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Bible Religion

Near-Death Experiences Are Not Satanic

Skeptical members of the clergy and organizations such as the Christian Research Institute are often highly critical of NDEs and view them as a tremendous threat to the Christian faith and their parishes. They accuse the Being of Light to be a sinister lying devil masquerading as an angel of light preaching a different gospel because he’s not interested in theology. Some Christian skeptics believe the Being of Light only mimics the real Jesus of the Bible in order to lead the flock away from the Biblical Jesus and the authority of Church. This article makes the case using Bible references to support the claim that the “NDE Jesus” is the same Jesus as recorded the Bible; and NDEs are not a phenomenon of Satan.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Does the NDE Jesus say and do things contrary to the Biblical Jesus?
  3. Does the NDE Jesus say death is good and not to be feared?
  4. Does the NDE Jesus say sin is not a problem?
  5. Does the NDE Jesus say there is no hell?
  6. Does the NDE Jesus say non-Christians go to heaven?
  7. Does the NDE Jesus say all religions are valid?
  8. Does the NDE Jesus lead people away from the Biblical Jesus?
  9. Does the NDE Jesus have a lesser view of the Bible?
  10. Does the NDE Jesus not have an interest in correct doctrine?
  11. Doesn’t it raise a red flag that the Being of Light is also the God of non-Christians?
  12. Doesn’t the Biblical Jesus’ teachings make the NDE Jesus a lying spirit?
  13. Isn’t the NDE Jesus actually Satan trying to lead people to hell?
  14. Is Jesus, the individual and personality, the only way to heaven?
  15. Does the Biblical Jesus’ greatest commandment to love make his sacrifice on the cross unnecessary?
  16. Does a person trying to live a perfect life make it to heaven?
  17. Does the belief of NDE testimony lead to rejecting the Word of God?
  18. Does excluding Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in your theology make you a heretic?
  19. Must NDE testimony correspond with the Bible to be valid?
  20. Must NDE testimony mention that Jesus is the only way to heaven to be valid?
  21. Does placing a high value on NDEs and not wanting to limit Jesus to a book – mean the NDE Jesus is false?
  22. Does believing in a fallible Bible mean you cannot use it as an authority?
  23. Does the Bible invalidate other religions that don’t teach Jesus is the son of God?
  24. Does believing in universal salvation contradict Jesus’ teachings that the road to heaven is narrow?
  25. Is Christianity the only valid religion?
  26. Was Jesus the only person having the Holy Spirit dwell within him?
  27. Does John 3:16 say everyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life and those who don’t will perish?
  28. Can a Christian go to heaven if they don’t believe Jesus is the only way to heaven?
  29. Are people saved by faith alone and not by performing good works?
  30. Are you suggesting there are contradictions between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Paul?

1. Introduction

As a seeker of the truth who has studied Christian theology and NDEs extensively for decades, I am saddened when I hear the misrepresentation of NDEs by fundamentalist leaders in the Christian Church. Testimonies of people encountering Christ in NDEs are often so spiritually beautiful, lovely and filled with light. Such Christian critics are zealous defenders of the Christian tradition which is admirable; but I believe their uninformed criticism of the divine revelations found in NDEs might be a dangerous thing to do. In their harsh treatment of the NDE phenomenon, I believe they may be rushing into forbidden labyrinths where even angels fear to tread. This kind of misunderstanding is often the result of not recognizing divine spiritual phenomenon when viewed through the lens of a very narrow and literal interpretation of the Bible. Thankfully, the Jesus as revealed in the Bible (i.e., the “Biblical Jesus”) gave us the proper method to distinguish truth from falsehood. This article uses this method to recognize truth from falsehood concerning the Jesus as revealed in NDEs (i.e., the “NDE Jesus“) and presents the case that the “Biblical Jesus” is the same as the “NDE Jesus.”

2. Does the NDE Jesus say and do things contrary to the Biblical Jesus?

The following are rebuttals against the arguments of a well-known Christian seminary professor and critic of the NDE. In his book the professor discounts all NDEs as not conforming to his narrow interpretation of the Bible and concludes NDEs are the work of the devil.

Professor: Who is the Being of Light reported in NDEs? It has been claimed by some people that one of the Beings of Light is Jesus Christ. This seems to be wrong because this being says and does things contrary to the Jesus in the Bible. Since Jesus never changes (Hebrews 13:8) it would be impossible for this Being of Light to be the same Jesus revealed in the Bible.

Rebuttal: There are many “Beings” of Light appearing in NDEs. The Bible declares God is light (1 John 1:5). People in the higher spirit realms emanate this light that is God. A “Being of Light” in NDEs can be literally anyone: Jesus, Buddha, the Hindu god of death, an angel, or even a deceased loved one for example. It usually depends on the person’s religious and cultural background. NDEs reveal that God’s light is manifested within everything in the spirit realm.

Also, the Being of Light in NDEs cannot be counterfeit because these Beings passes the test given by Jesus to distinguish truth from falsehood. It is the test to determine whether the spirit is of God or not.

“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God ..” (1 John 4:1)

Jesus himself gives us the test. According to the gospels, Jesus was accused by the religious leaders of performing his miracles by the power of Satan. This is the same accusation the professor brings against the Being of Light in NDEs. This accusation is made against the NDE Jesus even though he bears an incredible amount of love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ reply to his accusers is:

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you … Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:24-37)

The fruit that Jesus refers to is the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Anyone familiar with the NDE Jesus knows he gives an astonishing amount of love, joy, peace, etc. Jesus made it very clear how Satan cannot produce such fruit of the Spirit:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)

But what about the light from the Being of Light? We know God is light; but does Satan emit light as well? Some Christian skeptics of the NDE use the following Bible verse to make the case that the NDE Jesus is actually Satan.

“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Notice how the verse says Satan “masquerades” as an angel of light. But it does not say Satan actually is an angel of light. Satan may appear to be a “good tree,” but Satan is totally devoid of light and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. So Satan has the ability to deceive some people into believing he is an angel of light. But we cannot be deceived if we recognize the Spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood by using the test given by Jesus. In using his test, we must ask ourselves: is there “good fruit” emanating from the Being of Light or NDE Jesus? If so, then this Being or spirit must be of God. If there are no good fruit emanating from this Being or spirit, then the spirit must be of Satan.

It should be obvious to anyone who is even slightly familiar with the Being of Light (or the NDE Jesus) how the test given by the Biblical Jesus confirms the Being of Light to be of God and not Satan. In fact, NDEs reveal the Being of Light in NDEs emits an astonishing amount of light from God and an astonishing amount of unconditional love towards everyone. Experiencing an overwhelming amount of love is the most common and greatest characteristic found in my research of 50 NDEs I profile on this website.

God is light (1 John 1:5). There is no light in darkness. Nor is there darkness in light. Satan is unable to appear as an angel of light because he cannot bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The tremendous light from the Being of Light can only come from God. Even NDEs not involving a Being of Light produce vast amounts of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Also, there are very serious consequences of attributing divine phenomenon to the workings of Satan. When Jesus was accused of performing miracles by the power of Satan, he told his accusers:

“And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32)

Jesus made it very clear the grave consequences of attributing to Satan the works of the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus’ accusers, the professor and many other critics are quick to declare the Being of Light and the NDE Jesus to be Satan. They are probably unaware how dangerously close they are to blaspheming the Holy Spirit – something Jesus said cannot be forgiven “either in this age or in the age to come” (i.e., two lifetimes).

The false idea that the NDE Jesus is sinister or Satan himself, ignores common sense. Dr. Raymond Moody is considered the father of the NDE and he responded to this kind of criticism in his book entitled The Last Laugh:

“Fervent critics see nothing amiss in preaching to Aunt Florene, bereft and kindly and fragile though she may be, that it was not really the spirit of Uncle Hamperd who visited her last week to comfort her and to tell her where he put those important papers. No, it was actually a malignant demon disguised as uncle Hamperd, there to lure her into Hell, so she had better go home and read the Bible. The doctrine that the Devil can disguise himself as Christ must be particularly troubling to fundamentalist authorities as they consider the possibilities of pediatric NDEs. Does God permit Satan to fool dying kids by masquerading as Jesus? Or is God powerless to prevent that kind of Satanic deception? If so, common decency dictates that funda-Christian NDExperts urgently prepare clear, precise instructions that will enable desperately ill, dying pre-schoolers to distinguish a Satanophanic Jesus from the real, true funda-Christian one. And would God allow the Devil to sneak up on a dying toddler by appearing as Santa Claus or Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or the Easter Bunny?” (Dr. Raymond Moody)

To demonstrate how foolish the skeptical professor’s arguments are, here is a direct quote from the professor’s own book on how the Being of Light is a counterfeit Jesus:

“Even if the loving, brilliantly illuminated being you meet during a near-death experience introduces himself as Jesus, and looks just like him from the paintings, don’t believe him for a minute! You’ve got to put him to the professor’s ideological test first. Jesus has to pass the professor’s Bible exam, before he can even be him!” (Professor)

The professor is wrong because uses his own test for distinguishing truth from falsehood and not the test given by the Biblical Jesus. Any NDE which bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit passes Christ’s test and must not be attributed to Satan. It would be blasphemous to do otherwise according to the Biblical Jesus..

In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Paul describes his own NDE when encountering the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus.

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

By using the idiom “I know a man,” Paul is actually referring to himself. Paul writes how his NDE was inexpressible and how people were not permitted to talk about such things in his day. NDE testimony may have been too lofty for first century Christians to understand. This may also be true for twentieth century professors.

In conclusion, we must test all spirits using the method Jesus gave and not the test given by the professor.

3. Does the NDE Jesus say death is good and not to be feared?

Professor: Some believe many of the people having NDEs encounter a counterfeit Jesus. The Beings of Light appearing in NDEs teach the idea that death is good and is not to be feared.

Rebuttal: This is not true. NDEs in general reveal how people who are not prepared for death often have negative or hellish experiences. Not being prepared for death should put fear in the hearts everyone according to NDE testimony. A case in point is Reverend Howard Storm‘s NDE testimony. Before his NDE, Storm was an atheist and treated people very badly accordingly by his own admission. Like many atheists, he did not believe in an afterlife or that there were consequences for his bad behavior after death. Storm was not prepared for death when he died; thus, he ended up in hell with other souls who continually abuse each other. The following is an excerpt from Storm’s NDE testimony of hell which reveals why people who are unprepared for death should be fearful of death:

“A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one. By this time it was almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren’t in any hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long a possible. At no time did I ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked me were anything other than human beings. The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse to do good … Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty and passions. During our struggle I noticed that they seemed to feel no pain … Fighting well and hard for a long time, ultimately I was spent. Lying there exhausted amongst them, they began to calm down since I was no longer the amusement that I had been. Most of the beings gave up in disappointment because I was no longer amusing, but a few still picked and gnawed at me and ridiculed me for no longer being any fun. By this time I had been pretty much taken apart. People were still picking at me, occasionally, and I just lay there all torn up, unable to resist.” (Rev. Howard Storm)

Storm’s testimony reveals how fearful we should be about treating others badly, especially when we are not prepared for the consequences after death. Hellish NDEs are frequently reported in NDE studies; so it is false to claim the NDE Jesus teaches death is good and should not be feared.

4. Does the NDE Jesus say sin is not a problem?

Professor: The Being of Light identified as Jesus in NDEs teaches that sin is not a problem. In fact, the Being of Light believed to be Jesus often responds to human sin and shortcomings with humor.

Rebuttal: This is not true. Many NDE experiencers describe how living a life of treating people badly can lead to major problems after death. In fact, the NDE Jesus often appears to be saddened about the sinful condition of humanity. Dr. George Ritchie and his NDE is a case in point. During his NDE, Dr. Ritchie noticed how sad Jesus was for those temporarily trapped in hell because of their own sin.

“If I suspected that I was seeing hell, now I was sure of it. These creatures seemed locked into habits of mind and emotion, into hatred, lust, destructive thought-patterns. Even more hideous than the bites and kicks they exchanged, were the sexual abuses many were performing in feverish pantomime. Perversions I had never dreamed of were being vainly attempted all around us. It was impossible to tell if the howls of frustration which reached us were actual sounds or only the transference of despairing thoughts. Indeed in this disembodied world it didn’t seem to matter. Whatever anyone thought, however fleetingly or unwillingly, was instantly apparent to all around him, more completely than words could have expressed it, faster than sound waves could have carried it. And the thoughts most frequently communicated had to do with the superior knowledge, or abilities, or background of the thinker. ‘I told you so!’ and ‘I always knew!’ ‘Didn’t I warn you!’ were shrieked into the echoing air over and over … Once again, however, no condemnation came from the presence at my side, only a compassion for these unhappy creatures that was breaking his heart. What was keeping them here? Why didn’t each one just get up and leave? I could see no reason why the person being screamed at by that man with the contorted face didn’t simply walk away. Or why that young woman didn’t put a thousand miles between herself and the other one who was so furiously beating her with insubstantial fists? They couldn’t actually hold onto their victims, any of these insanely angry beings. There were no fences. Nothing apparently prevented them from simply going off alone. Unless – unless there was no alone in this realm of disembodied spirits. No private corners in a universe where there were no walls. No place that was not inhabited by other beings to whom one was totally exposed at all times. What was it going to be like, I thought with sudden panic, to live forever where my most private thoughts were not private at all? No disguising them, no covering them up, no way to pretend I was anything but what I actually was. How unbearable. Unless of course everyone around me had the same kind of thoughts – Unless there was a kind of consolation in finding others as loathsome as one’s self, even if all we could do was hurl our venom at each other. Perhaps this was the explanation for this hideous plain. Perhaps in the course of eons or of seconds, each creature here had sought out the company of others as pride and hate-filled as himself, until together they formed this society of the damned. Perhaps it was not Jesus who had abandoned them, but they who had fled from the light that showed up their darkness.” (Dr. George Ritchie, see also the full archive version of his NDE).

So, it is false to claim that the NDE Jesus teaches “sin” is no problem. Not only is it a problem for those in hell, it is a problem for Jesus who has so much compassion for those in hell.

5. Does the NDE Jesus say there is no hell?

Professor: The Being of Light identified as Jesus in NDEs teaches that there is no hell to worry about.

Rebuttal: This is not true. The NDE examples of Dr. George Ritchie‘s and Reverend Howard Storm above are perfect examples of the NDE Jesus teaching how there is a hell. So let’s be clear here, there are many hell realms experienced in NDEs.

Perhaps the professor meant to say: the NDE Jesus teaches there is no “eternal damnation.” This would be a true statement. The NDE Jesus teaches hell is neither eternal nor about retribution. It is all about rehabilitation. Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son supports this. The NDE hell realms are temporary spiritual conditions which function more like the Catholic concept of purgatory. NDEs reveal there is no condemnation after death except self-condemnation. The NDE Jesus, having the unconditional love of God, condemns no one. It is a person’s life review which causes many people to flee the light and escape into the darkness. This is supported by the Biblical Jesus:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:19-21)

The NDE God would never allow anyone to suffer eternally in hell. For one thing, the NDE Jesus rescues NDErs suffering in hell all the time – Reverend Howard Storm’s NDE is a good example. Multitudes of NDEs describe how God’s love for his children is unconditional, infinite and beyond human comprehension – and we are ALL sons and daughters of God. More than an earthly parent, our “Heavenly Parent” as revealed in NDEs would never allow even one of his children to suffer forever in hell. Many NDEs even describe angelic-like beings constantly caring for people in hell although they may not be aware of it. Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE is a good example of this.

The NDE Jesus wants everyone to know the gates of heaven and hell are wide open and those in hell are free to leave and choose heaven if they desire. But people in hell must first want to escape from there. The gates of a jail cell may be wide open; but the prisoner must want to be free and leave. Certainly, free will is one of the greatest gifts God has bestowed upon humanity. The NDE God does not force anyone to heaven or hell. However, the NDE Jesus often gives experiencers “an offer they cannot refuse” in order to entice them to return to life. Such offers include showing the experiencer: (1) visions of future children they must raise, (2) visions of living children who need them to return, or (3) information that their mission in life hasn’t been completed.

However, on another level, a case can be made for the existence of eternal damnation. Time does not exist in the afterlife. NDE experiencers of hell have reported how one minute in hell feels like an eternity. The Bible supports this notion: “One day to God is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Also, it is possible for hell to be an “eternal hell” – an eternal location in the afterlife. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it is an eternal experience for those who go there.

Nor does the Biblical Jesus teach eternal damnation. Jesus’ parables of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, and the Lost Coin should be enough evidence of Jesus teaching universal salvation. There is also abundant evidence in the Bible of Jesus teaching reincarnation (bodily resurrection) as a way of giving sinners as many opportunities as it takes to attain heaven.

6. Does the NDE Jesus say that non-Christians go to heaven?

Professor: The Being of Light identified as Jesus in NDEs teaches that all people are welcome to heaven regardless of whether or not they are a Christian.

