- A Capella Mennonite
- A Capella Praise & Worship
- A Capella Southern Gospel
- Country Gospel
- Praise & Worship
- Contemporary Music
- Gospel Music
- Inspirational Music
- Instrumental Music
- Local Music
- Praise & Worship
- Southern Gospel
- Adult Resources
- Children's Resources
- Church Ware
- Communion Supplies
- Robes and Apparel
- Sanctuary Resources
- Youth Resources
- Feature Showcase
- Meet the Authors
- Read A Chapter
- Listen to Music Samples
- Accompaniment Samples
- Just Released
- Sale Bestsellers
- Bible Study & Small Group
- Bulk Discounts on Books & Bibles
- Christian Book Award Winners
- Dove Awards Winners
- New & Bestselling Fiction
- Gifts for Her
- Gifts for Him
- Lifeway Resources
- New Year's Resources
- Valentine's Resources
- Wedding & Marriage
Read A Sample
The Hell Conspiracy: An Eye-Witness Account of Hell, Heaven, and the Afterlife
by Laurie Ditto
Learn More | Meet Laurie Ditto
Give Me That
Heaven and Hell are eternal. I read about them in the Bible; therefore, their reality is not questionable to me. However, my passion about God, the Bible, Heaven, and Hell have been drastically changed since my spiritual eyes were opened.
I have traveled to Heaven and Hell through visions on different occasions over the last 18 years. This does not make me special, only responsible! Each time I come away with a truth of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Have you ever thought about the Lord’s Prayer? It says, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” I have prayed that prayer for as long as I can remember. It has always made me think about what Heaven must be like.
Things are very different in Heaven. Earth could be so wonderful if we had the principles, practices, wills, and actions of Heaven. It can never be perfect, though, without God Himself. I can never be accused of exaggerating about God’s home. It is more wonderfully superb than any mere words I can think of. In the same way, Hell is far worse than the most horrific words that can only begin to portray its inexpressible hideousness.
All people will choose, by how they live on earth, where they spend eternity.
Hell was created for Satan and the demons that rebelled against God. Heaven is where God lives. He desires us to be with Him, but that choice is up to us.
Because I was saved in a vision of Heaven, I would love to share with you about what I saw and experienced while there. This will also allow you to understand me as I reference many Heaven qualities that are not present in Hell.
What Is a Prayer Room?
I learned about a women’s conference at the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) from a postcard that somehow came to my home. IHOPKC exists to partner in the Great Commission by advancing 24/7 prayer and proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and His glorious return.
Although at the time I had no interest in doing much of anything due to depression, for some reason I held on to it and knew that I needed to attend. My husband and our two teenage daughters were excited that I wanted to do anything and helped me pack. I drove from my home in upper Michigan to the airport in Minneapolis and hopped a flight down to Kansas City.
When I arrived, I visited the prayer room. I was shocked that such a big name resided in such a small set of trailers. Right away, I walked in with a set of condemning judgments in my mind. I mean, just down the road was a company called International House of Lloyd and they were a huge complex of buildings. It seemed wrong to call that small building the International House of Prayer. But really, what did I know about prayer?
Once inside I noticed strange things. Having never been to a prayer room before I didn’t know what to expect, but I entered with a set of expectations just the same. In my religious upbringing, I had experienced the orderly conduct of the Catholic Church, the richness of the Word from the Baptist church, and the surprising emotional outbursts of joy from the Pentecostal church. Now to be fair, I never really attended any church often, but I believed that I was going to Heaven because I was a good person.
In the prayer room resided the best of all three churches I had experienced. It seemed to be orderly, very focused on the study of the Bible, and was joyfully spontaneous too. In my judgmental attitude, I could only apply one word—strange.
What I noticed first was that the place was not in a hurry. Going twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it oozed patience somehow. There was a worship team playing music up front. The majority of people were in their twenties. I didn’t know the words to the songs they sang, but that didn’t stop my emotions from engaging. I thought to myself, I have never heard such happy music. But it was more than that. I couldn’t figure out what felt so different. Those in the room had their eyes closed. I felt like I had stepped into something private and it somehow felt intimate. I thought they all played so well together, but it wasn’t performed for me. Like when we attend a concert and the music is performed for the crowd. This music was not like that. Maybe this is what made it seem so intimate. I was deeply moved by the presence in the room, but I could not put my finger on why the presence was so important.
