Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and the Bible - Part 2

If we are to make sense of near death experiences (NDEs), as was mentioned in Part 1, we must look to Scripture. We can get information from many sources, but the only source we can trust completely is the Bible. The media can and does lie much of the time. Books and (can you imagine?) the internet can and do lie. Unfortuantely, our experiences can also lie.

Jesus Himself is Truth and so from His words, Truth flows. We must gauge the media, books and the internet, and even our own experiences by the Bible. Romans 3:4 tells us "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. . . ." So the question becomes not, what have I experienced?, but what does the Bible say I have experienced? To unravel the mystery of NDEs, that is where we need to begin - the Bible.

I am a Bible literalist. If the Bible says it, I am obligated to believe it whether it fits my mold of philosophy or experience. If we are to take the Bible at face value. That means we are not to add to or take away from what it says to make it fit our personal beliefs which may in fact be flawed. That being said, is there a verse that tells us just that? I believe there is - Proverbs 30:6 tells us, "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. " We could also add Revelation 22:18, 19, Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 among others.

Colton is a celebrity
Colton is a celebrity

Fame and Fortune

Referring to Todd Burpo's account of his son Colton's trip to Heaven and back (see Part 1), Colton reports 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. None of these things are seen in Scripture. Colton, although I am sure unintentionally, has added to the Scriptures.

Bill Wiese is a Celebrity

Bill Wiese mentions in his book, 23 Minutes in Hell, that he experienced 300 degree temperatures with no humidity; reptilian-like demons of torture, rats the size of dogs and many other things. Again, he has added to the Word of God as the Bible does not report any of these things. We have been given all we need to know in the 66 books of the Bible, and if our experiences do not line up with Scripture, we must allow God to be true. "But" . . .I hear someone say, "I have experienced an NDE. It was very real. I know what I've seen even if it doesn't agree with the Bible."

NDEs Are for Real

There is no argument from me. I know people do experience these things, and that they are very real, but again, let us look to Scripture. Paul writes in II Corinthians 11:14, " And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." We underestimate the power of the evil one. He can appear as one from God, an angel of light. Light, that is what many people report seeing at the end of the dark tunnel. Some have actually reported demonic activity taking place in the tunnel as they travel toward "the light". I do not doubt the experiences. Based on Scripture, I doubt the source as being from God.

Scriptural Evidence

Scripture goes on to say in Hebrews 9:27, ". . . it is appointed unto men once to die . . . ." If we are to take the statement literally (and I see no reason not to), and we are to let God be true, we need to accept the fact that we die only one time. If we are to say that one has died, and come back from the realm of the dead to tell about it, then we make God a liar, for He says we die only once. Even though the doctor may pronounce us dead, somehow we are not. There is still a spark of life, albeit very small, that exists within us. Somehow, ever so faintly, the neurons in the brain are firing ever so slightly.

Deuteronomy 5:26 asks the question, " For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking . . . and lived?" Obviously, those who have claimed to see God in their NDE would remain there and would cease to live if they truly saw and heard Him speak. Even Moses was shielded from seeing the complete glory of God (Exodus 33;20). We know that no one has seen God and lived - so why are these still living after a near death experience? Again, we can only look to Scripture, not what we perceive as sin-sick and sin-tainted individuals. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" We cannot even trust our own hearts.

Could it be that the purpose of one experiencing near death was allowed to visit the Heavenly throne room was to come back and tell about it so that others might come to Christ? Paul did just that. Paul relays his story in II Corinthians 12:2-6. First we must realize that Paul himself mentions he could not tell if he was in the body or out (verse 2, 3). Paul may have just had an out-of-body experience without dying. There is no evidence that he died. This would allow him to face death at the hand of Nero, dying only once.

I see no connection with this incident and Acts 14:19 where Paul was supposedly left for dead at Lystra. Even if there was a clear connection, Paul was supposedly left for dead; that is to deem, regard, or think to be dead.

So what did the Apostle Paul report upon his return? Nothing - absolutely nothing. His report is found in II Corinthians 12:4, " How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." For whatever God's purpose was, Paul was given the gift of seeing the third heaven, but was not given permission to talk about it. It is "unlawful" to speak of those things. Lazarus, upon his return to this world gave not a clue as to what the afterlife held. Why? Because it is unlawful.

The prophet Isaiah relates this in Isaiah 64::4 - "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Plainly the prophet tells us that only God has seen and heard what is on the other side. Therefore, whatever is reported as being on the other side was not truly seen.