Rebuttal: This is true. The Biblical Jesus also teaches how a person’s religious affiliation doesn’t matter when going to heaven. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan supports this. In fact, the Bible contains enough scriptural evidence to prove universal reconciliation. Nevertheless, the following is my apologetics on why the Biblical Jesus also teaches universal salvation:

Biblical Evidence for Universal Salvation

God wills everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-6) and no one can thwart God’s will (Job 42:2). God doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9) and all people will see God’s salvation (Luke 3:5-6). God is savior of all people (1 Timothy 4:9-10) and God saved the world through Jesus (John 3:17). Jesus came to save the world (John 12:47). Jesus tasted death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9). He is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). He took away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He justifies and gives life to all people (Romans 5:18-21). All will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). He is the savior of the world (John 4:42, 1 John 4:14).

At the cross, Jesus redeemed and reconciled all sinners (Romans 5:8-10) and reconciled all things to himself (Colossians 1:19-21). God has reconciled the world to himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Christ draws all people to himself (John 12:32).

God doesn’t cast off anyone forever (Lamentations 3:31-33). God has mercy on all the disobedient (Romans 11:32). God helps all who fall (Psalm 145:14). God dwells with the rebellious (Psalm 68:18). Jesus finds and saves all of the lost (Luke 15:4). Jesus finds those who go astray (Matthew 18:10-14). God does not stay angry forever but delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). God’s anger lasts only a moment (Psalm 30:5).

God is love (1 John 4:7-8). God loves everyone (Psalm 145:9). Love keeps no record of wrongs and always protects (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). God is merciful to all (Luke 6:35-36). Love does no harm (Romans 13:10). Nothing can separate people from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).

Jesus said to always forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). Bless your persecutors and not curse them (Romans 12:14). Don’t do evil to those who are evil (Romans 12:17). Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

All of God’s creation will praise and honor God and Christ (Revelation 5:13). Christ is Lord of the dead and the living (Romans 14:9). God will bring unity to all things under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10).

Jesus frees people in hell (Ephesians 4:8-10). Death and hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14).

7. Does the NDE Jesus say all religions are valid?

Professor: The Being of Light identified as Jesus in NDEs teach that all religions are valid.

Rebuttal: This is not true. The Jesus in NDEs states that God does not care about a person’s religion – only the condition of their heart. Many NDEs show that a person’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof) can make the difference in how they perceive their spiritual condition in the spirit realm. All religions have some truth in them which certain people need. But the Jesus of the NDE does not teach that all religions are valid; he teaches that religions are outward doctrines that can lead people within to true religion – the spirit of unconditional love. For example, after Rev. Howard Storm was rescued from hell by Jesus during his NDE he had this exchange with Jesus:

“I asked them, for example, which was the best religion. I was looking for an answer which was like: ‘Presbyterians.’ I figured these guys were all Christians. The answer I got was: ‘The best religion is the religion that brings you closest to God.'” (Rev. Howard Storm)

This information shows the goal of religion is to bring a person closer to God. It is also implied that some religions bring you closer to God than others. Although a person’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof) can influence the quality of their afterlife experience a person’s religious affiliation or church membership itself does not seem to matter much to Jesus. After all, if religion really mattered wouldn’t everyone in heaven be Jewish?

Jesus did not come preaching some new religion. Jesus preached love. NDEs reveal that it is love, not religion, that creates spiritual growth and saves us from a hell of our own making. It is clear from the gospel accounts alone that Jesus is not concerned about a person’s religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed him that the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (Matthew 21:31).

It is clear from NDEs that the Bible and common sense that religion is a cultural institution. On the other hand, love is universal and not limited to a particular culture. According to the Sermon on the Mount, love is the greatest religion there is. Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about. However not everyone practices this religion of love.

8. Does the NDE Jesus lead people away from the Biblical Jesus?

Professor: The Jesus appearing in NDEs is happy to mimic the Jesus of the Bible if the end result is that he can lead people away from the true Jesus of the Bible.

Rebuttal: The Jesus appearing in NDEs bears much fruit of the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Jesus of the Bible had this to say about testing the spirits:

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33)

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18)

Even the professor must admit that the Jesus appearing in NDEs bears much fruit of love. But since the professor is testing the spirits using his own narrow interpretation of scripture and not testing by the fruit. It is HE who is leading people astray.

9. Does the NDE Jesus have a lesser view of the Bible?

Professor: Many people who had an NDE come away from the experience with a lesser view of the Bible. One person even concluded the Lord isn’t interested in theology and another said that God didn’t care about church doctrine at all. The Jesus of the Bible, however, is certainly interested in correct doctrine.

Rebuttal: Such generalities about near-death experiencers having a lesser view of the Bible is completely bogus. Common sense tells one that generalities such as this cannot be true. One cannot make a correlation between having an NDE and having a lower view of the Bible.

Notice the professor does not cite the NDEs that lead him to this conclusion. Nevertheless, the person the professor mentions who concluded the Lord isn’t interested in theology is Reverend Howard Storm. It is a true statement to say that God is not interested in theology. Here is the complete account of what Howard Storm said:

“I asked, for example, ‘What about the Bible?’ They responded, ‘What about it?’ I asked if it was true, and they said it was. Asking them why it was that when I tried to read it, all I saw were contradictions, they took me back to my life’s review again something that I had overlooked. They showed me, for the few times I had opened the Bible, that I had read it with the idea of finding contradictions and problems. I was trying to prove to myself that it wasn’t worth reading. I observed to them that the Bible wasn’t clear to me. It didn’t make sense. They told me that it contained spiritual truth, and that I had to read it spiritually in order to understand it. It should be read prayerfully. My friends informed me that it was not like other books. They also told me, and I later found out this was true, that when you read it prayerfully, it talks to you. It reveals itself to you. And you don’t have to work at it anymore … [at the end of his experience, Storm says:] I try not to impose my Christianity on other people. If people have God-like characteristics, a feeling of compassion and living that out, then its ok. I respond more to behavior than philosophy. God really doesn’t care about theology” (Rev. Howard Storm).

If you read about the NDEs of Reverend Howard Storm and George Ritchie you will see why God does not care about theology or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Nevertheless, NDEs do reveal a great concern for the commands of God. Love is the command of God (John 15:12, Romans 13:10). However, concerning theology or rules taught by men it is clear that Christ himself doesn’t care about it:

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Matthew 15:7-9)

“They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men. And he said to them: ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” (Mark 7:7-13)

Paul has this to say about rules taught by men:

“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!?’ These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2:20-23)

10. Does the NDE Jesus not have an interest in correct doctrine?

Professor: The Jesus of the Bible is certainly interested in correct doctrine. John 8:31-32 supports this.

“To the Jews who had believed in him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” (John 8:31-32)

Rebuttal: The teachings of Christ is not theology. Jesus taught unconditional love – not theology. It was theologians who had Jesus crucified. Jesus taught that love is the sign of a true disciple of Christ:

“All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Jesus did not say, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you hold the teachings of the Church” or “hold the teachings of the Bible” or “hold the teachings of Christian theology” or even “hold the teachings of the Christian religion.” It is clear Jesus taught love as the way to eternal life (Luke 10:25-28) and not theology:

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,” he asked, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied, ‘Do this and you will live.'” (Luke 10:25-28)

Many critics are completely ignorant about NDEs. Many refuse to find out for themselves and test the spirits for themselves. Instead, ignorant things are said about the NDE because it is not judged by its fruit.

11. Doesn’t it raise a red flag that the Being of Light is also the God of non-Christians?

Professor: Other people affiliated with non-Christian religions claim the Being of Light to be Buddha, or Krishna, or some other religious figure. Certainly this should raise red flags in a Christian’s mind.

Rebuttal: The only thing this proves is that there are many Beings of Light appearing in NDEs. God is the light. Many beings can manifest this light regardless of their religious affiliation or church membership. Jesus himself had this to say about Beings of Light:

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

The professor sounds as if he is either a religious bigot or religiously intolerant. Jesus certainly taught religious tolerance. Jesus was a Jew who was killed by religiously intolerant people.

12. Doesn’t the Biblical Jesus’ teachings make the NDE Jesus a lying spirit?

Professor: In view of the fact that these ideas go against what the Jesus of the Bible taught, we have reason to conclude that the Jesus appearing in NDEs is in fact a lying spirit.

Rebuttal: This is not true. The NDE Jesus does not go against what the Bible teaches. Such experiences may go against the professor’s narrow interpretation of what Jesus said; but they do not go against what Jesus said. The professor has not tested the spirits properly. He is making the same mistake of the Pharisees by testing the spirits using your own narrow interpretation of scripture. The correct test is Jesus’ test to judge by their fruit. If no fruit of the Holy Spirit is present, then it is safe to assume it is not of God. Jesus bore much fruit of the Holy Spirit yet was condemned by the religious leaders because he did not fit into their interpretation of scripture. Had they properly tested the spirits and judged Jesus on the basis of his fruit, he probably would not have been crucified. In the same way, if the professor would test the Jesus appearing in NDEs based on his fruit he would not be accusing him of being a lying spirit.

13. Isn’t the NDE Jesus actually Satan trying to lead people to hell?

Professor: The Jesus appearing in many NDEs is Satan trying to keep people away from the Jesus of the Bible.

Rebuttal: This is not true. The professor seeks to keep people away from the Jesus appearing in NDEs. Jesus’ gospel of unconditional love was too dangerous for the political structure of the religious establishment in his day. Jesus‘ message of unconditional love found in NDEs is too dangerous for the political structure of today’s religious establishment. Ignorance prevented the religious establishment from accepting the message of Christ then; ignorance is preventing the religious establishment in general from accepting the message of Christ in NDEs now.

Professor: First off, let me suggest that you not limit your search for truth to near-death experiences only. Both spiritually and academically, that may not yield you the most success.

Rebuttal: Yes. I do not limit my search for truth to only the NDE. This is why I believe one should also consider science, philosophy, religion and other fields of thought to find truth. It has been said beliefs can limit an open mind. It is important to keep an open mind and to be receptive to every concept and at the same time to be the pure skeptic: neither accepting nor rejecting a concept until it is proven true. It is good to have an opinion. But when talking about truth, we must leave our opinions to ourselves. In this respect, it is a good idea to not believe that NDEs prove life after death exists. This has not yet been proven to be true. The same is true for the Bible. Like religion, the NDE has its own limitations. Especially in that such experiences are often colored by the experiencers own religion, philosophy, cultural background and perspective. What is true for one experiencer may not be true for another experiencer. Just like here on Earth, during an NDE it is possible we generally create our own reality.

14. Is Jesus himself, the individual and personality, the only way to heaven?

Professor: You had a profound experience with Christ that taught you that he is not the only way of salvation? Sounds like error.

Rebuttal: The Bible and NDEs show that God is the way to heaven. God is love. Your religion is the personality cult of Jesus. Jesus manifested love in a way that perhaps relatively few people have. Again, the way to heaven is love – just as Jesus taught in Luke 10:25-28. This love is not limited to Christians or the Bible.

Professor: I think God’s desire is that ALL men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Coming to the knowledge of the truth occurs in only one WAY – and that Way’s Name is Jesus.

Rebuttal: This may be true for you but it may not be true for Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists for example. Even Christians do not agree on virtually every doctrine of the faith. We should understand the limitations concerning dogma and the letter of the law. After all, Jesus emphasized the spirit of the law rather than the letter. This is because it is really love – not religious dogma or rituals – that creates spirituality. Dogma can only help people come the path of spirituality; but the religious structure itself is not necessarily the way.

Jesus himself affirmed that love for God and love for your neighbors is the way to eternal life (Luke 10:25-28) John, the disciple who is claimed to know best the love of Jesus said, “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8) Peter had this to say about it:

“Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

I am convinced that Christianity was never meant to be the personality cult it is today. I don’t think Jesus was ego-centric when he said, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6). Like everything Jesus said we must often try to understand the deeper spiritual meaning behind the literal words.

It is evident the Bible mentions that God is love, life, and light. It states that this is true for the Jew as well as the Gentile. The central focus of almost every major world religion is how to attain at-onement with God – in the way that Jesus and Buddha did – for example. According to many religions it is love that is the central focus – love for God and love for others. So when Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life, I interpret this to mean that Jesus shows people the way to heaven through example. He is the example. He is a pattern for which people can follow – unconditional love through self-sacrifice and self-denial.

15. Does the Biblical Jesus’ greatest commandment to love make his sacrifice on the cross unnecessary?

Professor: Do you suggest humans can love each other enough to be saved and not need the BLOOD of Christ to cover their actions and intents that are not lovely?

Rebuttal: Would you be pleased if someone tortured and killed your son so that you can forgive people? What about slitting the throats of thousands of innocent animals? Would you be pleased? Wouldn’t you instead be horrified?

The Bible is filled with symbols. The references to blood, the lamb, sacrifice, the way, born again, baptism, etc.. are symbols that have a deeper spiritual meaning. I don’t believe salvation is attained through literally believing in Jesus’ name or believing things about Jesus or even worshiping Jesus. My understanding is that sanctification comes by emulating the love of Jesus which is God. Love is God. Blood does not save us in a literal way. The death of Jesus has a much deeper spiritual meaning. The blood of Jesus demonstrates the self-sacrifice and self-denial we must face in attaining divine unconditional love. Jesus taught that we must all “take up our crosses and follow him” (Matthew 16:24). Not in a literal sense, but in a spiritual sense. It is by walking in love that we reach at-onement with God. Love comes from God (1 John 4:7). Everyone who loves knows God because God is love (1 John 4:8).

16. Does a person trying to live a perfect life make it to heaven?

Professor: Religion is man trying in vain to live a perfect life to make heaven.

Rebuttal: I disagree. If this is true than you would have to say that the religion of taking your cross and following Jesus is in vain. Most religions teach the importance of love. Religions only point the way to heaven: love. Many religious doctrines in themselves, such as believing that Jesus died for our sins or that we must worship Jesus, are trying in vain to reach heaven. Remember, it is faith AND works. Not faith alone. Even demons believe in God.

17. Does the belief of NDE testimony lead to rejecting the Word of God?

Professor: You receive the testimony of men on matters of after-death experience, but you reject the Living and enduring Word of God that abideth forever?

Rebuttal: If by “Word of God” you mean a book, then I have to tell you I don’t accept all of the Bible as fact. If by “Word of God” you mean the divinity which was in Jesus then my answer is that I certainly don’t reject Jesus. However I am very interested in what others who have been in the presence of Jesus on the other side have to say. I don’t limit God to a book. Jesus himself came as the Word. Not a book.

18. Does excluding Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in your theology make you a heretic?

Professor: I am coming on strong because if you know what the WORD says, and you even use parts of it in your website … you also know that it is better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be cast into the sea than to teach any little one to go astray. Love is great – Love is Jesus – if you leave him and what he accomplished on the Cross out of your theology – it is heresy. Just get real with him and he will be REAL to you.

Rebuttal: Again, “the Word” is God and not a book. You are worshiping the Bible as the Word. The true Word is the Spirit of Jesus – love. And God is love.

Concerning the cross of Jesus there are some references to it found in NDEs. Here are some of them:

Valvita JonesGerard LandryLorraine TutmarcDon BrubakerGeorge Rodonaia

19. Must NDE testimony correspond with the Bible to be valid?

Professor: Actual first-hand experiences can only be verified if they measure up to the BOOK.

Rebuttal: Again you are worshiping a book as the Word. The true Word is Jesus. It is not a book alone that measures truth. Jesus stated that we must measure the truthfulness or falsehood of things by the test he gave. When the religious leaders were accusing Jesus of performing miracles by the power of Satan, Jesus gave us the test. He said that a tree is known by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33-37) A good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. What does Jesus mean by this? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23). It is by their fruit that you will know whether they are of God or not. Since the NDE bears much fruit of the Spirit we know it is of God. Therefore it is not the Bible that we measure truth. It is by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

20. Must NDE testimony mention that Jesus is the only way to heaven to be valid?

Professor: If NDEs don’t show that Christ shed his blood for our sins, and that the PERSON of JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY WAY to heaven, then NDEs DO NOT show the truth. 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Rebuttal: You erroneously believe that you are going to heaven because you worship Jesus. Reread the gospels and you will see that Jesus said it is not those who say, “Lord, Lord.” Rather it is those who do what Jesus commands. His command is love. God is love. This is what gets you to heaven – walking in love as Jesus did. Love is God. Confessing Jesus with your lips is not going to get you anywhere.

There are NDEs that deal with the sacrifice of Jesus. I already gave you all the ones I have. There are numerous reasons why Jesus’ death benefited so many people. I already stated one of them and that is that Jesus’ self-sacrifice and life of love shows us the way. Another reason is that Jesus’ martyrdom was greatly responsible for proliferating his teachings all over the world. Jesus said that when he is lifted up he will draw all men to himself. Another reason Christ’s death helped humanity is that he presented a strong case for life after death. Another reason is that Christ’s death helped demonstrate how sincere he was in his devotion to God and how he was willing to die for his teachings. Only a sincere and truthful person would subject themselves to such torture for the truthfulness of his teachings. A fake would probably not die this way for a lie. Another reason is that Jesus emphasized the fact that God has forgiven us and his life, death and teachings greatly gives us a reason to believe it.

