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MM#48 -  AFTER DEATH WHAT ?

 

 

AFTER DEATH - WHAT?

IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE?

testimonies of people who have had

a glimpse of the beyond

 

“The wages of sin is death,

but the free gift of God is eternal life in

the Messiah, Y’shua our Master.”

(Romans 6:23)

 

 

MARANATHA REVIVAL CRUSADE

Western Australia

 

CONTENTS

 

Death, the Last Journey                  

What Evidence is there of the After-Life? 

People Brought Back to Life           

What is Death?                                 

What Happens After Physical Death?       

The Rich Man and Lazarus           

Purgatory and Transmigration      

What Determines Our Destiny?

                                                           

TESTIMONIES of People who have had a Glimpse of the Beyond

I Met the Light

Two Angels Met Me

My Glimpse of the Glory Land

You Cannot Enter!

I saw the Glory Land

A Vision of Hell on the Deathbed

My Life Came up for Review

                                                           

What is Heaven Like?                     

What is Hell Like?                           

How to be Sure of Your Destiny?  

 

 

Death, The Last Journey

DEATH, we all know, is a fact of life. We see it in the obituary columns of newspapers - we hear of it in the death announcements of notable people; we witness it in the numerous accidents and tragedies that occur every day. And its solemnity strikes home with every passing funeral procession.

Now and then it comes closer to us, as one of our family members lies silently in a coffin. And we ask, “Where is his soul? What is he experiencing now?”

The death of an evil man such as cruel a dictator causes us to reflect, “He must be suffering in hell right now!” A good person, however, we feel, should have entered into rest.

Death is common to all men. Recently one of the world’s richest men, Nelson Rockefeller, died. His fortune was not a few million dollars, but hundreds of millions. Then there was the Shah of Iran, and Marshal Tito, and Deng Xiaoping. Oh, how the doctors tried to keep them alive. But when God gave the word, death visited these men also.

Sometimes we stop to wonder when our own turn might come. “Will I, perhaps, die of old age? Or might I be cut off suddenly, like many others are, each day ... where will my soul go?”

Most people don’t even like to think about death. Some say, “We don’t know what is beyond, so let’s not worry about it.” Others say, “I’ll take my chances. I’m as good as the next person.”

Young people say, “I’ll wait until I’m old, and then I’ll worry about death.” But we have to admit there is no guarantee that we will reach old age.

Some people, on the other hand, are terrified of death - not so much of the dying, but of the uncertainty of the beyond. So they avoid thinking or talking about it. But my friends, we should face up to the fact of death! We must admit that every one of us faces its possibility at any time. We could even experience death today!

My friends, look at it like this. There may be at least twenty thousand people who will read this booklet. And if the world went on in its normal course, I suppose within the next seventy years every one of those readers would pass from this world. That means at least 285 of these readers will leave this world every year.  On the average, one of this book’s readers will die nearly every day.  And they will not all be elderly people, some young readers will be included.  We have to admit that hard cold fact.

This book is not intended to be a morbid meditation, but a motivation to seriously consider our final destiny. It’s not a matter merely of dying, but of where and how we will spend the hereafter. Our hearts tell us there is something beyond. And if the after-life is very real, if it’s an endless state, and if our present life affects our future life, then by all means, we must consider and prepare for that future, for we know that, sooner or later, our turn will come - our last journey.

In the normal course of events, every one of us will die, because the Bible says very clearly:

“And just as it is appointed for all men to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

There is, however, one way to escape death. It is not through medical science! It's through "the Rapture." This is the plan of Y'shua the Messiah, to literally and physically catch up the remainder of His people to the Father’s House.

"For the Master Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. The dead in Christ (the Messiah) shall rise first; then we, the living believers who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air. And so we will be with the Master for ever."  (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

NOTE

Y'SHUA is the original Hebrew Name of Jesus.

YHWH is the Name of the Heavenly Father, as revealed in the Hebrew Bible. It may be pronounced as Yahweh or Yahwah (earlier it was usually pronounced as Yehowah or Jehovah.)

 

The Heavenly Master is coming to take all His people away to the Father’s House before the Great Tribulation begins. All those who are caught away will not see death. I trust that many thousands of my readers will be included in the raptured company. Some, however, may not be prepared for this event. They will be left behind to die tragically, most likely, in the Great Tribulation.

Let me clarify this point. It is appointed for every one to die, yes, but God can overrule this requirement by a higher law - the law of transformation. The apostle Paul, writing to believers, says:

“Listen! I tell you a mystery, a secret truth; we will not all fall asleep, (that is - die); but we will all be changed, transformed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible and imperishable, and we, also, will be changed - transformed. For this corruptible, the perishable part of us, must put on incorruption, and this mortal part of us -  that is capable of dying, must put on immortality. But when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then the word that has been written will be fulfilled,  DEATH  HAS  BEEN  SWALLOWED  UP  IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”  (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)

WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE OF THE AFTER-LIFE?

Is there any evidence of what happens after death? Yes, first and foremost, the evidence that God has given to us in His Word, the Bible. This is a 100% reliable and wonderful revelation; and it does not leave us ignorant. It tells us very definitely about what is beyond death.

I was speaking to a pastor at a funeral in South India some time ago. The man who had died was a believer in Christ. So I said to this pastor, “Brother, isn’t it wonderful the hope that the believer has?” The pastor looked at me, and said, “Do you think we can be sure what happens beyond death?” I almost fell over.

Of course! We do know what is going to happen beyond death. We cannot pronounce the fate of every individual, of course, because we do not always know the true relationship of a person to God. But the Bible certainly gives us guidance. And it’s the only book that can give us the guidance. An amazing book!  What other book in the world can tell us clearly what is going to happen after death?

In many of my writings I have shown how the Bible's prophecies are being so literally fulfilled. Prophecies concerning Israel's return to the land - prophecies that are being minutely fulfilled; prophecies of how Russia will become a great leader of a northern alliance in the end-time - a prophecy made 2,500 years ago, and that is being fulfilled today; the prophecy of Daniel about the Revived Roman Empire - the nations uniting in Europe today! And the prophecy about the end-time dictator whose number is 666 - and how he will arise from the Roman Empire, and number every person in the world - and we can see this numbering/identification system well on the way!

The Bible’s prophecies about the future life will also be fulfilled. Indeed it is only right that God should reveal something to us of the future. He should tell us what will happen. Why should He leave us to guess?  What should God leave us in doubt?  After all, it is a very mysterious subject, and the thought of the after-life can be very fearful. We all know that death will be our last journey, and that there will be no return! Should God, then, leave us to make a leap into the dark? No! He has revealed what happens after death!

PEOPLE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

Many of us have read the accounts of how Y’shua, (Jesus), brought Lazarus of Bethany back to life. And how we wished we could have spoken to Lazarus, and asked him about what he saw and experienced during those four days when he was dead.

In recent years, there has been quite a lot of discussion about after-death experiences. With more advanced medical technology, many people whose hearts have stopped beating for some time, have been brought back to life. Various accounts have been written.

I have included in this book, testimonies of a number of my readers and people I’ve met, who have had glimpses of the beyond. We do not take such testimonies as the main evidence, but for people who - in spite of what the Scriptures declare - are still inclined to believe that death is the end, or that the soul goes to sleep along with body, these testimonies do provide evidence to the contrary.

For a believer, of course, the Bible is full and sufficient evidence. But some people say; “No, but if someone would come back from the dead and tell us, we would believe.”

Maybe! But Father Abraham said to the rich man who was pleading with him to send someone from the dead to warn his brothers of the reality of hell;

“If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead.”  (Luke 16:31)

Many people will never believe! The Lord, however, has allowed some people to “come back from the dead” to give witness; or for various other reasons according to His own will.

Before we read these testimonies, let us listen to what God says in His Word.

WHAT IS DEATH?

First let us answer this question. Some people say, “Death is when you are finished.” Other people say, “It’s when you go to sleep.” Others say, “Oh, that’s when you go to join the universal spirit.” Most people have the belief that death is a door into another realm.

If we look in the dictionary, that doesn’t give us very much help. I looked it up, and the dictionary defined death as “the end of life.” Then I thought, “How does the dictionary define life?” It defines life as existence. So the dictionary says death is the end of existence. But that is not what the Bible says. Life is far more than mere existence. You might say a rock is existing, but it doesn’t have much life, does it? The table where you have your meals is existing, but it doesn’t have much life. In fact, some people are merely existing in the world, and they don’t have much life either. If you ask the man in the street, “What is life?”, he will say, “It’s this crazy existence.” Most people seem to be vague about life as well as death.

