Here's an initial quick summary: In October 2008 I experienced a life-changing phenomenon which changed my life forever, directed me away from the certain path to death I was on, and caused me to discover the true meaning of life. It was proof of God for me - a six hour vision, like a distressing NDE (near death experience) of hell, where I was shown some horrific hellish scenes, followed by a lengthy “life-review” where I was shown symbolically the shameful things that had become commonplace in my life - not only in deed but in thought as well.
If you ever wondered what happens when you die, is there an afterlife, is there a God, and/or where do you go when you die, then maybe my vision of hell can help you with those thoughts.
I was fully awake and there was no alcohol or drugs involved – I was completely rational and coherent, as I am right now writing this. I know this will sound unbelievable, but I can only conclude that it was supernatural. Therefore it left me with no option other than to act on it, rather than ignore the event and carry on as if it never happened. Proof is in the pudding as they say, and the miraculous change in my life is a testament and a further proof of God – but more on this in Part 7.
At the end I was told to document my story and tell everyone about it - what I saw, what I learned, everything. So here it is; my true NDE testimony.
Part 1 – My life prior to October 2008
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and was exposed to Christianity – my mother was/is a Christian, and because of that I was taken to church now and again. I wasn't terribly interested in anything I heard during the services, and I remember the minister somberly saying prayers such as “we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed” and “we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table” – things I didn't agree with. I wondered why he was being so hard on himself; I thought I was fine or at least worthy. In hindsight I didn't know or understand much about the Bible; especially the Gospel, and I didn't know of any proof of God.
I turned 18 in 1987 and started drinking and clubbing, adopting an alternative/gothic style in my look and music. I married in 1991 and we moved to London in 1994 for my career as a computer games programmer. Drinking was my vice that played a large part in my life, which was fuelled by my work plus living in London where going to pubs nightly was the norm. I set up my own games company in 1997 which was quite successful for a while, and moved me from being an employee to an employer/CEO, and gaining all the freedom which comes with that (money, no boss, etc). We bought a house in 1998 but separated/divorced in Jan 1999, so I became single about a month before my 30th birthday. The decade ahead was basically filled with hedonistic living. Probably due to not knowing of any proof of God, I lived a life without any regard to Him (but in hindsight I always thought He existed - I just never seriously thought about it) and did whatever I wanted to do, helped by being financially privileged. I suppose in the back of my mind I thought that I was generally “good” – certainly not deserving of hell.
(Many people have asked me why I received this vision and not them or anyone else they know. I now believe that the above facts play a huge part in that answer, which I talk about in Part 7).
During 2002 my company fell into hard times and I had to put it into liquidation. Briefly, over the next several years I worked in a couple of different jobs, went out with a few different girlfriends, drank to excess, occasionally took drugs, and generally coasted along heading nowhere in particular except downhill financially. Debts from my failed company were spread over a few creditors who were constantly chasing me, and in early 2008 the bank ran out of patience with my mortgage arrears and said they were going to repossess the house. I managed to sell before that happened, and then began lodging/boarding in a spare room in an owner-occupied apartment. This was in June 2008, four months before the vision and nine months before my 40th birthday.
A few months after the above move, I travelled to Bulgaria with a couple of friends and stayed at one of the friend's apartment. This was where and when my vision occurred.
Part 2 – The Mechanics
Firstly I'll describe how the vision was delivered to me. With my eyes closed, it was like looking around interiors and exteriors as if my eyes were wide open, with a wide field of view and usually from a head-height perspective. As I moved my head left/right and up/down, what I saw moved accordingly, just like in real-life, enabling me to look around. I could even lean in to see things more closely when I needed to. The 'picture' was in colour and mostly 'real' looking – not for e.g. cartoony/mystical, and it was very clear and vivid, and depending on what I was being shown, either stunning or horrific. It was 'alive' – things were moving and animating, as they would be in real life. It was exactly as if I was there, wherever it was. I also found that if I held my hands up over my closed eyes, it would darken the backdrop giving me a better picture, like darkening a room to watch TV. Actually, I was sitting up most of time with my hands over my eyes – proving that I wasn't dreaming!
