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Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

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  • Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

    My son went to see the God's not Dead movie that just came out. I asked him about the movie and he was much more interested in talking about the trailer he saw about Heaven's Real.

    Most of you have heard the story (possibly even read the book) of the kid who died and went to heaven, but was revived and returned to tell his parents (et al) about the people he met (including a long-dead grandfather he could not personally have known) and the experiences he had, etc.

    So we discussed this in the group we participate in on Sunday evenings and the group was split: Are those who die and come back to life realy dying, really seeing Heaven, really being sent back to us ... or is this some sort of deception? part of the group believed the experiences, like the one told in the movie about that little boy, are true and they even (some of them) shared stories of their relatives who had similar experiences. Others felt uncomfortable with the concept of returning from the dead, even if they then have a positive message. As you might expect, I am in that latter group.

    I don't think the Bible has a lot to say on the topic and I KNOW it doesn't have a lot to say about Heaven. But I am also mindful that Hebrews 9:27-28a states
    And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. -NKJV
    so IF man only gets to die once, how is it some have claimed to have died, but then returned? AND if, as has been told to me, that kid in Heaven's Real didn't actually die, but only seemed to die or got really close to death, how is it he saw heaven? Some of those on the other side of the question have suggested, "why wouldn't it be true? what could anyone possibly gain by making something like that up?"

    MY perspective, which also happens to be supported by this article from Answers in Genesis (.org), is that we have an unseen enemy (Christians do) who's very purpose is to distract us, get us to fall for untruth, get us to take our focus off of God. Or, stated as the website states it:
    Stories like Colton’s are as dangerous as they are seductive. Readers not only get a twisted, unbiblical picture of heaven; they also imbibe a subjective, superstitious, shallow brand of spirituality. Studying mystical accounts of supposed journeys into the afterlife yields nothing but confusion, contradiction, false hope, bad doctrine, and a host of similar evils.

    We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven.
    I would appreciate your take on this topic.

  • #2
    Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

    If the discussion is narrowed down to Biblical interpretation then you could go back to your group and argue well that Deuteronomy 30:12, and Romans 10:6 somewhat back up John 3:13. John 1:18 helps out with the discussion on the role of Jesus in this regard and the strict view of who has seen God. The prerequisite is that all in this text is the actual word of God handed to man in some regard.

    John 3:13 (King James Version) ...
    And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
    Many translate John 3:13 to mean no one has ever gone into heaven, except the one who came from heaven, and that has to be exclusively the Son of God. In the context of all of John 3 we are speaking about a notion that no man had or could go up to heaven and bring back with them knowledge of what is on that side. That would have to include anything defined as heavenly or divine. Therefore those claiming near death experiences, seeing heaven, or seeing the dead cannot be in line with this text. We are seemingly talking about a one way street here. In biblical context God at anytime can come down and hand information to man but at no time can man travel into the afterlife and bring back that same information.

    To answer your other questions is all comes down to what you've already included. Narcissism is one take, false interpretation of condition might be another, the potential implication of suggestion perhaps a distant third. This kid is not the first one to have some sort of experience in which the claim is seeing heaven, seeing a long since dead relative, seeing angels or some other agent, being told something, etc.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

      Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
      If the discussion is narrowed down to Biblical interpretation then you could go back to your group and argue well that Deuteronomy 30:12, and Romans 10:6 somewhat back up John 3:13. John 1:18 helps out with the discussion on the role of Jesus in this regard and the strict view of who has seen God. The prerequisite is that all in this text is the actual word of God handed to man in some regard.

      John 3:13 (King James Version) ...


      Many translate John 3:13 to mean no one has ever gone into heaven, except the one who came from heaven, and that has to be exclusively the Son of God. In the context of all of John 3 we are speaking about a notion that no man had or could go up to heaven and bring back with them knowledge of what is on that side. That would have to include anything defined as heavenly or divine. Therefore those claiming near death experiences, seeing heaven, or seeing the dead cannot be in line with this text. We are seemingly talking about a one way street here. In biblical context God at anytime can come down and hand information to man but at no time can man travel into the afterlife and bring back that same information.

      To answer your other questions is all comes down to what you've already included. Narcissism is one take, false interpretation of condition might be another, the potential implication of suggestion perhaps a distant third. This kid is not the first one to have some sort of experience in which the claim is seeing heaven, seeing a long since dead relative, seeing angels or some other agent, being told something, etc.
      As I also pointed out above, I am also keenly aware that satan can manufacture a lot of the stuff we are tempted to attribute to God or Angels or something in his unending quest to deceive even the elect and throw us off our game (in this case, by getting us to buy into something false).

