Christianity Religion

Valvita Jones’ Near-Death Experience

Rita Bennett‘s mother, Lorette Jesse Reed, had a very unusual experience when Rita was being born. Later, her mother would share with her the experience several times as she was growing up. It involved going to a heavenly city and being sent back by God. But the story kind of went unnoticed by Rita. Decades later, while researching a book on near-death experiences, she had a moment of synchronicity when it dawned on her that it was a near-death experience her mother had. You can read more about Rita and her organization at her website. The following is one of the near-death experiences, reprinted her by permission, which Rita documents in her excellent book, To Heaven and Back. I highly recommend this book especially for those Christians who are still not sure whether the near-death experiences are Biblical. The following experiences will show you they are, in fact, Biblical.

In 1974, Valvita Jones entered Kansas University Medical Center due to a serious infection after having a cesarean section. At the time of her NDE, Valvita was a woman of faith, a wife, and the proud mother of a young daughter. Here is her account:

Feeling so peaceful and free, I started moving upward. I realized my body was below me, and I vaguely remember observing efforts by the medical team to revive it. My main interest was that I was above the room. I was not even in the room but in the first sky. I say first sky in the heavens, because it seemed as though there were three heavens that I passed through.

At the first heaven, I met a being. Or I should say, he met me. I recognized him as Jesus Christ, and he led me through the three heavens. When I think about Jesus’ physical presence, it almost fades away, because the predominant feature is that he is love through and through. As I recall, he had dark brown wavy hair and an olive complexion. I looked into his eyes. They were piercing but loving and as clear as blue water. You could almost see yourself mirrored in his eyes. When he looked at you, he looked straight through you and into you. You realized immediately that he knew all there was to know about you.

There now seemed to be a heavenly illumination that caused his hair to be light red and his eyes bluish, almost transparent, and his skin a light golden color. There is no way to fully describe his coloring. It is like another world’s color. It’s the Shekinah glory, iridescent golden light glowing through him. In his resurrection body, his coloring is uniquely different from anything on Earth.

I’ll tell you what happened in the three heavens. The first heaven was light blue in color but brilliant and so unlike anything I’ve seen that I can’t fully describe it. It opened up, split down the middle as though along a seam, and both sides rolled back like paper scrolls. This happened as fast as a snap of my fingers. We went through two more sky-like heavens, which also rolled back one after the other.

In a matter of seconds I found myself before the most High. The most High is the term I use because I recognized the presence of God the Father. In looking at him, I couldn’t really see him, but there was an awesome glory, an awesome presence. You could feel it everywhere, and I realized that he was on the throne. When I tried to see what the throne was like, I discovered it was invisible. I knew it was there; I just could not see it. It was so big that it extended all the way to Earth; Earth is part of that throne. This was an incredible awareness. Stunned by it all, I felt as small as a little ant, so insignificant. Trembling, I found myself prostrate. While I was lying there on my face, he spoke to me. It was unlike the mental speech between Christ and me, because the Father sounded like many waters rushing. I lay there a very long time, with God speaking to my soul. The words he spoke to me can’t be recalled, but they were about me and my life.

As I lay there, I relived every instance of my existence, every emotion and thought. I saw why I was the way I was; I re-experienced the way I had dealt with people and they with me. I saw where I could have done better. I felt emotions I was ashamed of, yet I realized there were things I had done well and felt good about.

As we looked at different scenes, I would respond, “Yes, I see how I could have done it another way, a better way.”

I wondered how anyone could feel worthy in God’s presence. I wasn’t condemned, but I didn’t feel worthy. It’s hard to explain. The whole time that was going on, for how long I don’t know, I kept praising God.

With the ending of my life review, I felt absolutely unworthy of being there in the presence of this magnificent light, unworthy in comparison to the grand scheme of things.

“It is all so beautiful, and what am I?” I said this to God.

Then Jesus’ hand touched me, and I was able to get back on my feet because I had previously had no strength. Taking me by the hand, he led me to the side of a main arena. He looked into my eyes, into my soul, and I knew he knew and understood everything I felt. When he looked into me, it was with more love than I ever thought possible for anyone to know. He smiled, one look letting me know everything would be all right.

With this reassuring look he led me to one side. He stepped away from me and went alone into the light. Where Christ’s light ended and God the Father’s began, I cannot say. They both gave off light and their light was the same light. I will never forget this as long as I live. When Christ had stepped away from me, he turned sideways and stretched out his arms as a bridge. One arm extended to me and one to the Father. His arms were extended as if they were making a cross and a bridge to cross over.

It was like a visual representation of the scripture:

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

God is on one side, and all people are on the other side. Jesus himself is between human beings and his Father to bring them to him. Christ made this possible by giving his life for all people. Everything I knew from scripture was flashing into my mind.

Then I heard the Father and Son communing about my case.

Jesus said, “My blood is sufficient. She’s mine.”

When he said that, all the doubts about my unworthiness disappeared. I jumped up and down, shouting and rejoicing. I have never been so happy in all my life! The kind of love I felt is beyond explanation.

I kept saying, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God. This is my mediator. This is my advocate.”

Just as I read in the Bible.

Jesus came back to where I was and looked at me again with comforting love. We rejoiced together. He went on teaching me and talking to me a lot, but I don’t recall the details. Now being so free and so loved, I never wanted to leave his side. I told him so, but a look in his eyes told me I had to return.

I asked, “Must I really leave?”

He looked at me with tenderness and said, “Yes, because there is a work I have for you to do.”

Coming back into my body in intensive care was as quick as my journey out had been. It seemed like the speed of light. Christ brought me back. I looked at his sweet face for the last time, a face I could have looked at forever. Next thing I knew, I was looking into the face of a friend who had gotten into intensive care by saying she was my sister. I didn’t realize where I was. When I saw her face, I was shocked because Jesus was gone so fast.

Christianity Religion

Lorraine Tutmarc’s Near-Death Experience

The following is one of the near-death experiences, reprinted here by permission, which Rita Bennett documents in her excellent book, To Heaven and Back. I highly recommend this book especially for those Christians who are still not sure whether the near-death experiences are Biblical. Visit Rita Bennett’s website Emotionally Free. The following experiences will show you they are, in fact, Biblical.

In 1928, Lorraine Tutmarc had blood poisoning. Because there were no antibiotics in those days, doctors sent her home and told her there was nothing more they could do for her. This resulted in the following NDE:

Lying there on the bed one morning, I realized the pain had left my body. I wasn’t thinking of anything, just looking up toward the ceiling, when I felt something strange happen. It felt like I was lifted out of my body, and I went right to the upper corner of the room, where I’d been looking.

Then I moved backward, going through the wall. Immediately I found myself up to my neck in a black river, black as black could be, and very cold. My physical pain, absent moments before, had returned. The water was whirling around me.

In my mind I asked, “Where am I?”

I heard a loud, loving voice say, “This is eternity. This is eternity. You are lost!”

It echoed, “You are lost!”

The strong voice came from behind me, so I didn’t see who it was, but I knew it was God’s voice.

“What is this?” I again asked in my mind.

He replied, “This is the river of death.”

His voice echoed, “This is the river of death.”

I didn’t know what “being lost” or what a “river of death” was all about. Jesus as savior was unknown to me at this time. When I was three or four years old, I had started going to Sunday school with my sister and brother. I liked going to the children’s activities, but we didn’t learn anything like salvation. And I hadn’t been to church since I was young.

I had terrible fear when I was enveloped by that black water; I can’t swim. When I saw all that water, I knew I was dying. And when this voice told me I was lost and this was eternity, then I knew God was revealing to me my lost condition. I started swirling around in this water, which became like a whirlpool. It kept on going around and around, faster and faster and faster, dragging me under. I was fighting to save my life. In pain, misery, and fear, I kept sinking down into this water. When I got down to the bottom, I couldn’t fight anymore. Completely exhausted, I gave up.

Then I saw light enter the water around me. The water turned warm. I looked up at the light and saw Jesus about four feet above me in an opening over my head. Everything else was black, but he was brilliant! The light coming from him was beyond description. His hair was an auburn color and wavy. He looked down at me. He had such beautiful eyes. I’ll never forget those eyes. They were so large and full of meaning – and kindness and forgiveness and compassion. Everything you would want to see in Jesus’ face was there.

I had to know I was lost before I could be saved. He had such a compassionate face. I’ll never forget that. Yet Jesus was not smiling, but sad. His eyes were so penetrating.

When looking at his pale ivory robe, I saw a big blotch of red on his chest and wondered what it meant. I couldn’t see what it was and was curious to figure it out. It was just a big blotch.

Instantly a voice spoke. Though I hadn’t asked, he knew what I wanted to know!

He said, “This is the blood that I shed on the cross for your sins.”

I understood his meaning: I knew I was in the wrong as the blood was explained to me.

Then Jesus said, “Follow me.”

I said, “I will!”

The minute I said, “I will,” the water was gone.

He had put his right hand down in the water, and when he said, “Follow me.”

All the darkness was gone out of my life, gone completely! A brilliance, but it wasn’t sunshine, came from Jesus. A transparent gold light came from him, from his body.

When I reached up with my left hand and took hold of his warm hand, I instantly felt the power of God come through my body. I had never heard of the power of God. Later I would use words from a hymn to describe the feeling of God’s power. It was like “sparks from smitten steel” coming right through my body from my head to my toes again and again. I grew stronger and stronger as the power went through me!

Finally I thought, “I’m well. I have no more pain. This is real! This is real!”

When I said, “It’s real,” I looked up to Jesus.

All he had said was, “Follow me.”

That’s all he would have to say to anybody!

Both of us seemed to float toward a wall. We stopped perhaps fifteen feet away from the wall. I was still holding his hand, and I followed his gaze. He was looking straight ahead. I looked up and saw a transparent wall, shining like pure gold, as far as I could see in either direction. I could see into it, eight inches or more, but not all the way through. Oh, I wanted to see behind that wall.

From behind the wall I heard much activity. Everything was alive behind that wall. It seemed like the dawn of a new day; day was just breaking! It was a beautiful experience. I heard little birds singing, tiny birds, and they got louder and louder. People have said there are no birds in heaven, but I heard them.

Then I heard what seemed like millions of little golden bells ringing, tinkling; they rang and rang. Many times since, I’ve heard those bells in the middle of the night. (And it’s not high blood pressure doing that!) Next I heard humming and then a choir singing. The singing got louder and louder, and it was in a minor key. It was beautiful and in perfect harmony. I also heard stringed instruments.

I knew there were flowers. I could smell them but couldn’t see them. Their fragrance was like perfume on a gentle breeze – a very gentle breeze.

Then because the light was so brilliant, it seemed to be getting around noontime. I stepped forward to search for a gate but didn’t see any. It just wasn’t time for me to go in there yet.

I turned around to look at Jesus, but he was gone. I didn’t see him go or hear him go. He was just gone! Then in an instant or so, I felt myself in my body and back in bed.

I never wanted to come back here, I thought. I was looking for the gates to heaven.

Christianity Religion

Kenneth Hagin’s Near-Death Experience

Reverend Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003) thought that by the time he was nine he had done all that was necessary to get a place in heaven. He was born and raised a Southern Baptist. As a child, he first made his commitment to Christ and was baptized with water. He was a lifelong member of the church. In Christian circles, he was “saved” and on the path for heaven. He was a believer and follower of Jesus Christ and he knew this assured him a place in heaven. He even believed that Jesus and all his disciples were Southern Baptists. But it came as a real shock to him when he found out that they weren’t. At the age of 15, Kenneth had a near-death experience resulting from a malformed heart – a condition he was born with.

Kenneth Hagin was the pastor of Rhema Bible Church and the Kenneth Hagin Ministries which publishes the Word of Faith Magazine. The following is an excerpt of his near-death experience as described in his book, I Believe in Visions, by Rev. Kenneth Hagin.

My heart stopped beating. This numbness spread to my feet, my ankles, my knees, my hips, my stomach, my heart and I leaped out of my body.

I did not lose consciousness; I leaped out of my body like a diver would leap off a diving board into a swimming pool. I knew I was outside my body. I could see my family in the room, but I couldn’t contact them.

I began to descend down, down, into a pit, like you’d go down into a well, cavern or cave. And I continued to descend. I went down feet first. I could look up and see the lights of the Earth. They finally faded away. Darkness encompassed me round about – darkness that is blacker than any night man has ever seen.

The farther down I went, the darker it became – and the hotter it became – until finally, way down beneath me, I could see fingers of light playing on the wall of darkness. And I came to the bottom of the pit.

This happened to me more than sixty years ago, yet it’s just as real to me as if it had happened the week before last.

When I came to the bottom of the pit, I saw what caused the fingers of light to play on the wall of darkness. Out in front of me, beyond the gates or the entrance into hell, I saw giant, great orange flames with a white crest.

I was pulled toward hell just like a magnet pulls metal unto itself. I knew that once I entered through those gates, I could not come back.

I was conscious of the fact that some kind of creature met me at the bottom of that pit. I didn’t look at it. My gaze was riveted on the gates, yet I knew that a creature was there by my right side.

That creature, when I endeavored to slow down my descent, took me by the arm to escort me in. When he did, way above the blackness and the darkness a voice spoke. It sounded like a male voice, but I don’t know what he said. I don’t know whether it was God, Jesus, an angel or who. He did not speak in the English language: it was a foreign language.

That place just shook at the few words he spoke! And the creature took his hand off my arm. There was a power like a suction to my back parts that pulled me back. I floated away from the entrance to hell until I stood in the shadows. Then, like a suction from above, I floated up, head first, through the darkness.

Before I got to the top, I could see the light. I’ve been down in a well: it was like you were way down in a well and could see the light up above.

I came up on the porch of my grandpa’s house. Then I went through the wall – not through the door, and not through the window – through the wall, and seemed to leap inside my body like a man would slip his foot inside his boot in the morning time.

Before I leaped inside my body, I could see my grandmother sitting on the edge of the bed holding me in her arms. When I got inside my body, I could communicate with her.

I felt myself slipping. I said, “Granny, I’m going again. You’ve been a second mother to me when Momma was ill.”

My heart stopped for a second time. I leaped out of my body and began to descend: down, down, down. Oh, I know it was just a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.

There farther down I went, the hotter and darker it became, until I came again to the bottom of the pit and saw the entrance to hell, or the gates as I call it. I was conscious of that creature meeting me.

I endeavored to slow down my descent – it seemed like I was floating down – yet it seemed like there was a pull that pulled me downward. And that creature took me by the arm. When he did, that voice spoke again – a man’s voice. It was a foreign language. I don’t know what he said, but when he spoke, that whole place just shook. That creature took his hand off my arm.

It was like suction to my back. I never turned around. I just came floating back into the shadows of darkness. And then I was pulled up, head first.

I could see the lights of the Earth above me before I came up out of the pit. The only difference this time was that I came up at the foot of the bed.

For a second time I stood there. I could see my body lying there on the bed. I could see Grandma as she sat there holding me in her arms.”

[Kenneth then says goodbye to his family]

I left a word for each one of them, and my heart stopped the third time.

I could feel the circulation as it cut off. Suddenly my toes went numb. Faster than you can snap your fingers, my toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, stomach and heart went dead – and I leaped out of my body and began to descend.

Until this time, I thought, this is not happening to me. This is just a hallucination. It can’t be real!

But then I thought, “This is the third time. I won’t come back this time! I won’t come back this time!”

Darkness encompassed me round about, darker than any night man has ever seen.

And in the darkness, I cried out, “God! I belong to the church! I’ve been baptized in water”

I waited for an answer, but there was no answer; only the echo of my own voice through the darkness. And the second time I cried a little louder, “God! I belong to the church! I’ve been baptized in water!”

I waited for an answer, but there was no answer; only the echo of my own voice as it echoed through the darkness.

I came again to the bottom of that pit. Again I could feel the heat as it beat me in the face. Again I approached the entrance, the gates into hell itself. That creature took me by the arm. I intended to put up a fight, if I could, to keep from going in. I only managed to slow down my descent just a little, and he took me by the arm.

Thank God that voice spoke. I don’t know who it was – I didn’t see anybody – I just heard the voice. I don’t know what he said, but whatever he said, that place shook; it just trembled. And that creature took his hand off my arm.

It was just like there was suction to my back parts. It pulled me back, away from the entrance to hell, until I stood in the shadows. Then it pulled me up head first.

[Kenneth Hagin then enters his body again and recovers from his illness.]

Christianity Religion

John P.’s Near-Death Experience

The following is John P.’s NDE testimony in his own words sent to me by email.

“I would like to tell you about my experience. I had a emotionally difficult childhood. I went to a counselor at the age of 37 to help me deal with and get on with my life. The counselor did what she called regressive therapy with me. She was a Christian and prayed at the beginning of the session that the Holy Spirit would work in my heart (soul) through the session.

“She took me down an elevator to a floor that opened up to a hallway. The hallway had doors on both sides with numbers on them. As I walked down the hallway I stopped at different doors, opened them and went into the room to deal with issues in my life. The number on the doors was the age I was when these issues happened.

“I went to my ‘two-year old room’ and dealt with a very traumatic experience. When I came out of the room the counselor prayed again that the Holy Spirit would heal me and give me a new life.

“At that point the counselor wanted to bring me back up the hallway to the elevator. I told her I can’t. I turned and went to the end of the hall, to a corner and the hallway came apart and disappeared. I then was in the presence of the light.

“I knew without having to be told that the light was the son of God, Jesus.

“I saw my deceased father and mother-in-law, along with others who I don’t remember, standing next to Jesus. There were no words, all communication was thought transfer.

“The light said, “Come.” I was compelled to go to the light.

“Standing in front of Jesus, it was communicated to me that He had unconditional love for me and total acceptance. Jesus then reached out and gave me a hug. A hug that was symbolic of the lack of affection that I was neglected as a child. I was healed at that point of my past.

“Jesus then said, ‘Go and hug others.’

“I turned and went back to the elevator, but not up the hallway. I went up a new path with a new life. Needless to say, the face-to-face experience with the light changed my entire life. My ‘Go and hug others’ command is my mission in life.

“I had dreams that came true. I would dream of situations and they then would happen. I had dreams of warfare between demons and angels that were given to teach me. I could see things in people that I couldn’t see before.

God is the source of all love and we aren’t able to love without him. We are spiritual beings like God.

“I have experienced angels with me while awake in everyday life. They are sent to comfort and guide me. I have experienced demons and their attack on me. There is much, much more to the experience and all that has happened afterward.

“When I stumbled across the NDE, I felt like I had something in common with other people and I wasn’t alone – even though I never died.

“I could write a book of my experience too. I now feel that religion is a man-made structure to try to identify and contain God. It just can’t be done!”

With best regards,
John P.

Christianity Religion

Ian McCormack’s Near-Death Experience

One night while diving for lobster on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of the African continent, Ian McCormack was stung by five deadly jellyfish of the kind that are among the most venomous creatures on Earth. By the time an ambulance arrived his body was totally paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into his bone marrow. On route to the hospital, Ian began to see his life flash before him. At this point in his life he was an atheist and he wasn’t sure what death would bring. As he lay there dying, he saw his mother in a vision praying for him, encouraging him to cry out to God from his heart so that He would hear and forgive him (his mother was the only Christian in his family.) After being taken to the hospital, Ian died for approximately 15 – 20 minutes and had an extraordinary near-death experience. The following is his testimony of his NDE reprinted here by permission.

I knew there was a release; the battle to stay alive seemed to be over. No one told me what had happened, no one said, “You just died son.” I didn’t know that. All I knew was that the battle to try and keep my eyes open and stay alive was over

I knew I’d gone somewhere, it wasn’t like closing your eyes and going to sleep, I knew I’d gone somewhere. I had been having a floating away feeling for the previous 20 minutes in the hospital anyway. I’d been hanging on to my body with everything I had trying not to float away anywhere. And yet when I closed my eyes, I wasn’t floating away, I was gone.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes, that when a man dies his spirit returns to God who gave it and his body returns to the dust from which it came.

