knew there was a release; the battle to stay alive seemed
to be over. No one told me what had happened, no one said,
"You just died son." I didn't know that. All I knew was
that the battle to try and keep my eyes open and stay alive
I'd gone somewhere, it wasn't like closing your eyes and
going to sleep, I knew I'd gone somewhere. I had been having
a floating away feeling for the previous 20 minutes in the
hospital anyway. I'd been hanging on to my body with everything
I had trying not to float away anywhere. And yet when I
closed my eyes, I wasn't floating away, I was gone.
The Bible says in
Ecclesiastes, that when a man dies his spirit returns to
God who gave it and his body returns to the dust from which
Well, I knew my spirit had left,
I had gone somewhere, and yet I didn't know I was dead.
I seemed to arrive in a huge, broad place like a void of
pitch-black darkness. I felt like I was standing up. It
was like I had woken up from a bad dream in someone else's
house, and was wondering where everyone had gone. I looked
around trying to orient myself to these new surroundings.
you ever woken up in the middle of the night and tried to
find the light switch? Well, I was trying to find the light
switch, and I couldn't seem to find it. I was trying to
touch something, and I was moving round and there was nothing
there. I was not even bumping into anything. I couldn't
see my hand in front of my face. I lifted my hand up to
find out how much I could see. I lifted it to where my face
was and it went straight through where my face should have
been. It was a terrifying experience. I knew right there
and then, I was me, Ian McCormack, standing there, but without
a body. I had the sensation and the feeling that I had a
body, but I had nothing physical to touch. I was a spiritual
being, and my physical body had died, but I was very much
alive, and very much aware that I had arms and legs and
a head, but I could no longer touch them.
God is a spirit, an invisible
spiritual being, and we are created in his image.
thinking in my heart, "Where on Earth am I?"
And as I was
standing there in the darkness, I sensed the most incredible
coldness and fear coming over me. Maybe you've walked down
a lonely street at night, or you've come home by yourself
and you feel as though there is someone looking at you.
Ever felt that? You sense someone's looking at you in the
darkness but you can't see who it is. I began to sense evil
in the darkness. The darkness seemed not just physical but
spiritual. I felt like I was being watched. A cold encroaching
evil seemed to pervade the air around me. I knew there was
something around me. Slowly I became aware that there seemed
to be other people moving around me, in the same predicament
as me. Though I didn't speak out loud they answered my thoughts.
From the darkness I began to hear voices screaming at me:
"Shut up!" "You deserve to be here!"
I thought, "I'm in
hell, this could actually be real, but how did I end up
I was terrified – afraid to move or breathe or speak.
As I thought about it I thought, "Yep, I could have
deserved this place."
have this picture of hell, of party time and great enjoyment.
I used to think that too. I thought that you would do all
the things there that you're not supposed to do on Earth.
That is absolute trash. The place I was in was the most
frightening place I've ever been. The people there could
not do anything that their wicked hearts wanted to do, they
couldn't do anything. And there's no boasting.
you boast to down there? "Oh yeah, I raped, murdered, plundered,
pillaged." Well whoop-de-doo boy! There's nothing down there
to talk about, nothing. And they know that judgment is coming.
is no relationship to time in that place. The people there
can't tell what time it is. They can't tell whether they've
been there ten minutes, ten years or 10,000 years. They
had no relationship to time. It was a frightening place.
The Bible says that
there are two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Darkness, which is
ruled by Satan, and the Kingdom of Light. The book of Jude
says that the place of darkness was actually prepared for
angels that disobeyed God, not for people, ever.
And it was the scariest and the
most frightening and the most terrifying place I have ever
been in. I would never wish or hope that even my worst enemy
went to hell.
no idea how to get out of this place. How do you ever get
out of hell? But I had already prayed, and I was wondering
why on Earth I'd gone there, because I'd prayed just before
I died, and asked God to forgive me of my sins.
I was crying
and I literally cried out to God, "Why am I here, I've asked
you for forgiveness, why am I here? I've turned my heart
to you, why am I here?"
only way I could leave is because I'd repented before I
It's too late to repent once
you get down there. You can only repent before you die.
You can't pray your way out of hell and no one on Earth
can pray you out of hell, no one. You have to have prayed
yourself. The Bible teaches that no one can pray for dead,
departed souls and get them out of hell. They have to repent
a brilliant light shone upon me and literally drew me out
of the darkness.
