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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4527

 23 Minutes in Hell?


My wife has been a teacher in public high schools and universities for over five years. However, she has been teaching at a private, Christian school for nearly a year. She enjoys the experience of working with young children without having to instruct them.

Recently, the owner of the school gave the teachers a book entitled 23 MINUTES IN HELL. The teachers are supposed to read the book and discuss it at a meeting next week. My wife asked me if I had read the book. I admitted that I had thumbed through it several times, but have never felt a desire to actually sit down and read it cover-to-cover. Why? While it's story about the terrors of Hell sound plausible, it just seems that the story contradicts some basic understandings about Hell -- while also adding some things that the Word of God is decidedly silent about.

The book, written by Bill Wiese, chronicles the author's tale of having visited Hell for 23 minutes. It is a fantastic-sounding tale about a man's supposed voyage to Hell and back. It is actually [url=]included here on SermonIndex[/url] as a video sermon.

Personally, I have a problem with this tale. II Peter, Luke and Psalm mention that Hell was created as a "dungeon" for fallen angels who are literally kept in chains. Of course, we know that fallen man will ultimately share this place with them. The Bible talks about the "slandering of angels" or "spiritual beings" and "dignities" (such as in II Peter 2:1-12). In fact, Jude 1:8-11 says that not even Michael the Archangel spoke against the devil with slanderous accusations.

I have read quite a few stories from different preachers who claimed to have visited Hell. Most of their stories seem to contradict one another -- especially on the details. Dr. Richard Eby, Mary Baxter, and many others have written and earned lots of money from books about their supposed journey. While the story written by Bill Wiese sounds somewhat familiar, it contradicts nearly every other story that contains "specific" information about each author's supposed "journey."

What do you think? do you think that guy is telling the truth? Is he making it up? Did Wiese have a legitimate and/or spooky dream...and then start stretching that dream into a novel?

Regardless, I know that Hell can only be WORSE than any story written by men. My wife began reading the book...and doesn't want to finish it. She has already found many passages within the story that she feels are either unscriptural or extra-scriptural.

I am interested in the opinions of the brethren here on SermonIndex. Of course, I am not trying to start a debate. I am just trying to see if anyone has an opinion on the matter. Thanks!



 2009/8/27 23:44Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4527

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

I have also been interested in many of the various stories of people who claim to have been caught up into the "third heavens." People like Jesse Duplantis, Mary Baxter, Dr. Richard Eby and the like -- they give conflicting accounts with their tales of visiting Heaven.

Is it possible that these people have seen ANYTHING? Did they merely have a simple dream...and then exaggerate it into book form?



 2009/8/28 14:05Profile

Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752


I have read this book and I also have a speaking by Bill Wiese called "23 Minutes in Hell".

I personally like the "story" that Bill tells. I look at it as a story. There are a lot of holes that you can poke in his experience, but that is his experience. If he is being truthful (which we have no reason to believe that he is not being truthful), then we need to take him at his word while we cross reference it to scripture.

The point is that regardless of what we think about Bill's story, Bill believes it. The Lord may have been showing something about hell to Bill. We should not take Bill's story as scripture, but we can learn from Bill's story never the less.

If "23 minutes in Hell" helps someone come to the Lord and get saved... it bears good fruit.


 2009/8/28 14:50Profile


There is a book called "To Hell and Back" by Dr. Maurice Rawlings. He is a heart surgeon who has resussitated many people over the years. He says there experience has been one of torment being in hell etc. I thought this was a very well done book.

 2009/8/28 15:07

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

While it's story about the terrors of Hell sound plausible, it just seems that the story contradicts some basic understandings about Hell -- while also adding some things that the Word of God is decidedly silent about.

It seems many Christians feel they understand what Hell is all about. I for one am thankful for the day when I no longer felt the compulsion to understand all that's written in the Scriptures.

How little I understand about Heaven, much less Hell. And really, it's only by revelation that our understandings are opened to these things in the first place. Revelation, of course, will always harmonize with Scripture. But only revelation can cause us to see what is written in Scripture in its true light instead of in the darkness of our own understanding. "In thy light shall we see light" (Ps. 36.9).

So I'm pretty careful about all the stories these days of people who have visited Hell... or even Heaven.

I am content to leave what I don't understand in God's hands, trusting He will reveal to me what I need to know in order to please Him, and do His will.


Allan Halton

 2009/8/28 15:41Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393


Isn't there a website or something somewhere that has a long list of questions and answers on this topic? I know there is one at the end of Bill Wiese's book.

My thought on the subject is that I was greatly moved when I listened to it. The guy is from the Calvary Chapel Churches that I am from which is a pretty Biblical place. He was also financially very well off. I can't see any motives why he would lie. He seems to be passionate for souls and ect. I don't think it would be a big thing for this to happen. Jesus speaks of hell and even in Lazarus gives us an image. So I think God wants us to know what it is like. When God raises up messengers like prophets of old he gives them revelations. Whether it is true or not the message it true. I don't really care too much I was moved by it. The best way to know is to know the person personally which is a hard thing sometimes or people around him. The last thing is were certain parts of it Biblical and that is where I bring up the question and answer list though I can't find it though I think I have seen it before.