As for everyone appearing before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bible clearly says Jesus is the “Judge of all” and that the Father judges no one (John 5:22). But the Bible also says Jesus judges no one (John 8:15-16, John 12:47, Luke 12:13-14). And it’s not a contradiction if the “Judge of all” judges no one. A judge can choose to judge no one and still be the judge of all. Also, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8), a case can be made from the Bible that God and Jesus do not keep records of wrongs because love keeps no records of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). In fact, Jesus said we will be our own judges and any condemnation comes from self-condemnation (Matthew 12:37, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Luke 11:19, Titus 3:10-11, 1 John 3:19-21).

21. Does placing a high value on NDEs and not wanting to limit Jesus to a book – mean the NDE Jesus is false?

Professor: As far back as Colosse, people were tripped up by things that seemed spiritual but really only made people focus on themselves and move away from Christ. You are high on experience and your own opinions but you don’t want to “limit Jesus to the Bible.” Then what Jesus do you emulate?

Rebuttal: An experience with Jesus is what saves you. Not a book. No matter how much you limit Jesus to a book it won’t do you any good unless you have an experience with Jesus.

22. Does believing in a fallible Bible mean you cannot use it as an authority?

Professor: Upon reading your comments I was stirred to comment. You use the Holy Bible as a foundation when quoting “Jesus is the way shower.” Why do you use the Bible as an authority if you don’t believe it is the infallible word of God?

Rebuttal: I don’t believe the Bible is God. The universe is a far greater revelation of God than any book. The Bible as it exists today was put together by the Pope and a relatively handful of bishops. They had many writings cut out which were considered scripture in Jesus’ day. For example, Jude – who was the brother of Jesus – quotes in the Book of Jude from a book that was part of Hebrew canon at the time of Jesus’ ministry on Earth and for many years after by early Christians. I am referring to the Book of Enoch. Here is the quote in Jude 14-15 of 1 Enoch 1:9.

“In the seventh [generation] from Adam Enoch also prophesied these things, saying: ‘Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners spoke against him’.” (Jude 14-15)

Peter also references the Book of Enoch in 2 Peter 2:4 and 1 Peter 3:19-20. Now if the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch then this means the Book of Enoch is divinely inspired and should be included in the Bible. The Book of Enoch existed centuries before the birth of Christ and is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It is very likely that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well. The earliest writings of the Church Fathers is filled with references to this book. The early second century Epistle of Barnabas makes much use of the Book of Enoch. Second and third century Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen and Clement of Alexandria all quote from the Book of Enoch. Tertullian even called the Book of Enoch “Holy Scripture”. It was widely known and read during the first three centuries after Christ.

The Book of Enoch and many other books became discredited and declared heresy by the Pope during the Council of Laodicea in 363-364 AD. After being banned by the Catholic Church it gradually passed out of circulation. By studying more about the Roman Church’s tremendous influence in developing the New Testament canon, you will agree that the New Testament was arbitrarily put together by a few men who had tremendous power in deciding what was the word of God and what wasn’t. You can read more about this website.

23. Does the Bible invalidate other religions that don’t teach Jesus is the son of God?

Professor: The Bible, if you believe the Bible, says, “There is ONE mediator between God and man … the man Christ Jesus.” Find one mention of Buddha or Mohammed, or any other religion exempting Jesus Christ as the son of God, in the Bible. It’s not there.

Rebuttal: You believe you are saved because you worship Jesus and read the Bible. I am saying it takes more than that. It means taking up your own cross and not relying solely on the cross of Jesus. You must walk in love as Jesus commanded. It is love – not religious dogma or the Bible – that creates spiritual growth. God is love – not a Bible. Believing the Bible and worshiping Jesus will get you nowhere. Jesus, like many other highly enlightened spiritual leaders, affirmed that love for God and neighbors is the way to eternal life. Since God is love those who teach love are teaching God.

I am convinced that Christianity was never meant to be the personality cult it has been for thousands of years. Jesus was certainly not ego-centric. Even when he claimed:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Everything Jesus taught must be understood on a deeper spiritual level. It is evident the Bible mentions that God is love, life, and light. The Bible mentions that these teachings is true for the Jew as well as the Gentile. The central focus of many religions around the world is how humans can attain at-onement with God. Practically every religion teaches that love is the way to at-onement – love for God and love for others. So when Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life, I interpret this to mean that Jesus shows people the way to at-onement. He is the example and the pattern to live your life as. That life is love. Buddha and Krishna taught the same teaching that living a life of love is what matters.

As for “finding one mention of Buddha or Mohammed or any other religion exempting Jesus Christ as the son of God in the Bible,” I don’t believe any religion exempts Jesus as the son of God with the possible exception of Judaism, whose followers generally exempts Jesus as the Messiah. And worshiping anyone leads nowhere.

24. Does believing in universal salvation contradict Jesus’ teachings that the road to heaven is narrow?

Professor: There is only one original word of God documented back 1000’s of years ago … long before counterfeits came in to establish themselves. Jesus said the road is narrow. If you could get to heaven through any and all religions … it would make the road WIDE and Hitler, Osama, Saddam, etc. would be saved and heaven-bound for they are “religious!”

Rebuttal: The Word is not a book! If you think otherwise you are worshiping a book and not Jesus. Jesus himself is the Word – and the Word is God – and God is love. According to the Bible, the Word of God is the Logos, the Spirit of Jesus, the only one original Word of God (see Revelation 19:13).

Jesus taught a gospel that is love – a love that loves everyone, wills to save everyone and actually saves everyone.

25. Is Christianity the only valid religion?

Professor: To me, religion has never saved one soul. Jesus has saved many.

Rebuttal: But don’t you see that by saying that Jesus, as a personality, is the way to heaven you are making religion a the most important part of salvation. Granted, no religion is the way to eternal life including Buddhism – Christianity – Hinduism etc., because the way to heaven is love. Love is universal. It is not limited to only Christians. God does not love only Christians. God loves the whole world and it is dishonoring to God to think that God loves everyone but throws the vast majority of humanity into hell for not believing or hearing about the name of Jesus.

26. Was Jesus the only person having the Holy Spirit dwell within him?

Professor: He is God in the flesh. And the only one!

Rebuttal: Not so! Yes, Jesus is the son of God; but we too are sons of God. God lives in us through love. Even Jesus said that God was within us:

“‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the religious leaders, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods?’ If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came – and the Scripture cannot be broken – what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s SON?'” (John 10:33-36)

“I said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.'” (Psalm 82:6)

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Galatians 4:6-7)

The main debate after the death of Christ was the nature of Christ. Was Christ God in the flesh, or was Christ as man who manifested the Spirit of God in a manner very unique. I have evidence to believe that Jesus was a man who manifested fully the Spirit of God.

27. Does John 3:16 say everyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life and those who don’t will perish?

Professor: May I ask you sir, do you believe that John 3:16 is the exact message God intended? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth (has faith) … (opposite of doubt) … in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Rebuttal: Yes I believe John 3:16 is the heart of Jesus’ message and the gospel. I believe it wholeheartedly. It says that God loves the world (every human being who ever lived). He gave us his Son to bring humanity the message of this unconditional love that God has for the world. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Now, the question is this: What does it mean to “believe in him?”

What does it mean to “believe in Jesus?”

  1. To believe Jesus existed.
  2. To believe in his name?
  3. To believe things about Jesus? (Jesus is Lord, God and Savior.)
  4. To believe in his redemptive work on the cross?
  5. To believe you must worship Jesus?
  6. To believe in the Bible?
  7. To believe you must be a Christian?

I think the answer is no to all of these. Isn’t Jesus saying that whosoever believes in his message of taking up their own cross and following him in a life of love for God and others? After all, if faith is all that is needed then even the demons will be saved. Faith alone is not enough. Faith without works is dead.

Some Christians believe we must be baptized to be saved. Some believe we must speak in tongues. Some believe we must believe Jesus is God. Some believe we must worship Jesus. Some believe we must be a member of a particular church. People believe religion is the way to heaven. But unless the religion you practice is unconditional love then you are not following in Jesus’ footsteps.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)

The gospel is love – love for God and love for others. Love is God. This is the way to eternal life. This is the gospel that Jesus taught (see the Sermon on the Mount)

28. Can a Christian go to heaven if they don’t believe Jesus is the only way to heaven?

Professor: Do you also take the approach: I do not deny or affirm this concerning basic salvation doctrine? Because according to this particular word of God there is no option to deny or affirm. Otherwise, the maybe or maybe not approach to this particular scripture would land you in hell. I pray not Kevin.

Rebuttal: I don’t believe any religious doctrine is the way to eternal life. Only practicing what Jesus taught and lived – love for others and God – is the way to eternal life. Not a lifestyle. Not something we profess with our lips our believe in our head. Not worship. It is walking as Jesus did in unconditional love for everyone.

The gospel you believe is that worshiping Jesus and believing he is Lord is the way to heaven. But unless you are taking up your own cross and following Jesus – not just letting Jesus do all the work – then it is you who are going to hell. Faith alone can land you in hell. Even demons have faith in God. Instead of heaven, some people create hell within themselves because they do not live the example that Jesus gave us – a life of love for God and others. It is true that having unconditional love for everyone is a very high goal; but it is the standard that Jesus taught – love for even your enemies. Believing Jesus is Lord is no ticket to heaven. Demons know Jesus is Lord.

29. Are people saved by faith alone and not by performing good works?

Professor: I wanted to know what you make of this verse: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). This clearly shows that to get to heaven you are not saved by your works – but by Jesus Christ. I do not believe in what your site states about the way to get to heaven. The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. God sent him to die on the cross so we could go to heaven to live with God when we die. If Jesus never came we would all go to hell.

Rebuttal: In the above verse, Paul declares that salvation is by faith alone. This is in complete contradiction with the teachings of Jesus and the other apostles who knew Jesus and his teachings much more than Paul did. Paul also got into disputes with the other apostles who believed salvation was based on good works and faith, not by faith alone:

“You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)

Some Bible scholars believe that Paul hijacked the Christianity taught by Jesus and his apostles. Paul was a self-appointed apostle who taught that following the law no longer applied and that Judaism is no longer relevant to Christians. However it is clear that Jesus never taught that the law no longer applied and he never repudiated Judaism or the law. Jesus was a Jew. Paul was constantly in conflict the Jews and the apostles in his day because Paul taught that the law no longer applied. But it is clear from Jesus’ teachings in the gospel that Jesus taught how salvation is by good works. In fact, Jesus emphasized good works over faith all the time.

30. Are you suggesting there are contradictions between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Paul

All this, of course, assumes the Bible is fallible. This agrees with the fact that there are many contradictions and errors in the Bible. In my opinion, some of Paul’s teachings are in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. And there are many contradictions between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Paul. Again Paul never knew Jesus except in a vision. The authority of the other apostles should be held in much greater respect than Paul. Here are just a few contradictions between the teachings of Jesus and of Paul:

Contradictions Between the Teachings of Jesus and Paul

Paul: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Jesus: “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)

Paul: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works.” (Romans 11:6)
Jesus: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” (Matthew 25:31-45)

Paul: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)
Jesus: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say to you, till heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, until all be fulfilled. Whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

Paul: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
Jesus: “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied, ‘Do this and you will live.'” (Luke 10:25-28)

Paul: “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 2:15-16)
Jesus: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:21-27)

Paul: “But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” (2 Timothy 1:8-9)
Jesus: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)

Paul: “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
Jesus: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’ ‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.'” (Mark 12:28-34)

We can conclude from this, despite fallibility of some of Paul’s letters, acts of good works and following the commandments of Jesus are very necessary and an important part of our salvation.

Categories
Bible Religion

Near-Death Experiences Are Biblical

The greatest Biblical support for the near-death experience comes from all the New Testament verses concerning love. Like the teachings of Jesus, NDEs reveal the critical importance of love in all facets of life and death. Many NDEs complement Jesus’ teachings of unconditional love and forgiveness. In fact, my research shows that an experience of God’s unconditional love is the aspect most felt by experiencers. Love is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; and God is love. Because Jesus taught that bad trees do not produce good fruit, it can be safely assumed that the love found in NDEs is good fruit and that NDEs themselves are a good tree. It is by their fruits that we will know a bad tree from a good tree. The following article is devoted to proving from the Bible that the NDE are good trees and their fruit is holy.

Table of Contents

  1. The Bible affirms love is the way to eternal life
  2. NDEs affirm universal salvation
  3. The Bible affirms universal salvation
  4. The Bible and NDEs affirm hell to be a place for temporary purification
    a. There is forgiveness in hell for sins committed in life
    b. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people in hell
    c. Once a person has been purified by fire they can escape hell
    d. Eternal is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the nature of hell itself – not the length of time a person spends there
    e. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people on Earth
    f. Fire is a metaphor also used in the Bible to describe God and manifestations of God
    g. Light and fire are metaphors used in the Bible to describe God
    h. Light is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe spiritual knowledge. Darkness as spiritual ignorance
    i. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe hell
    j. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the condition of the world
    k. Suffering is necessary to attain spiritual perfection in this world and in hell. Suffering is not punishment
  5. NDEs affirm the possibility of seeing God
  6. NDEs do not contradict the Bible
  7. A comparison of NDE facts and the Bible

1. The Bible affirms love is the way to eternal life

The following are those verses supporting the unconditional love of God and how this love is the way to heaven:

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied, ‘Do this and you will live.'” (Luke 10:25-28)

In terms of logic, the verse above states: Loving others and God is the way to eternal life.

In this passage of scripture, Jesus affirms that love for God and others is the way to eternal life (i.e., no more dying). This corresponds with what people having NDEs say about God as pure unconditional love. This unconditional love is the source we can draw from to love our neighbor unconditionally just as Jesus taught and practiced.

Bible: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
Logic: Loving others is equal to being born of God and knowing God.

Bible: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Logic: Living in love for others is equal to you living in God and God is within you.

Bible: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
Logic: Not loving others is equal to not knowing God because God is love is equal to love is God.

Bible: “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
Logic: Not loving others you see is equal to not loving God who you cannot see.

Bible: “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (1 John 3:14)
Logic: Loving others is equal to having eternal life. Not loving others is equal to not having eternal life.

Bible: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) and “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Logic: God is equal to love and love keeps no record of wrongs.

God keeps no record of wrongs because God is unconditional love. These Bible verses refutes the misconception that God is full of wrath. It refutes the misconception that Jesus will cast people headlong into the fire of hell merely because they never had the opportunity to pledge allegiance to Jesus.

Bible: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
Bible: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Logic: God is love and God is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and never fails.

Contrary to what many fundamentalists believe, to say that “God is love” is not the same as saying that “God loves.” “God loves” is how most fundamentalists interpret the phrase “God is love” because they reject the logical implications of what the phrase “God is love” means. It means that love is God. This is merely a matter of basic algebra. If “God” equals “love,” then “love” equals “God.”

Fundamentalists claim that the phrase “God is love” is merely a statement of what God does: love. But basic English grammar shows that the phrase “God is love” is not the same as saying “God loves.” The reason it is not the same is because the word “love” in that verse is a noun and not a verb or adjective. The phrase “God loves” is a reference to God and the verb “loves” – not “loves” as a noun. The phrase “God is love” is a reference to two nouns: “God” and “love”. For example, another phrase that would be equal to the phrase “God is love” would be “God is the Spirit of love.” Also, this logically and grammatically means that “the Spirit of love is God.” This is not the same as saying “God loves” – although it is true that God loves. This Bible verse is very specific and is supported up by all the Bible verses previously shown here. God is love. Therefore, love is God. It must also be noted that the “love” referred to in these verses is not a reference to just any kind of love. The kind of love associated with the phrase “God is love” is not the same as saying, “My love for my dog is great” or “I love green beans.” The kind of love associated with God is translated in Greek as “agape” which means “divine love.” This is not ordinary love.

Other verses that are logically similar to the two phrases “God is love” and “love is God” are the following:

Bible: “God is light.” (1 John 1:5)
Logic: God is equal to light. Therefore, light is equal to God.

Of course, the “light” does not refer to “sunlight” or “light bulb light”. Biblical “light” associated with God is a reference to the divine “light” of unlimited knowledge and understanding. The phrase “God is light” means just what it says: “God” is “light” – not “God” gives “light.” It also means that “light” is “God” because they are one and the same.

Bible: “He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)
Logic: God is equal to eternal life. Therefore, eternal life is equal to God.

When equating “God” with “life”, the Bible is not referring to ordinary life. It means eternal life. It is the same as saying “life is God” because “God” and “life” itself is one and the same.

The following Bible verses show how “love” is superior to anything else because love is God:

Bible: “If I speak in the tongues of humans and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing … And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3;13)
Logic: If you speak in tongues or have the gift of prophecy, etc., but not love therefore you are nothing.

Bible: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
Logic: Love forgives many sins and God is equal to love, therefore God forgives sins.

Bible: “Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
Logic: Love is equal to fulfilling the law of God and God is equal to love, therefore, love is the law of God.

Bible: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)
Logic: Expressing faith through love is equal to all that counts. All that counts is equal to eternal life. Therefore expressing faith through love is equal to eternal life.

Bible: “He [God] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)
Logic: God holds all things together. Therefore, God is equal to the power of the atom holding all things together and God is equal to love. Therefore, love holds the universe together.

