On the 7 February 1985, I had a near death experience in the kitchen at home in front of my 14 year- old daughter.
It had snowed heavily, and I had been shovelling the snow to clear a path, when I felt a terrific pain like a knife in my back. I shouted out in pain and my wife, Pauline, and my daughter came out to where I was. They literally dragged me into the house. Pauline thought I had had a stroke, and ran to the neighbours for help.
During the time my wife was out of the house, my daughter was present. She said that suddenly my body went rigid, and my arms and legs just shot out. I stopped breathing, and my face changed colour. Not surprisingly, she became hysterical.
I felt myself, at that moment in time, leaving my body as I went into a tunnel. Up to that time, although I had been born again many years previous, I had never heard anyone talk about this kind of experience.
The sensation was of travelling at high speed down this tunnel. All my natural senses were greatly heightened. The colours were more vivid; my hearing was incredibly acute and everything I saw was manifestly more distinctive than with my normal vision. I had no fear because, being a Christian, I knew the place to which I was travelling was Heaven.
Something I really love to do is to travel fast, and so the speed at which I came through the tunnel was a wonderfully exhilarating experience. Approaching the end of the tunnel I saw before me the most brilliant, glorious, radiant light. As I saw the glory of Heaven appearing before me, I head the name of Jesus, seemingly echoing throughout Heaven. ‘Jesus, Jesus’. On the third shout of, ‘Jesus’, I did, as it were, an emergency stop, and my spirit went into reverse. Back I came up the tunnel at top speed, and re-entered my body.
I remember that the first thing my mind fastened onto in my body was my hearing, as I became aware of my wife saying, ‘Jesus’. The next thing my mind fastened onto was my eyesight, and I saw my wife, Pauline, and neighbours gathered around me. Later I told them that I knew then that I was not in Heaven because they were certainly not angels.
It was a most extraordinary experience. I spent some days in hospital where I was checked very carefully many times. They said that my problem had been caused by a furring of the arteries that supply the brain. I was due to fly off to the United Sates to preach a few days later. Further X-rays showed that there was nothing stopping the blood flow, so a few days later I flew off to the States.
As I look back over the 10 years since this amazing occurrence, I know that God has given me an exceptional sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection life and power of Jesus Christ. There have been a number of occasions when God has used me to raise up other people who have had near-death experiences.
On one occasion, when I was preaching one night in my church at Burrwood, a man died. (That’s how boring my preaching is!) About halfway through my message, he got up and walked out. I just assumed he needed a ‘comfort’ break. Having got through the doors, he then collapsed. Two ladies who were outside rushed back into the church, down the aisle, saying, ‘Come Pastor, quick, quick!’ I sprinted out of the church and there was Jack, laid out, dead. They had already phoned for an ambulance, but one of the ladies handed me a bottle of anointing oil and said, ‘Hold out your hands,’ and then proceeded to poor all the oil into my hands. Then she said, ‘Slap it on his head!’ So I did exactly that, with the oil running all over his head. The Holy Spirit came over me with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, as I spoke out the words, ‘Death, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. Take your hands off Jack. Now, Jack, come back into your body’. Instantaneously, he came back into his body, and he is still fit and well.
Pastor Rod presenting a nebuliser to a TB hospital
Some short time ago when I was giving my testimony, a man asked me whether I had been given any choice to stay in Heaven or come back. I told him that I really had not, because when your wife tells you something then you have to obey her! It is good to have a wife who knows the authority we have in Jesus. So I give God all the glory and praise for giving me extra time to serve him.
Pastor Rod Lewis is an active Pastor in Staffordshire, England. He is involved, amongst other things, in missionary work to Chernobyl, Ukraine. His church charity, Help Aid Chernobyl Children, visits the Ukraine frequently. For details visit this web site: www.emmanuel-newlife.org/input.htm
Pastor Rod Lewis is available to share his testimony, and he may be contacted at the following e-mail address: [email protected]