There was a part of the worship where everyone sang their own song to God. I had no idea how something so hectic and individualistic could sound so beautiful. Again, it didn’t have anything to do with me, yet somehow I wanted to participate.
When I looked around there were unique things. In my thinking, some fit and some did not. There was a world map. That made sense for the International House of Prayer. People were standing with their hands on the map and rocking back and forth with their eyes closed. This was strange, so it did not fit. There were people at tables working on computers. The work didn’t seem strange, as people do this at a library, but is it okay to do this in a prayer room?
There were people in one area dancing. The dance was rhythmic, but I thought that was strange as there was no one watching the dancers. Some of the dancers waved flags. Strange, who waves flags? (Might I add, I now love to wave flags.) Someone was drawing pictures of Jesus. I figured that would be okay and God would enjoy that.
There were people standing with their hands raised, heads tilted back and tears streaming. Strange. And then there were a few people lying down on the floor crying with their faces in the dirty carpet. Who does this? Strange!
A large part of me wanted to run and get out of the strange room. Well, of course I did. Lost people always want to run from the presence of God.
And yet, I was drawn to the music as if I was made out of it or for it. I chose to stay for a while and sat down. There was a lady sitting in the row I chose. She seemed normal. Then the music changed and everyone sang to God their own songs. All of a sudden she was singing in some unknown language.
I remember when I first learned about singing in a strange language. I was a little Catholic kid. My friend was a little Pentecostal kid. I spent a Saturday night at her house. Sunday morning I went to church with her. Her momma found out that I was not baptized in the Holy Ghost. She began dragging me down the aisle toward the front.
At the time I only knew of one good ghost. His name was Casper and all the other ghosts were bad. I was stressed. There was a senior saint on the second row who stopped her and explained that this was not the way to do it and that I was clearly afraid. She put her hand on me and started singing softly with gentle and caring eyes. The song she sang was beautiful and stopped the fear inside of me right away. The name of the song she said was “singing in the spirit.” I really liked that song. I liked the lady too.
Later I asked my friend what was wrong with her momma. She told me to do what she does and just say, “I wish I drove a Honda” really fast and her momma would think it was tongues and the Holy Ghost. I decided that I would only ever sleep over again on a Friday night, and she could sleep over at my house on Saturdays.
That experience did something to me. I always wondered about “singing in the spirit” and the gift of tongues. How did it work and was it real? What does the Holy Ghost do? How can a song bring noticeable peace?
Back in the prayer room, I was trying to figure out if this lady was “singing in the spirit.” While I listened and hoped that wonderful feeling might return, I heard the voice of God.
He asked, “What do you want?”
And I answered Him immediately, “I want to know if that is real!”
And He did just that. I had the same feeling as when I was a child and that senior saint sang over me. It is very easy to believe in something once God reveals it.
I left the prayer room to drop my things at the hotel and get some food quickly before I headed back to the place where God speaks to people. I was very attracted to the room. It made me feel safe, as if angels or someone was there to help people. I was more comfortable with the idea of angels being there to help me than God.
At that time there was a name it, claim it thing happening in parts of the Body of Christ. My Christian friends tried to explain it to me, but it didn’t make much sense that the reason people got stuff was because they claimed it. Now, I thought that obviously I had been wrong. You must just tell God what you want and then you get it.
So, I came back to the prayer room with a short list. This time when God asked me what I wanted I would be more prepared. I wanted a log cabin house on Lake Superior, two four-wheel-drive trucks (I figured since Mike and I both needed a four-by-four and our last name is Ditto, God would understand), and world peace. The world peace was for all of us. I reasoned that there must be something like three wishes, sort of like the genie in the bottle. But if there was already one used on the “singing in the spirit” then I would drop world peace because someone should have asked God for that already. I decided that world peace must be impossible, even for God.
At a certain time, some of the people left the prayer room. I now understand that this happens when the worship set changes. At the time, I assumed that those people must have already gotten from God what they came for.
