- Category: FALSE TEACHINGS
False Visits To Heaven & Hell
Jesse Duplantis, Bill Wiese, Todd Burpo, Don Piper, Mary K Baxter
Book Reviews, Videos, Articles - How Spiritual Experiences Undermine God's Word
FALSE VISITS TO HEAVEN & HELL— Book Reviews, Article, Audio - How Spiritual Experiences Undermine God's Word. Are Visits to Heaven & Hell & Afterlife Experiences Reliable? NO. RE: FALSE VISITS of— Jesse Duplantis, Bill Wiese, Mary K Baxter, Rick Joyner, Kenneth Hagin,Todd Burpo, Rebecca Springer, Richard Eby. Why Claims of Afterlife Experiences are NOT Reliable & Unbiblical. SO4J-TV examines the Unbiblical Claims of many of these Books. Book Reviews of: Bill Wiese—23 Minutes in Hell, Don Piper— 90 Minutes in Heaven, Todd Burpo— Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, Mary K Baxter— A Divine Revelation of Hell (& Heaven too), Jesse Duplantis— Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind, and more. So many people claim they've talked to Jesus & others Face to Face. God's Word must NEVER be Undermined & Trumped for Personal Spiritual Experiences & Extra Biblical Revelations, and Visions (Gal 1:6-12). We must rely 100% on God's Unfailing Word (Heb 1:1-2).
- QUOTE: "Even if the Purpose of Books like Mary K Baxter’s [Bill Wiese, Jesse Duplantis, Todd Burpo, Don Piper, Kenneth Hagin, Rick Joyner..] is to Motivate us to REPENT, they do MORE HARM than Good in that they UNDERMINE the FINAL & COMPLETE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE." —Bob DeWaay - Critical Issues Commentary
"Don't Be Deceived, Be Biblically Discerning!"—SO4J-TV
- 1 Cor 2:9 "EYE has NOT SEEN, nor EAR HEARD, NOR have entered into the HEART of man the things which God has PREPARED for those who LOVE HIM."
- Rev 22:18-19 "And I solemnly declare to everyone who Hears the Words of Prophecy written in this Book: If anyone ADDS anything to what is WRITTEN here, God will ADD to that Person the PLAGUES described in this Book. And if anyone REMOVES ANY of the Words from this Book of Prophecy, God will REMOVE that Person’s SHARE in the TREE OF LIFE and in the HOLY CITY that are described in this Book."
- INTRO & A WARNING FROM SO4J-TV
- WARNING! HELL IS A REAL PLACE!
- AUDIO - FALSE VISITS OF HEAVEN & HELL - BOB DEWAAY & JAN MARKELL
- JOHN MACARTHUR - ARE VISITS TO HEAVEN & HELL REAL? JOHN MACARTHUR EXPOSES FALSE VISITS
- PAUL CAUGHT UP INTO HEAVEN - NOT LAWFUL FOR HIM TO SPEAK OF WHAT HE HEARD! - 2 Cor 12:4
- YOUR BEST AFTERLIFE NOW - JUSTIN PETERS ARTICLE - A BIBLICAL CRITIQUE OF HEAVEN & HELL VISITS
- 23 MINUTES IN HELL - BILL WIESE - BOOK REVIEW
- HEAVEN IS FOR REAL - TODD BURPO - BOOK REVIEW
- 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN - DON PIPER - BOOK REVIEW
- ARTICLE - VISITING HEAVEN & HELL - BOB DEWAAY
- HELL VIDEOS - HELL IS REAL - VIDEOS
- HEAVEN - WHAT IS HEAVEN? - HEAVEN IS REAL! - VIDEOS
- GOOD NEWS! - GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
Intro & A Warning from SO4J-TV
INTRO & A WARNING FROM SO4J-TV RE: WEBSITES THAT PROMOTE THESE UNBIBLICAL BOOKS—
DON'T BELIEVE & FOLLOW WEBSITES on the INTERNET [like the UNBIBLICAL website called: SpiritLessons(DOT)com, & many others] that are PROMOTING: EXTRA BIBLICAL REVELATIONS, VISIONS, and CLAIMS of AFTERLIFE EXPERIENCES through: BOOKS, AUDIOS, DVDs, VIDEOS, ARTICLES, LINKS— these Visions are UNRELIABLE! Many of these Websites & Bookstores that are Promoting these items might seemingly have all the Right Motives (we don't doubt some of these Ministries Sincerity), but they are Being DUPED & DECEIVED— they Mix UNRELIABLE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES with the TRUTH. GO TO: Beware of False Teachers. "Don't YOU Be DECEIVED— but be BIBLICALLY DISCERNING!" (Acts 17:11) Remember, God Might Be Testing You, Obey & Trust ONLY GOD'S WORD— NOT Your FEELINGS (Deut 13:1-2,3-4,5-18, Prov 14:12), and Especially NOT these Unbiblical Mystical Spiritual Experiences & Visions. We say these things out of LOVE—especially for God's people (2 Timothy 2:23-24,26)— HIS Sheep (John 10:3-17, 26-29)— those who might have Strayed Unknowingly into these False Revelations & Visions. May the Lord Bless & Strengthen Fellow "SO4J" Believers as we CLING to JESUS, & TRUST & OBEY ONLY GOD'S UNFAILING WORD! (1 John 2:3-6)
- QUOTE: "Even if the Purpose of Books like Mary K Baxter’s (Bill Wiese, Jesse Duplantis, Todd Burpo, Don Piper, Kenneth Hagin, Rick Joyner..) is to Motivate us to REPENT, they do MORE HARM than Good in that they UNDERMINE the FINAL & COMPLETE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE." —Bob DeWaay - Critical Issues Commentary
- Rev 2:2 Jesus says, "I know ALL the things you DO. I have seen your Hard Work & your Patient Endurance. I know you DON'T TOLERATE EVIL PEOPLE. You have EXAMINED the CLAIMS of those who SAY they are APOSTLES but are NOT. You have DISCOVERED they are LIARS.."