But the Bible tells us about the realities. Certainly death is not the cessation of existence. Remember, man is a tripartite being. There are three parts to our being. We have a body, we have a soul, and we have a spirit. Your face is something you look at in the mirror every day. It belongs to your body. You know that. But what of the soul and the spirit - what is the difference? They are very hard to divide, or define, but there is a difference.

The soul is the invisible part of us that is conscious of the things around us. With my soul I understand the world around me. With my soul, I love my friends and hate my enemies. (Except I’m not supposed to hate my enemies. And when Jesus comes into the heart, He makes the difference). With the soul we express our emotions; we feel and understand immaterial things around us; we appreciate sounds, beauty or tragedy. We become world-conscious.

With the spirit we become conscious of God. If our spirit is alive, we can worship God. With the soul, we appreciate the things of the earth, but with the spirit, we appreciate the things of heaven. So that is basically the difference between soul and spirit. Yet they are very much connected; and together, they form the invisible part of us.

Some people say the soul and the spirit are the real person, but we have to admit the body is very much a part of us also.

The Bible speaks about three types of death.

1. There is the physical death that we have been talking about. I don’t have to prove to you that there is a physical death. You know that very well. And as we read in Hebrews, it is appointed for every one to die. That is physical death.

We read about this in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. This verse tells us how death came into the world.

“For since death came into the world through a man, the resurrection of the dead has come also through a Man. For just as all through union with Adam die, so all who are in union with the Messiah will be made alive.”

So death came in with Adam. And yet Adam was not created to die! God made Adam so that he might live forever! But because he sinned, death became a new reality. The very day Adam sinned, something happened. He experienced death in his soul, and then later, when he was 930 years old, he also died physically. And because Adam sinned, we also sin, for we have inherited his sinful nature. And as you and I have sinned, we also are condemned to die - because of our sin! Spiritual death and physical death, both, are the result of sin.

Will you please notice in this verse, it also says, “Through one Man came also the resurrection from the dead.” This is the wonderful assurance of the Gospel. The Master, Y’shua (Jesus) Himself is the guarantee of resurrection! (Y'shua is the original Hebrew Name of Jesus). Because He rose from the dead, we also will rise. And for believers, that is a wonderful, guaranteed, expectation! For an unbeliever, it is not a joyful prospect at all.

Though our bodies turn to dust in the grave, or though they may be burnt by fire, we will rise again! One day, in our bodies, we will stand before God! There is a resurrection for every soul!  Every one of us will stand before God, for every one will be raised - some to everlasting life, some to everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

2. The second type of death, we read about in Ephesians 2:1:

 “You were dead in trespasses and sins.”

This is a spiritual death. This is the death that Adam first experienced. The very moment Adam disobeyed God, and took of the fruit of “the knowledge of good and evil,” he died - not his body but his spirit, and he was cut off from fellowship with God. Adam then knew what evil was. He experienced spiritual death - separation from Yahweh, the Almighty. And that death has affected the whole world. Today we have a world of dead people. You see the crowds in the street. You say they are living, but the Bible says that most of them are dead.  But God is working to create new life within us. This is the most essential thing - to receive the life of God, so that we are made alive in Christ. We read also in Romans 5:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned ... Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned exactly as Adam did by violating a command . . . But the free gift is not like the offence. For if by the offence of the one man many died, how much more did the grace of God, and the free gift of grace through the one Man, Y’shua the Messiah, overflows to the many.”

 (Romans 5:12, 14-15)

Through the sin of Adam everyone in the world died, but through the death of the Lord Jesus, many are made to live.

Adam was made to live, but he died. The Lord Jesus came especially to die. Yes Jesus died, but He rose again. And because He died and lives, all who put their trust in Him, will live also.

In the death of Y’shua, “the Lamb of God,” the penalty of the sins of the world has been paid. Now a pardon is offered to every one who will receive it. And when we receive God’s pardon and forgiveness, we also receive His life. It is called ETERNAL LIFE. This is the spiritual life that we are talking about.

3. The third type of death of which Scripture speaks, is eternal death. In Romans 6:23 we read:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in the Messiah, Y’shua our Master.”          

Here the contrast is between ultimate life, and ultimate death.

Eternal life is God’s life. Eternal death is the eternal absence of God’s life. Eternal death is the ultimate result of sin, and that means hell for ever.

We read in Revelation 20:14 of this ultimate fate:

“Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire.” 

We read in Matthew 25:46, that the lake of fire is a place of eternal punishment.

So there are the three types of death mentioned in Scripture. We could describe each one basically as separation.

Physical death is the separation of our soul and spirit from our body. Our soul and spirit flee, and our body is left behind - separation.

Spiritual death is our spirit being separated from God. Many people today are so greatly separated from God. It is like a great gulf between them and God. Reader, maybe you feel like that yourself. Maybe you are saying, “I feel so far away from God.” Ah, that’s because of this separation. But when you come to Christ, you are reconciled to God. The gulf is bridged, and you are linked to God. His life then flows into you, and you come alive - spiritually alive.

Eternal death is the ultimate separation. It is the total separation of man from God, and from everything that is of God. It is separation from light, from love, from holiness, from righteousness. It is existence without hope, without peace, and without fulfilment. Think about it!  Now the question:

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER PHYSICAL DEATH?

We see a person die, but what actually happens? Regarding his body, we know it no longer functions, and we know that very soon it will decay. So we put the body in the grave to “return to dust.” But what about the spirit of man?

When the body “gives up the ghost,” the spirit and soul is drawn away from the body, and it travels to the eternal spiritual realm. The Bible divides the spiritual realm into two spheres - heaven and hell.

If we turn to the Scriptures, we read in Luke 16 of the two places very clearly. The story here, is not a parable. It’s an account of two men who lived and died. One was a rich man who was lost, and the other, a poor man who was saved.

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

“Now there was a certain rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen, and lived merrily and in luxury every day. And there was a certain destitute man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who was laid at his gate, and who was longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table. And even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.

Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades (Hell) he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.’

But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’

And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house - for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’

But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead’.”            (Luke 16:19-31)

The rich man, while on earth, was clothed in beautiful garments. He had plenty to eat.  He had everything that money could buy; but one thing he didn't have was a place in heaven. All his money could not buy that! And when he died, that rich man went to hell.

The poor man, Lazarus, on the other hand was a despised man.  He must have been a beggar. He was covered with sores. You would shun even to look at him.  He also died, but his soul went to heaven. Isn’t that strange?  How did he get to heaven?  What did that beggar have?  He didn't have two coins to bless himself, or to feed himself. How did he get a ticket to heaven?

Good question! He certainly didn’t buy the ticket to heaven! He got a free ticket - the cost was paid by the Lord Jesus. Salvation is God’s free gift to all who will receive it!

Now the Lord Jesus is not telling this story to teach that all rich people go to hell and all poor people to heaven. It doesn’t work like that. Some rich people do go to heaven! (But the Master warned that it is difficult for rich people to go to heaven - because money is so often their god). Tragically, many poor people go to hell; but many go to heaven. It all depends on one’s relationship with God.

You can tell that this rich man had no time for God. He did not use his riches for God. He didn’t care to help the beggar at his door. He lived for himself.

The poor man, of course, didn’t have much to live for, but he must have had faith in God. He must have trusted in the Almighty, and because of this simple faith, the Heavenly Master took him home!

We see these two men - their different lives and their different destinations. But some people ask, “Can we believe this story?”

Most certainly! Who is telling the story? Is this some tramp on the street telling the story? Is this some false prophet telling the story? No! These are the words of the Master from Heaven - Jesus Christ Himself. And when it comes to heaven and hell, it is Y’shua, Jesus, who tells more about these places than anyone else. And of course, He should know, because He came from Heaven. He’s the One who created heaven. He’s the One who created this world. He also prepared hell.

“All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  (John 1:3)

So Y’shua the Messiah should know!

And now you are eager to ask, “Why did God make hell?” The Bible says:

“The eternal fire ... has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)

In 2 Peter 2:4, we read also, that …

 “God did not spare angels who sinned, but cast them down to the deepest pits of gloom - in hell - and committed them to chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”

God prepared hell primarily as a place for demons - a place of punishment, a place of containment. All rebellion against God and His order, will eventually be contained in that place.

