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 was over
I knew 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
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 it came.
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.
I was 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 here?” I was terrified –
afraid to move or breathe or speak. As I thought
about it I thought, “Yep, I could have
deserved this place.”
People 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. Who could 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.
There 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.
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,
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.
I had 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?"
The only way I could
leave is because I'd repented before I died.
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 before death.
Then a brilliant
light shone upon me and literally drew me out
of the darkness.
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
As I 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
Upon 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
As I 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.
My next 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 this
light.” 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.
My mind 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.
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.
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
I was now standing there seeing this incredible
light and glory.
As I 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?”
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?”
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?” Quickly 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.
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.”
The moment I heard
the words “see in a new light,”
something clicked. 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.
So this 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.”
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.
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
I found 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.
As I 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 truth.” 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 know.
Could 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.
I aimed 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 him.
Directly 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 into eternity.
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.
As I 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!”
As I 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.
So I 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 people?” 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”
I said, “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.
And I said “God,
how do I go back? I don't know how to go back.”
He said, "Ian
tilt your head …now feel liquid drain
from your eyes ... now open your eyes and see.”
Immediately 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 I'm
dead!” 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.
Shaken 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 asleep.
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
I've 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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