Only A Few Enter the Heaven
On August 3, 1979, Howard Pittman, a Baptist minister for 35 years, died while on the operating table during surgery and had a near-death experience. After angels showed him the second and third heavens, he was taken before the very throne of God where he was given a message to share with the world.
The following is an excerpt from his booklet, Placebo, which documents his amazing near-death experience. You can purchase his audio tapes and booklets at the Lake Hamilton Bible Camp store.
Webster's Dictionary defines "placebo" as "a medication prescribed more for the mental relief of a patient than for the actual effect on his disorder, or something tending to soothe."
The doctors tell us that if we know we are being treated with a placebo, it does not work. In our minds we must think that it is a real medication and has the strength or power to heal. If the patient believes this, then the treatment has been known to work wonders in many cases that otherwise could not have been treated. Placebo treatment is, in fact, nothing of substance, but in the mind of the patient it is real. In order for this kind of treatment to work, the doctor must convince the patient of the work of the medication.
My friend, I declare unto you that this is the exact "treatment" that most "mouth-professing" Christians are using today. The doctor administering this "medication" is satan himself. He gives the "patient" a sugar-coated religion, a shallow experience, and whispers half-truths into his ears. He then tells the "patient" that it is real and that it is all the "patient" needs. The "patient", having been taken in by satan, believes this and goes on his merry way declaring to all that he has been born again, his salvation is real, and this experience is all that he needs. Doctor satan will allow his "patient" to continue to go to church and will allow him to take part in any church, that is, singing, leading in prayer, teaching Sunday School, and even preaching. He will allow the "patient" to make any kind of statement in connection with his "mouth-professing" religion, even to the point of the saving power of Jesus. Yes, he will allow the "patient" to do all and say all with one exception. That exception is that the "patient" will not be allowed to live the life that he confesses with his mouth ...
Chapter 5: Preparation
In the year 1978, I retired from the New Orleans Police Department and moved my family to a sixty-one acre farm in Mississippi. Around August 7, 1979 I was suddenly stuck with a grave and disastrous illness. The night before the tragedy I went to bed as usual …On awakening that morning I was slightly nauseated and skipped breakfast. My wife asked me if was not going to eat. I replied that I had to hurry to keep my appointment with some folks who I hoped would support my candidacy for sheriff with campaign contributions. I was unaware that God had also made an appointment for me that day. Let me remind you that the Bible says that it is appointed once unto man to die and, without warning, my appointment came. Like a flash of lightning, the main trunk artery in my body cavity ruptured causing a devastating, sudden, blood loss …So at midnight they carried me into ICU and at 6:00 a.m. the following morning, my vital life signs failed again. The chief physician came out of ICU and told my wife, “It is something else.” They took me into surgery where they worked on me for an additional seven hours ...
[For the sake of brevity, a large amount of Pittman's description of his Emergency Room experience is not reprinted here. Read his book for the full description.]
Somewhere in that period of time when the physicians were working on me, I came to myself and realized that I was dying …Knowing that only God could give me back my life and that only God could change this appointed time to die, I prayed a strange prayer. My prayer was that God would allow me to appear before His throne and pleaded for an extension of my physical life. In any other time and place this sort of prayer would be unusual, however, all of this was planned by God to ultimately serve His purpose. The thought to pray such a prayer was instilled in my mind by the Holy Spirit ...
Chapter 7: The Grand Tour
What happens next is so incredible that some people find it hard to believe. May I say at the outset that I know the difference between dreams, visions, and a real experience. May I also point out that if you do not believe in satan and demons as being real, individual beings, then you do yourself and the Kingdom of God a great disservice. It stands to reason that you cannot understand or even withstand an enemy if you do not believe he is real.
At the moment I resisted satan, he fled from me. The angels were there and they took my spirit from my body. These angels were present all the time that satan tempted me although I did not know it because I was still in the flesh. The angels did not attempt to help me until I had resisted satan with my own will. The only help I had was the supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit that the voice I was hearing belonged to satan and not to God. Whether or not to obey that voice was my choice.
When the angels lifted my spirit from my body, they carried me immediately to the Second Heaven. We did not have to leave that hospital room in order to enter the Second Heaven. We entered there in that same room where my body was, just by passing through a dimension wall. It is a wall which flesh cannot pass through, only spirit.
For you the reader, to understand what was happening, you must understand the separation of the spirit from the flesh. To know how this works, we must know how we, ourselves, are made. The Bible states that we, as humans beings are made in the image of God. To understand this, we must know what God is. The Bible states three immutable things about God: 1st God is Spirit, 2nd God is invisible and 3rd God is immortal. If we are made in His image, then we are spirit, we are invisible, and we are immortal. Therefore, when we look into a mirror we do not see our real selves. We see only the body, or earthen vessel, in which we live. Since we are all made in the image of God, we would all be mirror images of one another without our earthly, physical bodies. Therefore, we were given a soul to separate us from one another to make us an individual.
The animals in this world also have a soul. The only difference between their souls and ours is that our soul belongs to the spirit. Their souls belongs to the body. When their body perishes, their soul perish with it. When our body perishes, the soul remains with the spirit. When the spirit was lifted from my body, my soul came with it. I suppose the simplest way to identify the soul would be to say that it is one’s personality. The entire time I was away from my body I remained an individual, that is, I retained my own personality. I retained all my faculties. In fact, they were greatly enhanced.
As we moved through that dimension wall into the Second Heaven, I found myself in an entirely different world, far different from anything I had ever imagined. This world was a place occupied by spirit beings as vast in number as the sands of the seashore. These beings were demons [devils], or fallen angels, and were in thousands of different shapes and forms. Even those in similar shapes and forms were contrasted by diverse coloring. Many of the demons were in human shapes or forms and many were in forms similar to animals familiar to our present world. Others were in shapes and forms too hideous to imagine. Some of the forms were so morbid and revolting that I was almost to the point of nausea.
When I first arrived in the Second Heaven, I knew immediately in what direction I must go to reach the Third Heaven where God was. I don’t know how I knew that, but I did. I also knew that if I was going to get my prayer answered, I was going to have to appear before God the Father in the Third Heaven. I was aware that I was traveling in that spirit world under the protection of the Holy Spirit, and that the angels who were escorting me were also moving about under the protection of the Holy Spirit. It might seem strange to you, the reader, that the angels needed the protection of the Holy Spirit, but remember where we were, the Second Heaven. The Second Heaven is the place where satan presently has his throne located. satan is not yet in Hell although Hell is to be his final destiny.
All the spirits in that world were aware of our presence and were aware of the Holy Spirit’s protection over us. To give you an idea as to why that protection was necessary, let me give a Bible reference to the power of satan as demonstrated in the Second Heaven. The tenth chapter of the book of Daniel tells about God sending one of His angels to deliver a message to Daniel. Because of the importance of that message, satan did not want it delivered. In order for the angel sent from God in the Third Heaven to reach Daniel, he had to pass through the Second Heaven. satan sent one of his princes, or one of his archangels, to stop the angel. The angel had to fight and could not get through alone so he had to call for reinforcements. God had to send one of His princes, or the archangel, to help the messenger and even this took twenty–one days. After the angel delivered the message, he reminded Daniel that he, the angel, would have to fight his way back through the Second Heaven.
As we moved about there in that world, I was greatly disappointed that my escort did not take me in the direction of the Third Heaven where God was. Instead, we moved in the opposite direction. As we moved from place to place in that world, I learned many things about demons.
I did things differently in the spirit realm than what we do here in the physical world. For instance, we do not communicate with our mouths and ears, but rather, we communicated with our minds. It was like projecting our words on thought waves and receiving the answer the same way. Although I could still think to myself without projecting, I discovered that this really did not benefit me because the angels could read my mind.
I could hear different sounds in that world, but I did not hear with my ears. I heard with my mind, but I was still able to “hear” those sounds. When we traveled, we traveled mostly at what I call the “speed of thought.” When we traveled at the “speed of thought,” there was no sensation of movement. The angel would say where we were going and we were there. There were other times when we did not travel in that manner, and I was very much aware of movement while traveling. One of those times when I was aware of movement was when they brought me back into the physical world and allowed me to see the demons working here. We moved about here somewhat like floating on a cloud. Still, I had the sensation of movement.
Make no mistake about demons for they are very real. The Bible makes more statements about demons than it does about angels and it points out in Luke 10:18 that demons are evil. Mark 5:8-9 indicates how numerous they are and Matthew 10:1 shows that they are unclean. Matthew 12:21-30 states that they are under the command of satan and Matthew 8:29 shows that they can possess humans.
In the demon world, there is a division of power much like a military structured chain command with rank and order. Certain demons carry the title of prince, which is always the demon in charge of a principality. A principality is a territory, an area, a place or a group that may range in size from as large as a nation to as small as a person. When satan assigns a prince a task, the prince is given the authority to act in the name of satan and use whatever means necessary or available to him to accomplish his task.
When we started the tour of the Second Heaven, the angels began by showing me the different types of demons. Each demon was revealed to me in a form that indicated his area of expertise, and I soon discovered that there is no such thing as a “general practitioner” in all the demon world. They have only one area of expertise which they do very well.
Chapter 8: Demons
As each type of demon was pointed out to me, I quickly discovered a social order, or rank, that existed among them. Those at the top of that order were revealed in forms similar to humans. As we moved down the order, or rank, I saw demons in shapes or forms that looked like half–animal and half–human. I saw demons in forms resembling animals we know in this present world and I saw demons in forms and shapes so revoltingly morbid that you cannot possibly imagine them.
At the very top of the order were the warring demons which were the “cream” of satan’s “crop.” They moved about the Second Heaven and were always traveling in groups, never alone. Wherever they went, all other demons moved out of their way. These warring demons were revealed to me in human form. They looked like humans with the exception that they were giants. Appearing to be about eight feet tall, they were rugged and handsomely constructed, somewhat like giant athletes. All of the warring demons were colored bronze. They were giant, bronze soldiers. All of the other demons seemed to be subject to them.
The second most powerful type demon was also revealed to me in human form and these demons looked like ordinary people. All of those possessing this area of expertise seemed to group together at about the second place of command. Chief among this group was the demon of greed and contained within this same group were demons of hate, lust, strife, and a few others.
The third most powerful type and group of demons were revealed to me in mixed shapes and forms. Some had human form while others had half–human and half–animal forms. Others resembled animals in their forms. These demons possessed skills in the dark arts area such as witchcraft and other related areas. Also among this group were demons of fear and the demons of self–destruction as well as those demons which are expert in mimicking departed human spirits [familiar spirits] and in manifesting themselves to the physical world as ghosts.
When we got down to the fourth group, or order, all the demons of this rank were revealed in forms other than human. Some had forms like known animals while others had unknown forms. In this group were the demons of murder, brutality, sadism, and others related to carnage.
As we moved even further down the order toward the end of the chain of command, all the demons were revealed in horrible and morbid forms. Some were so revolting that their appearance produced nausea. They are so despised by their own companions that they always seem to be lurking off to themselves while in the Second Heaven and even while in this physical world. They do not associate with the other demons except in the line of their duty.
I’m also aware that these particular demons are harder to deal with than any of the rest. It seems their great strength rests in their ability to remain anonymous in their work in the human being. Among this group is the one that is able to manifest himself as a form of epilepsy in the human. I am not sure but I seem to recall that some other demons in some of the other groups also have the ability to mimic epilepsy. I do not know if demons cause epilepsy, per se, but I do recall very vividly that they can mimic this condition in human beings.
At one time during this tour of the Second Heaven, I watched the demons within their own related group and I experienced an awful feeling. It was an overwhelming, oppressive, and morbid feeling. This feeling came to me shortly after I had entered the Second Heaven and I wondered what was causing it. It was at this time that I learned that the angel could read my mind because my guardian angel said to me, “That feeling you are wondering about is caused by the fact that there is no love in this world.” The angel was telling me that in this Second Heaven there is not one bit of love! Wow! Can you imagine all of those demons serving a master they don’t love and the master ruling over beings that he doesn’t love? Worse than that, these companions are working together for an eternity and they do not even love each other.
I started reflecting on what our physical world, called the First Heaven, would be like without love. If God had not introduced His love her in our world, then we would be living in a no–love atmosphere like the Second Heaven. By God giving us His love, we are able to return that love and then love one another. Can you imagine what it would be like in your own home or your community it was totally void of love?
When I was made aware of the fact that no love existed among the demons, I wondered even more about their motivation and zeal. What makes them work so hard? What makes them carry out orders so rapidly? They don’t love one another, yet they carry out these orders so quickly and with such zeal that any military organization on Earth would be proud to have such loyal and obedient employees. I wonder if their motivation could have anything to do with the judgment and sentence that awaits them. It seems that since their first rebellion ages ago while in the Third Heaven, they have reached a place in their existence where they can no longer rebel. Whatever it is that motivates them seems to excel in their very being while they, in turn, are expressing their fury upon the flesh. It may just be that the only enjoyment of their entire existence is to create misery for the flesh. Even though I was permitted to go among them and watch them while they worked, many things were not explained fully or made clear to me. Some of the things that I saw in entirely, I was not permitted to retain in my memory. I knew the high order of the demons resented my presence and would have withstood me had I not been under the protection of the Holy Spirit. One of the warring demons came right up to me and leered into my face, but I did not flinch for I was not afraid. I knew it would not be me with whom he would have to contend but, instead, it would be He who brought me, the Holy Spirit. The demons in the middle order seemed to totally ignore me and went about their existence as if I were not there. Those of the lower order seemed to display slight fear of me or fear of the angel that was escorting me, however, the higher order of demons had no fear of me or the angel.
My escort informed me that he wanted me to see a demon in the process of actually possessing a human being. At this point in the trip, I was escorted back through the dimension wall separating the Second Heaven from the physical world. When we came back into this world, we were in the same hospital with my body but in a different room. The room appeared to be an employee’s lounge. I saw tables, chairs, dishes with food, and in the room were a young man and a young lady facing each other while laughing and talking. It was obvious that they could not see the angels, yet I was so close to them I could almost reach out and touch them. I could hear and understand every word they said. They thought they were alone and as they laughed and talked, they were unaware of the horrible creature standing between them. This demon was so horrible in the appearance of his shape and form that I recognized him immediately to be from the lower group, the perverted group. The angels, the demons, and I were in the spirit in that room and were aware of everything that was happening. Those in the flesh were only aware of themselves for they could not see or hear us even though we were back in this physical world. Since we were in the spirit, we still communicated with our minds.
I was not really paying close attention to the words the two were speaking. My entire attention was focused upon the demon. He was a most horrible looking thing, reminding me of an over–grown, stuffed, slimy, green frog all out of shape and proportion. He moved slowly up into the face of the man then, suddenly, like a puff of smoke, he seemed to disappear into the face, just as if he went through the pores of his skin. When the demon had entered the man, the angels said, “Now it’s done.” The angel then proceeded to tell me how it was that this man was possessed. He stated, “The demon made himself desirable and attractive to the human.” The angel then pointed out to me that mankind has a sovereign will, all his own, beyond which the demons cannot come. He also pointed out to me that the angels could not come beyond that sovereign will of man. God, Himself, will not violate that will. We are made in the image of God, therefore, we were given, like God, a sovereign will, the right to choose our destiny. I was not permitted to retain all that I learned along these lines.
I learned that the demons will fight the angels if they must, but they prefer not to do so. They find that it is easier and safer to destroy us through our own will where the angels are unable to interfere, rather than go outside our will where they would have to fight angels personally. Because of this, the demons have developed great skills in the area of deception. They move through our lives by deceit and trickery and keep us totally unaware of their activity.
I was made aware of the fact that not all demons are in the Second Heaven. There are some demons so awesome that they are reserved in chains in Hell, however, satan and his army of demons are not in Hell, presently. Neither do they want to be there. I was not permitted to look into Hell, nor was I permitted to view the chained demons. I do know that these demons who are chained went beyond the limitations of their domain.
Another great defense man has is the guardian angel. The guardian angel is not assigned to all mankind, but only to those who are “saved and belong to God.” Remember, just like the demons the guardian angel cannot violate the will of any man which is why most of his activity is reserved to protecting that individual outside his sovereign will. Man’s greatest weapon, however, is the Word of God. In his description of the weapons used in our spiritual warfare, Paul insists the Word of God [Ephesians 6:11-18] as the only offensive weapon mankind has. Although vastly outnumbered by these beings [thousands to one individual], man is adequately prepared for battle. Because of a sovereign will, guardian angels, and the Word of God, man has superior defense and is much more potent in the battle for his soul than the demons.
Chapter 9: The Way Home
When the angels decided that I had seen enough of the demons at work in this physical world, I was taken back into the Second Heaven just by passing through the dividing, dimension wall. Once back inside the Second Heaven, my escort guided me in the direction of the Third Heaven and I was happy at last. After all, this was where I had wanted to go all the time. Even at this stage, my physical life was still my primary concern.
For the first time in my life, I saw in my mind's eye who God really is. For the first time I met God as God truly is, my real Father, my very best friend. As the realization of who God is flooded my soul, great and painful sorrow also came. Sorrow came when I realized that through disobedience I had hurt my Father. This realization and sorrow produced actual pain which was not just a guilt feeling but actual pain similar to what one would experience in the flesh when one sustains a physical injury. At this point in time, God started dealing with me in sorrow and no longer did the tone of his voice express pity. Instead, the sound was of genuine sorrow. I suddenly realized that God was hurting too. God was hurting because I was hurting. Being a true and just God as God is, God had to allow me to suffer the pain and God could not lift it from me. Although God had to allow me to suffer the pain, God would not allow me to suffer it alone. God the most High, the most Supreme, the Creator of all, the Father of all would not let me suffer alone.
I now repeat for you point by point the entire five point message that God gave me to deliver to this world today.