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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES from a different perspective

I attached a video, because I wanted my background to by crystal clear from the beginning.

"When a man is dying, his soul usually meets two Angels". Here's how the author of the book «Unbelievable for Many but Actually a True Occurrence» describes the phenomenon. "As soon as the old nurse said the words: "Let him inherit the kingdom of heaven, let him have eternal peace" two Angels appeared by my side. Somehow, I recognized that one of them was my guardian Angel, but the other was unknown to me. Later, a pious wandering pilgrim said that he was the Angel of reception." [1] The crossing of Saint Theodora through the aerial demons is recounted in the life of St. Basilios the New [2]. It is described that: 'When I was completely abandoned by my strength, I suddenly saw two radiant God's Angels of unimaginable beauty. Their faces were more brilliant than the sun, their eyes filled with love, their hair was white as snow, around their heads was a golden sheen, their clothing was extremely bright and they had "oraria" (special Priest's clothing) crosswised on their chests [3]. Saint Salvios (Bishop of Galatia during the sixth century) describes his own experience of near death experience in the following way: "Four days ago, when my room was trembling and you all saw me lying down dead, two Angels lifted me and carried me to the highest point of heaven" [4].
The mission of these Angels is to lead the soul of the deceased, while crossing towards the other life. There is nothing vague or indefinite on their form or in their actions. They have human form and they grasp firmly the "thin body" of the soul to carry it. "The luminiferous Angels took my soul instantly on their hands" [5]. "The Angels held me by my hand and took me out of the chamber crossing through the wall" [6]. Saint Salvio was "lifted by two Angels." Such examples are many.
The "bright being" referred to modern experience has no specific form, it does not lead the souls somewhere specific, it is standing to chat with each soul and shows the flash back scenes from their past life. It can therefore be argued that it is not an Angel to guide to the afterlife. All beings who look like Angels are not necessarily Angels, since even Satan can transform himself into an angel of light [7] and thus those beings that do not even have the look of an Angel, can certainly not be described as angels. In the 'post mortem' experiences of our times, it seems that almost never happen undeniable encounters with Angels, and we will try to explain right away why this happens.
Is it possible these "luminous beings" to be demons masquerading as amorphous "angels of light" in order to tempt the deceased even during his last moments, as the soul leaves the body? Dr Moody [8] and various other researchers actually put this question, but just to rule out this possibility, because it supposedly matches the "benevolent" impressions created in the mind of the dying person by such beings. Of course the knowledge of "evil" of those researchers is extremely naive. Dr Moody for example thinks that "Satan would probably say to his servants to follow a way of action filled with hatred and destruction" [9] that way it is shown he is completely unaware of the Christian texts which describe the real nature of the demonic temptation, which is that demons consistently tempt their victims with something looking "good."
So what is the Christian Orthodox teaching on the evil temptations at the hour of death? Basil the Great (Saint Basil of Caesarea) interprets the "Psaletion" (Greek Psalter): "save me from my prosecutors, so that they won't get my soul like lions" [10]. He gives the following explanation [11]: "I think that all the brave athletes of God, having fought against unseen enemies during their lifetime, having escaped all their chasing until the end of their life, are finally tested by the "ruler of this world" and, if they are found injured from the struggle or somewhat stigmatized, or having imprints of sin, he keeps them prisoners - but if they are found unblemished, Christ will give them comfort, since they were found unbeatable and free.
So the psalmist pleads, for the present life and the future life, as he says, "save me from my persecutors at the time of my examination, so that no lion grabs my soul." And you are able to verify all these from the Lord Himself, when He says at the time of His passion: "for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me" [12]
It is not only the Christian athletes who have to face the temptations of demons at the time of death. Saint John the Chrysostom in one of his interpretations on Matthew's Gospel, describes vividly what usually happens to ordinary sinners when they die: "Wherefore, it is possible to hear many stories of terrible and horrific visions. Visions which are unbearable at sight by the condemned, and jiggle them with great momentum over their deathbed and they watch in horror their bystanders, because their soul is hesitating and fear to separate from the body and they cannot suffer the sight of the coming "angels". Indeed, if we are overwhelmed by fear when we look at horrible real life people, what will happen to us when we see threatening "angels" and implacable forces to arrive, when our soul will be separated from our body and will be dragged, crying constantly in vain?" [13]
Inside the books about the lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, there are many references of demonic visions presented at the hour of death, usually with an ultimate purpose to intimidate the dying and to make him lose all hope of salvation. For instance, St. Gregory in his "Dialogues" refers to someone who was rich and enslaved of many passions: "Approaching his last moments... with his eyes opened, he saw abhorrently black spirits standing in front of him, which persistently were trying to grab him inside the hell pit... The whole family was gathered by his loud lamentations. The family members however could not see the evil spirits, by which the dying man was so horribly pressured. But all the members of the family believed in him concerning the presence of the evil spirits, because of the paleness and horror on his face. He was rotating back and forth in his bed. Lying on the left side, he could not endure their sight. Turning over to the wall and there they were. When he realized that he won't find some relaxation, he began to shout: "At least give me some time until morning. Allow me at least that." As he was shouting that, his soul was detached from his body" [14].
St. Gregory in his "Dialogue" states other similar events, just like Bede in his book "Historia ecclesiastika gentis anglorum" [15]. Even in America in the 19th century, such experiences did not seem unusual at all. A related collection of such incidents which was recently published, includes many visions of unrepentant sinners on their deathbed. There are expressions like "I'm in flames, get me out!" "Oh, I beg you, save me! They are pulling me down!", "I am going to hell!" and "The devil comes to get my soul in hell!" [16].
BUT DR MOODY SAYS NOTHING LIKE THAT. In his book, virtually all cases of near death experiences are pleasant - with the notable exception of suicide [17] - whether these people were Christians or believing in other religions or not religious at all. Additionally, Dr Osis & Dr Haroldsson found something in their studies, not far from this position. When the studies took part in America, they had the same results and therefore the same conclusions with Dr Moody. The vision of visitors from another world is considered as something positive, the patient accepts death, the experience is pleasurable and produces peace and it is often accompanied by the stopping of the death pain.
However, when the studies took part in India, at least one third of the patients saw visions full of fear, depression and anxiety as a result of the appearance of "yamdoot" [18]. The Indian patients resisted and tried to escape from the "angels" of the other world. In one case of an Indian office clerk, at his moment of death he suddenly began to say: "Someone is standing over there. He has a trolley with him and he must be a "yamdoot". He says that he needs to get someone with him and he says that he will get me! ... Please hold me. I do not want to be taken!" After that his pain grew and he passed away [19].
Another dying Indian suddenly said: "The yamdoot is coming to get me. Get me out of the bed so that he cannot find me!" After that he pointed outside and said, "There he is!" The hospital room was on the ground floor and outside, by the wall of the building, there was a large tree and many crows were sat on their branches. At the moment the patient saw the vision, all the crows suddenly flew away from the tree with such violence as if they had been shot. We were so much surprised that we all ran to the open door to see what made the crows scared, but we saw nothing. Usually this kind of birds is very quiet and it did made us a big impression when they flew away at the exact moment of the dying man seeing his vision. It was like they understood something horrible was happening. After that the patient was trapped in a coma state and died a few minutes later [20]. In cases, some "yamdoot" have a terrible look and cause even greater horror to the dying person.

