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on October 21, 2006
Whether or not the author really did go to hell is immaterial. What matters more is that what he said about the existence of hell and its horrors are found in scripture. The first part of the book deals with his own testimony, and what he claims happened to him in hell. The second part of the book is a citation of scripture on hell.

I found the second-half to be heart-convicting. According to the author, there are about 150 verses on hell in the Bible. Many are listed down in the book. I checked the verses in his book against those in the Bible. All tallied. And then the reality sinks in: hell is really a place. It is not to be trifled with. There is no good thing there, no flower, or leaf, or even mercy, because God is not there. And all good things are from God. But the starkest and saddest truth is this: it was never meant to be a place for people, whom God created for eternal fellowship with Him. Such a horrible place was only meant for Satan and his fallen angels. Yet, so many souls are there, people who never heard about God, or who turned their backs to God. What this book did for me was point me back to the importance of evangelism - in God's loving plan, no one, not a single soul, should have to go to hell.
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on August 20, 2010
With a heavy heart, I must give an honest review of this book. Before I begin, I want to start off by stating upfront that I am a born-again Christian, and I do believe that unbelievers who die without Christ will suffer eternal torment in Hell. However, with this said, I must say that I do not believe Bill Wiese' account.

I had heard about this book for quite some time before I had actually read it. At first I thought this was going to be a story about a man who wasn't a Christian, clinically died and went to Hell, came back to life and is now a Christian. Instead, I was surprised to find out that not only was Wiese already supposed to have been a Christian, but he didn't even die. Instead, he just went to bed at 3:00a.m. one night, fell into a pit and ended up in literal Hell. In this Hell he was tormented by demons, heat so intense that he should have been dead, and he witnessed a pit of fire where souls were being tormented. During his time in Hell, Wiese claims that he didn't know about God and had "forgotten" he was a Christian. He later supposedly gets rescued by Jesus and is told that he was purposely made to forget that he was a Christian. The entire reasoning behind this experience is so that Wiese can know that Hell exists and he can now tell others about it. He wakes back up in his living room where he fell asleep at 3:23a.m.

Right away, one would think that Wiese just had a nightmare, but Wiese is convinced that he had an out-of-body experience where his soul literally descended into Hell. Wiese insists that this wasn't just a dream.

This is all told in the first three chapters of the book, and the rest of the book is simply accounts of Wiese' evangelistic testimonies and answering a few questions about Hell. But the first three chapters are really the "highlight" of the book. In fact, I found myself getting bored after the third chapter, because the rest of it becomes testimonies of Wiese being invited to speak about his experience, and then the book going into answering standard philosophical questions about Hell that can be found in many other books.

The main problem I have with Bill Wiese' story is that it just simply isn't consistent with what the Bible teaches about how God operates.

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells a story about a rich man who dies and ends up in Hell. The rich man becomes concerned that his family might end up in Hell too. So he asks Abraham (who is in paradise but is able to communicate with the rich man) if he can go and tell his family about Hell. And Abraham responds with, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead" (v. 31). So, knowing that Jesus told this story of the rich man, and the Bible teaches that if someone isn't persuaded by the Scriptures, then they will not be persuaded by someone returning from the dead, why would Jesus send Wiese to Hell to basically do what Abraham says won't persuade unbelievers anymore than the Scriptures will? The simple answer is, Jesus wouldn't do that.

There is also the issue with the demons that supposedly tortured Wiese. Jesus said that Hell is prepared for Satan and his demons. They will be eternally punished in Hell (Matt 25:41). Yet, Wiese claims that demons are in Hell feeling pleasure from torturing him and the more they tortured him, the more pleasure they felt. This doesn't make sense if the Bible teaches that Hell was created to punish the demons. In fact, Wiese makes it sound like the demons have a nice playground in Hell and are the ones administering the punishments rather than being punished themselves.

Another problem I have with Wiese's account is that Jesus said that anyone who believes in him will not see death (John 8:51).