Remember, that we are not to add or take away from Scripture. We are to let God be true and judge our experiences by the Book rather than twisting the clear meaning of the Book to fit our experiences. Remember satan is an angel of light and that we only die once. Remember that no one has seen or audibly heard the living God and lived.Remember lastly that we are not relay descriptions of Heaven.

That being said, I do not understand all that takes place at the moment of death, and if you are honest, neither do you, but we do have a Book that gives us light on the subject. May the Holy Spirit enlighten us both as we study the Word of God together.

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

It's always interesting to read your viewpoints on subjects, and life in general. Well done as always.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have never had an experience like this even being at deaths door. I certainly agree we have to go to the scriptures for all our answers but my thoughts on this are if it were from the devil why would it be good and of God? They are all so much alike and most do believe in God or a higher power and these events seem to encourage the believer so I can't think why satan would be behind it? Certainly we all know we won't all be so lucky as to have a second chance if we are not ready the first time. I also wonder about the scriptures of in the last days having visions and dream dreams? Could that come under that? I absolutely do not set out to disagree with you but I just speak what comes to my mind; which sometimes is a mistake. lol I absolutely go for the truth though and that is what leads me in so many directions at times but I learn something new in all of them.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Oh and I really like the Hell video; I know the bodies there are as everlasting as the holy ones and I do believe this to be a excellent example of Hell. So pleased you included that! Shared this but it won't let me share at FB; will try to later.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I tend to agree with Jackie and echo her questions. None of us can really know if these experiences are real or not. I do think they are fascinating to learn about. Interesting hub and perspective. Voted up and interesting.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you wee able to make it, Bill. Thanks and as always, it's great to see you! Have a wonderful day.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I can only speak for myself, Jackie. First, I've never had an NDE either or anything close to it, so I can hear people say, who am I to determine what takes place? I'm nobody and certainly not an expert, so I must go to the Book that has the answers. (I'm already trying to think how to keep this short).

I know of several reported NDEs that have "taken place" in Heaven. That is a good thing, but in the examples I'm thinking of, some were never saved to begin with, and they "come back" to tell us everything's okay on the other side. I believe satan to be working in this as now there's not a reason to repent and come to Christ because in their mind, everything's okay. Jesus would want to save them. Satan would want to keep them in darkness through a false belief that they have nothing to worry about.

In the Colton Burpo case, we have a six-year-old doing national TV spots telling about his experience. I'm sure little Colton experienced something and is as sincere as he can be while others are making big bucks off the interviews, book, and now a movie. The problem is his description of Heaven and God are not Scriptural. He's describing someone in such a way as to not agree with the biblical description. If I'm to follow Scripture, then I must reject Colton's description as they contradict each other.

Bill Weise's interview on the video kills me (no pun intended - well, maybe). I've seen him several times as he tells the same story with no emotion - just giving the facts. I realize not everyone is an emotional individual, but I have to think if I went to hell, it would cause a tear or two. I think maybe my voice would crack once in a while as I remember the horror. I think I would be pleading with people to come to Christ before it is eternally too late. We ought to be doing that anyway as hell is real whether we've seen it or not.

The bottom line for me is that the Scripture says of Paul in II Corinthians 12:4, " How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." There seems to be a lot of uttering of things that are unlawful these days.

BTW, you said, "I absolutely do not set out to disagree with you . . . ." You're absolutely allowed to disagree with me. It's the Bible that must speak, so study through some of the verses and let the Holy Spirit guide you. He will. Thanks for taking the time to think through it and for reading. Keep on keeping on, sister.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you were able to stop by, Victoria. You said," None of us can really know if these experiences are real or not." If we are to stay true to Scripture, even the one who has a NDE can't be sure (Jeremiah 17:9).

I think it's interesting they are called NEAR Death Experiences. Even science questions whether death has actually taken place. I also think it's a fascinating subject.Thanks for the the visit, the comment, and the vote.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Well now Bill you just should have put what you said to me in your article because now I can feel what you are saying as you see it anyway. I have not seen that many of these NDEs and they all seemed to talk about the light and God or Jesus and Heaven as wonderful which to me would make others want to go. I like the Hell one still and wish they would turn it into a movie! I mean to let someone know what Hell will be like. The demons; the smell, the screams, pain and torment and believe me I am not one that likes any horror films but I think I got the best look of Hell I have ever seen. It has been 12 years in this video since his vision so maybe that is why he is not crying or showing more emotion for maybe he did do that at first. I find him believable and he does not hesitate telling all of what it was like, and I have listened to liars, believe me, lol. I think of course he has studied and used scripture he believes has to do with it. His only message was that Jesus is coming soon and Hell is real. I believe him and his wife. I have listened to it twice now. I think it is a wonderful message. If God says depart from me I never knew you, at least he will have helped many who listen to this.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Bill, I think it is fair to say that their descriptions do not match the Scriptures. That's not enough to accuse them of adding to the Scriptures; they have not asked for their experiences--real or imagined-- to be considered Biblical (just my opinion).