Well, I knew my spirit had left, I had gone somewhere, and yet I didn’t know I was dead. I seemed to arrive in a huge, broad place like a void of pitch-black darkness. I felt like I was standing up. It was like I had woken up from a bad dream in someone else’s house, and was wondering where everyone had gone. I looked around trying to orient myself to these new surroundings.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and tried to find the light switch? Well, I was trying to find the light switch, and I couldn’t seem to find it. I was trying to touch something, and I was moving round and there was nothing there. I was not even bumping into anything. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I lifted my hand up to find out how much I could see. I lifted it to where my face was and it went straight through where my face should have been. It was a terrifying experience. I knew right there and then, I was me, Ian McCormack, standing there, but without a body. I had the sensation and the feeling that I had a body, but I had nothing physical to touch. I was a spiritual being, and my physical body had died, but I was very much alive, and very much aware that I had arms and legs and a head, but I could no longer touch them.

God is a spirit, an invisible spiritual being, and we are created in his image.

I was thinking in my heart, “Where on Earth am I?”

And as I was standing there in the darkness, I sensed the most incredible coldness and fear coming over me. Maybe you’ve walked down a lonely street at night, or you’ve come home by yourself and you feel as though there is someone looking at you. Ever felt that? You sense someone’s looking at you in the darkness but you can’t see who it is. I began to sense evil in the darkness. The darkness seemed not just physical but spiritual. I felt like I was being watched. A cold encroaching evil seemed to pervade the air around me. I knew there was something around me. Slowly I became aware that there seemed to be other people moving around me, in the same predicament as me. Though I didn’t speak out loud they answered my thoughts.

From the darkness I began to hear voices screaming at me: “Shut up!” “You deserve to be here!”

I thought, “I’m in hell, this could actually be real, but how did I end up here?”

I was terrified – afraid to move or breathe or speak. As I thought about it I thought, “Yep, I could have deserved this place.”

People have this picture of hell, of party time and great enjoyment. I used to think that too. I thought that you would do all the things there that you’re not supposed to do on Earth. That is absolute trash. The place I was in was the most frightening place I’ve ever been. The people there could not do anything that their wicked hearts wanted to do, they couldn’t do anything. And there’s no boasting.

Who could you boast to down there? “Oh yeah, I raped, murdered, plundered, pillaged.” Well whoop-de-doo boy! There’s nothing down there to talk about, nothing. And they know that judgment is coming.

There is no relationship to time in that place. The people there can’t tell what time it is. They can’t tell whether they’ve been there ten minutes, ten years or 10,000 years. They had no relationship to time. It was a frightening place.

The Bible says that there are two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Darkness, which is ruled by Satan, and the Kingdom of Light. The Book of Jude says that the place of darkness was actually prepared for angels that disobeyed God, not for people, ever.

And it was the scariest and the most frightening and the most terrifying place I have ever been in. I would never wish or hope that even my worst enemy went to hell.

I had no idea how to get out of this place. How do you ever get out of hell? But I had already prayed, and I was wondering why on Earth I’d gone there, because I’d prayed just before I died, and asked God to forgive me of my sins.

I was crying and I literally cried out to God, “Why am I here, I’ve asked you for forgiveness, why am I here? I’ve turned my heart to you, why am I here?”

The only way I could leave is because I’d repented before I died.

It’s too late to repent once you get down there. You can only repent before you die. You can’t pray your way out of hell and no one on Earth can pray you out of hell, no one. You have to have prayed yourself. The Bible teaches that no one can pray for dead, departed souls and get them out of hell. They have to repent before death.

Then a brilliant light shone upon me and literally drew me out of the darkness.

The Bible says that a great light has shone into darkness, on those walking in the shadow of death and darkness, and has guided their feet into the paths of peace and righteousness.

As I stood there an amazing beam of light pierced through the darkness from above me and shone on my face. This light began to envelope me and I began to sense a weightlessness overwhelm me. I then began to feel myself lift off the ground and begin to ascend up into this brilliant white light.

As I looked up I could see I was being drawn into a large circular shaped opening far above me. I didn’t want to look back too much in case I fell back into the darkness. I was very happy to be out of that darkness.

Upon entering the tunnel I could see that the source of the light was emanating from the very end of the tunnel. It looked incredibly bright, as if it was the center of the universe. It looked literally like the source of all power, of all light. It was more brilliant than the sun, more radiant than any jewel, any diamond, brighter than a laser beam light. Yet you could look right into it.

As I looked I was literally drawn to it, drawn like a moth into the presence of a flame. I felt myself being drawn through the air at an amazing speed towards the end of the tunnel. As I was being translated through the air I could see successive waves of thicker intensity light emanate off the source and start traveling up the tunnel towards me. The first wave of light gave off an amazing warmth and comfort. It was as though the light wasn’t just physical in nature but was a ‘living light’ that transmitted an emotion. Half way down another wave of light passed into me. This light gave off total and complete peace. I had looked for many years for “peace of mind” but had only found fleeting moments of it. At school I had read from Keats to Shakespeare to try and get peace of mind. I had tried alcohol, I had tried education, I had tried sport, I had tried relationships with women, I had tried drugs, I tried everything to find peace and contentment in my life, and I’d never found it. Now from the top of my head to the base of my feet I found myself totally at peace.

My next thought was “I wonder what my body looks like?”

In the darkness I hadn’t been able to see my hands in front of my face.

I thought “I must be able to see clearly now that I’m in this light.”

So I looked to my right and to my amazement there was my arm and hand but I could see straight through them. I was transparent like a spirit, only my body was full of the same light that was shining on me from the end of the tunnel. It was as if I was full of light. The third wave near the end of the tunnel was total joy. It was so exciting that I knew that what I was about to see would be the most awesome experience in all my life.

My mind couldn’t even conceive where I was going, and my words couldn’t communicate what I saw. I came out of the end of the tunnel and seemed to be standing upright before the source of all the light and power. My whole vision was taken up with this incredible light. I immediately thought of it as aura. Then as glory. I had seen pictures of Jesus with a little wee tiny halo or little glow around his face.

Yet Jesus Christ died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right-hand of the Father, and is glorified, surrounded by light and in him there is no darkness. He is the King of Glory, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords and the King of all the Kings.

I saw what I believe was the glory of the Lord.

In the Old Testament, Moses went up Mount Sinai for 30 days and he saw the glory of the Lord. He came down and his face shone. Moses face shone with the glory of the Lord, and he had to put on a veil, so that the people wouldn’t be afraid. He had seen the light of God, the glory of God. Paul was blinded by a glorious light on the road to Damascus, the glory of Jesus.

And I was now standing there seeing this incredible light and glory.

As I stood there, questions began racing through my heart; “Is this just a force, as the Buddhists say, or karma, or yin and yang? Is this just some innate power or energy source or could there actually be someone standing in there?”

I was still questioning it all. As I thought these thoughts a voice spoke to me from the centre of the light. The voice said “Ian, do you wish to return?”

I was shaken to learn that there was someone in the centre of the light and whoever it was knew my name. It was as though the person could hear my inner thoughts as speech. I then thought to myself “Return, return – to where? Where am I?”

Quickly looking behind me I could see the tunnel dissipating back into darkness. I thought I must be in my hospital bed dreaming and I closed my eyes.

“Is this real? Am I actually standing here, me, Ian, standing in real life here, is this real?”

Then the Lord spoke again. “Do you wish to return?”

I replied “If I am out of my body I don’t know where I am, I wish to return.”

The response was “If you wish to return Ian you must see in a new light.”

The moment I heard the words “see in a new light,” something clicked.

I remembered being given a Christmas card which said, “Jesus is the light of the world” and “God is light and there is no darkness in him.”

I had meditated upon those words at that time. I’d just come from darkness, and there was certainly no darkness here.

So this was God! He is light. He knew my name and knew the secret thoughts of my heart and mind.

I thought, “If this is God then he must also be able to see everything I’ve ever done in my life.”

I felt totally exposed and transparent before God.

I felt ashamed and I thought “They’ve made a mistake and brought the wrong person up. I shouldn’t be here. I’m not a very good person. I should crawl under some rock or go back into the darkness where I belong.”

As I began to slowly move back towards the tunnel a wave of light emanated forth from God and moved towards me. My first thought was that this light was going to cast me back into the pit. But to my amazement a wave of pure unconditional love flowed over me. It was the last thing I expected. Instead of judgment I was being washed with pure love.

Pure, unadulterated, clean, uninhibited, undeserved, love. It began to fill me up from the inside out.

I thought, “Perhaps God doesn’t know all the things I’ve done wrong,” so I proceeded to tell him about all the disgusting things I’d done in the cover of darkness.

But it was as though he’d already forgiven me and the intensity of his love only increased. In fact, later God showed me that when I’d asked for forgiveness in the ambulance, it was then he forgave me and washed my spirit clean from evil.

I found myself beginning to weep uncontrollably as the love became stronger and stronger. It was so clean and pure, no strings attached. I hadn’t felt loved for years. The last time I remember being loved was by my mum and dad when I was at home, but I’d gone out into the big wide world and found out there’s not too much love out there. I’d seen things that I thought were love. Sex wasn’t love; that just burnt you up. Lust was just a raging fire inside you, an uncontrollable desire that burnt you up from the inside out.

As I stood there, the waves of light stopped and I stood encased in pure light filled with love. There was such stillness.

I thought to myself, “I’m so close. I wonder if I could step into the light that surrounds God and see him face to face. If I could see him face to face I will know the truth.”

I was sick of hearing lies and deceptions. I wanted to know the truth. I had been everywhere to find the truth, and no one seemed to be able to tell me. I would talk to anybody who could tell me the meaning to life, the truth, what was going on, something had to be the truth. I thought if I could step through and meet God face-to-face I’ll know the truth and I’ll know the meaning to life. I will never have to ask another man, woman or child ever again. I’ll know.

Could I step in? There was no voice saying I couldn’t. So, I stepped through, I put my best foot forward and stepped through the light. As I stepped into the light it was as if I’d come inside veils of suspended shimmering lights, like suspended stars or diamonds giving off the most amazing radiance. The light continued to heal the deepest part of me, like it was healing my broken inner man, healing my broken heart.

I aimed for the brightest part of the light. Standing in the center of the light stood a man with dazzling white robes reaching down to his ankles. The garments were not human fabrics but were like garments of light. As I lifted my eyes up I could see the chest of a man with arms outstretched as if to welcome me. I looked towards his face. It was so bright; it seemed to be about ten times brighter than the light I’d already seen. It made the sun look yellow and pale in comparison. It was so bright I couldn’t make out the features of his face, and as I stood there I began to sense that the light was emanating a purity, a holiness. I knew now I was standing in the presence of Almighty God – no one but God could look like this. The purity and holiness continued to come forth from his face and I began to feel that purity and holiness enter into me. I wanted to get closer to see his face. I felt no fear but rather total freedom as I moved towards him. Standing now only a few feet from him, I tried to look into the light surrounding his face but as I did he moved to one side. As he moved all the light moved with him.

Directly behind Jesus was a circular shaped opening like the tunnel I had just traveled down. Gazing out through it, I could see a whole new world opening up before me. I felt like I was standing on the edge of paradise, having a glimpse into eternity.

It was completely untouched. In front of me were green fields and meadows. The grass itself was giving off the same light and life that had been in the presence of God. I saw no disease on the plants. It seemed as though even if you were to step on the grass that it would just spring back to life. Through the center of the meadows I could see a crystal clear stream winding its way across the landscape with trees on either side. To my right were mountains in the distance and the sky above was blue and clear. To my left were rolling green hills and flowers, which were radiating beautiful colors. “Paradise”. I knew I belonged here. I had traveled the world looking for paradise, and knew I had found it. I felt as though I had just been born for the first time. Every part of me knew I was home. Before me stood eternity, just one step away.

As I tried to step forward into this new world Jesus stepped back into the doorway.

The Bible says that Jesus is the door and that if you come in through him, you will go in and out and find green pastures. He is the door to life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by him. He is the only way. There is only one narrow passageway that leads into his kingdom. Few find it. Most find the expressway or the highway down to hell.

Jesus asked me this question, “Ian, now that you have seen do you wish to return?”

I thought, “Return, of course not. Why would I want to go back? Why would I want to return to the misery and hatred? No, I have nothing to return for. I have no wife or kids, no one who really loves me. I want to go on in.”

But he didn’t move so I looked back one last time to say, “Goodbye cruel world I’m out of here!”

As I did, in a clear vision right in front of the tunnel, stood my mother. As I saw her I knew I had just lied; there was one person who loved me – my dear Mum. Not only had she loved me, but also I knew she had prayed for me every day of my life, and she had tried to show me God. In my pride and arrogance I had mocked her beliefs. But she had been right, there was a God and a heaven and a hell. I realized how selfish it would be to go through to paradise and leave my mother believing that I had gone to hell. She would have no idea that I’d had a deathbed prayer and repented of my sins and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. She would have just got a dead body in a box from Mauritius.

So I said, “God, there’s only one person really I want to go back for and that is my mum. I want to tell her that what she believes in is true, that there is a living God, that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is a door and Jesus Christ is that door and that we can only come through him”.

Then as I looked back again, I saw behind her my father, my brother and sister, my friends, and a multitude of people behind them. God was showing me that there were a lot of other people who also don’t know, and would never know unless I was able to share with them.

I asked, “Who are all those other people?”

And God said, “If you don’t return, many of these people will not get an opportunity to hear about me because many will not put their foot inside a church.”

I said, “God I want to go back and tell them all. I’ve come here once, I don’t even really know how I got here, but I can certainly find out. If I’ve come here once, I know I can come back here again. And I want to make sure I come back.”

I said, “God, how do I return? Through the tunnel of darkness, back into my body? How can I go back? I don’t even know how I got here.”

And the Lord said, “If you return you must see things in a new light.”

I understood that I must now see through his eyes, his eyes of love and forgiveness. I needed to see the world as he saw it – through the eyes of eternity.

And I said “God, how do I go back? I don’t know how to go back.”

He said, “Ian tilt your head … now feel liquid drain from your eyes … now open your eyes and see.”

Immediately I was back in my body.

My head was tilted to the right and I had one eye open. I was looking at a young Indian doctor who had my right foot elevated in his hand and was prodding a sharp instrument into the base of my foot. He was looking for any signs of life. Little did he realize that I was now alive and looking at him.

I wondered what on Earth he was doing, then the penny dropped; “He thinks I’m dead!”

At the same time the doctor stopped what he was doing and turned his head in the direction of my face. As our eyes made contact, terror swept over his face, as though he had just seen a ghost. Blood drained from his face and he went as white as a sheet. His feet nearly left the ground.

Shaken, I asked God to give me the strength to tilt my head to the left and look out the other side. As I turned my head to the left I saw nurses and orderlies in the doorway staring at me in amazement and terror. I apparently had been dead for some 15 to 20 minutes. I felt weak and I closed my eyes, but I quickly opened them again to check that I was still in my body. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would disappear again. I was so tired. I closed my eyes again and fell soundly asleep.


I prayed to God that night and asked him to heal me and enable me to walk out of the hospital. That night God completely healed me and enabled me to walk out of the hospital the next day. I asked God what I had become, as I found my entire life was changing for good. God told me I was a re-born Christian and that he wanted me to read His Bible. I had never read a Bible and had never heard about being born-again. Over the next six weeks I read the entire Bible. I have never been the same, and believe that I saw our Lord Jesus Christ in His Glorified form.

I’ve been following Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior ever since this experience in 1982. I am an ordained minister with the Assembly of God church here in New Zealand. I have worked with the head-hunters of Borneo and in refugee camps in South East Asia. I have pastored churches and my wife and I have traveled to 24 different nations sharing this testimony. – Ian McCormack

If you would like to help Ian with his international ministry, visit his support page and schedule.

Christianity Religion

Howard Storm’s Near-Death Experience

Before his near-death experience, Howard Storm ( was a Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University, was not a very pleasant man by his own admission. He was an avowed atheist and was hostile to every form of religion and those who practiced it. He often would use rage to control everyone around him and he didn’t find joy in anything. Anything that wasn’t seen, touched or felt, he had no faith in. He knew with certainty that the material world was the full extent of everything that was. He considered all belief systems associated with religion to be fantasies for people to deceive themselves with. Beyond what science said, there was nothing else. But then on June 1, 1985, at the age of 38, Howard Storm’s had a near-death experience due to a perforation of the stomach and his life was since forever changed. His near-death experience is one of the most profound, if not the most profound, afterlife experience I have ever documented. His life was so immensely changed after his near-death experience, he resigned as a professor and devoted his time attending the United Theological Seminary to become a United Church of Christ minister. Today, Howard Storm is retired and presently happily married to his wife Marcia and was Pastor of the Covington United Church of Christ in Covington, Ohio. During his past time he has maintained his passion for painting but now, unlike in his past, he paints with a God state of mind which raises his paintings to a whole other level. On his website Pastor Storm shares a unique look at his paintings and the effect Jesus Christ has on his daily life and on his paintings. The following is the account of Pastor Howard Storm’s near-death experience reprinted by permission. To read his full testimony, read his outstanding book My Descent Into Death (2005). Storm’s other books include Lessons Learned: A Spiritual Journey (2014), It’s All Love (2014), and Befriend God: Life with Jesus (2019).

Table of Contents

  1. An Invitation to Hell from Strange Beings
  2. A Rescue from Hell by Jesus Christ
  3. The Life Review of Howard Storm
  4. The Future of the U.S. and the World
  5. Howard Storm Learns What Happens After Death
  6. Howard Storm Learns He Must Return to Earth
  7. Howard Storm Internet Links

1. An Invitation to Hell from Strange Beings

[Howard Storm was in intense agony and dying.]

Struggling to say goodbye to my wife, I wrestled with my emotions. Telling her that I loved her very much was as much of a goodbye as I could utter because of my emotional distress. Sort of relaxing and closing my eyes, I waited for the end. This was it, I felt. This was the big nothing, the big blackout, the one you never wake up from, the end of existence. I had absolute certainty that there was nothing beyond this life – because that was how really smart people understood it.

While I was undergoing this stress, prayer or anything like that never occurred to me. I never once thought about it. If I mentioned God’s name at all it was only as a profanity. For a time there was a sense of being unconscious or asleep. I’m not sure how long it lasted, but I felt really strange, and I opened my eyes. To my surprise I was standing up next to the bed, and I was looking at my body laying in the bed. My first reaction was, “This is crazy! I can’t be standing here looking down at myself. That’s not possible.”

This wasn’t what I expected, this wasn’t right. Why was I still alive? I wanted oblivion. Yet I was looking at a thing that was my body, and it just didn’t have that much meaning to me. Now knowing what was happening, I became upset. I started yelling and screaming at my wife, and she just sat there like a stone. She didn’t look at me, she didn’t move – and I kept screaming profanities to get her to pay attention. Being confused, upset, and angry, I tried to get the attention of my room-mate, with the same result. He didn’t react. I wanted this to be a dream, and I kept saying to myself, “This has got to be a dream.”

But I knew that it wasn’t a dream. I became aware that strangely I felt more alert, more aware, more alive than I had ever felt in my entire life. All my senses were extremely acute. Everything felt tingly and alive. The floor was cool and my bare feet felt moist and clammy. This had to be real. I squeezed my fists and was amazed at how much I was feeling in my hands just by making a fist. Then I heard my name. I heard, “Howard, Howard – come here.”

Wondering, at first, where it was coming from, I discovered that it was originating in the doorway. There were different voices calling me. I asked who they were, and they said, “We are here to take care of you. We will fix you up. Come with us.”

Asking, again, who they were, I asked them if they were doctors and nurses. They responded, “Quick, come see. You’ll find out.”

As I asked them questions they gave evasive answers. They kept giving me a sense of urgency, insisting that I should step through the doorway. With some reluctance I stepped into the hallway, and in the hallway I was in a fog, or a haze. It was a light-colored haze. It wasn’t a heavy haze. I could see my hand, for example, but the people who were calling me were 15 or 20 feet ahead, and I couldn’t see them clearly. They were more like silhouettes, or shapes, and as I moved toward them they backed off into the haze. As I tried to get close to them to identify them, they quickly withdrew deeper into the fog. So I had to follow into the fog deeper and deeper. These strange beings kept urging me to come with them.