God did not make hell for people - or people for hell. But, if people are companions of Satan, they will go to be with Satan. If they belong to God, they will go to be with God.  (Extracts from a testimony of a soul who actually went to hell, is included in the following pages.)

Now I want to answer a few other questions, for I know these questions keep coming up in many minds.  First, a very frequent question ...

Purgatory

“Is there an intermediary place such as Purgatory?”

No, there is no such place revealed in the Bible. Be sure, if there were a purgatory, the Bible would definitely tell about it, and what we should do about it! But there is no reference in the Bible to any such middle place.

“Purgatory” is said to be a place where souls are gradually cleansed and refined, so that they can go to heaven. Some people imagine, when you die, if you have been very bad, then you go straight to hell. And if you are absolutely good, then you go straight to heaven. But if you are like most people, then you go to another place until you get purified.

But the Bible does not teach that. There is no such third place. And actually it is impossible to be purified in such a place, for there is only one way by which we can be cleansed. And that is through the precious blood of the Y’shua, the Lamb of God, shed on Calvary. His blood alone can cleanse you - and it will do so when you come to Him in repentance and faith. But if His blood does not cleanse you, then nothing will!

You can understand very well that Rin or Vim or Surf or any other washing detergent will not wash your sins away. And no amount of suffering, or even remorse will take your sins away. And even if you paid a great penalty, or endured some great suffering to have your sins removed, that would NOT take them away.

No! Only one thing will take your sins; the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Transmigration

Now another question people ask. “What about transmigration? When our spirit leaves this world, does it return later on in another body?” No! The Scripture says:

“It is appointed for all men to die once, and after that to face judgment.”                                                        (Hebrews 9:27)

But somebody says, “Oh, but I have heard so many stories about people who can tell all about their former lives.”

This type of phenomenon is the activity of demons. The Bible speaks about “impersonating spirits.” They are lying spirits. They pretend to be the souls of certain people, and they will feed people with all types of false information. 

It is basically the same way that occultists, necromancers, fortune tellers, and the like, receive supernatural information.

No! When a person dies, his spirit does not come back as another person.

Sometimes we meet a demon-possessed person. And the demon will claim to be a departed soul. I was dealing with one such young woman in Hyderabad. She had two evil spirits in her; two different spirits. One claimed to be a male person, and the other one claimed to be a female. They tried to deceive us by telling where they were born and what they had done on the earth. We did not believe those spirits. They were tormenting demons, and had to be cast out.

This often happens. An evil spirit will tell you all types of things. It will say, “Oh, I remember what it was like in my lifetime. I remember going to such and such a place.” And the person will tell some details of a place he has never seen, then people will conclude that he must have lived on the earth in an earlier incarnation. This is the activity of demons.  Evil spirits know so many things, of course, because they were not created the other day. These spirits have been operating for thousands of years, and are masters of deception.

No! There is no teaching of transmigration in the Bible!

WHAT DETERMINES OUR DESTINY?

Since there is a heaven and a hell, our next question must be, Who are those who go to heaven, and who are those who go to hell? What makes the difference? The difference depends entirely upon our relationship to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. I make no apology for this statement. I am not preaching my own words, but the Word of God. It doesn’t make any difference what you think, or what I think! It is what the Word of God says that is final!

I want you to read a couple of Bible verses:

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe (trust in) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

“For the Father judges no one, but He has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son even as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him. I tell you the truth, he who hears My Word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:22-24)

Could anything be more clear? If you have the Son of God, you have eternal life. If you do not have the Son, you do not have life, but the wrath of God remains on you. If you have the Son of God, you will go to be with the Son of God. If you have His life in you, you will go to the place of life. If you do not have His life, you will go to the place of death.

The believer in Christ has a wonderful, guaranteed expectation; not “a vague hope,” but a very definite assurance. Look at what Paul says in Philippians 1:23:

“I am torn in two directions; I have the desire to depart and be with the Messiah, for that is very much better.”

Paul is saying, “I am longing to leave this world. I want to go home. I want to go, because that is much better. To be with the Master ... but,” he adds, “I realize it is necessary that I should stay here to help you.”

Paul, as a believer, was looking forward to being with the Heavenly Master. It was not because he was a great man that he had this assurance. It was because he had Y’shua as his Saviour. And anyone who has Y’shua the Messiah as Saviour, can have this same expectation.

But what about those who don’t belong to the Messiah? In Psalm 9:17, we read:

“The wicked will be turned into Sheol - into Hell - all the nations that forget God.”

It’s true!  “There’s a hell to be shunned and a heaven to be won.”

“But,” you say, “that may be right for the really wicked people - people like Adolph Hitler, and Dida Amin. But surely God wouldn’t cast good people into Hell, simply because they don’t believe in Christ.”

First, you must recognize that no one is good - no not one! We have all gone astray. We have all sinned against God. And even though some of us are “respectable sinners,” in God’s sight we are unclean, and utterly fall short of God’s righteousness. (Romans 3:10-18, 23)

And secondly, willful unbelief could be called the greatest sin, for it is an insult to God. It reveals a hardened heart that will not yield to the grace of God; it exposes the mind that is determined to go its own way. Revelation 21:27 says:

“But nothing that defiles or profanes, nor anyone who practices abominations and falsehood, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” 

Now let us look at verse 8 also:

“But as for the cowardly and unbelieving (those who won’t trust in, and take a stand with the Messiah); and as for the depraved, for murderers, immoral persons and sorcerers (workers of magic arts and occultic mind sciences); and as for idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur, which is the second death.”  (Revelation 21:8)

So the alternatives are clear; those who have the life of God, go to be with Him. Those who do not have His life, go to hell.

When does the Soul enter Heaven or Hell?

The question is; Does the soul go immediately to these places or does it wait until the resurrection?

Some people believe that the soul sleeps for some time. But that is not so. As Paul says, “to depart is to be with Christ.” By “depart” he does not mean to go to sleep for long time. No! When the believer dies, he goes to be with the Lord that very hour. Some of our loved ones may already be with the Lord. And some of our loved ones, we fear, may be in hell.

 

Testimonies  of  People  who  have had

  a  Glimpse  of  the  Beyond

There are people who are living today, who have had experiences of death. Two of my friends in Australia have told me a little of their experiences; of how they were counted as dead, and how, in their spirits they saw heaven. And then they came back to earth. I know of a man in Bhutan. He was Buddhist, but he became a Christian - a true believer. He died, and his spirit went to heaven, and then later he came back to life.

In Heaven, he was told to go back for a short time to witness. He did so, and after several days, he died again. That man said he saw a most glorious place, which could not be described in words. He didn’t want to come back to this world, but when he did, his life and witness during those several days was radiant. But he was keen to go again.

Quite a number of people have had near-death experiences. Recently, a book has been written by doctors who have been with people who have died, and who have been medically resuscitated. And some have told of their experiences when their souls are drawn away from the body.

Some of them have met the Lord. Some of them have heard a voice. One woman tells how she had her whole life recalled. Just like on a reel of film, she saw her life reviewed, and she could see all that she had ever done. Such experiences have occurred and are recorded.

That rich man in hell was begging Abraham to send somebody to warn his relatives. If only someone could go from death to life, then surely they would believe. Not necessarily so. A lot of these people who have died and have come back, have told their experiences, but the people who heard them, considered them mad! Even very close relatives would not believe what they reported. As Abraham said, even though they come from death, their relatives will not listen.

I believe if I took a man with me onto a platform, and he gave the testimony of his experience of death, many listeners would say, “it is all a big fake!”

God does not normally send people from death to warn souls. As Abraham said to the rich man. “They have Moses; they have the prophets, (the Scriptures) if they won’t believe them, then they won’t believe someone who has risen from the dead.”

And yet, God has permitted some people to witness the beyond, for various reasons, just as He has permitted some people to have visions in these last days; and just as He has even sent angels to warn of His near return, and just as He has spoken in some most unusual ways.

There can be different opinions, of course, as to when a person is really dead.  One definition of death is "the irreversible cessation of life functions," and thus, some will say that the people whose testimonies are given, did not really die. That may be so, from a clinical point of view. But when a heart stops, or when a physical crisis begins, so that death is pending, it could undoubtedly be called “the verge of death,” or the death process.

Some of the testimonies show that this death process is a transition. The soul is drawn away from the body that ceases to function. You could say, the soul leaves because the body it ceases to function.

