HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH?
Is there anything in the world to indicate that there may be something that leaves the body at death that cannot be accounted for by any valid, proven scientific explanation? Here's something to think about.
In 1906, at the General Hospital, at Haverhill, Massachusetts there was conducted one of the strangest scientific experiments ever made. And because of its weird nature hospital authorities shut down the laboratory tests and any further experiments were forbidden.
It was a project of Dr. Duncan McDougall and centered upon the question…. Does man possess a soul that leaves the body at the moment of death? McDougall reasoned that if a man does somehow survive death, then he must survive in some kind of physical form or substance. He further reasoned that if this soul-substance had any physical properties then it must have weight. And if it did have weight then perhaps it could be detected by constructing a very delicately balanced platform beam scale. A combination bed and scale was built to precision.
Next, McDougall secured the full co-operation of several terminally ill tuberculosis patients. When the time came that one of the patients was near the point of death, he was placed on a bed that had been turned into a gigantic scale. McDougall later wrote a report of what happened: My first subject was a man dying of tuberculosis. It seemed best to me to select a patient dying with a disease that produces great exhaustion, the death occurring with little or no muscular movement, because in such a case the beam (scales)could be kept more perfectly at balance and any loss occurring could be kept more perfectly at balance and any loss occurring readily noted.
During all three hours and forty minutes, I kept the beam end slightly above balance near the upper limiting bar, in order to make the test more decisive if it should come. At the end of three hours and forty minutes he expired …. AND SUDDENLY, AT THE EXACT MOMENT OF DEATH, THE BEAM END DROPPED WITH AN AUDIBLE STROKE, HITTING AGAINST THE LOWER LIMITING BAR, AND REMAINING THERE. THE LOSS WAS ASCERTAINED TO BE THREE-FOURTHS OF AN OUNCE."
To be sure that the mysterious, weight loss wasn't caused by perspiration evaporating and leaving the body, the rate of evaporation had already been calculated and found to be one-sixtieth of an ounce per minute, but the weight loss had occurred within a second or two therefore eliminating that as a cause of the weight loss.
Another possibility that had to be taken into consideration was the weight of any air leaving the lungs at the moment of death. This too had been measured and factored into the experiment. It had been found that the lungs can hold about 300 cubic inches of air, which meant only one sixth of an ounce. Neither of these could account for the mysterious weight loss that had suddenly taken place!
McDougall quickly set about conducting a second experiment exactly like the first one. The second patient lay on the bed for four hours and fifteen minutes before death occurred. But when the equipment registered that death had taken place, the beam on the scales DIDN'T move; no weight loss had occurred. Apparently the experiment had failed. For almost fifteen minutes the subject had no heartbeat, and to all indications life had ceased; only the facial muscles still twitched. And then suddenly the facial twitching stopped, and when it did …… at that precise moment … the beam on the scale dropped with an audible sound! The scale registered exactly one ounce of weight loss…. and it could not be accounted for in by any known cause! When McDougall later duplicated the same experiment using animals instead of human beings ……. no weight loss occurred. (*1)
The noted physicist Dr. Albert Einstein later stated that, in his opinion, it was the most powerful evidence he'd ever encountered for proof that the human personality somehow survives death.
Had McDougall succeeded in discovering scientific proof for the existence of the human soul? Someone might say, "Impossible! Spirit has no weight!" But I'd like to know how we know so much about whether or not spirit can be weighed or not? Or what the substance of spirit consists of? The fact is we know little or nothing about spirit. One thing is for sure, if I wasn't a believer I would be mighty uneasy about those experiments. Now maybe there's some perfectly logical explanation for what happened, but… maybe there isn't one either. At any rate it ought to make anyone stop and think. Especially if you're not ready to step out into another world and take the chance of meeting your Maker!
It's true that we Christians are often accused of being gullible for believing in life after death and in a future resurrection? Well, guess again, because there's more than one piece evidence out there for what we believe, and just because you may not know it's out there … don't blame us!
It's no wonder that men like Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famed Mayo Clinic, has said, " The keen blade of my scalpel may never uncover the soul of man, that intangible part of the mystery called man .. …BUT I KNOW IT IS THERE!"
And Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, Assistant to the Head psychiatrist at Chicago University. Dr. Ross was assigned to be at the bedsides of over one thousand dying patients to observe them, talk with them and record their dying moments. When she first began her studies she was an unbelieving, non-religious person. By the time her research period was over she said, "It is a good feeling to be able to say (after many years) that people don't die. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is life after death … we know there is life after death and we are amassing the evidence to prove it scientifically. I AM TOTALLY CONVINCED THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. I HAVE SEEN MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE, AND BEFORE THEY DIED … ALL OF THEM… LEFT STRONG EVIDENCE OF LIFE AFTER DEATH."
"A MAN CONVINCED AGAINST HIS WILL IS OF THE SAME OPINION STILL"
Of course some will always gainsay any evidence cited I think that when the Lord returns to earth some fellow with a Phd. will immediately race to his computer keyboard and start writing a paper claiming to have analyzed and disproven what's taking place all around him. ( "Mass hallucination, Hypnotic suggestion, weather balloons, something placed in the drinking water, etc.…")
Long ago I decided to weigh the facts for myself and then make up my own mind on controversial issues or subjects. If my friends don't go along with me, and my family wonder why I'm not staying in step with the status quo, and my colleagues frown on my "don't upset the boat tactics" well,… sorry ‘bout that. But … till I'm shown something more factual, I'll stick with what seems to me to be indicated by the facts I have at my disposal.