GOD'S WORD IS 100% MORE RELIABLE & AUTHORATATIVE THAN ANY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES ONE MAY HAVE - 1 Peter 1:16-20
QUOTE by JOHN MACARTHUR: "Even the APOSTLE PETER promoted GOD'S WORD MORE than he did his SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES as we will read below in 1 Peter 1:16-19. Peter had a "spiritual experience" (so to speak) with: Jesus, James & John in Matt 17 at the Mount of Transfiguration.. but here in the Book of Peter he states we have a more "SURE WORD" (i.e. a more reliable word) with GOD'S WORD than any Experience that we may have. For Peter God's Word trumped any of his Spiritual Experiences at the Mount of Transfiguration. 1 Peter 1:16-19 "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were EYEWITNESSES of HIS MAJESTY. (i.e. at the Mount of Transfiguration - Matt 17:1-13) 17) For when HE received HONOR and GLORY from GOD the FATHER (at the Transfiguration), such an UTTERANCE as this was made to HIM (Jesus) by the MAJESTIC GLORY (God the Father), “This is MY beloved SON with whom I am well-pleased”—18) and we (disciples: Peter, James, John) ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven (by God) when we were with HIM (Jesus) on the HOLY MOUNTAIN. So we have the PROPHETIC WORD (God’s Word) made MORE SURE, to which you do well to PAY ATTENTION (pay attention to God’s Word) as to a LAMP SHINING in a DARK PLACE (God’s Word is our LIGHT in this Dark evil world we live in), until the DAY DAWNS (His coming Kingdom) and the MORNING STAR arises in your hearts. 20) But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture isa matter of one’s own interpretation, 21) for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." [ For More Info on this Scripture go to: www.gty.org/resources/sermons/61-15/the-sure-word-part-2 ]
WARNING! HELL & HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE!
Hell is the Eternal Destiny of MOST People (Matt 7:13-14, Matt 7:21-23, Phil 3:18-19). What does GOD'S WORD say about HELL? For MORE INFO on HELL go here: HELL SCRIPTURES & FACTS // HELL & THE LAKE OF FIRE . How Do We Escape God's Wrath in Hell? Go here: Gospel of Jesus Christ For Biblical INFO on HEAVEN go to: HEAVEN - VIDEOS, AUDIOS, ARTICLES.
- Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB) "Enter through the NARROW GATE; for the GATE is WIDE and the WAY is BROAD that leads to DESTRUCTION, and there are MANY who enter through it. For the GATE is SMALL & the WAY is NARROW that leads to LIFE, and there are FEW who find it.”
Video: Jesus Describes Hell - Part 1
Video: Jesus Describes Hell - Parts 1,2,3,4,5,6 - PLAYLIST
(Here is an excellent Message of Warning above about HELL by Dr John Barnett— formerly an Assoc. Pastor to Dr John MacArthur at Grace Community Church in CA & a Professor at the Master's Seminary.)
ARTICLE: ARE VISITS TO HEAVEN & HELL REAL?
By John MacArthur
Article & Biblical Crituqe by John MacArthur - GTY.org & GraceChurch.org - 2014
Pastor John MacArthur speaks out about a Book that Todd Burpo (a Pastor as well) wrote about. It's a book about his 4 year old son (at the time), Colton, and his so-called "Visit to Heaven." This Book called "Heaven is for Real" rose to the top of the bestseller list and became a major motion picture. Professing Christians were quick to spread the word, but could such visits be for real?
MUST SEE VIDEO above: A Biblical Critique of "Heaven is for Real". David Platt quotes John MacArthur
In recent years, Christian booksellers have inundated the evangelical world with testimonies from people who say they visited heaven in near-death experiences. Their stories are full of specific details about what heaven is like, who is there, and what is happening in the celestial realm. But when we compare their claims with Scripture, it becomes clear that they are merely figments of the human imagination, not true visions of heaven as it is described in God’s Word. The best known of all these tales, Heaven Is for Real, 1 is to be a major motion picture, released in April 2014. It is the story of Colton Burpo, whose parents believe he visited heaven when he was just four—during surgery after a burst appendix nearly took his life. Colton’s descriptions of heaven are full of fanciful features and peculiar details that bear all the earmarks of a child’s vivid imagination. There’s nothing transcendent or even particularly enlightening about Colton’s heaven. It is completely devoid of the breathtaking glory featured in every biblical description of the heavenly realm.