The body that has a soul is living (even a baby in the womb is a living soul. If it did not have a soul, it would not be a living body either).

As the testimonies show, it is possible for the soul to return to the body, if the life function is restored - and that, of course, is possible only if God permits; for life is in His hands. And if He does not permit the soul to return, no amount of effort to resuscitate the life, will succeed.

Some may claim that the experiences of “returned souls” are merely dreams or nightmares which the people feel were real events, because they were told that they had been resuscitated.

Dreams and nightmares might be experienced by people who are not dead - people who may be in a coma, whose bodies are still living. But with people who have been pronounced dead, it is rather simplistic to say their experiences are merely dreams.

Dreams are based on former experiences stored in the subconscious mind. Dreams are usually incomplete, and details vague. But the after-death experiences of souls, as they all testify, are very clear, even though they cannot adequately describe them.

It is true also, that Satan is seeking to deceive today, for testimonies of people who are not believers have been published - and mostly they have all experienced a relief at leaving the body, and have not landed in hell as soon as their souls left the body.

Satan would use this type of testimony, to try to make out there is no hell. But there are testimonies of people, including one brother in India, an evangelist we know, who had actually experienced something of hell. One of our representatives in Australia saw souls in torment during his near-death experience.

The people who have given these testimonies have experienced in varying degrees, some more, some less, a foretaste of Eternity. Extracts from a much earlier record, of a soul who actually went to hell, is included also - “48 hours in hell.”

From various testimonies, it seems that the soul has to pass through a sphere, in which it is able to look back over the whole of his past life. And then the soul must cross “a river,” after which he is escorted to his destiny.

 

I  Met the Light

By Prashant Kumar, of Andhra Pradesh, India

Before I was saved, I lived a sinner’s life, drinking and gambling. I am from a Hindu background and I used to worship the Hindu gods and goddesses from 3.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. every day. But I didn’t see any God or any intercessor to God. One day I made up my mind that there is no God. If there are gods, they are only modern fathers. So like that I lived without peace and hope.

One day I happened to go to a church with some of my friends, and the pastor read from Matthew 11:1-8. He said that Jesus Christ is the only living God, and He has the power to change lives. At that time, I didn’t realize the Truth, and so neglected the pastor’s message.

One week later, I was suddenly attacked by acute appendicitis. My parents took me to the King George Hospital. By the time the doctors saw me, they said that I had no hope of surviving. “We can’t do anything; God only can save him from this dangerous condition.”

In this condition, I remembered what the Pastor said about Jesus Christ. Then I silently said, “Jesus, if You are really the living God, and if you can save people from death, save me now. The doctors say that I will die within a few minutes. If You are the real God, come and make me live and make me Your witness.” But my condition grew worse. The doctors decided to operate on me as a last alternative.

The operation theatre was filled with so many bright lights, and I was scared to death. While the operation was going on, I saw a Great Light standing beside me saying, “I am the living God, I am the living God!” But I was scared and depressed. I started scolding Jesus Christ. “Why can’t You save me from this death?” The Light continued to haunt me.

When the operation ended, the doctors declared me 100% dead. All my relatives started weeping. They took my dead body to the outpatient ward and began preparing for cremation.

But there was a miracle waiting for me. My dead body was lying there ready for cremation; and my spirit was watching it from above, with such a dreadful fear.  Then the Light came to me again.  I then argued with the Light.  I looked down on my dead body again, but the Light covered the whole area. I was in the mid-air, still thinking of Jesus and His power to bring the dead to life. Then the Light said to me, “Prashant, you are not dead. I will give you life, if you only believe on Me!”

I felt my dead body striving to come back to life. The Light continued  ... “Now you’re alive ... go and tell everybody that I am (Jesus) the only God, and that I am coming very soon ... go and prepare armies for Me, winning souls and getting them ready for My second coming!”

My dead body started shaking under the white cloth. Seeing this, my relatives ran away from me fearing that it was a ghost. The doctors came and tested my pulse and greatly wondered, finding me alive. The Mighty Physician brought me from death to life. I slowly regained my consciousness, and all my fears were gone. A new life force entered into me. My return to life was sensational news in the daily papers. Many Christian brothers came and prayed for me. Soon I was discharged from the hospital.

That day, my whole life was transformed by His miraculous power. I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour; I confessed my sins to Him, and received the joy of salvation in my heart. I praise the Lord for saving me, and using me as an instrument in His hands. I gave my testimony at many places and I trust this testimony will bring many to Christ.

The Lord put a burden in my heart to warn people of the coming wrath, and of their need to be saved. I told many that Christianity is not a religion like other religions. But it is the Way to Heaven, the only One Way through Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!

 

Two Angels Met Me

By Mrs. A. MacFarlane of Queensland, Australia

I was lying on a dentist’s couch waiting to have two teeth extracted. I had decided, on the advice of the Dentist, to have the anaesthetic, called commonly in those days, “Twilight Sleep.” The dentist and the anaesthetist were in attendance. I drifted peacefully off to sleep. Suddenly I realized I was being swept along through a long, dimly lit tunnel of what seemed to be very heavy mist, almost as thick as water.  I had a momentary sense of needing to fight against the rapidly flowing current but was unable to do so.

After a short period I could see a bright light and was swept to the shore. I still remained in the mist which was then just covering my body. Two beings were standing there and suddenly I was overcome with such ecstasy - I was drawn to them like a magnet and I could feel myself beginning to rise. The joy and rapture I experienced cannot be described. They had human form, dressed in white tunics with wide silvery-gold belts at the waist, long golden hair to their shoulders and the peace which emanated from them was beyond belief. All I desired was to be with them.

However, they put their hands to stop me, and one said, “You must go back.” My whole being was filled with such joy in their presence that all I desired was to be with them. “I cannot, I must be with you”, I replied, but I was told, “your time has not yet come - you must go back immediately. You have work to do.”

I felt myself being drawn away, and I awakened to find myself on the dentist’s couch with two very concerned men working on me. “Thank God - she’s alive,” I heard one say. I was still filled with rapture and floated in a sea of peace.

Gradually this world took over and after a couple of hours of rest I was told, “You had died; we worked on you but you did not respond and were giving up when you moved. You must be allergic to the anaesthetic.”

This has been proved since, as I have been found to be allergic to morphia, which is part of the “Twilight Sleep.”

All I could think of was my wonderful glimpse of our next part of Life, and I could not wait to tell my husband that to die was glorious.

When I regained consciousness I noticed that the dentist and his assistant were standing, one at my head and one at my left side. The Angels were at my right side. I had all my life been a churchgoer and a questioning Christian. I questioned no more - now I had proof that my Redeemer lived. Now I am a “Born Again” Christian.

The work I had to do as foretold by the angels was indeed true. Two years after my experience my husband died and I was left to rear four children - two teenagers and two under twelve, the youngest being six years old. Fourteen years later my elder son was left with a little girl, aged 1 year and 9 months due to a broken marriage and I took them into my care and have reared the child to the age of 17 years. They are still with me.

I have not told very many people of my experience, but some I have told, related similar experiences, either their own or someone known to them.  Not all have been completely identical, but have been basically the same.

Others say it was a dream, or induced by the anaesthetic, but it was no dream. I know what I saw, I know what I heard and I most certainly had work to do. I had been anaesthetised several times before, and once or twice since, without any dreams or visions.

I still see and remember everything in detail that happened to me on my “death” although it occurred thirty years ago, and I say, “Oh Death, where is thy sting? Oh Grave, where is thy Victory?” Hallelujah.

 

My Glimpse of the Glory land

By Mrs Winifred Frusher of West Australia

While I was awaiting the birth of my third child, I had been sent for x-rays, as the doctor was expecting complications. It was February and we were sweltering in a heat wave. At midnight a severe storm broke over the town, bringing hours of heavy rain.

At 1 a.m. I was rushed to the hospital, with severe haemorrhage; by 5-30 a.m. the doctor decided to transfer me to Narrogin, 30 miles away, as he hadn’t the staff to deal with a placenta birth. Part of the town was flooded, and it was still raining heavily, so it was decided that the police should drive the ambulance.

Arriving at Narrogin, the doctor asked if we had other children as he was sure there was no hope for the baby, but he said he would do all he could for me.

But my condition deteriorated. He asked for my permission to operate. Within half an hour I was in the theatre. In the meantime my husband had been trying to contact the hospital, but the phones were out, and all roads were closed.