Visions are either objective (seen without the use of our natural senses) or subjective (a product of the mind). Mine is best described as objective because 1) it was not a dream; I was fully awake plus there was no nonsensical dream logic, and 2) it was not merely an hallucination as it was well-structured, methodical, and intelligently put together.
Part 3 – The Lead-up
As I mentioned above, I went to Bulgaria with a couple of friends. We kept the second-last day (Wed 1st Oct) fairly tame (not much drinking etc) as we were flying back to London the next day.
I went to bed at around midnight, and when I closed my eyes I saw strange images like spinning lines and circles on a black background. In hindsight, I'd say that this was to accustom me to seeing things with my eyes closed, because a sudden fully-fledged vision would most likely have been a shock.
Then I heard church-like music playing, like the piped organs and the large bells in old churches. I wondered who was playing that sort of music so late at night (the apartment was on the 6th floor in a block of many apartments). So I got up and looked out the window. There was a bar/seating area below, about 50 metres/yards from the building I was in, and I could see three small figures moving slowly where they stood. Hard to explain. But the music had stopped so I went back to bed, and after I did, the music started again as well as the images when I closed my eyes again. The images shortly changed into a vivid real picture, as if I was flying over beautiful mountain ranges, valleys, waterfalls, and countryside. My view was very bright and detailed, and as if I was really there.
I started to became worried, thinking I was about to die or something, as nothing like this had ever happened before. I had to speak to someone so I called my Mum in Australia using my mobile phone. Strangely, her home number wasn't in my mobile's phone-book, only her mobile number - which was bizarre as it had always been in there. So, I called her mobile number and when she answered, she told me that she was out and about. In hindsight, this part is important to note as if I had called her at home and got her answering machine, I probably would not have bothered calling her mobile, since I was calling from Bulgaria on a mobile with limited funds. Therefore, I would have missed out on this important event: I explained what was happening and that I was beginning to get afraid, as it was not going away but becoming more dramatic. She asked if I was able to go to a doctor there, just as a precaution. Seeing as it was well after midnight as well as in a foreign country, I just said I'd ride it out some more. Being a Christian, she asked to pray on the phone with me, and as she did, she was moved to get me to pray the 'Sinners Prayer' – a prayer that someone can say to declare that they are serious to become a Christian (repentance, belief, change etc).
I ended the call after the prayer, concerned about my phone credit. Immediately, the music changed – it was louder and faster this time, as if there were celebrations; the tone and atmosphere had been lifted greatly. I looked out the window again and this time the three small figures below were moving about like they were celebrating. I went back and sat on my bed, closed my eyes again, and the vision of the mountains etc continued. Then something became apparent to me somehow, that something/someone was with me, showing me all of this.
Incidentally, my mobile was a pay-as-you-go (pre-paid) one, with about £10 on it. So calling a mobile in Australia from a UK mobile roaming in Bulgaria should only have lasted a few minutes at the most, but I was able to use it then for at least 15 minutes, and then even more extraordinarily, I called her again in the morning for at least another 45 minutes. Normally 60+ minutes should cost over £100.
Part 4 – The Descent
Then I became near to the ground, about head-height - and saw water flowing over a field into a valley. Loads and loads of water, very wide and about a foot deep. Within 10-20 seconds, this water started to change colour; what once was crystal clear water was now being turned brown and muddy, and was becoming foul, everything around me was turning darker and more sinister. I couldn't actually feel it, but it looked like the temperature was dropping too. My feelings turned from happiness to a sinister feeling, of doom and gloom, and a concern of where this was going...
I looked around and I saw, in the middle of a huge green field that would have been a few kilometres across with mountains in the distance, a huge dark hole, probably 200 metres across. The opening's sides curved down from the field into darkness, and there was a red glow and smoke coming up from it. It was a terrifying sight – all around was green fields and distant mountains, but there in front of me was that black opening that looked completely out of place.