Stories like Colton’s are as dangerous as they are seductive. Readers not only get a twisted, unbiblical picture of heaven; they also imbibe a subjective, superstitious, shallow brand of spirituality. Studying mystical accounts of supposed journeys into the afterlife yields nothing but confusion, contradiction, false hope, bad doctrine, and a host of similar evils.
We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven.
It is quite true that heaven is a place of perfect bliss—devoid of all sorrow and sin, full of exultation and enjoyment—a place where grace and peace reign totally unchallenged. Heaven is where every true treasure and every eternal reward is laid up for the redeemed. Anyone whose destiny is heaven will certainly experience more joy and honor there than the fallen mind is capable of comprehending—infinitely more than any fallen creature deserves. But if you actually saw heaven and lived to tell about it, those things are not what would capture your heart and imagination. You would be preoccupied instead with the majesty and grace of the One whose glory fills the place. Sadly, undiscerning readers abound, and they take these postmodern accounts of heaven altogether seriously. The stratospheric sales figures and far-reaching influence of these books ought to be a matter of serious concern for anyone who truly loves the Word of God.
THE BIBLE ON NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES
There is simply no reason to believe anyone who claims to have gone to heaven and returned.John 3:13 JESUS says, “No one has ascended into heaven except HE who descended from Heaven, the Son of Man.” And John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time.”
FOUR BIBLICAL AUTHORS HAD VISIONS OF HEAVEN— NOT NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES. ISAIAH and EZEKIAL (Old Testament prophets) and PAUL and JOHN (New Testament apostles) all had such visions. Two other biblical figures—MICAH and STEPHEN—got GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN, but what they saw is MERELY MENTIONED, NOT DESCRIBED. (2 Chronicles 18:18; Acts 7:55).
Only THREE of these men later wrote about what they saw—and the details they gave were comparatively sparse (Isaiah 6:1–4; Ezekiel 1, 10; Revelation 4–6). ALL of them focused properly on GOD'S GLORY. They also mentioned their own FEAR and SHAME in the presence of such glory. They had NOTHING to say about the MUNDANE FEATURES that are so prominent in modern tales about heaven (things like picnics, games, juvenile attractions, familiar faces, odd conversations, and so on). Paul gave no actual description of heaven but simply said what he saw would be unlawful to utter. In short, the biblical descriptions of heaven could hardly be any more different from today’s fanciful stories about heaven.
Lazarus of Bethany fell ill and died, and his body lay decaying in a tomb for four days until Jesus raised him (John 11:17). A whole chapter in John’s Gospel is devoted to the story of how Jesus brought him back from the dead. But there’s not a hint or a whisper anywhere in Scripture about what happened to Lazarus’s soul in that four-day interim. The same thing is true of every person in Scripture who was ever brought back from the dead, beginning with the widow’s son whom Elijah raised in 1 Kings 17:17–24 and culminating with Eutychus, who was healed by Paul in Acts 20:9–12. Not one biblical person ever gave any recorded account of his or her postmortem experience in the realm of departed souls.
CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES
Far too much of the present interest in Heaven, Angels, and the afterlife stems from carnal curiosity. It is not a trend biblical Christians should encourage or celebrate. Any pursuit that diminishes people’s reliance on the Bible is fraught with grave spiritual dangers—especially if it is something that leads gullible souls into superstition, gnosticism, occultism, New Age philosophies, or any kind of spiritual confusion. Those are undeniably the roads most traveled by people who feed a morbid craving for detailed information about the afterlife, devouring stories of people who claim to have gone to the realm of the dead and returned.
Scripture never indulges that desire. In the Old Testament era, every attempt to communicate with the dead was deemed a sin on par with sacrificing infants to false gods (Deuteronomy 18:10–12). The Hebrew Scriptures say comparatively little about the disposition of souls after death, and the people of God were strictly forbidden to inquire further on their own. Necromancy was a major feature of Egyptian religion. It also dominated every religion known among the Canaanites. But under Moses’s law it was a sin punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27).
The New Testament adds much to our understanding of heaven (and hell), but we are still not permitted to add our own subjective ideas and experience-based conclusions to what God has specifically revealed through His inerrant Word. Indeed, we are forbidden in all spiritual matters to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6).
Those who demand to know more than Scripture tells us about heaven are sinning: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29). The limits of our curiosity are thus established by the boundary of biblical revelation. In the words of Charles Spurgeon,
It’s a little heaven below, to imagine sweet things. But never think that imagination can picture heaven. When it is most sublime, when it is freest from the dust of earth, when it is carried up by the greatest knowledge, and kept steady by the most extreme caution, imagination cannot picture heaven. ““It hath not entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”” Imagination is good, but not to picture to us heaven. Your imaginary heaven you will find by-and-by to be all a mistake; though you may have piled up fine castles, you will find them to be castles in the air, and they will vanish like thin clouds before the gale. For imagination cannot make a heaven. ““Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man to conceive”” it.2
What God has revealed in Scripture is the only legitimate place to get a clear understanding of the heavenly kingdom. God’s written Word does in fact give us a remarkably full and clear picture of heaven and the spiritual realm. But the Bible still leaves many questions unanswered.
