My Near-death experience…
" In front of me, and about ten feet away, I noticed the form of a man taking shape. I knew in a split second that it was Jesus. I do not know how I knew, only that I knew it was Jesus. It was more like an outline of a man, a silhouette. I could not make out any features, such as the color of His eyes or hair, but I could make out the outline of a robe and what seemed to be shoulder length hair and bare feet… He began walking towards me, stopping when He was within arm’s length and said, “Touch me.”
Following are excerpts from my testimony, available on the internet via a television interview with Sid Roth, founder of Messianic Vision and host of the television program ‘It’s Supernatural.’
To view the interview please Google my name ‘Akef Tayem’ or visit my website: www.SonsOfAbraham.com
The event that would become the foundation of my story and this book took place in a small town called Trussville, Alabama over thirty years ago.
Before I share my story, though, I would like to mention a few things that are very dear to me. Some of the contents are still very painful. It is a very personal experience, and, in some respect, I feel it was intended just for me because no one could ever understand it or relate to it as I do.
The flamboyant charlatan, who looked more like an Elvis Presley impersonator than a minister, had taken a young child with a deformed leg and placed him on the stage declaring that Jesus was going to heal him
…I found myself withdrawing from society. Somehow, my life did not seem to matter anymore; there was no one to share it. My friends, my family, and everyone I had become accustomed to, suddenly vanished.
…I felt restless and just wanted to get away, but had nowhere to go. One place came to mind—a small town in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, to go visit an older couple I had met at the tent meeting... they told me how pretty the south was; the terrain, the trees, and that they lived close to the vicinity of a spectacular view the locals called ‘God’s Country’—Gadsden, Alabama.
They gave me their address and invited me to come to visit them, should I ever be in the vicinity. I started heading to Tootsie's house in Alabama, while still contemplating whether I should go or not. I just kept driving. I was just too restless to stay still. After a couple days of driving and about a thousand miles brought me very close to Tootsie's residence. I found myself driving through a very dense and very scarcely populated area on my way to their home. I drove for almost thirty minutes in this dense forest.
I saw a heart, a human heart that was alive and beating. Inside and moving about were what looked like small tentacles, hideous and disgusting—a ghoulish sight that would captivate any Hollywood horror movie director. I was in total disbelief (angry with God, myself and everyone else) when I realized I was looking at my own heart. How could this be? I had been living a relatively clean life. I did not drink alcoholic beverages, I did not do drugs and did not smoke. I was honest, never set out deliberately to hurt anyone. It simply made no sense. The burden was simply too heavy for me, and God was nowhere to be found!
…I started moving upwards, surrounded in darkness, toward the sky. I was not aware of how fast I was moving or of any other details, except that I was not afraid… it seemed peaceful… The only thing on my mind was that I had no weight. I had a form, but it was without substance. I could put my hand right through my chest if I wanted to… death did not even cross my mind.
…Soon after, I found myself passing through a well-lit area and then back into darkness. This went on two more times. When I came to the third well-lit area, I stopped. I stood on what appeared to be soft, white wool. I realized that the reason I could stand on it was that I had no substance; and that if I had any weight, I would fall through.
Akef Tayem near death exp., Testimony & videos
I am not as concerned about appearing foolish, as I am about shedding any doubt, disbelief, or skepticism readers might think I have towards God. Then again, who am I to try to protect the name, integrity, and sovereignty of Yahweh, the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets of the Tanakh. I believe that God took the desperate situation of a naïve college student and turned it around to the greatest experience of my life… to His glory!
On my word of honor, I would not trade those days for all the money or fame in the world. I also give you my word of honor, and God bears me witness, that every word you are about to read is true, so help me God. All the names of places and individuals are real and can be referenced.
Today there are many Internet-based support groups for Muslims who ‘convert’ to the Christian Faith; however, the Internet was not even available thirty years ago. Those of you, who are new converts to Christ from Islam, do not have to go it alone. I do not believe it is God’s will for you, that you go through difficult times as I did. Jesus already suffered for you.
His desire is to lighten your burden, not add to it. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
My Name Is Akef Tayem … this Is my testimony
…During my sophomore year in college, I met a girl of whom I became fond. She spoke much about her Christian faith. I made it clear to her, that I was not interested in anyone else’s religion;
I was comfortable with mine. My priorities were to complete my studies, get my Bachelor of Arts degree, and then attend Law school. I wanted to be an attorney.
