NDE and spirituality. Temporary death experience and its theological implications
After watching and listening to countless stories, here are some thoughts on Near death Experiences, (or Temporary death Experiences as they should be called) from a Christian perspective (I hope).
During an NDE people do not necessarily experience the same heaven as those who are permanently dead. Heaven or Paradise is only temporary anyway until the final judgment and then off they all go to the New Jerusalem, some to reign and some to create and who knows what else. All of the beings people meet during these NDEs know that they are only temporarily dead. The tunnel pulls the human consciousness into the spiritual dimension, or ‘second heaven’, and the light pulls consciousness into paradise and God’s presence. It is like being in a hyper real ‘holodeck’.
Normally our consciousness observes our brain and the reality it conjures up, but once the brain is inactive the spirit dimension conjures up reality for us, and it is a hyper reality plugged directly into the physical brain initially, until the brain is dead. First their consciousness or spirit moves around the world that we are used to, but once they realise they are dead they are sucked into either the spiritual universe.
The big problem with all of this is that the default destination for most people is into the presence of deceiving spirits and fallen angels because they belong to them if the direction of their lives has been away from the divine and towards independent self glory. God is not under any obligation to protect or to draw people to himself if they have not had faith in this life, but there are many stories of atheists and agnostics who are rescued from a dark evil place when they cry out to God. God calls who he wants to call. For the most part people to not meet Jesus, they meet spirits who tell them whatever they want to hear.
The life review and a sensing of phenomenal grace and the receipt of choice words that help us to change the way we live are perhaps evidence that they met a good being, even if they do not identify as Jesus Christ. A few do just experience terrifying darkness and abuse. Maybe these are just some of the possible afterlife experiences. Even though we will be outside of physical time we will not experience the same phenomenon forever, one experience follows another. The second heaven is a empty space in which to construct realities and temporary time, most people say they could not say how long an experience lasted for but the can say that one experience followed another. Some are not take into a construct, they instead expand to fill everything and experience everything all at once, time, space, knowledge, and feelings. If you are going to tell me this is possible inside of a dead brain just with the aid of DMT as the brain begins to regain consciousness then i will tell you that you are not being objective, you are refusing to acknowledge what you cannot handle.
One of the best evidence for NDE’s being exactly what they appear to be is the verifiable fact that many experiencers are miraculously healed or make a rapid recovery after coming back to life, and some people have been very dead for a few hours, not just minutes. They often have physic/spiritual abilities on returning.
Why only some meet Jesus
The main question I have puzzled over is that of why God only reveals Christ to a minority of people and not to everyone. (The same can be asked of this life too.) I have noticed that in every case where Christ has revealed himself to someone in an NDE that person has heard the gospel or has had someone praying for them. The cross is to be learned about in this life. An angel’s job is to help us to improve morally, and to deliver God’s blessings, so they use a life review and they show love rather than judgement as these are powerful motivators. I speculate that it is not an Angel’s job to present us the gospel, even in this life. It is usually the work of the Holy Spirit and Christ himself who reveal the Father’s love and justice to us. However this does not make the cross invalid, those people will still need to answer for their wrongs one day and there is always some kind of payment for sin, either in this life or temporarily in Hell. (Hell is emptied at the final judgement Rev 20,13)
Obviously there are those who reject God and reject goodness both in this life and probably in hell, they will join the devil in the lake of fire. Christ invited the happy moral pagans and the wealthy clever clogs to his righteous feast, but they were not interested. They have their own goodness and it will be tested one day. They have a different destiny but they may end up in the outskirts of the new earth away from the new Jerusalem in the ‘nations of the saved’. (See the article on Divine justice.)
Do beings of light speak truth?
There are three outcomes I have observed; the one where a minority of people meet Christ and have their sins forgiven and they are rescued from darkness, these people often become Christians. The second where they have a life review, and they are encouraged to be charitable when they go back.The beings they meet seem neutral in allegiance to God or the devil, perhaps these are guardian angels. The third is where a minority meet accepting beings who actively downplay judgement and nor do the encourage living a good life. They impart complex spiritual and physical concepts and encourage self belief. People who encounter this third kind often practice the occult on returning because of how psychic they become.
It may be that they have been chatting to Angels of darkness dressed as angels of light. For example, a lady called Melinda Lyons said she met Jesus who told her he did not die to pay for sins. There are a couple of possible explanations; she may have recalled this incorrectly as she only remembered it 11 years later, or she met a false Christ. Since she came back she has become a Medium and has had various visitations from evil spirits who torment her.