We need to accept the boundaries God Himself has put on what He has revealed. It is sheer folly to speculate where Scripture is silent. It is sinfully wrong to try to investigate spiritual mysteries using occult means. And it is seriously dangerous to listen to anyone who claims to know more about God, heaven, angels, or the afterlife than God Himself has revealed to us in Scripture.
THE GLORIES OF HEAVEN
It is, however, right and beneficial for Christians to fix their hearts on heaven. Scripture commands us to cultivate that perspective: ““If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth”” (Colossians 3:1–2). ““While we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal”” (2 Corinthians 4:18). ““For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”” (Philippians 3:20).
Such a perspective is the very essence of true faith, according to Hebrews 11. Those with authentic, biblical faith acknowledge that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth (v. 13). They are seeking a heavenly homeland (v. 14). They “desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (v. 16). The “city” that verse refers to is the heavenly Jerusalem, an unimaginable place—the very capital of heaven. It will be the eternal abode of the redeemed. No wonder Christians are intrigued with the subject.
But no matter how much they might obsess over what heaven is like, people who fill their heads with a lot of fantastic or delusional ideas from others’ near-death experiences have not truly set their minds on things above. If the inerrant biblical truth God has given us is the only reliable knowledge about heaven we have access to (and it is), then that is what should grip our hearts and minds, not the dreams and speculations of human minds. [END]
John MacArthur is Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California and President of The Master’s College and Seminary. Dr. MacArthur is also the author of more than one hundred books, covering a great expanse of Christian topics. He also is heard worldwide on his radio program Grace to You.
Does God Still Give New Revelation? Extra Biblical Revelation?
QUESTION: Does God give NEW EXTRA BIBLICAL REVELATION to His people TODAY—speaking through MODERN DAY PROPHETS who give NEW WORDS from GOD? Answer: NO. The Canon of Scripture is Closed. For More go to: Hearing Personal Words From God—How People Become False Prophets to Themselves
Paul Caught Up to the Third Heaven - 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
- 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (NKJV) Paul says, "It is doubtless NOT PROFITABLE FOR ME TO BOAST. I will come to Visions and Revelations of the Lord (I will reluctantly tell about Visions & Revelations from the Lord): I know a Man in Christ (Paul) who Fourteen years ago— WHETHER IN THE BODY I DO NOT KNOW, or WHETHER OUT OF THE BODY I DO NOT KNOW, God knows— such a one (Paul) was CAUGHT UP to the THIRD HEAVEN. And I know such a Man—WHETHER IN THE BODY or OUT OF THE BODY I DO NOT KNOW, God knows— how he was CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE & HEARD INEXPRESSIBLE WORDS, which it is NOT LAWFUL FOR A MAN TO UTTER. Of such a one I will Boast; yet of MYSELF I WILL NOT BOAST, EXCEPT IN MY INFIRMITIES. For though I might DESIRE TO BOAST, I will not be a Fool; for I will Speak the Truth. But I WILL REFRAIN, lest anyone should think of me ABOVE what he SEES in me to be or HEARS from me. And lest I should be EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE BY THE ABUNDANCE OF THE REVELATIONS, a THORN in the FLESH WAS GIVEN ME, a MESSENGER OF SATAN TO BUFFET ME (God allowed this to happen to keep Paul from Pride), lest I be EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE. Concerning this thing I PLEADED with the Lord THREE TIMES that it (Thorn in Flesh) might DEPART FROM ME. And HE (JESUS) said to me, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS." Therefore most gladly I will RATHER BOAST IN MY INFIRMITIES, that the POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am WEAK, than I am STRONG."
ARTICLE: Your Best Afterlife Now - By Justin Peters
An Examination and Biblical Critique of Claimed Visits to Heaven and Hell
Article by Justin Peters / Justin Peters Ministries/ October 2011
Heaven. The Bible describes Heaven as a place of surpassing beauty where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sickness, no disease, no death. It is where the triune God resides in all of His glory. For those of us who are saved, the redeemed of God through Christ, it is our eternal home. Though none of us look forward to the process of dying, as Christians we enthusiastically answer the question asked by Job, “If a man dies, will he live again?” with a resounding “yes.” We look forward to being completely and eternally free of fallen bodies living in a fallen world. But for some people, it seems that Heaven (and occasionally Hell) can’t wait.
Though Near Death Experiences (NDEs) have been reported for hundreds and even thousands of years, the last several decades have seen an explosion of people come forward claiming that they have seen the other side, both Heaven and Hell. Many of these people are not Christian at all. For the purposes of this article, however, we will focus on some of the more prominent ones claiming to be believers in Christ. I will begin this article by providing an overview of some of the more prominent recent examples and will then offer an evaluation of each. While space does not permit an exhaustive review of each account, some of the more important and theologically pertinent points will examined.