As I waited, I kept changing seats until finally I was in the front row. I wanted God to see me and talk with me so that I could get the log cabin. But God wasn’t talking to me and I started to get upset. Didn’t He know I had waited a long time? And what if I had wasted the first wish and it ended up being my only wish?
In an instant, I was in Heaven standing a distance of maybe 100 yards from Jesus the Christ. My whole brain worked and I had instant recall of everything about my past and things I had learned as well as general facts. The most immediate understanding was that the man standing in front of me was my Creator. I knew I was in His castle. I knew everything in Heaven belonged to Him. I knew that He was the source of all light, the Almighty, that everyone knew Him, that He was very happy and the most powerful being—ever. I also knew that He liked me. I really liked that He liked me. My whole body was electrified in His presence.
He was standing in an archway. I knew it was the Savior. My eyesight was perfect, but it wasn’t my eyes that confirmed who He was. Actually, I knew Him better than I know myself. As I looked at Him, He smiled at me. It was so nice to see God happy toward me, but I also understood that He was very holy and I was not.
There really is no way to explain this, but let me try. Jesus turned Himself “on” and “up” for me, like a light going up and down with a dimmer switch. He turned into a Man of unimaginable light. He looked as if He was made out of diamonds or water. He was so sparkly, transparent, and shiny. As He got brighter, it was too difficult for me to look at Him, so I shut my eyes tightly. But His light shone through me somehow.
Jesus didn’t want me to shut my eyes, so He turned Himself “down” and I could behold Him. Jesus allowed me to understand that my unique relationship with Him determines the degree of light He can share with me. Also that obedience to Him is considered love, and my love determines the brightness I am capable to behold.
I noticed that He had terrible scars on His wrists from wounds that had healed. I thought that they were in the wrong place. I had always believed the nails had pierced Him in the palms of His hands, not His wrists. Jesus knew my thoughts and didn’t stop me to correct my theology. I knew He was after something. I knew that He wanted something from me.
He said, “Laurie, give me that.”
I knew Jesus didn’t have to ask. If He wanted, He could take whatever. But this God Man was patient. I knew He had many names that identified Him and that He embodied each of those names or attributes perfectly at all times. When Jesus “turned Himself down” so I could gaze on Him, He focused on the attribute I needed the most—patience. I have never met anyone as patient as the Lord. In fact, I first fell in love with His identity of patience.
Again, I knew that He was holy and I was not. I knew I was dark but lovely (see Song of Sol. 1:5). However, the darkness in me was so magnified that I felt paralyzed. Even though everything in me wanted to run to God, I didn’t want to get Him dirty. I knew that He wanted the “bad” that was separating us. I panicked. How do you give bad? I thought I was a good person, so what was my bad? The only thing I could think of was cigarette smoking. At the time I smoked three and a half packs of cigarettes a day. I thought that must be it.
Even though I felt I understood what He wanted me to give to Him, I gave the answer I had inside of me. I looked at my feet and said, “No.”
I figured that no one gets away with telling God no, but I didn’t have a choice. In His presence I knew that I was not able to say yes because the smoking controlled me. I couldn’t give away cigarette smoking because it owned me. I waited and waited but nothing happened.
I was sure God would beat someone who didn’t obey. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I looked up, He was waiting for me to look. He smiled at me and I realized that He had a plan. It was nothing like I expected. He was nothing like I expected.
He took a step closer to me. When He moved, everything around Him moved. It was fast but very noticeable. My body was drawn to Him and it took me more resistance to remain standing. I longed to be like a child who runs into their parent’s arms to apologize, knowing that their parents will love them and it will be okay. But in my deepest heart, I was afraid it would never be okay.
He motioned for me to look into a room. The room had arched openings, like very large windows cut out of the walls, allowing me to gaze inside. There was a doorway arch too, but no door to shut off the room. The castle was built out of rocks, and as I looked into the room I noticed how stunning they were! In fact, everything was magnificent. It was hard not to just stare at one thing because each one was spectacular and fantastically mystical! It made it very hard to focus.