After reading the book, I must admit that I am really disappointed. And while I am a born-again Christian who believes in the existence of Hell (and by that I mean eternal punishment, not annihilation), I must tell the truth of what I believe about this book. I had thought about not writing a review at all, but Christians need to stand on biblical truths, not lies. I'm still not even sure why Wiese is so convinced that he didn't just have a really bad dream... which is what I think he had if he's not just making this whole thing up.
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I was surprised at the diferent viewpoints I have read concerning this book. However I have learned when it comes to Hell.....well things can indeed get hot. The author to me is upfront and honest in his testimony of what happened to him. And also to me, it is not surprising that people are experiencing visions of Hell, after all, we are in the endtimes and God is doing all He can to sound the alarm. And even if we were not, no one is promised tomorrow so why take the chance of ending up in this dreadful place?

This testimony clearly shows that Hell is a place of torment, absent from God, love or any kind of goodness. It is a place of pain and suffering, sorrow and hate. I can't even imagine how difficult it was for the author to relive such an experience and I thank him for sharing it with a world that needs to hear the truth. I have seen this man on TV share his experience and believe me he is truly telling what he saw and felt and he is screaming to all that will listen, "Please, do not go there. You have a choice." Great book! Serious Warning! A read that should awaken some serious thought as to where we will spend eternity.
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As a child I saw many movies about hell and decided it was not a place I ever wanted to be in for eternity. Bill Wiese claims he not only saw images of hell, but that he experienced it physically and emotionally for 23 minutes.

Can you go to hell and live to tell about it?
Do children go to hell?
Will good people only go to heaven?
Are there demons in hell?
Is hell a real place with real fire?
Will you remember your life on earth while in hell?

Bill Wiese answers all these questions and also backs up his own experience with biblical references. His story is convincing and told from the perspective of someone who was placed in a position of extreme stress and vulnerability. He describes his 23 minutes in detail and in a very convincing manner. Dreams can be very vivid and so at the start you have to either believe this is true or decide it isn't something you are willing to believe.

In the first third of the book he explains his horrifying experience of being in hell and then in the second section he talks about near death experiences and why there is hope for anyone who wants to avoid going to hell after they die. In the third section he focuses on verses from the Bible to give a more complete view of hell.

The thoughts in this book are somewhat sobering and the idea of spending eternity in a state of emotional distress and physical pain is more than enough motivation to try to find a way not to duplicate Bill Wiese's experience. Fortunately he does provide a message of hope and explains how Jesus Christ is the answer and the Savior of the soul.

If you are interested in more on Jesus Christ, I can highly
recommend The Gospel According to Jesus

~The Rebecca Review
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on July 8, 2006
I consider myself a fair reader of literature, but I have yet to read a book that has had the effect on me as this one has. I was half way through it before being aware of the time. I've read several testimonies of (and about) men and women that have departed this life and found themselves in that Great Abyss called HELL and returned to tell about it. The author's experience is different in that he places the reader along side himself experiencing it as well. Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well that night. Not for myself as I'm a Christian but for all the people I come in contact with everyday who I know... haven't made Jesus as their Lord.

This book will wake up the Dead. I know because I've left it to where anybody could read it and for those that did, their reading experience was similar. A great witnessing tool.

I gave it 5 stars just for that reason.
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on October 29, 2006
For the naysayers who believe that God is only a cuddly teddy bear and that no one will experience a hell, then you have missed much of what the Bible has to say concerning it. Bill Wiese brings this out in this page turner of a book. No, Bill Weiss is not a theologian, but then neither were the Apostles that Jesus chose to lead the early church. 12 ordinary men with no special religious backgrounds. Bill Weiss also doesn't need to be an Apostle to have and experience such as this and write about it.

To the one reviewer who talked about Lazarus, I will tell you that the Lazarus mentioned in Luke who was in the bosom of Abraham and the one Jesus raised from the dead were two different individuals who just happened to have the same name.

I highly recommend this book. Even if it were fiction, which I do not believe it is, I would still recommend it because it is scripturally based.