I repeatedly asked them where we were going, and they responded, “Hurry up, you’ll find out.”

They wouldn’t answer anything. The only response was insisting that I hurry up and follow them. They told me repeatedly that my pain was meaningless and unnecessary. “Pain is bullshit,” they said.

I knew that we had been traveling for miles, but I occasionally had the strange ability to look back and see the hospital room. My body was still there lying motionless on the bed. My perspective at these times was as if I were floating above the room looking down. It seemed millions and millions of miles away. Looking back into the room, I saw my wife and my room-mate, and I decided they had not been able to help me so I would go with these people. Walking for what seemed to be a considerable distance, these beings were all around me. They were leading me through the haze. I don’t know how long. There was a real sense of timelessness about the experience. In a real sense I am unaware of how long it was, but it felt like a long time – maybe even days or weeks. As we traveled, the fog got thicker and darker, and the people began to change. At first they seemed rather playful and happy, but when we had covered some distance, a few of them began to get aggressive. The more questioning and suspicious I was, the more antagonistic and rude and authoritarian they became. They began to make jokes about my bare rear end which wasn’t covered by my hospital dicky and about how pathetic I was. I knew they were talking about me, but when I tried to find out exactly what they were saying they would say, “Shhhhh, he can hear you, he can hear you.”

Then, others would seem to caution the aggressive ones. It seemed that I could hear them warn the aggressive ones to be careful or I would be frightened away. Wondering what was happening, I continued to ask questions, and they repeatedly urged me to hurry and to stop asking questions. Feeling uneasy, especially since they continued to get aggressive, I considered returning, but I didn’t know how to get back. I was lost. There were no features that I could relate to. There was just the fog and a wet, clammy ground, and I had no sense of direction. All my communication with them took place verbally just as ordinary human communication occurs. They didn’t appear to know what I was thinking, and I didn’t know what they were thinking. What was increasingly obvious was that they were liars and help was farther away the more I stayed with them. Hours ago, I had hoped to die and end the torment of life. Now things were worse as I was forced by a mob of unfriendly and cruel people toward some unknown destination in the darkness. They began shouting and hurling insults at me, demanding that I hurry along. And they refused to answer any question. Finally, I told them that I wouldn’t go any farther. At that time they changed completely. They became much more aggressive and insisted that I was going with them. A number of them began to push and shove me, and I responded by hitting back at them.

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. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense. They didn’t appear to be controlled or directed by anyone. 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. Other than that they appeared to possess no special non-human or super-human abilities. Although during my initial experience with them I assumed that they were clothed, in our intimate physical contact I never felt any clothing whatsoever.

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.

Exactly what happened was … and I’m not going to try and explain this. From inside of me I felt a voice, my voice, say, “Pray to God.” My mind responded to that, “I don’t pray. I don’t know how to pray.” This is a guy lying on the ground in the darkness surrounded by what appeared to be dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of vicious creatures who had just torn him up. The situation seemed utterly hopeless, and I seemed beyond any possible help whether I believed in God or not. The voice again told me to pray to God. It was a dilemma since I didn’t know how. The voice told me a third time to pray to God. I started saying things like, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … God bless America” and anything else that seemed to have a religious connotation. And these people went into a frenzy, as if I had thrown boiling oil all over them. They began yelling and screaming at me, telling me to quit, that there was no God, and no one could hear me. While they screamed and yelled obscenities, they also began backing away from me as if I were poison. As they were retreating, they became more rabid, cursing and screaming that what I was saying was worthless and that I was a coward. I screamed back at them, “Our Father who art in heaven,” and similar ideas. This continued for some time until, suddenly, I was aware that they had left. It was dark, and I was alone yelling things that sounded churchy. It was pleasing to me that these churchy sayings had such an effect on those awful beings.

Lying there for a long time, I was in such a state of hopelessness, and blackness, and despair, that I had no way of measuring how long it was. I was just lying there in an unknown place all torn and ripped. And I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness.

2. A Rescue from Hell by Jesus Christ

Now I didn’t know if I was even in the world. But I did know that I was here. I was real, all my senses worked too painfully well. I didn’t know how I had arrived here. There was no direction to follow even if I had been physically able to move. The agony that I had suffered during the day was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. I knew then that this was the absolute end of my existence, and it was more horrible than anything I could possibly have imagined.

Then a most unusual thing happened. I heard very clearly, once again in my own voice, something that I had learned in nursery Sunday School. It was the little song, “Jesus loves me, yes I know …” and it kept repeating. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I wanted to believe that. Not having anything left, I wanted to cling to that thought. And I, inside, screamed, “Jesus, please save me.” That thought was screamed with every ounce of strength and feeling left in me. When I did that, I saw, off in the darkness somewhere, the tiniest little star. Not knowing what it was, I presumed it must be a comet or a meteor, because it was moving rapidly. Then I realized it was coming toward me. It was getting very bright, rapidly. When the light came near, its radiance spilled over me, and I just rose up – not with my effort – I just lifted up. Then I saw – and I saw this very plainly – I saw all my wounds, all my tears, all my brokenness, melt away. And I became whole in this radiance. What I did was to cry uncontrollably. I was crying, not out of sadness, but because I was feeling things that I had never felt before in my life. Another thing happened. Suddenly I knew a whole bunch of things. I knew things … I knew that this light, this radiance, knew me. I don’t know how to explain to you that I knew it knew me, I just did. As a matter of fact, I understood that it knew me better than my mother or father did. The luminous entity that embraced me knew me intimately and began to communicate a tremendous sense of knowledge. I knew that he knew everything about me and I was being unconditionally loved and accepted.

The light conveyed to me that it loved me in a way that I can’t begin to express. It loved me in a way that I had never known that love could possibly be. He was a concentrated field of energy, radiant in splendor indescribable, except to say goodness and love. This was more loving than one can imagine. I knew that this radiant being was powerful. It was making me feel so good all over. I could feel its light on me – like very gentle hands around me. And I could feel it holding me. But it was loving me with overwhelming power. After what I had been through, to be completely known, accepted, and intensely loved by this Being of Light surpassed anything I had known or could have imagined. I began to cry and the tears kept coming and coming. And we, I and this light, went up and out of there.

We started going faster and faster, out of the darkness. Embraced by the light, feeling wonderful and crying, I saw off in the distance something that looked like the picture of a galaxy, except that it was larger and there were more stars than I had seen on Earth. There was a great center of brilliance. In the center there was an enormously bright concentration. Outside the center countless millions of spheres of light were flying about entering and leaving what was a great being-ness at the center. It was off in the distance. Then I … I didn’t say it, I thought it. I said, “Put me back.”

What I meant by telling the light to put me back, was to put me back into the pit. I was so ashamed of who I was, and what I had been all of my life, that all I wanted to do was hide in the darkness. I didn’t want to go toward the light anymore – I did; yet I didn’t. How many times in my life had I denied and scoffed at the reality before me, and how many thousands of times had I used it as a curse. What incredible intellectual arrogance to use the name as an insult. I was afraid to go closer. I was also aware that the incredible intensity of the emanations might disintegrate what I still experienced as my intact physical body. The being who was supporting me, my friend, was aware of my fear and reluctance and shame. For the first time he spoke to my mind in a male voice and told me that if I was uncomfortable we didn’t have to go closer. So we stopped where we were, still countless miles away from the Great being. For the first time, my friend, and I will refer to him in that context hereafter, said to me, “You belong here.”

(Note: Howard believes his friend was Jesus.)

Facing all the splendor made me acutely aware of my lowly condition. My response was: “No, you’ve made a mistake, put me back.” And he said, “We don’t make mistakes. You belong.”

Then he called out in a musical tone to the luminous entities who surrounded the great center. Several came and circled around us. During what follows some came and went but normally there were five or six and sometimes as many as eight with us. I was still crying. One of the first things these marvelous beings did was to ask, all with thought, “Are you afraid of us?” I told them I wasn’t. They said that they could turn their brilliance down and appear as people, and I told them to stay as they were. They were the most beautiful, the most …

As an aside, I’m an artist. There are three primary, three secondary, and six tertiary colors in the visible light spectrum. Here, I was seeing a visible light spectrum with at least 80 new primary colors. I was also seeing this brilliance. It’s disappointing for me to try and describe, because I can’t – I was seeing colors that I had never seen before. What these beings were showing me was their glory. I wasn’t really seeing them. And I was perfectly content. Having come from a world of shapes and forms, I was delighted with this new, formless, world. These beings were giving me what I needed at that time. To my surprise, and also distress, they seemed to be capable of knowing everything I was thinking. I didn’t know whether I would be capable of controlling my thoughts and keeping anything secret. We began to engage in thought exchange, conversation that was very natural, very easy and casual. I heard their voices clearly and individually. They each had a distinct personality with a voice, but they spoke directly to my mind, not my ears. And they used normal, colloquial English. Everything I thought, they knew. They all seemed to know and understand me very well and to be completely familiar with my thoughts and my past. I didn’t feel any desire to ask for someone I had known because they all knew me. Nobody could know me any better. It also didn’t occur to me to try to identify them as uncle or grandfather. It was like going to a large gathering of relatives at Christmas and not being quite able to remember their names or who they are married to or how they are connected to you. But you do know that you are with your family. I don’t know if they were related to me or not. It felt like they were closer to me than anyone I had ever known.

Throughout my conversation with the luminous beings, which lasted for what seemed like a very long time, I was being physically supported by the being in whom I had been engulfed. We were in a sense completely stationary yet hanging in space. Everywhere around us were countless radiant beings, like stars in the sky, coming and going. It was like a super magnified view of a galaxy super packed with stars. And in the giant radiance of the center they were packed so densely together that individuals could not be identified. Their selves were in such harmony with the Creator that they were really just one. One of the reasons, I was told, that all the countless beings had to go back to their source was to become invigorated with this sense of harmony and oneness. Being apart for too long a time diminished them and made them feel separate. Their greatest pleasure was to go back to the sources of all life.

Our initial conversation involved them simply trying to comfort me. Something that disturbed me was that I was naked. Somewhere in the darkness I’d lost my hospital gown. I was a human being. I had a body. They told me this was okay. They were quite familiar with my anatomy. Gradually I relaxed and stopped trying to cover my privates with my hands.

3. The Life Review of Howard Storm

Next, they wanted to talk about my life. To my surprise my life played out before me, maybe six or eight feet in front of me, from beginning to end.

The life review was very much in their control, and they showed me my life, but not from my point of view. I saw me in my life and this whole thing was a lesson, even though I didn’t know it at the time. They were trying to teach me something, but I didn’t know it was a teaching experience, because I didn’t know that I would be coming back. We just watched my life from beginning to the end. Some things they slowed down on, and zoomed in on and other things they went right through.

My life was shown in a way that I had never thought of before. All of the things that I had worked to achieve, the recognition that I had worked for, in elementary school, in high school, in college, and in my career, they meant nothing in this setting.

I could feel their feelings of sorrow and suffering, or joy, as my life’s review unfolded. They didn’t say that something was bad or good, but I could feel it. And I could sense all those things they were indifferent to. They didn’t, for example, look down on my high school shot-put record. They just didn’t feel anything towards it, nor towards other things which I had taken so much pride in.

What they responded to was how I had interacted with other people. That was the long and short of it. Unfortunately, most of my interactions with other people didn’t measure up with how I should have interacted, which was in a loving way. Whenever I did react during my life in a loving way they rejoiced.

Most of the time I found that my interactions with other people had been manipulative. During my professional career, for example, I saw myself sitting in my office, playing the college professor, while a student came to me with a personal problem. I sat there looking compassionate, and patient, and loving, while inside I was bored to death. I would check my watch under my desk as I anxiously waited for the student to finish.

I got to go through all those kinds of experiences in the company of these magnificent beings.

When I was a teenager my father’s career put him into a high-stress, twelve-hour-a-day job. Out of my resentment because of his neglect of me, when he came home from work, I would be cold and indifferent toward him. This made him angry, and it gave me further excuse to feel hatred toward him. He and I fought, and my mother would get upset. Most of my life I had felt that my father was the villain and I was the victim. When we reviewed my life I got to see how I had precipitated so much of that, myself. Instead of greeting him happily at the end of a day, I was continually putting thorns in him in order to justify my hurt.

I got to see when my sister had a bad night one night, how I went into her bedroom and put my arms around her. Not saying anything, I just lay there with my arms around her. As it turned out that experience was one of the biggest triumphs of my life.

The entire life’s review would have been emotionally destructive, and would have left me a psychotic person, if it hadn’t been for the fact that my friend, and my friend’s friends, were loving me during the unfolding of my life. I could feel that love.

Every time I got a little upset they turned the life’s review off for awhile, and they just loved me. Their love was tangible. You could feel it on your body, you could feel it inside you; their love went right through you. I wish I could explain it to you, but I can’t.

The therapy was their love, because my life’s review kept tearing me down. It was pitiful to watch, just pitiful. I couldn’t believe it. And the thing is, it got worse as it went on.

My stupidity and selfishness as a teenager only magnified as I became an adult – all under the veneer of being a good husband, a good father, and a good citizen. The hypocrisy of it all was nauseating. But through it all was their love.

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.

My friends answered lots of questions in funny ways. They really knew the whole tone of what I asked them, even before I got the questions out. When I thought of questions in my head, they really understood them.

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.”

Asking them if there was life on other planets, their surprising answer was that the universe was full of life.

4. The Future of the U.S. and the World

Because of my fear of a nuclear holocaust I asked if there was going to be a nuclear war in the world, and they said no. That astonished me, and I gave them this extensive explanation of how I had lived under the threat of nuclear war. That was one of the reasons I was who I was. I figured, when I was in this life, that it was all sort of hopeless; the world was going to blow up anyway, and nothing made much sense. In that context I felt I could do what I wanted, since nothing mattered.

They said, “No, there isn’t going to be any nuclear war.”

I asked if they were absolutely sure there wasn’t going to be nuclear war. They reassured me again, and I asked them how they could be so sure.

Their response was: “God loves the world.” They told me that at the most, one or two nuclear weapons might go off accidentally, if they weren’t destroyed, but there wouldn’t be a nuclear war.

I then asked them how come there had been so many wars. They said that they allowed those few to happen, out of all the wars that humanity tried to start. Out of all the wars that humans tried to create, they allowed a few, to bring people to their senses and to stop them.

Science, technology, and other benefits, they told me, had been gifts bestowed on humanity by them – through inspiration. People had literally been led to those discoveries, many of which had later been perverted by humanity to use for its own destruction.

We could do too much damage to the planet. And by the planet, they meant all of God’s creation. Not just the people, but the animals, the trees, the birds, the insects, everything.

They explained to me that their concern was for all the people of the world. They weren’t interested in one group getting ahead of other groups. They want every person to consider every other person greater than their own flesh. They want everyone to love everyone else, completely; more, even, than they love themselves. If someone, someplace else in the world hurts, then we should hurt, we should feel their pain. And we should help them. Our planet has evolved to the point, for the first time in our history, that we have the power to do that. We are globally linked. And we could become one people.

The people that they gave the privilege of leading the world into a better age, blew it. That was us, in the United States.

When I spoke with them about the future, and this might sound like a cop-out on my part, they made clear to me that we have free will.

If we change the way we are, then we can change the future which they showed me. They showed me a view of the future, at the time of my experience, based upon how we in the United States were behaving at that time. It was a future in which a massive worldwide depression would occur. If we were to change our behavior, however, then the future would be different.

Asking them how it would be possible to change the course of many people, I observed that it was difficult, if not impossible, to change anything on Earth. I expressed the opinion that it was a hopeless task to try.

My friends explained, quite clearly, that all it takes to make a change was one person. One person, trying, and then because of that, another person changing for the better. They said that the only way to change the world was to begin with one person. One will become two, which will become three, and so on. That’s the only way to affect a major change.

I inquired as to where the world would be going in an optimistic future one where some of the changes they desired were to take place.

The image of the future that they gave me then, and it was their image, not one that I created, surprised me. My image had previously been sort of like Star Wars, where everything was space age, plastics, and technology.

The future that they showed me was almost no technology at all. What everybody, absolutely everybody, in this euphoric future spent most of their time doing was raising children. The chief concern of people was children, and everybody considered children to be the most precious commodity in the world.

And when a person became an adult, there was no sense of anxiety, nor hatred, nor competition.

There was this enormous sense of trust and mutual respect. If a person, in this view of the future, became disturbed, then the community of people all cared about the disturbed person falling away from the harmony of the group. Spiritually, through prayer and love, the others would elevate the afflicted person.

What people did with the rest of their time was that they gardened, with almost no physical effort. They showed me that plants, with prayer, would produce huge fruits and vegetables.

People, in unison, could control the climate of the planet through prayer. Everybody would work with mutual trust and the people would call the rain, when needed, and the sun to shine.

Animals lived with people, in harmony.

People, in this best of all worlds, weren’t interested in knowledge; they were interested in wisdom. This was because they were in a position where anything they needed to know, in the knowledge category, they could receive simply through prayer. Everything, to them, was solvable. They could do anything they wanted to do.

In this future, people had no wanderlust, because they could, spiritually, communicate with everyone else in the world. There was no need to go elsewhere. They were so engrossed with where they were and the people around them that they didn’t have to go on vacation. Vacation from what? They were completely fulfilled and happy.

Death, in this world, was a time when the individual had experienced everything that he or she needed to experience. To die meant to lie down and let go; then the spirit would rise up, and the community would gather around. There would be a great rejoicing, because they all had insight into the heavenly realm, and the spirit would join with the angels that came down to meet it. They could see the spirit leave and knew that it was time for the spirit to move on; it had outgrown the need for growth in this world. Individuals who died had achieved all they were capable of in this world in terms of love, appreciation, understanding, and working in harmony with others.

The sense I got of this beautiful view of the world’s future was as a garden, God’s garden. And in this garden of the world, full of all beauty, were people. The people were born into this world to grow in their understanding of the Creator. Then to shed this skin, this shell, in the physical world, and to graduate and move up into heaven there, to have a more intimate and growing relationship with God.

(Note: In Howard Storm’s book, “My Descent Into Death” (2000), Storm describes the future of the United States as given to him by light beings he encountered during his NDE in 1985.)

The Future of the United States

Howard Storm recorded how his light being friends told him, in 1985, that the Cold War would soon end, because, “God is changing the hearts of people to love around the world.”

Storm states, “Since the time in 1985 when I was told these things about the future the Cold War ended with little bloodshed due to the hearts of people being unwilling to tolerate oppressive regimes.”

Storm described what the light beings told him concerning the way things will be on Earth in about 2185.

He asked the light beings the question, “Will the United States be the leader of the world in this change?”

The light beings replied, “The United States has been given the opportunity to be the teacher for the world, but much is expected of those to whom much has been given. The United States has been given more of everything than any country in the history of the world and it has failed to be generous with the gifts.

“If the United States continues to exploit the rest of the world by greedily consuming the world’s resources, the United States will have God’s blessing withdrawn.

“Your country will collapse economically which will result in civil chaos. Because of the greedy nature of the people, you will have people killing people for a cup of gasoline.

“The world will watch in horror as your country is obliterated by strife. The rest of the world will not intervene because they have been victims of your exploitation. They will welcome the annihilation of such selfish people.

“The United States must change immediately and become the teachers of goodness and generosity to the rest of the world.

“Today the United States is the primary merchant of war and the culture of violence that you export to the world. This will come to an end because you have the seeds of your own destruction within you. Either you will destroy yourselves or God will bring it to an end if there isn’t a change.”

Storm states, “I don’t know if the richest country in the history of the world is doomed to lose God’s blessing or if the people of the United States will become the moral light of the world. How long will God allow the injustice to continue? The future lies in the choices we make right now. God is intervening in direct ways in human events. May God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Howard Storm’s light being friends told him more about the new world to come. According to them, God wished to usher in the kingdom within the next two hundred years. In order to do so, God had rescinded some of the free will given to creatures, in favor of more divine control over human events. This new world order, according to Howard, will resemble some near-death descriptions of heaven. People will live in such peace and harmony and love that communication will be telepathic, travel instantaneous and the need for clothing and shelter eliminated. The lion will indeed lie down with the lamb.

