“This book contains one of the most logical explanations of man’s purpose in the universe that I have ever read!” — Rev. Dave Smethurst, international evangelist, Chaplain to Olympic Games, and founder of many orphanages in Eastern Europe.
Your Origin and Destiny explores the meaning of Life, Time, Evolution and Creation. Do you ever wonder who you are and why you’re on this Earth? Harnessing science and faith, Ivan Rudolph, author of Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences (2015), offers unique revelations and research that will lead to you expanding your own perspectives in all these areas, even if you have thought them through in the past. You’ll find that Time itself is different and far beyond our assumptions and experiences. Finding answers to life’s most pressing questions will leave you touched, satisfied and excited.
Have you ever wondered whether the fundamental Evolution vs. Creation disagreements can be resolved? They can, and Rudolph analyzes why our own beginnings are entrenched in this issue, and how the confusion and distress of this redundant debate has caused many to abandon belief in an eternal God and an afterlife.
This easy-to-read book, Your Origin and Destiny, is a unique and poignant approach to life’s most important questions. You will be inspired by your fresh understanding and vision to pursue a fulfilling life of purpose and love, leading you into an eternal future. Most importantly, you will see yourself in a vibrant new light that will follow you long after the last page.
My first quote in “Your Origin and Destiny” indicates one of my primary intentions – an overdue reconciliation of Science and Christianity. It is the famous statement by Albert Einstein: "Science without religion is lame; religion without Science is blind." But my publishers wanted written permission before I could use the quote! How ridiculous, when Einstein has been dead beyond the 50-year limitation for using quotes from his works. In the words of a Californian judge who threw out an attempt by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to sue General Motors for using Einstein’s image “Einstein belongs to the world”. Despite this 2012 judgement my intended publishers ludicrously insisted in 2019 that I obtain this and other silly permissions!! I dropped them - and guess what, no problem has ensued – nor legally can it! Nevertheless, valuable time had been wasted. Writers be warned, check carefully before committing to a publisher! Quotes I use include Toynbee’s mysterious: History is a vision of God’s Creation on the move. This is to prepare you for something unique – an answer the ancient riddle: When does an event actually happen? This is not a silly question and the answer is not at all obvious. In fact, our very existence must remain uncertain and mysterious until we comprehend both the question and its answer. Read on!!
It is no picnic trying to launch a new book during a pandemic! Therefore I find your wide-ranging email comments, to date all positive, particularly helpful. Thank you! I found it especially encouraging, therefore, when the international speaker, Bible teacher and critic, Peter Wade, commended my book. I will extract a few sentences from his comments: “I am so thankful this book has been published, because it really does fulfil the author’s desire to “stimulate”… His “Two-Stage Theory” is, in my experience, unique and makes sense spiritually and logically. It is the key to understanding the book (and the Bible – Ivan’s comment)… It doesn’t really matter if you at this moment cannot believe in some of the illustrative material (such as NDEs and others), but they too will be catalysts to rethink your current understanding of the underlying principles. All up, this book deserves wide distribution.” THANK YOU PETER!! So you see, if your REALLY want to know your TRUE Origin and your TRUE Destiny, you simply MUST read my book! Please note that Peter recommends readers keep an open mind when reading what I have written about NDEs (Near Death Experiences). The excerpt that follows deals with the significance of NDEs in some detail.
Writing a book that is ground-breaking and controversial, you become terribly insecure. I cannot discuss my insights with everyone, but I can plead that critics check out with an open mind each of the many references I provide. So far, how have people responded to “Your Origin and Destiny”? Thankfully very positively. Here are some short quotes taken from longer emails to illustrate the impact it has made. More next week. Capt. Dale Black, Prominent Airline Pilot and Trainer, Founder of Dale Black Ministries, California. “This book is a compelling testament to the reality of God, creation and the reason we are here… I recommend this book to anyone searching for meaning in life and to those who want to know more about the reality of a Divine Creator.” Ian “Sandy” Sanderson, Maths HOD and Physics Teacher in the UK. “I feel sure that many will find themselves closer to God after reading this book.” Mark Taylor, Minister in Oxfordshire, England. “Ivan Rudolph’s proposition of ‘shadow theory’ and the ‘transfer principle’ is in harmony with a careful study of the Bible, and combine into a useful framework for all who will cope with - or support - those facing what eventually comes to us all—dying.” So… let’s plunge into my ground-breaking “Shadow Theory” and “Transfer Principle”!