Rev. Carl Kaspick, MDiv

The Keepers Outreach Ministries
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on September 29, 2006
I agree with the author that it doesn't matter if you believe he was in hell or not. He decribes a place of torment beyond our understanding and according to the Bible, that's just what hell is. We tend to trivililze so many important things in our world today. Hell and demons are two that we seem to trivilize the most. We see so much of "Buffy and the Vampire Slayer" and "Charmed" that it's good to read about the reality of demons and hell. For all of you who laugh at the thought of a place like hell, I implore you to open your mind a bit. You'd be surprised what God can do with an open mind and heart.
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on June 4, 2009
I received this book as a gift, and it was the worst gift I have ever received. Now, don't get me wrong--I believe that God is still alive, and I believe in visions and visitations. I've had them. However...we are warned in Scripture to test the spirits, and I don't think the author did this. His depictions of hell do not line up with the Scriptures. Pointy demons that torture simply aren't there. Demons don't torment in hell, they are tormented in hell; and in fact, in II Peter 2:4 we're told that most of the demons are in a different part of hell. So, I don't know. I only got a third of the way through it and then threw it. My opinion--if you want to know what hell is like, go to the pages of Scripture. It's free.
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on June 26, 2006
No, this title isn't about Weise's appointment with the IRS. The author claims to have visited the actual Sheol, or Hell, in an out-of-body experience in 1998. Not in a dream; not in a vision; yet in a lifeless version of his own body he says he actually went there and was brought back by Jesus Himself.

Many readers will see a few red flags surrounding this book: Wiese lives in southern California, not exaclty the bastion of Christianity. The title is similar to other books such as "90 Minutes in Heaven," making it less original. Wiese is not a theologian.

The first part of this book--the visit to Hell itself--is littered with Scripture quotations and marks for chapter end notes which interrupt the flow of the dialogue. I think this part would have been much improved if Wiese had simply shared his experience in his own words, without pausing to support every detail with a Scripture quote. A very thorough appendix included with the book serves that purpose nicely for those who wish to consider everything Wiese says and judge it against the Bible. Personally, I have an aversion to books (and there are many) which sprinkle in snippets of Scripture, often out of context, like fertilizer pellets on a lawn. One can read everything in the Bible in its proper context by... reading a Bible.

From a literary standpoint, Wiese's descriptions of what he saw in Hell didn't add anything to what I already know through the Bible or visualized reading Dante's "Inferno."

The reading becomes better by the middle of "23 Minutes," however, as Wiese begins telling how the Lord led him by miracles to spread the word about Hell. I guess you couldn't call it "good news." Non-believers will write these off as good luck, while believers will credit the Devine purpose. Either way, they are believable. One thing I did find disturbing was Wiese says he met other people who wrote books about their visits to Hell, but he does not identify these authors. I assume they are among those listed in the appendix, but it would seem natural to me to name the author and the title of those books as they are mentioned, especially if Wiese had space to put in all of those other references.

Later chapters address the questions of what makes one bound for Hell, what demons are and do, and what physical parts make up Hell.

Obviously the main question is: Did Bill Wiese really go to Hell for 23 minutes? Only he and his Maker know the answer to that. Does it really matter? What matters is what each of us plans to do with our eternity, if we are granted that. In my opinion, the book doesn't pack the punch needed to convert people to Christ on its own merits, although it seems Wiese has been able to do so through personal encounters.

This book did leave me with at least one profound thought: the reason Christ gave Bill Wiese this experience. It does not matter whether it was a dream, a vision, or physically real. "...time is getting short," Wiese says, "and there are some unusual things God is doing in the earth today to help people awaken to the truth. He is imploring people to listen to His Word." I won't argue with that.

-Byron C. Justice, author of "Violent Night"
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on April 8, 2015
This book which I believe to be a true experience,(why would someone go to such great lengths to make up such a story if not true), makes me think twice about the next time I commit sin. I agree with the author who state's that perhaps in these last days God is revealing small truths and facts to encourage believers and more importantly, non- believers. I have turned aside and slipped back into various sin over and over. Even after the Lord has given me many gifts and spiritual discernment. And still I'm not sure why. I am often so motivated that I can't put the Bible down. Then all seems to go stale. And I turn aside and revert back to my old ways. I think this book will serve as a stern warning in my own life to "run the good race"! What I like about the author is that he points to the Bible and scripture as the only true source of truth. The author encourages the reader to not simply trust in him, but instead compare what he says with biblical scripture. My hope is that when my faith seems to get stale, that this book will remind me to tighten my laces and continue the race. Jesus Christ awaits us at the finish line. And if we fail to run the race... well read the book!
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