This is another question asked by CJ Sledgehammer, that I wanted to answer with an article, since a comment would have been too long.
"Do you believe that the Bible supports the notion that some people are given a glimpse of the afterlife as they near death or just recently died, before being sent back to their bodies? Are their any philosophical or doctrinal problems associated with this belief? Please support your answers either way."
First of all I will start defining the following concepts:
- The Bible is the Holy Scripture (revealed word of God written), for us to know God's message; inspired to over 40 authors. II Peter 1:20 says: "knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Hebrews 4:12 says:"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
- Life is defined in: Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul."
- Death defined in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave gave it." Ezequiel 18: 4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.”
Every experience is unique
The greatness of being created by the image of our Lord and Savior Jehovah is that we are all unique. We all have different experiences.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit our island of Puerto Rico. I was seven month pregnant. The emotions of the experience made my daughter in my womb have the desire to come out before her time, but she was still not prepared, as certified by the doctors. After treatment she still wanted to come out; so a cesarean was ordered.
My death experience was like if I really was inside a train, and as I had the feeling it was going up, I also felt the train's speed becoming higher. More people were aboard the same train,actually around five elder. The only that seem confused was me. A light came trough getting brighter with the train's speed. It was then, when I realized that I was dead.
I did not hear God, but I just knew that light was about Him, and His almighty power! All I said in desperation was: "God, I have asked many times for this moment, but, I need to be with my kids. I have not seen my baby. Please grant me time to lift them up, please Lord give me more time." I woke up with a nurse combing my hair with her fingers. Looking around I observed that I was still in the hospital, and I exclaimed: 'Oh, I thought I was dead." She replied: "All is well now, don't think about that."
I was certified dead, and I did have a personal experience, but even though I knew I was dead, I do not know if I can call what I experienced a "glimpse of the afterlife". I do know that I was still alive being death here on Earth.
Philosophical or doctrinal problems associated with this belief
In the book of Luke chapter 16 verses 19 to 31; it is written what Jesus said about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. Read the post below where Jesus explains about them being alive and being dead.
The last verse 31 says: "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead."
People sent back to their bodies in the Bible:
The Bible has examples of people being dead, who came back to life. The examples below recall how they came back, but at least I have not read if they had that "glimpse of the afterlife".
To me that 'glimpse of the afterlife' relays in the fact that what we think has 'ended' here, it keeps with some kind of life out-there...somewhere.
1- Son of a woman from Zarephath
2- Son of the Shunammite woman
Son of the Shunammite woman
3- Elisha’s bones raise up a dead man
4- Lazarus arose after 4 days
5- Widow's son arose during funeral
6- Jabirus’ daughter
7- Jesus raised Himself
8- Many arose
10- Dorcas arose
As I said, I believe that we, as human, have different experiences. We are the same in many ways, but we are unique in many other ways also. Each of us someday will be in front of God as individuals, not in a collective way. In my own experience, and from what I understand in the Bible verses which I have shared in this article, is that: I believe that what is written in the Holy Word of God is complete and sufficient; nothing else needs to be added to it in these days . We do not know everything, and I can not call liar or doubt somebody experiencing a "glimpse of the after-life"; but it will not make a difference from what I have received from the Holy Word of God. God is not a God of confusion.
The following Bible verses tells us more about death:
- Dead do not know anything (Ecclesiastes 9:5) (Psalm 115:17)
- Their feelings perish (Ecclesiastes 9:6) (Psalm 146:4) (Job 14:21)
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonian 5:23
Revelation 1:1 - 20 is posted below I think it answers the question that I have tried to answer in this article.
We come and we will leave
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quoted:
"Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not it's goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest
was not spoken of the soul."
Blessings to all!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on March 19, 2013:
I added a link and a video about the experience of a Doctor with the afterlife.
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on February 25, 2013:
Michael-Milec it is wonderful to read a God lover, and that is able to understand what 1 Corinthians 15:54 says: "But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory."
Peace also to you and yours!
Michael-Milec on February 25, 2013:
Hello last heart .
Wonderfully expressed the evidences related to the ' personal experiences near death.' These experiences are just that: personal . Your testimony comes as strong encouragement to speak openly when we encounter similar happening. It happen to me ' dying ' some time ago ; so far only on rear occasions I'm sharing how pleasant ' feeling ' it is-- "dying as a most peaceful experience one can go through."
Our Heavenly Father gave plenty information in the bible to everyone's faith to know that the ' life 'continues when the body stay behind motionless .
You're an amazing writer. May the blessing of The Lord be with you continually .
