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Near Death Experiences Valid?

Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby RND » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:58 am

Jason wrote:RND, thank you for such a thoughtful response. I'm not sure we can parse the words of Paul more than we already have so we'll just agree that the other is wrong. :lol: I agree with your exegesis of Luke 16 so perhaps we're talking past one another on that one.

I'm curous about a couple things with the view you present. Is it your opinion that when a Christian dies, their next thought (after death) is resurrection? As in, I die today and in my mind I've been immediately resurrected from the dead? This would be akin to "going under" for surgery and waking up, thinking only a second had passed.


Yes, this is exactly what I believe. It is akin to sleeping such a restful sleep (these get harder as one grows older) where you go to bed one night and your next thought is, "it's morning." We've all and a night like this.

Or is it your view that a Christian dies and then goes into an actual sleep state wherein the mind is active? I ask this because you mentioned in a previous post that you believe the brain is active for up to 30 minutes after death and that view would interfere with the analogy of surgery, where one feels no time has passed and the brain was totally "out."


No. I believe that once all electrical activity in the body has been finished we die.

Steve mentioned that the analogy of sleep is used in scripture, not because it describes a person in dreamland, but because it's a temporary state... just like death. In other words, one sleeps and they later wake up. But people who sleep are not unconciouss since their mind is very active during REM. I think one can press the sleep metaphor too far.


I see what you're saying here but keep in mind that we've all had nights (oh, for those days again) where we simply slept the night away and have no memory of dreams, consciousness, etc. We simply sleep.

Now, in my mind, death is much different. I think the scriptures are very clear that when one goes to the "pit" (Sheol, grave) their very thoughts cease. No brain activity, they simply "await their change."

Also, I'm not sure you're fully answered TK's question. I don't see how a hallucination could cause a person to see things on the roof of the building they are in (or what's happening at someone's house) at the moment they are physically dead. This is, in my opinion, the strongest case for NDEs. Depriving the brain of oxygen might account for someone seeing a white light but not having vivid conversations with Jesus. What sayeth ye?


No matter what the circumstance surrounding the NDE electrical activity could possibly account for the seemingly similar accounts that people have regarding their NDE. One thing we don't have is any type of historical data regarding these things. For example, did people that experienced NDE in the 1800's or 1600's, etc., see Jesus and a "white light" or something different? Is what is viewed during a NDE culturally influenced? Are we seeing more NDE's as Satan ramps up his spiritual attacks against Christians such as he has done in Hollywood and Television with the proliferation of "spiritual" shows and movies such as the "Ghost Whisperer," "The Medium," "The Sixth Sense," or some of the other shows that deal in "paranormal activity"?

Here's a quote from one of my favorite Christian authors regarding the increase in "spiritualism." The following was written in the 1870's.

"Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. {GC 588.1}

As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power. {GC 588.2}

The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium. {GC 588.3}

Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God. {GC 589.1}

Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would--He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them. {GC 589.2}

While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away," "the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:4, 5. {GC 589.3}
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Jason » Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:49 pm

RND, thank you for those quotes but I'd prefer not to get into eschatology in this particular thread. There's a sub-forum where we can discuss those things in great detail but I want to pick up on the theme of grasping after spiritualism because it's relevant to the topic. There was a time I was so set against "spitiualism" that I even glossed over many NT scriptures. We have to admit there were some very, very strange things going on in the Bible at times and if such things materialized today we might chalk them up as pagan spiritualism or some sign of the end times.

When Jesus died and tombs broke open and people who were formerly dead started walking around the city, which sounds pretty bizarre. Paul frequently had visions and was caught up to paradise in a case where he didn't know if he was even in his body or outside of it. A married couple dropped dead instantly because they lied about withholding money. Paul was visited by an angel while lost at sea. The sons of a priest were physically abused by demons who had been mocking them. Harod died because he took credit for a great speech and was eaten with worms.

In other words, the Bible records some very bizzarre scenerios that we both believe to be true. If you've read up on missionaries around the world you'll hear equally strange things happening. We can't pretend the spiritual world is as sterile as some make it out to be. It just so happens that very odd things happen and I wouldn't lump all NDEs into the category you've metnioned, though most are probably of that sort.
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby RND » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:01 pm

Jason, I think we can reasonably use our own Biblical knowledge to discern what is truth and what is not. However, regarding NDE's you do make an excellent point....we don't want to lump everything together.