The Bible says that
a great light has shone into darkness, on those walking
in the shadow of death and darkness, and has guided their
feet into the paths of peace and righteousness.
I stood there an amazing beam of light pierced through the
darkness from above me and shone on my face. This light
began to envelope me and I began to sense a weightlessness
overwhelm me. I then began to feel myself lift off the ground
and begin to ascend up into this brilliant white light.
looked up I could see I was being drawn into a large circular
shaped opening far above me. I didn't want to look back
too much in case I fell back into the darkness. I was very
happy to be out of that darkness.
entering the tunnel I could see that the source of the light
was emanating from the very end of the tunnel. It looked
incredibly bright, as if it was the centre of the universe.
It looked literally like the source of all power, of all
light. It was more brilliant than the sun, more radiant
than any jewel, any diamond, brighter than a laser beam
light. Yet you could look right into it.
looked I was literally drawn to it, drawn like a moth into
the presence of a flame. I felt myself being drawn through
the air at an amazing speed towards the end of the tunnel.
As I was being translated through the air I could see successive
waves of thicker intensity light emanate off the source
and start traveling up the tunnel towards me. The first
wave of light gave off an amazing warmth and comfort. It
was as though the light wasn't just physical in nature but
was a ‘living light' that transmitted an emotion. Half way
down another wave of light passed into me. This light gave
off total and complete peace. I had looked for many years
for "peace of mind" but had only found fleeting moments
of it. At school I had read from Keats to Shakespeare to
try and get peace of mind. I had tried alcohol, I had tried
education, I had tried sport, I had tried relationships
with women, I had tried drugs, I tried everything to find
peace and contentment in my life, and I'd never found it.
Now from the top of my head to the base of my feet I found
myself totally at peace.
thought was "I wonder what my body looks like?"
In the darkness
I hadn't been able to see my hands in front of my face.
I thought "I must be able to see clearly now that I'm in
So I looked to my right and to my amazement
there was my arm and hand but I could see straight through
them. I was transparent like a spirit, only my body was
full of the same light that was shining on me from the end
of the tunnel. It was as if I was full of light. The third
wave near the end of the tunnel was total joy. It was so
exciting that I knew that what I was about to see would
be the most awesome experience in all my life.
couldn't even conceive where I was going, and my words couldn't
communicate what I saw. I came out of the end of the tunnel
and seemed to be standing upright before the source of all
the light and power. My whole vision was taken up with this
incredible light. I immediately thought of it as aura. Then
as glory. I had seen pictures of Jesus with a little wee
tiny halo or little glow around his face.
Yet Jesus Christ
died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, and is
seated at the right-hand of the Father, and is glorified,
surrounded by light and in him there is no darkness. He
is the King of Glory, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords
and the King of all the Kings.
I saw what I believe
was the glory of the Lord.
the Old Testament, Moses went up Mount Sinai for 30 days
and he saw the glory of the Lord. He came down and his face
shone. Moses face shone with the glory of the Lord, and
he had to put on a veil, so that the people wouldn't be
afraid. He had seen the light of God, the glory of God.
Paul was blinded by a glorious light on the road to Damascus,
the glory of Jesus.
I was now standing there seeing this incredible light and
stood there, questions began racing through my heart;
"Is this just a force, as the Buddhists say, or karma,
or yin and yang? Is this just some innate power or
energy source or could there actually be someone
standing in there?"
I was still questioning
it all. As I thought these thoughts a voice spoke to me
from the centre of the light. The voice said "Ian, do
you wish to return?"
I was shaken to
learn that there was someone in the centre of the light
and whoever it was knew my name. It was as though the person
could hear my inner thoughts as speech. I then thought to
myself "Return, return – to where? Where am I?"
looking behind me I could see the tunnel dissipating back
into darkness. I thought I must be in my hospital bed dreaming
and I closed my eyes.
"Is this real?
Am I actually standing here, me, Ian, standing in real
life here, is this real?"
Then the Lord spoke again. "Do
you wish to return?"
I replied "If I am out of my body I
don't know where I am, I wish to return."
The response was "If you wish
to return Ian you must see in a new light."
moment I heard the words "see in a new light," something
I remembered being given a Christmas card which
said, "Jesus is the light of the world" and "God is light
and there is no darkness in him."