Voted up & awesome .
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on January 23, 2013:
shofarcall I also enjoy knowing about other that love God and are writing about Him. Actually there are many all over the Internet. God is our inspiration.
shofarcall on January 22, 2013:
Maria, How good it is to be reading another hubber who believes the word of God to be sufficient unto us. There really is 'nothing' that is unexplained and what we don't understand yet, we leave to faith and trust in our Father who has us under his wing and covered by the blood of His Son our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Also it was so amazing having all those people who had been raised from the dead listed, written (it is written) the way you did. It was quite an eye-opener. I had not realised that there were as many as there are that had been raised.
Thank you - feeling blessed by it.
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on December 29, 2012:
Thanks hannahclaire for reading and leaving your nice thoughts.
Hannah Claire from Los Angles on December 28, 2012:
Very very very informative i have read lot of post but first time i read this type of topic awesome ... I appreciate and like your knowledge..
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on November 24, 2012:
SidKemp your comment is a blessing! We have a spiritual life that when we accept God as Creator, Savior and Lord we gain eternal life, just like it happened to the Apostle Paul. Thanks so much for your words and blessings as well.
Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on November 24, 2012:
Hi Lastheart - your quote, "What is Paul?" got me thinking. Paul's conversion experience from Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-22) seems very similar to descriptions of many near death experiences. He is struck blind - in darkness. He sees God in a personal vision when no one else does. He enters a time of blindness and deep prayer, and is healed when his prayers are answered. He changes his name and begins a whole new life.
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on November 24, 2012:
Thanks, CJ Sledgehammer, for bringing another provoking question. It is a delicate theme and I do respect and understand your position. I do not go to extremes one way or the other. God will judge us all, if those that are taking His name to fool others they will have their share if it is that they do not repent and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. 1 Corinthians 3:5 "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?
Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task."
CJ Sledgehammer on November 23, 2012:
Well done, Lastheart...well done indeed!!! :0)
I just now noticed that you had posted another grand response to one of my questions...and I apologize for not seeing it sooner.
This question was inspired by a woman who claimed to have gone to heaven 17 times in one month's time. While there, she claims the Lord blessed her with special knowledge and basically signed-off on her as a prophetess and special witness of His truth.
Naturally I do not believe her and I remain VERY skeptical of anyone who claims to have passed over to the other side and then returned with a message or Divine inspiration. As the Bible states, "it is appointed for a man to die once...then the judgment."
The Bible tells us that "blessed are those who believe and haven't seen". If seeing is believing, then faith is diminished and I thought that was the whole point.
May our Lord be with you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer
Voted up, awesome, and downright interesting!
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on November 19, 2012:
SidKemp and Lady Summerset thanks!
Lady Summerset from Willingboro, New Jersey on November 18, 2012:
Greetings, What a provoking subject and thoughtfully written.
Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on November 18, 2012:
Yes, LastHeart. I agree that we have different views and respect one another's views. That is rare and wonderful. Thank you.
Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill (author) from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on November 17, 2012:
SidKemp and Froggy213 thanks for reading and commenting. I thought I made your comment clear in the article when I wrote that we all have different experiences and that we do not know all things. That is why I said I do not dare call "lies" or doubt of others experiences. Yes, I do believe also that in God's love for us He does not want anyone to perish and in His mercy He will use whatever to bring His message of Salvation.
Greg Boudonck from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong on November 17, 2012:
This was a very well written hub. I also agree with Sid Kemp, God is able to do what He wants for each of us. Some things we are not meant to understand.
Good job--voted up.
Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on November 17, 2012:
Thank you for sharing your sources and beliefs so clearly and completely. I honor them. I believe that what you write is true for you. I also believe - but do not press on others - that Jesus is here with us in all moments and all circumstances. The Bible is sufficient for those who can read and understand it. But what about those who cannot, or won't? Jesus will find other ways to them. For did he not teach us that a good shepherd, if 99 sheep out of 100 are brought back, will go out in rain and darkness to find the lost sheep? And did he not promise that we would be able to do all that he did, and more?
And so I believe that the Lord works in strange and mysterious ways. He allowed Thomas to touch his wounds. And, if he wants, he can allow a person to remember a near-death experience and bring back hope of Heaven. Again, I do not claim this is true, but I am open to it. And I would honor that person's experience just as I honor yours.
But if such experiences are possible, then how shall we know the true from the false? The answer, again, is found in the Bible: By their fruits will you know them. If a person's private Revelation makes them more grace-filled servants of the Lord, then it was the Lord's gift.
Peace to all!