Bible: “By this [love] all humans will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Logic: Loving others is equal to being a disciple of Jesus.

Bible: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:6)
Logic: Loving others is equal to obeying Jesus’ commands and his command is equal to walk in love. Therefore, loving others is equal to obeying Jesus.

Bible: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
Logic: Having faith not acts of good works is equal to dead faith.

This verse reveals that faith without doing good works is worthless and does not get anyone to heaven. This salvation by good works described by James is the true teachings of Jesus – not Paul’s salvation by faith alone. It means that faith alone is does not get anyone to heaven.

Bible: “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Logic: Loving others is equal to God loving us first and God is love (1 John 4:16) and love is the way to eternal life (Luke 10:25-28) Therefore God is the Source of love.

Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
Bible: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by works, is dead.” (James 2:17).
Bible: “Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
Logic: God loves the world and gave his Son. Therefore faith in him equals eternal life and faith without works is equal to death and loving others equals fulfilling the law of God. Therefore the law of God is equal to loving others. Therefore everyone who loves fulfills God’s law and has eternal life.

Bible: “Jesus answered them, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (John 14:6).
Bible: The way to eternal life is by loving others and God (Luke 10:25-28).
Logic: Jesus is equal to the way to eternal life and the way to eternal life is equal to loving others and God. Therefore the way to eternal life is by loving others and God.

Jesus was not egotistic, and because he often spoke in parables, it would be wise to interpret this verse in light of the other teachings of Jesus. Jesus came to show the way to heaven and that way is God – the light that is love. Nobody can come to God except through the way shown by Jesus – a life lived in unconditional love for everyone. Jesus is certainly not saying that worshiping him will get you to heaven. That would be contrary to all his teachings in the gospels! It is obvious that Jesus came as the light to show humans the way to eternal life. The way to eternal life is through loving others and God.

Bible: [Support for love as the way to heaven] “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
Bible: “They [people going to hell] perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
Logic: Jesus is the way and the way is the truth and the truth is law and the law is love and love is God. Therefore people go to hell because they refuse to love.

But we know we have eternal life if we love. Near-death experiences reveal the true nature of hell to be more like the catholic concept of purgatory where people go for purification and instruction before going to heavenly realms. Hell is not a place for roasting sinners forever in flames. A God of infinite unconditional love and mercy would not permit even one soul to fall into some crack in the universe and be lost forever (see the parable of the Prodigal Son). So everyone will eventually be saved because it is God’s will.

Bible: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” (Hebrews 12:5)
Logic: God’s discipline can often be very severe. The above verse shows that God’s so-called “wrath” is a sign of God’s immense love.

God’s love is also a “tough” love. Because God loves everyone, God disciplines everyone. Love can certainly be a difficult task-master. God’s love, although it may be “tough”, is all for our own good.

Bible: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10)
Bible: “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Logic: Those who “fear” God are not perfect in love. “Fearing” God is merely the beginning of wisdom. But mature wisdom comes when we cast away our childish “fear” of God and replace it with love. Those pastors who enjoy preaching only fear, hellfire, and damnation, are not being very wise.

Bible: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Logic: This verse reveals the unconditional aspect of God’s love. Because God loves everyone, God’s love for everyone is unconditional. This is one of the strongest verses supporting universal salvation.

Bible: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
Logic: Faith implies the possibility of doubt. Knowledge implies absolute certainty. But love is greater than both of these because God is love.

For more about the Biblical and NDE evidence of universal salvation click on the link provided.

All of these Bible verses describe the unconditional love that is God. All of these Bible verses, when interpreted properly, completely agree with the information brought back by near-death experiencers. They return knowing the supreme importance of the unconditional love that is God. Being in the presence of this love changes people forever. This unconditional love that is God is the true inner spirituality taught by and lived by Jesus.

2. NDEs affirm universal salvation

Universal salvation is the concept that all humanity will eventually attain salvation and heaven. This is a foreign concept to most Christians today although it was not to many early Christians. Many Christians today cannot accept NDE testimony because they affirm universal salvation. While it is true that many NDEs testimony affirm universal salvation, it is not true that it suggests that everyone enters heaven immediately upon death. NDEs and scripture describe people in hell. I profile several NDEs where the experiencer finds themselves in hell. However these NDEs reveal that hell is a temporary negative spiritual state. It is more like a purgatory, and certainly not eternal damnation. The following NDE testimonies reveal a profound description of hell and how they escaped from it:

George RitchieHoward StormAngie FenimoreDon Brubaker

Many experiencers such as some of the ones above were sent to hell and were able to escape from it. Some have even witnessed other people escaping from hell. Experiencers verify that hell is not a literal place of scorching flames but something far worse: a negative spiritual condition of separation from love, joy, peace, God, sanity, etc. Those who have escaped from hell know first-hand that there is a way out of hell for those who are repentant. They are convinced that hell is not a realm of eternal punishment; but rather it is a temporary state of purification for the purpose of eventually attaining heaven.

Another convincing argument for universal salvation comes from the nature of Christ’s death itself. If Christ died for the sins of the whole world and if Christ has forgiven the whole world of their sins, then the logical conclusion is that the world stands redeemed, forgiven, justified and saved. However, NDEs and scripture describe people in hell. Logically, the reason people are in hell cannot be because they are paying for sins. Otherwise Jesus did not pay for all sins if people are paying for sins in hell. It would also show the work of Jesus to be an utter failure. God wills all to be saved. Jesus paid for all sins. But many Christians believe most people are thrown in hell for eternity anyway. Isn’t this scenario dishonoring to God and the work of Christ? If people are paying for sins in hell then Christ did not pay for any sins. He either paid it all or he didn’t. However, there is strong scriptural support that God provided universal redemption and the work of Christ redeemed everyone. Universal redemption implies universal salvation. There is no other way around it.

3. The Bible affirms universal salvation

The following is the scriptural evidence supporting universal salvation:

a. “The Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)

b. “God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

c. “But I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)

d. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

e. “And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:6)

f. “[God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

g. “For this we labor and strive, that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10)

h. “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on Earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:9-10)

i. “No plan of yours can be thwarted.”(Job 42:2). “God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4) Note: Because no one can thwart God’s will, and because God wills everyone to be saved, the only logical conclusion is that everyone will be saved.

j. “[Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

k. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11)

l. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9)

m. “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

n. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

o. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

If Christ paid for the sins of the world then the whole world has been redeemed and nobody is paying for sins in hell.

It should be difficult for any Christian to honestly conceive of a God of infinite love and mercy to permit even one soul to be tortured forever in hell. It is common sense that a few minutes in hell is enough for even the hardest of sinners to change their mind and repent. And what kind of God would create someone knowing that he will ultimately throw that person in hell to be tortured forever? It should be obvious that it would be better for God to not even create such a person. If an evil father treats his children better than this how much more so God? Jesus states:

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)

While it is true that scriptures describe hell as a place lasting forever (eternal punishment and eternal damnation) this does not mean that a person’s stay in hell is eternal. It means that hell is an eternal realm. In other words, the term eternal applies to hell itself and not the length of stay there. This agrees with NDE accounts that describe God’s arm of love and mercy extends even to those in hell. Now let’s now examine the scriptural evidence.

4. The Bible and NDEs affirm hell to be a place for temporary purification

This index to sections below shows how scripture can be used to support the following points:

a. There is forgiveness in hell for sins committed in life.
b. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people in hell.
c. Once a person has been purified by the fire they can escape hell.
d. Eternal is a word used in the Bible to describe the nature of hell itself – not the length of time a person spends there.
e. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people on Earth.
f. Fire is a metaphor also used in the Bible to describe God and manifestations of God.
g. Light and fire are metaphors used in the Bible to describe God.
h. Light is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe spiritual knowledge. Darkness is a metaphor used to describe spiritual ignorance.
i. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe hell.
j. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the state of the world.
k. Suffering is necessary to attain spiritual perfection in this world and in hell. Suffering occurs for the purpose of instruction – not punishment.

Certain conclusions can be drawn from the points listed above. They are the following: God has already forgiven everyone of their sins whether they are in this world or in hell. This world and hell are places of purification by fire and light – spiritual knowledge and God. People living in the world and in hell live in realms of spiritual darkness – spiritual ignorance. The world and hell are realms where God allows people to freely suffer the consequences of their free will in order to bring about their spiritual perfection by abandoning spiritual ignorance. Now let’s examine each point one by one.

a. There is forgiveness in hell for sins committed in life

“And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32)

These words of Jesus seem straight forward on the surface; but a closer examination reveals something interesting. Jesus states that there is sin that cannot be forgiven in this world or the world to come – a reference to the afterlife. It is one thing to be forgiven for an offense in one age; it is a different thing to be forgiven for the same offense in a different age. The above passage of scripture suggests the possibility of sins being forgiven after death. Here is another passage that suggests a way of redemption after death:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The above Bible verse states that God does not allow us to be tempted too severely and God provides us a way out. It would not be a great leap of logic to conclude that God does not allow a person to suffer beyond what they can bear and that God provides a way out. This also applies to hell.

The following passage is remarkable in that it describes Jesus setting people free in hell:

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” (1 Peter 3:18-20)

An apocryphal book from the Old Testament states:

“For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.” (2 Maccabees 12:43-46)

At the time of the Maccabees the leaders of the people of God had no hesitation in asserting the efficacy of prayers offered for the dead in order that those who had departed this life might find pardon for their sins and the hope of eternal resurrection. This passage assumes the possibility of redemption for those who have died unredeemed. The Books of the Maccabees is accepted only by the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jews. The above passage from Maccabees is the basis for the Catholic doctrine of praying for the dead.

The Books of the Maccabees was a part of Biblical canon until it was tossed out at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation by Martin Luther. Most Protestant Christians argue that Maccabees is not inspired because it is not a part of the Bible. However, in the Book of Jude, Paul quotes from another book not found in the Bible today. It is called the Book of Enoch:

“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones.'” (Jude 1:14)

A Bible verse similar to the verse in Maccabees can be found in the New Testament:

“Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?” (1 Corinthians 15:29)

In the above passage, Paul defends the doctrine of resurrection by posing the argument that if the dead are not resurrected then why are people baptized for them? This passage is the basis for the Mormon doctrine of baptizing the dead.

b. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people in hell

The early Church developed the concept of purgatory based on particular passages of scripture. According to St. Isidore of Seveille the Church taught that in the next life:

“Some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire.” (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6)

St. Augustine also wrote:

“Some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next, would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come.” (De Civ. Dei, XXI, xxiv)

The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n.11) and other eminent theological writers.

Origen (185-232 A.D.), the first great Church father, taught that purgatory is the true description of hell. He believed if people depart this life with lighter faults they are condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials thereby preparing their souls for the kingdom of God where nothing defiled may enter. He stated:

“For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones; but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood, and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works.” (P. G., XIII, col. 445, 448).

Origen based this statement on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 which is the next Bible passage to be quoted below.

c. Once a person has been purified by fire they can escape hell

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

The next verse is another verse suggestive of salvation after death:

“But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:22-26)

The Bible uses the metaphor prison as a metaphor for hell:

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.” (2 Peter 2:4)

d. Eternal is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the nature of hell itself – not the length of time a person spends there

“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I [John the Baptist] baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:10-12)

Here is another verse:

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out… And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ Everyone will be salted with fire.” (Mark 9:43-49)

Here is one more:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

This description of hell agrees with what experiencers have experienced. Don Brubaker experienced these flames of hell first hand. This is what he experienced:

“There was a low murmuring all around me, as if I was in the midst of a huge group of grumbling people. Before me, suddenly, stood a huge black door. The air began to glow and shimmer with oppressive heat. I watched as the door opened upon a vast, flaming oven. I felt myself drawn like a magnet into the center of the flames — although I was terrified to go in. There were hundreds of others already there, roasting to death, but not dead. Once I was inside, the door slammed shut behind me. The worst, dreadest feelings sloshed around inside me, like so much poison. ‘Is this actually what hell is?’ I asked aloud. I passed my hands through blue-tipped flames. The fire itself was cold, and it did not hurt me. From nowhere, a thought flashed through my mind: Death, where is thy sting? God, even in the midst of this holocaust, was truly in control of everything. I began to laugh, and the others laughed with me. Our laughter bounced off the walls of the oven and echoed over the roar of the flames. And instantly, as if someone had flipped the channel selector, I was alone again in darkness.” (Don Brubaker)

Don Brubaker’s experience shows the flames of hell are not painful and are escapable.

e. Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people on Earth

The Bible talks of people on earth being purified, refined and baptized by fire. These are all referring to the process of purification.

“These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7)

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” (Revelation 3:18-19)

“But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.” (Malachi 3:2-3)

“He will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.” (Isaiah 4:4)

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

f. Fire is a metaphor also used in the Bible to describe God and manifestations of God

The verses below describe God and manifestations of God through the metaphor of fire. These verses also use the metaphor of fire as a reference to the purifying power of God.

“Our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29)

“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:3-4)

“In speaking of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.'” (Hebrews 1:7)

“This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7)

“I [Jesus] have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

g. Light and fire are metaphors used in the Bible to describe God.

The verses below use the metaphor of light to describe God and God’s purifying power.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)

One can see the scriptures using the metaphors light and fire interchangeably to describe God and God’s manifestations.

h. Light is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe spiritual knowledge. Darkness is a metaphor used to describe spiritual ignorance

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

“If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth — you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?” (Romans 2:19-21)

“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.'” (John 12:35)

“But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” (1 John 2:11)

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” (Luke 11:33-36)

These verses show the spiritual condition of hell to be darkness, the lack of the knowledge of God. This spiritual condition begins as a spiritual condition on earth and is realized at death.

i. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe hell

The verses below describe how the metaphor of darkness is used to describe hell.

“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home — these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” (Jude 1:6)

“These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted– twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” (Jude 1:12-13)

“But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)

“These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” (2 Peter 2:17)

From these verses, one can conclude that hell is darkness, a metaphor for ignorance of God.

j. Darkness is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the condition of the world

Similar to hell, the world is a place of darkness, spiritual ignorance. The following verses point this out.

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:15-16)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (Colossians 1:13)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)

This world and hell have something in common. Both are filled with the darkness of spiritual ignorance.

k. Suffering is necessary to attain spiritual perfection in this world and in hell. Suffering occurs for the purpose of instruction – not punishment.

The scriptures are clear on how suffering in this world leads toward spiritual perfection. The scriptures show that God gives us suffering in order to create character and perseverance and to cause us to rely more on God and not in our own strength (or weakness). Suffering should never be viewed as a curse from God; but rather a blessing in disguise. It is God’s will for us to suffer in this world and in hell in order to bring about spiritual perfection. This suffering is the result of karma which maintains that transgressions committed in this world are paid in this world. The following Bible verses show the importance of suffering:

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10)

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.” (Isaiah 53:10)

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.” (Philippians 1:20)

“For this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

“To keep from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” (Romans 5:3)

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11)

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God may be displayed in his life.” (John 9:1-3)

“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort… But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:5-9)

“These [suffering] have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor…” (1 Peter 1:7)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted … Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

So we can see from the verses above that the world and hell are not places of punishment; but rather states of purification. They are places of education and not damnation. It is a small step to conclude from this that universal salvation is Biblical and a reality.

It should be noted at this point that the concept of purgatory did not originate with the early Church. It came directly from Jewish sources as discussed in the Torah, the Talmud and other Jewish texts. In these texts, hell is called Gehennom (in Yiddish it is Gehenna) and it is a place of intense punishment and cleansing. This place is also known as Sheol and other names. Gehennom takes its name from the Valley of Hennom where pagans once sacrificed children.

One line of Jewish thought affirms that after death the soul has to be purified before it can go on the rest of its journey. The amount of time needed for purification depends on how the soul dealt with life. One Jewish tradition states that a soul needs a maximum of 11 months for purification, which is why, when a parent dies, the Kaddish (memorial prayer) is recited for 11 months.

From all the information that has been presented here one can easily conclude that God has a plan of salvation for everyone – even those in the deepest pit of hell; and eventually everyone will attain salvation to the highest heaven.

5. NDEs affirm the possibility of seeing God

Some Christians are steadfast in their belief that God cannot be seen. They often base their belief on several Bible verses. For example, God instructed Moses by informing him that:

“No person may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)

In another Bible verse, the apostle Paul stated that God:

“…lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

The above verses are sometimes used by some Christians to prove that near-death experiencers cannot journey to heaven and back and/or could not have seen God. But this denial contradicts verses that describe people in the Bible seeing God while they were alive including those verses that describe people journeying to heaven and back. They also deny many other spiritual experiences such as deathbed visions and after-death visitations. Such experiences are not only seen as false by some Christians; but are also seen as of the devil.

One of the best Bible verses supporting the concept that God can be seen is the NDE of Stephen – the first Christian martyr – who is stoned to death.

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:54-56)

Stephen’s description of heaven opening up and seeing God is a good description of an experience where God is seen before a person actually dies. Stephen’s experience may actually be best labeled a deathbed vision rather than an NDE because Stephen doesn’t return from death. However, NDE accounts have been reported by people who also catch a glimpse of heaven before their NDE.

