HOWARD STORM, THE ATHEIST THAT MET THE LORD.
Before his near-death experience, Howard Storm was an atheist1. A Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University, was not a very pleasant man by his own admission. who would not tolerate anyone speaking about religion or God in his presence, and especially in his classroom.
An experience in Paris changed all that and completely altered Howard's life. After he "died" in a Paris hospital, in 1985, he met Jesus, who answered all of his questions. He was an avowed atheist and was hostile to every form of religion and those who practiced it. He often would use rage to control everyone around him and he didn’t find joy in anything. Anything that wasn’t seen, touched or felt, he had no faith in.
He knew with certainty that the material world was the full extent of everything that was. He considered all belief systems associated with religion to be fantasies for people to deceive themselves with. Beyond what science said, there was nothing else. But then on June 1, 1985, at the age of 38, Howard Storm’s had a near-death experience due to a perforation of the stomach and his life was since forever changed.
His near-death experience is one of the most profound, if not the most profound, afterlife experience I have ever documented. His life was so immensely changed after his near-death experience, he resigned as a professor and devoted his time attending the United Theological Seminary to become a United Church of Christ minister.
Today, Howard Storm is presently happily married to his wife Marcia and is Pastor of the Covington United Church of Christ in Covington, Ohio. During his past time he has maintained his passion for painting but now, unlike in his past, he paints with a God state of mind which raises his paintings to a whole other level.
On this website Pastor Storm shares a unique look at his paintings and the effect Jesus Christ has on his daily life and on his paintings. The following is the account of Pastor Howard Storm's near-death experience.
- Howard Storm Was In Intense Agony And Dying
Struggling to say goodbye to my wife, I wrestled with my emotions. Telling her that I loved her very much was as much of a goodbye as I could utter because of my emotional distress. Sort of relaxing and closing my eyes, I waited for the end. This was it, I felt. This was the big nothing, the big blackout, the one you never wake up from, the end of existence.
I had absolute certainty that there was nothing beyond this life – because that was how really smart people understood it. While I was undergoing this stress, prayer or anything like that never occurred to me. I never once thought about it.
If I mentioned God's name at all it was only as a profanity. Shortly after this, I went into unconsciousness and almost simultaneously became conscious and I realized I was now standing. I had become well and more alive than ever, with all my senses working super sensitively.
I looked round the room and I saw a man on the bed who turned his head to the other side and when I looked closely, it turned out to be me! My first reaction was, "This is crazy! I can't be standing here looking down at myself. That's not possible." That was impossible ! How could I be standing and still be lying on the bed!
This wasn't what I expected, this wasn't right. Why was I still alive? I wanted oblivion. Yet I was looking at a thing that was my body, and it just didn't have that much meaning to me. Now knowing what was happening, I became upset. I tried to talk to my wife, but could not hear me.I started screaming and got angry thinking my wife was ignoring me. I got more agitated and angry because everything looked weird to me.I started yelling and screaming at my wife, and she just sat there like a stone.
She didn't look at me, she didn't move – and I kept screaming profanities to get her to pay attention. Being confused, upset, and angry, I tried to get the attention of my room-mate, with the same result. He didn't react. I wanted this to be a dream, and I kept saying to myself, "This has got to be a dream."
But I knew that it wasn't a dream. I became aware that strangely I felt more alert, more aware, more alive than I had ever felt in my entire life.
- An Invitation To Hell From Strange Beings
Wondering, at first, where it was coming from, I discovered that it was originating in the doorway. There were different voices calling me. I asked who they were, and they said, "We are here to take care of you. We will fix you up. Come with us.
As I asked them questions they gave evasive answers. They kept giving me a sense of urgency, insisting that I should step through the doorway. In the hallway, that looked hazy and cloudy, I saw men and women that looked as if they were wearing some hospital uniforms. I asked them if they were from the doctor to take me for my operation.
They continued telling me to come quickly as if calling me to follow them, which I did. I observed that time seemed to be of no essence here. As I was following these people, it got darker and they got really hostile to me. We now got into a place of complete darkness.
That was when I told these people, ‘I am not going with you any further’ and it became a struggle with tugging, pushing, pulling me. I saw a lot of them; they were taunting me, mocking me. They could destroy me, but were only scratching, biting and hurting me. I tried to defend myself, but they were a lot.
I knew that we had been traveling for miles, but I occasionally had the strange ability to look back and see the hospital room. My body was still there lying motionless on the bed. My perspective at these times was as if I were floating above the room looking down. It seemed millions and millions of miles away.
Looking back into the room, I saw my wife and my room-mate, and I decided they had not been able to help me so I would go with these people. Walking for what seemed to be a considerable distance, these beings were all around me. They were leading me through the haze. I don't know how long.