We then started going down, in caverns under ground level. Down through the caverns, near-darkness but usually with a dull-red flickering light that always seemed to come from around each corner, but never saw the source. At one point on the way down, I remember passing about 20 people, all miserable, looking at each other with great sadness but not trying to run, I think they were handcuffed to the railing. I then saw what I can only describe as some demon-looking beings moving them along, like guards moving prisoners.
We then came out to an area that looked like it was about 20 metres down inside the huge black opening in the ground above. I looked up and saw the green-grassy edges around the rim of the hole, curving downwards to where we were, from the green fields above. The walls all around us was blacker than black. Then I saw loads – so many – people walking down two adjacent walkways, a few metres in from the edge of the hole that disappeared downwards. Each walkway was just wide enough for two people, and looked like they were made of black scorched metal. From the ground to about waist-height was solid black grimy sheet-metal, then from this height upwards then over the top to form a canopy was black steel industrial grill/caging. It all looked filthy and hot and completely terrifying as there was a sense of no hope whatsoever. The people filing down them looked resigned to their fate, no emotions, just walking down two abreast, and occasionally sadly looking up to the green rim of the hole and the blue skies, that was disappearing as they all walked lower and lower. I saw no children there; the youngest was probably late-teens, then ages all the way up to very old – I saw people that could have been in their 90's and even older.
As we moved lower, the walkways led to small black open-top trolley type things. Each sat two abreast and maybe 10 people lengthways. All the people from the walkways were climbing into these, which then started rolling downwards, fading into the darkness below. Then we were moving down next to these, on the left-hand side looking down from a height of a few metres, looking back towards them. Occasionally along the route there were those demon-looking beings I first saw on my way down here. These ones looked much the same but were angry and full of hate, standing in-between the two black caged tracks and held flame-throwers, which they were using to blast fire onto the people as they passed. The people recoiled as they caught fire, and all they could do was to try and pat the flames out. I remember one incident specifically - an old woman with white frizzy hair had her hair catch fire. She leant forward and tried desperately to pat the flames out, and the woman next to her, about 40 I'd say, turned and helped put them out as well. The people looked resigned to their fate – just completely void of any hope whatsoever. This was all extremely difficult for me to watch as I somehow knew that it represented something very real.
At the bottom it was mayhem. Screaming, terrified people running all about, and again those demon-looking beings were there, grabbing people and tossing them into a kind of swamp/pool – a filthy, fiery, burning lagoon with chocking smoke rising from it. The water, if it was water, was light-coloured and had scum and filth floating on top of it, and was constantly being sloshed about with everything that was going on in it. People who had been thrown in were panicked; I saw arms shaking up from under the surface, and occasionally heads coming up and mouths opening for air - but wretched and deformed looking. There were also huge serpent-like creatures swimming, chasing the people who were trying to escape, and catching them in their jaws. I saw some people half out of the creatures' mouths, screaming and thrashing their arms about while burning – the water was obviously more like acid. Another incident I specifically remember was a woman in her mid-twenties with long hair, screaming and disappearing inside a creature's mouth as it swallowed her.
We then moved around the shore a small distance where I saw a shallow area of hot mud, and there were people's heads protruding out of it - faces covered in the mud, moaning and groaning. Some of the heads were so caked I could only make out the hollows of their eyes and opened mouths. Others looked like they had been there for eons - up to their chins, heads tilted and covered in the mud, but their groaning wasn't as loud as the others. Amongst all the groaning here, I could also hear in waling voices 'why…why...' which sounded full of regret and despair.
Part 5 – My Life Review and Advice
We then moved away from the above scene of mayhem, through a short tunnel and into a cavern the size of a large garage. Here is where something extraordinary happened (not that the above wasn't extraordinary enough). It turned very personal and the focus was solely on me, personally. I was shown, via a method that I'm about to describe, a long series of different objects. At first, I didn't understand what this was all about until I realized that these objects represented my bad behaviour and wrongdoings, or collectively the religious term 'sins'.
