Elder Timothy L. Hirou

An Account of My Salvation Experience

I am thankful that I have an opportunity to tell about the salvation, which the Lord Jesus Christ has provided for me. I know from my first-hand personal experience (as does everyone who is truly saved), the Bible, and history, that all who are saved, are saved the exact same way; Repentance toward God the Father (God gives us His grace to turn away from our sinful nature) and wholly trust in the Lord Jesus Christ’s works for our salvation because of the price He (Jesus) paid for all of us when He died on the cross of Calvary. It is at the point of this Godly granted sorrow, which is called Repentance (2Timothy 2:25) that God gives us a salvation experience (we can feel) so we know, from experience, in whom we believe. The faith which God gives us saved sinners at the point of salvation as a gift (Galatians 5:22) is fact (Hebrews 11:1-2) and this faith (separate from our trust) is the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior (Hebrews 12th chapter and Galatians 2:16). God’s preeminent will is that all people become His children so as to escape His wrath that is coming upon satan and all the fallen angels as well as the lost sinners (all those who reject the righteous works of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and go about to establish their own righteousness). Please see Romans 10:2-4, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 9:14-28, and 2 Peter 3:9. Philippians 3:9.

Although, all who are saved are ultimately saved spiritually the same exact way, the events and circumstances leading up to this common salvation are unique and individual to the glory of God! I believe all of us have a unique personality. I believe this is ultimately for the purpose of glorifying God in a unique way that He has and/or will provide for us. All who are saved are saved according to His time frame, for His glory, His honor, and His way (individual circumstances down to His detailed leadership of us by the Holy Spirit). This process is between each person and God alone. (1Timothy 2:5) It is correctly stated, we are accepted of Him, not that we can accept Him (Ephesians 1:6). To accept Jesus Christ is to only follow the first part of what God has commanded for us to do as stated in the book of Hebrews 11th chapter verse 6 “but without faith (His faith that must be granted to us sinners), it is impossible to please Him (God), for he that comes to God, must believe that he is (accept Christ intellectually) and that He (God) is a rewarder (granting a salvation experience that you can feel) of them that diligently seek Him.” This God granted experience is truly a privilege we must strive to better understand through prayer and diligent seeking of God and His will, whether we are saved sinners or lost sinners. (Matthew 7:7, Hebrews 9:14)

God saved me the way He did for a number of reasons that He has made me aware of so far, but the main reason for others hearing about my salvation experience to understand, is that they learn the living God is due all glory and honor. God (in all three forms; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) desires to bestow His blessings upon us (mankind) beyond the common graces benefiting all of mankind. The common graces many of us tend to take for granted are things like the sun shinning, having air to breath, having food to eat (if do), etc… The salvation grace begins by Him (in the form of the Holy Spirit) first teaching our heart that we need Him and then He draws our hearts to Himself (John 6:44).
The Lord first came to me during my lost condition while I was sitting on the beach at Newport Beach, California as a 13 year old boy. I thought I was cool. I thought I knew what I was doing. I was accepted in the “cool” crowd. A person handed me a paper (a bible tract). The Holy Spirit used this tract to teach me that I needed to have a spiritual birth; to be born again (more correctly translated, born from above, John 3:1-8). At this point satan (the father of all lies, John 8:44-45) gave me the thoughts according to the following: “You’re young, you have time” “Besides you have not even had fun yet” “Your friends will think you are weird” “Your friends will laugh at you”. Looking back, I realize that satan was telling me whatever he could to keep me from getting the help from God I so desperately needed. I realize now that what satan calls “fun” is sin. I also realize now that sin is shameful, painful, and full of problems leading to death (James 1:15). At the very least, I wish I would have become saved earlier in life so I would have avoided needless suffering at my own hands. I now know that what God thinks of me is far more important then what anybody else thinks about me. Finally, I realize that I could have died and went to hell by my choice because I did not start diligently and earnestly seeking for God’s forgiveness the very day when He first came to me and witnessed to me my lost condition there at Newport Beach, CA. Hell (Geenna transliterated from the Greek language used in both the New Testament and the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament). Jesus quoted from the Septuagint during His personal ministry here in earth. Geenna (Hell) is a place created by God originally for satan and the fallen angels, but all those who follow’s satan’s lead of rejecting God’s righteous, embodied for all us mankind, in Jesus Christ, will also go there by their own choice, a choice that God does not want them to make. (See Mark 9:43)