5. Howard Storm Learns What Happens After Death

I asked my friend, and his friends, about death – what happens when we die?

They said that when a loving person dies, angels come down to meet him, and they take him up – gradually, at first, because it would be unbearable for that person to be instantly exposed to God.

Knowing what’s inside of every person, the angels don’t have to prove anything by showing off. They know what each of us needs, so they provide that. In some cases it may be a heavenly meadow, and in another, something else. If a person needs to see a relative, the angels will bring that relative. If the person really likes jewels, they will show the person jewels. We see what is necessary for our introduction into the spirit world, and those things are real, in the heavenly, the divine sense.

They gradually educate us as spirit beings, and bring us into heaven. We grow and increase, and grow and increase, and shed the concerns, desires, and base animal stuff that we have been fighting much of our life. Earthly appetites melt away. It is no longer a struggle to fight them. We become who we truly are, which is part of the divine.

This happens to loving people, people who are good and love God. They made it clear to me that we don’t have any knowledge or right to judge anybody else – in terms of that person’s heart relationship to God. Only God knows what’s in a person’s heart. Someone whom we think is despicable, God might know as a wonderful person. Similarly, someone we think is good, God may see as a hypocrite, with a black heart. Only God knows the truth about every individual.

God will ultimately judge every individual. And God will allow people to be dragged into darkness with like-minded creatures. I have told you, from my personal experience, what goes on in there. I don’t know from what I saw anymore than that, but it’s my suspicion that I only saw the tip of the iceberg.

I deserved to be where I was – I was in the right place at the right time. That was the place for me, and the people I was around were perfect company for me. God allowed me to experience that, and then removed me, because he saw something redeeming in putting me through the experience. It was a way to purge me. People who are not allowed to be pulled into darkness, because of their loving nature, are attracted upwards, toward the light.

I never saw God, and I was not in heaven. It was way out in the suburbs, and these are the things that they showed me. We talked for a long time, about many things, and then I looked at myself. When I saw me, I was glowing, I was radiant. I was becoming beautiful not nearly as beautiful as them but I had a certain sparkle that I never had before.

6. Howard Storm Learns He Must Return to Earth

Not being ready to face the Earth again, I told them that I wished to be with them forever. I said, “I’m ready, I’m ready to be like you and be here forever. This is great. I love it. I love you. You’re wonderful.”

I knew that they loved me and knew everything about me. I knew that everything was going to be okay from now on. I asked if I could get rid of my body, which was definitely a hindrance, and become a being like them with the powers they had shown me. They said, “No, you have to go back.”

They explained to me that I was very underdeveloped and that it would be of great benefit to return to my physical existence to learn. In my human life I would have an opportunity to grow so that the next time I was with them I would be more compatible. I would need to develop important characteristics to become like them and to be involved with the work that they do. Responding that I couldn’t go back, I tried to argue with them, and I observed that if I bear that thought the thought that I might wind up in the pit again I pled with them to stay.

My friends then said, “Do you think that we expect you to be perfect, after all the love we feel for you, even after you were on Earth blaspheming God, and treating everyone around you like dirt? And this, despite the fact that we were sending people to try and help you, to teach you the truth? Do you really think we would be apart from you now?”

I asked them, “But what about my own sense of failure? You’ve shown me how I can be better, and I’m sure I can’t live up to that. I’m not that good.” Some of my self-centeredness welled up and I said, “No way. I’m not going back.”

They said, “There are people who care about you; your wife, your children, your mother and father. You should go back for them. Your children need your help.”

I said, “You can help them. If you make me go back there are things that just won’t work. If I go back there and make mistakes I won’t be able to stand it because you’ve shown me I could be more loving and more compassionate and I’ll forget. I’ll be mean to someone or I’ll do something awful to someone. I just know it’s going to happen because I’m a human being. I’m going to blow it and I won’t be able to stand it. I’ll feel so bad I’ll want to kill myself and I can’t do that because life is precious. I might just go catatonic. So you can’t send me back.”

They assured me that mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. “Go,” they said, “and make all the mistakes you want. Mistakes are how you learn.” As long as I tried to do what I knew was right, they said, I would be on the right path. If I made a mistake, I should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind me and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important things is to try one’s best, keep one’s standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise those to win people’s approval.

“But,” I said, “mistakes make me feel bad.”

They said, “We love you the way you are, mistakes and all. And you can feel our forgiveness. You can feel our love any time you want to.”

I said, “I don’t understand. How do I do that?”

“Just turn inward,” they said. “Just ask for our love and we’ll give it to you if you ask from the heart.”

They advised me to recognize it when I made a mistake and to ask for forgiveness. Before I even got the words out of my mouth, I would be forgiven but, I would have to accept the forgiveness. My belief in the principal of forgiveness must be real, and I would have to know that the forgiveness was given. Confessing, either in public or in private, that I had made a mistake, I should then ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult to them if I didn’t accept the forgiveness. I shouldn’t continue to go around with a sense of guilt, and I should not repeat errors I should learn from my mistakes.

“But,” I said, “how will I know what is the right choice? How will I know what you want me to do?”

They replied, “We want you to do what you want to do. That means making choices and there isn’t necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and you should make the best choice you can from those possibilities. If you do that, we will be there helping you.”

I didn’t give in easily. I argued that back there was full of problems and that here was everything I could possibly want. I questioned my ability to accomplish anything they would consider important in my world. They said the world is a beautiful expression of the Supreme being. One can find beauty or ugliness depending on what one directs one’s mind toward. They explained that the subtle and complex development of our world was beyond my comprehension, but I would be a suitable instrument for the Creator. Every part of the creation, they explained, is infinitely interesting because it is a manifestation of the Creator. A very important opportunity for me would be to explore this world with wonder and enjoyment.

They never gave me a direct mission or purpose. Could I build a shrine or cathedral for God? They said those monuments were for humanity. They wanted me to live my life to love people not things. I told them I wasn’t good enough to represent what I had just experienced with them on a worldly level. They assured me I would be given appropriate help whenever I might need it. All I had to do is ask.

The luminous beings, my teachers, were very convincing. I was also acutely aware that not far away was the Great being, what I knew to be the Creator. They never said, “He wants it this way,” but that was implied behind everything they said. I didn’t want to argue too much because the Great Entity was so wonderful and so awesome. The love that was emanated was overwhelming.

Presenting my biggest argument against coming back into the world, I told them that it would break my heart, and I would die, if I had to leave them and their love. Coming back would be so cruel, I said, that I couldn’t stand it. I mentioned that the world was filled with hate and competition, and I didn’t want to return to that maelstrom. I couldn’t bear to leave them. My friends observed that they had never been apart from me. I explained that I hadn’t been aware of their presence, and if I went back I, again, wouldn’t know they were there. Explaining how to communicate with them, they told me to get myself quiet, inside, and to ask for their love; then that love would come, and I would know they were there. They said, “You won’t be away from us. We’re with you. We’ve always been with you. We always will be right with you all the time.”

I said, “But how do I know that? You tell me that, but when I go back there it’s just going to be a nice theory.”

They said, “Any time you need us we’ll be there for you.”

I said, “You mean like you’ll just appear?”

They said, “No, no. We’re not going to intervene in your life in any big way unless you need us. We’re just going to be there and you’ll feel our presence, you’ll feel our love.”

After that explanation I ran out of arguments, and I said I thought I could go back. And, just like that, I was back. Returning to my body, the pain was there, only worse than before.”

(Howard Storm’s near-death experience ends here.)

Returning to life wasn’t easy for Storm. In addition to his physical problems, he had to face the usual array of uncomprehending and insensitive responses to his new spiritual condition. It began in the hospital, he said. Howard states, “I felt this overwhelming sense of love for everyone. I wanted to hug and kiss everyone, but I couldn’t even sit up. I would say, ‘Oh you’re so beautiful’ to anyone and everyone. I was the joke of the floor. People found it very amusing.”

Like other near-death experiencers, Storm sense of empathy expanded, as well as his compassion. He could, he said, feel the emotions of others more powerfully than his own. Howard decided to enter the Christian ministry after his near-death experience.

7. Howard Storm Internet Links

(1) The Official Home Page of Howard Storm –
(2) About Howard Storm the Artist –
(3) Contact Form for Howard Storm –
(4) Twelve Gifts –
(5) Gallery of Paintings by Howard Storm –
(6) Books by Howard Storm –
(7) My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life by Howard Storm (Hardcover) –
(8) My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life by Howard Storm (Kindle edition) –
(9) The NDE and Life Changes (2 audiocassettes) – Rev. Howard Storm speaks at the 1998 IANDS North American Conference. Howard discusses his experience near-death and the life-changing potential of the NDE.
(10) The Message of the Near-Death Experience (audiocassette) – Rev. Howard Storm speaks at the 1999 IANDS North American Conference. Howard discusses his experience and how the NDE is an individual’s radical transformation along the spiritual journey to God. Howard understands that each of us is at a different stage of the journey. He will speak about the spiritual journey from his own experience, his study of NDEs, and theology. He has shared his story with many audiences, including those of national and regional television programs.
(11) Excerpt from “My Descent Into Death” by Howard Storm –
(12) Howard Storm Wikipedia article –
(13) Edward A. Riess recorded the following talk by Howard Storm which reportedly took place in the fall of 1987. It is one of the first public talks given by Howard in which he describes his now famous near-death experience. Special thanks to Ed for providing this important audio recording. Howard Storm (Part 1) (MP3) Howard Storm (Part 2) (MP3) Howard Storm (Part 3) (MP3) –
(14) Howard Storm on YouTube –
(15) Howard Storm Interview on Coast to Coast AM –

Christianity Religion

Howard Pittman’s Near-Death Experience

Howard O. Pittman (died 2019) was a Baptist minister for 35 years after being a law enforcement officer for 26 years. On August 3, 1979, his aortic artery ruptured and, within hours, he suffered physical death. His spirit was lifted from his body by his guardian angels and taken into what he refers to as the “Second Heaven” or “Satan‘s dominion” which is known by NDE researchers as the “Earthbound realm“. While Reverend Pittman was there, he was allowed to see many startling things corresponding with other testimonies of other NDE experiencers who have visited this realm. Angels took Reverend Pittman to what he refers to as the “Third Heaven” which the Apostle Paul also mentions in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. While in the Third Heaven, Reverend Pittman appeared before the Throne of God where he pleaded for an extension of his physical life. The “God of wrath” whom Reverend Pittman expected to see after death showed the reverend the woeful kind of life of worship and service to Jesus the reverend had really led. Rejected and dejected, the reverend left the Throne of God to return to his physical body but remembered he had not asked God the question he had wanted to asked. He then returned to the Throne of God where, this time, he encountered the “God of unconditional love” he had never expected to see. The difference was not with God; but with the reverend’s own flawed belief in a “God of wrath.” After basking in the unconditional love of God’s light, the reverend was given a message to bring back to share with the world. The following is an excerpt reprinted by permission from his booklet, Placebo, which documents his amazing near-death experience.

Table of Contents

  1. A Note From Kevin Williams the Webmaster
  2. Introduction (Foreword of Placebo)
  3. Preparation (Chapter 5 of Placebo)
  4. The Grand Tour (Chapter 7 of Placebo)
  5. Demons (Chapter 8 of Placebo)
  6. The Way Home (Chapter 9 of Placebo)
  7. The Rude Awakening (Chapter 10 of Placebo)
  8. My Real Father (Chapter 11 of Placebo)
  9. Wake Up! (Chapter 12 of Placebo)
  10. Faith (Chapter 13 of Placebo)
  11. Interpretation (Chapter 14 of Placebo)

1. A Note From Kevin Williams the Webmaster

Because Pittman was a fundamentalist minister, the description of his NDE is filled with Christian terminology — just as anyone would reasonably expect. When reading the testimonies of NDEs by people who have a strong bias – whether it is religious, philosophical, scientific or whatever — it is best to keep in mind an important fact. Jody Long, an NDE researcher with, stated this important fact perfectly. She said, “One of the near-death experience truths is that each person integrates their near-death experience into their own pre-existing belief system.” In Reverend Pittman’s case, I believe he has integrated his NDE into his own pre-existing Christian fundamentalist belief system. Such religious biases in NDE testimonies are obvious to people who have read many NDE testimonies from a wide variety of people. And this is a big reason why I find his testimony very interesting when compared to NDEs by people who are less religious who would perhaps use different terminology. For example, the entities whom Reverend Pittman labels as “demons”, I would prefer to label them as “discarnate earthbound human souls” who are temporarily attracted to some earthly desire or habit for various reasons. Such entities have been observed in other NDE testimonials such as George Ritchie‘s and Howard Storm‘s NDEs and they behave in the same manner we would traditionally think of as “demons”. Also, according to Reverend Pittman, he was given the identity of the “false god” which Christians know to be “Satan“; but in reality, is the “lower, animalistic self” (the “beast” in Christian terminology) within human beings which wars against humanity’s “higher, angelic self” (the “lamb” in Christian terminology) which must be “crucified” to attain spiritual resurrection (Christian terminology for “enlightenment“). So I would caution people who are not familiar with Christian terminology to understand that Pittman’s testimony can also be described using non-Christian terminology.

2. Introduction (Foreword of Placebo)

Webster’s Dictionary defines “placebo” as “a medication prescribed more for the mental relief of a patient than for the actual effect on his disorder, or something tending to soothe.”

The doctors tell us that if we know we are being treated with a placebo, it does not work. In our minds we must think that it is a real medication and has the strength or power to heal. If the patient believes this, then the treatment has been known to work wonders in many cases that otherwise could not have been treated. Placebo treatment is, in fact, nothing of substance, but in the mind of the patient it is real. In order for this kind of treatment to work, the doctor must convince the patient of the work of the medication.

My friend, I declare unto you that this is the exact “treatment” that most “mouth-professing” Christians are using today. The doctor administering this “medication” is Satan himself. He gives the “patent” a sugar-coated religion, a shallow experience, and whispers half-truths into his ears. He then tells the “patient” that it is real and that it is all the “patent” needs. The “patent”, having been taken in by Satan, believes this and goes on his merry way declaring to all that he has been born again, his salvation is real, and this experience is all that he needs. Doctor Satan will allow his “patient” to continue to go to church and will allow him to take part in any church, that is, singing, leading in prayer, teaching Sunday School, and even preaching. He will allow the “patient” to make any kind of statement in connection with his “mouth-professing” religion, even to the point of the saving power of Jesus. Yes, he will allow the “patient” to do all and say all with one exception. That exception is that the “patient” will not be allowed to live the life that he confesses with his mouth …

3. Preparation (Chapter 5 of Placebo)

In the year 1978, I retired from the New Orleans Police Department and moved my family to a sixty-one acre farm in Mississippi. Around August 7, 1979, I was suddenly stuck with a grave and disastrous illness. The night before the tragedy I went to bed as usual. On awakening that morning I was slightly nauseated and skipped breakfast. My wife asked me if was not going to eat. I replied that I had to hurry to keep my appointment with some folks who I hoped would support my candidacy for sheriff with campaign contributions. I was unaware that God had also made an appointment for me that day. Let me remind you that the Bible says that it is appointed once unto man to die and, without warning, my appointment came. Like a flash of lightning, the main trunk artery in my body cavity ruptured causing a devastating, sudden, blood loss So at midnight they carried me into ICU and at 6:00 a.m. the following morning, my vital life signs failed again. The chief physician came out of ICU and told my wife, It is something else. They took me into surgery where they worked on me for an additional seven hours …

(Note: For the sake of brevity, a large amount of Pittman’s description of his Emergency Room experience is not reprinted here. Read his book for the full description.)

Somewhere in that period of time when the physicians were working on me, I came to myself and realized that I was dying Knowing that only God could give me back my life and that only God could change this appointed time to die, I prayed a strange prayer. My prayer was that God would allow me to appear before His throne and pleaded for an extension of my physical life. In any other time and place this sort of prayer would be unusual, however, all of this was planned by God to ultimately serve His purpose. The thought to pray such a prayer was instilled in my mind by the Holy Spirit …

4. The Grand Tour (Chapter 7 of Placebo)

What happens next is so incredible that some people find it hard to believe. May I say at the outset that I know the difference between dreams, visions, and a real experience. May I also point out that if you do not believe in Satan and demons as being real, individual beings, then you do yourself and the Kingdom of God a great disservice. It stands to reason that you cannot understand or even withstand an enemy if you do not believe he is real.

At the moment I resisted Satan, he fled from me. The angels were there and they took my spirit from my body. These angels were present all the time that Satan tempted me although I did not know it because I was still in the flesh. The angels did not attempt to help me until I had resisted Satan with my own will. The only help I had was the supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit that the voice I was hearing belonged to Satan and not to God. Whether or not to obey that voice was my choice.

When the angels lifted my spirit from my body, they carried me immediately to the Second Heaven. We did not have to leave that hospital room in order to enter the Second Heaven. We entered there in that same room where my body was, just by passing through a dimension wall. It is a wall which flesh cannot pass through, only spirit.

For you the reader, to understand what was happening, you must understand the separation of the spirit from the flesh. To know how this works, we must know how we, ourselves, are made. The Bible states that we, as humans beings are made in the image of God. To understand this, we must know what God is. The Bible states three immutable things about God: 1st God is Spirit, 2nd God is invisible and 3rd God is immortal. If we are made in His image, then we are spirit, we are invisible, and we are immortal. Therefore, when we look into a mirror we do not see our real selves. We see only the body, or earthen vessel, in which we live. Since we are all made in the image of God, we would all be mirror images of one another without our earthly, physical bodies. Therefore, we were given a soul to separate us from one another to make us an individual.

The animals in this world also have a soul. The only difference between their souls and ours is that our soul belongs to the spirit. Their souls belongs to the body. When their body perishes, their souls perishes with it. When our body perishes, the soul remains with the spirit. When the spirit was lifted from my body, my soul came with it. I suppose the simplest way to identify the soul would be to say that it is one’s personality. The entire time I was away from my body I remained an individual, that is, I retained my own personality. I retained all my faculties. In fact, they were greatly enhanced.

As we moved through that dimension wall into the Second Heaven, I found myself in an entirely different world, far different from anything I had ever imagined. This world was a place occupied by spirit beings as vast in number as the sands of the seashore. These beings were demons [devils], or fallen angels, and were in thousands of different shapes and forms. Even those in similar shapes and forms were contrasted by diverse coloring. Many of the demons were in human shapes or forms and many were in forms similar to animals familiar to our present world. Others were in shapes and forms too hideous to imagine. Some of the forms were so morbid and revolting that I was almost to the point of nausea.

When I first arrived in the Second Heaven, I knew immediately in what direction I must go to reach the Third Heaven where God was. I don’t know how I knew that, but I did. I also knew that if I was going to get my prayer answered, I was going to have to appear before God the Father in the Third Heaven. I was aware that I was traveling in that spirit world under the protection of the Holy Spirit, and that the angels who were escorting me were also moving about under the protection of the Holy Spirit. It might seem strange to you, the reader, that the angels needed the protection of the Holy Spirit, but remember where we were, the Second Heaven. The Second Heaven is the place where Satan presently has his throne located. Satan is not yet in Hell although Hell is to be his final destiny.

All the spirits in that world were aware of our presence and were aware of the Holy Spirit’s protection over us. To give you an idea as to why that protection was necessary, let me give a Bible reference to the power of Satan as demonstrated in the Second Heaven. The tenth chapter of the book of Daniel tells about God sending one of His angels to deliver a message to Daniel. Because of the importance of that message, Satan did not want it delivered. In order for the angel sent from God in the Third Heaven to reach Daniel, he had to pass through the Second Heaven. Satan sent one of his princes, or one of his archangels, to stop the angel. The angel had to fight and could not get through alone so he had to call for reinforcements. God had to send one of His prices, or the archangel, to help the messenger and even this took twenty one days. After the angel delivered the message, he reminded Daniel that he, the angel, would have to fight his way back through the Second Heaven.