Another Bible verse showing that God can be seen is the conversion of Paul:

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-4)

Many NDE experiencers encounter a Being of Light often identified as such personalities as Jesus, God, an angel or some religious figure. Sometimes the Being of Light is a relative or friend. In fact, many NDE accounts describe how everyone in the afterlife emits this light and this light is God.

One particular gospel event describes Jesus transforming himself into a Being of Light which is remarkably similar to the Being of Light appearing in NDE accounts. In both the Bible and NDE testimonies, the light is always seen as God.

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:2-3)

Another Bible passage that supports the reality of NDEs comes from the Old Testament concerning “Jacob’s Stairway” or “Ladder.” Jacob had a dream in which he sees the gate to heaven. Here is the verse:

“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the Earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham … When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:12)

A person does not need to be dead to have an NDE. People have them during dreams, extreme stress, extreme gravitational forces, deep and prolonged meditation, hallucinogenic drugs, or other situations where the consciousness is altered. This Bible passage of Jacob’s ladder is a good description of the tunnel or passageway experiencers see and travel through. Experiencers often see angels in this passageway which extends from the Earth to heaven.

The following passage written by the Apostle Paul describes an NDE he experienced. This clearly demonstrates that NDEs are indeed Biblical.

“I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this person – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that people are not permitted to tell.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

Many aspects of the NDE appear in the above passage: the out-of-body experience, the reference to more than one heaven, the reference to paradise and hearing inexpressible things. In the above passage, Paul is actually talking about his own experience. In context, this passage has to do with rival preachers of Paul who boasted about their own knowledge. Paul compares himself to them. Paul does a lot of boasting himself in this passage but then goes on to describe the experience of a person whom he knows. In those days, this expression is a euphemism that means the speaker is referring to himself. His description of the experience certainly appears to be as if it is a personal experience. This becomes even more apparent in light of the Bible passages that describe Paul’s many encounters with near death such as in Acts 14:19.

On another front, there are Christian Gnostic writings discovered in the 1940’s which were written around the time of Christ. One such writing is entitled the Apocalypse of Paul supposedly written by the Apostle Paul concerning his NDE. The writings describe Paul journeying through ten different heavenly realms. The description is remarkably similar to an NDE. But many Christians are too eager to declare anything Gnostic to be heresy and of the devil without even knowing what Christian Gnosticism is.

Another Biblical passage that refers to an NDE can be found in the Book of Revelation. John’s journey to heaven is described in a way that closely resembles an NDE. Edgar Cayce was near-death experiencer who received many insights into Revelation and affirmed that John’s NDE occurred while he was dreaming. John’s revelation has some of the same dream symbols that appear in the prophet Daniel’s dream in the Book of Daniel. Edgar Cayce provided the best interpretation of the Book of Revelation that I have ever read.

Christians who doubt that people can journey to heaven and back should read about the medical procedure called a standstill. This is a surgical procedure where the patient is purposely flat-lined and brought to clinical and brain death in order to perform delicate brain surgery. These patients are literally brought back from the dead. You can read an excellent example of this procedure.

Another argument supporting the idea that people can journey to heaven and see God and then return to their bodies is the following verse:

“As long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

The above verse affirms the principle that when we are away from the body – meaning dead – we are at home with the Lord. In other words, death means being present with God. Everyone in the Bible who was resurrected saw God before being brought back to life. We can conclude from this that any interpretation stating that God cannot be seen is a contradiction to all the Bible passages just discussed.

In conclusion, because the Bible describes many people seeing God, then it is safe to believe that NDEs do not conflict with the Bible.

6. NDEs do not contradict the Bible

Some Christians deny that NDEs are real afterlife experiences because of Bible verses which can be interpreted as denying the possibility of surviving death. Here is one of them:

“A person is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

A Bible verse in the Old Testament describes a wise woman from Tekoa who told King David that at death we are:

“…like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.” (2 Samuel 14:14)

But these Bible verses do not mean it is impossible to return from death because we know from other Bible verses that many people have. For example, Lazarus died not once but twice (John 11:43-44).

All the people that Jesus brought back from the dead certainly died more than once (Mark 5:21-42; Luke 7:11-15).

The Bible describes some people who resurrected from their graves at the same time of Christ’s death (Matthew 27:52). These people also had to have died a second time. The apostles brought back people from the dead (Acts 20:9-12). The Old Testament describes several people returning from death (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:32-35; 2 Kings 13:21).

Some people in the Bible did not even die at all, such as the prophet Elijah, Enoch and Melchezedek. For these people, it cannot be said that they will even experience death once.

Another problem with the “one man/one death” interpretation is that the Bible even refers to a “second death”:

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11).

“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6).

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14).

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).

For these reasons, Bible verses cannot be interpreted to say that people do not die only once or cannot be revived from death to experience death a second time. After all, isn’t this the definition of resurrection – the centerpiece of the Christian faith? To be brought back to life again and possibly another resurrection from death to another life?

There is another Bible passage which is sometimes used by people to say that the dead cannot cross over to the land of the living. Because of this it is claimed that NDEs are not Biblical. That Bible passage is a parable which Jesus used to instruct people about the nature of death – the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. According to the parable, Lazarus (a poor man) died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s side. An unrepentant rich man likewise died but was sent to hell. In hell, the rich man was in torment and saw Abraham and Lazarus far away and implored Abraham to send Lazarus to comfort him with some water. Abraham replied that this was not possible:

“And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” (Luke 16:19-31)

On the surface of it, this symbolic parable seems to imply that the dead cannot return to life. But this cannot be literally true. One reason is because of the Bible verses previously discussed. Another reason is because of incidences in the Bible where people actually do cross over from death to life. One example is the Biblical account of Saul who had a medium conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 28:7-25). Because this account actually describes a spirit being summoned up from the land of the dead then we can safely say that the gulf between life and death can be crossed. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is symbolic and should not to be interpreted literally. The nature of parables are such that they contain a much deeper hidden spiritual meaning behind the literal symbols.

In conclusion, all the Biblical evidence proves that people can traverse the boundaries of life and death. For this reason, NDEs should be included as Biblical truth.

7. A comparison of NDE facts and the Bible

NDE Fact: Many people have returned from the dead.

“The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:52-53)

“I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven… And I know that this person … was caught up to paradise.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

Both the Bible and NDE accounts support the concept of returning to life from death.

NDE Fact: Our entire lives are reviewed after death – every thought, word and deed.

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:2-3)

The life review which people experience after death has often been mistaken by near-death experiencers (particularly fundamentalist experiencers) as the Biblical event called the “Last Judgment.” Often experiencers believe they are being judged by God. But the reality is that they are merely judging themselves. During the life review, every aspect of a person’s life is made known and often in full view of a large group of people.

NDE Fact: During a life review, people judge themselves in the presence of the light. There is also no judgment by the light.

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words, that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:47-48)

Jesus revealed that he does not judge anyone and that God is the Judge of everyone. This agrees with many Bible verses describing God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. While it is true that God is the Judge, this does not necessarily mean that the Judge actually judges people. For example, a judge might have people judge themselves. One particular Bible verse flat out states that God does not judge anyone:

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22)

From these Bible verses we can conclude that neither God nor Jesus judges anyone – even though they are the Judge. There is also another particular Bible verse which states that it is we who are the judges – perhaps judges of the “angels of our better nature.”:

“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

The above Bible passage can be interpreted to mean that the angels we judge are ourselves.

NDE Fact: NDE testimonies reveal that hell is not a literal place of burning flames but something far worse. Hell is a spiritual condition of being totally separated from love, joy, God, light, peace, sanity, etc. Some hell realms are described as outer darkness.

“The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6)

In the Bible, the word fire is often used to describe the spiritual purification of people by the power of God.

“Our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29)

The “consuming fire” is symbolic for God’s spiritual purification. This is supported by the following passage of scripture:

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

NDE Fact: NDE testimonies reveal that communication in the afterlife is by telepathy. Thoughts and feelings cannot be hidden from others in the afterlife.

“Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, ‘Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?'” (Matthew 9:4)

Jesus is seen in the gospels having the ability to read people’s minds using telepathy. Because Jesus was obviously a highly evolved spiritual being, we can probably assume that all spirit beings have telepathic powers. Because the afterlife has been described by many experiencers as a realm of pure thought, it wouldn’t be a great leap of faith to conclude the following: People exist in the afterlife as thought forms where everyone’s thoughts are not secret. And this is what NDE accounts describe – an afterlife that is a place where people cannot hide anything from others – even their thoughts. The following is another Bible verse supporting this idea:

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

NDE Fact: To have your true inner self and thoughts revealed to everyone can be a hell for those who are mostly motivated by negative forces. But to have your true inner self and thoughts revealed to everyone can be a heaven for those who are mostly motivated positive forces. NDEs support the idea that everyone’s true inner nature is a part of God and that those who enter the afterlife actually realize their true inner nature. Those people who live a life against their divine inner self will face difficulties when they enter the spirit realm. This afterlife process is self-realization and self-judgment – not eternal damnation. During the NDE life review there is no judgment from God.

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22)

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words, that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:47-48)

The only judgment that exists after death is self-judgment. There we enter the light of God where all is made known.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)

The Bible verse above describes people dwelling in the dark to escape from having the light of God reveal their inner divine nature and life of ignorance – both of which are exposed to everyone in the heavenly realms.

Near-death experiencers have affirmed that so-called evil is actually ignorance or darkness. In the Bible, light is always a reference to God and knowledge of God. Those people who lived a life of “darkness” (ignorance) will find it is incompatible with their true divine nature. This self-realization can truly be hell for such people. It is self-realization and self-judgment. Below is another Bible verse describing self-judgment.

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

The Bible verse below describes how God’s light can shine in the darkness of our hearts – even before we die.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

One particular Bible passage can be interpreted to be that the angels we judge are actually ourselves:

“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

Angels is sometimes a word used in the Bible to apply to humans. Here are some of them:

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones (children). For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

“Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, ‘Peter is at the door!’ ‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.’ (Acts 12:13-15)

“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)

NDE Fact: People can send themselves to the dark realms of hell to escape from having the light of God reveal their inner divine nature and life of ignorance which is exposed to everyone in the heavenly realms.

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20)

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Because of the terrible situation people might find themselves in after death – incompatible human and divine natures – God has established the cycle of birth and rebirth (reincarnation) to allow people to purify themselves from these incompatible memories.

NDE Fact: There are many mansions – afterlife realms – that make-up the afterlife. This physical realm is but one of them.

“My Father’s house has many rooms (abodes); if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

“I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven… And I know that this person … was caught up to paradise.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

The Bible clearly describes a hierarchy of afterlife realms. Along with the realms of heaven and hell and this world, the Bible verses above show that there are even more afterlife realms. The Biblical reference to the “third heaven” agrees with this idea of multiple realms. From the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the goal for humanity is to be restored to the paradise. Genesis reveals the fall of humanity and the world. Revelation reveals the restoration of humanity and the world.

Categories
Bible Religion

Fallibility of the Bible

Many Bible literalists reject the near-death experience (NDE) because it does not agree with their literal interpretation of the Bible. Concepts found in NDEs, such as reincarnation, universal salvation, the humanity of Jesus, and the temporary nature of hell, are contradictions to the Bible literalists’ interpretation of the Bible, despite the fact that these doctrines were orthodox Christian doctrines, such as reincarnation in the Bible, before the organized Church was even formed. However, this website affirms again and again that these NDE concepts actually do agree with the Bible, but only in a more deeper spiritual interpretation of it. The following information is my own personal opinion about Bible literalism. Having been a Bible literalist for many years, I feel I am qualified to describe the very serious problems with having a Bible literalist mindset.

Table of Contents

  1. An NDE Reveals the Truth About the Bible
  2. Severe Problems With a Literal Interpretation of the Bible
  3. Extremely Shocking and Disturbing Literal Bible Verses
    a. Bible Errors
    b. Bible Contradictions
    c. Ridiculous Bible Verses
    d. Comparing the New Testament God with the Old Testament God
    e. The Bizarre Nature of Some Biblical Descriptions of God
    f. The Gospel of Blood Versus the Gospel of Love

1. An NDE Reveals the Truth About the Bible

During Rev. Howard Storm‘s NDE, he was able to ask Jesus and his guides questions about the Bible. Here the excerpt:

“When the review was finished they asked: ‘Do you want to ask any questions?’ and I had a million questions. I asked, for example, ‘What about the Bible?’ They responded: ‘What about it?’ I asked if it was true, and they said it was. Asking them why it was that when I tried to read it, all I saw were contradictions, they took me back to my life’s review again something that I had overlooked. They showed me, for the few times I had opened the Bible, that I had read it with the idea of finding contradictions and problems. I was trying to prove to myself that it wasn’t worth reading. I observed to them that the Bible wasn’t clear to me. It didn’t make sense. They told me that it contained spiritual truth, and that I had to read it spiritually in order to understand it. It should be read prayerfully. My friends informed me that it was not like other books. They also told me, and I later found out this was true, that when you read it prayerfully, it talks to you. It reveals itself to you. And you don’t have to work at it anymore.” (Rev. Howard Storm)

Rev. Howard Storm’s revelation about the Bible is certainly amazing. It reveals several things:

a. The Bible is a book that is true and worthy of belief. This is not to say that a literal interpretation makes it infallible.

b. The apparent contradictions found in the Bible arise from not interpreting the Bible in a spiritual manner. This implies that a literal interpretation can lead to problems.

c. By reading the Bible spiritually and prayerfully, the Holy Spirit can guide the reader into spiritual truth.

2. Severe Problems With a Literal Interpretation of the Bible

From these facts, another conclusion may be drawn. While there exists severe problems with a literal interpretation (as you will discover below), this does not mean the Bible is not worth studying. We mustn’t throw out the “baby” with the “bath water.” These problems of giving the Bible a literal interpretation only show that it is the men who wrote the Bible who are fallible, not the Spirit of God. It can then be assumed that having these severe problems of literal interpretation were meant to exist in the Bible – perhaps because there exists a spiritual and/or symbolic meaning behind the literal problems.

For example, the Book of Revelation has severe and catastrophic errors when interpreting it literally. However, when interpreted spiritually, this account may be spiritually true and not literally true. In fact, the same symbols in Revelation can be found in the dream symbolism of the Book of Daniel. This suggests the Book of Revelation is actually a dream or series of dreams which must be interpreted symbolically. Edgar Cayce unlocked the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the Book of Revelation.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for taking a strictly literal, conservative view of the Hebrew Bible. They created an entire system of man-made rules and regulations around their literal interpretation of scriptures. Because they rejected Jesus’ liberal interpretation of scripture, their theology was in question, so they had Jesus killed. Today, there are a large number of religious leaders and followers who are making the same mistake. For the last two thousand years of church history, literalism help fan the flames of Inquisitions, crusades, and all kinds of disputes over man-made dogma, such as: works versus faith, trinity versus oneness, eternal security versus no security, baptism versus tongues, and predestination versus free will, just to name a few.

My purpose in pointing out the serious flaws of Bible literalism is to show that the gospel of Christ is much simpler than many Christians believe. The simple message of Jesus doesn’t involve any interpretation nor all the rules and traditions that go along with it. The message of Jesus is love – unconditional love (Luke 10:25-28). The teachings of Jesus are not about religious dogma. A close examination of the Sermon on the Mount shows that the centerpiece of Jesus’ teachings was love for your neighbor and your enemy. His gospel message is as simple and as profound as love. Love is also the message of the vast majority of near-death experience accounts.

3. Extremely Shocking and Disturbing Literal Bible Verses

Word of Caution: If you are a Bible literalist who believes all knowledge of God is limited to the Bible, then you may find the rest of the material on this web page extremely shocking and disturbing. It is not my purpose to shock anyone or save anyone’s soul. My only purpose is to provide strong reasons why a strict, literal interpretation of an infallible Bible is wrong and dangerous. Believing in a literal, infallible, God-limiting Bible creates major problems including the rejection by many Christians of the Jesus of NDEs and NDEs in general.

Some literalists have become so extreme that they practically have elevated the Bible to heights that border on biblio-idolatry. This is no trivial matter either. Multitudes of people throughout history have been slaughtered for not believing in the orthodox view of the Bible. The problem is that there are many serious difficulties with believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Here are some links to web pages that list these serious difficulties:

Bible errorsBible contradictionsBible atrocities
Bible absurditiesBible injusticesBible intolerance
Bible and womenBible and gaysBible and family
Bible and sexBible and pornBible prophecy
Good Bible versesBible skeptic site

The following Bible verses have the greatest problems with them that I am aware of. These problems are great enough that I believe most rational people would conclude by these verses alone that there are devastating problems with a literal interpretation of the Bible.

a. Bible Errors

As many intelligent people know, the Bible is not a science book. It is not a doctoral dissertation on the astrophysical origins of the cosmos. But many people throughout history believed it to be. Some believe the Bible to be perfect and without error. After all, even the Bible itself suggests this to be the case:

“All scripture is God-breathed ” (2 Timothy 3:16)

But at the time Paul wrote this, scripture did not yet include the New Testament. Because of this, people who limit divine revelation to the Bible, should throw out the entire New Testament because it was added into canon many years after the death of Christ.