Shortly after I turned 15, I woke up to take some Tylenol in the middle of the night hoping to relieve a headache I was suffering from. As I took the two Tylenol capsules (without water) I felt the urge to sneeze. I tried to swallow the capsules before having to sneeze only to fail and end up breathing them into my wind pipe during my body’s impulse to intake air preparing for the sneeze. All at once my life hung in the balance as I tried to grasp for air unsuccessfully, the capsules were lodged in my wind pipe. I remember running back to my mother and father’s room hoping to get help only to see them panic. I remember helplessly sitting down on the toilet seat, realizing I was dying and hoping the paramedics could get there in time to help me. It was then that I decided to try one last time to get air. At that moment I breathed the capsules into my lungs. I could breath! The paramedics arrived and told me I had to go to the hospital for surgery, but I could a least get enough air to live. Obviously, I survived this near death experience. The point I want to make is that I could have died that night and went to hell and it would have been all my fault not God’s because I had not followed His leadership and diligently sought Him after He witnessed to me where I stood with Him. God truly loves us above that which we can comprehend and He has abundant mercy upon us. We have wronged Him and it is our sin that prevents us from receiving help from Him. This is why satan lies to us to try and convince us that God is against us. The truth is, we are against our selves and satan tries to keep us in this state. We need to beg God for His forgiveness because He promised us He would give it to us. (2 Pet 3:9, Revelation 22:17)

My near death experience had taken place during a time where my family life was less than stable. My father was drinking heavily. My mother and father were having serious problems. We did not have much money. I was told by my mother that we were “cash poor”. Ironically, we lived in a nice part of Fullerton, California. This city is a suburb of Southern California just north of Disneyland. I remember how scared and unsettled I felt during this time because, although we lived in a nice house, we had my mother’s friends dropping off food at our house to help us out. Everyone else around us in this upper middle class neighborhood seemed to be financially well to do. In addition, my mother and father would get into really horrible fights after my father would come home late at night from the bar. He would go there after work almost every night. My older bother Brad would beat me up a lot. Looking back, I think Brad was so frustrated and in pain due to our family situation that he was displacing a lot of his frustration upon me in the form of the physical assaults. Interestingly though, it was at this time my older brother Brad had been going to religious services which talked about being born again. A lot of young people I knew were excited about these services. I began to seriously seek after God. At this point in my life, I believed He was the only one who could help me out of my very painful seemingly hopeless situation. I felt I could not go to my parents or any one else for help because they had enough of their own problems to deal with. The Holy Spirit was drawing me. During this time He taught my heart that when I was born of the Spirit I would know about it. He (God in the form of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit teaches all things, see John 14:26, 1st Timothy 2:4) also, He taught me that I would be able to feel it when He saved me and made me born of the Spirit (born again). (1Corinthians 2:10, 13-15 & Luke 12:10-12) During this period of His drawing of my heart, He also showed me a great amount of mercy very strongly one day I pray I never forget. I was walking down the back side of my high school’s main class room building and He (Again, in the form of the Holy Spirit) witness to my whole being (He deals with our soul so strongly that it influences our mind) that I was killing myself with my sin. I remember responding to Him in a silent prayer as I was walking (I know, please help me!). I thank him for this truth and the grace to deal with the burden of it!

