, no pain. Everything was going through my mind, but I wasn't thinking about anything. It wasn't confusing, because I had total control. This powerful feeling of ecstasy kept making me laugh. I have never felt such freedom and pleasure filled with total joy and happiness. If this is just a sliver of heaven, I can't wait to die.
October 6, 1991 was a wonderful Sunday in my life. I was baptized. It symbolized a new beginning in my life. All of my burdens were washed away with His blood. Up until my baptism, I had always questioned my salvation. Was I really going to heaven? Was I really saved? I was baptized in a non-denominational, Spirit-filled church. I was so at peace after my baptism, that I had a difficult time singing during praise and worship. I just stood in the back row and worshipped Jesus. I have never felt that much peace and spiritual rest in my entire life. I couldn't do anything. I almost left after the baptism, because I didn't want anything to take that feeling away. I wouldn't talk to anyone, or look at anyone. Over the next couple of days, Jesus became so real to me, that I could almost see Him. I've always heard that expression "picture Jesus" or "keep you eyes on Jesus", but now I know He there, sitting in Heaven with us in His heart as we are in His.
I had the most incredible vision a few days prior to my baptism. It was powerful, and it really touched me. One morning after prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to Psalms 46:10 which says, "Be still, and know that I am God." So instead of prayer and worship, I decided to turn off all the lights and music, and be still. I cleared my mind of all thoughts. For awhile, nothing happened. I didn't feel His presence like I did in prayer, and I was kind of worried that I might have grieved the Holy Spirit. But after a few minutes, I began to feel Him. My body started tingling as His warmth filled me.
As I lay there, I kept seeing this cup. It looked like a chalice or goblet. It wasn't made of any precious metals. I couldn't really tell what it was made of, but the dents in the side and top showed that it had a rough past. The sides were tainted with dirt and debris. The inside wreaked of alcohol. A lid covered the top of the cup, and it seemed as if it were fastened to the top.
The cup represented my flesh and body. As I laid the cup down at God's feet, I removed the lid. I opened my heart to Him, and that lid was no longer keeping Him out. I remember saying to Him, "This is now Your vessel. Use it for Your glory."
He reached down and picked up the cup. As He held it in His hands, the cup began melting, until it no longer looked like a cup. He began working this mass with His hands, cleansing and purifying it. As He worked it like a pottery maker works clay, the dirt and debris began falling below His feet. Finally, He took the mass and dipped into some water to wash away any last dirt that was keeping it from being pure.
After He finished the purifying, He held this mound of melted substance in both of His hands for a moment, as if He were thinking what to make of it. Then He began molding this mass into a new vessel. He shaped the bottom of the cup with a strong, firm foundation. As the cup began taking shape, its material slowly changed in to gold as He sculpted His vessel. It was beautiful and pure, and nothing tainted it. I noticed that there was no longer a lid or even a provision for one. It was open to anyone.
As He finished, He reached out over the left side of His throne and picked up what look like a misty pitcher full of a swirling mist. It reminded me of the pure, white fog that's produced by dry ice. He began to pour His Spirit into the vessel until the sides were overflowing onto His hands and all around His throne. As the people reached up to quench their thirst, He lifted His vessel up with both hands, then poured out His Spirit upon all flesh.
Well, that's my testimony. Some may believe it, some may not. All I know is that God visited me and my life has not been the same since. If you would like to send me some email, feel free. I would love to hear from you. Blessings!