 2009/8/28 18:58Profile

Joined: 2005/7/8
Posts: 53

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

Greetings in the name of the Lord:

I want to say that I have not personally read the book, but I watched his video presentation(as much I could stand), and was sore grieved over it, and rejected it. It would seem that this kind of literature sales a lot of books. The more imaginative and fantastic the "personal testimony" the more revenue is generated. When I watched his video presentation given at a Church; his attitude was one of lightness and some levity. I also noticed that the people in the audience were not of a solemn demeanor considering such a serious subject as Hell. Maybe its just me, but I would think that if Bill was allowed to visit God's Hell for even one minute (let alone 23) he would be the most serious preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ in America, and perhaps the entire world. He would be in an earnest not seen in our generation of ministerial seminary graduates. He would plead with sinners with arguments, examples, and expostulations to repent. When I make a comparison of Bill Wiese with the rich man of St.Luke's gospel chapter sixteen; I do not see any similarities between the two. In fact when reading the account that the Lord Jesus gave us in Luke 16 we find this rich man in a terrible agony, and pleading with Father Abraham to send Lazarus back to the land of the living to warn his five brothers who were just as sinful and wicked as he. It would therefore seem to me that if this same rich man were to give his "23 minutes in Hell" presnetation at this Church, it would have been vastly different than our friend, Bill's so-called, "23 minutes in Hell." I do not believe that the rich man's demeanor and composure would have been light, and certainly not giggly. May I make a little suggestion? If all possible, maybe your wife should give this book back the principal and maybe suggest an extensive BIBLE STUDY among the teachers on Hell and the lake of fire. Mr. Bill Wiese should be a tragic figure; a trembling ruin, not the smiley face he presents when advertizing his "23 minutes in Hell."

Having said thus, I do believe that some few persons have had a very real experience of seeing Hell torments after having been resuscitated back to life. I believe that there have been many a persons on a death-bed who have experienced a taste of the Hell they were about to sink down into. Voltaire, Hume, and Alamont are outstanding examples of death-bed experiences of the visions of Hell. I have a book that I would rather recommend any day before I would Bill's book, and that is, "The dying testamonies of the saved and unsaved." This book was written by a preacher in the year 1898. I believe his name was George Shaw. This book is a collection of testamonies he himself collected from his own experiences from ministering by bedsides of the saints and sinners in their final trail here in this world. Rev. George Shaw was also helped by many other saints and ministers who had knowledge of the nature of the book Rev. Shaw was compiling and sent him their own experiences and accounts. I obtained my copy from Pilkington & Sons. I think they are the same publishers who reprinted this work from 1898.

 2009/8/28 20:16Profile

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

hi chris, sorry to shorten your name... as you know i was friends with bro. ravenhill ... the greatest man i was ever around was danny ost who after having a PERSONAL VISION of hell was driven almost beyond human strength to become an apostle to mexico... he saw the people sufering and crying out that they never heard the truth because the christians were to busy playing games to tell them of Jesus ... he started over 10 churches all self suporting with thousands in each church ... also bible schools... what fruit has come forth from this book... hell is eternal death and not a place you visit.jimp

 2009/8/29 3:18Profile

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

23 minutes of a plagiaristic and creative nightmare. Why this fellow contrived this fable is debatable, but I would bet that the sensationalism and special prophetic mysteries of it all played into it.

When your trapped into a lifestyle where you depend on handouts [love offerings ] from churches as you travel [itinerant preaching ], well, it helps to have an edge. What is cooler than traveling to the heat of Hades?

This fellow is lying, and his yarn is contrived, along of course with being "fairy tale-ish". Yes, it has enough Bible in it to be palatable, but too much Disney in it to believe.

He did it for the cash...and a steady diet of undiscerning Pastors and Churches who would gladly pay him for such a titillating eye witness!

To me, it's sad. I think he was desperate , and probably his wife is in on it too. By the way, where is the Fear of the Lord in his preaching?...and the message of repentance from the World and the Flesh?

There is no doubt that the Lord has revealed Gehenna to many men over time. I think of General Booth...and others. David wrote about a pit, and Jesus spoke of torment and flames. I myself have had some limited revelation of Hell. God forbid that I, or anyone would dare to profit from any revelation, and how much more so a fib; designed to aggrandize the source for a steady income.

 2009/8/29 8:50

Joined: 2009/2/10
Posts: 49

 Re: 23 Minutes in Hell?

Just got done listening to the "23 Minutes in Hell" video on Youtube. I stand firm in my belief that this did NOT happen. Hell IS eternal, by no means is it to be simply visited. I do believe that Hell is real. I believe what the scriptures say about Hell, but when this man quotes scripture, it is taken out of context. Context is everything when interpreting scriptures. Look and see where the scripture was used and what was said before and after it. He didn't shed a tear when speaking about being at Jesus' feet. The camera looked to the crowd and you could see women wiping their eyes, and yet they didn't even go through this "experience". There is no fear of God in this mans preaching. He keeps a straight face with a mono-toned voice. No description of Hell can be depicted by man. Nor any description of Jesus can be depicted by man.

Lucas Hughes

 2009/8/29 11:31Profile

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