On New Year’s Eve 1981 my friend David Gutierrez and I went to a “Christian” function at a person’s house. I say “Christian” because that is what they professed to be, God knoweth, but looking back, I realize (by the grace of God) that they were doing many things very wrong (according the scriptures being rightly divided). They had “Christian” rock band playing there by the name of Lifesavers. At one point in the night a man got up in front of all of us there and began to talk about Jesus and about being born from above (born again). It was at this moment God Himself began to witness to me things and lay heavily upon my heart. The man asked for the ones who felt like they were lost to raise their hand. It was at his moment, with the Holy Spirit laying heavily my heart (witnessing to me I was lost and separated from Him) that I rose my hand despite the attacks of satan who did not want me to do so. I lifted my hand because the Holy Spirit (God) was leading me to, not because the man requested it. I remember feeling the condemnation of God (condemnation is having God given sorrow for sin). I knew that I was on my way to a hell created for satan and the other fallen angels because up to this point in my life, I had rejected the righteousness of God which is Jesus Christ and the works He has done on the cross of Calvary (dying for all of our sins to reconcile us to God the Father). The Holy Spirit was witnessing to me my sinful nature. It was here that God granted me the privilege of being able to compare my sinful nature to His righteousness. This comparison was enough to make me realize that I had no excuses for my actions before Him and that by my own sinful nature I justly deserved to go to hell because of my choices to reject Him up to that point in my life. This is the blessing of conviction. Conviction is God letting us know what He thinks about us, not what we think about ourselves or how we compare ourselves to other people in order to justify our sinful nature. God’s view of us is the comparison mark we must judge ourselves against. God can use many things (Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit, nature itself, preachers, His people, the Bible, Bible tracts, and history, just to name a few) in preparing us for His message of salvation, and the conviction of our sins, to our attention. The Lord had impressed my whole being to raise my hand. I remember having negative thoughts again which were: “If you raise your hand they will think you’re weird” “You will not fit in the cool crowd, they will think you are a Jesus freak” “You will embarrass yourself in front of all these people”. I realize now that these thoughts were not my own, but they were actually demonic attacks, maybe even satan himself trying to fight me from gaining help from God Himself. As I mentioned before, I remember no longer caring about any of these issues, the negative thoughts brought up [by satan and demons, (even though I had back on the beach 2 years prior when the Lord had witnessed to me my need for a spiritual birth experience the first time)]. No, the attacks would not work this time, because the living God was on the scene and at this point. He gave me the grace to care more about what He thought of me than what my friends, or the people around me that night thought. That night, I chose to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit and His impression upon me to raise my hand. I raised my hand, when He led me to do so. Shortly after this, the man in the front of the room said, “Let us now all bow our head and pray” I do not remember the exact words of this man’s prayer, but it was along the lines of what is known as the “Roman Road” prayer. The idea of this false man-made teaching called the “Roman Road” approach to salvation is the following: If you acknowledge your a lost sinner and that you are worthy of damnation and trust that Jesus died for your sins, you confess this with your mouth, and you accept him as your personal savior (again, confessing all this with your mouth); this act of doing so (the act itself) at any time, results in salvation. The bible teaches contrary to this man made teaching, see 1st John 3:24, Ephesians 2:8, John 6:44. I had repeated all the words the man leading the prayer had said, but God had my whole being focused on the coming salvation experience. (Again, the Holy Spirit prior to that night had taught me I would be able to feel the pending experience). After the prayer two men took me off into one of the bedrooms and handed me a bible and said, “Now you are saved”. God protected me from this! [Only God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, can witness to us that we are saved from His wrath (Romans 8:16). No man or woman can take His place and tell us where we stand with Him (1 Timothy 2:5), even if they are known to be a priest, rabbi, minister, Christian miracle worker, etc..) Although, I remember this happening it had no impact on me because, as I stated, my whole being was focused by God onto the pending experience He taught me would happen. Looking back, I now realize how God Himself protected me from the false doctrine of an intellectual act (“accepting Jesus Christ”) and/or even doing a outward expression (repeating a pre-formatted prayer mentioning the elements of salvation) bringing about salvation. He also protected me from listening to other people telling me I was saved. The Bible teaches that only God Himself can let you know that you are truly saved (through the witness of the Holy Spirit in a heart felt salvation experience. (Again, Romans 8:16, Ezekiel 36:26, 1st Thessalonians 1:5-6, 1st Thessalonians 5:19) As I stated above, salvation is strictly between you and the living God the Father, Jesus Christ being the only mediator (1Timothy 2:3-5). I did, however, feel that I had done all that was required of me by God that night. My friend David and I left the gathering and he dropped me off at home. My brother Brad was away that weekend so I took the opportunity to sleep alone in his bedroom. (My younger brother Michael and I shared a bedroom together). I woke up the next morning and the Holy Spirit of God lay heavily upon my soul. Again, spiritually, He was allowing me to be compared to His view of me. I remember how sinful I felt. I rolled out of bed and got face down flat on the floor beside my bed. It felt only natural to me at this point to be a low as I could physically get in order to match the view I had of myself before Him. I remember begging God for His forgiveness with the words. “LORD BE MERCIFUL TO ME, PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND COME INTO MY HEART!” I pleaded on the mercies of God, knowing full well that I truly deserved to go to hell (Ephesians 5:29, No one hates their own flesh). The reason I had prayed for God to come into my heart is because He had used the Bible tract I received on the beach to witness this truth to me and I trusted He could do it. It was at this moment that God was allowing me to make my altar to Him. I began to beg Him with all my heart. This was the place God wanted for me to be saved yet; I had the fear of the unknown holding me back. It felt like I was afraid to pass through a final vale. Then He gave me an analogy that morning during this experience after I had been praying for a while. I felt like I was at the top of a cliff and Jesus was standing at the bottom requesting me to jump, He was assuring me (in the form of the Holy Spirit) He would catch me and prevent me from being hurt if I did trust Him and jump. The moment God gave me the strength to jump off this proverbial cliff. It was at this exact moment I felt God take away the heavy burden and the pain which was in my heart and replace it with peace and joy! I felt so relieved! At that moment I knew that if I died right then, I would go to heaven and that He have forgiven me! He Himself was witnessing this to my whole being in the form of the Holy Spirit. It was here that God granted me His Gift of salvation! I remember getting up off the floor and feeling great! Everything seemed brighter. At this point I only wanted to do what He wanted me to do! He gave me a witness (an all encompassing profound feeling experience) that He was going to take care of everything. Everything was clear, I knew all I had to do was trust Him (Jesus Christ) and He (Jesus Christ) would direct my paths. I went to take a shower and still feeling God strongly. I looked up at the water coming down out of the shower nozzle and I understood (through the witness of the Holy Spirit, which also is an experience you can feel) that God was everywhere and that He was even in the water hitting my face.