The room was about the size of a basketball court. It had a tall ceiling and was crammed with presents. There were big and little ones with every color wrapping paper you can imagine. I love presents because they signify good things and happy times and these were amazing. I have always enjoyed how well wrapped presents can set the tone for what is to come, and I instinctively knew that these presents were prepared for a person’s life. I knew there were several presents per day for someone to open each day of their life. There were many presents from days past that had not yet been opened. I thought to myself that someone was pretty special to Jesus to have a room like that.
The Lord then spoke to my heart and told me that this was my room and that all the presents were for me. He told me that some presents are things He gives and others are things He takes away.
This was too good to be true! How can God have presents all for me and several for every day of my life? I looked at them and was so excited. Wow!
I shifted my gaze to Him and saw that He was more excited than me. He had personally chosen these gifts. He asked a second time, “Laurie, give me that.”
I wanted to say yes but I just couldn’t. Then I was filled with the why of not giving it to Him. I had tried to stop smoking before but I could not. And, I knew that if I stopped smoking, I would get fat. I mean, husbands leave for all kinds of reasons, right? Isn’t one that the wife got fat? I didn’t know which reason Mike was going to choose, but it wasn’t going to be that one. I waited and waited. Surely this time God would beat me. But nothing happened. When I finally looked up, He was again waiting patiently for me. What a patient Man, so unlike anyone I knew. He was smiling at me. How could He smile? Everything in me wanted to smile back, but as an adult I have trained myself to keep a straight face in stressful situations.
He took a step closer. When He moved, He changed everything! There is no real way to explain this. It is as if Jesus were standing on the moon and took one step toward us on Earth and the distance traveled in that one step was the distance between the moon and Earth. When He moved one step, He traveled a great distance and many things changed.
Then, He turned His being into light and invited me to look inside of Him. This is hard to explain, but it was as if He became a TV. I watched a memory or a future event from His heart play out on His lighted Being. He was showing me something important for us both.
I watched Jesus dancing with a woman. She was His bride.
He wore amazing clothes like none I have ever seen, or maybe it is true that the man makes the suit. No man has ever looked as wonderful as Him. His suit fit Him perfectly. It had gold buttons, which were a sign of the highest form of respect. Only Jesus is worthy to wear these buttons.
The clothes in Heaven are supernatural. Imagine that all the colors ever made, including the exceptional and breathtaking colors only found in Heaven, were compressed together to make something like a dot or a sequin. That sequin was unique because it was every color working perfectly in unity, and as such it created light. Jesus dressed His people in this material.
The bride was wearing an empire waist dress made out of this heavenly material. It had puffy little sleeves that covered the top part of her shoulders and a higher scooped neckline. The dress had a lot of material flowing from the drop line so it fanned out gracefully with each turn. And she danced barefooted.
I watched as their eyes met. His eyes were like a fire. This is hard to explain, but Jesus’ eyes move and are alive in a different way, like a campfire. Have you ever watched a campfire and when the logs move you realize that while you were staring time went on? When we look into His eyes, nothing else matters.
When the bride turned from Him in a soft, slow twirl, darkness would try to touch the hem of her dress. The fire in His eyes shifted and a very serious and frightful look caused the darkness to flee from her. The fire in His eyes forced the darkness away, and she never had a clue about that fire. He loved her with everything He had. She was the most important thing ever to Him.
I watched and watched. As I did, something was going on inside of me. I hurt! I wanted Jesus to look at me with those eyes of fire. I wanted it so badly that there was an ache deep down inside of me. I didn’t want to live unless Jesus looked at me that way. I wanted to be the beautiful godly woman who had made everything about herself special for Jesus.
This woman was perfect. She had made herself that way in obedient love. She could behold Him in His great light. Then I noticed her feet and her ankles. I looked again to be sure. Could this be? Yes, she was me! Those ankles were mine. My heart exploded! Jesus loved me! I didn’t recognize her at first because I was not like her yet. But after seeing her dance, I understood that I could be like her. I wanted, no needed, to be her.
I said, “Yes!” Yes, I want to give Jesus everything to make me into that woman.
In that minute I understood what He wanted. It was more than just the bad, it was me. Without Him, I am bad. He wanted my whole heart— all the parts that were lovely and unlovely. He could have commanded the addiction of cigarettes to leave because I needed help. But He needed me to desire Him in my choice. I needed to trust Him. I moved toward Him and He moved toward me. I knew that everything around me was moving and changing.