What is Time, and why don’t our best scientists really know? I probe this issue throughout my book. Here are a few comments readers have made: —Rev. Dave Smethurst, International Evangelist with a highly effective and loving ministry, and founder of a number of orphanages in Eastern Europe – “Ivan deals with the issues for which humankind has struggled to find answers for so long—Creation, Heaven, Time, future events and life after death (including NDEs), with accurate and sharp precision. And he provides us with sound, logical biblical answers.” —Rev. Ian Feeney, founding Principal of Xavier School – “Your explanation of Time rings true with me.” —Rowland Pletts , UK minister and author “I am especially interested in his insights about Time. Also, having been with people as they passed on, I have witnessed some truly extraordinary events as they approached death, and I am comforted by his research on Near Death Experiences. “ Existence is not a timeless warp, in this life or in the hereafter, for ourselves or for God! So… what does God do with his Time in his Heaven? My previous book, “Living Beyond”, deals with his interactions with us personally, my emphasis in this book is more what he does during his days in Heaven. What do you REALLY know about what God does in Heaven?
Hey, congratulate me – The Coffee Pot Book Club in the UK have awarded a 5-star Best Reads Award for “Your Origin and Destiny”. In her commendation, founder and successful author Mary Anne Yarde states that: “I thought this book was absolutely fabulous from start to finish… it deserves to be read, and then read again…” Thank you Mary Anne! If you too are finding this book something special, please let me know by email at email@example.com. Last week we established that Time exists in Heaven, and many thousands of written accounts from around the world by those who have died and revived confirm that the afterlife is characterised by the passing of Time. Time enables activities to occur during the afterlife, a smattering of which are described in biblical scripture. I quote widely both from scripture and from afterlife experiences around the world about these experiences in my previous book “Living Beyond”. This book has a different purpose, which is to uncover and reveal our personal future venues and the nature of God who creates amazing stuff there. Time in fact is simply another paint on God’s artistic palette that he can paint in or alter as he continues to create in Heaven. He is an incredible artist. What about Time in our own futures beyond the grave? Read on.
Writing a non-fiction book for me involves years of research and thought, mainly during night hours. Mine take me on average between 6 to 8 years from “go” to “whoa”. Writing makes for very long nights! My rewards are not financial – see if you can pick up what my rewards are from this email that has just come in from a fellow author in the UK “I have read Your Origin and Destiny: Explore the Meaning of Life, Time and Creation and I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Very articulate. A real pleasure to read and I took a lot from it, so thank you!” Her commendation is both kind and helpful, but it is her words that she “TOOK A LOT FROM IT” which encapsulate my main intention for writing! Writing can add something new and fresh to a reader’s life –that is what makes it different and worthwhile!! And so…. please read today’s extract carefully – it contains material and concepts that have not been printed previously, especially about Time, but I hope you will find these new ideas easy to accept because they are almost self-evident!
Last week we zeroed in on Jesus the Christ being the centre of biblical prophecy. If he had been a pretender and not the promised Messiah and Saviour, then an unnoticed man whose life was already prophesied in detail must have been living a parallel life in the same epoch of history in the same places and performing the same works, and then dying the same way for our sakes. Because there is no-one else recorded doing so in history by historians of the day such as Josephus, there is no sensible conclusion other than Jesus being the prophesied Saviour. Really! Really and truly! He has to be the prophesied Messiah. This week we explore the part that both Time and Two-Stage Theory play in the life and ministry of Jesus. I am convinced that anyone must remain stuck in a simplistic and inaccurate understanding of Christ unless they can comprehend him in both of these dimensions. Big call, I know. But see what you conclude as you ponder this week’s excerpt from “Your Origin and Destiny”.
How did you do in last week’s competition to guess how just one of many possible prophecies actually worked out in history? Were you better than the total failure of over 200 adults so far to guess how God had worked it? There are moves afoot to make a movie from my previous book “John Flynn”, who was the enigmatic visionary who developed the first Flying Doctor service despite impossible odds. I had a ’zoom chat’ recently with a script writer and two movie producers about possibilities. The Flynn concept has been pitched already to movie makers in Los Angeles and has been received enthusiastically, “but I was warned by other Americans that Los Angeles is a ‘Yes’ city”! So… if LA is a ‘yes’ city when considering fresh original concepts, has it become a centre of extraordinary creativity because of this? Is there a deep relationship between encouragement and success in adventurous enterprises? What about you? What about me? Are we open to fresh original concepts, or are our minds already a closed book? Last week we uncovered how precisely every biblical prophecy eventually comes true, often in stages. So let’s consider prophecies made in Heaven, then written in the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, about one man who would much later on tramp the earth.