The idea of an errorless Bible does not fit the truth. The following examples show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are sound reasons why an errorless Bible is itself an error.

Bible error #1: The Earth was formed out of water and by water.

“But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the Earth was formed out of water and by water.” (2 Peter 3:5)

The above verse is in error because the geographical evidence shows the Earth was formed from molten lava. For those who believe the Bible to be a greater authority than science, need to choose which is the greater revelation of God: the Bible or the universe. The Bible needed the help of fallible men to be created. God did not need the help of men to create the universe.

Bible error #2: The Earth is thousands of years old.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth So God created man in his own image And there was evening, and there was morning the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:1-31)

These verses of the Genesis creation are false. The Bible states that Adam was created on the sixth day. It is derived that approximately four thousand years transpired between Adam and Jesus. This would mean the universe is approximately 6,000 years old. But this is impossible for a number of reasons. Perhaps the simplest to understand is that the light we see from stars have been traveling for billions of years. This proves the universe to be much older than 6,000 years; in fact, it proves the universe is billions of years old.

Bible error #3: Noah’s ark contained 2 of all living creatures on Earth.

“You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.” (Genesis 6:19)

An ark containing two of all living creatures is a physical impossibility. Noah’s ark was 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits in size according to Genesis 6:15. A cubit was approximately 18 inches, yielding a volume (if perfectly rectangular, the most voluminous possible shape of three unequal dimensions) of 1,518,750 cubic feet. Into this volume, Noah supposedly fit two of each of the 22,100 species of animals on Earth plus the food to keep all of them alive for a month. But it would be impossible to fit such a tremendous amount of animals and food in such a relatively tiny volume of that dimension. There are also other reasons why the flood and the ark story is a myth.

b. Bible Contradictions

Not only are there errors in the Bible, there are also severe contradictions. These contradictions exist because the Bible was written by fallible men. The following verses are the most problematic contradictions that I know of.

Bible contradiction #1: How are we saved?

We are saved by faith alone: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We are NOT saved by faith alone: “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)

Both concepts cannot be true. Paul created a theology of salvation by faith alone. The Jerusalem apostles, who came into conflict with Paul on occasions, knew Jesus and his teachings much better than Paul. They continued Jesus’ teachings of salvation through good works with faith playing a secondary role. The question to be answered is, “Who do you trust more? Jesus or Paul?” Nevertheless, NDE accounts generally show that we are already saved!

Bible contradiction #2: Is God a sinner?

God is jealous: “For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)

Jealousy is a sin: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious … jealousy” (Galatians 5:19-20)

If jealousy is a sin, and God is jealous, then the only conclusion we can draw is that God is a sinner. The two scripture verses above flat out contradict each other. This absurd conclusion makes God out to be less than perfect. The same can also be said of the notion of a “God of wrath” because Jesus taught that wrath is a sin.

Bible contradiction #3: Has anyone ever seen God?

Nobody has seen God but Jesus: “No one has ever seen God …” (John 1:18)

Abraham saw God: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.'” (Genesis 17:1)

Jacob saw God: “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (Genesis 32:30)

The leaders of Israel saw God: “But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.” (Exodus 24:11)

There are several Bible verses which state that nobody has ever seen God. But there are also several Bible verses which describes a large number of people who saw God.

Bible contradiction #4: Does God love or hate sinners?

God loves sinners: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …” (John 3:16)

God hates sinners: “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” (Psalm 5:4-5)

The Bible is filled with references to how God hates the wicked. The problem with this is that the Bible also says that “no one is righteous” and everyone is a sinner. The idea that God hates this world of sinners is a contradiction to John 3:16. And even if God loves some people and hates others, this would make God out to be a respecter of persons and his love conditional.

In some parts of the Bible, an incorrect portrayal of a love/hate relationship between God and humanity is described. For example, in the beginning, God was pleased to create man. Then, man fell from favor with God. God expresses a regret in creating man to begin with but God allows them to be fruitful and multiply. Then one day, God decided to destroy everyone on Earth except for relatively a few people. God’s hatred for sin and sinners leads God to actually destroy practically everyone and everything on Earth. God then becomes a tribal deity to a small group of Hebrews with God chooses only to save. But God commits horrible atrocities upon them and their neighbors because of their human failings. Later, Jesus came along teaching how much God loves everyone unconditionally. God has Jesus killed as a human sacrifice and a ransom to pay to someone holding humanity hostage. The Christian Church teaches that God is no respecter of persons despite the strong partiality he has shown to Jews and those who accept the Jewish Messiah. At the end of the Bible, God is shown having a vast multitude of humanity cast headlong into the fire of hell to burn in eternal damnation. These descriptions of God, when taken literally, is certainly schizophrenic to say the least. It demonstrates how an infallible Bible can lead to absurdities.

c. Ridiculous Bible Verses

Besides all the errors and contradictions in the Bible, there are also a great number of Bible verses that are utterly ridiculous. A ridiculous Bible means a ridiculous God if you take the literal and infallible view. The following verses are some of the most ridiculous verses I know of.

(1) Ridiculous Bible verses concerning women:

Women are inferior to men: “A man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” (1 Corinthians 11:7)

Women are weaker than men: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner” (1 Peter 3:7)

Women should be silent in church: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)

Women must not have authority over men: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.” (1 Timothy 2:12-14)

Women are saved through bearing children: “But women will be saved through childbearing.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

Women must cut their hair off if they don’t cover it: “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off.” (1 Corinthian 11:6)

It should be obvious to anyone that Paul is not expressing God’s view of women. Paul is obviously expressing his own bizarre bias against women. The men who wrote the Bible often reflected a degrading view of women, homosexuals, slaves, and Jews among others. If these views actually represent the views of God, then this falsely makes God a bigot and a respecter of persons. For this reason, an infallible Bible cannot be true.

(2) Ridiculous verses concerning the nature of “God”

The sight of crap turns God away: “Cover up your excrement so that God will not turn away from you.” (Deuteronomy 23:12-14)

A burning bull carcass is a pleasing odor to God: “The priest is to burn all of the bull on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” (Leviticus 1:9)

God awoke like a man from a drunken stupor: Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine. (Psalm 78:65)

A man struggled with and overcame God: “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:24-28)

God searched the animal kingdom for a partner for Adam: “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” (Genesis 2:20)

Abraham ate pancakes with God: “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees … So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.” … While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.” (Genesis 18:1-8)

God threatened to force disobedient people into having adulterous sex: “This is what the Lord says: “Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.” (2 Samuel 12:11)

God killed a man for failing to get his brother’s wife pregnant: “He spilled his semen on the ground. What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so he put him to death also.” (Genesis 38:9-10)

All Bible verses that represent God as having ridiculous human-like flaws are not only false, they are highly dishonoring to God. For this reason, it is the idea of an infallible Bible that is ridiculous.

d. Comparing the New Testament God with the Old Testament God

Throughout history, people have noticed a great difference between the personality of God in the Old Testament (OT) and the personality of God in the New Testament (NT). These differences are so striking that a Christian sect called the Marcionites, the sect of Christian who developed the first version of the New Testament, believed the God of the Old Testament was a Satanic personality. A close comparison of the description of God by Jesus and the description of God in the Old Testament will demonstrate why they believed this.

God of Jesus: “God is love.” (1 John 4:16)
God of Moses: “Kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man” (Numbers 31:17)

God of Jesus: “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.” (Mark 9:37)
God of Moses: “Put to death men and women, children and infants” (1 Samuel 15:2-3)

God of Jesus: “Love does no harm to its neighbor” (Romans 13:10)
God of Moses: “He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.” (Joshua 10:40)

God of Jesus: “[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44)
God of Moses: “Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children” (Ezekiel 9:6)

God of Jesus: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
God of Moses: “Like a lion I will devour them.” (Hosea 13:8)

God of Jesus: “Anyone who does not love his brother [is of the devil].” (1 John 3:10)
God of Moses: “Go back and forth killing your brother and friend and neighbor” (Exodus 32:27)

God of Jesus: “[The devil] is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
God of Moses: “Put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours.” (1 Kings 22:23)

God of Jesus: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
God of Moses: “Pursue, kill and completely destroy them.” (Jeremiah 50:21)

God of Jesus: “He who does what is sinful is of the devil” (1 John 3:8)
God of Moses: “Do not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:16)

God of Jesus: “God so loved the world..” (John 3:16)
God of Moses: “I will wipe humankind … from the face of the Earth.” (Genesis 6:7)

God of Jesus: “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27-28)
God of Moses: “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them.” (Numbers 25:16-17)

God of Jesus: “For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13)
God of Moses: “[He] tempted Abraham” (Genesis 22:1)

Comparing certain descriptions of God in the Old Testament with certain descriptions of God of the New Testament is like comparing Charles Manson to Jesus. As seen in the Bible verses above, some of the Old Testament descriptions of God have a number of characteristics that certainly appear to be satanic. Of course, many descriptions of God in the Old Testament portray a God of love; but the ridiculous Bible verses which portray God as a satanic figure shows how some writers of the Old Testament were merely creating God in their own image.

NDE testimonies agree with the teachings of Jesus about a God of unconditional divine love. This love is merciful, non-judgmental, compassionate, and unlimited in forgiveness.

e. The Bizarre Nature of Some Biblical Descriptions of God

Any serious study of the Bible reveals that there are some descriptions of God in the Bible that show God as having very serious personality problems. These personality problems show how some writers of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, viewed God more in human terms than divine. The following verses show why.

Word of Warning: The following Bible verses are graphic and portray a God that mass-murders innocent babies, dashes babies to pieces, rips open pregnant women, has children become human sacrifices, has wild animals devour children, has parents cannibalize their children, orders the genocide entire nations, causes abortions and orders people to kill their brothers and neighbors, just to name a few. These verses have the potential to cause serious psychological and emotional damage to young children should they read them. I strongly recommend that adults refrain from allowing children to read the following Bible verses. This website is not responsible for any psychological damage that may occur to children who reads the Bible. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

“God” slaughtered innocent babies because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness: “At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. (Exodus 12:29)

“God” had babies dashed to pieces and pregnant women ripped open: “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” (Hosea 13:16)

“God” wanted children to be murdered as human sacrifices: “I let them become defiled through their gifts – the sacrifice of every firstborn – that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 20:26)

“God” threatened to have innocent children be devoured by wild animals: I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted. (Leviticus 26:22)

“God” threatened to have children cannibalized: “If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. (Leviticus 26:27-29)

“God” ordered the genocide of women, children and babies: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. (1 Samuel 15:2-3)

“God” aborted fetuses and murdered children in answer to the prophet Hosea’s prayer: “Give them, O Lord what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry …. Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.” (Hosea 9:14-16)

“God” murdered a baby because of David’s adultery: “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.'” (2 Samuel 12:13-14)

“God” ordered people to kill their brothers, friends and neighbors: “Then he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'” (Exodus 32:27)

People who accuse me of taking these Bible verses out of context, must state the context which justifies “God” to slaughter a multitude of innocent babies and children. Such obviously false portrayals of God is highly dishonoring to God. The murder of children at Columbine caused a tremendous national outcry for justice. The slaughter of 50 grade school children in England several years ago caused a worldwide outcry. Shouldn’t the horrible atrocities attributed to so-called “God” cause the same reaction? Shouldn’t we abandon the idea of believing in an infallible Biblical interpretation of scripture?

f. The Gospel of Blood Versus the Gospel of Love

The early followers of Jesus believed that the traditional Jewish sacrifices were no longer necessary so they proclaimed that Jesus was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. They believed that the murder of Jesus was a ransom which God paid to free humanity held hostage by Satan. This made good sense in those days; but now, thousands of years later, it’s pure nonsense to most people. Jesus himself was against such sacrifices (Mark 12:32-34) (Matthew 12:6-7). Suppose you were God and you had your son tortured and killed as a human sacrifice in order to be pleased and satisfied. Would you really be pleased with this? Or suppose you required people to cut the throats of thousands of innocent animals and let them bleed to death in order to be satisfied? Would you be satisfied with your behavior? Wouldn’t you instead be horrified?

There are many reasons why the death of Jesus resulted in a greater good; but the idea of appeasing an angry God to release hostages through a human sacrifice of innocent people and animals should be seen to be utterly ridiculous to everyone.

Question: But isn’t Christianity based on animal and human sacrifice?

Answer: It depends on which brand of Christianity you are referring to. If you are referring to literalist fundamental Christianity, then the answer is “yes.” The early orthodox Church of Rome held a distorted view of salvation by continuing to teach the false Hebrew concept that God craves the blood of human sacrifice. Because of this, the Church of Rome felt obligated to kill those who didn’t accept this interpretation. This doctrine of salvation, by human sacrifice, is believed to this day by a majority of Christians.

Question: Why did God need animal and human sacrifices as described in the Old Testament?

Answer: Some writers of the Hebrew Bible believed that God was a tribal deity – a national god. Cults that were based on animal and human sacrifices existed throughout the world at that time as it did in early Hebrew culture. At the center of these ancient cults was the idea of the blood sacrifice to angry gods – the innocent for the guilty. They did this because they thought it would appease them. Scholars of ancient religions have discovered that the early Hebrews incorporated many of their religious concepts from the tribal cults living around them. A God of infinite love, mercy and forgiveness was completely unheard of in those days. Today, the idea that God needs animal or human sacrifices to forgive people is repulsive to the intelligent mind and compassionate heart. Perhaps one of the reasons why Jesus came to the Earth was to stop the barbaric ritualistic slaughter of thousands of animals. It is barbaric and incredibly unjust to punish the innocent for the guilty. Jesus revealed that God is not interested in sacrifices.

Question: Didn’t Jesus have himself tortured and killed to pay a ransom to free hostages?

Answer: If you take a literal interpretation of an infallible Bible then the answer is “yes.” But common sense should tell us that appeasing a God who demands blood sacrifices is hardly worth worshiping.

The religious concept of humanity being held hostage by someone who desires a ransom in the form of the blood of a human sacrifice doesn’t make any sense either. Who is holding us hostage? God? Satan? Who held the world hostage and threatened the world with eternal torture unless a ransom of blood be paid? Such behavior would be very twisted for a God of infinite forgiveness, mercy and love. But, suppose it was God holding everyone hostage. This would lead to the absurd situation where God turned Jesus over to the devil so that the devil could kill Jesus in order for God to have a ransom to Himself. After all, the Bible does say that God gave Jesus over to evil men to have him killed:

“This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” (Acts 2:23-24)

If the “gospel of blood” is true, then God had Jesus killed only to satisfy Himself. But if this is the case, why couldn’t God just forgive everyone and forget?

Let’s suppose it was a devil holding the world hostage. This is not any better. It would lead to another absurd situation where God turned Jesus over to the devil to be killed in order to pay the devil’s ransom and set people free. But no matter who held humanity hostage or who paid the ransom, it all failed miserably because a literal interpretation of the Bible describes God throwing the vast majority of humanity into hell. Isn’t such a view of God highly dishonoring? For this reason, the God who appears in NDEs is closer to the God revealed by Jesus than the “God” defined by literalists.

Question: If people don’t know about this ransom will God have them burn forever in hell?

Answer: Yes, according to literalists. This has always been a thorny problem for literalists to explain. How does one justify a God of love throwing the vast majority of the human race into eternal torment when they were never given an opportunity by God Himself to hear the gospel?

Suppose God does not hold such people accountable and allows them into heaven. Then this would create another absurd situation where it would be better to never know the gospel and be guaranteed a place in heaven, than to know the gospel and face the possibility of going to hell. It would be very bizarre if this was God’s plan of redemption. It would also be very bizarre for people to believe that this plan of redemption is true.

The concept that God loves and saves only those who know about and gives mental and verbal assent to God is extremely ludicrous at best and dangerous at worst. Its corresponding concept that God hates and damns those who do not know about or give mental and verbal assent to God is also extremely ludicrous at best and dangerous at worst. Even if we assume that God loves everyone, including those whom “God” has thrown into hell, then this would be a very strange way for God to express his love for everyone. It is also a very strange thing for people to believe. Such absurdities lead to erroneous ideas of God demanding people to “love me or I will fry you.”

If it is God’s will that everyone go to heaven (1 Timothy 2:3-4) and nobody can thwart God’s will (Job 42:2, Daniel 4:35), but everyone does not go to heaven (Revelation 21:8), then the literalist has to explain why God isn’t powerful enough to save everyone. If God isn’t powerful enough to save everyone, then this contradicts other Bible verses that state God is all powerful and wills to save everyone. This contradiction cannot be explained using a literal interpretation of these scriptures.

It should be common sense that a God of infinite love would never allow even one soul to be eternally tormented in hell. The twisted dogma of eternal damnation was derived from a literal interpretation of the highly symbolic parables of Jesus and the dream symbolism of the Book of Revelation (see also Daniel’s dream). For this reason, a literal interpretation of an infallible Bible has to be wrong – even dangerous. A serious study of NDE reports clearly reveal that scriptures should be interpreted in a spiritual manner rather than a literal interpretation.

Question: Didn’t Jesus want to die? He said he laid down his life on his own. He said no one takes it from him. It sounds like Jesus committed suicide.

