Often, we read or watch accounts of near-death experiences — hundreds upon hundreds — and are left with absolutely no doubt not just of existence after death — and, once Heaven is reached, an incredible, indescribable place — but also that we never lose consciousness.
There is no “sleep” upon death. This is a misnomer. There is the rising of the spirit. In fact, a common feature of near-death experiences regardless of religion is that on the other side, we are far more alert and aware than ever on earth. One man said it’s like having “fifty senses,” instead of just five.
Sharon Milliman of West Virginia, who had a near-death experience in 2005, after she was struck by lightning, says she was taken, by Jesus, to heavenly places and glimpsed a city of light with extraordinary colors and a beautiful “vibrational sound” coming from everything. “The trees had a sound, the rocks had sound, the water had a sound, the grass had a song,” she said. “When you take all those sounds and put them together, you have the most magnificent choir and orchestra that you’ve ever heard in your life and everything is singing praises to God.
“After I heard the music, I could see what I called the Glorious City, and it was off into the distance. There was a bright wall of gold that goes around the city. In the middle of the city is a round building. There are lots of buildings, but there was a big round building in the center and it had a golden dome on it. All these buildings are made of like alabaster, marble, and just beautiful. And the architecture is just like these columns and archways and intricate detail carved into the marble.”
Upon death, they unanimously attest, the spirit rises out of the physical body.
Said Saint Paul (in 1 Corinthians 15):
“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?’ You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
“But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.
“There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
“So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
“However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”
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