BOOK REVIEW by Tim Challies on: 23 Minutes in Hell - Bill Wiese
(NOT Recommended Reading)
23 Minutes in Hell - Bill Wiese - Book Review - SO4J-TV does NOT Recommend this Book!
See also the above ARTICLE: "YOUR BEST AFTERLIFE NOW" - BY JUSTIN PETERS - A BIBLICAL CRITIQUE OF HEAVEN & HELL VISITS
Book Reviewed on: 5/30/2008 - By Discerning Reader - Reviewed by Tim Challies
NOT Recommended Reading -Tim Challies Review— "Plagued with theological errors, this is one to avoid!"
BOOK REVIEW OF "23 Minutes in Hell" Author: Bill Wiese - Review by Tim Challies— I suppose it was inevitable that, with a bestselling book describing an Author’s 90 Minutes in Heaven, one would soon follow detailing a journey to Hell. Sure enough, Bill Wiese follows Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven with his own 23 Minutes in Hell.
Bill Wiese’s story is simple. One night, while sleeping, he was transported to hell. There God showed him hell in all its horror and terror. He was thrown into a barred cell, he was abused by demons, he was shown the lakes of fire, and he saw people suffering torment. After a brief visit with Jesus, he was transported back to earth in order to tell people that Jesus is returning soon and to assure them that hell is a real place (and one that exists in the center of the earth, apparently). Bill Wiese’s hell seems to be equally influenced by the works of Ray Comfort, Mary Baxter and Gary Larson. That is to say it is at times biblically accurate, at times patently unbiblical, and at times near-comical.
There are many things that can be said about this book from the perspectives of literature and theology. I will focus on just one under each heading. In terms of literature, there is little that can be said. This book is just plain bad. It is poorly written and seems cobbled together. It is something of a chore to read, though it is blessedly short and, unlike hell, the punishment does not last for long. I have read worse, of course, but there is no doubt that this is not a well-written book.
My foremost concern involves theology. And here I want to point to the error that also plagued Don Piper’s Book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. It regards the necessity of such visitations. Don Piper travels the world now under the banner of “The Minister of Hope.” He brings hope by telling people that he has been to heaven and can attest that it is a real place. Bill Wiese now shares his message that hell is also real and is a real place (a really bad place). Yet in the Bible I find no reason to believe that God would want or need people to carry this kind of message based on their own experiences. God has given us the Bible precisely so we do not need such people! When a man travels around carrying a message like this one, he implicitly denies that the Bible is warning enough; his ministry indicates that he feels we need something more than “merely” the Bible in order to warn people of the joy to come to those who believe and the wrath to come for those who do not. These messengers, perhaps inadvertently, deny the uniqueness and the sufficiency of the Bible. If people will not believe the words of God as given in Scripture, why should or would they believe the fanciful words of a mere man?
All this is not to say that 23 Minutes in Hell does not have any redeeming qualities. The author shares many things about hell that are true. He often quotes excellent teachers (and ones who would be less than thrilled, I’m sure, to see their names printed inside this book!). He does not downplay the horrific nature of hell or, as do so many today, attempt to deny its reality. However, one thing that is conspicuous by its absence is any mention of hell being the presence of God in His wrath. Wiese describes it as a place where people are punished for not believing in Jesus; yet the punishments are inflicted by demons and fire rather than by God Himself.
From the Bible it seems clear that God is the one who is active in hell and that He punishes both humans and demons. If Wiese does downplay the awfulness of hell, it would be right here.
Like "90 Minutes in Heaven", this book is plagued with Theological errors and, also like Don Piper’s effort, it does not deserve a place in anyone’s library. Take a pass on it!
BOOK REVIEW by Tim Challies on: Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back - Todd Burpo
(NOT Recommended Reading)
Heaven Is For Real - Todd Burpo - Book Review - SO4J-TV does NOT Recommend this Book!
Book Reviewed on: 3/28/2011 - By Tim Challies
NOTRecommended Reading -Tim Challies Review— "So reject this Book. Do not read it. Do not believe it. And do not feel guilty doing so."
BOOK REVIEW OF "Heaven Is For Real" - Author: Todd Burpo - Review by Tim Challies—Embarking on a short tour of the afterlife is all the rage, it seems. Don Piper got it started with 90 Minutes in Heaven, a really bad book that sold millions of copies. Then there was 23 Minutes in Hell, another bestseller and another awful book. And now hot on their heels comes Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. It’s currently sitting atop the New York Times list of bestsellers and has over a half million copies in print. I wonder if I’m the only one who finds it a mite suspicious that now that these books are selling like proverbial hotcakes, more and more people find that God wants them to tell their stories of heaven and hell. Probably not.
