God Said Man Said

The Other Side of Life

Is there life after death? Will you go on to an eternal destiny? Do we still think and feel even after the brain and body have returned to the dust? With the advent of modern medicine and superior resuscitation techniques, the prevalence of people being brought back from clinical death has soared. Numerous reported cases in which someone is apparently unconscious in a hospital bed and reported seeing things they could not have seen from that bed prompted many doctors and professors to take these stories seriously.
Recommend To A Friend
Audio Options: MP3

The Other Side of Life

Article#: 1570

God is love.  I John 4:7-8:

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

The blood-bought are called to a love that the world cannot know.  Jesus said even—or especially—to love our enemies.  Matthew 5:44:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

The test of Christianity is love.  I John 4:11-12:

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

God loved us before we loved Him.  John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus demonstrates God’s love on Golgotha’s Cross where He prays for those who have destroyed His body and are taking His life, when, just before His agonizing death, He says, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). 

The gift of salvation is God’s love and our calling is to reciprocate to God, our Christ, our brethren, all the lost souls of Adam, and yes even—or especially—our enemies.  This beautiful love ability begins at a place Jesus calls “born again.”  Have you been?  Will today be the best day of your life and will every day thereafter be better?  Will today be your day of cleansing and salvation?  Will today be the beginning of your brand-new, eternal life?  The choice is yours.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT. 

GOD SAID, II Corinthians 12:2-4:

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

GOD SAID, Luke 16:19-28:

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man''s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham''s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried 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 tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

GOD SAID, John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

MAN SAID: When one is brain-dead, all thoughts, all knowing ends.  The thousands of out-of-body, post-death, or near-death experiences are simply hallucinations.  There is no afterlife. 

Now THE RECORD: All the answers to man’s hard questions are always found in the beautiful book—always.  No matter how hard the sons of Adam ridicule and malign the Holy Bible, they always end up here, knocking on heaven’s door—always—but they can’t come in. 

Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 790 that will once again certify the inerrancy of Holy Writ.  All of these features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the childlike and as bait for the fishers of men.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.  Thank you for visiting.  May God’s face shine upon you and yours. 

Is there life after death?  Will you go on to an eternal destiny?  Do we still think and feel even after the brain and body have returned to the dust?  Is there, as God’s Word affirms, a very real and feeling soul that can be saved or eternally doomed to a cognizant death?  Satan’s pseudo-science says NO!

Today’s subject addresses life after death.  Several foundational paragraphs from previous GodSaidManSaid features follow:

▶ GodSaidManSaid, “Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences and the Skeptics:”

They are called out-of-body or near-death experiences (NDE).  These events are often described as a person’s soul leaving his or her body on a death-bed, for instance, and the departing soul being able to view people and events in the room where the body remains.  After being resuscitated, the person recalls events they should not know.  These experiences often come with descriptions of the proverbial tunnel with a light at its end, or a feeling of peace and love, or an actual, visual heavenly experience.  Many individuals who have been pronounced dead and have come back to life recount events, images, and conversations they could not have known, even ones apart from the hospital environment itself. 

One particular out-of-body or NDE that has God’s critics concerned is that of Dr. Eben Alexander.  One of their own, one with extensive medical credentials, is off the reservation and is very vocal about it.  Dr. Alexander, in 2012, published a book that became a number one New York Times bestseller titled Proof of Heaven: a Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife.  When you review the doctor’s credentials, you can understand the concern of God’s detractors.  Dr. Alexander writes:

I’m a neurosurgeon.

I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976 with a major in chemistry and earned my M.D. at Duke University Medical School in 1980.  During my eleven years of medical school and residency training at Duke as well as Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard, I focused on neuroendocrinology, the study of the interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system—the series of glands that release the hormones that direct most of your body’s activities.   I also spent two of those eleven years investigating how blood vessels in one area of the brain react pathologically when there is bleeding into it from an aneurysm—a syndrome known as cerebral vasospasm.

After completing a fellowship in cerebrovascular neurosurgery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom, I spent fifteen years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an associate professor of surgery, with a specialization in neurosurgery.  During those years, I operated on countless patients, many of them with severe, life-threatening brain conditions. 