As we moved about there in that world, I was greatly disappointed that my escort did not take me in the direction of the Third Heaven where God was. Instead, we moved in the opposite direction. As we moved from place to place in that world, I learned many things about demons.

I did things differently in the spirit realm than what we do here in the physical world. For instance, we do not communicate with our mouths and ears, but rather, we communicated with our minds. It was like projecting our words on thought waves and receiving the answer the same way. Although I could still think to myself without projecting, I discovered that this really did not benefit me because the angels could read my mind.

I could hear different sounds in that world, but I did not hear with my ears. I heard with my mind, but I was still able to hear those sounds. When we traveled, we traveled mostly at what I call the speed of thought. When we traveled at the speed of thought, there was no sensation of movement. The angel would say where we were going and we were there. There were other times when we did not travel in that manner, and I was very much aware of movement while traveling. One of those times when I was aware of movement was when they brought me back into the physical world and allowed me to see the demons working here. We moved about here somewhat like floating on a cloud. Still, I had the sensation of movement.

Make no mistake about demons for they are very real. The Bible makes more statements about demons than it does about angels and it points out in Luke 10:18 that demons are evil. Mark 5:8-9 indicates how numerous they are and Matthew 10:1 shows that they are unclean. Matthew 12:22-30 states that they are under the command of Satan and Matthew 8:29 shows that they can possess humans.

In the demon world, there is a division of power much like a military structured chain command with rank and order. Certain demons carry the title of prince, which is always the demon in charge of a principality. A principality is a territory, an area, a place or a group that may range in size from as large as a nation to as small as a person. When Satan assigns a prince a task, the prince is given the authority to act in the name of Satan and use whatever means necessary or available to him to accomplish his task.

When we started the tour of the Second Heaven, the angels began by showing me the different types of demons. Each demon was revealed to me in a form that indicated his area of expertise, and I soon discovered that there is no such thing as a general practitioner in all the demon world. They have only one area of expertise which they do very well.

5. Demons (Chapter 8 of Placebo)

As each type of demon was pointed out to me, I quickly discovered a social order, or rank, that existed among them. Those at the top of that order were revealed in forms similar to humans. As we moved down the order, or rank, I saw demons in shapes or forms that looked like half animal and half human. I saw demons in forms resembling animals we know in this present world and I saw demons in forms and shapes so revoltingly morbid that you cannot possibly imagine them.

At the very top of the order were the warring demons which were the cream of Satan’s crop. They moved about the Second Heaven and event his present, physical world at will always traveling in groups, never alone. Wherever they went, all other demons moved out of their way. These warring demons were revealed to me in human form. They looked like humans with the exception that they were giants. Appearing to be about eight feet tall, they were rugged and handsomely constructed, somewhat like giant athletes. All of the warring demons were colored bronze. They were giant, bronze soldiers. All of the other demons seemed to be subject to them.

The second most powerful type demon was also revealed to me in human form and these demons looked like ordinary people. All of those possessing this area of expertise seemed to group together at about the second place of command. Chief among this group was the demon of greed and contained within this same group were demons of hate, lust, strife, and a few others.

The third most powerful type and group of demons were revealed to me in mixed shapes and forms. Some had human form while others had half human and half animal forms. Others resembled animals in their forms. These demons possessed skills in the dark arts area such as witchcraft and other related areas. Also among this group were demons of fear and the demons of self destruction as well as those demons which are expert in mimicking departed human spirits [familiar spirits] and in manifesting themselves to the physical world as ghosts.

When we got down to the fourth group, or order, all the demons of this rank were revealed in forms other than human. Some had forms like known animals while others had unknown forms. In this group were the demons of murder, brutality, sadism, and others related to carnage.

As we moved even further down the order toward the end of the chain of command, all the demons were revealed in horrible and morbid forms. Some were so revolting that their appearance produced nausea. They are so despised by their own companions that they always seem to be lurking off to themselves while in the Second Heaven and even while in this physical world. They do not associate with the other demons except in the line of their duty.

There was another group of demons that I was able to see, but I do not recall much of their ability. It was purposely taken away from me as I was not permitted to learn or retain too much memory about them. I don’t even know where they rank in order and their form was not revealed to me. I am not sure of their entire area of expertise, however, I am vaguely aware of their powerful hold on the flesh. It seems that this mysterious group of demons work differently from all other demons and are used in only special cases and special situations of which I do not clearly understand. As I stated, I was not permitted to retain too much in my memory about this particular group of demons. I was only permitted to retain that portion which I am now reporting to you and this, in itself, is very vague.

I’m also aware that these particular demons are harder to deal with than any of the rest. It seems their great strength rests in their ability to remain anonymous in their work in the human being. Among this group is the one that is able to manifest himself as a form of epilepsy in the human. I am not sure but I seem to recall that some other demons in some of the other groups also have the ability to mimic epilepsy. I do not know if demons cause epilepsy, per se, but I do recall very vividly that they can mimic this condition in human beings.

At one time during this tour of the Second Heaven, I watched the demons within their own related group and I experienced an awful feeling. It was an overwhelming, oppressive, and morbid feeling. This feeling came to me shortly after I had entered the Second Heaven and I wondered what was causing it. It was at this time that I learned that the angel could read my mind because my guardian angel said to me, That feeling you are wondering about is caused by the fact that there is no love in this world. The angel was telling me that in this Second Heaven there is not one bit of love! Wow! Can you imagine all of those demons serving a master they don’t love and the master ruling over beings that he doesn’t love? Worse than that, these companions are working together for an eternity and they do not even love each other.

I started reflecting on what our physical world, called the First Heaven, would be like without love. If God had not introduced His love her in our world, then we would be living in a no love atmosphere like the Second Heaven. By God giving us His love, we are able to return that love and then love one another. Can you imagine what it would be like in your own home or your community it was totally void of love?

When I was made aware of the fact that no love existed among the demons, I wondered even more about their motivation and zeal. What makes them work so hard? What makes them carry out orders so rapidly? They don’t love one another, yet they carry out these orders so quickly and with such zeal that any military organization on Earth would be proud to have such loyal and obedient employees. I wonder if their motivation could have anything to do with the judgment and sentence that awaits them. It seems that since their first rebellion ages ago while in the Third Heaven, they have reached a place in their existence where they can no longer rebel. Whatever it is that motivates them seems to excel in their very being while they, in turn, are expressing their fury upon the flesh. It may just be that the only enjoyment of their entire existence is to create misery for the flesh. Even though I was permitted to go among them and watch them while they worked, many things were not explained fully or made clear to me. Some of the things that I saw in entirely, I was not permitted to retain in my memory. I knew the high order of the demons resented my presence and would have withstood me had I not been under the protection of the Holy Spirit. One of the warring demons came right up to me and leered into my face, but I did not flinch for I was not afraid. I knew it would not be me with whom he would have to contend but, instead, it would be He who brought me, the Holy Spirit. The demons in the middle order seemed to totally ignore me and went about their existence as if I were not there. Those of the lower order seemed to display slight fear of me or fear of the angel that was escorting me, however, the higher order of demons had no fear of me or the angel.

My escort informed me that he wanted me to see a demon in the process of actually possessing a human being. At this point in the trip, I was escorted back through the dimension wall separating the Second Heaven from the physical world. When we came back into this world, we were in the same hospital with my body but in a different room. The room appeared to be an employee’s lounge. I saw tables, chairs, dishes with food, and in the room were a young man and a young lady facing each other while laughing and talking. It was obvious that they could not see nor the angels, yet I was so close to them I could almost reach out and touch them. I could hear and understand every word they said. They thought they were alone and as they laughed and talked, they were unaware of the horrible creature standing between them. This demon was so horrible in the appearance of his shape and form that I recognized him immediately to be from the lower group, the perverted group. The angels, the demons, and I were in the spirit in that room and were aware of everything that was happening. Those in the flesh were only aware of themselves for they could not see or hear us even though we were back in this physical world. Since we were in the spirit, we still communicated with our minds.

I was not really paying close attention to the words the two were speaking. My entire attention was focused upon the demon. He was a most horrible looking thing, reminding me of an over grown, stuffed, slimy, green frog all out of shape and proportion. He moved slowly up into the face of the man then, suddenly, like a puff of smoke, he seemed to disappear into the face of the an just as if he went through the pores of his skin. When the demon had entered the man, the angels said, Now it’s done. The angel then proceeded to tell me how it was that this man was possessed. He stated, The demon made himself desirable and attractive to the human. The angel then pointed out to me that mankind has a sovereign will, all his own, beyond which the demons cannot come. He also pointed out to me that the angels could not come beyond that sovereign will of man. God, Himself, will not violate that will. We are made in the image of God, therefore, we were given, like God, a sovereign will, the right to choose our destiny. I was not permitted to retain all that I learned along these lines.

I faintly recall that there is another process under certain given circumstances whereby demons may possess or be allowed to enter small children. It seems as though those demons from that mysterious group are the ones that are allowed to do this. From what I recall about this, it is only under the most unusual circumstances that this can happen. According to what the angels told me, over ninety percent of all cases of demon activity in human beings is restricted to those humans who are at or over the age of accountability.

During the course of this talk the angel was giving me, he pointed out that all of God’s children have been given power over all demons and can cast them out, however, this power is based on the faith of the Christian. It will only work when the Christian knows without a doubt what he is doing. There are certain Christians who have received a special gift in this area. They are those who have been called specifically by the Holy Spirit to a deliverance ministry and in almost every case, those called to a deliverance ministry have also received the gift of discernment. When one is commanding demons, it is most important to know what spirit one is dealing with. In those rare cases where children are possessed [not so rare anymore folks a number of children are possessed today because of the opened doors to the enemy.], it takes a special effort and divine insight in each case to deliver them. Such a case was reported in the Bible in Matthew 17:14-21. All Christians potentially have the ability to command demons.

My escort told me that they wanted me to see demon activity in the outside world. I was then escorted outside the hospital directly through the brick wall into the streets of that city. I was amazed as I watched all the activity of the humans in the physical world. Going about their daily pursuit, they were completely unaware that they were being stalked by beings from the spirit world. I was totally flabbergasted as I watched and horrified as I saw the demons in all shapes and forms as they moved at will among the humans.

While I learned about demons not being able to work in a person’s life against their will, I also learned the angels cannot do it either. Each born again Christian has a guardian angel and before that Christian’s life is over, it might take a whole host of angels to keep him. I learned that guardian angels fight for us, but they cannot fight in the area of our will. The fighting they do is sort of like protecting our blind side. They oppose the demons when the demons come against us outside the area of our will. They cannot oppose the demons when the demons come against us through our own will. Remember, we are made in the image of God, like God, we have a sovereign will.

I learned that the demons will fight the angels if they must, but they prefer not to do so. They find that it is easier and safer to destroy us through our own will where the angels are unable to interfere, rather than go outside our will where they would have to fight angels personally. Because of this, the demons have developed great skills in the area of deception. They move through our lives by deceit and trickery and keep us totally unaware of their activity.

I was made aware of the fact that not all demons are in the Second Heaven. There are some demons so awesome that they are reserved in chains in Hell, however, Satan and his army of demons are not in Hell, presently. Neither do they want to be there. I was not permitted to look into Hell, nor was I permitted to view the chained demons. I do know that these demons who are chained went beyond the limitations of their domain.

God in His wisdom has allowed Satan and his demons certain bounds or limitations within which they may work. They may not go beyond those limitations established by the Lord, however, those demons who are chained in Hell did just that. Because they went beyond the restrictions established by the Lord, they are now chained in Hell.

The Bible points out this fact in many places, especially in the book of Jude. Any time Satan goes beyond those bounds, he must receive permission from God. In the case of Job, he was granted the permission, but in Peter’s case he was not granted permission. The demons who work in children under the age of accountability are allowed to do so only after obtaining this special permission. It was not made plain to me what sort of circumstances must be present for God to grant permission, although it was made clear that in certain circumstances permission is granted. However, permission to work in children under the age of accountability is rarely granted. The majority of the time Satan is denied this special permission, but in these last days we can expect a substantial increase I demonic activity, not only in adults but in children as well. This increase in demonic activity is what the Lord warned us about in Mark 13:22 when He spoke of the incredible miracles that false prophets would perform in the last days. It is difficult to understand why the Lord would allow demons to work through children

The demons that are reserved in chains did not obtain permission for their activity which violated the restrictions established by our Lord. Their illegal deeds are recorded in Genesis 6:2-5. Because they did not obtain permission, they received immediate punishment. Specific punishment for the devil and his demons is scheduled for the end time and is recorded in Revelation 20:1-3. As you well know, the lake of fire was created for the devil and his demons as their eternal fate.

In this age we must be on guard for Satan’s fiery darts of deception and temptation that are allowed within the limitations of the Lord’s permissive will. There is a time limit set by the Lord in which demons may work, but that time period has not yet been fulfilled. As Christians we are able to have them bound under the authority of Jesus, however, this is NOT permanent. We can NOT cast them into HELL for only God can do this. That is why it is very important for someone who has just been delivered to be properly instructed I remaining in the Lord’s will lest they become afflicted again. A Christian CAN cast out demons from a lost person, but unless that person gets saved and abides in the Lord’s will, there will be the possibility of the demons returning. (See Matthew 12:43-45).

Demons are real, individual, spirit beings and they are the ones manipulating all the evil in the world today. This was shown to me while I was in the spirit world traveling through the street of a city and watching in horror as the demons went about their task of corrupting humans.

Although humans are spirit beings, we are confined to physical bodies. The great spiritual warfare that rages today is between the spirit of man and the spiritual forces of evil directed by Satan which are contending for control and manipulation of our fleshly, physical bodies. Our spirits fight by faith and through our sovereign will; while the devil and his angels fight through deceit, cunning, trickery, and temptation. You must make no mistake about this war or the weapons involved because the scriptures are plain and empathic on both. I actually saw these demons contend for control of that human body.

It may seem to you that mankind is vastly over powered by these spirits because these spirits are able to see and hear everything we think, say, and do; while we are totally unable to perceive any of their activities. It is very difficult to fight an enemy you cannot see, hear, and feel, but as long as you trust the Lord, you have nothing to fear. At times, even the strongest Christian may doubt their existence and activities, thus making it easier for them. However, man was not left defenseless. Being made in the image of God, man, like God, has a sovereign will and no spirit can violate that will without the permission of the person himself. Because of this, these demons have developed great skills in deception. The basic principle of their operations is to make something evil as desirable, beautiful, and non threatening as possible so that the person being tempted will lower his guard and accept whatever it is that is being used to cause SIN. Once someone is deceived, it becomes easier for the deception to remain. In the case of possession, it becomes easier for the demon to maintain his control.

Another great defense man has is the guardian angel. The guardian angel is not assigned to all mankind, but only to those who are saved and belong to God. Remember, just like the demons the guardian angel cannot violate the will of any man which is why most of his activity is reserved to protecting that individual outside his sovereign will. Man’s greatest weapon, however, is the Word of God. In his description of the weapons used in our spiritual warfare, Paul insists the Word of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) as the only offensive weapon mankind has. Although vastly outnumbered by these beings (thousands to one individual), man is adequately prepared for battle. Because of a sovereign will, guardian angels, and the Word of God, man has superior defense and is much more potent in the battle for his soul than the demons.

Therefore, I say to everyone if you are serious in your commitment to fight this war and win, fear not! Your commander in chief, teacher, healer and sustainer the Holy Spirit will NEVER leave you NOR forsake you.

6. The Way Home (Chapter 9 of Placebo)

When the angels decided that I had seen enough of the demons at work in this physical world, I was taken back into the Second Heaven just by passing through the dividing, dimension wall. Once back inside the Second Heaven, my escort guided me in the direction of the Third Heaven and I was happy at last. After all, this was where I had wanted to go all the time. Even at this stage, my physical life was still my primary concern.

Suddenly we came to a most beautiful place. I know that I’ve already reported how terrible that the Second Heaven was, so you can imagine how surprising it was to find anything beautiful over there. God would not allow me to retain the memory of why this place was so beautiful. I do remember that it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. This place looked like a tunnel, a roadway, a valley or some sort of highway. It had a most brilliant light all its own and was completely surrounded with an invisible shield. I knew that the invisible shield was the protection of the Holy Spirit.

Walking in this tunnel, or along that roadway, or valley, or whatever, was what appeared to be human beings. I asked my escort who they were. He told me, They are saints going home. These were the departed spirits of Christians who had died on Earth and they were going home. Each of these saints was accompanied by at least one guardian angel and some had a whole host of angels with them. I wondered why some saints were accompanied by only one angel and others had many. I was watching as the saints passed through the way that all saints must take to go home. Here it was, the passageway from Earth to the Third Heaven. I found that only authorized spirits were allowed in that tunnel. No demon was permitted there.

When my escort had finished explaining to me about the homeward trip of the saints. I started into the tunnel. The angel stopped me and told me that we had to travel alongside the tunnel and not inside of it. I traveled, therefore parallel with but outside the tunnel where the saints were. While we were traveling here alongside the tunnel, we did not move at the speed of thought. Instead, we traveled as it floating on a cloud. In other words, there was no cloud but the mode of traveling felt as if I were floating on a cloud.

I could see the saints at all times moving along inside the tunnel. They were in the form and shape of humans, yet I could not detect any race, age, or sex. They were all clothed alike with the garments appearing to be made up of two pieces. There was a blouse or shirt and a pair of slacks. The color of the garments was a pastel, baby blue with one of the garment pieces being a shade lighter than the other piece. The blue was so light that it was almost white. I realize that these saints I was viewing had not yet received their glorified body because that must wait until the first resurrection.

At first I was disappointed that I was not permitted to travel in the tunnel with the saints, but the disappointment was eased when I was told that we were going to the same place they were going. After all, I knew that if my physical life was going to be extended, I would have to appear before God. Even now, my physical life was still the uppermost thing to me.

As we traveled along, I noticed all around me that the demons were beginning to drop behind. The Gates came into view and the closer we got to those Gates, the farther behind fell the demons. When we arrived before the Gates there were no demons in view. Although the Gates of the Third Heaven opened out into the Second Heaven, no demon could come close.

Instead of allowing me to enter, the angel stationed me before the Gates, slightly to one side. He instructed me to stay there and watch as the saints were permitted to enter into Heaven. As the saints were allowed into Heaven, I noticed a strange thing. They were permitted to enter only one at a time. No two were permitted to enter those Gates at the same time. I wondered about this but it was never explained to me. I’ve studied about this often since I have returned and now I think I know why. I believe this is a tribute or a salute to the individual. After all, that individual made the choice with his own sovereign will. Remember, it had been pointed out to me specifically that we, as images of the Living God, possess a sovereign will through which we have the right to choose our own destiny.

As the saints were being admitted, I was wondering why I was not being allowed to do what I came to do. I was so impatient to get my request before God that I missed the whole point of what I saw. This point was so important that the Holy Spirit told me Himself. I watched the fifty saints enter Heaven but the point I missed was the time frame involved. It was explained to me that at the same time those fifty saints died on Earth, 1,950 other humans also died; or only 50 out of 2000 made it into Heaven. That other 1,950 were not there. Where were they? That was only 2 percent going to Heaven! Ninety seven point five percent did not make it! Is that representative of the entire would today? If so, 97 and percent of the population of this world today is not ready to meet God. The sad part, my friend, is that is exactly representative of this Laodicean Church Age in which we live today. We are now in the time when the great majority of church goers are only mouth professors and not heart possessors.

At the outset, I stated that I would not try to convince anyone of anything I said. However, I would like to offer as evidence the parable of the sower as told by Jesus in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Matthew. If you read this chapter closely, you will notice that three out of every four people who heard the gospel preached, turned it down. That is seventy five percent anyway you look at it. I am talking about three out of every four people who bothered to hear the gospel, turned it down! The sad part about this is the overwhelming majority of the people that did turn the gospel down, do not know that they have turned it down! They have bought a lie of Satan and have been deceived. They have been led to believe something that is not the truth and they been fooled by Satan into rejecting the gospel! Place the seventy five percent who turned down the gospel with those in the world who made no pretense of hearing the truth and you have the overwhelming ninety seven and one-half percent of the population today!