Imagine you were God and you had made certain predictions (prophecies) about the future, you still have to get them to work out somehow during history!! In prophecy, God commits himself in advance to hundreds of events in what was to be the future at the time of writing. Prophecy provides perfect examples of Two-Stage Theory – decided in advance by God in Heaven, then happening later on Earth, similar to how the descriptions in advance in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 have worked out on Earth and continue to do so. Has one of God’s prophecies about the future ever been incorrect? Apparently not to this point in time - according to students of both scripture and history. Lucky guesses by the inspired prophets? There have been mathematical attempts to evaluate this possibility using the Laws of Probability – Professor Stoner in “Science Speaks” gives convincing computations against some prophecies having been just lucky guesses. In “Your Origin and Destiny” some fulfilled prophecies are described, and those about the ancient city of Tyre and its future are described in some detail. Your challenge is simple – if you were God, how “on earth” could you know how these descriptions about the future of Tyre would actually happen in history? Today’s excerpt sets you that challenge. Bet you won’t succeed!!
Time is the “stuff” of our lives on Earth, within which our lives on Earth are played out, but remains mysterious. Consequently I “spend time” in “Your Origin and Destiny” teasing out why no-one has managed to explain it fully, despite our origin and destiny being intimately tied to Time! Time is one central theme that runs through my book – both time past and time future, and is central to comprehending who we really are, who God is, and how God does things, including setting up our futures. I have already introduced God’s methodology the Two-Stage Theory that links Earth and Heaven. Many things we read in scripture operate with this Two-Stage Theory, and unless you grasp it vast tracts of scripture - including the Creation account in Genesis, must remain confusing and unconvincing to you. The international Bible teacher, Peter Wade, in his review writes: “The “Two-Stage Theory” is, in my experience, unique and makes sense spiritually and logically. It is the key to understanding the book.” Because they are so important, I often allude to both Time and to the Two-Stage Theory – developing the concepts slowly – because my human nature and possibly yours too does not like new concepts - such that belief in them has to be presented progressively.
Writing is a long night! And trying to launch a new book when Covid-19 is disrupting printing and distribution makes it seem even longer! And so any commendations become an oasis in the desert and golden moments. I quote from from Peter Wade’s encouraging recent letter. Peter is a man who was Chief Editor for years in a major Australian publishing house, and who now has an international teaching ministry: “I am so thankful this book has been published, because it really does fulfil the author’s desire to “stimulate” (page 14) …The “Two-Stage Theory” is, in my experience, unique and makes sense spiritually and logically. It is the key to understanding the book (and ourselves, and God). It doesn’t really matter if you at this moment cannot believe in some of the illustrative material (such as NDEs and others), but they too will be catalysts to rethink your current understanding of the underlying principles. All up, this book deserves wide distribution, and with your feedback I can’t wait to see an enlarged and updated second edition.” Thank you Peter!! Chapter 4 reveals why Science does not know what Time REALLY is. The excerpt starts with the strange emergence in 1984 of Aborigines from Australia’s Western Desert who had never previously seen or heard of white people!
Previously, we uncovered how God PLANS things first in Heaven and then later on PERFORMS them on Earth – Two Stage Theory. The Time and Timings of these two stages are entirely in his hands. They include answered prayer, miracles, fulfilment of ancient biblical prophecies etc, with or without the input of Evolution because it is only one process that he uses. And Time itself is simply another colour on his palette. Despite masses of medical evidence, some people on earth who have not bothered to investigate divine miracles proclaim that miracles do not happen! How ignorant! What they need to do is investigate for themselves in churches where prayer in faith is said for the sick, beginning first by approaching the minister there for names of who to talk to. I did this when a new Christian in my twenties and came up with definite miracles supported by x-rays before and after the miracle, confirmatory letters from doctors etc, some of which I have kept to this day. Sadly, though, our era has become one of not seeking out truth for ourselves, but instead desperately holding onto error that might suit our preferred lifestyles or belief systems – or both. How silly! How self-destructive!! Chapter 3 describes just one of these miracles and what I learnt from it.
INSIGHT: Picture a young married man kneeling by his bed and imploring a God he had only met recently to explain how the Creation had happened! I was that man in my mid-twenties, waiting expectantly for God to answer. I waited and waited. What brought me to that point of personal insecurity was conflict between what I had learnt and seen in Geology, which suggested the earth was very old. However, some intelligent Christian friends whom I respected believed it was only a few thousand years old. After weeks of confusion, I decided I needed to go directly to God himself to find out the answer. I describe carefully in Chapter 2 of “Your Origin and Destiny” what happened next and why it was shattering to me. Let me warn you, though, don’t read any further unless you are prepared to be challenged by fresh insight on an ancient question – was the world created quickly or did it take many millions of years? You will find both are true! Both continue to this very day by an extraordinary process! I call it the Two Stage Process and it explains much more about God and the scriptures than the Creation alone. Think carefully before you enter Chapter 2 – are you prepared to develop further your comprehension of God and his inspired scripture?
