Near Death Experiences

Numerous people have had Near Death Experiences after their hearts stopped, or they have stopped breathing; and 10 seconds later the EEG (measure of brain electrical activity) – goes absolutely “flat”. If so, how can any scientist say that this NDE is a conscious experience? Also, there have been numerous blind people (blind from birth) who reported Near Death Experiences. And for most of these their NDE’s are “visual” experiences. How can these be? It is thought that over 10 million Americans have had Near Death Experiences. Why do “scientists” not study these more? These are not drug induced hallucinations. How can so many people report nearly the same details in their experience if they were due to drugs chemically acting on brain cells? Most people who undergo NDE’s say that they are not “dream-like” events, but instead, very real and structured “visits”.


[Is it possible for someone to truly die and then experience part of the ‘after-life’? How about someone ‘almost’ dying, and then being allowed to experience this? What constitutes ‘death’? Brain death? Soul departing? Why would this only happen to a few of the many that die? Is there any scriptural support for such an experience?]

[Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Job 16:22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

2 Sam 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.]

Standing in front of me was the most awesome sight – I could see a man standing in front of me, but he was not like anyone I’d ever seen before in my life. His garments were shimmering white in color – garments of light – I could see His bare feet and His hands were outstretched towards me as if to welcome me. I knew I was looking upon God … as I looked toward His face the intensity of the light seemed to increase 7-fold – you couldn’t make out the form of his face as the light was so bright – such purity, such holiness, such beauty. I asked God if I could step closer. I felt I could, I wanted to see His face. Moving closer waves of more Love began to flow towards me, and I felt very safe.

(Mickey Robinson – NDE in plane crash)

2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Joyce Hawkes, a cell biologist with a PhD, had an accident that forever changed her life — and her view of science. She suffered a concussion from a falling window. “I think that part of me — that my spirit, my soul — left my body and went to another reality,” she said. She was surprised at the experience.

“It just was not part of the paradigm in which I lived as a scientist,” Hawkes recalled. “it was a big surprise to me to have this sense of something different than the body — a consciousness different than the body — and to be in this wonderfully healing, peaceful, nurturing place.”

“I think what I learned was that there truly is no death, that there is a change in state from a physical form to a spirit form, and that there’s nothing to fear about that passage,” she said.


(The following is from an article entitled “What’s Up with Near-Death Experiences?” by Hank Hanegraaff)

In 2006 real estate broker Bill Wiese became a New York Times best-selling author with the publication of 23 Minutes in Hell. During his alleged out-of-body experience, Wiese [spent 23 minutes in Hell] and uncovered a wealth of brand new information regarding the hellish side of afterlife, including temperature (300 degrees/zero humidity); location (center of the earth); reptilian-looking demons (some in excess of fifteen feet tall) who rule over and torture humans; rats the size of dogs and snakes as big as trains.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The flip side of the afterlife hit the headlines with the 2010 publishing phenomenon Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. In it, Wesleyan pastor Todd Burpo tells of how his son Colton endured the equivalent of a near-death experience. Speaking “with the simple conviction of an eyewitness,” Colton revealed a heaven with “jeweled gates, shining rivers, and streets of gold”; a God with blue eyes, yellow hair, and huge wings; a Jesus with sea-green-bluish eyes, brown hair, no wings, but with a rainbow colored horse; and a Holy Spirit who is bluish but hard to see.

It wasn’t until 2012, however, that the mother of all near-death experiences emerged. “As arrogant as that might sound,” writes Dr. Eben Alexander in his mega-bestseller Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, mine was “a technically near-impeccable near-death experience, perhaps one of the most convincing such cases in modern history.” Through it he grasped the essence of all religion and the single most important truth in the universe, namely, unconditional love. Says Alexander: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.”

Jer 23:16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

Though novel, near-death experiences are hardly new. During medieval times stories of trips to heaven and hell were a potent means by which unbelievers were converted and believers convinced to stick to the straight and narrow. Still, it wasn’t until 1975 that the moniker near-death experience (NDE) was coined by the occult parapsychologist Raymond Moody in the run-away best-seller Life After Life. Since then the endless stream of stories concerning subjective experiences occurring during a state of unconsciousness brought on by a medical crisis, such as an accident, suicide attempt, or cardiac arrest, have flooded the market.

(At this point, we will interject an article by CRI on Raymond Moody’s book)

To better understand what a near-death experience is, we must go back 17 years to the publication of a book that catapulted this subject into the national limelight — Raymond Moody’s Life After Life (Moody claims to be a Christian, but believes that all major religions have important things to teach us). In this small but fascinating book, Moody compiled a massive number of accounts of NDEs and discovered 15 separate elements that are common in these experiences.