As I contemplate this fact, I now understand the Lord’s disgust with the Laodicean-type Church. I also clearly understand the verses of scripture in Matthew 7:22-23 that describe how many people will stand before the Throne at the Judgment pleading, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? and in thy Name have cast out devils? and in thy Name done many wonderful works?” only to have the Lord profess to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

We find in scripture that at times when our Lord was about to reveal a great truth, He would say, “To him that has an ear, let him hear.” When you come across that phrase in your studies of God’s Holy Word, I admonish you to be very careful how you interpret what follows because a deep mystery of God is being revealed. At this point it is easy to be deceived. These great truths are preceded by that exhortation simply because the importance of the verse requires a special effort on the part of the reader to be careful how he receives what is being said. These particular passages offer an important insight into what the Lord is saying and one might liken it to a teacher raising his voice above normal while lecturing a class of students.

7. The Rude Awakening (Chapter 10 of Placebo)

When the last of the fifty saints had entered into the Third Heaven, I started to enter but my escort stopped me. He told me that if I entered I could not come out and that I would have to stay there until the Father brought me back. The angels told me that all who enter the Third Heaven must remain there until brought back to this physical world by Christ Himself. This is glorious news, my friend. I always believed the Bible and what it stated about the Lord coming back and bringing His saints with Him. This fact was testified to by the angels themselves as we stood before the Gates of the great Heaven. Dear reader, this should bring great joy to you. There should never be any doubt now. He IS coming back!

When the angel said I could not enter unless I stayed, I protested. “But if I can’t come out then my body will die! That will defeat my whole purpose!” was my emphatic rebuttal. Still my physical life, even at this point in time, was more important than anything else.

I would like to emphasize the significance of what I am saying in my message and if you have the spiritual ears to hear, then please, please do so! Hear what I have to say about the condition of our churches because the Lord Himself has stated that their condition is identical to the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). They think they are healthy and in need of nothing when, actually, they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked! Hear what I was told! Many individuals who think they are doing just fine are, in fact, on the very threshold of eternal damnation!! So many profess with their mouths to know the Lord when, in reality, they are absolutely BLIND! The devil has deceived them so completely that they might as well be an atheist! This “lip-service” may fool others. but it certainly doesn’t fool the Lord. As long as their hearts remain in the world, they will be in danger of everlasting punishment. From the scriptures we clearly understand that wherever a man’s heart is, there his treasure is also: and that anyone whose heart is in the world will not even have his own soul to treasure. I cry to you as a voice from beyond the grave, “Oh man who hath an ear, please hear!”

My escort told me to stand to one side of the Gates and present my case. He assured me that God would hear and answer my request. As I stood before the Gates, the sense of joy, happiness, and contentment radiated out from Heaven. I could feel the warmth it produced and as I stood there to plead my case. I could feel the awesome power of God. No being could possibly appear before Him, even separated by a gate as I was, without experiencing this awesome power, might and majesty. At first I had a sense of fear, sort of guilt feeling that is always produced in me when I believe I have imposed on others. In my mind’s eye I could just visualize a busy God who was annoyed with me for taking Him away from important things. Then, just as suddenly as this feeling came, it passed. I then found strength or boldness in my belief that I had served my God faithfully for many years. To me, I was convinced that this request of mine would be a snap!

Boldly I came before the throne and started out by reminding God what a great life of love, worship, and sacrifice I had lived for Him. I told Him of all the works I had done reminding Him that I was now in trouble and only He could help by granting me an extension on my physical life. God was totally silent while I spoke. When I had completed my request, I heard the real, audible voice of God as He answered me.

The voice I heard was not like the sweet voice that Satan had used to trick me before in the valley. You could put together the noise of all the storms, volcanoes, tornadoes, and hurricanes and they could in no way imitate what I heard. The sound of His voice was in no way like the sweet voice I talked about earlier. The sound of His voice came down on me from over the Gates even before the words hit me. The tone of His anger knocked me on my face as God proceeded to tell me just what kind of life I had really lived. He told me what He really thought of me and even others who did as I had. He pointed out that my faith was DEAD, that my works were NOT ACCEPTABLE, and that I had labored in VAIN. He told me that it was an abomination for me to live such a life and then dare call it a life of worship. Furthermore, He said to those who do it, they are in danger of experiencing His everlasting wrath. As God dealt with me, He displayed His wrath to me. Notice, it was not His everlasting wrath. He did say there are some who will experience His everlasting wrath.

I could not believe He was talking to me in this manner! I had served Him for years! I thought I had lived a life pleasing to Him! As He was enumerating my wrongs, I was sure He had me confused with someone else. There was no strength left in me to even move, let alone protest, yet I was panicking within myself. No way He could be talking about me! All of these years I thought I was doing those works for God! Now He was telling me that what I did, I did for myself. Even as I preached and testified about the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I was doing that only for myself in order that my conscience might be soothed. In essence, my first love and first works were for myself. After MY needs and wants were met or satisfied, in order to soothe my conscience I would set out to do the Lord’s work. This made my priorities out of order and unacceptable. Actually, I had become my own false God.

He makes it plain in His teachings that He is a jealous God and will have no other gods before Him; flesh, stone, blood, or whatever. He will have no other gods before Him. God told me that He would not accept this kind of worship in the day of the Pharisees and He certainly was not about to accept it now in this the Laodicean Church Age. He put it to me as plain as words and actions could make it. In order for our works to be acceptable, we must work according to His command in Matthew 6:33 which empathically states, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these other things shall be added to you.” As God told me about my true motives, the verse of scripture in Matthew 16:24-26 and Luke 14:26-33 became so clear to me. In Matthew 16 it states, “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him DENY himself and take up his cross, and follow me, for whosoever shall save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.'” In Luke 14 beginning with verse 26 it is stated, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and HIS OWN life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” In verse 23 of this same chapter Jesus makes the following statement which is the cornerstone of the two portions of scripture previously stated: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not ALL that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

Only now as I was here before Him being chastised did those two portions of scripture become crystal clear to me as to their true meaning. As God told me about my TRUE MOTIVES, I could see plainly for the first time how MY WORKS were DEAD. Because God was displaying His wrath toward me, I could not stand nor could I speak. No strength was left within me as I was nothing more than a wet rag lying there writhing in agony. It indeed, was fortunate for me that this was not God’s everlasting wrath, only temporary wrath. However, at this time I did not know this was only temporary.

It needs to be stated that at no time while God was chastising me did He say I was not saved nor did He say that my name was not in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He never mentioned salvation to me at all but only spoke about the works produced through my life. He told me the type of life I lived was an unacceptable life for a true Christian. As He spoke to me of my dead works, he indicated that there are some people who are not saved but think they are. These people will experience His everlasting wrath. He also made it plain to me that there are others of His children who will find themselves in my present condition on Judgment Day. This revealed to me the true meaning of 1 Corinthians 3:15 which states, If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The first time I started to enter the Third Heaven, the angel stopped me. At that time he did not tell me I could not enter. He only said that if I went in I could not come out again and that I would have to remain there until God brought me back with Him. Notice that I made the choice not to enter Heaven but to have my physical life restored. I was unaware that I had made that choice at that particular time. I thought I had been living in the Lord’s will and I was not thinking in terms of unfinished work. My choice was based entirely on SELFISH MOTIVES.

There are no words that can describe the pain I endured as God’s wrath was upon me for this life of so called service. The agony was beyond the scope of the imagination and the remorse that I felt produced a very heavy burden similar to a physical weight pinning me down or an enormous stone crushing me. Growing weaker and weaker, my mind was frantically racing in an effort to grasp what the Lord was telling me while recalling each actual incident. God leaves no room for error and that includes whatever is in our minds.

The surprise was so overwhelming in its magnitude that it rendered me senseless. My strength left me immediately, just as though I had been hit by a bolt of lightning. Even if God would have ceased and allowed me to speak on word of protest, I would not have been able to do so. I had absolutely no strength whatsoever to utter anything or to project my idea. In my mind I was constantly DENYING the wrong in my life while acknowledging the fact that I had committed them. My conscience was asleep but my mind was NOT.

Slowly, it all began to be absorbed by me. Remember how the Bible tells us to have no other gods before us? I had thought that the Most High God was the only God of my life, but I was not fulfilling that part of scripture which tells us that if we allow anything to come between us and the Lord, (whatever it may be) it becomes our God. I realized that each day of my life was devoted only to MYSELF! My whole life I was preoccupied with MY needs FIRST and THEN I was concerned with what the Lord wanted. The money to help the church, the poor, or anything else was secondary because I was my own “god”. Naturally, the devil was contented with allowing me to remain in that condition because as long as I was in that condition, I was of no use to the Lord and His kingdom.

I allowed this to occur because I was really indifferent to the things of the Lord. It was too uncomfortable to change and I was convinced I could remain as I was without having to really DO anything (such as following the Lord’s commandment about DENYING myself and picking up my cross daily to follow HIM.) For this reason, my life was wasted and amounted to absolutely nothing in the Lord’s eyes.

I hope that you understand what it is that I am saying because it is the whole point of this chapter. The fact is we must prove we are really Christians by first examining our motives behind each deed in our lives, and then repenting and recommitting ourselves to follow the Lord daily. When we decide to serve Him FIRST, this decision must be followed by ACTION or it will be as useless as if we did not decide to do so in the first place.

8. My Real Father (Chapter 11 of Placebo)

When God was through with me the interview was over as suddenly as one would turn off a faucet. I was not allowed to linger or even reflect on what God said. The angels immediately carried me away as if I were as wet rag having no strength in myself. Totally annihilated, I could not even gather my thoughts.

The angels carried me back through the Second Heaven, through the dimension wall, and into the hospital room where my body was lying. It was not until I reached the bed upon which my body lay did I regain my composure. As I regained my composure, I vehemently protested, “No! No!” I told the angels, “God did not answer me! He did not say yes or no to my request! Please, oh please, take me back!” I pleaded with the angels.

God is a God of order and He never does anything haphazardly. Since all of this entire experience had been planned by God, the angels complied with my request to take me back. God was dealing with me gently and tenderly through His great LOVE knowing what was necessary for me to experience in order for me to have the scales fall off my eyes.

During the time God was displaying His wrath toward me, I thought this wrath was terrible and painful. I found out later that it was nothing compared to the pain the lost will experience when they receive His everlasting wrath.

While in route back to the Third Heaven, I was beside myself trying to come up with a logical reason or legitimate basis on which to plead my case. God had already told me that my life had been a failure, therefore, I could not offer my past life as evidence of my intentions to serve Him. Somehow or another, the thought of Hezekiah came to my mind. When God sent word for him to put his house in order, he cried and prayed and God heard him. God extended his life for fifteen years. I remembered from my studies about him that Hezekiah was the good old boy type, similar to me. I remembered how he had good intentions in his heart but how he had trouble translating out those intentions into everyday living. Since this seemed to be the same kind of trouble I had in my life, I concluded that God dealt with Hezekiah based on the intentions of his heart. Because of this assumption, I concluded this reasoning would be the basis of my plea.

Upon my arrival back before the third heaven, I was brought to the same place from which I had previously pleaded my case. Not nearly so bold this time, I remembered how God’s wrath had floored me beforehand. Nevertheless, I had asked God for a favor and God had not answered. Wanting his answer no matter what it was, I timidly started pleading my case again.

This time God did not knock me down but let me talk. God did not talk to me in anger but started out answering me in a tone of pity. Before it was all over, God was speaking in sorrow.

Opening my plea by quoting scriptures to God, I began by telling him all about Hezekiah. I told God that I figured out that Hezekiah was the “good-old-boy” type, that the intentions of his heart were pure, but he seemed to be unable to translate out those intentions into everyday living. Here I was, an insignificant nothing and the smallest creature in all his universe, bartering words with this great and awesome God who had created it all.

The wonder of it all! He left it all for a moment, just to deal with me. He could have snuffed me out in the blink of an eye or He could have left me to be dealt with by an underling. There was an unnumbered host of things He could have done whereby He would not have had to deal with me Himself. He did not choose to do any of these things’ Instead, He chose to deal with me Himself. Can you imagine it? The wonder of it all! He patiently dealt with me through His tender love and concern and patiently heard each proposal I made. While displaying His concern, He showed me how this same thing had long ago been tried and had failed.

In patient, loving care, He listened while I would make another proposal. It was like a long-suffering, loving parent dealing with a wide-eyed, anxious child. similar to a child asking to play in the street while an enduring, loving parent tries to explain why that would not be possible. It was as if His only concern was my problem and helping me. I was now desperately searching for some word that would justify His giving me another chance, but my life had failed. No works had preceded me into Heaven and I had nothing on which to stand, no basis from which to plead. It did not take Him long to point out that intentions, no matter how good, do not count. It has rightly been said, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Satan often uses our intentions to justify our actions to ourselves.

Surely somewhere in all my vocabulary there must be some word or at least one word that I could offer as justification for Him to extend my life. After all of the words had been said and having come down to the very end, there was only one thing left. Reaching the bottom of the bag, all that I had left was the one thing that had worked for me many times before, my promises.

I said, “Father, if You will grant this request, I promise you I will do better the next time.”

The Lord answered me thusly, “Howard Pittman, you have promised before.” He did not have to say another word. There they were, all the promises I had made to a holy God in my past entire life. Not one of them remained whole. Somehow, someway, I had managed to break them all. With nothing left to say, no words in all my vocabulary, nowhere to go, I fell on my knees before him. All I could say was “Amen” to my own condemnation. I knew that if at that moment God would banish me into the pits of hell, it would be just to say “amen” to my own condemnation.

Oh, praise His Holy Name!! I shall never cease to thank Him! At that moment He did not demand justice but showed me mercy. The scales fell from my eyes and my soul was suddenly filled with light. That powerful, awesome, all-consuming God was now not evident. There on that throne dealing with me was my REAL Father. God was no longer a distant God, but a real, genuine Father. The realization of his being my true Father and my best friend came to me for the first time in my life. The wonderful relationship I had enjoyed with my physical father and the wonderful love we shared for each other was suddenly brought to mind yet magnified a thousand fold. For now I was with my real Father, the one who loved me so much that God left all of his creation to deal with me, the prodigal son.

For the first time in my life, I saw in my mind’s eye who God really is. For the first time I met God as God truly is, my real Father, my very best friend. As the realization of who God is flooded my soul, great and painful sorrow also came. Sorrow came when I realized that through disobedience I had hurt my Father. This realization and sorrow produced actual pain which was not just a guilt feeling but actual pain similar to what one would experience in the flesh when one sustains a physical injury. At this point in time, God started dealing with me in sorrow and no longer did the tone of his voice express pity. Instead, the sound was of genuine sorrow. I suddenly realized that God was hurting too. God was hurting because I was hurting. Being a true and just God as God is, God had to allow me to suffer the pain and God could not lift it from me. Although God had to allow me to suffer the pain, God would not allow me to suffer it alone. God the most High, the most Supreme, the Creator of all, the Father of all would not let me suffer alone. Can you imagine what was happening? The Alpha and Omega, the Cause of all the universe’s existence was hurting because a mere Earth child was hurting. Oh, what Love! What Understanding! It was so far beyond anything a mere Earthling can understand. Oh how precious just one, little, insignificant Earth child is to that Great God.

By this time I suddenly realized that my physical life was not so important after all. What I was really concerned about now was what my Father wanted. His will had suddenly become the first thing of my life and my physical life was no longer important. This is when God gave me back my physical life. Only when I reached a place that my life did not mean anything to me, did God give it back to me. Now that the prodigal son had returned, the Father could talk at last. God could tell me what my trip to heaven was all about and that God had a message God wanted me to tell people on Earth.

“Oh Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound that Saved a Wretch Like Me. I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found. Was Blind But Now I See.” When the scales had fallen off my eyes and I saw my Father for what He really is, He hurt because I hurt. What great Love I experienced that day! There is no way that I can convey to you how precious you really are to Him; how much He loves every, single, solitary individual on this planet Earth; and how very precious you are to our Lord.

If the world could only know of the worth of the individual. My discovery that day was if YOU had been the only one, Jesus would have died for you. You have heard it said that Jesus died to save the world, and He certainly did. However, beyond that unimaginable sacrifice, of which we are absolutely unworthy, Jesus died to save YOU!! Salvation is a personal relationship with Jesus, and YOU, the individual, are the most precious thing on this Earth to Him.

If you don’t know Him as your real Father, your very best Friend. then turn to Him now. Surrender your will to Him now by praying the simple but earnest prayer for the Lord to take over your life in every way and to forgive you for all your sins. If you seek Jesus sincerely, you WILL find the True Source of all happiness and peace.

9. Wake Up! (Chapter 12 of Placebo)

The message God gave me has long been in the Bible. He never told me one thing that is a secret to the world for the Bible testifies to each of the five points of the message that God gave me for the world today. Just the tenth chapter of the book of Matthew alone testifies to almost the entire message.

I now repeat for you point by point the entire five point message. that God gave me to deliver to this world today.

Point number one: For those who call themselves Christians, this is the Laodicean Church Age in which we live. A high majority of so-called Christians are, in fact, living a deceived life. They talk Jesus and play church, but do not live it. They claim to be Christians and then live like the Devil. They have bought the great lie from Satan who tells them that they are all right. He tells them that it is all right to go to church on Sunday and attend mid-week services but as far as the rest of the time is concerned, they are to get all they can out of life. As far as their Christian life is concerned, they believe they are comfortable and have need of nothing and as a result, they are only lukewarm Christians if Christians at all. Because of this our Lord said He would spew them out of His mouth. The Bible describes the condition of this type Christian in Revelation 3:14-22.

Point number two: Satan is a PERSONAL Devil. Did you know that Satan is a god? Did you know that Satan deals on a PERSONAL basis with each individual? Just as Jesus deals with each individual on a personal basis, so does Satan. The soul of each human being is actively sought by both God and Satan, however, the numbers game has long been won by Satan. He is winning this great numbers game because of his great skill in deception, deceit, trickery, and outright lies. He also has a vast array of demons who have the same skills and abilities to assist him in this battle. One of the biggest weapons Satan and his demons have is a large portion of so-called Christianity. These Christians do not even believe that Satan is real and that his demons are real, let alone a threat. We all know that no one can resist an enemy if that one does not even believe that enemy exists. To him that hath an ear, let him hear. Learn from the Word of God how to resist the me onslaught of Satan.

Point number three: To the whole world this is Noah’s second day. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. Commerce, planning, building, expansion were all practiced by the human race in the days of Noah right up to the time he entered the ark. Man took no thought of what Noah was saying nor did man believe that anything was about to change. Mankind could see the storm clouds over the horizon, but yet did not believe the rain was imminent. Notice the close parallel today. Mankind can see all the signs of the last days, yet man does not believe that anything will change. He does not believe in the impending coming of our Lord and he does not prepare to meet God. Instead, he plans, builds, trades, and gathers unto himself earthly treasures. Even as the storm clouds of tribulation gather on the horizon, he will not hear nor does he believe. He still refuses to believe.