How can we construct improved lives and communities after the pandemic has faded, as all pandemics do in time? We must ponder our challenges, and perceive opportunities for personal, family and community improvements, however awfully those opportunities have arisen. We must start with ourselves and answer the fundamental question: “Who REALLY Am I?” But we cannot answer this until we know where we ultimately came from, and why. The first chapter of “Your Origin and Destiny” probes these questions and describes my quest for answers. There are answers, very definite answers, but they are not what I supposed and are not likely to be what you think right now. In fact, the answers have not previously been written or at least I cannot find them in the literature, which is one reason I have decided to publish them myself. Big call! But someone must because the answers are pivotal to our futures. I have a friend who searched using Google etc to try to find similar insights, but gave up after a thorough search. Chapter 1 outlines the problems I uncovered, with which you might identify — while actual answers come later in the book. But to appreciate those answers, Chapter 1 as a whole is helpful in phrasing the questions to be explored.
Millions have died, then revived, and have described afterlife experiences. These descriptions glove together amazingly to illustrate worldwide afterlife features. My book lists some of these. It’s worth knowing about them for obvious reasons. NO ACCOUNTS DESCRIBE ILLNESSES! Captain Dale Black died in a terrible airplane crash. Here is his opinion of my book as one who has “inside knowledge” of the afterlife. “Your Origin and Destiny” provides a well constructed pathway to understanding the deeper meaning of life. This book is a compelling testament to the reality of God, creation and the reason we are here. Being the only survivor of a fatal airplane crash and experiencing life-after-death, I was fascinated by Ivan’s ability to address life and eternity in a way that adjusts the focus of the reader….it is rare to find someone who is able to effectively articulate the relation between this life and the next in a way that provides clarity and logic. This book provides generous answers to the student searching for the meaning of life, as well as offers compelling argument to change the mind of the intellectual who believes God is a crutch for the weak. I recommend this book to anyone searching for meaning in life
The Endorsements pages that start my book illustrate how DIFFERENT we all are in our perceptions. Neither people nor the world are as predictable as we supposed before Covid-19; consequently, the reorganisation of our lives and communities will be DIFFERENT afterwards. We can all speculate on major changes: perhaps less air and sea travel, more internet conferencing, tighter communities, more control of personal life and movements by governments etc. My Preface, written before Covid-19, emphasises how little we understand the fundamentals of our lives and the Universe. For example, we don’t yet know what energy REALLY is, check me out on the internet “What REALLY is energy”. Similarly, we don’t know what Time REALLY is, nor Love, nor Consciousness. There are good reasons for this that my book clarifies. In addition, our Universe runs on elegant and often simpler laws than we would have supposed, but we are ignorant of their origin. We are babes in the woods of existence, whatever existence is! Conceptually, we are ill-equipped to set about constructing a new world, because we still don’t comprehend the basics of our existence – nor our origins, nor our destiny. Once again, our world will be built on flimsy foundations. You cannot comprehend yourself or the upcoming changes unless you comprehend the revelations that I share in this ground-breaking book!
Imagine, during this Covid-19 pandemic, that there had been no Scientists slaving away to guide us through. Where would we be? Think back to the Black Death in Europe killing approximately 1 in 3 to 2 in 3, depending on where you lived! Bodies were piled up in streets and few families escaped intact. Trained in Science, I have great respect for Science’s continuing achievements. This book is dedicated to all those committed Scientists, of whatever faith or none, who have improved our life, health and lifestyles. We are indebted to you. Thank you! However, there is obviously more to existence and our universe than blind forces acting on blind energy to produce ourselves and the wonderful world around us. From earliest times humankind has realised there is design and purpose, and millions around the world returning from afterlife experiences confirm that spiritual existence continues. Different religions focus differently upon spirituality, Christians being by far the most numerous. Respecting this, my dedication continues: This book is also dedicated to those Christians who have modelled the Christian life of love, faith and service in a selfish and often hostile world that denies them free speech. We are indebted to you. Thank you! Today we look at the endorsements at the front of my book and wonder why they differ so much?
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
Perhaps the most surprising finding in the research I did over many years for “Living Beyond” was that, up to 2014, only one founder of a modern religion was recorded in near death experiences – that being “Jesus Christ” the founder of Christianity. I found this after having asked NDErs who had they met with in the afterlife, and having read hundreds of accounts over the years. I was bemused and wrote to the founder of the NDERF website, where you find thousands of afterlife descriptions in the words of whoever has written them – Dr Jeffrey Long – who confirmed that only Jesus seemed to make an appearance, and not only to Christians. In the extract that follows I will describe, in the words of those who have had them, just a few of these encounters with Jesus during NDEs.