      I appreciate your introduction of John 3:13. I had not thought of that.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

        It wouldn't be the first time someone has claimed to SEE heaven. If you place "I was dead and returned " with "I was mostly dead and had a vision of God and heaven etc" the rub goes away. Perhaps that kid was granted a vision by God. Perhaps his death reflex was working and his brain therefore dumped all its endorphines, dopamine, and DMT (yes you have DMT in your brain, its what causes dreams) to give the "life flashes before eyes/hallucinatory/visions" that people often report from going near death.
        Perhaps he's making it up for attention. No way to know if you're not telepathic.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

          Originally posted by Good1 View Post
          My son went to see the God's not Dead movie that just came out. I asked him about the movie and he was much more interested in talking about the trailer he saw about Heaven's Real.

          Most of you have heard the story (possibly even read the book) of the kid who died and went to heaven, but was revived and returned to tell his parents (et al) about the people he met (including a long-dead grandfather he could not personally have known) and the experiences he had, etc.

          So we discussed this in the group we participate in on Sunday evenings and the group was split: Are those who die and come back to life realy dying, really seeing Heaven, really being sent back to us ... or is this some sort of deception? part of the group believed the experiences, like the one told in the movie about that little boy, are true and they even (some of them) shared stories of their relatives who had similar experiences. Others felt uncomfortable with the concept of returning from the dead, even if they then have a positive message. As you might expect, I am in that latter group.

          I don't think the Bible has a lot to say on the topic and I KNOW it doesn't have a lot to say about Heaven. But I am also mindful that Hebrews 9:27-28a states


          so IF man only gets to die once, how is it some have claimed to have died, but then returned? AND if, as has been told to me, that kid in Heaven's Real didn't actually die, but only seemed to die or got really close to death, how is it he saw heaven? Some of those on the other side of the question have suggested, "why wouldn't it be true? what could anyone possibly gain by making something like that up?"

          MY perspective, which also happens to be supported by this article from Answers in Genesis (.org), is that we have an unseen enemy (Christians do) who's very purpose is to distract us, get us to fall for untruth, get us to take our focus off of God. Or, stated as the website states it:


          I would appreciate your take on this topic.

          You won't appreciate mine. LOL.

          NDEs are as real as the keyboard my fingers touch as I type this. Those people who experience them, while in coma, or in the case of almost being dead, have simply left the physical body and are in the other dimension, the exact same dimension of those that are genuinely saved, enlightened, or whatever term you want to use. This dimension is the Kingdom, which all saved people have access to, yet in a much more limited fashion as they are still in their physical bodies, so it is only a taste, but a taste that changes a man's life, forever.

          When the physical body is in such a state as near death, coma, whatever, it no longer is working correctly to keep the eternal spirit of man, inside it. And so the spirit leaves the body. If the body gets back to some sort of normalcy, the spirit comes back into it. The person then wakes up. If the body dies, the spirit remains in the Kingdom.

          True salvation is a state in which the person while still alive, is partly in that Kingdom, the part accessible while the body still lives. So, the saved person is dying constantly, so that when the body dies, nothing dies except the organism, the temple which contained the eternal spirit. . He has already died while the body lives, and this death is symbolized by 'take up your cross and follow Me". Those who carry a cross, the symbol of death, are dying every minute, to the past, the known, those memories of some guy who insulted you, offended you, hurt you, and so on.

          And this is what is taught by every major religion in the world, although not the orthodox version of it, which is what you are grounded in. And so since you are grounded in that, it is hard for you to really understand something that words can never capture, yet you live on words, you eat them, they sustain you. But they are superficial things, and they too pass away, as ideas pass away. What does not pass away is the real, the experience of the spirit entering into another dimension we call the kingdom, heaven, and so on. And those who have experience NDEs cannot really use words to communicate the experience, yet they of course try to do that. But most of them know just how little words can relate the experience, for it is beyond all words, concepts, etc.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

            Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
            You won't appreciate mine. LOL.

            NDEs are as real as the keyboard my fingers touch as I type this. Those people who experience them, while in coma, or in the case of almost being dead, have simply left the physical body and are in the other dimension, the exact same dimension of those that are genuinely saved, enlightened, or whatever term you want to use. This dimension is the Kingdom, which all saved people have access to, yet in a much more limited fashion as they are still in their physical bodies, so it is only a taste, but a taste that changes a man's life, forever.

            When the physical body is in such a state as near death, coma, whatever, it no longer is working correctly to keep the eternal spirit of man, inside it. And so the spirit leaves the body. If the body gets back to some sort of normalcy, the spirit comes back into it. The person then wakes up. If the body dies, the spirit remains in the Kingdom.

