My Near Death Experience:
In 1971, when I was 16 years old, I Rich Kelsey had a near death experience.
A Little Background:
I was born in Renton, WA, in 1955. I grew up in the 1960s. The culture of the day consisted of pure godless heathenism: black-light posters, hippies, sex, drugs and rock and roll. People in my world were not thinking or talking about God. Also, not only did teachers from elementary school throughout high school never convey the idea of God to me; they reinforced the prevailing concept in the media that God did not exist. For example: an article from the front page of the New York Times read,
“God is Dead …”
I was 13 years old when I heard about the article. I did not read it. The article explained that many professors of religion no longer believed in God. Yet having never read the article, this young soul began to wonder if maybe there was a god at one time but he had died? So, basically during my formative years, I had little to no understanding of spiritual things.
Then, when I was 16, my brother Deane died in a car wreck. He was 18. Deane had just graduated from high school. I was devastated. As mentioned, at this point in my life I did not believe in God, and I was certainly not sure if Jesus ever existed as a historical person. I had yet to figure out what life was about, and this was the first time I was confronted with death.
I was so distraught that, for a while I quit going to school, because I could not handle the emotional problems I was experiencing when seeing some of my brother’s old friends.
I remember praying to God for the first time in my life saying:
“If there is a God and You have taken my brother to Hell, then that’s where I want to go.”
Then, I decided to try to contact my brother. I thought that maybe now Deane existed on another plane.
The first night that I got a response, one little ball of light came swirling into my bedroom. It was just floating around in midair for a few seconds; then it flew right out through the wall. As the weeks passed, at times, my room was filled with little glowing lights. Soon thereafter, weird things began to happen: I started being attacked by invisible beings! I would be lying in bed and what felt like a man would jump on me and wrestle with me. It felt like superman had fallen straight down upon me from some distance above.
Then, The Unthinkable Happened:
One morning I woke up. I looked outside through the window into the backyard. It was a beautiful summer day. I remember thinking about going to the park. Yet, right before I got out of bed superman hit me again; like a man falling out of the sky. I heard the bedsprings screech. This time the wind was knocked out of me and my muscles tensed up. I could not move or breathe.
It gets worse:
I felt those little lights swirl right into me. I felt spiritually defiled. I believe demons entered my body. I also heard perverted sounding music; (evidently demons have music in their realm).
At this point my spirit left my body. But at the same time, I was still on the bed. I found myself in outer space traveling (I guess) at the speed of light; what seemed odd was there weren’t any stars. I was headed for a gate way off in the distance that consisted of three pyramids stacked so there is an opening in the center:
I believe this was the gate leading to hell/outer darkness? And, I was heading right toward the center of the gate! I got the impression that I was going to be banished from God’s presence forever. It was the worst thing I could have ever imagined; but this was no dream.
I thought, maybe if I cried out to God, He would help me? So, I tried to say the word
Remember, the wind had been knocked out of me and my muscles were all cramped up; I can’t move. I’m both on the bed and on my way to hell.
I can’t utter a word. Finally, I think; I’ll focus all of my effort to just spit out the syllable
I was desperately trying to start by saying,
Then, right before I was about to lose consciousness from not being able to breathe, at the top of my lungs, the name
came out of my mouth.
The demons left. I got up, went upstairs, and washed my face, hanging my head over the kitchen sink, thinking:
“what an odd way to start the day.“
What was so odd: I had tried to say GAW, or God, with every ounce of my strength. Not Jesus!
I went from being agnostic, to a man who believes in demons, Jesus, God, and what I think is the gate leading to hell, all in one morning with no one preaching to me.
This near-death experience is what started me on a path to try to figure out what’s going on in life. Since that day, I have found answers from the bible which make sense out of the trouble I experienced that morning and my deliverance in Jesus’ name.
Over the years I have been reluctant to share this experience for many reasons:
1. It is somewhat embarrassing to admit that demons entered my body. Even though it was only for a few minutes.
2. I was concerned that people would not believe me.
3. I was concerned that I would be labeled as a fanatic, or a person suffering from delusion.
4. I was/am concerned that publishing this near-death experience might discredit my other written works which have been established through years of careful study.
Well, I’m older now, this near-death experience took place over 50 years ago, so I’ve had a lot of time to think it over. I made the decision to make this story known because I know it happened; Satan and/or demons tried to kill me. They showed their hand. Now I’m in the fight; I’m not going to be silent anymore. One thing is clear: The name Jesus delivered me from death. Yet, at age 16, I had yet to learn anything about Jesus Christ.
When I got off of my bed that morning and walked upstairs to the kitchen I was not thinking:
“There’s power in the name of Jesus.”
I was not thinking:
“God is good.”
The truth is: I was scared. I was confused. I still didn’t know anything about God. I had never read one word from the bible. At the time, I certainly did not equate Christ’s victory over sin and death with the reason I was given Jesus’ name!
What have I learned:
• Demons exist.
• Jesus delivers.
• God is real.
What Happens When You Die?
George Harrison of the music group The Beatles, which is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential rock group of the rock and roll era, said this in a 1997 interview:
“… Nobody’s trying to figure out, ‘What’s the cause of death?’ And, ‘What happens when you die?’ That to me is the only thing of any importance! The rest is all secondary.”
With that statement, George Harrison expressed perhaps the deepest and most troubling concern people will ever face in life:
“What happens when you die?”
As for me, I have been given a foretaste as to what could have befallen me had I passed on from this life without finding salvation in Jesus Christ; perhaps God let me have this near death experience so I could tell the world about it?
Six years later I asked Jesus to be my savior:
Articles of interest:
■ Who Is Jesus Christ? — Rich Kelsey