Brethren, Does this Verse (2 Cor. 12:2-3) support the narratives of near death experiences, of their visitation to the other side of the supernatural (heaven)? Is it what we call a trance? If the response to one is the experience in body or in spirit?

It is important to note that Paul’s vision was NOT a “near death experience.” Paul was not only fully ALIVE, but was shown a vision – by GOD – of future prophetic events specifically for the edification of the Church in the flesh. “Near death experiences” (“NDEs”) are not prophecies of future events and are not for the edification of others and the glorification of God or Jesus. The visions given to the prophets and apostles have always been expressly for the warning, instruction, or edification of God’s own people, and it is also important to note that not a single prophecy in all of Scripture was given as a so-called “near death experience.”

According to the Bible, it is very clear that such an obvious deception is used by Satan – our Adversary – as a means to deceive the blinded world of mankind and to distract from the Truth of the Bible. While the individual who has had such an experience may truly believe what they saw, it is no different than any hallucination that others have experienced under the influence of various conditions or circumstances (for example — drugs, lack of oxygen, duress/stress, dreams or nightmares, hypnosis, etc). Many of these experiences can feel very REAL to the person having them.

As far as a “trance” is concerned, this is a different matter, often associated with hypnosis or other practices that are designed to put a person into a mental state that is easily influenced by other individuals or fallen spirit beings (demons, etc). You may have seen where one person has put another person into a “trance” and had them act like an animal or perform acts that, once awakened from their “trance,” they had absolutely NO recollection of their behavior while in the “trance” state. This differs greatly from the prophets and apostles who had FULL recall of the information given to them by the Holy Spirit while they were in their prophetic or “dream” state.

A true Christian must ALWAYS be on their guard to not be deceived by such experiences and tactics of Satan. The more we entertain such things, the more easily we will fall prey to Satan’s deceptions.