We who study the Bible need to focus on the truth and view anything different as spurious. You are on target in explaining what the Bible says and promoting it as the truth. Another good study on a difficult topic!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Jackie,

- or maybe I should have just written another hub. There's so much on this subject, and I'll be the first to admit I don't understand it all. I'm thinking that maybe Bill Weise's story has been made into a movie. I know Colton's story has. I would also guess you could go to youtube and find several other accounts of people claiming they've been to hell. I think the "Heaven" scenes are more frequent, but there are many who have experienced hell. God can and certainly does use it all for His purposes as all things work together for good. Thanks for getting back to me!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MsDora,

Thanks for the visit. All we have to go on is the Bible. But I know these things happen, so we just need to discern as best we can what it is that happening. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

" For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking . . . and lived?"

This statement is true pertaining to the mortal bodied, flesh and blood human, however you fail to point out that in a NDE it is not our mortal body that goes to heaven (or wherever), it is our spirit and unless I am mistaken, and I admit I could be, the Bible does not claim that the spirit once separated from the mortal body cannot look upon God without dying. When you say "Obviously, those who have claimed to see God in their NDE would remain there and would cease to live if they truly saw and heard Him speak. Even Moses was shielded from seeing the complete glory of God (Exodus 33;20). We know that no one has seen God and lived - so why are these still living after a near death experience? " I believe you are mistaken. It is not "obvious" to me, unless again I missed something in scripture - tell me where I'm wrong.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Not at all Bill; I am glad you did do these hubs for I only touched on this in my mind's eye but perhaps being a pastor you are not use to people disagreeing with you and feel we don't want you saying what you do but that is your right and apparently it appeals to us enough to respond but I love hubs that truly discuss things and well I am just one of those people who cannot say good job and leave it at that. I really probably have not read enough on these to make a sound judgement so I am only going by the ones I have read. When I get time which I rarely have lately I will take a better look. I know there will be people out for money in about anything so it doesn't hurt to look at the big picture of someone's story.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi tsadjatko,

I apologize. You're right. Just because it's obvious to me doesn't mean it's obvious to everybody. Still, if I'm to take Scripture for what it says, we must deal with Hebrews 9:27. We die only once. That coupled with the fact that nobody is able to see God and live makes me wonder, what took place. For me the issue is, did they truly die? If they had seen God, they should have remained dead. Will they die a second time in defiance of Scripture? Or did something else happen to lure them away from the truth that they can only see Heaven through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I have never experienced a NDE. All I have to go on is Scripture which is listed in the hub. Just wondering - have you had a NDE. If so, I'd like to hear your story. Thanks again for adding your thoughts here.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning Jackie,

In some ways, I hate the internet. I don't always express my thoughts as clearly as if I were actually speaking to someone. In my last comment to you I said. "- or maybe I should have just written another hub." in answer to your second comment meaning because of my lengthy reply maybe I should have written Part 3 to try to explain it more fully.

Then you said, ". . . perhaps being a pastor you are not use to people disagreeing with you . . . ." Meaning no disrespect, but I had to laugh. There's hardly a Sunday that goes by that someone doesn't disagree with something I said. It just comes with the territory, and I appreciate all of your comments, and I look forward to what you and the others have to say. I also appreciate the fact that you aren't ". . . just one of those people who cannot say good job and leave it at that." I said all that to truly say, thank you for your input.

Have a great weekend as we serve the Lord together.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Lifegate, no I have not had an NDE (and hope I don't) but although the scripture says we are to die once I would say that if you were "clinically" dead, had an NDE experience out of the body and came back to life you actually have not (scripturally) died. Hebrews 9:27 says "Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, ..." Actually, you added to that scripture "only" once. Not necessarily the same, (perhaps the scripture means at least once) and one could say if you are clinically dead but come back to life you weren't really "dead" in the context of scripture because if you were really dead you would have faced judgement.

If we are going to use scripture to prove or disprove anything I think it is good to point out that scripture is subject to interpretation and to change one word can change it's intended meaning.

Lazarus, did he only die once? I think if he was raised from the dead and never died again it would have been mentioned. What about the scripture that says when Jesus died on the cross many dead in Christ were raised from the dead. Did all of them never die again?