Comepare this with this lady who left the occult and got born again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm9N-p4JEzQ
Those who meet Christ in their NDE find real peace and protection when they come back and live life. They are transformed in their character and they submit to God’s authority. They have a light in their soul and real assurance. They leave behind the occult and are led by the Holy spirit instead.
Did they meet meet Jesus or Angels?
In Howard Storm’s story he calls out to Jesus because he learned a song about Jesus in Sunday school, and Jesus rescues him. He was formerly an atheist though. He felt ashamed of his sin in the presence of such love, and was forgiven.
Then the angels took him and spoke to him about life. They generally told him how it all works and that love is the most important thing, but also mentioned that some people are reincarnated and that life forms exist on other planets. (Reincarnation is the exception not the rule and aliens are irrelevant to us).
His experience can be divided into two parts, the first is the classic Jesus experience that those who have heard the gospel receive, and then the classic mystical experience that those who never become Christians receive.
My conclusion is this, that Angels are not tasked with giving the gospel of Jesus, God himself does that through Jesus himself and the work of his Holy Spirit. Secondly God is not obliged to tell someone the good news about Christ just because they are dead temporarily, but they do meet angels who help them to reform morally and heal inwardly. It can be argued that mystics sometimes come to God through Jesus without knowing it, but this theory is difficult to prove.
Peter Panagore poses a puzzle for us. He also met Jesus, and in the presence of holy love he judged himself, and was forgiven. Interestingly he says he brought a treasure out of the refining, burning process, it was the love that had been shown to him and that he had given away. The most significant part of his story for me is when he puts his hands on a person who has internal bleeding to heal him, and experiences his head chakra opening and energy pouring out. But in the car Peter had terrible pain inside as if he had taken the man’s injuries, until he say a cross on a church and it zoomed towards him in his mind, and his pain went away. I conclude that God was showing him that yes we are able to have fun mystical experiences and to help people through our connection to the spirit dimension but Jesus power is much superior. When Christians heal they do not take on the illness, Jesus already took it.
Some lies peddled by spirits during NDEs: “What you think with strong emotion you will get.” (similar idea as manifesting your will and intentions) “We are your future selves. We are who you are learning to be. Without us you cannot be, without you we are not, we are who Jesus called Father.” This kind of thought will encourage a person to become good but not necessarily goodness according to God’s character. And it will not bring them into a relationship with God; both of these are part of the purpose of creation, the human purpose/telos.
The power of belief is peddled by most occultist, Gnostic and wealth oriented groups. On a natural level if we focus our attention on something we move in that direction. We also create emotional environments, and our actions and words have knock on effects. But we should be careful about talking about creating physical reality, can we for example manifest an object if we have strong enough will and emotions? No not without spiritual intervention. And this is where the problem lies; if we think, emote and will towards God’s glory and kingdom we will have his involvement in our lives, but if our intentions are just towards our own greatness and health and we then expect to manifest something we will invite demons to help us, just like witches and sorcerers have done for millennia.
Hallucinogens and Mystics
Just as in a mystical experience or through taking Ayahuasca or DMT, we can meet beings who seem to be good and who teach us about life and how to become healthy humans; so in an NDE non Christians meet good beings who do the same. It could be that we are greeted by beings who reflect our intentions and the direction of our heart. I often wonder how reiki healers, chakra openers, Shamans etc seem to be nice wholesome people who navigate the astral realms but without succumbing to the dark, fearful forces of evil. It seems like it is possible to use our human spirit to contact the great spirit dimension, and as long as our hearts are determined and good then and we believe in goodness then it does not do us visible harm. However people who do this never experience the assurance of their sins forgiven and not do they experience the purity of God’s higher power to heal and to make them righteous.
The cross may seem like foolishness but it is for those humble enough to see that they need it. Jesus asked the Father if there was some other way other than the cross, God would have told him if there had been. If there had been another way for people to come freely to God then they would have found one.
There could be different kinds of angels, maybe our guardian angels are the ones we meet in our mystical experiences. There are many different types of demon too, some enslave us in sin, others in illness, others tempt, others possess through the occult.
Physical outer space is sometimes referred to as the first heaven. It seems there are at least two spiritual dimensions, or heavens, based on the Biblical idea of a second and third heaven. Some say there are 7 spiritual planes, but I cannot find much evidence for this.The second heaven is like open spiritual space from where demons operate, this may be what is referred to as the astral plane. This is where any spiritual being can create their own reality and bring someone else into it, like in a shared dream. The third is where God is present, although God’s Spirit is also everywhere. The third heaven is a shared, constructed reality under God’s authority. This is evident in ‘Near Death Experiences’ where people’s spirit travel through the second heaven inside a protected tunnel of light. They are protected from the demons that exist there. It is possible to enter the astral/second heaven instantly, but to get to the third heaven it seems necessary to travel.