Answer: Yes, Jesus voluntarily had himself killed. Literalists, however, wiggle around this issue and generally do not consider it suicide. Some literalists describe Jesus’ work on the cross by using the allegory of a soldier falling on a grenade to save his buddies. But this analogy falls short because according to this analogy, it would be God who threw the grenade in the first place. And this is not the only problem literalists face. Many literalists limit God to Jesus. The analogy would then mean that it was Jesus who threw the grenade at people and fell on it to save them. It would also mean that Jesus was the one who slaughtered all the innocent children in the Old Testament. Such absurdities prove an infallible Bible to be ridiculous.

Question: Then why would God want Jesus to take his own life then?

Answer: Central to Christian doctrine is the human sacrifice of Jesus. The gospels state that Jesus believed his mission from God was to go to the cross. It states that Jesus volunteered to be a human sacrifice to pay a ransom to free humanity from being hostages to Satan. In Jesus’ day, it was believed that animal sacrifices were necessary for the forgiveness of sins. This made good sense to first century people, but to the modern mind it seems utterly ridiculous. The idea that God would need human and animal sacrifices to be appeased is repulsive and barbaric to many people. Also, killing the innocent for the transgressions of the guilty seems incredibly unjust. However, a much deeper spiritual interpretation of these crude symbols can be found. There are more realistic and spiritual reasons why Jesus wanted to die and have himself killed. The “hostage and ransom” theme surrounding Christ’s execution is also a powerful archetype. The following list contains the important reasons gleaned from near-death accounts, the Bible, and mystical teachings of Christianity:

(1) The human sacrifice of Jesus was a sublime way to symbolize and emphasize the major point of Jesus’ teachings which is to practice unconditional love through self-sacrifice, self-deprecation, and self-denial by crucifying your lower beastly nature of humanity: self-gratification, self-indulgence, self-centeredness, self-righteousness, self-importance, self-condemnation, selfishness, and humanity’s constant clamoring for SELF (i.e., the ego, the “false god”, the “devil”).

(2) Through the human sacrifice of Jesus, his teachings proliferated drew worldwide attention. The incredible injustice of his execution combined with his life-changing teachings made Jesus one of the greatest martyrs the world has ever known.

(3) Through his sacrifice, Jesus demonstrated that his testimony is highly credible because of his willingness to die such an extremely horrible execution for the sake of his testimony and teachings. A liar would not suffer this much and die for the sake of a lie. A lunatic would not be able to say the profound that Jesus said; nor would a lunatic be as stable as Jesus was. The only option left for us is that Jesus was who he said he was. There is no other option.

(4) Through his life and death, Jesus fulfilled a large number of Hebrew prophecies which drew a large number of Jews to his cause to build the foundation of his church.

(5) Through his death, Jesus was able to return to heaven in order to continue his ministry at a later time. His return to Earth from heaven would satisfy a large number of prophecies demonstrating him to be the Hebrew Messiah and a great teacher for the world. Should his return be spiritual instead of literal, it may represent the so-called “Christ Consciousness” ruling the collective consciousness of humanity.

(6) Through his death, Jesus was able to visit his disciples in spirit. Their testimony of Jesus’ ability to overcome death provided the world with strong circumstantial evidence for life after death. His visitations with his disciples in spirit are remarkably similar to modern reports of after-death visitations.

(7) Through his death, Jesus was better able to serve humanity through the outpouring ministry of the Christ Consciousness (i.e., Holy Spirit) which Jesus taught about and manifested in his life. The outpouring of the Christ Consciousness resulted in the spreading of his teachings throughout the world.

(8) In a sense, the bloody horror of what happened to Jesus had a similar affect as the bloody horror of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It was seared into the very global consciousness of the world – especially Americans. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, it inspired a chain-reaction of God-like actions from heroes demonstrating what is best within humanity. It also brought to Americans a unity of heart and mind unknown since Pearl Harbor and demonstrated how such a wonderful good can overcome a horrible tragedy. The same can probably be said about the horror of having such a beautiful person as Jesus be unjustly slaughtered.

(9) Near-death experiencer Arthur Yensen once stated that Jesus also came to stop the age-old practice of slaughtering innocent animals as scapegoats for human beings in the name of God. I certainly have to agree with Mr. Yensen. Killing animals for nourishment is one thing, but killing them for the purpose of removing the guilt of people’s misdeeds is infantile and abhorrent in my opinion. Spiritually mature people pay their own debts and seek the forgiveness of those they offended. Blaming a devil for your shortcomings and having an innocent one killed to pay your debts is for the spiritually immature.

(10) Near-death experiencer Betty Eadie mentioned the following as a reason for Jesus’ death: “Life on Earth is our opportunity to learn unconditional love as Jesus taught it, to serve and sacrifice personal welfare in behalf of others. Part of Jesus’ mission was to die for us … ours is to live as he did.” (Betty Eadie)

I am sure there are other reasons for the human sacrifice of Jesus. It is very easy for the horror of the tragedy to be so strong as to “blind” us from the subtler and deeper ramifications of Christ’s crucifixion. For thousands of years, the human sacrifice motif has dominated the more spiritual reasons for Christ’s death in a manner that has helped to proliferate these same spiritual influences.

Categories
Bible Religion

Christian Doctrines and the Near-Death Experience

Someone once asked me the following question:

“You mentioned how you learned from near-death testimony how we don’t go to heaven by believing in Jesus; but rather, we grow to heaven through emulating Jesus by loving everyone unconditionally. How has your knowledge of NDEs changed your belief in Christian doctrines such as the trinity, resurrection, the work of Jesus, and others.”

My answer is NDE testimony has expanded my understanding of practically all Christian doctrines. Where controversial doctrines were once in question, NDE testimony gave me the answers. The following are my answers to questions related to Christian doctrines in light of my understanding of NDEs.

Table of Contents

  1. God
  2. Evolution
  3. Humanity
  4. Garden of Eden
  5. Adam and Eve
  6. Original Sin
  7. Evil
  8. Satan
  9. Angels and Demons
  10. Heaven and Hell
  11. God’s Law
  12. Virgin Birth
  13. Jesus
  14. Christ
  15. Trinity
  16. Biblical Miracles
  17. Resurrection
  18. Gospel
  19. Salvation
  20. Last Judgment
  21. Damnation
  22. Bible
  23. Church
  24. Prayer
  25. Once Saved Always Saved
  26. Predestination
  27. Second Coming
  28. Abortion
  29. Death Penalty
  30. Homosexuality
  31. War

1. God

The Bible teaches that God is love (1 John 4:16) and God is light (1 John 1:5). And the Apostle Paul quoted Greek philosopher poets to show that God is also life in Acts 17:26-28:

“From one man he (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ [1] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'” [2] (Acts 17:26-28).

Notice in the above Bible verse how the Apostle Paul references the Greek philosopher poet Epimenides [1], who lived in the 7th or 6th century BC, and the Greek poet Aratus [2] who lived in between the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, concerning the Greek philosophy of everything existing as a part of God. And because all physical matter can be reducible to light particles according to particle physics, science also supports everything in the universe consisting of light particles. Another supporting Bible verse declares God to be “eternal” life (1 John 5:20). And according to the Bible, God is literally the “life force” holding all things together as declared in Colossians 1:15-17 — a reference to the awesome power of the atom. So according to the Bible, God exists as a Biblical “trinity” of love (the “Father”, the “Mind of Christ“), and life (the “Son”, the “Body of Christ“), and light (the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Christ“). God is literally the “Force” of life holding all light particles in the universe together in love. So this realization of God existing everywhere in everything — and that all humans are all a part of God — agrees with the Bible and the consensus among people having NDEs. These Bible verses also agree with NDE testimonies, and another Bible verse (Numbers 23:19), which shows that God does not exist in the form of a man sitting on a throne. God is the light of love shining from one degree to another within the life of everyone, including such great wisdom teachers as Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Moses, etc. One particular near-death experiencer gave a good analogy of their experience of God in heaven — air is to the physical world, what God is to the spirit world. In the higher realms of light, it has been said the presence of God is obvious to everyone. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning God.

2. Evolution

Scientific, metaphysical, religious and NDE evidence suggests both evolution and creationism are true. The universe was created by God through the process of evolution billions of years ago. Although a literal interpretation of Genesis suggests the universe is no older than 7,000 years, the scientific evidence shows the universe is around 14 billion years old. The light from the stars we see in the night sky took millions and millions of years to reach our eyeballs. If this was not true, you would not be able to see them. This fact alone proves the universe is much older than 7,000 years. The Bible also declares how one day to God is but a thousand years and vice versa (2 Peter 3:8). However, a spiritual interpretation of Genesis can incorporate the scientific evidence because the universe is a greater revelation of God than Genesis. The universe itself is a greater declaration of God’s handiwork than the entire Bible. And there is a mountain of scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution. You can read more about human origins based upon a famous NDE experiencer named Edgar Cayce.

3. Humanity

So, our bodies evolved from the earth. Our minds evolved with the stars according to Biblical astrology. And our spirits evolved from God. This is the mystery of God within human beings. While in the physical world, we are evolving into perfect human beings in body, mind, and spirit. Jesus said, “you are gods” (John 10:30-36) declaring the divinity within himself and every human being. When making this declaration, Jesus was referencing to Psalm 82:1-6 how we too are “gods” and “sons” (i.e., children) of God just like Jesus. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning humanity.

4. Garden of Eden

A literal interpretation of the story of the Garden of Eden tells a bizarre tale of how “evil” and “sin” entered into this world, and how humanity fell from God’s grace: A talking snake tricked a woman, who was created from a man’s rib, into eating magical fruit.

A literal interpretation of Genesis 2 through Genesis 3 shows just how ridiculous are assuming the Bible should always be literally interpreted. Such a ridiculous literal interpretation of creation supposedly unleashed the horrible satanic legions of apocalyptic abomination of desecration, and the damnation of souls from the dark abyss, and into the hearts of all humanity bringing unspeakable evil, death, oblivion, holocaust, and Armageddon.

However, if we give this ridiculous story a spiritual interpretation, as one would do with a parable or dream, then we are able to see Genesis as being an archetypal account of humanity’s fall from the spiritual world to the physical world. The “Garden of Eden” represents our heavenly origin. The snake in Genesis representing wisdom (knowing both good and evil); and the snake in other religions represents spiritual wisdom. The “forbidden fruit” possibly is a symbol representing our free will. Our “banishment from Eden” represents how some souls left the divine origins of heaven to explore their free will and physical reality. A large group of early Christians believed this was the real story behind Genesis. Read more about my research conclusions concerning the fallibility of a literal interpretation of the Bible.

5. Adam and Eve

A literal interpretation of Genesis suggests Adam was the first human on earth. Eve, supposedly created from the rib of Adam, was the first woman on earth. But, this story doesn’t account for the millions of years of human evolution discovered by science. Edgar Cayce, who experienced NDEs for over forty years, was given the complete account of Adam and Eve:

Human beings evolved from homo erectus to homo sapiens. Homo sapiens did not become human beings until souls who left their divine origins in heaven began to possess homo erectus bodies. This is the actual interpretation of the Biblical story of “sons of God” mating with the “daughters of men.”

The story of Adam and Eve is the story of how ape-men became human. Once souls began possessing the bodies of these ape-men, they came out of the trees, developed communities, learned to cultivate and created religions. The first man, Adam, was the first homo sapien to become the first “son of God” and the first to receive the fullness of divine consciousness. Edgar Cayce affirmed reincarnation in the Bible. He revealed Adam was the first incarnation of the “Christ” soul. The “Christ” soul was a higher spiritual being chosen to supervise the evolution of humanity. Cayce revealed Jesus, as a human being, was not the only incarnation of the Christ soul; he was the final incarnation of the Christ soul. This is why the Bible reveals Jesus to be the first and last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45 and Romans 5:14). Read more about Edgar Cayce’s NDE testimony on the past lives of Jesus.

6. Original Sin

The doctrine of original sin came from a literal interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve. It suggests the sin of Adam led to spiritual and physical death of all humanity. Only a divine savior can reverse it.

The notion of God punishing children for the sins of their fathers is incredibly unjust and Christians need to face up to this. Suppose your friend committed a murder. It would be an incredible travesty of justice if your friend’s son was executed because of his father’s sin – especially if your friend gets off scot-free. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning religion.

7. Evil

The Bible describes evil as being like a “plague” of the human soul. Many Christians believe this evil is a universal force opposing God and is the source all sin. The phrase “The Devil made me do it” is a similar concept believed by Christians. But NDE testimonies reveal evil is best understood to be an ignorance of spiritual realities. In other words, what many Christians understand to be sin is best understood as being mistakes from which we learn valuable lessons.

It must be admitted by all Christians: “evil” and “sin” are permitted to exist only because of the sovereignty of God. Otherwise, God would have destroyed it the moment it appeared. People having NDEs learn God permits human beings to make mistakes for the purpose of spiritual instruction and enlightenment. For example, Hitler was a very “evil” man: he was a “very ignorant” man when it came to spiritual realities. So there is no universal force than made Hitler “evil.” Hitler made himself into a very, very ignorant person. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning Hitler.

8. Satan

The Bible refers to an entity known to be the originator of “evil”. According to the Bible, this entity was one of the greatest creations of God but fell from grace. It is believed this entity, called “Satan“, is an omnipresent force leading a rebellion against God by tempting people into sin. It is believed this entity is responsible for the fall of humanity from the grace of God. However many near-death experiencers have learned such an entity does not exist. What Christians believe to be “Satan” is actually known by NDE experiencers as being their own personal flaws of self-centeredness, self-gratification, self-glorification, self-consciousness, self-righteousness, self-interest and the preoccupation with SELF. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning Satan.

9. Angels and Demons

The Bible describes angels as being a hierarchy of spirit entities who aid humanity in fulfilling the work of God. Demons are a hierarchy of lower spirit beings warring against God and man.

There is much evidence from NDEs, after-death visitations, deathbed visions, out-of-body experiences, dreams, etc. of the existence of a hierarchy of angels. Some of these angels are actually the spirits of human beings. The Biblical describes how people entertaining strangers may be entertaining angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). Other angels appear with great authority and emit a tremendous amount of light and love.

The Bible and NDEs reveals entities who can best be described as horrible. People having NDEs have described spirit entities with grotesque bodies having such features as rotting flesh, melting faces, a dark countenance with very unpleasant personalities. It is generally assumed by NDE experiencers that these entities were once human beings. These beings can be encountered in the hell realms. Earthbound human souls haunting the living have been mistaken for “demons“. However, God has not abandoned these souls according to many NDEs. Rather, their condition is a temporary one caused by their refusal to enter into the Light because of the fear their “darkness” will be revealed (John 3:19-21). God has a plan for every one of these miserable souls to attain liberation. Eventually, all souls will eventually see the light and progress higher. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, God allows such souls to have the spiritual “time-out” they desire as long as necessary. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning angelic guides.

10. Heaven and Hell

Traditional Christianity holds to the existence of only three realms: hell, the physical realm, and heaven. NDE testimonies generally agree with this; although they have described the existence of many hell realms and many heaven realms. The Bible describes the existence of a “third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). I have read enough NDE testimonies to conclude the physical realm we currently inhabit is a realm somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy of afterlife realms. In other words, we are actually living in the afterlife right now and our physical universe is but one of these realms in the hierarchy. So we are moving up the Jacob’s ladder of success, you might say, in God’s heavenly “corporation” to become permanent citizens once again in the highest heaven. The highest heaven is the eventual destiny of every human being. It is where we originated from – our true home – and where we all will eventually return.

11. God’s Law

The “law of God” in the Bible is based on the concept of “an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.” This is the natural law of cause and effect; what goes up must come down; do unto others and the same will be done to you; live by the sword and you will die by the sword; you reap what you sow; every action has an equal and opposite reaction; the law of karma, etc. This is the law of nature and the law of the physical realm. While the effects of this law can be seen everywhere, there exists an even greater law revealed from higher sources. It is the law of love – forgiveness and grace. When someone strikes you in the face, you should not strike back. This will stop the vicious cycle of hurt in its tracks. It means loving even your enemies. It means unconditional love. The best way to undo “bad karma” is through love and forgiveness. Like love, forgiveness is a divine trait because God forgives everyone. Actually, NDE testimonies reveal there is really nothing for God to forgive us for. God allows us to make mistakes for higher reasons. God is love (1 John 4:16) and love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians.13:4-5). In fact, love removes a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Therefore, the law of God is love (Romans 13:10). The commandment of God is love (John 15:12). Love is the very gospel of God (John 3:16). Jesus taught how the way to eternal life is through love (Luke 10:25-28). Everyone who loves is “born of God” and knows God (1 John 4:7). We know we are “saved” if we love others (1 John 3:14). Love is the sign of being a disciple of Christ (John 13:35). Without love we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). Without love we gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). So faith alone without works of love is dead (James 2:17). The Kingdom of heaven can be found within ourselves (Luke 17:20-21).