There was a real sense of timelessness about the experience. In a real sense I am unaware of how long it was, but it felt like a long time - maybe even days or weeks. As we traveled, the fog got thicker and darker, and the people began to change. At first they seemed rather playful and happy, but when we had covered some distance, a few of them began to get aggressive.
The more questioning and suspicious I was, the more antagonistic and rude and authoritarian they became. They began to make jokes about my bare rear end which wasn't covered by my hospital dicky and about how pathetic I was. I knew they were talking about me, but when I tried to find out exactly what they were saying they would say, "Shhhhh, he can hear you, he can hear you."
Then, others would seem to caution the aggressive ones. It seemed that I could hear them warn the aggressive ones to be careful or I would be frightened away. Wondering what was happening, I continued to ask questions, and they repeatedly urged me to hurry and to stop asking questions.
Feeling uneasy, especially since they continued to get aggressive, I considered returning, but I didn't know how to get back. I was lost. There were no features that I could relate to. There was just the fog and a wet, clammy ground, and I had no sense of direction. All my communication with them took place verbally just as ordinary human communication occurs.
They didn't appear to know what I was thinking, and I didn't know what they were thinking. What was increasingly obvious was that they were liars and help was farther away the more I stayed with them. Hours ago, I had hoped to die and end the torment of life.
Now things were worse as I was forced by a mob of unfriendly and cruel people toward some unknown destination in the darkness. They began shouting and hurling insults at me, demanding that I hurry along. And they refused to answer any question. Finally, I told them that I wouldn't go any farther. At that time they changed completely. They became much more aggressive and insisted that I was going with them. A number of them began to push and shove me, and I responded by hitting back at them.
A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one.
By this time it was almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren't in any hurry to win.
They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long a possible. At no time did I ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked me were anything other than human beings.
I was now lying on the floor, all ripped up, all pain both inside and outside. I was down humiliated and brought to the lowest point of shame. Suddenly, I heard my exact voice calling me.Many thoughts now began to race through my mind. I thought to myself that, I don’t believe in God in the first place.
I remembered that I had not prayed for over 22 years since I was in Sunday School as a young boy. I tried to string together a prayer, but could not pray and I observed something interesting, that any time I mentioned the name of Jesus, my tormentors would shrink back and scream. It was as if they could not bear hearing the name Jesus.
The thought of lying there on the floor for eternity was just unimaginable. I thought about my life, what I had done and what I had not done. I concluded that I had lived a selfish life. I realized that those that attacked me were people like me. They had equally lived a life of selfishness and cruelty, so they are now in a world where they are doomed to inflict such pain on themselves and others for ever and ever. Now, I am part of them, though I didn’t want to be there, but this is where I truly belong.
The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse to do good. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense. They didn't appear to be controlled or directed by anyone. Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty and passions.
During our struggle I noticed that they seemed to feel no pain. Other than that they appeared to possess no special non-human or super-human abilities. Although during my initial experience with them I assumed that they were clothed, in our intimate physical contact I never felt any clothing whatsoever.
Fighting well and hard for a long time, ultimately I was spent. Lying there exhausted amongst them, they began to calm down since I was no longer the amusement that I had been. Most of the beings gave up in disappointment because I was no longer amusing, but a few still picked and gnawed at me and ridiculed me for no longer being any fun. By this time I had been pretty much taken apart. People were still picking at me, occasionally, and I just lay there all torn up, unable to resist.
Exactly what happened was ... and I'm not going to try and explain this. From inside of me I felt a voice, my voice, say, "Pray to God." My mind responded to that, "I don't pray. I don't know how to pray." This is a guy lying on the ground in the darkness surrounded by what appeared to be dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of vicious creatures who had just torn him up. The situation seemed utterly hopeless, and I seemed beyond any possible help whether I believed in God or not. The voice again told me to pray to God. It was a dilemma since I didn't know how. The voice told me a third time to pray to God.
I started saying things like, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ... God bless America" and anything else that seemed to have a religious connotation. And these people went into a frenzy, as if I had thrown boiling oil all over them. They began yelling and screaming at me, telling me to quit, that there was no God, and no one could hear me. While they screamed and yelled obscenities, they also began backing away from me as if I were poison.
As they were retreating, they became more rabid, cursing and screaming that what I was saying was worthless and that I was a coward. I screamed back at them, "Our Father who art in heaven," and similar ideas. This continued for some time until, suddenly, I was aware that they had left. It was dark, and I was alone yelling things that sounded churchy. It was pleasing to me that these churchy sayings had such an effect on those awful beings.