I find in fascinating that Satan in grasping at anything and everything using every trick in his arsenal to deceive the whole world, including the elect if that were possible. Think of all the blame God got after Katrina or the Indonesian earthquake/tsunami when we know for a fact that it was the work of Satan. Even people that are supposedly preachers of the word were blaming God.

I think in this day and age it is imperative we have our discernment sharpened by the word of God on constant alert.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Paidion » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:46 pm

RND, you mentioned the fact that the brain may have some undetectable electrical things happening for up to 30 minutes after "death." Even assuming that this is true, and indeed it may be, this doesnt explain how some people who have NDEs are able to see things in their surroundings (like on top of the building or on top of cabinents in their room) that they talk about later and are proven correct. Thes people say they leave their physical body and sometimes actually see their body on the bed or operating table from above.


I'm going to go way out on the limb of wild speculation! Possible when a person is near death, demons produce these visions of actual objects in the room (including those far up, even on the roof) in order to deceive people into believing that people have actually died, and their "souls" or "spirits" are able to see these things. Does a "soul" or "spirit" have eyes? How can they see physical objects?
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Michelle » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:14 pm

Paidion wrote:
RND, you mentioned the fact that the brain may have some undetectable electrical things happening for up to 30 minutes after "death." Even assuming that this is true, and indeed it may be, this doesnt explain how some people who have NDEs are able to see things in their surroundings (like on top of the building or on top of cabinents in their room) that they talk about later and are proven correct. Thes people say they leave their physical body and sometimes actually see their body on the bed or operating table from above.


I'm going to go way out on the limb of wild speculation! Possible when a person is near death, demons produce these visions of actual objects in the room (including those far up, even on the roof) in order to deceive people into believing that people have actually died, and their "souls" or "spirits" are able to see these things. Does a "soul" or "spirit" have eyes? How can they see physical objects?

How odd ... I was thinking about this just this morning. God is spirit, right? How can He see us?
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Paidion » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:00 pm

Michelle wrote:How odd ... I was thinking about this just this morning. God is spirit, right? How can He see us?


Well, He should be able to see better than we; He has SEVEN EYES! :lol:

Zechariah 4:10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.”
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Michelle » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:36 pm

Paidion wrote:
Michelle wrote:How odd ... I was thinking about this just this morning. God is spirit, right? How can He see us?


Well, He should be able to see better than we; He has SEVEN EYES! :lol:

Zechariah 4:10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.”

Things must look VERY different through seven eyes...
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby Singalphile » Sat May 13, 2017 10:57 pm

I'm about half-way through a book about "death experiences", as the author calls them.

I don't see how I could conclude anything from them. We evidently don't really know how the brain works, so I don't see how I could form much of a conclusion from some traumatic, rare experiences that some people had when their brain or heart stopped for a time and lived to tell about it. It seems like these experiences could just be some sort of brain-dump that can occur in the millisecond before or after the brain shuts down.

Yes, I've also heard of a few cases where the person allegedly knows things that he or she couldn't know (there was a shoe on the roof, my wife and daughter were here crying, that nurse put my watch in that drawer, somebody was playing such-and-such song), but ... shrug, if true, those could just be coincidences or some unknown sense perceptions for all I know.

The experiences themselves don't seem to have much in common and are surreal, pretty much like dreams, which is what I would call them, at least for now.

I don't have any interest in the debate about "soul-sleep" (or whatever you call it). I generally assume that Christians will live on consciously with God somehow before the resurrection, but I don't know or care if that's correct.

So that's my two cents.
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby MMathis » Sat May 20, 2017 12:07 am

As a former SDA I can say I never heard the term Soul sleep. They have a tract that says "The dead know nothing" that might have that term. Either way, it matters not because when we awake it will seem instant.

It seems to matter a great deal to people who want to think granny is looking down on those of us still alive.

The discussion always seems to hinge on that point. If SDA lose that point in a debate, their whole belief system becomes suspect. So it is a big issue to them.
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Re: Near Death Experiences Valid?

Postby TK » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:40 pm

If "soul sleep" is true I am not sure how to account for this passage:

Mark 12:26-27 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”
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