The way these objects were shown to me was rather imaginative, and in hindsight, with a touch of 'inside-joke' humour since I travelled by plane often. Objects were filed out, one by one, on what is best described as a baggage carousel found in baggage reclaim areas at airports. Instead of the metal or rubber slats the airport ones are made of, this one used antiquated wooden slats. Also, instead of the standard oval-shaped baggage carousels, this one meandered and rose and fell, kind of like a miniature roller-coaster that might have been found in an ancient fairground.
From my perspective, the belt came into view about two metres high (on top of a clay embankment) in front and to the left, and as it came towards me it gently fell to knee-height. It passed by me on the left, gently rose about two metres as it curved around behind me, and then gently fell back to knee-height before passing me again on my right, before curving around to the right and out of view.
Directly in front of me, standing four metres away and leaning back on the wall of the embankment supporting the belt, were, and I'll just say it, three regular-looking guys. I can best describe them as European-looking, slim and in their twenties, with dark short hair, dressed in jeans and t-shirts.
So - the objects that were conveyor-belted out on this archaic baggage carousel symbolized each and every 'offence' that I was up to in my life. I'm not going to supply a comprehensive list of these for obvious reasons, but to list just a few that I am comfortable in sharing – beer bottles, wine bottles, spirit bottles (the amount of bottles was ridiculous and embarrassing – about two feet deep on the belt and carried on for maybe 5-10 minutes). Other objects were of junk food (the usual post-drinking food), some drugs, and even ones symbolizing speeding (driving) etc. I felt embarrassed and occasionally I'd look at the guys standing there and one would just shake his head as if to say No. Occasionally I would feel a tap on my left or right shoulder, which I quickly learned was to get me to look in that direction at an object which I didn't quite understand or missed.
I'm being very brief here as it was very personal and therefore only relevant for me, and in any case I don't really want to go into detail. Imagine if a screen was connected to your brain and everything that you've ever done and thought about, which you're not proud of to say the least, was shown on it – you wouldn't want anyone to be able to see it!
After a while, the objects changed to ones that symbolized many things that I should be doing which I don't need to list here, but included two priests carrying large staff-like crosses. To me, this indicated going to church and/or picking up a Bible – both of which I really did not want to do, at all.
Just to wrap this part up – I'll try and give you a sense of just how unique and important this was. It lasted for over an hour, and the tone was very for-me, pro-me, and caring. It was meticulous in getting its message across and when I couldn't work out what an object was, the belt stopped and even reversed so I could get a better look at it. It was made sure that I knew and understood everything that was being presented to me, patiently, with the utmost care and not in any way condemning - it was obvious that whatever was behind it, was genuinely caring, loving, and patient.
Part 6 – The End of the Vision
Immediately after the life review ended, I was shown something that caught me by such a surprise that it took me a couple of seconds or more to realize what I was looking at. Slightly over to my right, about the 1 o'clock position, stood an unsightly creature that was unlike all the other hideous ones I had seen. He was standing at an entrance to a descending cavern which was dimly lit by an orange/red flickering light coming up from below. His skin was red and he had a look on his face that is difficult to put into words – looking right at me with a half-open, half-snarling mouth, head slightly tilted down so that his eyes were slightly looking up at me.
Then the vision ended cheerfully enough; sort-of goodbyes and, weirdly, some text appeared telling me to tell everyone what I saw and what I learned etc, using the phrase “I saw it all” or similar. It was about 8am, the sun was shining into the room and it was getting warm. Worried that I wasn't going to remember a lot of it, I grabbed a pen and some paper to write it all down as fast as I could.
