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Foreman, George – Rebirth experience - 05 Hallelujah, I'm clean! HALLELUJAH, I'VE BEEN BORN AGAIN!

Identifier

025815

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

God in my Corner – A Spiritual Memoir – George Foreman

JESUS CHRIST IS REVEALED TO ME

Dr. Keith West was standing behind me and instinctively grabbed my head to support it. I felt his strong fingertips, but I sensed something far beyond his grip, and I saw something that nearly caused my heart to stop, not in fear, but in amazement.

I said, "Dr. West, please move your hands, because the thorns on His head are making Him bleed."

I reached up and touched my forehead. When I did, I saw blood pouring down my forehead, yet I didn't have a cut there from the boxing match. Prior to this incident, I had thought the crucifixion of Christ was a fictional television story people watched at Easter time. I hadn’t gone to church enough to know much about it. I joked about people who believed in such nonsense.

In fact, I always believed that Joe Frazier was tough, until I saw him holding a Bible one day before a fight. I was disgusted at the sight. That is a weakness, I thought.

On the other hand, my masseur, Perry Fuller, often shared Scriptures with me when we were alone or when nobody else was paying attention to us. Most members of my team avoided conversations with Perry because he was always talking about "religion." Months before, while he was working on me one day, Perry spoke in his deep, raspy, gravel-toned voice, "Mr. Foreman, I want to read to you a passage from the Bible. It's from the forty-ninth Psalm."

Perry didn’t wait for my permission; he simply started reading: "They that trust in their wealth . . . they call their lands after their own names . . . they shall be consumed in the grave. "

Perry paused long enough to move around to the front of the training table where he looked me right in the eyes. "You see, Mr. Foreman, you can't trust in your wealth." Perry was letting me know in his own words that my money would be no good after I died and that I needed to put my trust in God.

Now, in that hot dressing room in Puerto Rico, this man, who had told me about the Lord, was an eyewitness to my transformation. Perry was crying as he held down my hands. No doubt, he had never seen anything like this. I said, "Mr. Fuller, move your hands. He's bleeding where they crucified Him."

I looked at both of my hands and saw them bleeding, but no one else in the room could see it.

Instead, they all looked at me as if I’d lost my mind-everyone, even Perry. Although he may have understood more than any of us what was going on. To this day, I can't figure out why I said "He" when this experience was happening to me. I have no idea why I could see the blood but the others in the room could not.

I believed in God, but I didn’t believe in religion. Now God was revealing Himself to me in a way I would never forget. He wasn't simply one of many gods. God was showing me that Jesus truly did bleed while wearing that crown of thorns and when they pounded those nails into His hands-and although I didn’t completely understand it, and certainly didn’t deserve such a sacrifice, I was beginning to realize that He did it for me.

I later found out about a man in the Bible named Saul, who was as hard-headed as I was. He didn’t believe in Jesus either. One day, Saul was traveling on a road to Damascus when the Lord struck him down with a blinding light, and a voice from heaven spoke to him. Saul became a completely different man after that experience, and his name was changed to Paul. The people traveling with him didn’t understand what was happening to him any more than the guys in my dressing room could comprehend what I was experiencing.'

Still lying prone on the training table, I suddenly sat straight up and yelled at the top of my voice, 'JESUS CHRIST IS COMING ALIVE IN ME!" That's when all the faces in the room turned ashen, as if they had seen a ghost. Prior to this experience, I had never talked about religion. I was your typical tough guy,-and in my world, tough guys didn’t talk about Jesus. But something stirred inside me, in the lower part of my stomach, and I could no longer control what I was saying.

I started reciting Scriptures from the Bible-even though I had never learned them.

For most of my life, I had been ruled by anger and hatred. Now, every hostile emotion had been drained out of me, and a spigot of God's love had been turned on inside me, filling me up, and overflowing out of me. I jumped up off the table and hugged everyone in the room, telling them that I loved them. I grabbed Gil Clancy, who always talked about his Irish heritage. I kissed him and said, "Gil, I love you! You're my brother!" (I never would have done that before as the old George, but a supernatural force had taken hold of me.)

In all those years together, I had never told any of my closest associates that I loved them. Now, I couldn’t stop expressing how much I loved them. Half joking, my brother Roy, suggested that I needed to clean up. I couldn't have agreed with him more. I already felt spiritually clean on the inside, but I wanted my physical body to be cleansed, too. But because the showers didn't have any warm water, my trainer worried that the cold water might send me into shock. "Don't let him shower yet! Don’t let him go in there!" He called out to the others to stop me.

All eight men tried to hold me back, but I pushed through them, stepped into the small shower stall, and turned on the water. And then I heard myself speaking words that I had never before used. Standing in the shower I shouted, "Hallelujah, I'm clean! HALLELUJAH, I'VE BEEN BORN AGAIN!"

I yelled like a kid who had just hit a home run and won the big game. "I've got to go tell the whole world about this!" I stepped out of the shower and, still naked, headed toward the front door. The men in the room wrestled me down; they had to sit on me to keep me from going outside.

"George! Take it easy," I heard one of them say. "Calm down, man," somebody else added.

"There are hundreds of people right outside that door. You can’t go out there, George."

'Jesus Christ is coming alive in me!" I responded. "I love you! God loves you!"

The guys in the room-most of whom had known me for years-didn’t know what to think. Dr. West actually had tears in his eyes, not tears of joy, but tears of pity. This was so out of character for me. I wouldn't stop talking about Jesus, and no one could shut me up. Now I was praising the name of Jesus, the name my acquaintances had only heard me use in profanity. As for me, I had never felt that wonderful in all my life!

This born-again experience was everything I ever wanted. I didn't know such feelings of joy and euphoria were possible this side of heaven, and I didn't know that heaven even existed.

The thrill of being introduced as the heavyweight champion of the world didn’t even come close to this. As the men held me down, I heard the voice bid me farewell.

I come to My brothers and they don't believe Me. I come to My friends and they don't understand Me.

"Wait!" I yelled. "Don’t let Jesus go! Don’t let Jesus go!"(as if the men in the room could actually do anything to prevent His departure). I didn’t want Him to leave. Again I pleaded, "Don’t let Jesus go!"

Now I go to My Father in heaven. And with those words, my experience ended.

The source of the experience

Foreman, George

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Crucifixion

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References