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Does Experience Trump the Word of God? – Part Two

May 18, 2024

In our last newsletter, I shared that I was reading a book by John Burke called “Imagine the God of Heaven.” It’s about near-death experiences (NDEs). One thing I noticed as I was reading this book was that pretty much every NDE had a “heavenly” angle to it. The author did mention that in his first book, he included more stories about people having “hell” experiences.

While witnessing over the years, I have met 35 people who had the hellish NDE and only 7 or 8 people who had the heavenly kind. Just a couple of days ago, a restaurant hostess named Elisa told me her mother or grandmother exited her body and had the white-light experience along with the feeling of being encapsulated by love. Now, I cannot deny that experience, but was it biblical?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Since Satan can appear as an angel of light, shouldn’t we be testing these “light” experiences that people have against what the Scriptures say?

Matthew 7:13,14

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Since so many in this world are on the wide path that leads to destruction, wouldn’t you expect more of the NDEs to be of the hellish kind and not the heavenly kind? But if more of the NDEs that seem to make it into books and publications are of the heavenly kind, is it possible that we are being deceived about those encounters? Are they biblical?

Terms Speak Volumes

One of the people mentioned in John Burke’s book referred to God as the “Divine Light.” Do any red flags go up for you at this moment? Does anyone out there who was once in the New Age movement or who has studied the New Age movement recognize that term?

On pages 10–12, the author writes about a man named Santosh who had an NDE. This man came from a Hindu background and claimed he received instructions from the “heavenly being” he encountered.

He said to me in an authoritative but loving voice, “I’m sending you back to the earth… Go back and complete your unfinished tasks. When you are back, I want you to love your family and love your children. Pay attention to your daughter. She needs your help.”

Okay, wait a minute. That all sounds well and good, and I hope all fathers love their families, but do you see the problem here? The man is not saved!! He needs to come back to earth, repent, believe, and share Jesus with his entire household and all his Hindu friends. But that is not what he garnered from his experience or from the “god” that he met in this experience.

Santosh also said,

We talked for a long time. I don’t know how long it was…I don’t know who he was, except that he was God. I didn’t have to ask or find out; I knew this was the Lord of everything. Lord of all.

Finally Meeting the Lord

Do you really think we are going to meet God and not know who He is? You are going to know Jesus when you meet Him. Trust me. No, don’t trust me; read your Bible. Read every encounter that Jesus has with people. Read about the throne of God in the Book of Revelation. Read about the Great White Throne Judgment. No, you won’t be mistaken about Who is doing the judging.

Numerous times in the book, the author refers to the “god” these people encountered as the “God of light and love.” Now, those are true characteristics of the true God. He is light, and He is love. But do any other red flags go up for you at this moment? Does anyone out there who was once in the New Age movement or who has studied the New Age movement recognize that term as well?

You’re not going to meet Jesus and call Him “Mohammad.” God goes by certain names, like “Yahweh” and “Jehovah.” We call Him by those names, and we will use them when we stand before Him. If people are meeting a generic God and don’t know exactly who He is, then there is a great chance they are being deceived.

Dr. Chung said this on page 19 about his experience:

I had no idea who was speaking to me, but I knew that was the source of the greatest love… Perhaps it’s what we called God?

Not buying it. It is either God, or it is not God. How can one have that encounter and not know who it is, unless, of course, they are being deceived?

Which Spirit?

Some of the people in the book mention speaking to relatives who have passed on. When do we ever see that in the Bible?

Leviticus 19:31

Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

We do not go to psychics or palm readers, and we do not consult mediums. The only reason you go to them is to witness to them or give them a tract! Yes, I have done that, and you should do that as well. We don’t go to them to contact the dead.

Mr. Burke wrote on page 45,

In some cases, NDErs do express their experience of God in terms consistent with their respective religious traditions. If some NDErs say they saw Allah, or one of the millions of Hindu gods, or just an unnamed source of light and love, does this mean that there are multiple divine beings that nevertheless reveal themselves in similar ways in NDEs?

Are any more red flags being raised for you?

One guy in the book, Cedric, was so moved by his NDE that when he came back, he became a Catholic priest! Well, well, well. Any of you former Catholics out there know that there is just a tad bit of difference between Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity? Maybe not even a tad bit of difference, but maybe a gulf as wide as the Grand Canyon!

The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are so far off base. We did a comparison and contrast between the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Bible on pages 86–92 of the book I wrote called  Paradise.


     We also have a talk on the website titled Roman Catholicism vs. the Bible. It is well worth the listen.


Experience or Truth?

It is easy to see why these books are popular; they give people hope and make them believe they are learning more about the God of the Bible. They also give people hope that maybe some of their loved ones who have gone on before them and that they knew were not saved or were unsure that they were saved got to meet this God of “light and love” and are okay now.

“Popular” does not equal biblical. “Experience” does not trump the Word of God—never has and never will.

John 14:6 is still true today, and it is true no matter what experience someone has had.

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1 Timothy 4:1,2

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

One thing I do know is that I need to know my Bible better in these latter times. Seducing spirits are on the prowl, and none of us want to be taken in by any of them.

Even though these “heavenly encounters” are popular, we should trust the Word of God far beyond—light years beyond—anything that any man tells us about any of the experiences they have had.

Until the nets are full,


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