blinkstar.gif (494 bytes) They are not of the devil

The following are rebuttals against the arguments of a well-known Christian seminary professor and critic of the NDE. In his book, the professor discounts all NDEs not conforming to his narrow interpretation of the Bible as being the work of the devil.

Argument:

  Who is the being of light reported in NDEs?

Rebuttal:

  There are many beings of light appearing in NDEs. The Bible declares God is light (1 John 1:5). People in the higher spirit realms emanate this light that is God. The being of light can be literally anyone: Jesus, Buddha, the Hindu god of death, an angel, or even a deceased loved one for example. It usually depends on the personís religious bias and cultural background. NDE reveals Godís light is manifested within many beings in the spirit realm.

Argument: 

It has been claimed by people that the being of light is Jesus Christ. This seems to be wrong because this being says and does things contrary to the Jesus in the Bible. Since Jesus never changes (Heb. 13:8), it would be impossible for these to be the same Jesus. I believe many of the people having NDEs encounter a counterfeit Jesus.

Rebuttal: 

The being of light in the NDE cannot be counterfeit because this being passes the test given by Jesus. It is the test to determine whether the spirit is of God or not.

"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God..." (1 John 4:1)

Jesus Himself gives us the test. According to the gospels, Jesus was accused by the religious leaders of performing His miracles by the power of Satan. This is the same accusation the professor brings against the being of light in the NDE. This accusation is made even though both Jesus and the being of light bears incredible love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Jesusí reply to this accusation is:

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you ... Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit." (Matt. 12:24-37)

Anyone familiar with the NDE knows the "Being of Light" gives an astonishing amount of goodness, holiness, love, joy, peace and such. Jesus made it very clear that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, nor a good tree bear bad fruit.

Some critics use the Bible verse below to discredit the "Being of Light."

"... Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14)

Notice the verse states Satan can only "masquerade" as an angel of light. The verse does not say he actually is an angel of light. It only refers to Satanís ability to deceive people into believing he is an angel of light. But, we cannot be deceived if we use the test given by Jesus. Using this test we can ask: Is there good fruit involved with the being of light? If so, then it must be of God. Is there not good fruit involved? If not, then the being of light must be of Satan. It is obvious to anyone who is familiar with the being of light that the test actually confirms the being of light to be of God. In my NDE research, an experience of astonishing love from the being of light or the NDE in general, is the most common characteristic appearing in 50 NDEs. Since God is light, there is no light in darkness. Neither is there darkness in light. Satan is no angel of light. The being of light has a tremendous amount of light. Light can only come only from God. Satan is neither an angel of light nor an angel of love.

There are very serious consequences of attributing things of God to Satan. When Jesus was accused of performing miracles by the power of Satan and before he gave the test, he said,

"And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matt. 12:31-32)

Jesus makes very clear the grave consequences of attributing to Satan the works of the Holy Spirit. Like the professor, many critics are quick to declare the being of light in the NDE to be of Satan, not realizing they may be dangerously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit, something Jesus said cannot be forgiven.

The idea that the being of light in NDEs is sinister or "of the devil", ignores common sense. Dr. Raymond Moody is considered the father of the NDE and he responded to this kind of criticism in his latest book, The Last Laugh.

"Fervent critics see nothing amiss in preaching to Aunt Florene, bereft and kindly and fragile though she may be, that it was not really the spirit of Uncle Hamperd who visited her last week to comfort her and to tell her where he put those important papers. No, it was actually a malignant demon disguised as uncle Hamperd, there to lure her into Hell, so she had better go home and read the Bible."

"The doctrine that the Devil can disguise himself as Christ must be particularly troubling to fundamentalist authorities as they consider the possibilities of pediatric near-death experiences. Does God permit Satan to fool dying kids by masquerading as Jesus? Or is God powerless to prevent that kind of Satanic deception? If so, common decency dictates that funda-Christian NDExperts urgently prepare clear, precise instructions that will enable desperately ill, dying pre-schoolers to distinguish a Satanophanic Jesus from the real, true funda-Christian one. And would God allow the Devil to sneak up on a dying toddler by appearing as Santa Claus or Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or the Easter Bunny?" 

To demonstrate how foolish the professorís arguments are, here is a direct quote from professorís own book on how the being of light is a counterfeit Jesus:

"Even if the loving, brilliantly illuminated being you meet during a near-death experience introduces Himself as Jesus, and looks just like Him from the paintings, don't believe him for a minute! You've got to put Him to the professor's ideological test first. Jesus has to pass the professor's Bible exam, before He can even be Him!" 