Belief and intentions are building blocks of reality. This might not be obvious because physical reality exists regardless of our belief, but it could be argued that God almighty believed in this world and spoke it into existence. So when we leave our physical bodies we enter the void of back ground reality where our beliefs, and the beliefs and intentions of other spirits interact to produce any kind of experience imaginable. Some are able to access all knowledge and even future knowledge. Some are guided into specific knowledge and experiences. If you are not protected by Angels and your heart is not towards God then dark spirits can affect your soul. Conversely if there is love and humility in your soul then you will protected and maybe privileged enough to experience the third heaven, or Christ’s presence.
The problem with these kinds of experiences is that in the second heaven is seems that beautiful realities can be created for us and we could be told a charming pack of lies by beautiful shape-shifting demons. It does seem unlikely that the kind of love often felt emanating from beings of light would come from demons. However it seems we are not totally their mercy as if we are determined and believe an alternate reality we can affect what happens. (So if you ever experience one try and remember this 🙂 )
Will to Power (As Nietzsche said)
Most people get into the occult because it offers power and power offers self confidence. We were created to be little gods as Jesus hints at in John 10:34, but Adam and Eve threw away our chances of achieving this because they wanted self determination and moral independence before they were ready. So in this life we are to be content with love in all its forms and with physical playfulness, and with dependency on a loving Father, but we should keep away from desiring power because power is always abused by humans.
Body Soul and Spirit
It is often said that we a tri part being but it is hard to define the functions of each part. The soul is normally understood to be our desires (emotion) Intellect and the will. In one of the NDE’s that I trust, a spirit told Howard Pittman that all humanity has a common spirit and what distinguishes us is our body. When God breathed his spirit on physical man he became a living soul. So when the body dies our spirit caries an imprint of our soul out into the open. I have come to believe that the spirit and body we have are directly from God and therefore resonate or are in harmony with each other. That is also why we enjoy natural creation because it resonates with our spirit. It is our soul that often does not resonate and it is our soul that is what we call ourselves and is our consciousness. Our soul arises out of our body and spirit, it needs them and yet can oppose them.
Our subconscious is partly body – instinct, and partly spirit – intuition. When we sleep our conscious soul stops manifesting, but we are still conscious. The brain has stopped filtering and processing our soul because it needs a rest. Emotional turmoil is produced by the strange beliefs of our soul and are very tiring for our brain to deal with. If we believe that God will provide and that we are very significant to him then we have peace.
Consciousness may be more than just our soul as it takes information from our subconscious constantly. Consciousness is the part of us that observes ourselves and perceives reality, it seems like it is fluid. It is tuned into our body and brain during normal life. But when the brain is not functioning is can leave and tune into other dimensions. The chemical DMT has a similar effect on our consciousness. It is produced in the Pineal gland when we sleep and when we die. I think that both NDEs and DMT trips are revelatory rather than imaginary. We are not very involved in the production of the experience. These ideas about consciousness are not just mine, variation of this are accepted by people coming from various beliefs and paradigms.
It is surprising that some people are told by an angel that their deeds are neither good nor bad, but are experiences to learn from. Maybe God gives them the information that they need at that time and treats them according to the light they have received. Christ treated the pharisees differently than the adulterers who realised their weakness and failure. God shows kindness and encouragement to the repentant but he convinces the proud of their sin. So when God is working in the heart if a non Christian who is humble and poor in spirit he does not need to convince them of sin, he needs to convince them of his mercy and their worth in his sight. There are some non Christians who have a relationship with God but don’t know that Christ died for them, yet.
Some could argue that Luke 16:31 says God will not use an NDE to communicate with the living. However it just says that people will not be persuaded it does not say they won’t come back. NDEs are primarily for the individual they are given to and it is only more recently that people have begun to speak about them, as medicine has improved survival rates. Having said that many people are also miraculously healed when they come back. The book of Hebrews says people are appointed to only die once and then be judged. This is a general rule of thumb and is not stated anywhere else in the Bible. It could be said the an NDE is not a permanent death, a bit like Lazarus, who was just ‘sleeping’ in death.
During cardiac arrest the body somehow releases our spirit and the imprint of our soul on the human spirit means we retain our identity and memory while we wander around physical space and also the second heaven. I suspect Animals have a soul but not a spirit.Their soul is generated by their body and stays with it when it dies, but I have no evidence for this, except in Ecclesiastes.