This is the most striking difference between the experiences in America and those in India, as stated in the book of Dr Osis & Dr Haroldsson, but the authors are not in a position to give any explanation. Naturally, we wonder why nowadays experiences referred to Americans are almost completely missing the element that is so common in analogous past experiences of Christians and today's experiences of Indians, (which is the terror caused by beings of another world):
It is not necessary to define precisely the physical actions of the dying to figure out that the latter depends to an extent, as already seen, by what he "is prepared" to see. So the Christians of past centuries, who believed in the existence of hell, often saw demons. Today Indians (which are definitely more "primitive" than the Americans according to the faith and culture) are often seen beings who represent the very real fear they feel of another life, while modern Americans (with their "enlightened" views) see visions in harmony with their "comfortable" life and beliefs, which generally do not describe any realistic fear of hell and no idea about the existence of demons.
Objectively, the same demons are causing temptations according to the spiritual expectations of those who taste them. To those who fear hell, demons are presenting themselves with a horrible appearance to make them die in a state of desperation, but those who do not believe in hell, or Protestants who believe that they will definitely be "saved" and therefore have nothing to fear from the hell, demons will cause other forms of physical temptations that would hide their evil intentions.
In a similar way, even to a Christian who has suffered enough battling with the evil during his lifetime, the demons can appear in such a way as TO SEDUCE RATHER THAN TO INTIMIDATE. The demonic temptation faced by Saint Mavra (a 3rd century Martyr) is a typical example of that kind of temptation presented at the hour of death. After 9 days being on the cross, (she and her husband St. Timothy [21]), she was tempted by the devil. This temptation is written in the biography of these Saints, just like Saint Mavra described it to her husband:
"Have courage, my brother in Christ, and don't close your eyes. Stay alert and listen to what I say: I came in a state of ecstasy and I saw a man holding in his hand a cup filled with milk and honey. This man told me: "Take this and drink it." But I asked him: "Who you are?" He replied: "I am an angel of god." Then I told him: "Let us therefore both pray to the Lord." But he continued: "I came to you to relieve you from this torment. I saw that you had a great desire to eat and drink, because by this time you haven't got any food." Then I asked: "Who told you to show me this mercy? What difference does it make to you my patience and fasting? Don't you know that God is omnipotent and can make all things possible?" I started to pray and then I saw this man turn his face from the other side to the west. From what I understood it was a satanic test. Satan wanted to hurt us even on the cross. This vision disappeared after a while.
Then another man came near me and it seemed like he took me to a river with honey and milk and he told me: "Drink!" But I replied: "I told you already that will not drink any water or any other earthly drink before I drink the cup of death for Christ my Lord. This cup will have the water of my salvation and my immortality". When I had finished these words, he leaned over and drank from the river and suddenly disappeared together with the river."
In a future article, we will discuss the third appearance that happened to Saint Mavra, this time by a true Angel. By now, it becomes evident how cautious are the true Christians when "revelations" happen at the hour of death.
The time of death is therefore a time for demonic temptations and all the "spiritual" experiences that people have at this time, must be judged using the same Christian teaching criteria of judging any other spiritual experience. In a similar manner, all the "spirits" presented at this time must be assessed under the universal criterion given by Apostle John when he says: "TRY THE SPIRITS IF THEY COME FROM GOD" [22].
Nowadays, other critics of near death experiences are talking about the similarity of these "light beings" to the "guides of spirits" and "friendly spirits" of mediums and spiritualism. Let's briefly see what is the spiritual teaching for these "light beings" and their messages.
In a classic spiritualism book [23] it is stated that "the teaching of spirits is always or almost always in harmony with the high ethical standards. Concerning faith, this is always towards god and towards devotion to him, but it is not so much interested in those mental constructs, which are examined by the bishops in church meetings "[24]. The same book also states that the "key" and the "central dogma" of spiritual teaching is love [25] and that the "wonderful knowledge" taken from those spirits, is the motivation force for spiritualists to take the missionary work of spreading the idea that afterlife is certain [26] and finally that those "higher" spirits go beyond the limits of individuality and become more a "dynamic influence" rather than individuals, and they are gaining greater brightness [27]. It is true that the spiritualists in their hymns are calling literally for "light beings":
"Officers of the holy light!
Hidden from our mortal sight ...
Send the servants of the light,
In order to open our inner eyesight" [28].
All these, are more than enough to make us suspicious concerning the very nature of these "light beings" which appear to completely unsuspicious persons. Our suspicion increases when we read in Dr Moody's book that some people describe this "light being" as a funny person with a sense of humour and "fun" which pleases the dying person [29]. Such beings with the message of "love and understanding" are quite similar with the usual and often humorous "spirits" of séances [30], which are undoubtedly demons (when of course the séance is not fake).