12. Virgin Birth

I believe it matters very little whether or not a person believes in the virgin birth of Jesus or not. Modern Bible scholarship has revealed the verse in Isaiah describing a “virgin” giving birth to a Messiah is actually better translated as “young woman”. Personally, I don’t believe it matters in the scheme of things whether Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. If she was a virgin, then her pregnancy was a miracle. If not, then it wasn’t a miracle. Either way, Jesus had a human side to him either way. Read more about one particular near-death experiencer interpreted the Christian doctrine of the virgin birth.

13. Jesus

The Bible describes special people whom exhibited super-human abilities. One of them was Jesus. The influence of the life of Jesus upon the world cannot be overstated. Jesus also appears frequently in NDEs. The Bible describes Adam to be the first “son of God.” The Apostle Paul compares to Jesus to Adam when he refers to Jesus being the “last Adam” who undoes the error of the “first Adam”.

In the Hebrew Bible, a character named Melchizedek is described as someone who was never born and who has never died. Paul describes Jesus as being a priest in the order of this Melchezidek. Enoch was another special person because God took him to heaven without suffering death (possibly an NDE). The story of Joseph is about a man who was thrown into a pit and left for dead by his brothers. From this pit, he eventually rose to become an Egyptian prince. Joseph was blessed with the power of dream interpretation and prophecy. It is clear from the Bible these were very special people. If the gospels are true, then Jesus certainly displayed powers no one else ever had. However, Jesus did say we could perform the same miracles as he if we believed (John 14:12). Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning Jesus.

14. Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one” and is a reference to the Hebrew Messiah. The New Testament declares Jesus to be the Hebrew Messiah. The origin of the concept of the Messiah can be found in Genesis where God informs Satan of a descendant of Eve who will destroy him and – in the process – Satan will harm this descendant of Eve (Genesis 3:15). This descendant of Eve will be known as the Messiah.

The Bible describes several people who help to fulfill this prophecy of the Messiah. As previously mentioned, several such people in the Bible includes Adam, Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph and Jesus. These people display many characteristics similar to each other and Jesus.

The Bible reveals how reincarnation was widely believed in Biblical days. There is strong evidence of Jesus teaching reincarnation in the Bible. Christians who believe in reincarnation can see how these special people in the Bible could be the reincarnation of the same soul. Several Christian groups living around the time of Christ believed in reincarnation as well. The man who had more documented NDEs in history, Edgar Cayce, affirmed this to be the case as well.

In essence, the Bible is the story of this special soul called “the Christ” and his ministry throughout the recorded history of the world. From this revelation, one can believe in the humanity of Jesus, as flesh and blood, whose soul attained “Christhood” (i.e., at-onement with God) as the “anointed one” who reincarnated at times to enlighten the world.

15. Trinity

According to the Bible, humans were created in the image of God. According to many religious traditions and NDEs, a human consists of a physical body, a mental body and a spirit body. Therefore, the human body is actually a trinity of bodies: mind, body and spirit. The Bible describes God as a trinity of “bodies”: life, light, and love. Jesus described his relationship with God as: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Using this information, we can now understand the relationship between God, Jesus and humanity. The Bible refers to humans as being part of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), having the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and having the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). This explains why Jesus defended his divine nature by making a “blasphemous” remark to the religious leaders in John 10:30-36 where he quoted Psalm 82:6. The verse in Psalm states, “You are gods; you are sons of the Most High.” Jesus was almost killed for quoting this verse. It clearly states the divine nature within all human beings.

This concept of the trinity I have described is another revelation from Edgar Cayce who described this trinity in terms of the body (conscious mind), the soul (subconscious mind), and the spirit (superconscious mind). According to Cayce, each aspect of our being corresponds to various afterlife realms. The body belongs to the physical realm; the soul belongs to the astral realm (the realm of dreams and near-death experiences), and the spirit belongs to the spirit realm (the higher realms of pure consciousness).

16. Bible Miracles

The most intriguing miracles in the Bible are those performed by Jesus. Jesus turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, walked on water, healed many people of incurable diseases, transfigured into a Being of Light, feed a multitude of people, quieted a storm, foretold his own death and rose from the dead. Because so many NDE testimonies identify Jesus to be a “Being of Light”, this is strong evidence of a historical Jesus and not a mythical Jesus. NDE experiencers have received information of the truthfulness of the Bible when it is interpreted spiritually. Because of this, I see no reason to disbelieve these miraculous claims – especially in light of the miracles reported in modern times such as psychic phenomenon, healings, near-death experiences, etc. Read more about NDEs and the miracles of Jesus here.

17. Resurrection

The consensus among Christians is “resurrection” is the miraculous power of God in raising corpses out of their graves and transforming them into immortal bodies. The gospels describe Jesus resurrecting Lazarus from the dead and Jesus himself resurrecting from the dead.

The concept of a “final resurrection” originated with the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism which is also the source for apocalyptic end of days and the concept of Satan and demons. During the Babylonian exile of the Jews, these concepts from Zoroastrianism were incorporated into the Hebrew religion. In the days of Jesus, the religious sect called the Sadducees rejected all Persian concepts because they believed them to be “foreign” doctrines. For this reason, the Sadducees rejected the concept of resurrection and maintained the traditional Hebrew doctrine of Sheol, the place where all the dead go.

The Pharisees, according to Flavius Josephus, believed “resurrection” meant reincarnation. It is also clear the traditional Zoroastrian concept of resurrection was also believed in those days. Paul was a Pharisee who embraced the mystical concept of resurrection (i.e., reincarnation).

In the 1940’s, two of the greatest archeological discoveries occurred – the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library of Gnostic Christian writings. Among modern Biblical scholars who examined these early works, a controversy and cover-up centered occurred which dealt with the concept of resurrection found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Christians. These early writings affirm the concept of resurrection actually meant reincarnation in those days.

In the Bible, Jesus describes two different kinds of “resurrection”. One kind is a physical “resurrection” identical to reincarnation. The other kind refers to spiritual “resurrection” – a regeneration or becoming “born again.” Lazarus is described in the Bible as being “resurrected” physically from the dead. The same happened to Jesus. Although there is no reason to doubt these events, affirming them does not discredit reincarnation. It is possible Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death in the same way people have after-death visitations today. This means the resurrection of Jesus does not necessarily need to be interpreted as a physical resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection appearances could have likely been after-death communications (ADCs).

18. Gospel

Jesus came to bring the “gospel” which literally means “good news”. Jesus gave the meaning behind the gospel when a scribe asked Jesus what it took to attain eternal life. Jesus affirmed the key to eternal life was loving your neighbor and loving God with all your heart (Luke 10:25-28). Eternal life simply means never having to experience death anymore. By reading the Sermon on the Mount and other teachings of Jesus, his emphasis on unconditional love becomes clear. Because God is love, it is easy to believe the gospel is also about love. Jesus did not come to teach a new religion. Jesus taught people unconditional love. It was the “heart” of his message because love is God.

19. Salvation

Many Christians believe only those who believe in Jesus are saved from hell. I believe this is based on a misinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus. After all, even demons believe in Jesus.

The Bible describes two different types of salvation. One type of salvation is defined by Paul. It is salvation by faith alone. The other type of salvation was defined by James, the brother of Jesus. James taught salvation by performing good works of faith. Jesus clearly emphasized good works – especially loving others. When Nicodemus asked Jesus what he meant by “born again”, Jesus replied “whosoever believes in him will have eternal life.” What does Jesus mean by “believes in him?” Does it mean those who believe in his name have eternal life? Or does it mean those who believe Jesus is their savior have eternal life? Or does it mean those who know certain things about Jesus have eternal life? None of these are correct. In Luke 10:25-28, Jesus describes what it takes to have eternal life – loving others and God. So, we see salvation through good works – not faith alone (James 2:24). Everyone who loves has been born again knows God (1 John 4:7-8).

20. Last Judgment

Throughout the Bible, references to the “judgment” of God are given. Although God may be called the “Great Judge”, this does not necessarily mean the Great Judge does, in fact, judge people. The Bible says God does not judge people (John 5:22). Nor does Jesus judge anyone (John 8:15 and John 12:47-48). The Bible suggests people are “self-judged” (John 12:47-48). Much of the doctrine of a “Judge of Wrath” comes from the symbolism of the parables of Jesus and the Book of Revelation – both of which are not to be taken literally. NDE testimonies support the idea of people judge themselves – God does not. Read more about the NDEs and my research conclusions concerning the life review.

21. Damnation

The image above is a depiction of the fundamentalist’s view of damnation. In this case, it is a depiction of Jesus casting a Hindu teenager into hell for never having made a pledge of allegiance to His Lordship. This concept of “eternal damnation” comes mostly from the symbolism of the parables of Jesus and the Book of Revelation which were never meant to be understood literally. Near-death experiencers affirm hell is a place for purification and instruction, not eternal damnation. Common sense should tell people a God of infinite love and mercy would never allow even one soul to be eternally tortured in hell. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions about hell. Also, read the history of how the Christian doctrine of hell became an eternal hell.

22. Bible

Several near-death experiencers were told by Jesus the Bible is true but it has to be read spiritually, not literally. A literal interpretation of the Bible yields a multitude of errors and contradictions. It is also a mistake to limit all revelations of God to just a book (the Bible) as many Christians do.

The Bible, as it exists today, is the product of the Catholic Church when a relatively few bishops and clergymen decided what would be in the Bible and what would not. The Book of Enoch was a book considered to be holy scripture by the Jews during the days of Jesus. In fact, a quote from the Book of Enoch can be found in the Bible – Jude 1:14-15 to be exact:

“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.'” (Jude 1:14-15)

However, the Church rejected the Book of Enoch as heresy. But even the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation was suspected of being heretical and almost received the same fate as the Book of Enoch.

During the early Church age, there were many gospels and many writings floating around. The few clergymen of the Church had to decide what is inspired and what is not. It was completely a bureaucratic process.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi scriptures show how many books were considered to be holy scripture in the days of Jesus. This suggests the modern Bible is not the complete work of God.

Many NDE testimonies involve a direct experience in heaven with the light of God. This cannot be said of all the experiences in the Bible. This begs the question: “Are near-death experiences a greater revelation of God than the Bible?” This is a question people have to answer for themselves. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning the Bible.

23. Church

Many Christians make the mistake of defining the “church” to be a building where people go to worship God. However, Jesus’ definition of the “church” is the people who are members of God’s kingdom. Since Christians generally believe Jesus is the Savior of the whole world, this suggests the whole world is made up of members of God’s kingdom. This agrees with NDE testimonies affirming universal salvation.

24. Prayer

During Betty Eadie’s NDE, she was actually shown how the prayers of people on earth create spiritual “beams of light” shooting out from the earth and into outer space toward heaven. She saw how group prayer creates an even larger and stronger beam of light to God. She saw how a mother’s prayer for her children also produces a much stronger beam of light. She saw how insincere prayers – or prayers of repetition – create very weak beams of light falling short of the boundaries of earth and never reach heaven.

Kahlil Gibran, the famous Christian mystic and poet, had an interesting way of defining prayer. He said, “God listens not to your words save when he utters them through your lips.” I believe the poet is referring to how God is within us and when we pray to God, we must go within.

One controversy for some Christians today is children not being allowed to pray in public school. Although kids should and need to pray – especially when there is such an epidemic of drugs, gangs, and venereal diseases in our public schools – I believe it might be harmful to allow prayers in public schools. It leads to the question of “what kind of religious prayer should kids in school say?” Some religions believe prayers should be performed in a kneeling position facing East. Some religions teach people to pray to more than one God. Some religions don’t even involve prayer. So who is to decide what kind of prayer to give? What if the majority of kids in a class wanted to say a Buddhist prayer with Christians in the same room? Because of this, I think it is best to keep religious rituals and public prayers out of school and into churches where they belong. Besides, Jesus taught against public prayer. He taught how prayers should be done in the quiet of your own room where nobody but God can see you.

25. Once Saved Always Saved

Orthodox Protestant Christianity, as founded by John Calvin and Martin Luther, traditionally held to the belief of once a person is saved by Jesus, they are forever saved by Jesus. On the other hand, modern Christianity in general holds to the belief of once you are saved by Jesus, you can still fall from God through sin and become eternally lost. On the other hand, one particular NDE experiencer, Mellen-Thomas Benedict, was given a revelation from God: humanity was already “saved”. This is because NDEs affirm there is no eternal damnation and God gives everyone as many opportunities it takes to grow toward the light.

26. Predestination

Orthodox Protestant Christianity, as founded by John Calvin and Martin Luther, traditionally hold to a doctrine of “unconditional election” which is a Biblical term used to describe how God is absolutely sovereign in deciding who to save and who to damn. This is based upon Biblical references describing how God chose, before the universe was created, an “elect” group of people out of fallen humanity whom God would save from eternal damnation. Other Christians believe God gives everyone the opportunity to be saved because all humans have a free will not enslaved to Satan. Calvinists deny free will except for the freedom given to us by Jesus. However, I have discovered NDEs affirm both predestination and free will to be correct. God chose to have every soul be “saved” from self-destruction. Everyone has the free will and ability to return to God. The key to understanding this is all paths lead back to God. In other words, we choose our own destiny. Our free will is predestined to ultimately bring us closer to God.

27. Second Coming

I believe the evidence shows Jesus as having many incarnations in this world. The idea of a “second coming” is really a misnomer. It would be best to say that Jesus will return in he same manner he has returned a number of times throughout history. This also means Jesus will enter the world the same way he did the last time – through childbirth (or more correctly “rebirth“). Based on a number of prophecies – both Biblical and NDE – I believe Jesus may have already been born again into this world for the final time. It these prophecies are correct, then Jesus is now an adult and he is ready to help lead humanity once again to seek the Kingdom of heaven within.

28. Abortion

The controversy of abortion revolves around the question: “when is a human zygote or fetus an actual human being?” Some people believe in “zygotic personhood” – the belief of life beginning at conception. Some people believe life begins at birth. I prefer to believe the psychic revelation from Edgar Cayce on this subject. The soul/spirit enters the body during a time period from six months before birth and up to an hour after birth. The Bible describes God giving man the “breath of life” making him a living being. One particular woman had an NDE from having an abortion and God had absolutely no condemnation against her. In essence, God didn’t care about it and didn’t even mention it.

As long as babies are not aborted near the time of birth, I see no reason to prevent a woman from aborting a fetus. In fact, contrary to what many Christians believe, the Bible actually approves of abortion. According to Numbers 5:20-22, when a woman becomes pregnant by a man who is not her husband, God gave Moses “water that brings a curse” which the pregnant woman must be made to drink to induce a miscarriage. Also, the prophet Hosea prayed to God to have the fetuses of his enemies miscarry (Hosea 9:14-16). Hosea’s prayers were answered by God. From this, one can conclude abortion to be Biblical and legal. However, it is not Biblical or legal to bomb abortion clinics and kill people. If life begins at conception, then what about all natural abortions millions of women menstruate every year? Is menstruation murder? You can see how silly such a question is.

29. Death Penalty

Suppose a murder/rapist tortured, raped and murdered your daughter (God forbid). The anger and desire for retribution would be incredible for many people. NDE testimonies describe how the souls of murderers and rapists create their own in hell after death. Many such experiences reveal how people in hell are allowed to reincarnate when they finally repent of their actions.

Concerning the punishment of murderers, which is better: having murders killed immediately by capital punishment and sending them to hell? Or is it better to have murderers “rot in prison” for the rest of their life and then face a possible hell. For some of the more horrific murderers, death certainly seems too good for them. But it may be best to have murderers live the rest of their lives in prison to reflect upon their actions and face a lifetime of “prison justice” by other prisoners. Perhaps we should have compassion for these unfortunately ignorant murderers. “Rotting in prison” may actually be the more humane route of justice. It gives them the opportunity to be rehabilitated for when they must face God when they die.

I believe many Christians support the death penalty because the Bible suggests God supports it. Their argument is: “if God did not believe in the death penalty, Jesus would have been given 10 to 20 years in prison with time of for good behavior”. But, in my opinion, Jesus’ death penalty of crucifixion was cruel and unusual punishment.

30. Homosexuality

The Bible was written thousands of years ago when people had slaves, women were slightly higher in status than cattle, homosexuals were stoned to death, pagans were put to death, and prostitutes and adulterers where stoned to death. It is in this context the Bible was written.

In the Bible, Paul certainly declares his pro-slavery, anti-feminist, homophobic, religiously intolerant, anti-Semitic, anti-marriage and sexually repressed opinions. Such attitudes are certainly against the principles and teachings of Jesus who said God is our only master; women are equal to men; so-called “sexual deviants” such as prostitutes are loved by God; and a person’s religion does not matter to God. The only “religion” that matters is love.

Those Christians who condemn gay people should examine their own sexuality. For example, do such Christians masturbate? If so, then why shouldn’t such Christians be condemned as well? Especially when NDE testimonies affirm gay and lesbian people are welcomed into heaven as well.

31. War

It should be obvious to everyone how declaring war against Hitler saved the world from fascism. This alone suggests war can be an honorable, moral and even divine cause. The Bible describes a war in heaven. One NDE experiencer was shown how some wars are justifiable in the same way antibodies attack viruses in the human body. It is a natural process. Defeating the fascism of Hitler certainly was an honorable, moral and divine cause. Read more about NDEs and my research conclusions concerning war and evil.