Heaven Is For Real is written by Pastor Todd Burpo and it tells the story of his son Colton who, at age 4, visited heaven. His visit came while he was on the operating table after suffering a burst appendix. He told his parents his story several months later and his parents then waited 6 or 7 years to record it in a book. That book has shot to the top of the charts, resulting in many of you sending me emails to ask, “Have you read it?” So I went ahead and read it. Because that’s the kind of guy I am.
You will probably not be surprised to learn that this is not a good book. What I want to do here is offer a very brief review and then I want to tell you why you can legitimately dismiss this book and all the others like it, because I think that’s where many of us feel the tension—what gives me the right to dismiss another person’s experience?
I’ve already given you the broad outline. Colton dies (or something close to it) and visits heaven for an unknown period of time. He returns to his body and over the months and years that follow tells his parents about his time in heaven. He tells about spending time with Jesus, about meeting the sister he never knew he had, about fluttering around with wings, about the pearly gates, and on and on. Along the way you’ll get descriptions of Todd’s various afflictions and you’ll read the fine details of Colton’s battles with constipation and the great relief he experienced passing gas. Riveting stuff, this.
Every one of Colton’s experiences, or very nearly every one, follows a pattern. He tells his father some little detail. His father experiences a gasp or feels his heart skip a beat. “I could hardly breathe. My mind was reeling. My head was spinning.” A Scripture verse comes to dad’s mind that validates the experience. Colton gets bored and runs off. Repeat.
The story is told with short chapters and grade school-level writing. Fine literature it is not. The point of it all is to encourage you that heaven is a real place. Colton went there and his experience now validates its existence. Just like Don Piper went there and his experience validates its existence. Just like Bill Wiese went to hell and can speak with authority to tell you that you really, really don’t want to go there. Just like the Apostle Paul went there and told us all about it in order to…oh wait.
Now, what do I do with a book like this one? It seems to me that there are only a couple of options available to me. I can accept it, agreeing that this little boy is legitimate—he went to heaven and is now telling the tale for our edification. Or I can reject what this boy is saying—he did not go to heaven and this book is fictitious. If I go with this second option (which is exactly what I am doing) I now have two choices before me: either the boy (and/or his parents) is a liar or he genuinely believes he experienced something that he did not actually experience. I know which way I would lean, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.
Either option is very uncharitable and each one leaves me with a further problem: on what grounds can I dismiss this as fiction, as a book that is completely unprofitable? If I wanted to disprove Colton’s experience on grounds of logic or consistency I might point in a couple of different directions.
In the first place, Colton is a toddler who speaks like an adult. His verbatim quotes sound nothing like a 4-year old, and I think I can say this with some authority as the father of a 4-year old. I’d also point to the fact that dad routinely remembers circumstantial detail that there is very little chance he would remember 6 or 7 years after the fact, something that, at the very least, tells me that he is filling in details where he feels he needs to. But there are better grounds.
The better strategy, I think, is to look to the Bible. I offer two ways of going about this.
1 - FIRST - The Bible gives us no indication whatsoever that God will work in this way and that he will call one of us to heaven and then cause us to return. It is for man to die once and then the resurrection.
To allow a man (or a boy) to experience heaven and then to bring him back would not be grace but cruelty. The only biblical example we have of a man being caught up to heaven is Paul and it’s very interesting that he was forbidden to tell anything about it. And the reason he even mentioned this experience was not to offer encouragement that heaven exists, but to serve as a part of his “gospel boasting.” He saw heaven and was told to say nothing about it. This was a unique experience in a unique time and for a unique reason.
2 - SECOND - The second ground refers to the reason each of these authors offers—that through their experience we now find confidence that what God says is true. This kind of proof is exactly the kind of proof we should not need and should not want.
Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe. Don Piper insisted that he was called to be the Minister of Hope. If hope is to be found in any person, it will be found in the person of Christ. It is the Spirit working through the Word who will give us confidence in our faith. And what is faith? It is simply believing that what God says in his Word is true. We do not need tales of heaven or stories of those who claim to be there.
If you struggle believing what the Bible says, but learn to find security in the testimony of a toddler, well, I feel sorry for you. And I do not mean this in a condescending way. If God’s Word is not sufficient for you, if the testimony of his Spirit, given to believers, is not enough for you, you will not find any true hope in the unproven tales of a child. This hope may last for a moment, but it will not sustain you, it will not bless you, in those times when hope is waning and times are hard.
So reject this book. Do not read it. Do not believe it. And do not feel guilty doing so.
