Visions are often experienced by people who are dying or very close to death. Near-death experiences can often consist of people describing a variety of aspects surrounding their experiences. People have reported seeing deceased relatives and loved ones, along with specific visions and feelings. Among these reports are visions of angels.
These visions share certain characteristics with mystical experiences such as a sense of the sacred and a feeling of profound peace. Those who have come close to death have reported seeing a white light, along with light beings and forms.
Those that had near-death experiences have also described an overwhelming feeling of connection with the divine source. Many have shared that the light they see and feel radiates a feeling of warmth and security. Visions of lush gardens and open fields have also been reported among those who have witnessed near-death visions.
Near-Death Visions of Angels
Angels have been one type of light beings that have been reported among near death visions. In his book Angels: God’s Secret Agents, evangelist Billy Graham recounts a number of cases in which those dying report that they see angels and hear them singing their praises to God. Graham also cites the biblical account of Lazarus in Luke 16 of the Bible by saying that he too, “will actually be taken by angels into the presence of God.”
In his work, Heaven and Hell, Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg have described the role of angels in greeting departed souls after death. He wrote the following about the angels and heavenly spirits who receive the newly arrived souls: “They perform this task with great delicacy, granting the new arrival complete freedom. Above all, they transmit a feeling of great love and make the new arrival aware of the presence of a friend, someone who knows and can explain everything.”
Angel researcher Leonard Day, who has been called upon to assist the dying, reported that a high percentage of the dying do speak of angel visions. A recurring account was that two angels greet the dying person, with one angel transmitting a stronger amount of light than the other.
Day believes that the angel who emits a stronger light is the person’s guardian angel. This angel stays in closer proximity to the dying person and offers support and consolation. The other angel remains more distant in the background. Day has described this angel as the angel of death.
The role of the Angel of death in near-death experiences
Leonard Day has also reported those who have shared their encounters with this dark angel have described the apparition as very quiet, and not at all malevolent. According to Day, it is the duty of the angel of death to summon the departed spirit into the care of the guardian angel to initiate the journey to the other side. These accounts of visions of the angel of death are far different than the menacing apparition so commonly portrayed across popular culture for centuries.