Following my examples and analysis last week of the words of the Hindu and Buddhist NDErs, I turn now to two monotheistic religions —Islam and Judaism. Again, I quote the words used by the members of these religions who describe their near death experiences, and then add my own comments. I do it this way so that it is easy for you the reader to distinguish what the person who had the near death experience reports from my analysis that follows on – so that you can readily make up your own mind. My next book, “Your Origin and Destiny”, which is due to be released on Tuesday April 21st after a further six years from “go to whoa” because of the need for painstaking research and analysis, employs a similar separation of what the person has said or written from my commentary. I cannot communicate adequately my excitement regarding my next book—however, I will try not to allow it to interfere with the two remaining Bubbles based on “Living Beyond”.
The most ancient of cultures around the earth display a belief in the supernatural and the survival of consciousness (spirit) beyond the grave. Many have legends of afterlife experiences, some based very obviously on the accounts of returnees who must have described in awe their interactions with afterlife entities such as angels. It is easy to comprehend how these ancient NDE accounts led to a pluralistic view of the afterlife. I read a recent description of the experiences of a Hindu doctor whose spirit met with two angels who introduced themselves as the archangels Michael and Raphaelo (probably Raphael) – who I personally did not know existed, but who apparently is mentioned in the apocryphal books of Enoch and Tobias. Personally, I have not read these book as I have found more than enough in the standard canonical bible texts to keep me occupied, but I am told that in the Catholic and Jewish traditions Raphaelo is an archangel of healing – which could have been significant for the Hindu doctor. When on return to Earth he described his interactions in the afterlife with these two angels, his wife immediately expressed her surprise and asked why he, a Hindu, had met with two angels found in the Christian tradition? Why indeed? We will all have massive lessons to learn in the afterlife!
Our family lived in the lovely African country Malawi during the early 1980s. Our African gardener, John, was a cheerful young man whom we all liked. One day he told me about his experience of death. John explained how he had died from a heart attack, and found himself in a beautiful garden, ‘Not like this one,’ he said, waving his hand to indicate our garden, ‘This one rubbish.’ I was amused at this disparaging description of our garden, considering that to maintain and help develop it was his responsibility. He continued: ‘The garden when I died, very good. Green... flowers... water come up like this one,’ and he used his hands to show water spouting up and falling in a fountain. From my questioning, John had never actually seen a decorative water fountain. I probed further. His descriptions of Paradise dovetailed with those I had heard from Westerners, despite the disparity between our cultures. But do all people who die experience similar NDEs, regardless of race, religion or culture? Are they a global phenomenon? This is a fascinating question, and one that we begin to address in this first extract dealing with the issue.
Many returnees believe they need to LOVE others in a new way, and to tell others of their experiences, as typified by an example described by Professor Bruce Greyson where, after his NDE, a truck driver 'awoke with an intense passion for helping others, and a desire to talk about his experience, much to the dismay of his embarrassed wife’! (Quote taken from Living Beyond) God does not only have love, God IS love. NDErs who went to one of the pleasant Paradise sections in the afterlife are almost unanimous on their return, that they are tasked with practising Love back on Earth at a level they have now experienced for themselves in the afterlife, but which they did not know existed previous to their NDE. The purpose and challenge of this is to develop love deep within their character, to fit them for an exciting afterlife future in the presence of God, because GOD IS LOVE. It all adds up. But what about those who have returned from one of the unpleasant prison sections of the afterlife? It was unloving selfish behaviour that consigned them to that unpleasant section in the first place: they must practice practical, unselfish LOVE back on Earth, then they can reverse their unproductive personal lives and prepare themselves for an exciting future.
Marilyn Braxton wrote about her husband Dean after his return from an NDE: ‘He (Dean) had a hard time being back here in the beginning. He had changed. Eternity coloured everything.’ —Marilyn Braxton This is a very common perspective shared by many NDErs on return, they feel like a fish out of water. It is possible to make a successful return after an NDE, but many have first to overcome unexpected hurdles. Angie Fenimore, herself an NDEr and suicide survivor and author of “Beyond the Darkness” writes about “Living Beyond” that after her family had read it, “My family say that they understand me better now”, which is vital because family are the primary support for NDErs, often they make a successful return possible. Angie goes on to say about “Living Beyond”— “This book has been thoroughly researched and is a comprehensive resource for understanding the elements, commonalities and differences associated with NDEs. I believe every physician, mental health professional, chaplain, and clergy member should keep a copy on hand.” Nick Bewes, a Chaplain in Australia, agrees and has found “Living Beyond” has helped many with whom he has counselled, even as their death approaches.
Some accounts of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) sound like wonderful holidays in exciting new venues. Some hardly mention the challenges they had while dead and in Paradise or in the Prison section, and dwell even less on their Traumas on return. However, ALL returnees face challenges. Some become traumatised and even withdraw from earthly responsibilities. They are different deep inside and may need professional counselling and practical help to cope again. In this extract, we look at some of the issues they face and how to deal with them.
