Spirit Beings in Paradise
NDErs report meeting not only with God, Jesus, friends and relatives in Paradise, but with other beings there too. These beings are friendly spiritual entities, similar to ourselves yet different. Many NDErs identify them afterwards as angels, but few if any have proffered self-identification. They sometimes first appear even before entry into the tunnel. They are there to help and advise, especially if there is a complex part of the planned experience that is different from the norm. Lillian Oaktree 7 describes her befuddlement at their appearance, followed by their gentle reassuring response.
I suddenly became aware of two, what can only be described as beings, standing on my right,’ she says. ‘They were 6ft tall, wearing bright cloaks and totally transparent. Where their faces should have been were balls of golden light. I remember asking what was happening and one of them said in a gentle voice, ‘This is the closest you’ve ever been to God’. I’d never felt so humbled but I was suddenly bathed in a bright light and every bit of my body was pulsating with energy.
Crystal McVea 12 gives us a more personal description of two angels she met.
I was instantly aware of two beings in front of me and to my left, and I knew right away who they were – they were angels.
But they weren’t just any angels – they were my angels.
I recognised them immediately. There was so much brightness coming off them that I couldn’t make out any features. But they weren’t shapeless blobs; they definitely had a form, which was roughly that of a human body: long and slender.
The being on the right appeared a bit bigger than the one on the left. They didn’t move or hover or anything – they were just there.
And what I instantly felt for them was love.
A great, sweeping love for my angels overwhelmed me. It was like they were the best friends I could ever have, though the word friend doesn’t come close to describing them. The angels were: my protectors, my teachers, my mentors, my heroes, my strength, my spirit, and my heart, everything all rolled into one. I felt like they had been a part of my existence and my journey forever – as if they had been by my side for every tear I ever cried, every decision I had ever made, every day I ever felt lonely, not only on Earth but through all eternity. I felt so unbelievably safe and free in their presence, so happy and fulfilled. I understood why they were there – to greet me upon my arrival and guide me back home.
Crystal believed that these two angels had been with her since childhood, suggested perhaps in Matthew 18:10 ‘See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven’ and Psalm 91: 11 ‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways’.
What’s more, I realised there was instant and complete communication between us. What do I mean by that? Imagine a button you can press; as soon as you press it, you know everything there is to know about someone, and they know everything about you. Or a password that, if you let me use it, gives me instant access to everything you’ve ever said or thought or felt or written or believed in your life: past, present and future. Instantly, I would have a more complete understanding of you than is possible on Earth. Well, that is what this was like – a sensation that everything we were, everything that mattered, was passing freely between my angels and me, strengthening our profound connection and an eternal bond. There was no room whatsoever for secrets or shame or misunderstanding or anything negative.
Crystal McVea tries to place the angels in a wider context.
The light, the brightness, the angels, the communication – everything was a creation of God.
I understood that I too was a part of him, and that’s the moment I truly realised what being a creation of God truly means.
Pets in Paradise
One might speculate that because loving connections are formed with pets on Earth, and love is eternal, those pets could be found in Paradise. It certainly seems to help an NDEr to relax when reunion with a special pet is part of their experience.
Lillian Oaktree 7 to her delight was reunited with her old dogs, Fluke, Random and Joule.
Susan 13 recalls that, ‘I had seen all the pets I had as a child in heaven. Dogs and even parakeets whom I really loved. They had a caretaker – a man who took care of all the animals. So if anyone ever asks me if animals survive death, I have to say, “Yes!”’
Three-years-old Colton Burpo 14 even claimed that Jesus himself has a horse of his own – although the horse may be kept within the heavenly city rather than in Paradise. Nevertheless, the principle is the same, which is that pets exist in the afterlife.
Children in particular settle into the afterlife more readily if a beloved pet greets them - Transfer Principle. When telling us about of Heaven, some children speak quite naturally of animals and past pets that they have played with there, and a picture is emerging that these animals may have a section of their own – but more detailed accounts would be needed to establish this idea.
Music in Paradise
Iris Lemov 15 enjoyed her time in Paradise, and her description adds an extra dimension noticed by others – there was soft music playing. ‘Music coming from nowhere made me feel comfortable and I began to feel as if I belonged.’
Many others extol this music. Don Piper 4 states that he never saw anything that produced the sound, which was the most beautiful and pleasant one he had ever heard. ‘And it didn’t stop. It was like a song that goes on forever. I felt awestruck, wanting only to listen. I didn’t just hear music, it seemed as if I were part of the music – and it played in and through my body. I stood still, and yet I felt embraced by the sounds.’
Ethnicity in Paradise
Some NDErs comment on seeing strangers enjoying Paradise, who are usually in the distance. Styles of clothing vary, but they appear to be enjoying themselves.
As might be expected from the God who created and loves all people, there is no racism recorded in NDEs, nor any social divide. Dale Black 6 remarks on this:
I did not notice racial differences, but I was aware that they had come from many tribes and nations. None were recognised by the physical or social distinctions that we recognise on Earth. All were recognised by their spirit, by the essence of who they were. Everyone and everything was full of pure life and was connected to the light somehow, and everything that was connected led to God.
Boundaries in Paradise
Some NDErs report they became aware of a boundary in Paradise that separated those allowed to return to Earth from those who after crossing it could not return. Rose Richter 7 intuitively ‘knew’ that there was this boundary. It gave her an unusual perception of Paradise – beautiful as it was, she says she knew it was just a place of waiting.
The barrier can take different forms: a fence, a gate, a body of water, a wall, a group of rocks, a mist, or even an imaginary line. Because Hades is a real venue, it seems to have a variety of sections, each with a different purpose and separated from others by a barrier or border, just as on Earth any country may have a variety of borders to separate it from neighbours. Thus for such a big region as Hades, a variety of barriers within it could be used to separate out particular regions or no-go areas. Dr A. S. Wiltse 16 gave an early example of this during the NDE he described in 1889.
This being told me, ‘This is the road to the eternal world. Yonder rocks are the boundary between the two worlds and the two lives. Once you pass them, you can no more return into the body. If your work is complete on Earth, you may pass beyond the rocks. If, however, upon consideration you conclude that it is not done, you can return into the body.’
I was tempted to cross the boundary line…
The NDErs are not generally told that ‘this is the threshold between life and death’, but that is what most intuitively perceive. In a few cases, such as Dr Wiltse quoted above, they have been told specifically that to cross the barrier means they cannot return to Earth. Crystal McVea 12 records: ‘The instant I became aware of the gates of Heaven [as opposed to the gardens of Paradise], God said, “Once we get there, you cannot come back.”’
An unwillingness to return to Earth is commonly recorded and it is easy to visualise multitudes of spirits choosing to stream past barriers of no return. Some NDErs describe seeing them doing so. Crystal McVea did not hesitate: she wanted to cross the barrier and live with God. ‘I understood we were near the point of no return in my journey, and that filled me with such excitement and such expectation, I couldn’t wait to get there! But in that instant, I had a vision of my four children… I was nearing the point where I would not be able to go back and see them again on Earth.’ Despite this, she wanted to proceed, to remain with God rather than to return! She turned back only when feeling a pressing need to tell her mother where she was.
There are interesting variations in other accounts – some wanted to stay yet not cross the barrier, others felt obliged to go back to Earth to complete unfinished tasks or because of loved ones. Many others were sent back without being given a choice and without seeing any visible barrier to cross.
Before investigating the return of NDErs to Earth, we must examine experiences in Hades other than those that have taken place in Paradise. These may be harrowing to consider, but their message for the NDEr is similar to that discovered in Paradise.
That overall message is positive!
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