I had meditated upon those
words at that time. I'd just come from darkness, and there
was certainly no darkness here.
was God! He is light. He knew my name and knew the secret
thoughts of my heart and mind.
I thought, "If this is God
then he must also be able to see everything I've ever
done in my life."
I felt totally exposed
and transparent before God.
I felt ashamed and I thought
"They've made a mistake and brought the wrong person up.
I shouldn't be here. I'm not a very good person. I
should crawl under some rock or go back into the
darkness where I belong."
As I began to slowly move back
towards the tunnel a wave of light emanated forth from God
and moved towards me. My first thought was that this light
was going to cast me back into the pit. But to my amazement
a wave of pure unconditional love flowed over me. It was
the last thing I expected. Instead of judgment I was being
washed with pure love.
unadulterated, clean, uninhibited, undeserved, love. It
began to fill me up from the inside out.
I thought, "Perhaps
God doesn't know all the things I've done wrong," so I proceeded
to tell him about all the disgusting things I'd done in
the cover of darkness.
But it was as though he'd already
forgiven me and the intensity of his love only increased.
In fact, later God showed me that when I'd asked for forgiveness
in the ambulance, it was then he forgave me and washed my
spirit clean from evil.
myself beginning to weep uncontrollably as the love became
stronger and stronger. It was so clean and pure, no strings
attached. I hadn't felt loved for years. The last time I
remember being loved was by my mum and dad when I was at
home, but I'd gone out into the big wide world and found
out there's not too much love out there. I'd seen things
that I thought were love. Sex wasn't love; that just burnt
you up. Lust was just a raging fire inside you, an uncontrollable
desire that burnt you up from the inside out.
stood there, the waves of light stopped and I stood encased
in pure light filled with love. There was such stillness.
I thought to myself, "I'm so close. I wonder if I could
step into the light that surrounds God and see him face
to face. If I could see him face to face I will know the
I was sick of hearing lies and deceptions. I wanted
to know the truth. I had been everywhere to find the truth,
and no one seemed to be able to tell me. I would talk to
anybody who could tell me the meaning to life, the truth,
what was going on, something had to be the truth. I thought
if I could step through and meet God face-to-face I'll know
the truth and I'll know the meaning to life. I will never
have to ask another man, woman or child ever again. I'll
I step in? There was no voice saying I couldn't. So, I stepped
through, I put my best foot forward and stepped through
the light. As I stepped into the light it was as if I'd
come inside veils of suspended shimmering lights, like suspended
stars or diamonds giving off the most amazing radiance.
The light continued to heal the deepest part of me, like
it was healing my broken inner man, healing my broken heart.
for the brightest part of the light. Standing in the centre
of the light stood a man with dazzling white robes reaching
down to his ankles. The garments were not human fabrics
but were like garments of light. As I lifted my eyes up
I could see the chest of a man with arms outstretched as
if to welcome me. I looked towards his face. It was so bright;
it seemed to be about ten times brighter than the light
I'd already seen. It made the sun look yellow and pale in
comparison. It was so bright I couldn't make out the features
of his face, and as I stood there I began to sense that
the light was emanating a purity, a holiness. I knew now
I was standing in the presence of Almighty God – no one
but God could look like this. The purity and holiness continued
to come forth from his face and I began to feel that purity
and holiness enter into me. I wanted to get closer to see
his face. I felt no fear but rather total freedom as I moved
towards him. Standing now only a few feet from him, I tried
to look into the light surrounding his face but as I did
he moved to one side. As he moved all the light moved with
behind Jesus was a circular shaped opening like the tunnel
I had just traveled down. Gazing out through it, I could
see a whole new world opening up before me. I felt like
I was standing on the edge of paradise, having a glimpse
was completely untouched. In front of me were green fields
and meadows. The grass itself was giving off the same light
and life that had been in the presence of God. I saw no
disease on the plants. It seemed as though even if you were
to step on the grass that it would just spring back to life.
Through the center of the meadows I could see a crystal
clear stream winding its way across the landscape with trees
on either side. To my right were mountains in the distance
and the sky above was blue and clear. To my left were rolling
green hills and flowers, which were radiating beautiful
colors. "Paradise". I knew I belonged here. I had traveled
the world looking for paradise, and knew I had found it.