Such statements are completely absurd. The professor errs because he limits Jesus to his own narrow interpretation of the Bible. Any NDE bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, thereby passing Christís test, must not be said to be "of the devil." It would be blasphemous to do so. Perhaps this explains why the NDE described in 2 Cor. 12:2-4 states these are inexpressible things which people were not permitted to talk about in those days. These matters may have simply been too high for first century Christians to understand Ė and some twentieth century professors. We must test the spirit of the NDE - not using the test of the professor, but rather the test from Jesus. In doing so, you will find the NDE to bear much fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Argument: 

The being of light of the NDE teaches such things death is good and is not to be feared.

Rebuttal: 

This is not true. The NDE shows that if a person is not prepared for death, their experience after death is not very good and should be greatly feared. A case in point is Howard Storm and his NDE. Howard lived the life of an atheist and treated people very badly. He was not prepared for death when he died because he ends up in hell when he does. The result of death is that some people go to hell. Hellish NDE make up a large number of reported NDEs. It is false to claim the being of light teaches death to be good and should not be feared. In fact, the NDE proves otherwise.

Argument:

  The being of light of the NDE teaches sin is not a problem. In fact, the being of light often responds to human sin and shortcomings with humor.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. The NDE shows that if a person lives a sinful life, their experience will be a big problem for them after death. The fact is, Jesus appears in NDEs to be very sad about the sin of humanity. Dr. George Ritchie and his NDE is a case in point. During his NDE, Dr. Ritchie notices how sad Jesus is for those in hell. To say otherwise is to display ignorance about NDEs.

Argument:

  The being of light of the NDE teaches there is no hell to worry about.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. Dr. George Ritchie's NDE and Howard Storm's NDE are perfect examples of the reality of hell.

Argument

:  The being of light of the NDE teaches all people are welcome to heaven, regardless of whether or not they are a Christian.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. The NDE shows that some people go to hell. Although it is Godís will for everyone to go to heaven (1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9) many people do not. The NDE also shows that faith in Christ alone does not guarantee anyone a ticket to heaven. This is supported by scripture also:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)

Argument: 

The being of light of the NDE teaches all religions are valid.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. The NDE shows a personís religious beliefs (or lack thereof) can make the difference in determining how close to God and therefore whether they have a "heavenly" NDE or a "hellish" NDE. For example, after Howard Storm was rescued from hell by Jesus during his NDE, he had this exchange with Jesus:

"I asked them, for example, which was the best religion. I was looking for an answer which was like: "Presbyterians." I figured these guys were all Christians. The answer I got was: "The best religion is the religion that brings you closest to God."" 

This information shows the goal of religion is to bring a person closer to God. It is also implied that some religions bring you closer to God than others. Although a personís religious beliefs (or lack thereof) can influence the quality of their afterlife experience, a personís religious affilitation or church membership itself does not seem to matter much to Jesus. After all, if religion really mattered, wouldnít everyone in heaven be Jewish? Jesus did not come preaching some new religion. Jesus preached love. The NDE reveals it is love, not religion, that creates spiritual growth and saves us from a hell of our own making. It is clear from the gospel accounts alone, that Jesus is not concerned about a personís religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed Him the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (Matt. 21:31). It is clear from the NDE, the Bible and common sense that religion is a cultural institution. Love, however, is universal and not limited to a particular culture. According to the Sermon on the Mount, love is the greatest "religion" there is. Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about. However, not everyone practices this "religion" of love.

Argument:

  In view of the fact that these ideas go against what the Jesus of the Bible taught, we have reason to conclude that the Jesus of the NDE is in fact a lying spirit.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. The Jesus of the NDE does not go against what the Bible teaches. They may go against the professorís narrow interpretation of what Jesus said, but they do not go against what Jesus said. The professor has not tested the spirits properly. He is making the same mistake of the Pharisees by testing the spirits using your own narrow interpretation of scripture. The correct test is to judge by their fruit. If no fruit of the Holy Spirit is present, then it is safe to assume it is not of God. Jesus bore much fruit of the Holy Spirit yet was condemned by the religious leaders because He did not fit into their interpretation of scripture. Had they properly tested the spirits and judged Jesus on the basis of His fruit, He probably would not have been crucified. In the same way, if the professor would test the Jesus of the NDE based on His fruit, he would not be accusing Him of being a lying spirit.

Argument: 

The Jesus of the NDE is happy to mimic Jesus if the end result is that he can lead people away from the true Jesus of the Bible.