My mother in Melbourne felt an urgent need for prayer on my behalf, so she knelt right down at the kitchen table. My elder brother, who had been away from the Lord for many years, felt the same need to pray. My husband and his mother, both in their own homes, had this same heavy burden for urgent prayer.

Weeks later, many told me that they too had felt compelled to pray for me, without being aware of any of the circumstances.

Meanwhile at the hospital a battle for two lives continued. Eventually I was returned to the private ward opposite the duty room. Although I was unconscious to the staff around my bed, I suddenly became very wide awake. I could see my surroundings clearly, and was fully aware of all that was happening. It was like watching a scene, yet I knew it was all happening to me. I saw myself leave the hospital bed, but my body remained behind. I floated gently up straight through the ceiling. I continued upward all the time, the sky was a beautiful blue. As I went higher, great white fluffy clouds appeared; they were all glistening around the edge with gold, as if the sun was shining behind them. It was so dazzling; it hurt my eyes, and I would have to shut them, but I would quickly open them again, in case it all disappeared.

As I kept floating higher, I could hear my voice saying, “Isn’t this wonderful, it is almost too beautiful.” I kept repeating this as I looked around, and I seemed to be reaching out toward this astonishing brightness.

It was a great mixture of dazzling blue, white and gold, glistening in an unbelievable way. Just as I was about to enter these clouds, I suddenly became aware of voices, and as I listened I realized it was my family calling me.

I glanced back over my shoulder and saw a huge picture frame, with my husband and two children in it; they had their hands out and were calling to me. For a brief moment I felt I didn’t want to come back, but from the time I glanced back, I gradually began floating down until I rejoined my body on the bed.

At that moment I opened my eyes. The doctor was smacking me and his head was almost touching my face. I glanced up and saw the sister changing the transfusion bottle, then I closed my eyes and went to sleep.

Next morning I heard the doctor and matron talking at the doorway of my room. Matron said, “You worked a long time on the baby.” The doctor replied, “3 times I nearly gave up.” Then the doctor approached my bed, and taking my hand, said, “You are a very lucky girl to still be with us. We nearly lost you and the baby.”

For about three months, that very exhilarating experience remained with me, and when I started walking again, I had the feeling of being suspended just above the ground.

How can one fear death after such an experience? And no one will ever convince me that we lie in the grave. I had a small glimpse of the Glory Land, and believe me, it was beyond all description. This happened 25 years ago, and today our daughter is a physiotherapist and we always look upon her as our miracle baby.

 

You cannot Enter!

By Mrs Kalyani Sahu of Orissa, India

In 1969, I suffered from a strange disease. So one morning I called the doctor of Khurda, Sri Ram Chandra Mishra, who was an expert in such diseases. I told my troubles to him. He prescribed two injections. One was Mythelgin, the other one Chromogin.

At about 12 noon he came to give me the injections. That day I was very happy and active so I took a good bath, then my mid-day meal.  Dr. Mishra told me, “Madam, I shall give the injections in intervals.” I asked, “Why? I am alright and quite strong, give the two injections one after another, because you have come from your clinic and it is too late for you.” Being an experienced doctor, most probably he was puzzled and God made him so. He gave the two strong injections one after another. I asked him to go home, and tried to sleep.

Just after he left my house, I felt awfully restless and it was as if life was going out of my body. I asked my daughter and peon to call the doctor from the hospital. My teachers came. I asked them to call the doctor within 5 minutes. A good doctor, who is my husband’s friend was in the operation theatre. He immediately left the patient to another doctor and ran to my house. Two doctors attended me; one was holding my pulse. I was conscious. A messenger went to bring different injections from the shop. Within two to three hours a number of injections were given. I saw the doctor’s face was pale. “I’ve failed,” he said slowly, “What shall I say to Mr. Sahu?”

A taxi was made ready. Oxygen was made ready to carry me to Cuttack. The doctor said my pulse was beating rapidly. I closed my eyes and lost my senses, not hearing the doctor’s word, being in pain. I cannot describe the scene and situation.

Suddenly I felt in that unconsciousness that my body became somewhat tight. I left the world and my body passed and crossed through some unknown atmosphere, which was not so very well lit. My body being very light, moved up and went very rapidly with head upward in a slanting position. The speed you cannot imagine and I cannot describe.

Then I found as if I was standing in a high place of heaven. I looked towards the way I had come and I thought the world was far away, at an unknown distance. After that I looked to my left; it was furiously black and it had no end. I could not look but stood on the highway silently like a culprit. I saw no one. I felt lonely and afraid.

On my right side, very near to me there was a beautiful wall full of glittering stones which stretched to such a distance as I could not imagine. I saw a beautiful house inside, which was not a worldly house. I was wondering where to go, and what to do?

Just at that time I heard a sound saying, “You cannot enter inside this beautiful place, go away again.” That’s all. I know not how I came back, but after some time, I found the doctor was standing by my side. He had given me an injection.

Really I was dead, but God gave me another chance.

 

I saw the Glory Land

By Harold Rowe, of West Australia

As a born again Christian, I was admitted to a hospital in the country for a surgical operation. The young anaesthetist doctor, I thought, behaved in a flippant, if not careless manner, while administering the injections. I had previously had the same operation on a different limb, by the same doctor and his assistant. But this particular time, the anaesthetist seemed in a great hurry to get me off, not giving the needles time to take effect. In my opinion, he administered too many injections.

But this was my experience. I rose up out of this body (which I saw as a dirty old overcoat). I soared up and up, something like a caged lark suddenly set free. It was far, far, too wonderful for words; there was no longer any pull of the flesh or of the world; just a glorious freedom that can never be experienced in this life and which words can never adequately express. It was truly ineffable. I rose up, till I reached the Glory Land. Its pearly brightness was beyond compare, and although it was so bright, yet I could open my eyes (spiritual) to the fullest and take in the unspeakable splendour of the many mansions in the Father’s House.

I saw no horizons there. I could see forever and forever; there are no bounds or limits to obscure the unspeakable glory and dazzling splendour of our Eternal Home. How I praise “Him” for that precious and most wonderful experience! And while viewing this grandeur, slight greyish intermittent rays came before the scene. It would slightly dim the scene (in rays), then all would become bright again.

This happened many times, and each time the greyish rays became heavier, until the whole magnificent splendour passed away, and I felt myself, grasping for breath in the ward as oxygen was being administered to me.

 

A Vision of Hell on The Deathbed

By P. V. DEVASIKHAMONY of Ujjain, India

One night in 1941, I reached home and without a word stretched out on a cot outside the house, and due to the depression of my heart, I forgot everything.

I do not know what happened but I became unconscious for a few days. During that period of unconsciousness I was in another world. Whether it was a dream, a vision, or the spiritual world, I know not. But I saw four evil beings standing at the corners of my cot; and at a distance a great fire burning in a great pit into which many human beings were being carried by some such evil beings. Those who fell into that fire were wailing and moaning ceaselessly as they were unable to come out of the fire.

There was continuous wailing and crying. Some tried to come out, but those evil forces on seeing them coming out pushed them back into the fire. To my surprise neither the fire went out nor the persons in it were consumed.

This scene terrified me and made me close my eyes with the idea of not seeing those evil spirits who were ready to carry me to the same place of torment. Since I did not feel their touch on my body, I opened my eyes to see their absence, but only to see myself surrounded by them. This continued until suddenly I became conscious and found that I was in a hospital.

During the stay in the hospital I learnt from my parents and others around me that I had been on the very verge of death and that I was admitted into the hospital in that unconscious state.

One day my temperature had risen to 105.5F and remained there steadily. This was the day the doctor discontinued his morning rounds since he found (me) the first patient in the ward, attacked with double pneumonia, at the point of death. The silent depressed return of the doctor, appeared to those attending me as sign of my end.

My father immediately rushed to the telegraph office and notified the situation by telegrams to my relatives who were at distant places and he returned to see my end. But in the evening a Hindu gentleman had come to see a patient in the same ward in the bed next to mine. This man saw my condition and told my father to take courage and pray to God, and that the Lord Jesus Christ who healed many during His earthly journey, is able to heal now as well.

These solemn words from a Hindu man fell into the ears of my father like sharp arrows, causing him to fall down to the ground and  cry  to  God  in  prayer.  The Lord answered it then and there in order to reveal His glory.