I felt as though I had just been born for the first time.
Every part of me knew I was home. Before me stood eternity,
just one step away.
tried to step forward into this new world Jesus stepped
back into the doorway.
The Bible says that Jesus is
the door and that if you come in through him, you will go
in and out and find green pastures. He is the door to life.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to
the father but by him. He is the only way. There is only
one narrow passageway that leads into his kingdom. Few find
it. Most find the expressway or the highway down to hell.
Jesus asked me this question
"Ian, now that you have seen do you wish to return?"
I thought, "Return, of course
not. Why would I want to go back? Why would I want to return
to the misery and hatred? No, I have nothing to return for.
I have no wife or kids, no one who really loves me. I want
to go on in."
But he didn't move so I looked back one last
time to say, "Goodbye cruel world I'm out of here!"
did, in a clear vision right in front of the tunnel, stood
my mother. As I saw her I knew I had just lied; there was
one person who loved me – my dear Mum. Not only had she
loved me, but also I knew she had prayed for me every day
of my life, and she had tried to show me God. In my pride
and arrogance I had mocked her beliefs. But she had been
right, there was a God and a heaven and a hell. I realized
how selfish it would be to go through to paradise and leave
my mother believing that I had gone to hell. She would have
no idea that I'd had a deathbed prayer and repented of my
sins and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. She would
have just got a dead body in a box from Mauritius.
said, "God, there's only one person really I want to go
back for and that is my mum. I want to tell her that what
she believes in is true, that there is a living God, that
there is a heaven and a hell, that there is a door and Jesus
Christ is that door and that we can only come through him".
Then as I looked back again, I saw behind her my father,
my brother and sister, my friends, and a multitude of people
behind them. God was showing me that there were a lot of
other people who also don't know, and would never know unless
I was able to share with them.
I asked, "Who are all those other
And God said, "If you don't return, many of these
people will not get an opportunity to hear about me because
many will not put their foot inside a church."
"God I want to go back and tell them all. I've come here
once, I don't even really know how I got here, but I can
certainly find out. If I've come here once, I know I can
come back here again. And I want to make sure I come back."
I said, "God, how do I return?
Through the tunnel of darkness, back into my body? How can
I go back? I don't even know how I got here."
And the Lord
said, "If you return you must see things in a new light."
I understood that I must now see through his eyes, his eyes
of love and forgiveness. I needed to see the world as he
saw it – through the eyes of eternity.
I said "God, how do I go back? I don't know how to go
He said, "Ian tilt your
head... now feel liquid drain from your eyes... now open
your eyes and see."
I was back in my body.
My head was tilted to the right
and I had one eye open. I was looking at a young Indian
doctor who had my right foot elevated in his hand and was
prodding a sharp instrument into the base of my foot. He
was looking for any signs of life. Little did he realize
that I was now alive and looking at him.
I wondered what
on Earth he was doing, then the penny dropped; "He thinks
At the same time the doctor stopped what he was
doing and turned his head in the direction of my face. As
our eyes made contact, terror swept over his face, as though
he had just seen a ghost. Blood drained from his face and
he went as white as a sheet. His feet nearly left the ground.
I asked God to give me the strength to tilt my head to the
left and look out the other side. As I turned my head to
the left I saw nurses and orderlies in the doorway staring
at me in amazement and terror. I apparently had been dead
for some 15 to 20 minutes. I felt weak and I closed my eyes,
but I quickly opened them again to check that I was still
in my body. I wasn't sure whether or not I would disappear
again. I was so tired. I closed my eyes again and fell soundly
prayed to God that night and asked him to heal me and enable
me to walk out of the hospital. That night God completely
healed me and enabled me to walk out of the hospital the
next day. I asked God what I had become, as I found my entire
life was changing for good. God told me I was a re-born
Christian and that he wanted me to read His Bible. I had
never read a Bible and had never heard about being born-again.
Over the next six weeks I read the entire Bible. I have
never been the same, and believe that I saw our Lord Jesus
Christ in His Glorified form.
been following Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior
ever since this experience in 1982. I am an ordained minister
with the Assembly Of God church here in New Zealand. I have
worked with the head-hunters of Borneo and in refugee camps
in South East Asia. I have pastored churches and my wife
and I have traveled to 24 different nations sharing this
testimony. - Ian McCormack
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