Some people, driven by this fact, came to the conclusion that all near death experiences are demonic frauds. A book written by Evangelical Protestants affirmed that: "We think that some new danger arises with all this fraud refers to the near death experiences. We believe that even a dim of faith in these clinical experiences can have serious consequences to people who believe in the Bible. Some sincere Christians have accepted that this bright creature is Jesus Christ, and unfortunately these people are ready to be ridiculed" [31]. In order to support their thesis, the authors of this book found some remarkable similarities between some of the near death experiences of our times and recent experiences of the occultists. Additionally, they stress the undeniable fact that some of the researchers of near death experience were interested in the occult and that they came in contact with various mediums [32].
Of course there is a great portion of truth in these observations. Unfortunately, without full knowledge of the Christian teaching on the afterlife, even the most well-meaning believers are confusing the original near death experiences together with those which may actually be the result of a demonic fraud. Those 'believers' easily accept various misleading "post-mortem" experiences, as we shall see below.
Both Dr Osis & Dr Haroldsson had continuous and direct experiences with psychics. They noted many similarities between the apparitions presented to a dying person and the experiences encountered in spiritual séances. They note, however, a huge difference between these two types of experiences: "After a spiritual séance the person returns back to his usual lifestyle, but after a near death experience a person radically changes his way of life and his way of thinking"[33].
Indeed, the "Kingdom of the afterlife" seems to be totally different from the "kingdom of the mediums and the occultists". But it is a Kingdom where demonic frauds are more than possible, and they are surely expected, especially in these "end times" we are living, to "perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." [34].
Therefore, we must be very reluctant to the "good" nature of the "light beings" that seem to appear at the time of death. They look very much to be demons appear as "angels of light" to seduce not only the same person who dies, BUT EVEN MORE THOSE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WHO WOULD WITNESS THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE NEARLY DECEASED.
Finally, our judgement on these phenomena must NOT be based on what the appeared "spiritual being" is saying. We must approach the topic, after we finished examining all the similar phenomena.
Some of those who died and returned to life became very faithful. Usually those persons identified the "bright being" not as an angel but as the invisible presence of Christ Himself. The experience of those people is closely associated with another Christian phenomenon: the vision of Paradise. This is perhaps the most difficult question for Orthodox Christians.

