What are Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and how do they fit in with Christianity? For over 40 years, the author, Ivan Rudolph, has been conducting interviews, studying hundreds of accounts and now has clarity about this mysterious phenomenon. The truth is surprising, exciting, and ultimately relevant for everyone. Did you know that there are at least 16 million Americans who have had an NDE, including celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Nikki Sixx, Burt Reynolds, and many others? Did you know that they are a part of a huge family of 350 million
VERY MANY PEOPLE DESCRIBE THIS LIGHT WHEN INTERVIEWED AFTER THEIR NDE OR WHTHIN THEIR WRITTEN RECORDS! IT IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FEATURES OF NDEs. It has mystery about it, though, and the NDErs have problems trying to describe it, so I will quote some of their exact words. Those trained in Science assure us it does not have the same properties as the light in our universe, but are unsure of precise differences. If only they could have taken optical equipment with them!
At times helpers appear to the dying in advance of death, commonly unseen by others who are present. These helpers ease the dying process and subsequently accompany the spirit at the start of the afterlife experiences. Children, especially, may report seeing a favourite relative who calms them, or their guardian angel, who does the same. Remember always that at the point of death all fear and pain disappear for the one who passes on; it is us who are left behind who mourn.
When you die, your spirit separates from your body and floats above it (usually). This phase is termed an “Out Of Body Experience” (OBE) and is the first step into a “Near Death Experience” (NDE). OBEs can occur for a variety of reasons and not necessarily result in an NDE. They seem to be God’s automatic way of preserving our consciousness, our spirit, when danger threatens our bodies. If our spirit moves from the OBE stage into a series of afterlife experiences, this becomes a “standard” or “traditional” NDE. But where does the spirit traditionally travel and how during an NDE? My book, “Living Beyond”, begins to answer this in Chapter 5.
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES (NDEs) are not only pre-planned, they are PURPOSEFUL! By that, I mean experiences are tailored to that one person only — they see their own life in extraordinary detail (no-one else's) during their Life Review, and they meet their own ancestors (no-one else's), and if possible directions of what to do on return to life on earth are suggested to them, it suits them alone in their own unique family and circumstances. And who is smart enough and knowledgeable enough to plan an NDE is such extraordinary detail? Guess who??
When I discussed NDEs with a medical doctor and friend, and explained about the spirit body rising out of the physical flesh-and-blood body at death, he asked at once "What ears are the spirit bodies hearing with? They describe beautiful and peaceful surroundings, but with what eyes do they see this?" These are excellent questions. If you have similar ones, I answer them in "Living Beyond". The excerpt today takes us a little distance along that path of understanding. The full text, of course, goes a lot further.
NDEs are designed carefully and uniquely for that one person only. The venues they are sent to, the experiences they have, the spirits of the dead ancestors that they meet, are all carefully choreographed for that one person alone. For example, they are never shown the wrong Life Review, and the ancestors they meet are their own without error, when identifying them on return from old photographs, portraits, letters etc. The venues NDErs attend and the order they do are also carefully selected, and so identifying venues is essential if the NDE is to be fully understood. The biggest error among researchers and the NDErs themselves is to suppose they have gone to Heaven while it is Paradise they have reached, or to Hell while it is only a prison section in Hades they have been consigned to, for their own education and hopefully eventual reform. Heaven and Hell are reserved for after Judgement and are most likely permanent venues. Beforehand, NDErs go to pleasant Paradise sections or to unpleasant Prison sections in an overall CATCH-ALL destination termed "HADES" in scripture. Hades is the place of waiting for Judgement for all those who have died before Judgement. In this excerpt, I will describe the meeting between Jesus and the dead Royston Fraser where Jesus made this all very clear.
There is much to learn from the varied, intense and sometimes fanciful occurrences of a dying brain. Whether or not an NDE follows, I term these a pre-NDE. Pre-NDEs, like drug trips, occur entirely on Earth and not in the spirit realm, although those who have experienced them may believe this to be incorrect. Because pre-NDEs involve memories stored in a brain, they are very varied and individual, sharing few common features with other people’s pre-NDEs. Graphic pre-NDEs occur on Earth before the spirit departs the body. They will become better understood as brain research progresses, because they occur within the dying brain. Where a person’s brain is damaged or expiring, but where there is no record of spirit separation from the body resulting in seeing the body below, we may anticipate any fanciful descriptions that follow to be pre-NDE in character. “Typically, a pre-NDE brings confusion because it is a definite and often life-changing experience, but does not fit the usual sequence of an NDE. This is because consciousness still remains within the body. Nevertheless, important experiences may have been occurring in the dying brain.” Excerpt From: Ivan Rudolph. “Living Beyond.” Apple Books.
