2Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one caught up to the third heaven.
2Co 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
We have all heard someone at one point in our lives say that they have had an ‘out of body’ experience, and most commonly they will say that they were led to a ‘bright light,’ or hovered over their lifeless bodies, or they will say they were in “paradise” in the third heaven. And these experiences are said to take place when someone has temporarily lost their vital functions for a matter of minutes, or we find some that will say they have had a ‘out of body’ experience while they slept. And while these ‘experiences’ may seem to be an interesting topic to write books upon and make movies about, we must always let God’s word be our final answer on whatever questions we might have, instead of the conscious of man, and Hollywood.
Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Furthermore, oftentimes we find ourselves allowing the conscious of man and what he says is true, as being our reasons for believing some particular truths that we have come to accept as ‘gospel.’ And for the most part man will take some accounts from the bible, and apply them to his circumstance and say that he also has experienced something that only a few privileged men of God have; and been given this unique opportunity to be used by God for His specific purposes. But the nature of the natural man assumes that he himself plays a vital and important part in whatever God is doing today, and that the will of God is focused upon giving man a ‘blessed’ and fulfilling life, but if man is completely honest with himself, and his imperfect lifestyle, he will come to understand that God has sent chosen men throughout time to accomplish His plan and purpose, and he will learn to trust God’s word and what it says, instead of the words of man and his own lying conscious.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
And as we see in in God’s word the men that He used to go to the third heaven (whether in the body, or in the spirit) was used by God to achieve a specific purpose concerning God’s plan and His purpose, and for instance; this did not have anything to do with the Apostles John and Paul’s own personal gain, plan, nor did it have anything to do with them just ‘seeing a bright light,’ or ‘hovering over their bodies.’ Also, the common man just has to ask himself what would be the benefit to God, and himself to have a glimpse into heaven for a matter of minutes, and then to later return and tell the story to some. But there is a ‘fool-proof’ way to know whether something is, or is not of God; when God does something it is always done with perfection. And when the men of God were taken up to heavenly places, they were in the perfect health afterwards, but these men who claim to have visited heaven need the Intensive Care Unit, and rehabilitation afterwards.
Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Moreover, we are told in our bibles that when the saved man is “absent from the body,” he is “present with the Lord,” and that when we “depart” from the flesh, we will “be with Christ; which is far better.” But this is what God has to say on the subject of what happens to our soul and spirit when we leave our bodies, but man will say that there is a ‘in between,’ or a period of time that we can leave our bodies to explore the ‘other side.’ But today there must be an importance placed upon God’s word over the word of man (even though this should always be the case) because of man’s increased desire to take heed unto the wisdom of man and any ‘new thing’ that he comes up with concerning God’s word and how they think it applies to their life.
1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
But just as 1Timothy 6:16 says in the above verse, that no man can “approach” unto the “light” that man has claimed to walk unto, nor have they “seen,” or “can see” the heavenly places, or Jesus Christ Himself. And based upon what the above verse says, we can confidently say that “no man hath seen, nor can see” the ‘light,’ or the ‘other side’ other than the few men that were chosen of God Himself, for His specific plans and purposes. Therefore, it is evident that as long as our bodies remain physically fit to support our soul and spirit, we are considered “at home, in the body,” regardless the minimal time loss of our vital functions in the body; but this is just another attempt by man to show just how close to God he really is. But while we remain in our bodies (whether or not we temporarily lose our vital functions in our bodies) our main concern ought to be placed upon finding out what the righteousness of God is all about, because eventually we will permanently leave our bodies; and we want to be certain that we are on our way to “be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”