Considering their experiences have often been sublime, we might expect returnees from an NDE to fit back into life on Earth again successfully and enthusiastically. This is true for some, but others are soon disenchanted by the rejection of their experiences when they try to tell family members, friends, work colleagues, and even church members or ministers. The return itself can be accompanied by unexpected challenges. As airplane pilot Captain Dale Black says in the Foreword to “Living Beyond”, “This near-death journey often causes great difficulty in adjusting to one’s former life. Careers may be upended as returnees embrace a vibrant new purpose for their lives. This is certainly what happened in my case.” Dale had died in an awful plane crash and his NDE is especially insightful. Problems and trauma are frequently important consequences of NDEs that are often ignored. Consequently, I spend time in “Living Beyond” probing these issues. What are our expectations of returnees? And the expectations of others? The disappointments and responses of the returnees are often inappropriate. For far too many NDErs these challenges put them in a degenerating spiral, resulting in PTSD or similar, which was confirmed for me by a doctor friend who is also a trained counsellor. This is not good enough! We can and should do better for them!
Hell is not a popular topic nowadays and too many do not believe it exists, until they are shown it during one of the tours during a near death experience that may be arranged for them to learn about the different venues that exist in the afterlife. Very important – there are no people yet in the fires of hell because we are this side of Judgement. It is hard to escape the concept that what they have shown to NDErs to act as a warning not to find themselves there after Judgement. In this extract from Living Beyond, I quote two accounts of men who saw those unpleasant venues – and both of them subsequently turned their lives around completely. I also describe in “Living Beyond” some other tours experienced by NDErs during their afterlife adventures, even tours of what might be other universes in which different rules of Science exist – but in this account and I am limiting the extracts to what Hell is like nowadays and what happens there.
Heaven is where God the Father resides at this time, in an incredible heavenly city visited by very few who appear to be especially privileged. It is NOT where most of us go in the afterlife – we follow the same route that Jesus and the thief who died beside him on the cross take – we go to Paradise instead. Remember Jesus’ words to the dying thief? “Today you will be with me in Paradise (not in Heaven)”. Paradise is an ancient descriptor meaning “garden”, and there are different sections to this afterlife garden similar to our large council or display gardens. In other sections, Paradise strikes NDErs similar to a rural idyll. It is suitable for the spirit bodies of most of us who die because of the special properties of those bodies—but I digress. In this extract from “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences” I am describing experiences of the heavenly city itself, quoting from a few who have been there.
All of us have had unexpected and sometimes even weird experiences. Thousands of written reports of afterlife experiences by returnees illustrate that few of us are prepared for the highly unusual events and circumstances that we find after death. This finding most things to be weird in the afterlife is unnecessary as around 350 million adults have returned, plus many children, and written accounts abound. We need to familiarise ourselves of what the afterlife is like. Suicides generally are not expecting what they find after death, and Angie Fenimore provides us with just one of these accounts. I quote Angie, with her permission. Why have I chosen her account amongst many possible ones? because her life after her return has involved her saving others that she can from committing suicide! Her sincerity is displayed by how she is living her life after her death. Her full experiences are best accessed by reading her excellent book “Beyond the Darkness”.
Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death worldwide among those aged 15-24 (male and female). What kind of experiences do suicides have in the afterlife? Generally unpleasant based on their reports on return, but then they are not always consigned by God to the same venue and some places are more tolerable than others. Some years into my interviews and investigations of NDEs, I thought incorrectly that all suicides had a torrid time in the afterlife. I was asked by a desperate relative to counsel with a suicidal teenager. This lad’s rockstar hero had suicided and he wanted to kill himself to join him in the afterlife. I did not know anything about the singer concerned, Kurt Cobain, but I was able to assure the youngster that he would NOT be allowed to join Cobain in the afterlife! Definitely not! According to the accounts I had, suicides were consigned to certain venues about which they had no choice. The lad said little but I knew I was getting through. The relative told me a few months later that he had not suicided. Years later, I spoke to the same relative and was delighted to learn that the young man’s life, work and marriage were all going well. What a relief!
Houdini promised his wife that if he could signal her from the afterlife, then he would do so – but the famous escape artist never signalled because God has made it that whatever section you are placed in during your sojourn in Hades prior to your resurrection and Judgement to follow, you will remain there, as the rich man in Jesus’ teaching discovered (Luke 16:19-31). However, while Houdini’s efforts to escape and everyone else’s were impossible, God who can do anything can always set you free from whatever situation you find yourself in in the afterlife. But what decides whether God will do so or not? Read these accounts of the “Great Escapes” recorded in modern times that can help you solve this question for yourself.