God had taken the worst part of my life and made it the very best! I remember shortly thereafter going to turn on the radio because I longed (like never before) to hear the name Jesus being spoken. Not too long after this salvation experience which God had granted me, He (in the form of the Holy Spirit) witnessed to me that there was a battle ranging between good (Him) and evil (satan and the fallen angles called demons) and that I would be fought now that I was on His (God’s) side, but He would always help me (if I was following Him).

Again, we get saved His way [true repentance (God given sorrow for sin) toward God the Father for our sins and total trust in the works of our Lord Jesus Christ (the only intercessor appointed for mankind to gain access to God the Father’s eternal blessings) See Acts 4:12, Hebrews 9:14-28], on His time frame, for His Glory and His honor.

I pray that this letter will help those of you saved sinners receive yet another blessing from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you are a lost sinner, I pray that you realize how real the true Jesus Christ (There will be false Christs, see Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:5-22) the Son of God the Father, is through the teaching of the Holy Spirit and that you seek Him until He (The Holy Spirit) witnesses to your heart personally that you are saved from the wrath of God coming on all those (satan, fallen angels, and people) who reject the righteous works of Jesus Christ (His perfect sacrifice for us to God the Father) and will go to heaven when you die, an experience you can feel and a reality you can know.

Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

A servant of Jesus Christ,

Timothy L. Hirou
Newport Beach, CA
Phone 949.444.1723
e-mail thirou@earthlink.net

One Response to “Elder Timothy L. Hirou”

  1. Bob Horrell August 10, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Tim, your testimony is amazing. I admire you as a professional entrepreneur as well as person of Faith and integrity. I am privileged to be your friend.

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