Video: John MacArthur exposes "Heaven is for Real" Book - Bible Question & Answer 58
( ***Starts & End Time at: 41:14-to-45:30**)
BOOK REVIEW by Tim Challies - 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
(NOT Recommended Reading)
90 Minutes in Heaven Book - Don Piper - Book Review - SO4J-TV does NOT Recommend this Book!
Book Reviewed on: 5/07/2006 - By Discerning Reader - Reviewedby Tim Challies
NOT Recommended Reading -Tim Challies Review— "Don Piper's intentions may be good, but this Book is pure nonsense"
BOOK REVIEW OF "90 Minutes in Heaven" Author: Don Piper - Review by Tim Challies—
We know of three people, from Scripture, who were privileged to see heaven. All of these men, Stephen and the Apostle Paul and Apostle John, were alive when they were given a glimpse of the wonders of heaven. Don Piper, a Baptist Pastor, claims to be a fourth, though unlike the other three, he first had to die. Returning home from a conference, Piper's car was crushed under the wheels of a truck. Medical personnel declared him dead at the scene of the accident. But ninety minutes after this accident, a Pastor, waiting at the scene, was told by God to pray for the dead man. He did so, and Piper immediately returned to life. For the 90 minutes that his body lay lifeless inside the car, Piper claims to have been in heaven. He now carries with him memories of paradise and in 90 Minutes in Heaven, a book which has sold over 500,000 copies, he seeks to encourage other Christians with a description of our eternal home. "Because I was able to experience heaven," he says, "I was able to prepare [friends] for it. And now I am preparing you."
The title may be deceptive. One might assume, from the title, that a significant portion of the book is dedicated to describing heaven. The reality is that the author's time in heaven comprises only 15 pages of this 205-page book. A further seven pages, appended to the end of the book, engage very briefly and unsatisfactorily with the "why questions." The bulk of the book describes Piper's accident, rescue and convalescence with some attention to the ministry opportunities that have arisen since his time in heaven. The book is, in reality, a biographical sketch of Don Piper and a lengthy description of the trials he faced as he recovered from devastating bodily injuries. Following the description of heaven, there is little further reflection on paradise. There is little attempt to describe how the author's life and perspective on Scripture have changed because of his experience. There is little interaction with the Bible. There is little gospel.
Piper's description of heaven left me cold. I was dismayed to find that his heaven seems largely man-centered. In fact, if you were to ask your unbelieving friends and neighbors to describe heaven, they would probably create a place very much like this. Piper did not see Jesus, nor did he see God, though, to be fair, he saw only the "outskirts" and did not pass through the gates. Despite this, he was exceedingly joyful and feels that he experienced the very joys of paradise. For ninety minutes he walked through heaven, greeted by those he knew in this life, all of whom were (quite conveniently), the same age they were when he had last known them. As I read this description of heaven I thought immediately of a quote from John Piper's book God is the Gospel. He asks:
The critical question for our generation— and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever say, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?
From the descriptions in "90 Minutes in Heaven" we would would have to respond, "yes!" It seems that Don Piper's heaven is a heaven where we are fulfilled without Christ. Piper's heaven was a place of reunion with loved ones, a place of beautiful music and a place of literal pearl (or "pearlescent") gates and literal streets of gold. It is a heaven that can be so easily described to a human mind using mere human words, as if it had originated in a human mind. Piper is able to describe it in some detail, but what he presents is surely far too human to be heaven.
A further troubling aspect of the book is a clear lack of theological precision. For example, Don Piper continually describes miracles that surrounded his rescue and recovery, yet these are often not the type of events that theologians would classify as being miraculous. They may have shown God's grace and power, but they were not, strictly speaking, miracles. He also uses his experience to minister to people who lack assurance of their faith. But what true, lasting assurance can we find in the dubious experiences of another mere human? Our assurance is to be in God and His promises through Scripture, not in man.
I do believe Don Piper is a sincere man and one who loves God. He seems to sincerely believe that he experienced heaven and has been called by God to share his experience with others. But I do not believe that he did see heaven. I cannot say what his experience was, whether it was purely psychological or whether it was even some type of demonic deception. What I do know is that the Scriptures are wholly sufficient for believers. We do not need to see or experience heaven in this life. Nor should we desire Don Piper's heaven.
I see no reason to believe that God wants us to know more about heaven than He has revealed to us in His Word. As the old hymn asks, "What more can he say than to you he has said?" God surely desires that we desire heaven, but only if we desire heaven primarily so we can be with the Savior. This is the heaven which we glimpse only dimly in Scripture, but which we await with eager expectation. It is most certainly not Piper's 90-minute heaven.
ARTICLE: "Visiting Heaven & Hell"
Why the Claims of Afterlife Experiences are NOT Reliable
Article By Bob DeWaay / Critical Issues Commentary
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago— whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows— such a man was caught up to the third Heaven. And I know how such a man— whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows — was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”
In recent years, a couple of individuals have written hot selling books in which they claim to relate their experiences of visiting Heaven and/or Hell. When Paul (1) mentioned his experience in order to fend off the criticisms of False Apostles who boasted about Visions and Revelations, he said that “a man is not permitted to speak” of the things which he saw. That was in the first century. Evidently the rules have changed. Now those who claim such Visions and Revelations write books to describe what they saw. As we shall see, they also claim to have received special revelation about things not revealed in the Bible, and to have been commissioned by Jesus to reveal these things to the church.