And, personally, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that WITHIN THIS EARTHLY BODY OF FLESH AND BONE THERE RESIDES AN INVISIBLE PART OF US, A PART THAT SPRINGS FREE OF THIS DYING BODY AND CONTINUES TO EXIST AFTER OUR PHYSICAL DEATH. But for me, far more trustworthy than man's attempts to prove life after death, are the words of the Book of Books, the best selling Book in the world. Let's see what it has to say to us about that something within man and woman that lives on after death.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US?
The revelation given us by the Creator ought to make every one of us rejoice, and especially as we grow closer to that time in our lives when we have to face the hour of our own death.
In Job32:8 we're told, "THERE IS A SPIRIT WITHIN MAN…"
And in I Corinthians 6:20 Paul tells us. "…..THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD'S."
Zechariah 12:1 says, :…THE LORD WHO STRETCHETH FORTH THE HEAVENS, AND LAYETH THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND FORMETH THE SPIRIT OF MAN IN HIM."
And most importantly, Ecclesiastes 12:57 that says, "MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG HOME, AND THE MOURNERS GO ABOUT THE STREETS…THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS, AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GOD WHO GAVE IT."
We DO have an invisible spirit that lives on after death. For instance in 1 Kings 17:17 the prophet Elijah called upon God to restore life to a dead child. Elijah's words reveal what occurs at death. "O LORD, MY GOD, I PRAY THEE LET THIS CHILD'S SOUL COME INTO HIM AGAIN. AND THE LORD HEARD THE VOICE OF ELIJAH, AND THE SOUL OF THE CHILD CAME INTO HIM AGAIN, AND HE REVIVED."
TRUTH IS OFTEN STRANGER THAN FICTION
The little girl's body was found floating face down In the family's backyard swimming pool. Hysterical with fear, her parents pulled her body from the water and within minutes paramedics were on the scene. Quickly discovering that no signs of life were present, they rushed the body to the emergency room of the hospital. There every effort was frantically exerted to restore the little girl's life. In spite of everything they could do it seemed that they were doomed to failure. And then, just as they were about to give up, the beating of a pulse was detected! A miraculous recovery from death had occurred! Heather would live!
Later in the recovery room, the eyes of the little girl fluttered open, and looking up at her mother, a curious and strange message fell from her lips. She said, "Mama, Grandma says she forgives you." The girl's mother was totally shocked! She then began to question the child about what she'd seen, and listened in disbelief as Heather went on to describe her Grandmother perfectly---her size, her hair, even mentioning a small mole located hear her grandmother's left ear.
The reason her mother was so overwhelmed by her daughter's words was because Heather had never once seen her Grandmother----not so much as even a picture of her! Years previously the little girl's mother had become pregnant out of wedlock. When her parents found out they were furious and told to leave their home and never return.
One year later, after she'd married and Heather had been born, she tried to contact her parents, but discovered that they'd moved without even letting her know. Anger and resentment flared inside her, and she destroyed all photos and objects that had been associated with her parents. For years afterwards hate festered in her heart.
Then she met Christ, and was born again. Immediately she wanted to let her parents know that Jesus had forgiven her act of fornication, and she hoped they would too. The hatred that she'd borne toward them had quickly vanished after her conversion experience. Shortly after her little girl's drowning incident they were at last able to locate her parents address. She was able to successfully contact her Father only to learn that her mother had died just four weeks earlier! Realizing that her little girl had never one time seen even a photograph of her grandmother, Heather's mother was overcome! As a result of the unusual message her little daughter had brought back from Heaven, she was able to at last put her heart at rest. (*2)
THE BOTTOM LINE
In all of this we need to keep reminding ourselves that this life is NOT all there is…there is MORE, and there's coming a day of resurrection that will launch those of us who have made our peace with God through His Son, into a life that will exceed our wildest hopes and dreams!
(*1) I first came across an article on McDougal's experiment over forty years ago and immediately filed it. According to sources McDougal's experiment was recorded in, American Medicine in the April issue, 1907 under the title: "Hypotheses ‘concerning Soul Substance, Together with Experimental Evidence of Such Substance" It also is said to have been written up in the May issue 1907 of the Journal of the American Society of Psychical Research. I have not attempted to verify those sources, but since I first saw the story I have seen several other articles written up in books and magazines referring to the same aforementioned experiment.
(*2) I cannot give the source of this story. I first came across it two years ago and filed it; but I later found that the file card with the source info. had become misplaced.
Posted by cdrnorth at September 29, 2005 11:08 AM
Do you keep copies of your old sermons? I loved
Sundays' daytime. Sunday nite I thought I had a copy but when I got home it was blank. I was going to make some copies with my own duplicating machine and pass them out because it was so powerful. Everyone needs to hear it. See you on Wednesday nite. Brother Darrel
Pat and I send you and your family our love.
Posted by: Darrel Wollin at November 28, 2005 10:56 PM