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Personal Experiences Near Death
This is another question asked by CJ Sledgehammer, that I wanted to answer with an article, since a comment would have been too long.
"Do you believe that the Bible supports the notion that some people are given a glimpse of the afterlife as they near death or just recently died, before being sent back to their bodies? Are their any philosophical or doctrinal problems associated with this belief? Please support your answers either way."
First of all I will start defining the following concepts:
- The Bible is the Holy Scripture (revealed word of God written), for us to know God's message; inspired to over 40 authors. II Peter 1:20 says: "knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Hebrews 4:12 says:"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
- Life is defined in: Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul."
- Death defined in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave gave it." Ezequiel 18: 4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.”
Every experience is unique
The greatness of being created by the image of our Lord and Savior Jehovah is that we are all unique. We all have different experiences.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit our island of Puerto Rico. I was seven month pregnant. The emotions of the experience made my daughter in my womb have the desire to come out before her time, but she was still not prepared, as certified by the doctors. After treatment she still wanted to come out; so a cesarean was ordered.
My death experience was like if I really was inside a train, and as I had the feeling it was going up, I also felt the train's speed becoming higher. More people were aboard the same train,actually around five elder. The only that seem confused was me. A light came trough getting brighter with the train's speed. It was then, when I realized that I was dead.
I did not hear God, but I just knew that light was about Him, and His almighty power! All I said in desperation was: "God, I have asked many times for this moment, but, I need to be with my kids. I have not seen my baby. Please grant me time to lift them up, please Lord give me more time." I woke up with a nurse combing my hair with her fingers. Looking around I observed that I was still in the hospital, and I exclaimed: 'Oh, I thought I was dead." She replied: "All is well now, don't think about that."
I was certified dead, and I did have a personal experience, but even though I knew I was dead, I do not know if I can call what I experienced a "glimpse of the afterlife". I do know that I was still alive being death here on Earth.
Philosophical or doctrinal problems associated with this belief
In the book of Luke chapter 16 verses 19 to 31; it is written what Jesus said about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. Read the post below where Jesus explains about them being alive and being dead.
The last verse 31 says: "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead."
People sent back to their bodies in the Bible:
The Bible has examples of people being dead, who came back to life. The examples below recall how they came back, but at least I have not read if they had that "glimpse of the afterlife".
To me that 'glimpse of the afterlife' relays in the fact that what we think has 'ended' here, it keeps with some kind of life out-there...somewhere.
1- Son of a woman from Zarephath
2- Son of the Shunammite woman
Son of the Shunammite woman
3- Elisha’s bones raise up a dead man
4- Lazarus arose after 4 days
5- Widow's son arose during funeral
6- Jabirus’ daughter
7- Jesus raised Himself
8- Many arose
10- Dorcas arose
Do you believe in life after death?
As I said, I believe that we, as human, have different experiences. We are the same in many ways, but we are unique in many other ways also. Each of us someday will be in front of God as individuals, not in a collective way. In my own experience, and from what I understand in the Bible verses which I have shared in this article, is that: I believe that what is written in the Holy Word of God is complete and sufficient; nothing else needs to be added to it in these days . We do not know everything, and I can not call liar or doubt somebody experiencing a "glimpse of the after-life"; but it will not make a difference from what I have received from the Holy Word of God. God is not a God of confusion.
The following Bible verses tells us more about death:
- Dead do not know anything (Ecclesiastes 9:5) (Psalm 115:17)
- Their feelings perish (Ecclesiastes 9:6) (Psalm 146:4) (Job 14:21)
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonian 5:23
Revelation 1:1 - 20 is posted below I think it answers the question that I have tried to answer in this article.
We come and we will leave
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quoted:
"Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not it's goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest
was not spoken of the soul."
Blessings to all!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill