The NDEr Encounters a Being of Light.
The focus for most NDErs quickly changes from that startling light to a loving and intelligent presence that is sensed as being its source. Jim Sepulveda’s 11 Paradise experience is typical.
I walked over a hill, a short distance away, then stopped beside the base of a large tree. A light began to appear beside the tree. The blinding aura was too bright to look at directly. I squinted down toward the ground, and then saw a pair of sandals beginning to appear at the bottom edge of the light. As my eyes moved upward, I glimpsed the hem of a seamless white gown. Higher, I could make out the form of a Man’s body. Around His head shone an even brighter brilliance, obscuring a direct view of his face.
Numerous NDErs intuitively identify this someone as God the Father, almost as if the character of God and his loving nature pervades it.
Many others, including Jim, have identified this presence as Jesus, and a number of them state that they were told this.
It is interesting that Christ exhibited a similar effusion of bright light on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2): ‘There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.’ There was intuitive identification of Moses and Elijah by the disciples at the time, similar to that which NDErs commonly report to take place in Paradise nowadays, including ‘knowing’ that the bright shining figure in front of them is Jesus – or God the Father – or some significant person or angel previously unknown to them.
George Ritchie’s 12 encounter with the light quickly progressed into recognition of the person within that light. Remember, George was so obsessed with reaching Virginia and medical school that he decided he was not ready to leave the Earth just yet. The light came to him while he was still in his spirit body on Earth. Suddenly, the room he was in filled with an intense white light, and Ritchie saw that a man made of light had appeared within the light. From inside himself he heard the words, ‘You are in the presence of the Son of God.’
I have called him ‘light’, but I could also have said ‘love’, for that room was flooded, pierced, illuminated by the most total compassion I have ever felt. It was a Presence so comforting, so joyous and all-satisfying, that I wanted to lose myself forever in the wonder of it.
This was similar to how Jesus appeared to Paul with dazzling light on the road to Damascus, described in Acts 26:13-15:
About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from Heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.
Before leaving the topic of a brilliant light announcing the arrival of Father God or of Jesus, it is interesting to note that hundreds of people on Earth have experienced similar interactions without having had an NDE. For example, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson 13, reported that he was a despairing alcoholic when God’s presence came into his room.
He was aware first of a light, a great white light that filled the room. Then he suddenly seemed caught up in a kind of joy, an ecstasy such as he could never find words to describe… When it passed, when the light slowly dimmed, the sense of a Presence was still there about him and within him.
Bill Wilson never had another alcoholic drink. The wonderful work of AA, which has rescued thousands from a degrading lifestyle, began as a consequence of Bill’s encounter with God. It is interesting that hundreds of alcoholics while still on Earth have reported their own encounters with this loving Being of Light, and that these experiences have been pivotal to their rescue. Those rescued in this particular way are a minority, though, of those whom AA helps. Why doesn’t God appear to every hopeless alcoholic to rescue him or her in a similar fashion? Why do some have to struggle so hard, and many fail altogether? That we do not know.
We should not look to make God to comply with our expectations; his ways are not ours. God knows his business. Thankfully, he is still going about it.
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