            True salvation is a state in which the person while still alive, is partly in that Kingdom, the part accessible while the body still lives. So, the saved person is dying constantly, so that when the body dies, nothing dies except the organism, the temple which contained the eternal spirit. . He has already died while the body lives, and this death is symbolized by 'take up your cross and follow Me". Those who carry a cross, the symbol of death, are dying every minute, to the past, the known, those memories of some guy who insulted you, offended you, hurt you, and so on.

            And this is what is taught by every major religion in the world, although not the orthodox version of it, which is what you are grounded in. And so since you are grounded in that, it is hard for you to really understand something that words can never capture, yet you live on words, you eat them, they sustain you. But they are superficial things, and they too pass away, as ideas pass away. What does not pass away is the real, the experience of the spirit entering into another dimension we call the kingdom, heaven, and so on. And those who have experience NDEs cannot really use words to communicate the experience, yet they of course try to do that. But most of them know just how little words can relate the experience, for it is beyond all words, concepts, etc.
            I understand you and expect you would believe that... Mostly because it is contrary to what it says in the Bible.

            Your perspective and you are welcome to it. I believe you are wrong... and so far, so does what I understand of the Scriptures.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

              Originally posted by reality View Post
              It wouldn't be the first time someone has claimed to SEE heaven. If you place "I was dead and returned " with "I was mostly dead and had a vision of God and heaven etc" the rub goes away. Perhaps that kid was granted a vision by God. Perhaps his death reflex was working and his brain therefore dumped all its endorphines, dopamine, and DMT (yes you have DMT in your brain, its what causes dreams) to give the "life flashes before eyes/hallucinatory/visions" that people often report from going near death.
              Perhaps he's making it up for attention. No way to know if you're not telepathic.
              Agreed, and in our discussion last night, we did consider most of those possibilities. The one sticking point (as far as some in the group were concerned) was the kid recognizing the photo of his grandfather whom he'd never met ... although I have no doubt he had seen that photo at some point in his life so it was at least resident in his subconscious. I often "interpret" photos I've seen into my dreams to where the face from the photo is there but nothing else (like hats or attire or surroundings, etc.).

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                Agreed, and in our discussion last night, we did consider most of those possibilities. The one sticking point (as far as some in the group were concerned) was the kid recognizing the photo of his grandfather whom he'd never met ... although I have no doubt he had seen that photo at some point in his life so it was at least resident in his subconscious. I often "interpret" photos I've seen into my dreams to where the face from the photo is there but nothing else (like hats or attire or surroundings, etc.).
                Indeed. Now if grandpa told him something only grandpa would know that's a bit different.

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                • #9
                  Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                  Originally posted by reality View Post
                  Indeed. Now if grandpa told him something only grandpa would know that's a bit different.
                  THAT is the point at which I would suspect extra-spiritual intervention of the kind only Satan would enact... Likewise the events where the "dead" came back to life and demonstrated that they knew "Mom you were here in the room, but Dad was in that room with the stained glass windows" or similar, and it turns out to be exactly what had happened.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                    Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                    I understand you and expect you would believe that... Mostly because it is contrary to what it says in the Bible.

                    Your perspective and you are welcome to it. I believe you are wrong... and so far, so does what I understand of the Scriptures.
                    Yeah, we have completely different understandings of those same scriptures, and they are so far apart that compromise is not possible.

                    I feel yours are grounded in the intellectual constructs of the human brain, while my own is grounded in something accessible to every human being, in consciousness. And it is such a sacred thing, what is in consciousness, but is pushed far away by the ego consciousness, which is the creator of all sin. Which is what the Good News was. The Kingdom is at hand. Which means within reach of humanity, if one seeks and knocks when the door is walked upon. That man has not been in an active state of seeking within(He said it was within) but seeks in magic blood which is the external, has kept him from actually seeking in the only manner that is logical.

                    Yet I love all of humanity, not the love you know, the jealous love, the love with conditions, but a love that comes from being selfless, which is real love. I am not attached to anything on this plane of existence, the loss of any of those will not cause me suffering. For I have drank of those pure eternal waters. Have you sir? You can ask this of yourself, as I do not want an answer.

                    I can't change your mind because once a man accepts an intellectual belief, the nature of the ego imposes and it is very powerful. Afterall it creates all sin. So, I will not change your mind, because you believe in words in a book. And on your own self volition, you give it authority. I do not do that.