Agioritiki Matriria (Athos Testimony) Quarterly edition of Holy Monastery Ksiropotamu, Holy Mount Athos, Issue 14-15 December 1991- June 1992


[1] Κ. Uekskuell, «Unbelievable for Many but Actually a True Occurrence», Orthodox Life, July-August 1976, p. 22.

[2] Saint Basilios the New (lived 870-944 or 952). His life is written in the book of first Bishop Evgeniu Tobru called Stoma Thanatu (Mouth of death), 2nd edition, Athens, 1971, p. 11-106

[3] Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave , Jordanville, N.Y., 1968, p. 70. also Bishop Evgeniu Tobru, Stoma Thanatu , p. 35

[4] Saint Gregory Turonis, Istoria ton fraggon (History of the Franks), VII, 1

[5] Eternal Mysteries..., p. 71 (36)
[6] K.Uekskuell, Unbelievable..., p.22 (51)
[7] 2nd Corinthians 11:14
[8] Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Life After Life, Mockingbird Books, Atalanta, 1975, p. 107-8 και Reflections on Life After Life, A Bantam-Mockingbird Book, 1977, p. 58-60
[9] Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Life After Life, p. 108
[10] Psalms 7:1-2
[11] Saint Basil the Great, Speech about the 7th Psalm, E.P.E., v. 5, Thessaloniki, 1974, p. 44-47, translation by Sofia Karakasidu. This paragraph is specially referring to the aerial demons which meet the human soul after its death. In the 6th chapter there is a detailed description of the demonic tests and temptations a soul suffers, during and after its death.
[12] John 14:30
[13] Saint John Chrysostom, Notes to Matthew's Gospel -- Speech 53, E.P.E., v. 11, Thessaloniki, 1979, p. 170-1, translation by Elefteria Meretaki
[14] Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogi (Dialogues), IV, 40, 7-8, , The life of unknown monks, 2nd edition, Holy Mount Athos, 1988, p.360-1
[15] Book V, chapter 13 & 15
[16] John Myers, Voices from the Edge of Eternity, Spire Books, Old Tappan, N.J., 1973, p. 71, 109, 167, 196, etc.
[17] Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Life After Life, p. 127-8
[18] yamdoot: and angel of death for the Indians
[19] Karl Osis & Erlendur Haroldsson, At the Hour of Death, Avon Books, New York, 1977, p. 90
[20] as above, p.41-2
[21] Their celebration is at the 3rd of May.
[22] 1st John 4:1
[23] J. Arthur Hill, Spiritualism, Its History, Phenomena and Doctrine, George H. Doran Co, New York, 1919
[24] as above, p. 235
[25] as above, p. 283
[26] as above, p. 185-6
[27] as above, p. 300-1
[28] as above, p. 186-7
[29] Dr. Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Life After Life, p. 49 & 51
[30] séance: spiritual gathering
[31] Jon Weldon and Zola Levitt, Is There Life After Death?, Harvest House Publishers, Irvine, Calif., 1977, p. 76
[32] as above p. 64-70
[33] Karl Osis & Erlendur Haroldsson, At the Hour of Death..., p. 200
[34] Matthew 24:24


Holy Fire Miracle Jesus Christ Tomb subtitled.wmv

The Holy Fire miracle happens every Easter Saturday.

I repeat, it happens EVERY YEAR !!!!!!!


Do you know the future of your soul??


Sent to: buddhha4

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