|Near Death Experiences (NDE's) & Visions|
One may be tempted to place this page further down in revelation, but so many near death accounts are available out there, that this is a more common topic.
At the time of this writing one such account has recently made it into the theaters, "Heaven is for Real".
Shortly after being Spirit filled, I watched a video of a man who claimed to have went to heaven on numerous occasions. It impressed me a lot, and in fact inspired my desire to understand the Kingdom of God, and put me on the revelation path you can find in my Kingdom of God webpage:
The Gospel of The Kingdom - Part 1
Later, sharing the account with others, I could not recall this man's name, his claimed number of visits to heaven (which would help me find him through searches), or even the church I watched the video at (as I had traveled to another state and been to about 3 different churches). This occurred around 1989.
Over the years I have spoken of this video to friends and tried finding info about it online and asking around with no success. I don't know if this was due to the information not being online, if I had gotten considerably better recently, or it was fate! But on Resurrection Sunday 2014 I found the video and information.
I decided to look this up again because of the film, "Heaven is for Real". In "Heaven is for Real" I discovered there are 2 unBiblical statements:
1. Humans have wings like angels and halos
2. They state the time frame of Christ’s return
There is no Biblical mention of humans having wings and Jesus told us no man knows the day of His return.
I have not read the book or seen the film, but reviews have given me this info.
It has been awhile since I made this page (maybe a year or more?) I don't completely understand the details as I haven't read the book or watched the movie, there may be 2 accounts in the book, and one has been recanted. See here:
"The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" Recants Story, Rebukes Christian Retailers
One must be cautious with NDE's and Visions, and I discuss this a bit on my page:
How can you be sure what method is correct in finding God?
...where I state:
All revelations, visions, and visitations must be measured. It should be measured by the Bible.
I highly recommend reading that page before watching or reading any NDE's or Visions.
So I decided to rewatch the video as a more mature believer knowing scripture to test it and I found no unscriptural statements or stances, except maybe one partially. And the man is extremely humble, he is not flashy nor exploitive.
His name is Oden Hetrick and he claims to have been to heaven over 80 times. The video is long and very dated (old) but is still very inspiring. You can view the video here:
"Testimony of Heaven: Inside the Holy City" - Interview with Rev. Oden Hetrick
You can read the account on the following link, which may contain a few more details that the video does not share:
INSIDE THE GATES OF HEAVEN
There is one statement in the book version, where there is an absolute stated. While I believe the statement to be true for most, even as much as 99.99% true, I don't believe it to be absolute for all.
As I have shared one must be careful with visions and such, as it is not the source for new revelation, and must align with scripture. Although of coarse you can learn something new from a vision and later find it in scripture!
Kenneth Hagin claimed to have had visits with the Lord, and in several situations he asked Jesus for 2-3 scriptural witnesses to any revelation the Lord gave him. I would do the same.
Galatians 1: NKJV
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
"...for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name."
There is balance here, just because I may disagree with 1 statement at .001% doesn't make them accursed! None of us has absolute understanding of all doctrines.
1 Cor 13:12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The website is down, and have linked to the internet archive of the page/book. And after quite awhile, I have decided to share the 1 matter I disagree with Oden Hetrick on. He states that everyone in heaven is given a "companion", similar to what a spouse is on earth. I have no issues on the nature of the companionship he shares, but completely disagree everyone will have one. Some people may not want a companion. Then there is this:
Mt 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Re 14:1 ¶ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
According to these scriptures there are some men in heaven who have no companions.
If this one matter is the only area where he observed something and interpreted it to be an absolute, rather than a common circumstance, this is not so bad.
While he may give us scriptures that can be interpreted to agree with this statement, none of them say it clearly as an absolute for everyone nor do the verses they give clearly dictate this stance.
While I may seem to be making a big "hoopla" on this issue, its because I am a teacher, not because I am judging Mr. Hetrick. I wish to help others:
12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive
I only wish to "perfect the saints". Mr. Hetrick's account is absolutely wonderful and is a blessing to us, but its not perfect. My website isn't perfect either. One needs strong scriptural evidence. Can the doctrine be concluded by the scriptures alone without the vision? In this case I believe there is scriptural evidence what he saw is true, but not his statement it's true for everyone and that it is mandatory.
The Pentecostals believe it's mandatory to talk in tongues to get to heaven. While talking in tongues is scriptural, and while talking in tongues may be mandatory for other things, there is no scriptural support it's needed for salvation.
Let's talk about my "may". I discuss on this website elsewhere, that being Spirit filled may be needed for being raptured. I give some scriptural support for this. I admonish everyone to get tongues just in case. You can read more here:
Oil & the Holy Spirit
Because of these same reasons, I am sharing about the .001% disagreement I have with Mr. Hetrick, I myself, have not declared that tongues is needed for the rapture.
So please understand I am using this as a teaching lesson, not as a judgment against Mr. Hetrick. Please enjoy his testimony and be cautious with all visions and all teachings with every minister.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
There is another account where I believe the account, but I don't trust the source's interpretations and motives. And that is the account of Jesse Duplantis.
Jesse Duplantis, is a "name it, claim it" preacher. He believes that all christians can have faith to get rich, which is called the Prosperity Gospel. He markets his visit to heaven to make money. He is flashy. I believe in faith, and preach it myself as the 2nd foundational principle here:
Foundational Principles of Christ Part 1
But I do not promote or believe in the prosperity gospel. I do believe we can have faith to have all our needs met and never have to beg for food. But Jesus said:
Math 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
One common problem in NDE's and visions is a lack of understanding of what is seen. And these things can be misinterpreted. If one already believes wrong doctrines, how can we trust their understanding of what they see in a visit to heaven? Or in the case of "Heaven is for Real", how are we to trust the understandings of a 3-4 year old child?
Here is Jesse DuPlantis's video on his visit to heaven. Watch with caution:
Jesse Duplantis - Heaven - Close Encounters of the God Kind
shorter version: Close Encounters of The God Kind
I enjoyed his account and even own it. I even like Jesse! But I do not trust his interpretations and believe he is missing the mark on some of his doctrines.