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Originally posted by FaithNoMore
Is this like a featured article in this forum?
Originally posted by FaithNoMore
Anyway, hate to put a downer on this thread but there could be other possibilities than your experience being "heaven"
Originally posted by FaithNoMore
Besides, you don't know if the same will occur when you die, or that it will be eternal.
Originally posted by seattlelaw
Now that is interesting to me. The entire concept of sin I simply don't buy into. It's a huge part of the Catholic Church to feel the guilt of your sin - original sin even! Meaning that every infant is born with the stain of original sin. This I find preposterous. There is nothing as wonderful and so clearly representing God's light on earth than a new-born.
I don't believe God finds anything wrong with any of us unless it is our own self-imposed punishment. The concept of a God of retribution - the concept of an angry God is now foreign to me. I do believe Jesus was here to show us a path to God, but I do not believe that God retaliates against us for not following that path. I do not believe that there is a chalk board somewhere where our "sins" are tabulated and weighed against our good deeds to determine whether we have gained access to heaven, nirvana or whatever. If sin can be defined as doing what is not truly representative of who you are - which would be a lie - then that is one thing. But the church's reliance on the concept of sin and absolution is a hook to get the masses to buy into their program. The program (like Scientology) cannot be completed without the assistance of their priest which makes membership in the church required to get the desired hall pass to heaven.
This is dogma. And while I know that dogma spelled backwards is am god, I do not believe God holds much truck with dogma.
Originally posted by kinglizard
Two months ago (February 2006) I was moving a television set and pulled a muscle in my back. The pain only increased over the next couple days. It got so bad that instead of sleeping I had to take a series of standing catnaps at night because I couldn’t sit or lay down without excruciating pain. Finally I decided to go to the emergency room at the closest hospital where they gave me heavy doses of pain medicine and muscle relaxers to ease the pain before sending me home. The pain medicine would ease the pain a bit but I still wasn’t able to sleep. The next evening I decided to return to the hospital. They gave me a large intravenous dose of the most powerful pain medicine available, something called dilaudid. That dose eased the pain and allowed me to sleep that evening.
The next day the pain was back, I was out of my mind and could hardly walk. Obviously I was headed back to the hospital. I was vomiting and uncontrollably moaning from the pain. I remember the 10 min ride to the emergency room seemed like it would never end as every pebble we hit in the road sent me into uncontrollable pain. I couldn’t get out of the car on my own so they came to the car with a wheelchair and wheeled me in so that I could sign in. They thought the only problem with me was that I had a pulled muscle so I wasn’t a priority and had to wait in the wheelchair for almost four hours. I have never known such pain.
Finally it’s time for me to be screened. They take my temperature and it’s a bit high. They take my blood oxygen level and determine that the machine is broken so they take it again only to get the same impossibly low reading. The nurse, still thinking it’s broken, gets her personal device and gets the same reading. Then all hell breaks loose, it’s a full blown emergency to save my life.
They determine that I have double pneumonia (both lungs), third stage empyema and a kidney infection. Empyema is when a lung infection fills the sack that surrounds the lung. The infection bleeds through the lung tissue and collects in this sack.
The doctors immediately came to me for permission to do an emergency chest tube. I asked if it would help and was told it was imperative to attempt to drain the infection from my lungs. All I could say was “let’s do it”. The tube was about the same diameter as a mans thumb. It was going to be pushed through my chest about 6 inches below by right armpit. They can only numb you so far as they can’t numb your entire chest so the first few inches would be ok but the rest of the way to my lung would be unbelievably painful. The doctor/surgeon had to repeat the procedure three times as he couldn’t get the tube in the right spot. I was told that the doctor felt really bad because he knew how much pain he was causing me and I was repeatedly thanking him for having the knowledge to help me during the procedure. He said it really touched him that even though he was causing me incredible pain I was thanking him.