By midnight my temperature and pulse fell down to normal. I had been healed from my sickness. My mind became sound and the evil visions also disappeared. I could not see those evil spirits near me. The next day everyone found me in sound mind and restored.

I had been born in a Christian family and was brought up in a strict way. I was a regular attendant at all the church services, but I do not remember hearing at any time, preaching regarding sin, salvation, Hell, God’s grace, the preciousness of a soul in God’s sight, nor of His grace and way of salvation for mankind.

After some time I learnt that Gospel meetings had been arranged from 1st to 6th of July 1941. I attended these meetings and found them good and profitable.

On the fourth day, while the preacher, Mr. Silas Fox, gave the message, the Holy Spirit of God commenced to operate in my heart with His work of love and grace.

The preacher appeared to bring before me very clearly, the sinful state of my soul, the power of Satan over a sinner, and the sinner’s end in the Lake of Fire. He showed also God’s way of Salvation, God’s love towards the human race, the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ which alone solves the problem of sin, and saves sinners from the grip of Satan and Hell.

The scene of the Lake of Fire, the power of the evil spirits, which I saw during my unconscious state, came back to my memory. I became perplexed and afraid. There was no peace of mind. The fear of death and Hell haunted me; my thoughts troubled me, my knees smote one against the other; hairs all over my body stood on end, my clothes were drenched with sweat, and I found myself pressed with a heavy burden.

I realized that I was utterly helpless and groaned within, saying, “Who can help me and deliver me from the terror and judgment to come?”

While I was sobbing for help, I heard a voice appealing to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. The voice said:

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. (Acts 16:31).

The Blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses you from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

The sinless One became sin in order to save you from your sin.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

It is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment. (Hebrews  9:27)

Look to Me and be saved ... for I am God and there is none else. (Isaiah  45:22)  Come to Me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Come to Jesus for He saves you from your sins. (Matthew 1:21)

The door of Salvation is still open.  Do not delay! 

Do not wait for the morrow, because tomorrow may be too late!

The Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins on the Cross and shed His precious blood. He was wounded for your transgressions. He was bruised for your iniquities; the chastisement of your peace was upon Him. He was oppressed, He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. He was brought as a Lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so He did not open His mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment. He was cut off from the land of the living; for your transgression was He stricken, He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him on your behalf. The judgment of God fell on Him instead of you.

These very solemn words entered deep into my depressed heart and I cried, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner. Lord, save me from hell, save me from the Lake of Fire, save me from Satan’s mighty grip, save me from the wrath to come. Wash me and save me from my sins by Your precious blood.”

While I was confessing my sins in this manner in my heart, I heard the preacher pleading to the audience to accept Christ as their personal Saviour, openly confessing Him by raising their right hand. With shame, fear and reverence, I raised my right hand and accepted Christ as my personal Saviour.

Within fraction of a second a great change took place in my heart. I felt as if a great burden had been removed from my back. A new joy came into my heart.

Then I went home with great peace of mind. The next day I found no desire in me for those vanities in which I indulged previously. The desire to study the Word of God, increased. The Word of God, the Bible, became very precious to me, and I had the desire to have fellowship with believers.

 

My Life Came up for Review

By Miklos Banki of Hungary & Australia

I was born in Hungary in 1940. After I married, my wife and I decided to leave Hungary because of the lack of freedom. We escaped to Austria, and from there we came to Australia in 1974.

All we wanted was our own home. So we worked very hard to get all things we needed for a family life. After two years, I felt tired and nervous. So I smoked two packets of cigarettes a day. I got stomach ulcers many times. The permanent pain in the stomach made me more nervous, so I smoked more.

One Sunday, in August 1976, I came out of my workshop at home and said, “I have to lie down, I feel very tired and have a strong headache.” Then I became afraid. My vision became doubled. My sight was getting worse. Pins and needles in the left hand and left foot.

Next morning I stumbled to the doctor. She sent me to the hospital, by an ambulance. I was in the hospital for three weeks. They made some painful examinations on me and found that I had a nerve inflammation in the brain. So they pumped air through the spinal cord into the head between the skull and brain and took x-ray pictures.

Some days later I was given two big needles in the arteries of my neck, to check blood circulation of the brain. A young doctor gave me a narcotic to sleep. Immediately after, I heard a man’s voice: “But doctor ... I already gave him one ...” After that there was something like a drum in my ears: bang, bang, bang ... then silence.

A complete silence for a while, then I began to see pictures. I could see the earth getting more and more populated. It was the history of mankind. Pictures following fast one after the other, and as well, the sounds increased.

Suddenly I was sitting or standing high up in a tower built of steel and looking down at a world exhibition. I then heard a very clear, strong but very pleasant voice talking to me. I recognize many languages, but this was not a language of this earth. Probably it was the language of angels; but I understood everything.

The voice told me, “This is a milestone of the modern civilization. They call it the industrial revolution. From this time on the world will go on to a self-destruction. People are happy now to have the telegraph. But it is no reason for joy. Many evil things will come, terrible weapons. Man will make more and more filth around himself. Go and tell the people, if they continue their lifestyle, they will destroy themselves.”

After the pictures were ended, I found myself in a very large circular hall. In the middle of it; there stood a cone-shaped pillar or something like that, and on one side, was an opening, a likeness of a door, curved at the top. A magnificent light came out of there; a very strong but friendly warm light. Again I have heard the voice talking to me, but this time I didn’t get much of its meaning, but I did understand that I was being investigated and examined. From somewhere behind these things, I heard a warning that I should stop smoking, and should lead a right life.

By this time I recognized that I had no body; no legs to make steps, no hands, no ears, no eyes, no nose, nothing. How can I understand these things then? My body has gone. Or have I gone? Where am I?

Then suddenly I thought: This is a great opportunity to ask a question: “Where are we going? What is the great target, the goal we people of the little earth are striving to reach?” Then I heard the voice (but this time in English, I am very sure about it): “You cannot get the answer to your question now. Be satisfied with this. You are - and everyone is - a tiny part of a big something, like one brick of a wall. Go and tell your friends, they should stop smoking and drinking and beware of narcotic drugs and any kind of such dangers, otherwise they will kill themselves.”

Next I recognized that I was lying on a bed with moving wheels; and I heard many steps pattering nervously, hastily around my bed. I started to mumble: “Humans ... people of this earth ... mankind.” But I couldn’t speak. I had an oxygen mask on my mouth and nose. Then I heard the voices: “He’s back! It’s all right now ... very good ... it’s all over now! Everything is going to be all right.”

A voice of a young woman said in a friendly tone, “It’s all right, Mister Banki, we are going back to the ward. You are OK.”

Three days later a young lady came to me from a psychological Institute, to examine me. I told my experience to a nurse who told it to the Doctor. He muttered, “If this guy talks about the voice of an angel, he’s got to be crazy.”

The experience, however, has changed my life. I turned to God. I became a believer. I always try to follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. I stopped smoking, of course, and became a new man. No more ulcers, no more stomach ache. Now I always think, what a beautiful day it will be, when He returns!

 

Oh, The Extreme Contrast !

These testimonies of those who had a glimpse, emphasize the great contrast between Heaven and Hell. And their experiences give us all a warning - “prepare to meet your God.”

Now let us go back into the Bible for we get more details there than in people’s indescribable experiences. Not all the details that we would like to know are given; for one reason, we could not comprehend it all. But what is described in the Bible is conveyed in human language so that we can get some idea.

 

WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE?

Heaven is called a place. Y’shua the Messiah said:

“I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

This place is in "the Father’s House," which is a general term for Heaven. There is only one Way to that place. Y’shua said He will come again and take His people to that place. There are two means by which a believer may enter that place. One is through the door of death. The other is through the door of the Rapture - that is, the event in which the Master catches His people up without dying, in instantly-transformed bodies, into heaven. Either way, we come through Y’shua, Jesus, who is the Door to the Kingdom.  (John 10:9)

In Revelation 21, we read about the heavenly city, but we can appreciate the inability of the apostle John to find adequate words to describe the city. First of all, he saw the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God.

“Then in the Spirit he conveyed me away to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the Sh’khinah glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.”  (Revelation 21:10-11)

All he can say is that it’s like a most beautiful stone or jewel. In verse 15, he says that even the measuring sticks are made of gold! And in verse 18, the material of the wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold, like pure glass. Now you can be sure this is not ordinary earthly gold. This is something far greater, and something so beautiful, that it utterly dazzles the human eye.