Most of my research work involved the development of advanced technical procedures like stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique that allows surgeons to precisely guide beams of radiation to specific targets deep in the brain without affecting adjacent areas.  I also helped develop magnetic resonance image-guided neurosurgical procedures instrumental in repairing hard-to-treat brain conditions like tumors and vascular disorders.  During those years, I also authored or coauthored more than 150 chapters and papers for peer-reviewed medical journals and presented my findings at more than two hundred medical conferences around the world. [End of quote]

“Life after death?  The God of the Bible?  Judgment Day? If there is, we’ve got Hell to pay,” cried the skeptics!  The Darwinians needed a naturalistic explanation to dispatch these ideas. 

As with many, if not all, Dr. Alexander’s near-death experience changed his life entirely—from a skeptic to a very vocal believer—but it didn’t start that way.  Of himself, the doctor writes:

Quite simply, I’d never held myself open to the idea that there might be anything genuine to the idea that something of us survives the death of the body.  I was the quintessential good-natured, albeit skeptical, doctor.  And as such, I can tell you that most skeptics aren’t really skeptics at all.  To be truly skeptical, one must actually examine something and take it seriously.  And I, like many doctors, had never taken the time to explore NDEs.  I had simply “known” they were impossible.  [End of quote]

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and feature writer for Scientific American, comments on Dr. Alexander’s experience in the April 2013 issue under the title “Proof of Hallucination,” with the sub-head, “Did a neurosurgeon go to heaven?”  According to Shermer, the following was posed to Dr. Alexander:

I asked him how, if his brain was really nonfunctional, he could have any memory of these experiences, given that memories are a product of neural activity?  He responded that he believes the mind can exist separately from the brain.  How, where, I inquired?  [End of quote]

Why do they always end up here?  Why such mental gymnastics to discredit the obvious?

The tens of millions of NDEs the world over testify of the other side that awaits all of us.  The Word of God clearly teaches a knowledge that transcends and operates outside the neurological network of the body, and that knowledge that transcends, we know as the soul.  It is man’s soul that Christ came to save (I Peter 1:9). 

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.

A soul can bless, a soul can experience desire, love, bitterness, hatred, vexation, and more, and when one dies, the soul leaves the body.  Genesis 35:18 referring to death says “…and it came to pass, as her soul was in departing…” I Kings 17:17-22:

17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

The soul has knowledge that functions outside the body’s brain.  Many examples of this reality have been published in the Bible.  The example noted in the GodSaid selection above, in Luke, chapter 16, defines this well.  In this chapter, the rich man dies and his body and his brain are buried in the rich man’s grave; yet in Hell, he has eyes to see and the knowledge to translate what his eyes see.  The rich man has a tongue and experiences thirst and complains of being in torment in the flames of Hell.  He knows Abraham and addresses him by name.  Abraham was dead to this world for approximately 2,000 years when Jesus Christ gives this account.  Abraham’s body and brain were buried in the cave of Machpelah, yet he knows of the rich man’s situation and has a conversation with him. 

Again, Mr. Shermer writes:

I asked him how, if his brain was really nonfunctional, he could have any memory of these experiences, given that memories are a product of neural activity?  He responded that he believes the mind can exist separately from the brain.  How, where, I inquired?  [End of quote]

The answer to Mr. Shermer’s question is that the soul has full knowledge outside the neurological network of the body and when the body and its brain dies, the soul goes on to its eternal destiny.  You and I choose whether that destiny is heaven or Hell. 

They always end up here. [End of quotes]

▶ GodSaidManSaid, “Science and Life After Death:”

The October 7, 2014 headline from the U.K. feature written by Adam Withnall reads, “Life after death?  Largest-ever study provides evidence that ‘out-of-body’ and ‘near-death’ experiences may be real.”   The subhead reads, “One man who was clinically dead—then brought back to life—accurately described what had been happening in the room.”  The feature, in its entirety, follows:

There is scientific evidence to suggest that life can continue after death, according to the largest-ever medical study carried out on the subject. 

A team based in the UK has spent the last four years seeking out cardiac arrest patients to analyze their experiences, and found that almost 40 percent of the survivors described having some form of “awareness” at a time when they were declared clinically dead.

Experts currently believe that the brain shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds of the heart stopping beating—and that it is not possible to be aware of anything at all once that has happened. 

But scientists in the new study said they heard compelling evidence that patients experienced real events for up to three minutes after this had happened—and could recall them accurately once they had been resuscitated. 

Dr. Sam Parnia, an assistant professor at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton who led the research, said that he previously believed that patients who described near-death experiences were only relating hallucinatory events. 