But thanks again for these great hub pages, they are thought provoking.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

After my last post I looked it up and maybe this bulletin explains my point more specifically: http://baptistbulletin.org/?p=2138


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi again tsadjatko,

I have to agree with you. Those that claim to have had a NDE, were not scripturally dead. My point in this hub is that those who experienced a NDE were not truly dead, thus allowing for death at a later time.

I also agree with you about the the need for proper interpretation of Scripture. Scripture has many applications, but only one interpretation. therefore, it is imperative we get the meaning of what is being laid forth.

You raise some good questions. In Hebrews 9:27, we see the word "once" which is the Greek word, "hapax", meaning "one, or a single time." this would lead me to believe that we only die once - a single time. We also see another word in this verse, "after", as in "after this the judgment. The word does not necessarily reflect immediate judgment, but can mean "since" (man is appointed once to die), or "afterward".

Another good point you bring up is Lazarus. I honestly don't believe he died again. He was dead the first time and Jesus plainly tells His disciples this. There's much involved that would take too long in a comment to explain, but I will address that in a future hub I already have planned. I'll also deal with the many resurrections and those that rose with Christ at His resurrection.

Thanks for getting my mind turning, and for adding much to the conversation!


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Well then if you really believe Lazarus couldn't have died again because scripture says you die once "only" then scripture is contradicting itself - if all must die once how do you explain that Enoch did not die. Genesis 5:24 reads, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Elijah also didn’t die (see 2 Kings 2:1‒11). Yet Hebrews 9:27 "seems" to indicate that all have to die.

The operative word here is "seems" because according to scripture all haven't died ("once") and some, it appears could have died more than once. Hebrews also "seems" to indicate that .


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

OK brother; as long as we agree to disagree with no hard feelings I am fine with that! lol You have a great weekend too!

I have watermelon cooling!


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

whoops, Hebrews also "seems" to indicate that there can be no rapture when believers in Christ who are alive when He catches up the Church (1 Thess. 4:13‒18) will be raptured into the presence of the Lord.

So I ask you, where is the problem? is what Hebrews "seems" to say really what it is saying? I submit not when you weigh it against the rest of scripture. Either what Hebrews seems to say is a misinterpretation or the other scriptures are false.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Tsadjatko,

I admit I have no explanation for Enoch. Not only do we know from Genesis 5:24 that Enoch did not die, but we are told in Hebrews 11:5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

The part I want to focus on here is - "that he should not see death."He did not die, as you point out, nor will he ever die. The same could be said for those of us who are alive at the Rapture of the Church. We know that these two events are exceptions as God clearly tells why he "raptured" Enoch - because he pleased God, and God in his sovereign will chose to do this for him. Other than that I have no explanation.

Elijah, on the other hand, I also believe is a picture of the rapture, but I believe he will face death at a yet future time as one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. " And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them ." (Revelation 11:11, 12). That also is another topic in itself for another time - too much to get into here.

I'll be the first to say there are many things I don't understand. Someday maybe we;ll understand it all. Thanks again!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Bill, your interesting topic has produced a lot of great discussion. You have provided much food for thought. On the point of whether those who have had a N D E and their adding to scripture, I tend to agree with MsDora as I truly believe they are just relaying their experience as they remembered it. Our friend who flat-lined and was dead for 8 minutes after a diabetic blackout and crashed his car and came back to tell about it, did talk about a lot of shadows and valleys, which reminds me of the scripture ... though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil ...then he saw Jesus. There is more to tell but I won't go on and on here. Thank you for sharing your perspective on an interesting topic for sure. God bless you


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning Faith,

Glad you were able to catch this one. That was interesting - the valley of the shadow of death. You said there was more to tell. Unless it's of a personal nature, please feel free to share it. We'd like to hear. Hope you have a great Sunday as we worship the Lord and thanks for visiting.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Interesting insight into this phenomena. I really like your stance in taking everything to the Word of God and seeing if it agrees with what the scriptures tell us. I see your point on the dangers of simply accepting the experience in that it could be pure deceit. A really good true story about how evil can disguise as light is "The Beautiful Side of Evil" based on one woman's experience with deception that appeared to be something good for a time. I think the purpose of Satan disguising Himself as light is the same motive he had in the temptations of Christ to attempt to divert us from the cross the only way to live in eternity with God.

"he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." ~ John 10:1


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Tammy,

All we really have are the Scriptures. We'll never understand it all until we get to heaven, but until then I believe God has drawn easily determined lines in the sand if we really want to seek Him.

Thanks for your many observations, and visit. I'm always blessed when you stop by!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working