I was interested to read in a newspaper, that King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, dedicated one huge door for the shrine in Mecca - a new door made of gold. It was meant, of course, to beautify that shrine. It costs more than three and a half million dollars. But that is nothing compared to the place that the Heavenly Master has prepared for His Bride. The Father’s House is made of a substance which you might call, “Glory Gold.”

Heaven is described as a Paradise; the Paradise of God. It is a place of joy, a place of rest. That Paradise is filled with the praises of God. We read there is no moon to shine upon it, nor any sun either. It doesn’t need either of these lights, because the Light of the Universe is the Centre of the city - the Lord Jesus Christ Himself - Y’shua the Messiah - in all His glory.  Not the despised Jesus, not just Jesus in a physical body, but the Heavenly Master in His glorified body - shining throughout heaven.  What is the sun compared with His glory?  It is like a star that vanishes when the daylight comes.

Y’shua is the very centre of Heaven!  And that’s why I want to go there. If you take Him from heaven, then it wouldn’t be heaven any more. If the Saviour wasn’t there, then I wouldn’t be so interested. I want to go where the Bridegroom is, and wherever He is, that’s heaven for me!

I’m like the Apostle Paul in this respect. I’m longing to go to be with my Lord and Saviour! It's because I love Him. He’s done so much for me! He died on the cross especially for me; and especially for you too! And He took all my sins away, and He’s making “something” of me, and He’s filling me with expectation to meet Him. And to miss heaven would be to miss the Master, and to miss Him is to miss everything.

In heaven, there's no night; there's no sorrow, and there's no crying. El Shaddai will wipe away our tears; and all the tragic things of the past will be erased from our memories. Our hearts will be taken up only with the Presence of the Master, Y’shua, Jesus, and our “time” will be taken up in doing His will.

And one other thing about heaven, of course, is that it’s eternal. It’s not a temporary place like this earth. It’s for real. It’s for ever.

Another question: “Where is heaven?”

Answer: Where Jesus is! And that is in the spiritual realm.

Some people imagine it is in outer space. Some people say there is a big empty space in the northern part of the sky. No! Heaven is far greater than the whole physical Universe. Heaven is a spiritual place.

When the Master comes and takes His people to the Father’s House, we won’t have to travel millions of miles. We just simply step out of this time into that ‘time’! From this sphere into that ‘sphere’! And just as quick as that! We won’t need a spaceship to take us to outer space. We go straight to the Father’s House, travelling at “the speed of spirit.” And that is not calculated in seconds or hours.

The spiritual realm, in one sense, is all around us, even though we do not see it with our physical eyes. In our present bodies, we are extremely limited; just like a blind man who lives in the world, but who cannot see a thing.

Another question people ask: “In Heaven, will we be only spirits? Or will we have bodies?”

We will definitely have bodies. At present, those who have gone to be with the Lord, are with Him in spirit. They don’t have bodies, but at the resurrection, they will receive their bodies. We read of this in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.  Paul says:

“Listen! I tell you a mystery, a secret truth; we will not all fall asleep,  (that is - die);  but we will all be changed, transformed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible and imperishable, and we, also, will be changed - transformed. For this corruptible, the perishable part of us, must put on incorruption, and this mortal part of us that is capable of dying, must put on immortality.”

When the Saviour comes, those who have died, will be raised in resurrection bodies. And believers who are still living will be changed. We also will have immortal bodies. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was a prototype of our resurrection, for He was raised from the dead. What kind of body did He have? Was it a ghost? No! He said, “Look! Feel My hands! Do I feel like a ghost?” No! The resurrected Master ate in the presence of His disciples. He had a real body; yet it was changed.

And then on the 40th day, they saw Him go up into the sky in that same body. He disappeared from their sight into the spiritual realm. So it will be with us, if we know the Lord. We will be changed. We will be caught up into the heavenly sphere, into the spiritual realm.

One more question. People ask me these questions. “In heaven will we recognize our loved friends? If our mother is there, will we recognize her?”

Of course, we will! That is, if we go there too! We are not going to become abstract or numbered people. We are not going to be a drop of water in a bucket. (We may be like a brick in a wall, as the angel told Miklos Banki - but each brick is an individual, and is very necessary to the whole.)

Yes, we will be able to recognize others, not only our saved loved ones. We will recognize all the other people. We will recognize Peter, without being introduced. We won’t need an angel to say, “Oh, that is Abraham over there! And that’s Isaac there!” We will know. We will have a spiritual perception. And we won’t have to look around to see who or where the Saviour is! He’s the very Centre!

Well that’s a little about heaven. Are you excited about going there? Oh, death has no fear for the Lord’s people, for heaven is prepared for us, and the Bridegroom is waiting to receive us to Himself.

 

WHAT IS HELL LIKE?

But let us now discuss the other place. This is a different story altogether. I don’t even like to think about it, but I must warn, because the Lord Jesus warns. Hell is a place of wickedness. It’s filled with wicked people. Some very wicked people, and some who are not quite so wicked, but nevertheless, all are wicked. These people have never had their sins forgiven. Hell is for all the unrepentant; for all those who have not been redeemed.

Hell is worse than any “hell” upon the earth. And true! Some people have been through “hell on the earth.” Maybe you have been through a “hell on the earth” - suffering, persecution, tragedy. Look at how the Jews suffered in Europe. Look at the hell that some of the Cambodian people have suffered. Look at the hell that some of the Tibetan people have suffered. Look at the hell some believers have endured in Communist torture cells. Yes, some people have really been through “hell on earth.” But that is nothing compared with the hell that millions suffer after death.

Let me tell you how the Bible describes it. There are many references. This subject of hell is not some obscure verse in the Bible. Hell is mentioned in many places.

It is a place of GREAT DARKNESS

Hell expels all light. It is a place of darkness forever.

“But the subjects of the kingdom will be cast outside, into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and grinding of teeth.”  (Matthew 8:12)

I think of hell as a kind of “black hole,” like the mysterious black holes that we now know exist in space. Black holes are described by scientists as ‘non-objects,’ and as ‘celestial vacuum-cleaners’ that suck in anything that comes across their paths. Anything that enters a black hole, even though it is a thousand times bigger than the earth, simply disappears into the bottomless “hole.”

The blackness of hell exists because all that is dark and evil has been expelled from the Light - from the Almighty. At the same time, hell absorbs no light. Hell, I imagine, began as a single speak of blackness - the pride in Lucifer’s heart, and that speck has been gathering dust ever since, until today, it is a hell of immense proportions.

“Hell has enlarged herself.” (Isaiah 5:14)

To live in hell would be to discover the vastness of that “black hole,” and that would not be an exciting experience. To view it from the kingdom of light, hell is a far distant black hole that is being continually expelled by its very nature, further and further away from the Light. The black hole is like a fiery comet that is propelled away from a planet into the vast reaches of the universe. Hell is like a wandering and burning star, “for whom the black darkness has been reserved for ever.” (Jude 13).  It burns continuously because of the “friction” generated by the intense “speed” of its expulsion from the Light. It flees for ever, but never reaches a destination.

It will be too late for any passenger on that fiery comet plunging into the bottomless black hole of “outer darkness,” to cry, “I want to go back.” And even if it were possible to get out of the black hole, the people who did so, unforgiven as they are, and being saturated with darkness, would be automatically expelled from the Light into some other black hole.

This is the solemn warning for “men who love darkness rather than light.” Their expulsion has already begun! And yet, while they still live on earth and have a mind to make a right decision, there is hope. They can be saved, and their love for darkness can be replaced with a love for Light, through the grace of God.

It is called a LAKE OF FIRE

Hell is a place where people wail. It is a place where there is much weeping. It is a place of torment. It is a place of everlasting burning.

“And cast out the worthless servant into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels ... And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:30,41,46)

Hell is a place where people curse God. It is a place of everlasting destruction.  A place where people have no rest at all; a place where they cry out for mercy, but where there is no mercy.  A place of everlasting punishment.  A place where they bite their tongues. It is a place where, they wish they could get a cup of water. But there is not even one drop of water to bring  a moment of relief.

“And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame’.”  (Luke 16:24)

“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin, and all who do evil, and will cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”   (Matthew 13:41-42)

It is a place of filthiness, filled with sorcerers, and every type of vile person. It is a place where people drink of the wrath of God; a place where the fire is not quenched; a place where the people don’t want their loved ones to come.