Bublish suggests authors share a little about why they write. Very briefly—I write in the hopes that I will help someone somewhere. What do the emails I have received indicate? Early emails were from the recently bereaved, saying that “Living Beyond” had comforted them, knowing what their loved ones were REALLY experiencing in the afterlife. Later, I became disturbed at emails describing the rejection that NDErs had suffered from family, friends, churches—and professionally. At least two readers who had harboured suicidal thoughts had decided to live instead – thankfully! Two other readers have decided to engage with troubled returnees to help them: they are Uniting Church minister Karen Paul in Sydney Australia and Dr Chet Weld in Tucson Arizona – and I hope other professionals will also provide similar support, counsel and love. Recently Brian Holmes of South Africa wrote: Whilst reading your book and pondering the people's testimonies it struck me that this was a fundamental truth, that not all the people in the various studies had conspired to align their stories! The conclusion spoke for itself, that it did not matter if I believed it or not, it was going to happen and one day i would die and the only decision I had to make NOW was which side of the chasm I would see out eternity.
Thankfully more and more Christians are at last recognising their ignorance of the afterlife, and consequent inability to help returnees with possible trauma. It’s as an email yesterday from a medical doctor and trained counsellor in Melbourne confirmed: “You certainly discovered a gap in information and you were able to research and put together an excellent book which will be a handy reference for decades to come.” Not only do the growing volume of emails I receive confirm this, but also the increasing number of Christians who are prepared to counsel and help traumatised returnees. “Why traumatised?” you may ask. “I thought it was all sweetness and light on the other side.” It is for some, but not for others – both in scripture and in reality. Many more experience the Void and other areas of isolation than are prepared to admit it. To get a feel of what this can be like for suicides read Angie Fenimore’s book “Beyond the Darkness” or for militant atheists read Howard Storm’s “My Descent Into Death”. Today’s extract describes some escapes from the Void.
Between his death and resurrection, Jesus preached to some spirits trapped in a prison section of the afterlife (1Peter3:18-20). Their spirits were waiting in Hades (NOT hell) as ours will too until the Day of Judgement that lies up ahead for us all. Hades comprises pleasant Paradise sections, but also Prison sections. The first Prison section, rather like a temporary holding section, is termed The Void and is described as deep darkness by the many who have begun their afterlife there. We will begin our tour of the prison sections in the afterlife by describing the Void and what NDErs have experienced there.
Writing is a lonely night-time occupation which then goes out into the unknown, hopefully to help someone along the road. Here is an inspiring comment to some writing of mine from a Christian NDEr, commenting from his own experience. “In no way is sharing or writing about the NDE an affront or negation of God. Quite the opposite, it is glorifying Him! It is giving hope to those in a hospice bed who are terrified and shouldn’t be. It is a glimpse into what/who we really are - transcendent beings connected to God, part of Him, and that death is truly not an end, but a transition. “You are so right, when many come back from an NDE there is a time of adjustment. You are almost hesitant… and then sometimes there is so much to be shared with other believers/nonbelievers and your pastor or clergy…. Will they believe me? Will they understand my feelings of missing heaven? How can I continue my journey with this experience in perspective and do what God intends for me to do? I have seen the discomfort wash over the faces of the very people I felt would most want to speak with me about it.” Come and adventure further with Ivan in “Living Beyond” into the society you may find there in Paradise.
While waiting in Paradise for the final Judgement, are we frozen in time, or does our character continue to grow? We certainly have plenty of time for contemplation, but is there more to it than that? Yes, there is, much more. Thousands of written reports illustrate that we are expected to grow and develop in interesting ways while in the afterlife. This can produce unexpected problems on returning to earth—“Mum is just not the same after her NDE” is a common style of challenge voiced by many family members. It can be true, and in fact SHOULD be true! I develop typical changes and challenges for families and returnees later in “Living Beyond”, but introduce the concept of change in Chapter 8 – the expectation on the NDEr of forgiveness. And do NDEs support the notion of reincarnation? Read on!
AT SOME STAGE IN YOUR AFTERLIFE ADVENTURES, if they continue for long enough, you will most likely meet with relatives and ancestors who have preceded you there. Some you may not have known and may introduce themselves, otherwise you may only identify them on return to earth from old family albums or even centuries old paintings, or through discussions with your more elderly family members. How will your ancestors appear to you in Paradise? Generally happy and in the best of health. And how will you interact with them? Here are a few examples quoted in “Living Beyond” to give you the flavour of what you might expect.
You will find the afterlife peopled by all sorts of interesting beings: God the Father, Jesus, your ancestors, some friends who pre-deceased you, various angels and assistants, and perhaps the spirits of others who have died already. Many will look younger than when you knew them on Earth, and happier, providing you are in one of the Paradise sections. If in one of the Prison sections, your companions may not be as nice, but you can refer to “Living Beyond” for details if you are interested. In this short extract we will major on great experiences that have taken place in Paradise sections.