                    My mind cannot be changed for I have sought and found that which Christ came to point us to. If my state of being was simply based upon authority from a book, I could change, as people convert from one religion to another all of the time. But once you have tasted the waters, you cannot deny those waters nor its power. In this place, all books are not needed, except as entertainment.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                      And today of all days...

                      Does it look like this?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                        Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                        THAT is the point at which I would suspect extra-spiritual intervention of the kind only Satan would enact... Likewise the events where the "dead" came back to life and demonstrated that they knew "Mom you were here in the room, but Dad was in that room with the stained glass windows" or similar, and it turns out to be exactly what had happened.
                        God has a history of giving people visions etc. I don't see why you jump right to satan.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #13
                          Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                          Originally posted by reality View Post
                          God has a history of giving people visions etc. I don't see why you jump right to satan.
                          Visions from God (at least those from Scripture) always turn people to Him.

                          But when someone recounts an experience that is, from my understanding, contrary to Scripture, THEN I "...jump right to Satan" because I also understand how and why he works the way he does.

                          As that article in the OP notes,
                          We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven.
                          Mind you, Visions from God don't bring glory to Heaven ... or to man: But always to God, Himself and exclusively.

                          That's a good deal about Scripture: You can usually tell (even if only in your spirit) when someone is saying something out - of - step with it.

                          Also, I'm not saying you're wrong necessarily. I'm only trying to fit this one kid's experience with what I know of Scripture and, so far, it doesn't fit very well.

                          מה מכילות החדשות?


                          • #14
                            Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                            Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
                            Yeah, we have completely different understandings of those same scriptures, and they are so far apart that compromise is not possible.

                            I feel yours are grounded in the intellectual constructs of the human brain, while my own is grounded in something accessible to every human being, in consciousness. And it is such a sacred thing, what is in consciousness, but is pushed far away by the ego consciousness, which is the creator of all sin. Which is what the Good News was. The Kingdom is at hand. Which means within reach of humanity, if one seeks and knocks when the door is walked upon. That man has not been in an active state of seeking within(He said it was within) but seeks in magic blood which is the external, has kept him from actually seeking in the only manner that is logical.

                            Yet I love all of humanity, not the love you know, the jealous love, the love with conditions, but a love that comes from being selfless, which is real love. I am not attached to anything on this plane of existence, the loss of any of those will not cause me suffering. For I have drank of those pure eternal waters. Have you sir? You can ask this of yourself, as I do not want an answer.

                            I can't change your mind because once a man accepts an intellectual belief, the nature of the ego imposes and it is very powerful. Afterall it creates all sin. So, I will not change your mind, because you believe in words in a book. And on your own self volition, you give it authority. I do not do that.

                            My mind cannot be changed for I have sought and found that which Christ came to point us to. If my state of being was simply based upon authority from a book, I could change, as people convert from one religion to another all of the time. But once you have tasted the waters, you cannot deny those waters nor its power. In this place, all books are not needed, except as entertainment.
                            Give it a rest, BD. Stop trying to assert that you know anything about me. "...not the love you know?" How do YOU know the love I know? You don't. So quit with the condescension (and the advertisements for your own warped "salvation by your own efforts").

                            I'm sorry: NO, please don't stop. You have a right to express yourself... even as wrong as you are.

                            You cannot change my mind because you're wrong and I have the Holy Spirit standing against you on my behalf. It has nothing to do with my intellect... which you would know if you knew anything about me, and you don't.

                            מה מכילות החדשות?


                            • #15
                              Re: Heaven is Real ... but did they really SEE IT?

                              Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                              Visions from God (at least those from Scripture) always turn people to Him.

                              But when someone recounts an experience that is, from my understanding, contrary to Scripture, THEN I "...jump right to Satan" because I also understand how and why he works the way he does.

                              As that article in the OP notes,


                              Mind you, Visions from God don't bring glory to Heaven ... or to man: But always to God, Himself and exclusively.

                              That's a good deal about Scripture: You can usually tell (even if only in your spirit) when someone is saying something out - of - step with it.

                              Also, I'm not saying you're wrong necessarily. I'm only trying to fit this one kid's experience with what I know of Scripture and, so far, it doesn't fit very well.
                              So you're saying this kid won't want to repeat that experience? How will this turn anyone away? I'm confused.

                              Perhaps the feelings of well being etc ARE the glory of God? Perhaps, also according to scripture, God doesn't pop in on people having those experiences because to look at Him without being dead will MAKE you dead? Something about blasting your soul or some such. 'Its the explanation for why God appears in phenomena like burning bushes and doves rather than just a dude with a robe and a sweet beard.
                              I'm just saying: None of this necessarily goes against scripture, if we're talking visions etc.

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