“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day and night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”                 (Revelation 14:9-11)

“And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fire of Gehenna - hell; where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED. [Isaiah 66:24].”             (Mark 9:47-48)

Reader, that is not my description; it is the description in the Bible. Oh, what a dreadful place!

If there is a reader who is inclined to imagine that Hell is a mediaeval imagination, then I plead with you to study the Bible, and see what it says. And if you can’t accept these words, then you are rudderless indeed; and you must drift on with vague hopes or philosophies.

And now you ask, “Why did God make a place like hell? Why does God allow anybody to go there if He is a loving God”?

First, hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.

“And angels who did not keep their appointed place, but abandoned their proper sphere, He has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day.” (Jude 6)

The Scriptures give no suggestion that Satan and demons could ever be saved.

Secondly, the justice of God, demands a hell.

God is the holy God. How can He let wickedness come into heaven? If you allow one wicked person to enter heaven, that person will make heaven a wicked place, too. Even your own conscience tells you that wickedness must be dealt with. There must be a recompense.

Just think of people who have done extremely wicked things - like Adolph Hitler. Do you think, after all that he did, he should go to heaven? Or, after he had murdered at least 6,500,000 Jews, should he simply go to sleep and forget everything forever? Should he not pay for his atrocities? I’m sure you will agree: God must punish the wicked!

You can be sure that if Adolph Hitler had repented, God would have saved him, for Jesus died for Adolph Hitler also. But as far as we know, he never did repent. After causing the death of 54,000,000 people throughout the world. He ended up killing himself. Now will you tell me that Hitler should not go to hell?

Or you might decide to appoint yourself as a judge and say, “Well, I think Hitler should go to hell - but only for about 54 thousand years.”

My friend, hell is not counted in years! So what are you going to suggest next? You’re not going to say that God is unjust, are you? No! God must punish the wicked, even though He has no delight that sinners perish. Rather He wants to save sinners. Even Adolph Hitler. God wanted to save him, but that man would not repent. And in Hell he still does not repent, even though he is full of remorse.

You know the Lord Jesus Christ came to die on the cross of Calvary, to save us; to save us from our sins, and from hell. But oh, how many people are like Adolph Hitler! They will not repent. Some of my readers may be like that. Oh God forbid! Even though they hear the Word of God, they will not repent! They may not be as wicked as Adolph Hitler, but they must repent. They must turn to the Lord for Salvation; otherwise, they will suffer along with Adolph Hitler. I’m sure you don’t want to share his eternity. But unless you repent, and come to the Cross of Christ, and get saved, my reader, you will be there.

Will the unbelievers in hell be conscious?  Yes, definitely!  It would not be so horrific if people were eternally unconscious. But that rich man we read about, was very conscious in hell

Will the body go to hell? Yes, the body will be raised, and will be cast into hell. The Lord said to fear the One who is able to cast both the soul and body into hell.  (Matthew 5:29)

When will the resurrection of the unbelievers take place? After the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. This is, at the end of the world. There will be a resurrection of the wicked who have died. And they will stand before God. We read about it in the Book of Revelation, chapter 20. This is the resurrection of unbelievers who must stand before the Great White Throne Judgment.

“I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His Presence, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne of God, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of life; and the dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) gave up the dead that were in them; and each person was judged according to his works. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:11-15)

At that time the unsaved will receive their bodies, so that their bodies, souls and spirits are cast into the lake of fire. This is the final place for all whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

Some people ask, “Won’t the Lake of Fire come to an end?” No, the Lake of Fire will not come to an end.  Revelation 14:11 says:

“And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day and night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”

There is no end to the Lake of Fire. In fact, there can’t be an end, because there is no time in eternity. There is a constant, ever-present continuous state.

But you say, “Won’t God give them a second chance?” I have already quoted the Scripture in Hebrews 9:27:

“It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that comes the Judgment.”

And yet some of you think you are going to get a second chance. Some people want to play with fire, and not get burnt. No, there is no second chance! If you reject the Saviour, there is no hope for you, but the wrath of God abides on you. There is no second chance!

How to be Sure of YOur Destiny?

“How can we be sure whether we are going to heaven or if we are going to hell?” This is a most important question, isn’t it?

Some say, “If we pray for our departed loved ones, that will get them to heaven.” No!  It’s no use praying for the dead. Pray for the living. And pray for yourself. But it is too late to pray for the dead.

“But what if we give much money to the church,” some insist, “the church can pray for the dead?” That’s a waste of money. Not even a church can pray for dead people. Don’t depend on your own efforts, or the efforts of others.

Y'shua, Jesus gives four strong statements - four conditions - for you to be saved. If you want to go to heaven, and if you want to escape hell, then listen to these four verses very seriously.

1. Matthew 18:3. The Lord Jesus says here,

“Unless you TURN AROUND - repent - and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The Master says, we must turn around - leave our hell-bent way. This means changing direction - not an outward change of religion, but a change of heart and mind towards God. When you turn to Him, you will find the Saviour who is waiting to turn your life around.

Some people want to go to heaven just as they are. They want to go to heaven in all their filthy rags. And they want to take all their sin with them to heaven. That is not possible!

2. In Luke 13:3, the Master says,

“Unless you REPENT, you will all likewise perish.”

This is the first thing. We must all repent. We must turn to the Saviour who will change our lives. Can’t you see that your sin is like a millstone hanging around your neck?  And that stone will pull you down to the Lake of Fire. Your sin will take you to hell, UNLESS you repent and get saved!

“God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

(Acts 17:30-31)

3. John 3:3.  The Master here says:

“I tell you the truth; unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

You must be born again. This is the miracle that takes place in our lives when we believe in the Saviour. We cannot make ourselves "born again," but we must come in simple faith, bow before the Lord Jesus, and believe and trust in Him to be our Saviour. He will come into our lives, and will put His life in us. A miracle will take place. We will then be in Him. We will be born again; born into His family; born into the Kingdom of God.

4. John 8:24. Jesus said:

“If you do not BELIEVE that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

It is essential to believe that Jesus is God's Son, the Messiah.   This is not merely to believe about Him, but to put our faith in Him. Why?  Because He is the Saviour.  He is the One who died on the cross for you. He paid the penalty for your sin. He is the Mediator, the One who brings you to God. He’s the only Saviour; and apart from Him, there is no entrance into heaven!

So to be saved we must, turn around, believe, repent and be born again. These are the four musts the Master insists on. However, we cannot change ourselves!  We need the Saviour to do a miracle in us.  And He will!  He will give us His life and power; He will make us new creatures if we ask Him.

My reader, why don’t you receive Y’shua as your Saviour and Master today? Simply believe in Him and trust Him.  He will change your life completely?

The Master has not demanded that you make a great pilgrimage. He has not demanded that you read the Bible through 50 times. He asks you to simply believe His words. Jesus is calling you, and says, “Come unto Me! All you who labour, all you who are heavy laden. Come to Me, and I will give you rest. I will give you salvation. I will take your sin away. I will make you a new creature. I will put My Spirit within you, and I will write your name on the roll in heaven, and will receive you into glory. Come!”

If you are not yet saved, but want to receive the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, come to Him in simple faith. Read these Bible promises of God. Receive them and claim them as your own.

“For YHWH, the Almighty God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten (His eternal, unique) Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him, should not perish, but have eternal (everlasting) life.”  (John 3:16)

“That if you confess with your mouth Y’shua as MASTER and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”  (Romans 10:9-10)

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) 

The following prayer may help you to express your thoughts as you call upon the Saviour. Pray very sincerely from your heart. The Heavenly Father will hear and will answer you.

   MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I confess that I am a sinner and deserve Your wrath. I have wilfully gone my own way, and I know that my unbelief itself will take me to Hell. But I come to You, just as I am, Father, and call upon You, to save me today; for Your Word says whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.

Forgive all my sins, Father. I do believe that Y’shua, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the Saviour, and that He died for me on the cross at Calvary. And I now receive Him as my Master and Saviour.

Y’shua, Saviour, please come into my heart right now! I trust in You and I give my life to You. And Master, I want to be with You forever in the Father’s House. By Your grace, Master, I turn away from my sin. Make me what I should be. Do a miracle in me, and put Your Holy Spirit within me today. Grant me Your assurance, and the joy of salvation. Thank You, Father. Amen.

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If this is your decision prayer today dear reader, will you write and tell us so that we may pray for your spiritual growth?  Write to your nearest MRC contact address.

And may the Heavenly Father bless and keep you.

 

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