Christian Author Bob DeWaay talks with Christian Radio Talk Show Host: Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries about the False Visits to Heaven & Hell of: Bill Wiese (23 Minutes in Hell - Book), Jesse Duplantis (Heaven— Close Encounters of the God Kind - Book, CD, DVD), Rick Joyner (The Quest - Book), Kenneth Hagin (I Believe in Visions - Book), Mary K Baxter (A Divine Revelation of Hell (Heaven too) - Book), Rebecca Springer (Within Heaven's Gates - Book), Dr Richard Eby (Caught Up Into Paradise Book - Book, & Tell Them I'm Coming - Book), and more.
HELL - Hell is Real— Hell Videos
- MORE - ARTICLES & VIDEOS ABOUT HELL ON SO4J.com:
HEAVEN - What is Heaven Like? Heaven is Real!
Heaven - What Is Heaven Like? Videos, Audios, Articles. What Happens After Death? Is Heaven Real? Who Goes To Heaven? Where Is Heaven? What Is The Millennium? What Is The New Jerusalem? These Questions & More will be Answered here about Heaven. Find Out More about Heaven from God's Word!
- 1 Cor 2:9 "EYE has NOT SEEN, nor EAR HEARD, NOR have entered into the HEART of man the things which God has PREPARED for those who LOVE HIM."
- Col 3:2-5 "SET YOUR MIND on things ABOVE, NOT on the THINGS on the EARTH. For you Died, and your Life is Hidden with CHRIST in GOD. When CHRIST who is our LIFE APPEARS, then you also will APPEAR with HIM in GLORY."
- 1 Thess 4:13 “I Want you to know what will Happen to the CHRISTIANS who have DIED so you will NOT be FULL of SORROW like People who have No Hope.”
Audios & Articles - Heaven Series - John MacArthur
(Click Link to View all the Audio & Article Links in this Series on GTY.org)
AUDIOS & ARTICLES - LINKS 1-What Heaven Is
2-Where Heaven Is and What It Is Like
4-What We Will Be Like
5-How We Will Relate to One Another in Heaven
6-How We Will Relate to God in Heaven
7-What We Will Do in Heaven - Part 1
8-What We Will Do in Heaven - Part 2
Do Not ADD or SUBTRACT from God's Word
- Rev 22:18-19 "And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the Words of Prophecy written in this Book: If anyone ADDS ANYTHING to what is Written here, God will add to that person the Plagues described in this Book. And if anyone REMOVES ANY of the Words from this Book of Prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the Tree of Life and in the Holy City that are described in this Book."
- Deut 4:2 "Do NOT ADD TO OR SUBTRACT from these Commands I am giving you. Just OBEY THE COMMANDS of the Lord your God that I am giving you."
- Deut 12:32 "So be CAREFUL TO OBEY ALL THE COMMANDS I give you. You must NOT ADD ANYTHING to them OR SUBTRACT ANYTHING from them."
- Prov 30:5-6 "Every Word of God proves True. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Do NOT ADD TO HIS WORDS, or He may rebuke you and expose (prove) you as a Liar."
God Might Be Testing You, Obey & Trust Only God's Word — Not Your Feelings
- Deut 13:1-18 "Suppose there are PROPHETS among you or those who DREAM DREAMS ABOUT THE FUTURE, and they PROMISE YOU SIGNS OR MIRACLES, and the PREDICTED SIGNS OR MIRACLES OCCUR. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. The LORD YOUR GOD IS TESTING YOU TO SEE IF YOU TRULY LOVE HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND SOUL. Serve ONLY the Lord your God and FEAR HIM alone. OBEY HIS COMMANDS, LISTEN TO HIS VOICE, AND CLING TO HIM. The FALSE PROPHETS or VISIONARIES who try to lead you astray must be put to DEATH, for they ENCOURAGE REBELLION AGAINST THE LORD YOUR GOD, who redeemed you from slavery and brought you out of the land of Egypt. Since they try to LEAD YOU ASTRAY from the way the Lord your God Commanded you to live (GOD'S WORD), you must put them to death. In this way you will PURGE THE EVIL FROM AMONG YOU. “Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your Brother, your Son or Daughter, your beloved Wife, or your Closest Friend—and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known. They might suggest that you worship the gods of peoples who live nearby or who come from the ends of the earth. But do not give in or listen. Have no pity, and do not spare or protect them. (9) You must put them to death! Strike the first blow yourself, and then all the people must join in...(18) “The LORD YOUR GOD WILL BE MERCIFUL ONLY IF YOU LISTEN TO HIS VOICE AND KEEP ALL HIS COMMANDS THAT I GIVE YOU TODAY, DOING WHAT PLEASES HIM."
Good News! The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Hell is the Eternal Destiny of MOST People
(Matt 7:13-14, Phil 3:18-19, Matt 7:21-23)
How Do We Escape God's Wrath in Hell?
"FALSE VISITS TO HEAVEN AND HELL"
MAY BE COPIED WITH THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS—IT MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS
ENTIRETY AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR USED FOR PROFIT IN ANY WAY
THIS ABOVE COPYRIGHT & A LINK TO SO4J.com / CICMinistry.org MUST BE INCLUDED
"VISITING HEAVEN AND HELL"
Copyright Article By Bob DeWaay / CRITICAL ISSUES COMMENTARY