My final excerpt from Chapter 2 of "Living Beyond" explores briefly the uneasy relationship between traditional Science and NDEs. In time I will post a more extensive probe into this relationship on my website ivanrudolph.com because it is an important and valid discussion. To my surprise, I was asked to give an interview for YouTube regarding my book, and one of the questions was on Science and NDEs. My responses were not prepared carefully but on looking at it again, I think it was OK, perhaps 5 out of 10. See what you think on https://youtu.be/fM5o4w7i6z0
Ever wondered about this? Chapter 1 of “Living Beyond” illustrates a general sequence that is common to NDEs regardless of prior expectations or none, regardless also of culture or creed. There are different sections in both Paradise and also the Prison sections in Hades (not Hell) to cater for these differences. For example, Jesus preached to the spirits kept in their own Hades section in prison (1Peter3:18-21) and the now Christian author Angie Fenimore found herself in a doleful prison section for suicides. Thankfully, after her return, Angie is nowadays active in suicide prevention because she knows what the consequences of suicide can be like in Hades. Similar to Angie, other NDErs who have found themselves in a prison section of Hades can benefit tremendously from their experiences there providing they learn the lessons intended. The pleasant sections of Paradise, to which it appears most spirits go at death, are likewise varied to take account of our different cultures and religions. The Transfer Principle explained in “Living Beyond” can help clarify these differences. But the important thing for you is that your afterlife experiences will be meticulously planned by God for you personally. He knows you intimately and will make no errors in the relatives you will meet there or the events, emotions and thoughts displayed in your Life Review.
The dying brain can throw up all sorts of confusing imagery and hallucinations that certain researchers have misidentified as NDEs. True NDEs only begin when the consciousness or "spirit" has separated from the body. Often the body is reported as seen from a higher vantage point by the spirit, which floats above unless consciously moving back down, Thousands of NDErs describe the scene they then observe, although they remain invisible to the doctors working on their supine body, or perhaps they describe details of the accident scene where they died. When these detailed observations are checked out later it is found that the NDEr has good recall of what has been observed while "dead", despite the dead brain being imprisoned still in the body and totally unable to observe these events described later on return to life by the NDEr. Once the spirit leaves the body it is possible for it to move into extraordinary afterlife venues and the events described in these "deeper NDEs" begin.
OBEs or "Out Of Body Experiences" can happen without an NDE to follow, but the reverse is never true - NDEs are ALWAYS initiated when the consciousness exits from the body leaving the brain and all dreams/hallucinations etc behind. From here on, the reality of unseen dimensions is entered! Psychologists and psychiatrists who have had NDEs confirm they are entirely different from anything thrown up by the brain, or by drug trips etc. The afterlife adventures have now begun once the spirit has left the body, for better (Paradise sections of Hades) or for worse (Prison sections of Hades). Now what if you had an upsetting afterlife experience in one of the prison sections? Take heart, research indicates that providing you implement the lessons you have learnt, your life back on earth will turn out much better than before!
What do we mean by a "spirited" response? This is often taken to mean a "lively" response, which is only possible if that person is "alive". So from ancient times the "spirit" and being "alive" were inextricably linked in the human psyche. The Bible two thousand years ago taught that "the body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26), and even tribal people over tthousands of years have understood what modern man has often forgotten. Revival, as in an NDE, means "re-alive-al" when the spirit returns to the body—a process that Jesus performed for several dead people during his earthly ministry. There can even today be a restoration to life on earth once more. NDEs demonstrate that consciousness is the great survivor in all of these changes.
I continue to probe this question in Chapter 2 of Living Beyond. The good news, in thousands of accounts given by NDErs on return, is that fear and pain are left behind in the body Immediately the spirit departs to afterlife venues. The spirit leaving the body at death is not exclusively a Christian belief; a number of other other religions believe something similar because it is what their adherents have experienced. Simple African tribal people I grew up with believed this although not Christians, as do millions from around the world who have experienced this for themselves.
Having lost 8 friends this last year, including my only brother, I appreciate how vital it is to have an accurate understanding of what death REALLY is - the separation of our consciousness (spirit in most religions) from our body and brain. The spirit rises from the body and enters a number of afterlife experiences. Unexpectedly, these experiences share similarities to those described by thousands of others including erstwhile atheists - who have not expected life to continue at all! Many who have died and returned include witnesses having impeccable character or impressive skills, including doctors, scientists, educators, heroes who died in in battle and so on.
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