Obviously I’m admitted to the hospital. I’m not sure how long it was but they had to do another chest tube, I had a total of five ranging from the diameter of a mans thumb to the diameter of a pencil. Some went through my side and some through the front of my chest. Anyway when they were going to do the next large chest tube I knew the pain I was going to have to endure. I held my cross necklace in my right hand just before the procedure. They were about to begin, I needed strength to get through the inevitable pain. I started saying “Help me Jesus” out loud over and over again. I never stopped I just kept saying “Help me Jesus” again and again and again. Then at some point I guess I stopped breathing but to me I was aware (though not in the room) and still saying “Help me Jesus”.
Every time I said “Help me Jesus” I rose a little higher in the air. I said it again and rose higher and higher. This happened over and over. I noticed I was in absolutely no pain and realized Jesus was helping me. The “sky” held a golden lace curtain though it was solid and very large. It extended as far as I could see and was directly in front of me. I say lace because it was ornate with gaps between the “carvings”. I was bathed in a bright white light that came from a single source. It shown through the gaps in the gold “lace” curtain and touched my soul. It made you feel endless love, complete peace and supreme happiness. Without a doubt it was God.
The higher I ascended the brighter and more powerful the light. I remember after a while thinking I that I died because you always hear of near death experiences where people see the bright light and feelings of extreme love and peace. I was still repeating “help me Jesus” and thought to myself what a wonderful feeling, I wanted to go higher and way praying that my ascent wouldn’t end because I wanted to feel more of this love and peace. I wanted to get closer to this source, closer to the light. I remember feeling warm from the inside out, not hot just absolutely perfect and comfortable, a deep warmth that’s difficult to explain. I don’t know if I had a body but I certainly felt like myself.
The light as it reflected off the ornate gold openings sparkled and felt alive. It was so wonderful, more wonderful than anything here on earth. I knew I was in the presence of God. Finally I found myself floating just above a golden city. Softly, peacefully I was floating just outside a beautiful golden wall that seemed to surround heaven. I was floating slowly down the wall just above it’s highest point allowing me to see beyond the wall and into the “city”. This was the closest I was to the white light (God). The gold lace curtain was somewhere below me and the light came from just above the “city” (heaven). Nothing was between me and the light and I felt like I was home.
Looking over the wall I could see gold pillars with platter looking objects sitting on top. The weird thing is when I looked at these objects from 100’s of feet away I could also smell them...yes I could smell these objects just by looking at them. It was a godly, royal scent...almost sweet...it's difficult to accurately describe but it felt like it could only come from God. Still floating down the outside and above the wall bathed in light I looked at and smelled maybe 5 or 6 more of these objects, it was intoxicating and I never wanted it to end. A voice came, I don’t know if it was out loud or not but I suspect God spoke directly to my mind. He said “you may stay here or you can return". Without anything said I knew if I chose to return God would heal everything in my body. My thoughts turned to my family and in an instant I said “I would like to return”. I know even though I was in such peace and love, being toughed by God I still chose to return. That is the last thing I remember from that experience. I woke and was heard saying “I touched the face of God and he said everything was going to be OK”….and it was…
I will never be the same…
I had a ventilator breathing for me for 11 or 12 days and in the hospital for a total of 18 days. During that time I had surgery on my right lung to remove the empyema and remove some of the infection. I had another complication where my lungs lost all their stretchiness ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). A lot of people die from just that but my lungs healed and I recovered, just like God said. I have almost completely recovered from everything though I’m not sure if I will regain the function of the lower part of my right lung.
I know God allowed me to return for some reason. I pray everyday that he will reveal his plan to me though I get the feeling that part of that plan is for me to share this story.
God is no longer an untouchable faith to me, he is real, real as you or me, I was in his presence. I feel so very blessed by this experience and am so thankful that I am able to share this story with you.
God bless you all…
EDIT: It’s difficult to Photoshop what I saw on my ascent to heaven but this is close. The ornate gold curtain was much more beautiful, like it was carved and the light really came to life when it came through the openings. Also it felt more open and bright.
[edit on 3/1/2008 by kinglizard]