Rebuttal:

  The Jesus of the NDE bears fruit of the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus of the Bible had this to say about testing the spirits:

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit." (Matt. 12:24-37)

"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit." (Matt. 7:18)

Even the professor must admit the Jesus of the NDE does bear the fruit of love. But since the professor is testing the spirits using his own narrow interpretation of scripture and not testing by the fruit, it is HE who is leading people astray.

Argument:

  Many people who have had NDEs come away from the experience with a lesser view of the Bible. One person even concluded "the Lord isn't interested in theology," and another said that God "didn't care about church doctrine at all." The Jesus of the Bible, however, is certainly interested in correct doctrine.

Rebuttal:

  Such generalities about NDErs having a lesser view of the Bible is completely bogus. Common sense tells one that generalities such as this cannot be true. One cannot make a correlation between having an NDE and having a lower view of the Bible. Notice the professor does not cite the NDEs that lead him to this conclusion. Nevertheless, the person the professor mentions who concluded "the Lord isnít interested in theology" is Howard Storm. It is a true statement to say that God is not interested in theology. Here is the complete account of what Howard Storm said:

"I asked, for example, "What about the Bible?" They responded: "What about it?" I asked if it was true, and they said it was. Asking them why it was that when I tried to read it, all I saw were contradictions, they took me back to my lifeís review again Ė something that I had overlooked. They showed me, for the few times I had opened the Bible, that I had read it with the idea of finding contradictions and problems. I was trying to prove to myself that it wasnít worth reading. I observed to them that the Bible wasnít clear to me. It didnít make sense. They told me that it contained spiritual truth, and that I had to read it spiritually in order to understand it. It should be read prayerfully. My friends informed me that it was not like other books. They also told me, and I later found out this was true, that when you read it prayerfully, it talks to you. It reveals itself to you. And you donít have to work at it anymore ... [at the end of his experience, Howard Storm says:] I try not to impose my Christianity on other people. If people have God-like characteristics, a feeling of compassion and living that out, then its ok. I respond more to behavior than philosophy. God really doesn't care a fig about theology." 

If one reads Howard Stormís and Dr. George Ritchieís NDEs, one will see why God does not care about theology or "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin." Nevertheless, the NDE does reveal a great concern for the commands of God. Love is the command of God (Rom. 13:10, John 15:12)  However, concerning theology, rules taught by men, it is clear that Christ Himself doesnít care about it:

"You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ĎThese people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" (Matt. 15:7-9)

"They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." (Mark 7:7-13)

Paul has this to say about rules taught by men:

"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Col. 2:20-23)

Argument:

  The Jesus of the Bible is certainly interested in correct doctrine. John 8:31-32 support this.

"To the Jews who had believed in Him, Jesus said, ĎIf you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)

Rebuttal:

  The teachings of Christ is not theology. Jesus taught unconditional love, not theology. Jesus taught that love is the sign of a true disciple of Christ:

"All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." (John 13:35)

Jesus did not say "all men will know that you are my disciples if you hold the teachings of the Church" or "hold the teachings of the Bible" or "hold the teachings of Christian theology" or even "hold the teachings of the Christian religion". It is clear Jesus taught love as the way to eternal life (Luke 10:25-28), not theology.

Many critics are completely ignorant about the NDE. Many refuse to find out for themselves and test the spirits for themselves. Instead, ignorant things are said about the NDE because it is not judged by its fruit.

Argument: 

Other people affiliated with non-Christian religions claim the being of light to be Buddha, or Krishna, or some other religious figure. Certainly this should raise "red flags" in a Christianís mind.

Rebuttal:

  The only thing this proves is that there are many beings of light appearing in NDEs. God is light. Many beings can manifest this light regardless of their religious affiliation or church membership. Jesus Himself had this to say about beings of light:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:14-16)

The professor sounds as if he is either a religious bigot or religiously intolerant. Jesus certainly taught religious tolerance. Jesus was a Jew who was killed by religiously intolerant people.

Argument:

  The Jesus of the NDE is Satan trying to keep people away from the Jesus of the Bible.

Rebuttal:

  This is not true. The professor seeks to keep people away from the Jesus of the NDE. Jesusí gospel of unconditional love was too dangerous for the political structure of the religious establishment in His day. Jesusí message of unconditional love found in NDEs is too dangerous for the political structure of todayís religious establishment. Ignorance prevented the religious establishment from accepting the message of Christ then; ignorance is preventing the religious establishment in general from accepting the message of Christ in NDEs now.

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