Conversing with the Being of Light
The appearance of this marvellous Being of Light heralds the beginning of an interaction with him. Most NDErs identify the figure inside the light to be God. For most, this appears to be an instinctive identification, regardless of whether they had believed in him previously or not. Ian McCormack 14, until that time an atheist, used logic in his identification.
Coming out of the end of this tunnel I found myself standing in the presence of awesome light and power – it seemed as though even the constellations in the Universe must find their energy source from this focal point.
As I stood there, I wondered to myself if this was just an energy source in the Universe, or if perhaps there could be someone standing in the midst of this light!!!!!
A voice immediately responded to my thought and asked me ‘Ian, do you wish to return?’
I responded ‘I don’t know where I am, but if I am out of my physical body I wish to return.’
The voice responded ‘If you wish to return – you must see in a new light.’
‘New light’, I thought, ‘I’m seeing the light. Are you the true light???’
Words appeared in front of me ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.’ I had never read a Bible before in my life so I didn’t know this was straight out of the scriptures (1John 1:5).
Ian, as an atheist, had always employed logic to work things out. He turned to logic now, using the words that had appeared in front of him. ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.’
God is light, I thought – that is pure light – I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness – I see no evil, no shadows – this is pure light – am I standing in the presence of God??? He knows my name and I didn’t tell him, only God could do that. He knows what I am thinking before I even speak, only God could do that. Then he must be able to see everything I have done wrong in my life ... no ... I don’t want God to see that!
Ian felt totally exposed and wanted to retreat into the darkness where he felt he belonged. He wondered whether a mistake had been made for him to have encountered God.
He drew back towards the darkness, but a wave of light shone out and swept through him.
I felt pure unadulterated love flow over me.
Love! I thought, how could God love me – I’ve taken his name in vain – I’ve slept around – I’m not a good man.
But no matter what I said, waves of His unconditional love continued to flow over me.
I found myself weeping uncontrollably in His Presence.
I should mention that just before he had died, despite his atheism but aware that he was dying, Ian had prayed for forgiveness to the God his mother had told him about.
Which representation of God did Ian encounter? Crystal McVea 5 gives an unusual analysis from her experience: ‘Nor did I make any distinction between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as we sometimes do on Earth. They were all One – the One before me now.’ This would support the Christian perception of the Trinity, three in one, but note that God did not specifically identify himself in this way to Crystal: this was her personal deduction and interpretation.
On rare occasions, the Figure of Light does identify himself as God the Father or as Jesus, or as some angel (more rare). Because angels are heavenly beings, they can give off a glorious light, though it is not perceived as being of the same intensity as that of the Father or that of Christ. Note that I have termed angels as ‘heavenly beings’. This is because they do not dwell in Paradise but in Heaven itself, but may be sent to Paradise or Earth ‘on assignment’, as was the case in scripture on numerous occasions.
Regardless of one’s prior belief, or lack of belief, there is an instinctive recognition that this Being of Light is to be respected – as seen in Crystal McVea’s response 5.
There was a Being on my right, and instantly I knew who this was. And I felt as if my spirit form just crumpled and fell before this Being, as if – had I a physical body – I’d fallen to my knees and raised my arms and bowed deeply in praise and worship. Me! Crystal! The sinner and the sceptic, the one with all the questions! Here in the presence of God! Many others who have met with God in Paradise, describe how divine love characterised those meetings.
Crystal McVea expresses this: ‘That is what I experienced in the presence of God – a beautiful new way of receiving and sending love. I was completely infused by God’s brightness and His love, and I wanted to enter into his brightness and intertwine myself completely with it. I felt a miraculous closeness to God, but wanted to feel even closer. This was the Creator of the Universe, and I was in his presence! The sheer ecstasy of it! The beauty of it, the joy and the grace, the way my spirit soared and my heart burst – how I wish I had the words to convey just how miraculous this was! It was the blessing of all blessings, and I knew that I was changed forever.’
The greatest impact of God on many thousands of NDErs is his character – he effuses pure love, a love unlike anything experienced by them on Earth. Mary Neal 6 says:
Don’t get me wrong – I have been very blessed in my life and have experienced great joy and love here on Earth. I love my husband and I love each of my children with great intensity, and that love is reciprocated. It’s just that God’s world is exponentially more colourful and intense. It was as though I was experiencing an explosion of love and joy in their absolute, unadulterated essence.
Despite the glorious light that is effusing from this Being, normal interaction can still be maintained, often face-to-face. This reminds us of a strange experience of Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 33:21-23). Moses had asked to see God, but had been informed that this would damage him – nevertheless Moses was allowed to see the back of God after He had passed by the cleft of a big rock in which Moses was sheltering. Here we find God appearing as a man, but one from whom powerful energy radiated, similar to the one modern NDErs meet, the Being clothed in unearthly light. The difference is that Moses’ earthly eyes would have been damaged had he seen the glory of God directly.
NDErs Meet Jesus Christ
God the Father becomes central to those NDErs who meet him personally. So does Jesus Christ, whom hundreds of NDErs claim to have met, including some mentioned already in this book such as Howard Storm and George Ritchie.
Ian McCormack 14 also believes he met with Jesus and describes a typical encounter:
Standing in front of me was the most awesome sight – I could see a man standing in front of me, but he was not like anyone I’d ever seen before in my life. His garments were shimmering white in colour – garments of light – I could see His bare feet and His hands were outstretched towards me as if to welcome me.
On a personal level, what does Jesus look like?
Dean Braxton 15 emphasises Jesus’ radiance, but in addition a strange transmission of divine love, as described in scores of other accounts. ‘The first thing that comes to me is that He is bright – it is like what John says, He is brighter than the noonday sun (Revelation 1:16 – ‘His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.’). And the next thing is, we can look at him despite the brightness, without damaging our eyes or having to look away. And what you are looking at is not the physical part of it, you are really experiencing the love he has for you! It is like he only loves you and no-one else.’
Just as different witnesses to the same event on Earth may produce dissimilar descriptions, especially when the event has emotional impact, so it seems to be with descriptions of the person of Jesus in these highly-charged interactions. One associated problem is that the very bright light that accompanies the Being can mask details. Then the fact that the Being of Light seldom identifies himself adds to the uncertainty because, as Howard Storm 16 points out, sometimes angels may have been misidentified as Jesus. Angels, he assures us, can be pretty impressive. Nevertheless, even in the NDE accounts of children who have had no prior teaching about him, the Jesus they met with was similar to the long-haired, tall, slim, white-robed, loving person that most NDErs expected him to be.
It is possible, of course, that Jesus may change his presentation to best suit whoever he is meeting with, perhaps with the intention of not alarming them, for which again there is biblical precedent.
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