Part 7 – Conclusion
At the top I said that it had to be supernatural. I had a sound and sober mind, and in any case it was far too structured to be a trick of the brain or a hallucination, and far too informative to have just been random firings of neurons. It was absolutely obvious that there was a mind behind it; an intelligence. Plus the fact that my phone was effectively giving me free international calls (which is effectively external evidence) - something abnormal was definitely happening.
I believe that it was what's known as an NDLE – a Near-Death-Like-Experience. You've probably heard of patients receiving similar experiences (hellish and with life-reviews) when they've 'died' on operating tables and resuscitated – well since I wasn't close to death, the 'like' is added to the name.
I want to add that I was shown a representation of Hell (really Hades, the waiting place), followed by a life review to show me that that was where I was headed. It wasn't actually Hell - I don't believe that there are actually metal walkways, trolleys, etc on the other side. The purpose of my NDE was firstly for the proof of God I sought after, and then for me to understand that without God, my eternity was in a place where no good exists. The goal was not for me to see what Hell actually looks like, but rather for me to understand the message. And those three guys at my life-review? The Bible always depicts angels visiting earth as regular-looking males…
So – this is what I believe: God knew that I believed in Him, deep down, but that I'm a stern doubter who needs proof. By giving me undeniable proof of God (something my mum had been praying for since I was a teenager by the way) in the form of an NDE, I would be willing to become a Christian. Consider this: I often ask atheists that if God made it clear to them that He existed, would they then become a Christian i.e. love and obey Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and praise Him. Their answers are always the same – “absolutely not!” They say they would believe that He existed, but they would no way love, obey, and praise Him. This is why they choose atheism, despite the evidence (e.g. click for God and also the New Testament). It highlights the unregenerated mind – the “you're not the boss of me” mentality – something, for whatever reason, I don't have in regards to God.
It was perfect timing; I had just lost my house and had moved into a temporary room. I had creditors chasing me, making many threats. It was the last night away from all of that; the next day I was flying home to phone calls, a pile of mail, and huge stress. I'm not sure how I would have managed. But I returned with a totally different perspective on life – that Someone capable of anything had my back and only wanted the best for me. I now had hope, direction, and a comfortable feeling that I'd get through it all. There was a huge mess to sort out but I knew that it would work out.
And it certainly worked out! I managed to deal with a situation to do with the solicitors who handled the sale of my house, with very surprising results. This helped me deal with, and close, the majority of my creditors. I managed to organize and handle my move back to Australia (packing, shipping, legalities, etc). During all of this I even managed a few sight-seeing trips into Europe. Back in Australia, I gave up drinking (not something I could've done without His help), went to university for a three month course in electronics, got a job which ticked so many boxes it wasn't funny, and moved into an apartment near the city and by the beach – something I really wanted to do but never thought would happen. I am now in a position where I only have to work occasionally, giving me so much free time to study theology and apologetics, and also my hobbies. A far cry from October 1st 2008!
I was lost and headed for absolute disaster – in this life and the next. I now understand what the minister was saying in church when I was a teenager - that we have all sinned and come short. For us to think that we are 'good', we generally have to overlook a lot of what we think about and what we have already done. I know that I broke most of the 10 commandments, e.g. I lied, stole, blasphemed, and committed adultery in thought and in deed – and if you're honest, you might agree that you have as well.
God is a just God and cannot overlook sin; otherwise He'd be an un-just and corrupt judge. Since we've all sinned, we're already condemned. But He hasn't left us to our doom – He stepped in and fixed the sin problem. Christ paid for our sins on the cross. Someone has to pay for sin - either the one who is guilty, or someone else who stands in their place – a substitute. Jesus lived a sinless life so was able to be that substitute. He died so that people who believe in Him have their sin records erased. Deleted. For you to have this, you need to do two things: Repent and Believe. Confess your sins against God and believe in His Son. You will then be justified in God's eyes by those two things – no good deeds or good works can accomplish this. This is unique among all of the world's religions.
And to answer the “why did it happen to you” question:
Luke 15:3-7 “Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
...I wandered away, but He came after me.I'm on FaceBook: