Catholic Reflections on Jewish Boy's Near Death ExperienceSep 29, 2022
Natan, a 15-year-old Israeli teenager, was clinically dead for 15 minutes and received a very special grace: a tour of Heaven and Hell. What can a Catholic learn from Natan's experience? In this post, I'll share how my family has been impacted by his story.
In my last post about the Feast of Trumpets and the Warning, I shared a video sent to me by a friend of a Jewish boy's near death experience. I highly encourage everyone–no matter what your religion or background–to watch this video!
Lots of people have shared their near death experiences, but this one is very unique and impactful for a few reasons:
1. This video was recorded a mere 72 hours or so after Natan was clinically dead and taken on a tour of Heaven and Hell. So the experience was very fresh on his mind.
2. Natan is sharing his experience in front of a group of Orthodox Jews, who had the opportunity to ask him questions. Many of them were in disbelief of what he was saying, so we can watch and see how Natan responds to skeptics on the fly.
3. Although Natan is Israeli, he had never been to Jewish school. He was raised in a secular, anti-religious family. Yet, the Rabbi who interviews Natan in the video confirms that everything Natan is saying is exactly what he knows from many years studying the Scriptures and the prophets. (And as I will relate below, what Natan says is also in perfect agreement with the teachings of the Catholic Church!)
4. Natan was allowed to see a vision of World War III, which he said would occur very soon (he judged this based on how frequently the people in heaven talked about it). He says this event is tied together with the Revelation of the Messiah (what we call the Warning, or Illumination of Conscience, when every person in the whole world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord). He shares specifically how it relates to Israel, which is very important for all of us because Israel is at the core of salvation history.
5. It was not revealed to Natan who the Messiah is (the time has not yet come for Jesus to be revealed to the Jews), but he was allowed to know about the characteristics of the Messiah (to prepare the Jewish people for this revelation?). Interestingly, his experience occurred on September 28, 2015, on the first night of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. And, as my friend explained in the previous post, the Feast of Tabernacles was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus!
Even the Smallest Sin is Not Worth It
So what did my family and I learn from this testimony?
Well the most important thing is what Natan explains about what happens when each of us will be judged.
As we know, when we die (or possibly sooner, when the Warning comes), we will be judged on how we lived our life. Everything in this life is a test, Natan says, every single second. Everything that happens to us, even the smallest bump, comes from heaven to test us.
When Natan found himself before the heavenly court, he was ashamed to find himself dressed in rags soiled with blood (exactly what the saints say our souls look like when we have not brought our sins to confession). Now, Natan is only 15 years old and it seems from his testimony that he hadn't really committed a lot of serious sins. What Natan really emphasizes–and what made a huge impression on me and my family–is that every little thing we do is HUGE up above.
Even the smallest sin, he says, will be punished.
Even the smallest sin is TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT, he says.
Saint Faustina, who had her own personal illumination of conscience, said the exact same thing:
"Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy-God!"
How Do You Avoid Sin?
Another important insight which Natan keeps emphasizing is how important it is to read the Holy Scriptures. Specifically, he keeps talking about how we need to study the Torah. In the lowest level of heaven, he even saw people studying the Torah.
We Catholics know the Torah as the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses. These books contain God's commandments. So if we are to understand how to avoid sin, of course we must first strive to understand the commandments.
In addition, we Catholics need to get out our bibles and read them more and take them a lot more seriously! For those who doubt, there is strong evidence that Moses did in fact write the Pentateuch and the great miraculous events in the bible (such as the global flood) did in fact occur just as described. The bible is true, and we would all do well to read it more and read it with faith.
Who Reaches the Highest Level of Heaven?
God is perfectly just, but Natan also explains how God is perfectly merciful.
While relating that there are different levels of heaven, he was asked, "Who gets to go to the highest level?" to which Natan replied, "The one who repents." He expounded: however, it is not the one who repents out of fear of punishment, but the one who repents out of fear of heaven.
And what does the Catholic Church teach about a Perfect Act of Contrition? A Perfect Act of Contrition washes away ALL sin, but in order to make this act perfectly one must not be sorry out of fear of Hell but rather out of love of God.
As St. Maximilian Kolbe put it:
"Whoever can, should receive the Sacrament of Penance. Whoever cannot, because of prohibiting circumstances, should cleanse his soul by acts of perfect contrition: i.e., the sorrow of a loving child who does not consider so much the pain or reward as he does the pardon from his father and mother to whom he has brought displeasure."
So, in order to achieve the highest level of grace that we are capable of, we must repent and despise our sins, not because we are afraid of the pain WE ourselves will have to endure as punishment, but because we are afraid of hurting the Lord God Himself.
Also, Natan says that the sins which were brought up to him during his personal judgement were only those of which he had not yet repented. If he had already repented of a sin, that was not brought up. This reminds us of another truth which the Catholic Church teaches: when you bring your sins to confession, they are washed completely away. The punishment due to sin remains until the debt is repaid, yes (just like when you break your neighbor's window, you apologize and they forgive you but the window still needs to be repaired). But God completely forgives you of that sin.
There are MANY other golden nuggets of information in this video. So many, in fact, that I'll just have to briefly mention a few. I'll focus on what he says about the Messiah...
What did Heaven reveal to Natan about the Messiah?
1. The Messiah, he says,
"Is first of all someone who can’t sin. Someone who repented. Who didn’t commit any transgressions. It can’t be that the Mashiach is someone who committed transgressions."
Now, who is the ONLY person who repented, but never sinned? Jesus Christ! That is to say, Jesus never committed any sin. Yet, He took OUR sins upon Himself and repented to the Father for us.
(I should add that Our Lady also repented even though she never sinned, as she is the Co-Redemptrix. That is, she imitated Jesus and experienced everything that He experienced throughout his Passion, and it is because of her "fiat" that Jesus the Savior was made incarnate.)
A friend of mine was having trouble with this concept: how could Jesus repent if He never sinned? Then I remembered this passage from Luisa Piccarreta's meditations on the Passion.
Jesus is in his Third Hour of Agony in the Garden, and Luisa hears him pray:
"Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Holy Father, help Me! I need comfort. It is true that, because of the sins taken upon Myself, I am nauseating, loathsome and the least of men before your infinite majesty. Your justice is roused to anger against Me. But look at Me, O Father. I am always your Son, Who am one with You. O Father, help Me! Have pity on Me! Do not leave Me without comfort!"
So you see, Jesus is perfect and never sinned, but He also repented.
2. Natan continues to describe the Messiah:
"Now it can be someone who we actually know very well. Lots and lots of people know him, according to what I understood. But everyone will be very, very surprised that he is of all people the Mashiach."
This makes me smile, because of course who do the Jewish people and everyone know very, very well? And who is the LAST person that they would expect to be the Messiah? Jesus Christ!
This brings to mind another testimonial from a Jewish Harvard professor who converted to Catholicism through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like Natan, he too had many miraculous revelations. But it was not revealed to him who the Messiah was. He simply could not accept Jesus at that time, and told God so. But, through a beautiful vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he became so devoted to her that he realized that the Catholic Church must be true.
3. Natan says the Messiah is "alive" AND he is "here in Israel."
Jesus is alive, of course, because he rose from the dead! But how could he be "here in Israel" right now? Well in point of fact, Jesus IS substantially present in Israel and in every tabernacle on earth, in the Most Holy Eucharist!
If you believe Natan was not lying about his experience (see this professional analysis), then really the Catholic Church has the best answers to explain what he learned from heaven. That is, if Jesus is actually physically present here on earth today like Natan says, the only way that could be true is if He is present is in the Holy Eucharist.
But, couldn't the Jewish people interpret Natan's revelations to mean that the Messiah is someone else besides Jesus, alive on earth today? They could think that, but how would they explain that Natan saw people in heaven? How can there be people in heaven if the redemption has not yet occurred?
In other words, if the Messiah has not yet come, then why didn't Natan visit the Bosom of Abraham (the place where the just were sent to wait for Heaven's gates to be opened at the redemption) instead of heaven (which should still be closed to humankind)? It could be a translation issue and I'm not understanding what Natan is relating correctly. But it seems from the English translation that he is speaking about seeing heaven, not the Bosom of Abraham. Logically, that can only mean one thing:
The redemption has already occurred.
Natan does speak about the redemption as if it has not yet occurred, but will occur soon. However, when he does so, he almost interchangeably uses the phrase "revelation of the Messiah". So is he prophesying the redemption or the revelation? Which one is it?
Based on what he is saying, I think it is both. When Jesus is finally revealed as the Messiah to the Jews, then the Jewish people will be redeemed! From what the scriptures and the prophets say, the Jewish people will be the final harvest of souls before the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Era of Peace, the Sabbath Rest for humanity). If this will truly happen soon, then that is a very exciting thought!!
Proof that Jesus is the Messiah, Present in the Holy Eucharist
If you have any doubts, just look at the recent eucharistic miracles in Mexico.
On September 22nd, 2022, the monstrance with the Holy Eucharist glowed during an earthquake:
(By the way, Luz de Maria de Bonilla was given many messages predicting these earthquakes, so you may want to subscribe to her so that you receive the messages as she receives them.)
Also, on July 23, 2022 the Holy Eucharist appeared to all who were present as a beating heart:
There are many more miracles like this, but they seem to be happening with greater frequency lately. Praise the Lord!
"It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to thy name, O most High.
To shew forth thy mercy in the morning, and thy truth in the night:
Upon an instrument of ten strings, upon the psaltery: with a canticle upon the harp.
For thou hast given me, O Lord, a delight in thy doings: and in the works of thy hands I shall rejoice.
O Lord, how great are thy works! thy thoughts are exceeding deep.
The senseless man shall not know: nor will the fool understand these things.
When the wicked shall spring up as grass: and all the workers of iniquity shall appear: That they may perish for ever and ever:
But thou, O Lord, art most high for evermore.
For behold thy enemies, O Lord, for behold thy enemies shall perish: and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
But my horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn: and my old age in plentiful mercy.
My eye also hath looked down upon my enemies: and my ear shall hear of the downfall of the malignant that rise up against me.
The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus.
They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.
They shall still increase in a fruitful old age: and shall be well treated,
That they may shew, That the Lord our God is righteous, and there is no iniquity in him."
DAILY VISIONS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN'S LIFE
Would you like me to send you a daily vision for meditation, as revealed to Ven. Mary of Agreda?