…She became unbearable when a ‘faith healer’ set up his tent close to the college campus (Ohio Wesleyan University), in Delaware Ohio. babbling on and on about miracles and healings. I was convinced he was nothing more than a charlatan preying on naïve people. Nevertheless, I liked the girl, so we went to the tent meeting…
The scenery was breath-taking, especially when compared to the two-dimensional terrain back in Ohio.
" The only thing that reminded me that people must have been living close by was a little white wood frame country church on a deserted dirt road in the middle of the woods, in the middle of nowhere. It was around noon Sunday.
There were less than a dozen cars in the church’s rough parking lot and about two-dozen people in attendance. I asked the minister, a woman of some age who introduced herself as sister Prince if I could stay there for a few days. I was attempting to explain when she kindly interrupted to tell me that I was welcome to stay for as long as I wanted and that I did not need to explain anything to her. “You are in God’s hands… He will take good care of you.” She said, with a smile and an assurance I so desperately needed.
I felt at home. I found a favorite spot deep in the woods to which I would venture—marked by a fairly large white rock.
It was summertime in Alabama—hot and humid, but I loved the solitude. I passed the time reading a Bible.”
This place was so incredibly quiet and serene that I felt at ease. All I wanted was to be alone for a few days to sort things out, then, I would head on to see Tootsie, or perhaps just get in my van and return to school.
Perhaps the trip was all I needed, to help me sort things out, and try to understand exactly what happened that afternoon under the big white tent.”
…As if in a time warp, I suddenly realized I had been there about a week and had not eaten anything the whole time. It was not because I did not have money or transportation to go eat; besides the church people would leave me food and water, especially on Wednesdays and Sundays, on the last pew next to the door.
…I was not fasting and in no need of dieting. I simply had no appetite. The church did not have city water, only a shallow well at the back behind the building with water unfit for drinking—which would explain why someone left several gallons of water for me on Wednesdays and Sundays. I was also told about a shallow stream in the woods with clean, cold, and drinkable water. …I realized that a lack of nutrients would take its toll on me, but I did not worry, because I knew I could leave at any time. But it just did not happen that way. Days turned onto weeks. I lost track of time and did not know how long I had been there. I later calculated it at between five and six weeks, about forty days… By this time, I had become quite weak and could barely walk to the church, which was about two miles from the rock.
Fear Not, Only Believe
…I abandoned my search for the stream of running water because I could barely walk and I felt faint. I headed back to the rock. I picked up my Bible. It was my habit to read loudly so I can hear the words. The sound of my voice also helped break the monotony of the silence. As I opened my mouth to pronounce words, I felt pain in my lips… my action had torn the skin. I felt blood dripping down my chin… I was extremely dehydrated. The skin between my fingers was cracked and tore like a piece of dry and aged paper. I could barely walk. I prayed for rain; it was my only hope, but there was not a single cloud in the sky.
…I started getting dizzy. Things around me seemed out of focus. The trees seemed to be upside down. They looked as if they were hanging from the sky. The next thing I remember was being about ten feet above the rock looking down at a person that I did not recognize. He was very skinny, with sunken eyes and parched skin that looked frail, hapless and bruised. He lay there by the rock beside an open Bible. The only phrase I could see clearly in large red letters was “.”Fear not only believe."
Until now, I had been sleeping in the church. I started sleeping by the rock. I tried to make one more attempt to reach the church…I needed water.”
…As I went searching for the stream of water I saw something that puzzled me then, and still does to this very day.
… In front of me, and about ten feet away, I noticed the form of a man taking shape. I knew in a split second that it was Jesus. I do not know how I knew, only that I knew it was Jesus. It was more like a shadow of a man, a silhouette. I could not make out any features, such as the color of His eyes or hair, but I could make out the outline of a robe and what seemed to be shoulder length hair and bare feet.
…He began walking towards me, stopping when He was within arm’s length and said, “Touch me.” The sound of His words came from everywhere—above me, beneath me, from behind me… from every direction… I reached out my right hand and touched Him just below the rib cage. I stopped when I realized that the tip of my fingers actually went inside His chest. The next thing I knew, I was back on my rock and it was pouring rain!”
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"We are destined, not doomed, to live together"
Reuven Rivlin-president of Israel