One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life—and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room. 

Speaking to The Telegraph about the evidence provided by a 57-year-old social worker in Southampton, Dr. Parnia said: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating.  But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes.” 

“The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals.  So we could time how long the experience lasted for.” 

“He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.” 

Dr. Parnia’s study involved 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, US, and Austria, and has been published in the journal Resuscitation.

Of those who survived, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections, nine per cent had experiences compatible with traditional definitions of a near-death experience, and two per cent exhibited full awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events—or out-of-body experiences.  Dr. Parnia said that the findings of the study as a whole suggested that “the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice.” 

Dr. Jerry Nolan, editor-in-chief of the journal which published the research, said: “The researchers are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.” [End of quotes]

We have pulled a very short sampling of John Burke’s 348-page book Imagine Heaven for your consideration:

With the advent of modern medicine and superior resuscitation techniques, the prevalence of people being brought back from clinical death has soared.  In 1982, “a Gallup poll reported that 8 million people have had near-death episodes,” according to the New York Times.  In the last forty years since Moody coined the term, studies in the United States and Germany suggest approximately 4.2 percent of the population has reported a near-death experience (NDE).  That’s one out of every twenty-five people, or nearly 13 million Americans

Numerous reported cases in which someone is apparently unconscious in a hospital bed and reported seeing things they could not have seen from that bed prompted many doctors and professors to take these stories seriously.  Kimberly Clark Sharp, a noted NDE researcher in Seattle, Washington, reported a case study in which a woman named Maria was rushed to the hospital with a severe heart attack.  After successful resuscitation, Maria told Sharp about her near-death experience, including detailed out-of-body observations of her resuscitation.  Then she went one step beyond.  She claimed to travel outside the hospital, she said, where she observed a tennis shoe on the third-story window ledge of the hospital.  Maria provided detailed information about the shoe.  It was a man’s shoe, she said, left-footed, and dark blue with a wear mark over the little toe and a shoelace tucked under the heel.  Sharp went window to window on the hospital’s third floor looking on the ledges.  Finally, she found the shoe, exactly as Maria had described it.  Dr. Long points out, “This account stands as remarkably evidential in spite of the efforts of some skeptics to cast doubts.” 

The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals, published another account of a patient having a cardiac arrest and not breathing.  Dr. Long recounts a portion of it here:

At the time that a tube was being placed in the airway to ventilate [the patient], it was noted that he had upper dentures.  The dentures were removed and placed in a crash-cart drawer while the patient was deeply comatose.  Over a week later, the patient reported having an [out-of-body experience] and accurately described the room he was resuscitated in and the people present.  Remarkably, he declared that his lost dentures could be found in the crash-cart drawer.  Note that the patient reported seeing the nurse and those present during his resuscitation, which doesn’t occur unless someone is lucid and in an out-of-body state. 

J.M. Holden, a professor of psychology, studied ninety-three NDE patients who claimed to make verifiable observations while out of their physical bodies.  “Of these out-of-body perceptions, 92 percent were completely accurate, 6 percent contained some error, and only 1 percent was completely erroneous.”

But not every NDE is positive.  Dr. Maurice Rawlings did not believe in God or the afterlife when he had a harrowing experience one evening in 1977.  While doing a stress test, a forty-year-old man had a cardiac arrest and dropped dead in his office.  Three nurses rushed in and began CPR while Dr. Rawlings started external heart massage, but the heart would not maintain its own beat.  Dr. Rawlings recalls:

I had to insert a pacemaker wire into the large vein.  The patient began “coming to.”  But whenever I would reach for instruments or otherwise interrupt my compression of his chest, the patient would again lose consciousness, …stop breathing, and die once more.  Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration, the patient screamed, “I am in hell!”  He was terrified and pleaded with me to help him.  I was scared to death.  In fact, this episode literally scared the hell out of me!  After several resuscitations, the man pleaded, “Don’t you understand?  I am in hell.  Each time you quit, I go back to hell!  Don’t let me go back to hell!”  I dismissed his complaint and told him to keep his “hell” to himself…until I finished getting this pacemaker into place. But the man was serious. 

“How do I stay out of hell? Pray for me!”  He begged. 

Pray for him!  What nerve!  I told him I was a doctor, not a preacher. 