The silver cord (Ecclesiastes) is not broken when one leaves the body, but maybe it does break once the brain is completely dead and the soul loses its connection and identity with the body.
It seems that once someone is fully dead they are transported by a guardian angel into the second heaven and given a vision of an alternative reality, like in a holodeck in Startreck, or they are taken by an angel of death to a virtual room where books are opened to see if its their time to die. This reality is manufactured by a powerful spirit for us and is tailor made. However I suspect there is a background reality in the second heaven, as a kind of dark void a bit like the physical cosmos, in which beings exist and can build realities. These realities are built on beliefs and i suspect that if the souls of humans trapped there experiencing hell would grasp that they could change the reality and maybe escape it. There are reports from NDE experiences to suggest this.
Howard Storm seems comfortable with the idea of reincarnation of certain souls, he was told by an angel that this takes place. I could not get a clear understanding of to whom or when it may occur, but the only time I would be comfortable with it occurring is in the case of a young baby who had not had the chance to live to the age of accountability. Elijah may have been reincarnated in John the baptist, but Jesus may have just meant that the spirit of Elijah was in John, as he had been in Elisha.
Aliens and Other life Forms
They might exist and some spirits have spoken of them, but actually it makes no difference to us so it is not something I think about. It may be that God has made various creations in order to prove different points and one day we will meet them and learn about moral life from their perspective. Some have said there seems to be a concentration of spirit beings on planets, and I have heard that gravity even pulls spirits towards planets. This is getting into strange realms.
Beliefs and Intentions
Many say that consciousness is the origin of all reality and the only thing that we really know is real. So it could be that this physical world is the manifestation of God’s belief. Our beliefs affect our physical brain cells and therefore our own bodies and we can affect other people’s bodies too. (CBT tries to change our self belief) However when we try to affect physical reality outside of ourselves we tread on dangerous ground. It takes faith to affect reality in a supernatural way and it requires a higher spirit being to carry out our requests, whether angel or demon. Also, even if it is true that we can astral project and ‘remote view’ just using our own spirit, in doing so we are open the door to being influenced by bad spirits. If we open the door to higher spirits in the way Mediums do then we can expect to be controlled by demons if they so chose. They can put us in a trance (like slain in the spirit) or can poltergeist etc.
At Creation, I believe God made a predictive map of the increasingly complex lives of everyone who would ever live. It may be likened to the complex intertwining of neurons in the brain, or a tree whose branches are our natural destinies written in the spiritual universe. Maybe this was a useful model on which to base God’s own decision making. Obviously some of his predictions and determinations would remain hidden, but it seems angels have access to it and therefore maybe demons do too. Both God and ourselves are able to cause deviation from this predicted course should we wish to; we do it by exercising wise choices and God does it when we exercise faith and God then shows mercy and grace. (And obviously in reverse, Gods shows grace and then we exercise faith.)
God knows the future He wants, and predicts the likely outcome, and probably much more complex methodology that we can never be aware of. Its a complex pattern of the interplay of wills. The Devil can see the future he is designing and God can the future he is designing, and probably all possible futures. Like the Oracle in The Matrix said, “You cannot see the past the decisions you have not made yet” God can accurately predict the future and can cause it to happen. Prophecies can affect the outcome of a situation, because one says something will happen they make it far more likely to happen. However the future is not set, somehow there is always room to change it, should we, the creatures with free will, wish to take hold of our free will and make a deliberate and good decision. Bad decisions are predictable because of our environmental influences and selfish tendencies, however good decisions are less predictable and require faith and love to make them.
When people have had ‘near death experiences’ they have been able to instantly know anything they wanted to know about the people they met and anything they wanted to know about the universe. Knowledge flows into the mind without words instantly, it may be passed from spirit to spirit but somehow it flows. People are often told about something that will happen to them in the future and it always does. Occultists can predict the future, or at least the most likely future.
When God says he will judge us he seems to leave the door open for us to change that, for example when he told Moses to stand aside and let him destroy Israel Moses said no and God heard him. God told the Ninevites they would be destroyed but after they repented they were not. When God says something important will take place in the future then nothing can change that.
Christ said does not know the date of his return. The obvious reason is that the Father had not revealed it to him yet, and I would suggest it is also because the exact has not yet been decided. There are variables that are still not set in place, and Human will has not yet been decided. I would say that there is a rough time frame though, in the same way people are only given limited free will, we can only decide between a certain number of variables.
Our will is important to God. What God requires of us is our willingness and our faith. Sometimes the faith is there but our will is blocked by rebellion or fear and strongholds that we have allowed the enemy to take. Our will is so vitally important but our will is naturally dictated to by our desires (or heart).