Point number four: For those who claim to be Christians, they are supposed to be ambassadors for Christ here on Earth. Ambassadors are supposed to represent their government at all times. One cannot have any true witness or power in his life unless that one lives his Christian faith at all times, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To be a true Christian one must live it, not just talk it. To honor God with your lips and not your heart is not acceptable and to those who worship Him in words only, God will spew them out of His mouth. He does not want words only, but deeds from those who claim Him as their Savior. Those who publicly proclaim to know Him had BETTER know Him. For their own sakes, those who take a position of leadership in the Christian movement truly had better be called to that position by Him. Those who accept the responsibility of teaching, preaching, or any leadership role have much for which to answer. All of what has been said comes down to this point which is directly related to His commandment as recorded in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God. and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Point number five: This is the greatest news since the day of Pentecost! God is now in the process of recruiting an army with which He will shake this old world one more time. By working through His soldiers, God will produce great miracles that will shake the established hierarchy of the so-called organized religion that is in this world today. These soldiers that God is now recruiting will demonstrate the power of God to a greater extent than did the disciples in the Pentecostal age. Some will be even greater demonstrations than that of Elijah. This is fantastic! This is the greatest news of all time! God’s recruitment for this army has been going on for some time. Some of these soldiers have been brought up to a certain level of faith and placed in a “holding” position where they shall remain until He has brought all the new ones up to that level. Remember, the Bible says that He is the author and finisher of our faith. It is going to be through the faith of the soldiers that God will demonstrate His great power. As was stated earlier, for a long time He has been recruiting a few. Now the recruitment has begun in earnest because God is about to perform the great miracles through His army that He promised us He would do in the Bible. John the Baptist brought the spirit of Elijah into this world and he did not even know he had it. He denied it, but Jesus confessed that it was so. The purpose of that spirit was to make straight the paths of the coming of the Lord.

I declare unto you that you the soldiers who are being recruited now to join with those who have been recruited in the past, will bring to this world the spirit of Elijah. Again the purpose is to make straight the paths of the coming of the Lord for He is about to come again! You that sleep, now is the time to awaken! You that have been in that “holding” pattern for years, look up! You’re about to be put to work! To the new recruit, I would say study the Bible diligently and seek the Lord’s will in every aspect of your life. Time is short for your spiritual training, but you will be used in ways you never thought possible if you seek the Lord FIRST in your life.

You who are to be chosen will be the soldiers of the latter rain as referred to in scripture. This recruitment is for the end of the great revival spoken of by the prophet Joel and begun on the day of Pentecost. The end-time of that great revival is the beginning of the latter rain, so you must prepare for the battle with the discipline of a professional soldier.

Know this also. There shall be a time or process of “culling” those who are not qualified to be a member of this “Gideon’s” army. Just as in Gideon’s army in the Bible, only a select few will be fit for service in the army of Christian soldiers the Lord will use in the battle of the latter rain.

10. Faith (Chapter 13 of Placebo)

After all was over and His message had been made plain to me, God gave me the command to repeat to the world my experience and this entire message. The Holy Spirit revealed that my ministry for repeating this message was limited to three years. I was not told what would happen after the three years or even if I would have the entire, full three years. The counting period for my ministry of three years began May 7, 1980.

After I had been instructed on what to do, God then placed restrictions on me that made it impossible for me to do what He said I must do. He told me not to recruit associates or followers. God said He would supply my needs and direct to me any help that I may need. God then gave me back my life and He told me that I was healed. He called my name and said to me, “Howard Pittman, be it unto you according to your faith.”

When he had thus spoken, the interview was over. The angels placed their hands on me and I remembered nothing until I opened my eyes back inside my body in the hospital room. The first person I remember seeing was my doctor who was standing at the foot of my bed. As my eyes opened, I saw a faint smile on his face. I saw him turn toward the nurse and say to her, “Come see the miracle man!” I tried to talk to him about my trip into Heaven, but he would not listen. Even though he refused to discuss with me anything about my experience, he had confessed from his own mouth that a miracle had happened!

As I look back at the great revelation session that I had with God, I wonder about some of the things they would not allow me to remember, but I see clearly why it had to be that way. Even though I stood before God in counsel and even though I received from Him this message, it was still necessary that I walk by faith. Almost daily my faith has been tried.

One of the first trials was the healing God gave me. Not only did he heal me of my ruptured artery, but he also healed me of another semi-rare, incurable ailment. This ailment had nothing to do with the ruptured artery or the miracle, but was something I had to deal with for twenty years. It was a condition the doctors called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is an ailment that somehow causes the automatic respiratory functioning to fail when one is sleeping. When I would have one of these attacks I would be awakened with a start, unable to breathe. When I sat up and touched something, I would start back to breathing. It was a frightening experience, but it bothered me only when I was sleeping. Having received treatment for this ailment over the past twenty years from four different physicians, I was told that the cause was unknown and that they knew of no cure. In fact, the only treatment they gave was advice about diet and sleeping habits. On different occasions, physicians would try experiments. but it all amounted to the same thing, basically. There was no improvement and no cure.

The last attack I had was approximately one week prior to me great miracle. It came about midnight and I was awakened with a start, unable to breathe. Sitting up in bed, I grabbed my wife’s hand and still could not breathe. Jumping out of bed, I made it into the bathroom. By the time I could get a glass of water, I was on my knees. When the water touched my lips, my breathing started back. Needless to say, I did not go back to bed that night and as soon as the doctor’s office was opened that morning, I was there. The doctor seemed frustrated with me because he did not seem to think I was taking his advice seriously. He told me, “Mr. Pittman, you do not seem to be aware of the seriousness of this ailment.” I assured him that I did appreciate his advice and that I did realize how serious this problem was. He advised my wife to take training in how to start my breathing if it failed again. She was to learn how to start it through artificial respiration.

When I asked God for healing, I was asking only for healing of my ruptured artery. however, when God told me that I was healed, it was for both conditions. God healed both conditions, but both were healed in different ways. He healed me of sleep apnea instantly. This type of instantaneous healing is what is known as miracle healing. He healed me of the ruptured artery by divine healing which occurs through a process or over a period of time. He told me I was healed but for a period of three months or more after I returned from the hospital, my body did not feel healed. Sometimes the pain was so great that it seemed I could not stand it. During these times, my wife pleaded with me to return to the hospital for help, but I could not do that. God told me I was healed and I had to believe Him. If God had not told me I was healed, then I would have returned to the hospital for help, however, I had to trust God no matter how much I hurt. After a few months, my body finally found out that it had been healed. God had healed me of two serious ailments and had done it in two different ways. Each way for each ailment was His choice, however, my faith was involved in both healings.

The trial of my faith was necessary because I had to learn from actual experience that there is more than one kind of faith. The Bible speaks of four different kinds of faith: a temporary kind, a dead kind, an intellectual kind, and last but not least, a saving and real kind. It was necessary that I know what real faith is because my entire walk with God in bringing this message to the world was going to be by faith. Of course it would have been disastrous if I had tried to walk with Him in the wrong kind of faith. In order for one to know the difference, let me take examples of all four from the Bible. Let’s take as our first example, temporary faith. Luke 8:13 states that “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” Notice how it says “for a while” they believe and then “fall away”, having only temporary faith. Had my faith been only temporary, I would never have received my healing that God told me I had. Additionally, my healing for sleep apnea would have only been temporary.

Example number two is intellectual faith. James 2:19 states, “Thou believest that there is one God: thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Just saying with your mouth that there is a God is not enough, for the devils acknowledge Him. I could have said all day that I was healed and still have gone on to the doctor just to have it checked out, but this would have been a demonstration of intellectual faith. I would have been acknowledging with my mouth but not believing with my heart.

Example number three is dead faith. James 2:17 states, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” When God told me that I was healed, I believed Him. I, therefore, went about my business in spite of the accompanying pain. I could have stayed in bed and said, “I’ll wait for my healing to come.” Had I done this my healing would still have not arrived. I had to put my belief into deeds, or action, in order for it to be alive. Without actions or deeds, it would have been dead. God said I was healed and I WAS healed! Although all the evidence was contradictory, I went about every day just as if that contradictory evidence did not exist.

Example number four is the saving or real faith. Romans 10:9-10 states, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not talking about that physical organ that pumps the blood throughout your body. Instead, it is talking about your innermost being, your spirit. So, it was with my heart, my spirit, my innermost being that I believed God and I acted on that belief. What God told me came to pass because I believed. I practiced that faith every day and it stood the test on a daily basis. The test did not come one day and was over. The test did not come two days and was over, nor did it come three days and was over. The testing came day after day after day, week after week after week, and month after month after month. I had to face every day believing in what God said and going about my business as if my body believed it too.

11. Interpretation (Chapter 14 of Placebo)

Earlier in the book I told about the series of dreams that I had had seven years prior to the great miracle. By the time the dreams had concluded, I knew God was giving me a message but I did not know what it was He was saying in the message. I told every person or group that would listen about the dreams in hope that God would send me an interpretation through some listener. This did not happen until after the miracle which occurred seven years after the dreams. Even after the miracle, I had to wait nine months for the interpretations.

When God gave me the command on May 7, 1980, to go tell the world about my experience, He sent me the interpretation of part of my dreams through my good friend, Larry Boone, who was in one of the dreams. Larry also was used of God in organizing the New Philadelphian Nondenominational Church which had come into being for the purpose of authorizing me to go as a messenger to the world by the authority of the church. On May 7, 1980, seven of us signed the charter of the New Philadelphian Church. God used seven people brought together specifically for this purpose. He assembled these seven people from diverse sections of the nation and directed them to me without my asking them. Some of us were separated by as much as 1,200 miles. On the day we signed the charter, my command to go tell the message came into existence. Larry Boone came to my home at this time and announced that God had given him a partial interpretation to my dreams. I brought my original tape recording of my dreams from their storage and as I played each tape, Larry gave the following interpretations.

Dream number one: My sleep in the rocking chair symbolized my attitude toward the real church and my work in it. I thought I was comfortable and in need of nothing. My dying mother represented the real church for which I had no concern. The dog represented Satan whose biting of my hand showed that it was going to take a physical occurrence to awaken me. The invisible shield around me was the protection of the Holy Spirit. The fact that I got Satan out of the front door symbolized my victory over Satan and the act of his trying to return via the back door indicated that Satan will not stop in his efforts to destroy me. Receiving such a jolt when the dog’s body hit the door indicates the severity of Satan’s attack.

Dream number two: When I saw myself standing on the doorstep of an old, empty, three-story building, I was looking at Christ’s true church. The building was old, yet it was new to me. The three stories represented my three year ministry in His church. The inside of the building had no furniture or people indicating the lack of true soldiers and material possessions of His true church today. The white dog in the closet represented Satan while the black dog represented the true congregation. Today Satan is holding down the true congregation which, as far as the world is concerned, is visibly dead. In the eyes of the world, the white dog appeared to be good while the black dog seemed to be bad, however, the exact opposite is true. The fact that I was able to withstand the hypnotic eyes of the white dog indicated that God had given me the victory once again over Satan. For a while, Satan fled from the true church, but when he returned, he was disguised as my best friend. Once again I received supernatural help in order to recognize him and I was able to expose him for what he truly is. This will not stop him, however, for he will be back. Being disguised as my friend indicated one of the methods that Satan is going to use to try to destroy me and this message. He will come at me through those considered to be my friends.

Dream number three: In this dream I was on a missionary journey. The bag of dog food that I had on my shoulder was the message God had given me to take to the world. The people in the house represented God’s children to whom I had been sent. The dog’s effort to attack me represented Satan’s unending assault against the message God was delivering through me. The announcement from the sky predicted a great supernatural event of some nature that would occur while I was on one of the missionary journeys.

When Larry concluded with the interpretations of these three dreams, he stated that that was all that God had given him. He had no further interpretations for dream number four and five. While Larry was giving the interpretations, the Holy Spirit quickened his words to me and I knew that they were true. I knew God had truly given him the correct interpretations of these three dreams.

While alone in my room at night approximately two months later, the Holy Spirit gave me the interpretation for the fourth dream. He simply stated that this dream was indicative of my being sent to foreign mission fields to carry this message and while in England, another great supernatural event would occur. The interpretation then ceased. At the present time, I have not received the interpretation for the fifth and last dream.

I now know that all of these dreams had to do with the great miracle that God worked in my life, the message that He gave me to deliver to the world, and the events that are going to occur in these three years of my ministry.

It all boils down to the message that I am giving to the people today: To the Christians who are true children of God, time is very precious. It is so valuable because time as we know it is about to change. I say to you at the conclusion of this chapter, “Look up, my friend, for your redemption draweth night!”

Christianity Religion

Gerard Landry’s Near-Death Experience

The following is one of the near-death experiences, reprinted here by permission, which Rita Bennett documents in her excellent book, To Heaven and Back. I highly recommend this book especially for those Christians who are still not sure whether the near-death experiences are Biblical. Visit Rita Bennett’s website Emotionally Free. The following experiences will show you they are, in fact, Biblical.

Dr. Gerard Landry, an anesthesiologist, worked twenty-seven years in medicine and had a very good life as a Christian with a wife and three children up to the time of his heart attack on March 24, 1979. The heart attack resulted in the following NDE:

Suddenly, in a flash, I couldn’t think. At 4:13 p.m., I was transported from the physical realm, the realm of the body, to a spiritual realm. I knew I was in another world – a world that is as real as this world is to anyone reading this. What I saw, I saw with the eyes of the spirit, because at that time my soul and my spirit were in heaven. At the time you leave the flesh, your spiritual awareness becomes acute, because the flesh holds down your spiritual awareness. At death, your spirit is released. My experience was supernatural but nonetheless real.

The first awareness was of eternity … When we die everything stops. It is like finally getting to the nanosecond, where time stops for us. Like a watch, our body stops at that time. Yet our spirit and consciousness continue to live on in a dimension beyond sequential time. We go beyond nanoseconds into a space-time measurement we cannot know here on Earth. I call it the eternal now, because that is how it felt to me. The past, present, and future are all merged into what scripture calls eternity. Eternity is the present, the now that never ends.

Truly understanding this dimension requires a joining of the human spirit to the Holy Spirit. As this connection happens, we go beyond head knowledge to heart experience. Jesus came expressly to give us this kind of life – eternal life. He told us about it. He demonstrated it. He imparted it.

Then, as if I had eyes all around my head, I saw saints, souls that were in heaven – multitudes. There was no way to count them. Whether there were millions or billions, I have no idea. As far as I could see in every direction were people of all sizes dressed in white robes. The people were transparent; I could see through them. They were behind me, across from me, all around me. They were “floating” on what appeared to be a crystal mirror or cloud or smoke. It is hard to describe these things in earthly terms, but I am trying to show you what my spirit saw. Each person was holding a crown in his or her hand.

The saints were saying, “We were waiting for you.”

I looked at my body and realized I was one of them. When you look at yourself and can look through yourself, it is quite an experience. I was looking at a form of my body.

Then the clouds seemed to be separating (yet they were not actually clouds), and Jesus appeared. When he appeared, he showed himself to me on the cross as if he were in the flesh, still with his nail-pierced hands and feet, the wound in his side.

To me this signified that the cross will be remembered forever in heaven and that the salvation it brings is forever.

If I tried to describe what he looked like, the color of his eyes and all, my words would be inadequate. It would be like seeing a picture and then trying to describe what it was like to experience the person.

Then Jesus glanced at me with a look of compassion, full of love and caring. A glance similar, I imagine, to the look he gave his mother, Mary, and his friend, John, as they waited in agony at the foot of the cross. This glance was the essence of love. I understood the fullness of the love of God at that moment. This glance must have been like the one Jesus gave Matthew at the tax collector’s table.

Jesus probably just stopped, looked at him, and said, “Follow me.”

I also saw the perfect obedience that Jesus has for his Father. He obeyed him on the cross. He died on the cross for us because he loves his Father and he loves us. In love, he became a servant for us. All the things I had read in the Bible became real to me right then.

Jesus spoke with a voice that relayed the same love his glance transmitted to me – such gentleness and tenderness. Once you hear it, you will never forget it.

He welcomed me with, “Gerry, my peace be with you” – my first name, then peace be with you.

He said, “You are healed. You will feel no pain. You will have no anxiety. You will have no fears or guilt from the past. In one week you will be home from the hospital.”

When Jesus said, “You are healed,” I thought, Lord, it is wonderful in this place. I want to stay.

He also told me that all the prayers we had prayed that morning would be answered or were right then being answered.

And he said, “Go and tell your family, your friends, your fellowship, and everyone you come in contact with; tell them about my love. I want you to read the Gospel of John, the first two letters of John, and all of Revelation.”

Lord,” I said, “Why do you want me to do this?”

He said, “John is my friend. He knows all about my love.”

I didn’t fully realize what was happening – that my heart had stopped for four minutes and that I was being brought back to life. When the Lord finished talking to me, I was aware that I was back in my body. I then entered a deep coma in which I was unable to communicate or move any part of my body for more than ten hours.

Christianity Religion

George Ritchie’s Near-Death Experience

In 1943, at the age of 20, Dr. George G. Ritchie, Jr., M.D., (1923-2007) was a private in the Army stationed in Texas awaiting a transfer to Richmond to study medicine at the Medical College of Virginia to become a doctor for the military. However, he got sick with pneumonia and died. The Army physician in charge stated in a notarized statement that the medical officer summoned detected “no evidence of respiration or cardiac impulse” and declared Ritchie dead. Ritchie had left his body in a near-death experience wandering around the hospital ward unaware he was dead. He found it strange no one could see him. He returned to his room and recognized his lifeless body, which had been covered with a sheet, by his fraternity ring. The room then became bright and Ritchie found himself in the presence of Jesus who then guided him through several realms of the afterlife before being told to return to his body. As the ward was preparing Ritchie’s body for the morgue, he thought he detected movement in Ritchie’s chest and called for a medical officer who provided a shot of adrenaline to the patient’s heart causing him to breathe and his heart to beat. Ritchie then returned to life with one of the most important and profound NDEs every documented.

Table of Contents

  1. Verified Evidence of George Ritchie’s Out-of-Body Experience
  2. George Ritchie’s NDE Visions of the Future
  3. The Profound Aftereffects of George Ritchie’s NDE
  4. More Information about Dr. George Ritchie
  5. A Brief Summary of George Ritchie’s NDE
    a. His Out-of-Body Experience and Life Review with Jesus
    b. His Guided Tour of the Earthbound Realm with Jesus
    c. His Experience of the “Receiving Station”
    d. His Description of the Horrors of Hell
    e. His Observations of the Temple of Wisdom
    f. His Vision of the Heavenly City
  6. A Commentary by George Ritchie

1. Verified Evidence of George Ritchie’s Out-of-Body Experience

A major feature of Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE was his extensive out-of-body experience at the beginning of his NDE. His observations have enormous implications because they have been verified by a third-party. NDE expert Robert Mays ( has investigated and verified the details of Ritchie’s out-of-body observations. While out of his body, Ritchie traveled to a distant location (523 miles away) and saw details of an unfamiliar area very accurately. What is most striking is that the location of the cafe that Ritchie saw, from the likely station hospital door, appears to be exactly due east, and the location of the blinking caution lights Ritchie saw are also at this precise latitude. Indeed, the maximum deviation from the hospital to Vicksburg could have been only 0.6 seconds of arc, or 2900 feet over 523 miles of travel. The fact that three key aspects of Ritchie’s account have likely correlates at the exact same latitude, occurring at widely spaced intervals, and that Ritchie reports having traveled east strongly suggest that his “flight” was an objective albeit unusual event. Much more evidence about Robert Mays’ investigation can be read in this article.

2. George Ritchie’s NDE Visions of the Future

Ritchie’s NDE occurred in 1943 when he was shown visions of Earth’s future. Jesus informed him he had 45 years to accomplish his mission in life:

“It is left to humanity which direction they shall choose. I came to this planet to show you, through the life I led, how to love. Without our Father you can do nothing, neither could I. I showed you this. You have 45 years.” – Jesus’ words to George Ritchie

George Ritchie’s book, Return From Tomorrow, which describes his near-death experience, was published in 1985. This was approximately 42 years after his experience. Since Jesus told him that he had 45 years, and it took 42 years until Ritchie’s book was published, it may be assumed that Jesus meant for Ritchie to publish his testimony within 45 years.

Ritchie saw increasing natural disasters on Earth (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes); families splitting and governments are breaking apart because of people thinking only of themselves; and armies marching on the U.S. from the south. He also saw explosions occurring all over the world of a magnitude beyond our capacity to imagine. He was told that if they continued, human life as we have known it will not exist.