“Pray for me!”  He repeated.  [End of quotes]

Haters of the good news scurry around searching for plausible explanations! How can the dead go on knowing and even feeling and experiencing emotion? 

The following excerpts are from Discover magazine, May 2016.  Health journalist Amy Paturel writes under the heading “A Brush with Death,” and the subhead, “How a glimpse of the other side changes those who make it back:”

On a sunny April afternoon in 2013, while my dad was driving home after work, a 26-year-old man in a Toyota Camry broadsided him.  The impact sent my dad’s Cadillac careening into a brick retaining wall.  Paramedics had to saw off the door to extract him from the vehicle. 

When I saw him several hours later, he was conscious, but had no recollection of the crash.  His blood pressure was so low doctors could barely detect a pulse.  They thought they were losing him.  Then something strange happened. 

“I could feel myself slipping away as the nurses probed for a vein to give me blood,” he told me the next morning.  “All of a sudden, I was overcome by an eerie silence. There was no sound at all.  I saw myself on the gurney, and then an amorphous shadow crossed the wall.  I can’t describe what happened or why, but from the moment the room got quiet, it was as if I was in another dimension.” 

Such near-death experiences (NDE) aren’t as rare as you’d think.  At least 5 percent of Americans claim to have touched death and lived to tell about it.  Some people see a shadow, some a beckoning light.  Others see apparitions of loved ones. 

But for my dad and others who’ve had a similar experience, it’s what happened after the NDE that was the hardest to understand. 

In a 2013 PLOS One study, Laureys (a neurologist and chair of the World Federation of Neurology Applied Research Group) and his Liège colleagues compared NDEs with other memories of intense real-life events, such as marriages and births, as well as with memories of dreams and imaginary thoughts.  To their surprise, NDE memories among a group of 21 coma survivors were much richer than any imagined or real event.  “Even when the NDE happened decades before, patients’ memory of the experience was as vivid as if it occurred yesterday,” Laureys says. 

It makes sense if you look at electroencephalography (EEG) measurements of activity in the brain when recalling an NDE.  A 2014 EEG study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that NDE memories are stored as episodic memories—recollections of events that you yourself participated in, like recalling where you were when the 9/11 attacks happened, rather than simply remembering the fact that the attacks happened.  Scientists from that same study also concluded that the seemingly otherworldly memories from an NDE give off electrical patterns that are similar to real memories and significantly different from imagined events.  The researchers noted that those who had NDEs describe the experience as “realer than real.”  All of the participants in the study said their NDE was the most powerful, intense, and important experience of their lives.

For my dad, the NDE provided overwhelming peace.  While he was suspended between this world and the unknown, he says a force told him, “You’re not going to die today.”  And he says he wasn’t ready to go—he had newfound motivations to explore. 

“People tend to come back from NDEs happier and no longer fearing death,” Laureys says.  “The experience becomes a cornerstone of their lives.” 

My dad’s experience not only affected how he lives his life, but also how he relates to others.  Now, he’s especially kind to strangers, more giving, always willing to lend a hand to someone who needs it.  I’ve even seen him give money to panhandlers, something he seemed to shy away from before his accident. 

Apparently he’s not alone.  According to a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people who had NDEs became more tolerant of others, gained a greater appreciation of nature, and understood themselves better compared with those who didn’t experience an NDE. 

Science can’t explain why a father who drove like a NASCAR star now writes treatises on safe and courteous driving.  And it can’t explain how someone who lived by numbers now prefers penning philosophical missives.  But research does give us some clues about how NDEs change people’s personalities.  They become sweeter, softer, and more reflective—just like my dad.  [End of quotes]

Surely God’s Word is vindicated again.  This supernatural God-authored text has the answers to all the world’s hard questions.  Embrace the beautiful book and you’ll live forever in a beautiful place.  To the born-again, there is life after life. 

GOD SAID, II Corinthians 12:2-4:

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

GOD SAID, Luke 16:19-28:

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man''s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham''s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried 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 tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father''s house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

GOD SAID, John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

MAN SAID: When one is brain-dead, all thoughts, all knowing ends.  The thousands of out-of-body, post-death, or near-death experiences are simply hallucinations.  There is no afterlife. 

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Burke, J., Imagine Heaven, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 2015

GodSaidManSaid, “Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences and the Skeptics

GodSaidManSaid, “Science and Life After Death

Paturel, A., “A Brush with Death,” Discover, May 2013

Visits: 1867