He put His forehead to my forehead. In that amazing gesture, things started happening. He began to rewrite my belief system about myself. He gave me something better than self-esteem; it was Christ-esteem. I was no longer suicidal, in need of medicine, craving cigarettes, or depressed. I was His! I was whole, special, needed, important, wanted, and loved. I was His favorite!
His presence was so captivating that He kept me in that place until I was filled with the love and assurance and all that He desired for me. I know that He put many thoughts, plans, purposes, and tasks in me. But more than this, He put who I am inside of me.
I was prepared and equipped. I was ready to live as a child of God. I asked Him, “Is there anything I can do for You?”
He answered, “Go, tell others about Me.”
At first I am sure it appears that He answered a question, but I know that His answer was to the question I should have asked instead: “Who am I?”
I left the vision and was back in the prayer room. I was a new me!
I was different and new when I went home. Mike liked that I was so happy, sort of. He didn’t like that I insisted that he and our daughters listen again and again about Heaven and how I am Jesus’ favorite one.
They didn’t like that now I was bossy and pushy, wanting everything to be what Jesus would like. I had to buy a Bible and read my Bible and listen to every radio program about God. I had to be at church as much as I could because I had to catch up. I knew that God had presents for me that I hadn’t opened yet. And in catching up, I was sure that I could open those ones from days past because I needed to be that bride dancing with Jesus.
I began telling everyone about Jesus. I still do.
My family was stressed out when I got saved. We had known religious fanatics and had stayed away from them. Now, according to them, I was one. My family was divided—me against three. But I knew that if I prayed for the Kingdom to come, something good must happen.
Mike was not sure about what had happened to me, so he wanted to take me back to IHOPKC so I could see that I had misunderstood them. He thought that people do not become that radical because of Jesus. I was very excited that he was going to bring me back there.
Mike met Jesus while at IHOPKC. It was his own experience where he knew that Jesus was real and worthy to be worshiped in everything we do. Mike immediately became Mr. Radical.
When we returned home from this trip, Mike spoke with our daughters. Their response to him was “Dad, you were supposed to fix her, not become like her!” Our family was still divided. It was now parents against children. The girls fought going to church, prayer time, and youth group. They stuck together like glue against anything that seemed “religious.”
That winter IHOPKC was hosting the first Onething conference. Mike bribed our daughters to go by promising them an airplane ticket (they had never flown), staying at the nice hotels, eating out at fancy restaurants, and a $300 shopping spree each. They knew Dad had lost his mind because he is naturally a very frugal man. They agreed to put up with four days of “Mom and Dad’s God fantasy” for the fringe benefits.
On the first night of the conference both of our daughters experienced a healing in their bodies. Our youngest daughter instantly gave her life to the Lord. She felt Him and knew that He was real. Even though both daughters were healed, our oldest daughter ran as fast as she could toward the darkness. It was now three against one in our family. And we three prayed every day for the one.
The following year, Mike asked our oldest to come again to the Onething conference. She refused. He sweetened the pot. He invited her two dearest friends to come along and said he would cover their plane tickets, hotels, and food. Our daughter said absolutely not. We kept praying to our Great God who answers prayers.
Surprise, all three girls came to the conference and each one gave their lives to Jesus. People say, “You bribed your children!” as if it is a bad thing. Mike says that he can’t think of a better way to spend his money than to put people in the presence of Jesus and let Him love on them so they can choose the God who desires them.
In our overwhelming thankfulness to Jesus, we poured ourselves into church, the youth group, and our children. We took the majority of our vacations to visit the International House of Prayer, where we fell more in love with our God. Imagine our surprise when we were invited by Him to move to Kansas City.
Choosing Jesus is the first, most important decision we make. I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit for teaching us how to pray and prompting us to pray often. I am eternally grateful that Jesus is the Lord of our lives.
Jesus remaining Lord of our lives, however, is up to us. Obedience is not only important but it is essential. I read the Bible. I believed in Heaven and Hell. I understood that loving Jesus meant obeying Him. But I ignored His promptings and warning visions about the seriousness of the unforgiveness that was in my heart.
Search Chapters:Browse More Chapters