Lying there for a long time, I was in such a state of hopelessness, and blackness, and despair, that I had no way of measuring how long it was. I was just lying there in an unknown place all torn and ripped. And I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness.
- A Rescue From Hell By Jesus Christ
At first, it was a tiny little light and became lighter and the light came upon me and He reached down to pick me up. I was battered and He was literally picking me up from my broken pieces and as He did, all the pains and wounds just began to ease away.
I am like whole and complete and I was filled with His love. It was the best thing that could happen to me in life. He was holding me, embracing and rubbing my back. It was like the perfect image of the prodigal son that was lost, but has now been found.
After, Jesus carried me to a world of light(it was as if we were ascending a staircase) .In this beautiful and heavenly environment, I felt like a garbage and was full of shame.I don’t belong here and when I found myself in this world of light, I began to ask why and how He could care about me.Later,we went to heaven and hell and when we were at the crossroad of the two, Jesus told me: ‘We don’t make mistake, you rightly belong to hell’. Now some angels had joined us.
We began to converse .The angels had brought a record of my past life; things I have done right and the things I have done wrongly. What they wanted to achieve was to show me things that I have done right and wrong.
When they were showing me things that I have done right, for example being a good father, they all rejoiced and when I had been selfish and manipulative, they were unhappy. The lesson they were instilling in me is that the purpose of my creation is to love God, my neighbors and then myself. And I had failed in all these areas.
- The Life Review of Howard Storm
I could feel their feelings of sorrow and suffering, or joy, as my life's review unfolded. They didn't say that something was bad or good, but I could feel it. And I could sense all those things they were indifferent to. They didn't, for example, look down on my high school shot-put record. They just didn't feel anything towards it, nor towards other things which I had taken so much pride in.
What they responded to was how I had interacted with other people. That was the long and short of it. Unfortunately, most of my interactions with other people didn't measure up with how I should have interacted, which was in a loving way. Whenever I did react during my life in a loving way they rejoiced.
Most of the time I found that my interactions with other people had been manipulative. During my professional career, for example, I saw myself sitting in my office, playing the college professor, while a student came to me with a personal problem.
When I was a teenager my father's career put him into a high-stress, twelve-hour-a-day job. Out of my resentment because of his neglect of me, when he came home from work, I would be cold and indifferent toward him. This made him angry, and it gave me further excuse to feel hatred toward him.
I got to see when my sister had a bad night one night, how I went into her bedroom and put my arms around her. Not saying anything, I just lay there with my arms around her. As it turned out that experience was one of the biggest triumphs of my life.
The entire life's review would have been emotionally destructive, and would have left me a psychotic person, if it hadn't been for the fact that my friend, and my friend's friends, were loving me during the unfolding of my life. I could feel that love.
Every time I got a little upset they turned the life's review off for awhile, and they just loved me. Their love was tangible. You could feel it on your body, you could feel it inside you; their love went right through you. I wish I could explain it to you, but I can't.
The therapy was their love, because my life's review kept tearing me down. It was pitiful to watch, just pitiful. I couldn't believe it. And the thing is, it got worse as it went on.
My stupidity and selfishness as a teenager only magnified as I became an adult - all under the veneer of being a good husband, a good father, and a good citizen. The hypocrisy of it all was nauseating. But through it all was their love.
When the review was finished they asked, "Do you want to ask any questions?" and I had a million questions. I asked, for example, "What about the Bible?" They responded, "What about it?"
My friends answered lots of questions in funny ways. They really knew the whole tone of what I asked them, even before I got the questions out. When I thought of questions in my head, they really understood them.
- Howard Storm Learns He Must Return To Earth
I told them I can’t do it, going back to live on earth and they assured me that they have always been with me and that whenever I pray and give up all my worries, aspiration, anxieties that I would feel their presence, though not physically, that I would also feel their love.
So I returned to earth and the first thing that happened was that, the nursed that had earlier announced that there was no doctor was the same person that came running that the doctor is now around. The doctor came and I was rolled into surgery. I was trying to call my wife to tell her about my experience, but I was rushed in. To the glory of God I recovered quickly and became physically whole.
After many years, the memory of my life-changing experience has not dulled and the reason why I was given the revelation is so that I would share it with somebody, especially the assurance of Jesus’ everlasting love for human soul.
Are you ready to stand before the Lord, Jesus sincere and blameless? The Lord’s ultimate wish is that we all prepare ourselves for His coming, which will come like a thief in the night. He has prepared a place for us, to reign with Him forever.
Are you ready to give your life or rededicate your life to the Lord? Then say this short prayer…Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and that you shed your precious blood to redeem me. Come into my life and be my Lord and savior. I forsake my sins and yield myself to your saving grace. Thank you Lord for saving me.