(1) Ineffability. Many of those who have experienced an NDE say that no words can adequately or truly describe what happened to them. Their experience, for them, is inexpressible. (2) Hearing the News. Many of them relate hearing a medical person pronounce them dead. To those around them, all their bodily signs indicated that they had expired, but during that moment, they consciously knew they were still alive. (3) Feelings of Peace and Quiet. Many people recall feeling sensations of extreme pleasure. Although severe pain normally accompanies a life-threatening injury or disease, they remember feeling only a deep peace and quietness during the NDE. (4) The Noise. Many relate hearing a distinct sound that occurs either at or near death. In some cases, this noise can be quite pleasant, like rapturous music. In other cases, the noise can be harsh and disturbing, like continuous buzzing or banging. (5) The Dark Tunnel. Many recollect being jerked through some dark passageway, frequently while hearing the noise. This dark tunnel has been variously described as a cave, sewer, trough, valley, and so on. (6) Out of the Body. Many remember seeing their physical bodies apart from themselves as though they were “spectators” observing their bodies. Surprise, panic, and a desire to return to their bodies often accompanied the realization that they were separate from their physical form. (7) Meeting Others. In many cases they encountered spiritual entities who were present to help them through the experience. These beings variously appeared as loved ones who had recently passed away, strangers who had died, or some other spirits who were acting as their guardians. (8) The Being of Light. Quite a few speak of beholding a brilliant light that, despite its brilliance, did not hurt their eyes. To them, this radiant light is a personal being who emanates irresistible love and warmth and who communicates with them — through thoughts and not speech — about the meaning of their lives.

(9) The Review. A number of them recall an instant moment of time during their experience in which they witnessed a vivid review of their lives. These panoramic images provoked in them the importance of loving people and understanding the meaning of life. (10) The Border or Limit. Some recount being obstructed by some form that often prevents them from going any further in their journey or from reaching that being of light. It can be a fence, a door, a body of water, or even an imaginary line. (11) Coming Back. All of them obviously returned from their near-death experience, but how they felt about coming back varies considerably. Some wanted to stay with the being of light. Others felt obliged to return to complete unfinished tasks. Some chose to return. Others were told to come back. In any case, the return is often instantaneous — back through the dark tunnel. (12) Telling Others. Those who have had NDEs regard their experience as a real event rather than a dream. But since they believe that it was extraordinarily unique and that others would be skeptical, they are quite reticent about disclosing their experience, which they feel is inexpressible anyway. (13) Effects on Lives. As profound as the effects of their NDEs were on them, none feel that the experience has perfected them, and few have tried to gain public attention because of it. Instead, the effects have been more in the way they now view life and regard others. As was mentioned earlier, caring for other people and gaining a better understanding of the meaning of life emerged as high priorities after their experience. (14) New Views of Death. Most of them no longer fear physical death, but at the same time they do not seek it. Rather, they view death as a transitional state to another form of life. Entrance into this new life involves neither judgment nor the dispensing of rewards and punishments. (15) Corroboration. Remarkably there are independent testimonies of people who have corroborated some of the details in NDE accounts; that is, specific incidents (e.g., in the hospital operating room) witnessed by those who were supposedly dead. Although their testimonies do not constitute proof of life after death, they are significant considerations in the study of NDEs. (CRI)

2 Cor 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


(Now, back to Hank Hanegraaff’s article)

We should note that the subjective recollections of near-death experiencers are wildly divergent and irreconcilable. Wiese’s notion of reptilian-looking demons commissioned to torture humans as care-takers of hell hardly squares with Alexander’s version of an afterlife in which unconditional love reigns supreme. Both can be wrong. But both can’t be right. Not only so, but the implications of such subjective predilections are profound. If Wiese is right the biblical authors are wrong. One may find demons as caretakers of hell in medieval times but never in Scripture. Conversely, if Alexander is right, Hitler merely dies in the comforting arms of his mistress with no eternal consequences. Such is no doubt solace for modern-day killers. After murdering his mother, twenty children, and six adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, Adam Lanza blissfully soared off on what Alexander has romanticized as “the wing of a butterfly.”

Furthermore, worthy of note is the subjective specter of hyperliteralism. As such, it is not surprising for heavenly travelers to return from the afterlife with tales of “a great domed hall” (Mary Neal, To Heaven and Back), “streets of gold” (Don Piper, 90 Minutes in Heaven), and “pure, white angels with fantastic wings,” green demons with long fingernails and hair made of fire, and an earless devil, replete with three heads, a nasty nose, and moldy teeth (Alex Malarkey, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven). Such exacting literalism has become pandemic.

Finally, while near-death experiencers seem convinced that their particular version of the afterlife is the real McCoy, in reality natural explanations might actually be far more realistic. Psycho-active drugs ingested during a medical crisis can cause experiences strikingly similar to NDEs. Physiological factors, such as oxygen deprivation and the release of endorphins may play a role in NDEs as well. In her book, Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences, Dr. Susan Blackmore argues that a lack of oxygen in the brain can trigger both autoscopic and transcendental episodes in which NDErs leave their bodies and/or move through dark tunnels in route to being embraced by the light. Moreover, psychological factors, including fantasy proneness, may also play a role in near-death experiences. Statistically, one out of every twelve Americans is predisposed to creating a fantasy out of thin air and then believing it to be true.

Considered collectively, psychopharmacological, physiological, and psychological explanations provide a compelling naturalistic rationale for near-death experiences. But a word of caution is in order. Naturalistic explanations assume that consciousness is merely a function of the physical brain. However we can be certain that this is not the case in that the mind and brain have different properties.

[However, the real cause of these ‘phenomena’ may very well be through evil spirits. They surely have the capabilities of altering reality; and they are more likely to be able to influence someone when they are in high stress situations and/or their will is being compromised (which would surely be happening in a ‘near-death’ experience…so-called).

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.