3. The Profound Aftereffects of George Ritchie’s NDE

After Ritchie had his NDE in 1943, he had no idea what he was supposed to accomplish within the 45 years Jesus gave him ending in 1988. In the late 1960s, during his post-graduate studies and residency in psychiatry at the University of Virginia, his NDE testimony attracted the attention of Dr. Raymond Moody, MD ( Ritchie’s testimony was the first contact of Moody’s investigation into over 150 cases of NDEs resulting in Moody’s publishing of his study in the ground-breaking book, Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon – Survival of Bodily Death. Because of the overwhelming success and popularity of his study and book, Moody is considered to be “the father of the near-death experience.”

Ritchie’s NDE is in a class of its own. You will find his experience to be one of the most profound NDEs ever documented. His NDE is also one of the most important cases of “NDE veridical perception” which are NDE out-of-body observations later verified by third-parties. During his NDE, Ritchie traveled out of his body for a distance of thousands of miles where he observed detailed events later verified to be true. Visit the website of NDE expert Robert Mays ( who verified the veridical evidence of Ritchie’s NDE.

In 1978, ten years before the allotted 45 years given to him by Jesus, Ritchie published his first book about his NDE, Return from Tomorrow (1978, 2007) co-authored by Elizabeth Sherrill ( Ritchie’s book became so popular it has been translated into nine languages. In it he tells of his out-of-body experience and his meeting with Jesus Christ his travel through different dimensions of time and space with Christ; and his experience in heaven. Ritchie authored two more books about his NDE: his second book, My Life After Dying: Becoming Alive To Universal Love (1991), and his third and final book, Ordered to Return: My Life After Dying (1998), was co-authored by the famous NDE and reincarnation studies expert, Dr. Ian Stevenson (also see his Wikipedia page).

4. More Information about Dr. George Ritchie

Ritchie’s NDE initially delayed his medical education and he graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1950 after the war, operating a successful career in private practice in Richmond until 1964. He did his residency in psychiatry at the University of Virginia from 1964 through 1967, winning the William James Research Award for Research in Psychiatry. In 1967 he began a successful private psychiatry practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, for 16 years. In 1983 he moved to Anniston, Alabama, to serve as head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center before returning to Richmond three years later to oversee the Richmond-Rope Harbor Alcoholic Hospital. He also held positions as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Towers Hospital and president of the Richmond Academy of General Practice. He helped found the David C. Wilson Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. He continued his private practice until retirement in 1992.

But more than anything, Ritchie was especially proud of his work with youth. He was involved with Scouting for 22 years from 1935-1957. Ritchie was founder and president of the Universal Youth Corps, Inc. for almost 20 years. The Universal Youth Corps (UYC) is an organization encouraging young men and women to follow Christ offering medical service without pay to the poor and reached out with a helping hand through charities. The UYC was the inspiration for President Kennedy to establish the Peace Corps. In 1972, one of Ritchie’s UYC meetings, a miraculous healing occurred when Ritchie asked one of the boys to offer a prayer. Ritchie reminded them of the Bible verse where Christ says, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on Earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20). One of the boys asked God to heal the horse of his friend – referring to a young girl whose horse was dying from an infection so severe the veterinarian advised the family to “put the horse down.” Ritchie then told the girl’s father, who was also attending the meeting, that the Lord had spoken to him while the boy was praying, saying, “If you will give thanks for the horse’s healing now, he will be well in two weeks.” The girl’s father did what Ritchie said; but on the thirteenth night after the meeting, the horse was no better. But on the next morning, sometime during the night, the horse was completely healed. Even the incision was gone. The miraculous healing had occurred just as Ritchie said God promised.

Ritchie was also a Sunday School teacher for many years and was a charter member and elder in the Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church. He was also a member of the United Methodist Church and the Baptist Church. He is best known for his NDE testimony which he shared all over the world, attending speaking engagements throughout Europe, the U.S. and Mexico.

Ritchie, an avid fisherman who loved being out on the river, died on October 29, 2007 at his home in Irvington, Virginia, at the age of 84, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Ritchie is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marguerite Shell Ritchie, his daughter and son, granddaughters, and great grandchildren.

5. A Brief Summary of George Ritchie’s NDE

The following is a brief summary of Dr. George Ritchie’s near-death experience. You can read his entire NDE testimony in his book, Return From Tomorrow.

a. His Out-of-Body Experience and Life Review with Jesus

The following is the testimony of George Ritchie’s OBE: George Ritchie dies of pneumonia in a Texas Army hospital and leaves his body unaware he is dead. He wanders around the hospital ward and wonders why people cannot see or hear him. Wanting eagerly to travel to Richmond, Virginia, to finish college, the thought instantly sends him flying through the door of the hospital and into the air – traveling thousands of miles toward Richmond. He is bewildered about these sudden supernatural powers of flight and transparency he has attained. He then arrives at a city with a bar and discovers the people there cannot see or hear him either. He also has no solidness there either. He flies back to the Army hospital where he sees his lifeless body in the morgue and realizes he is dead..

Suddenly, a being of tremendous light and love appeared before him. Ritchie realizes this light is like “a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once.” Human eyes would be destroyed in a second if they saw it. The being tells Ritchie to stand up. Ritchie is astonished to learn he is standing before Jesus Christ. More than anything emanating from Jesus was the unbelievable amount of unconditional love shining from him – a love that knew everything about Ritchie and loved him just the same. Simultaneously, as Jesus appeared to him, Ritchie watches his entire life displayed before him. Jesus asks him, “What have you done with your life?” Ritchie tries to come up with several examples but realizes he has fallen short. Ritchie eventually realizes Jesus is not judging him at all; but rather, Ritchie was judging himself. And the question “What have you done with your life?” had more to do with “How much unconditional love have you given others.”

b. His Guided Tour of the Earthbound Realm with Jesus

The following is the testimony of George Ritchie’s tour of the Earthbound Realm: Then Jesus begins to take Ritchie on a journey through various realms of the afterlife. They fly toward a large city on Earth where they notice a group of assembly-line workers at work. They witnesses the spirit of a woman trying desperately to grab a cigarette from the workers who were oblivious to her presence. This woman had died severely addicted to cigarettes and was now cut off from the one thing she desperately desired most.

Ritchie realizes how the spirits in these realms immediately know the thoughts of other spirits around them. This is the reason they tend to group together with other spirits. It is too threatening to be around others who knew and disagreed with their thoughts.

Jesus leads Ritchie to a house somewhere on Earth where he is shown the spirit of a young man following his living family members around and begging them for forgiveness. But the family members are completely unaware of his presence. Jesus tells Ritchie the young man committed suicide and is “chained to every consequence of his act.”

They then traveled to a bar somewhere on Earth which was filled with sailors drinking heavily. Spirits surrounded the sailors as they tried desperately, and in vain, to grasp the shot glasses to get a drink. Other spirits tried to control the sailors’ alcoholic behavior. Ritchie learns these are the spirits of people who died still having a severe alcoholic addiction which went beyond the physical. He is bewildered as he observes one of the sailors passing out causing the sailor’s protective aura surrounding him to crack open. When it does, it allows a spirit to scramble into the sailor’s unconscious body. This scene was repeated over and over.

c. His Experience of the “Receiving Station”

Jesus then takes Ritchie to another realm and is shown a kind of “receiving station” where spirits would arrive in a deep hypnotic sleep because of a particular religious belief they held to be true. Here there were “angels” trying to arouse them and help them realize, “God is truly a God of the living and that they did not have to lie around sleeping until Gabriel or someone came along blowing on a horn.” These are the spirits of people who believe they must sleep in their grave until the second coming of Christ (i.e., soul sleep.)

d. His Description of the Horrors of Hell

They were still somewhere on the surface of the Earth; but no living person or beings of light could be seen. Before them was a plain jammed with hordes of spirits who are the most miserable and angriest beings he has ever seen. Many were engaged in hand-to-hand combat with no weapons – trying in vain to hurt and kill those who didn’t agree with them. A lot of verbal abuse could be heard between them as their thoughts could be heard by everyone around them the moment they are thought. Ritchie is horrified as he wonders what living in such a realm would be like – a place where you cannot hide from who you really are. These spirits were locked into destructive thought-patterns, rage and uncontrollable lust. Some were trying in vain to get sexual gratification from each other. The wailing coming from the hordes of unsatisfied spirits was tremendous. Other spirits were in despair saying things such as, “I always knew!” and “Didn’t I warn you!” Ritchie realizes this place is truly hell. Their obsessive thoughts and emotions extended beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual realm where they cannot be satisfied. Yet there was nothing preventing any of the poor spirits in these realms from leaving. There was no condemnation coming from Jesus either – only compassion for these miserable spirits. Ritchie realizes Jesus hadn’t abandoned any of them here. Instead they fled from the light to escape from having the darkness of their heart from being revealed.

e. His Observations of the Temple of Wisdom

The following is the testimony of George Ritchie’s Temple of Wisdom and Heavenly City Experience. They then travel to a completely different realm where some kind of enormous university is located. Spirits dressed as monks busily and happily engaged in some form of artistic behavior or research. An enormous library exists here where all the important books of the universe are assembled. Ritchie asks Jesus if this is heaven. These are the spirits of people who grew beyond selfish desires while on Earth; but, like the spirits in hell, these spirits cannot see Jesus either.

f. His Vision of the Heavenly City

Ritchie is then taken into outer space toward a distant city made of brilliant light – similar in description to the heavenly city in the Book of Revelation (see also Revelation 21:10-27.) This is the place where people go who have become like Jesus while on Earth – a place where love is the dominant focus of life. This is heaven he realizes; but he is not allowed to enter it. Instead, Jesus shows him the future of Earth and is told to return to his physical body. At this point, Ritchie is revived from death.

6. A Commentary by George Ritchie

The following commentary is an excerpt from George Ritchie’s book, My Life After Dying: Becoming Alive to Universal Love.

Across the ages, as he did in the Garden of Eden, God still calls out to man, “Where are you, Adam?

Man, with the help of the dogmas of Western Christianity, has lost his way, and sees himself totally separated from God because Western Christianity through the Roman Catholic Church stressed fallen man, with Jesus dying for our sins on the cross. The churches have not explained our potential as gods (our potential of becoming a “son of God” like Jesus) with our God-given creative power, and how necessary it is for us to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God when we use this power. Quoting Psalms 82:6, Jesus asked:

“Is it not written in your law, I said, you are gods?” (from John 10:30-39)

St. Irenaeus, a famous early Christian leader stated that God became a human being in order that human beings might become God. I would change what he said only to the degree that I would say that Jesus showed us the God that God our Father created us to be.

Instead the churches lead us to believe that the church was given the authority to decide who was going to heaven, and that those who didn’t join their particular denomination were going to hell. This is incongruous with the teachings of Jesus, the Christ, who told us the tale of the prodigal son not only to help us understand the love and forgiveness of God but to help us understand that the prodigal son is the cosmic tale of each and every human being. We have all forgotten that we are sons and daughters of the most high God; that our spiritual side, the soul of man, needs to return to have total fellowship with the Father. To do this we have to come to ourselves and realize that in this human realm of existence, our human, selfish side has led us down the road of materialism and of living only for ourselves, which caused us to turn away from our Father and our divine destiny and forget who we are. It caused our spiritual death.

Jesus went on the cross to show us that we must die to this human egotistical side in order to let the soul of man, which has carried the knowledge of who it is and from whence it came, come to life and into control.

This is our ultimate destiny, to reach out and begin to communicate with the Christ, so that he can lead us back to being alive (into that perfect union with our Father) and let him pass his love and thinking through us to one another. We must come to know the living resurrected Christ within us, and depend on passing his love to one another and to God, because our human love isn’t enough. When we recognize this truth, then, like the prodigal son Jesus told about, we will have come to ourselves; that is, we will come alive, and will decide to go home, for we will know that even being a servant in our Father’s household is better than being dead spiritually, the way we have been living.

Then, with the Christ, the Holy Spirit and our Father – all of us joined together – we shall be helping to create a universe and no longer a diverse.

This is what I believe Jesus meant when he said:

“And I shall draw all humanity to myself, when I am lifted up from the earth.” – Jesus, John 12:31-36

Christ showed us that he had to go through the death of his physical self in order for the resurrection of his spiritual self to take place. I think that his death on the cross also symbolized that we must realize we are dead before we can be raised up by the resurrected Christ within us. I find it hard to believe that in our present state of spiritual death we can conquer our self-centered lower physical nature without going through the death and surrender of our will as did Jesus on the cross. I can say from the risen Christ’s having conducted me through four realms of life after death, that in the highest realm, he showed me beings who had followed his teachings and were now resurrected into spiritual beings who were like him when it came to the love, light and life they put forth.

I believe Jesus did not incarnate just to die for our sins, but that he also lived and died to show all of humanity, regardless of race, creed, or color, how much God our Father loved us. He expects us to do the same thing. When we come to realize this, then he will truly be lifted up for we shall be keeping the great commandment:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus, Luke 10:25-28

Our destiny is not only to come to know and rise above our human side, but, by following his example of dying to self, to come to know and activate, or bring to life, our spiritual side, which he showed was in every man, woman, and child. He showed us how to die to self and how to rise from the dead and ascend into our Higher Self, life.

I’m not saying that we have to make a sacrificial death on a cross as Jesus did. I am saying that we have to reach the place where we are willing to face the death of our self-centered nature so that our higher spiritual nature can gain control. I believe that being willing to follow such a total surrender to God’s will, will bring about a resurrection and ascension of the transformed self, which can change a world into a heaven on earth. He started this transformation first in himself to show what can happen to all who would follow him. It changed him and all who followed him because he surrendered his will to God our Father, who, he showed, is pure LOVE. Our destiny is to do the same thing in order to survive and change our world. His commission wasn’t just to teach and show us how to reach the highest realm, heaven, but rather how to create heaven on earth.

Christianity Religion

A Gay Man’s Near-Death Experience With Jesus

Clinical psychologist and author Liz Dale is asking anyone — but especially those in the LGBT community — who has had a near-death experience (NDE) to participate in an online survey regarding the experience and its consequences. Survey results will inform a groundbreaking study and a new book to be published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. The survey is live now at Dale’s official site ( has become an important resource for those with academic or personal interests in the NDE phenomenon. It includes access to a free ebook library as well as links to LGBT-focused articles on Amazon and Wikipedia, among other information repositories. Dale anticipates that her new survey will make important contributions to the literature, as well as pave the way for future investigations. The forthcoming book on NDE aftereffects will not be Dale’s first; in 2000, she published “Crossing Over and Coming Home: Twenty-One Authors Discuss the Gay NDE as Spiritual Transformation,” an excerpt from her book in this article captures the essence of this research and the intensely personal and profound nature of the stories people have shared with her. The International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) is sponsoring a complementary NDE study. Interested parties can learn more at their website.

Immediately after the impact from falling forward onto the metal grating, I felt myself floating up, out of my body, and hovering above my body and all the people who were watching it, and who seemed paralyzed by shock and horror at what had happened. I think they pretty much assumed that I was dead. I remember looking down and seeing my body three-dimensionally for the first time. And it was such a shock, because we never see ourselves except in a one-dimensional mirror reflection, or a photograph. But I felt no pain at all; I felt completely whole and free, and I thought, “This is who I really am.”

I saw my physical body, all crumpled and bloody and lifeless; and this enormous wave of compassion washed over me and I wanted to tell all of the bystanders that everything was going to be OK and not to be sad or alarmed.

Then suddenly I felt myself being pulled, literally at the speed of light, farther from the physical Earth, and I saw all of the people on the planet simultaneously in that one moment. I saw people in China and Sweden and Uruguay; I saw people sleeping and dreaming; I saw people preparing food in their homes and in restaurants; people traveling in all manner of transportation, to and from work and school and appointments; I saw children playing together, and bankers and teachers and factory workers at their jobs. I saw mothers giving birth to children, which was especially beautiful and moving to me.

I saw people in hospitals and prisons, mental institutions and nursing homes and orphanages who felt desperately alone and abandoned and afraid. And I saw people painting pictures and planting gardens; writing stories and composing music, and people dancing.

I saw people praying in mosques and temples, synagogues, and churches; and people individually expressing their own silent prayers. I saw indigenous tribes in all different parts of the world drumming and chanting. And God was sending multitudes of angels to the Earth, to assist in answering all of the countless, millions of prayers being offered up at that single moment.

As I seemed to move further into the light, I saw the Earth as though from outer space. It was like a beautiful, shimmering blue and green jewel floating in the cosmos. As I moved closer I saw that the Earth was vibrating and pulsating, as though it was a living, breathing entity and not just some physical mass.

And I thought, “This is Mother Earth; this is our Divine Mother.”

But as I looked even closer, I saw that there were terrible wounds and sores on different parts of her body, and that she was gasping for breath, and calling out to God and to her children to stop the killing and destruction and hatefulness – that she was dying and praying for all of us to help her to heal and regenerate. Again I felt overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and compassion, and I desired to hold Mother Earth in my arms – to whisper words of love and hope.

I remember that a part of me felt frustrated and powerless to actually do anything of value – just as I have often felt in my physical body. Yet another part of me felt completely powerful, as though there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish.

At that moment I asked God, “What do you want me to do?”

And the answer that came to me was that I had to go back into my physical body in order to complete certain goals that had already been set into motion.

And I thought, “But I can’t go back because my body is too far gone, it’s beyond repair.”

And I was also afraid that I could never accomplish, with all of my physical limitations, all that I could do as a spirit form, which felt so free and unencumbered.

I remember feeling angry and fearful about going back, after being in all of this light – to have to go back to the darkness. And then I felt the presence of Jesus Christ all around me. The feeling of love was completely overwhelming. I felt as though I was swimming in an ocean of ecstasy.

And I asked him, “Do I really have to go back?”

And his answer was that I was a part of God’s divine plan, as is every person, and that my ultimate purpose is to love and serve God and all sentient beings. And I could tell that he understood all of my fear and doubt. And he assured me that I would heal and recover, but that it would be a lifelong process; and that I did have the power within me, only I didn’t realize it until now, and that all I had to do was to ask for the courage and strength to persevere in my life and in my work. This particular information held enormous value for me, as I had often questioned whether I would ever really find a place in the world – having always been somewhat of an outsider – a place where my passionate concern regarding so many compelling modern issues could somehow take solid form, and that I could hopefully make even a small difference.

Then Christ said that he would send me guardian angels to aid me in my healing, and to guide and protect me. Then the light became even brighter, and suddenly there were angels everywhere, playing the most transcendentally beautiful music, and singing “Hosanna!” and hymns of praise to God. And some of the angels were crying, which I didn’t understand. And Jesus said that the angels were weeping tears of joy for my new life on Earth and that they were also expressing compassion for the hardship I would endure for the rest of my earthly existence. And he said that he had summoned the angels to guide me on my journey back to the Earth, and to my physical body. I remember feeling so grateful that Christ was there to help me try and understand everything that was happening. I also remember feeling that I wasn’t afraid anymore; that no one could ever hurt me again. And that I would try my best every day to serve God’s will.

I awakened to find two men kneeling over me, with expressions of apprehension and concern on both their faces. For some reason I felt that they might be gay men. They both looked to be in their thirties. I couldn’t help but notice how handsome they both were, and that they were beautifully dressed in what appeared to be very expensive business clothes. I remember thinking that they might be some kind of executives working for a corporation, which in fact is exactly what they turned out to be. One of the men obviously had some type of first aid training, and had monitored my vital signs. They informed me that an ambulance was on its way and to try to remain still and not speak, which was easy to do, considering the extent of my injuries. They had both taken off their jackets and laid them over me, and I was horrified to discover that the jackets were covered with blood and completely ruined. I remember feeling embarrassed, and yet enormously grateful for the kindness of these two strangers. Their entire presence was completely warm and comforting, and I felt strangely safe and protected.

They waited alongside me until the ambulance came, and then arrived at the hospital to make sure that I was properly attended to. They visited me in the hospital on two separate occasions. I made a somewhat feeble offer to replace their ruined clothes, but they simply laughed it off, and insisted that the only thing that mattered was that I was alive and more or less in one piece. Again their mere presence filled me with a sense of hope and courage. I felt very strongly that both men symbolized what would prove to be a succession of “angels” that Christ had promised to send me. This, in fact, turned out to be truer than I could possibly have imagined.