I will begin where the previous Bubble extract from “Living Beyond” ended: Life Reviews are purpose driven, not process or venue driven. Life Reviews we discover from hundreds of recorded experiences distil down to one overriding fundamental purpose. But what is this purpose? What are Life Reviews REALLY aiming at? Can you pick this up from the Life Reviews quoted below taken from “Living Beyond”? I begin with PMH Atwater, a fearless researcher of NDEs whose work I respect although my conclusions are different to hers. PMH (as she likes to be known) has had three NDEs and began her research specifically to try to understand this strange phenomenon. Read on, and let’s see how you do at interpreting the underlying driving purpose of NDEs.
A few more amongst hundreds of Life Reviews follow, taken from “Living Beyond”; to give you a foretaste of what you might expect in the afterlife. You will be shown the details of your life as though watching a movie in full colour, usually presented chronologically for the young, but sometimes given much more quickly in chunks. This is because the ponderous brain has been left behind on Earth and your soul can absorb masses of information almost instantaneously. Bob Bosworth, son of the famous evangelist ‘FF’ Bosworth, was amongst the earliest returnees from an NDE to explain to me what was involved in a Life Review. Bob had spent his life as a Christian missionary dedicated to serving the needs of others, working mainly with the poor in Africa. He had died in a car accident. ‘Details of my ministry passed before my eyes, and I saw weaknesses and things I should have done differently. I was not being judged, I was being led into self-evaluation. God's Judgement Day is not yet.’ Live Reviews are not Judgements; they are given to guide us. Bob died again in 2009, still serving God and man in World Outreach. Let’s sample a few Life Reviews. Much variation occurs because each of us is treated differently in the afterlife—as individuals!
The Life Review shown to you in the afterlife is likely to be the most impacting event in your existence to date, whether you return to earth in an NDE or remain in the afterlife. I have yet to meet an NDEr who progressed as far as a Life Review who does not identify it as one of the most shattering but formative experiences of their lives. What will actually happen to you during your own personal Life Review and why? Read on.
Who is this shining being in front of you, looking brighter to you than many suns? How might you recognise who it is if you have no previous knowledge of him? Now things get strange. On rare occasions he may announce who he is, but generally a kind of deep almost primeval or instinctive knowledge of unknown origin kicks in even in atheists or agnostics “This is God!” In every case I have come across, and those I describe in “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”, the interaction that follows has been the most important meeting of their lives!! However, their different experiences and descriptions highlight the importance and value of our individuality to God. You see, depending on who they are and their background, NDErs respond differently to this shining being who presents himself to them. We have been created individuals. I guess God deals with us as such because he likes us like that. Why else would he have recorded every event and even the thoughts we have had during our lives?
To the amazement of afterlife visitors during NDEs, the source of the brilliant light that pervades Paradise is NOT a sun or artificial lighting of any kind – it effulges from a person—A BEING OF LIGHT! A BEING OF LIGHT? Really? What is going on here? We begin by examining the account of New Zealander Ian McCormack, an atheist who died from a deadly box-jellyfish sting while scuba diving, and we then continue to forage amongst other descriptions in “LIVING BEYOND” given by the NDErs themselves.
A strange, almost hypnotic light attracts new arrivals when entering Paradise. They are attracted by it similar to how a moth is attracted to a street light. Crystal McVea describes the CHARACTER of this welcoming light as “not light as we know it. It was closest to the colour we call white, but a trillion times whiter than the whitest white you have ever seen or could imagine. It was brilliant and beaming and beautifully illuminating.” Ned Dougherty’s description of the INTENSITY of this strange light during his NDE is endorsed by Dr Mary Neal in her NDE account: “The light was more brilliant than the light emanating from the sun, many times more powerful and radiant than the sun itself. Yet I was not blinded by it. Instead, the light was a source of energy that embraced my being.” Had Ned or Dr Neal been on Earth, that light might have frazzled and destroyed them, but spirit bodies in Paradise have different properties and the light does not damage them. This beautiful light pervades Paradise, but where does it come from? NDErs cannot see a source such as a sun. The answer to this question is extraordinary and life-changing to all who have proceeded further in their NDE. Here are some sample descriptions taken from “LIVING BEYOND” Read on.
PARADISE IS NOT HEAVEN, as I pointed out previously. Heaven is a destination reserved for after Judgement Day, so where are the spirits of the dead waiting nowadays? As Jesus promised the thief who died beside him on the cross, “Today you will be with me in Paradise!”. Paradise is a beautiful natural environment of the afterlife—alternatively, the dead may find themselves in a Prison section instead. However, these are only intermediate destinations and places of waiting until Judgement. In my book I begin with the different reactions of those who find themselves arriving in Paradise. They are stunned! I limit myself to a few chosen descriptions from the thousands I have access to.
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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