Do those who have gone before us, those in heaven, see us on earth?
The question was posed to me recently by a reader of “The Zombie Report, The Dead Are Made Alive.”
I wrote Chapter 8 about heaven after studying and meditating on the Book of Revelation. I feel that my writing was influenced by this reading. It seems that the travails of earth are observed in heaven.
I went to Revelation to look for evidence of those who have gone before us, to be there. I found it.
I don’t like to study Bible scholars and academics without first asking God and seeking His answer. I believe in the power of the Living Word of God to teach and the Holy Spirit to counsel.
But, since the question was posed to me, I went online to see what others are saying. After all, I don’t want to make a foolish mistake or knowingly mislead others.
John MacArthur says no.
The Billy Graham association says … well, you decide.
I have heard many sermons over the years that the “witnesses” in Hebrews 12:1, are those watching from heaven, even those noted in Chapter 11.
Please note: the writer of Hebrews could have used the word “testimony” or “example” instead of “witnesses.” Such as, “since we are influenced by the great knowledge of their testimony (example).”
When I study I pay attention to the choice of words used by the writer inspired and ordained by God. It is our privilege and calling to study His Word!
Of course, we should not decide belief based on one verse, but look widely in the Scriptures for additional verses that give insight on the question.
Here is another article on the subject, perhaps the most comprehensive. I am unfamiliar with the writer. Perhaps you can vouch for him. It is Steve Shirley.
Much about heaven is unknown and there may not be a definitive answer to this question. Let us therefore encourage each other with our understanding of God as the Ruler (and a compassionate and caring Father) and Jesus as the Intercessor (and a mighty warrior victorious in the spiritual realm). We must confess Him before men!
I believe that in heaven we will be consumed by the joy of His presence. It is a joy that we cannot comprehend now. Rev. 21:3-4
What do you think? Please, I welcome your response!
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Additional entries: Alan's study notes.
For those who are discouraged with God - feel abandoned or rejected - I want to share with you why I am giving God another chance. Have you ever wondered what you are missing?
I've been there. And, I know that it is complicated. But what if you could find true peace, not grounded in self confidence, but in an ongoing experience with an awesome God? ! I'm not saying that I have all the answers, but I have strived personally, studied, watched and analyzed others, and came to some conclusions that you probably won't hear from your pastor - because I found God outside of the box.
Sharing and encouraging others in these truths is fellowship - the kind that I seek. So yes, I am giving God a second chance - and here's why...
Let's get connected if you feel like I do:
...relinquish your control.
When life wasn’t fair, God was calling his name.
Robert Love experienced great loss. His grandmother died under a cloud of suspicion. Memories of better times became miserable haunts as the skeletons of his past continued to rattle in the closet of deceit.
On the ropes emotionally, fate (or was it God?) intervened to bring Love a new friend, a mentor and wise sage of sorts, with provocative insights. His name is John Wright.
They were perfect strangers when they met but allowed their lives to intersect and in the end each was instrumental in saving the other. But for Love, it was complicated, much like his life.
Upon becoming better acquainted, it seemed that Wright’s credibility was sketchy at best. Once exposed, Love learned that his new friend was terminally ill. So why had he stopped fighting for his life? Wright has a mysterious past.
A spiritual battle ensues. Love is nearly killed in a grinding head-on collision and suffers debilitating injuries. And then, unbelievably, Love’s home is torched and all his possessions are turned into ashes among the smoking ruins. It is more than a soul can bear; surely he must be cursed!
But it was a greater love that truly saved him once emptied of himself. Everything changed and ultimately Love endured to discover new hope and a new life.
Is God calling you? This contemporary parable is a guide for the journey of faith that leads to true salvation.
...discover your calling.
Truly alone, his head hanging low, tears are dropping onto his lap. Already disgraced, this pastor feels no need to defend himself.
There have been many arrests of the clergy in recent times, the institutional church is weak, and the public is hungry for revenge. The police are ordered by the District Attorney to bring him in, to answer his accuser for the crime she alleges.
Robert Love, the clergyman accused of sexually assaulting a minor female, searches his memory for a clue. Had he mistaken the events of his life, the way he saw God working and leading him into the ministry?
His divorce and aggressive response to the false allegation of infidelity brought by legalistic Christians is in his past. More recently there was the baby’s funeral and the unexplained reason for its death, as well as the demise of the mother, to cancer. She had refused radiation treatments, sacrificing her life for another, the unborn child that didn’t survive.
Thrisa is the only bright spot in this pastor’s otherwise dreary work at the parish and she is found in a dumpster, left for dead. Then, answers to the mystery are suddenly revealed at the bedside of a man even as he exhales his last breath. The final verdict: “not guilty!”
Doubt plagued Robert Love with the simple, haunting question: “why?” But in the midst of all his trouble, wisdom rescues with everlasting peace.
...yield to power consuming.
Young adults and siblings, James and Steffanie Wallas, who tragically lost their parents in a train wreck, are struggling to continue with their lives.
They are grieving together until something very strange happens in the cemetery where their parents are buried. Steffanie is confronted by a strange being which resembles her deceased mother.
James needs absolute proof that their mother has not returned from the dead. The weight of the evidence needed rests upon a cross necklace, the one their mom gave to Steffanie at her baptism. Rejecting faith, she returned it at the funeral to be buried with all of her hopes and dreams. It was this necklace that she saw the being wearing. Now, James must find the explanation that will bring his sister back from the brink of insanity.
Rumors leak and their town goes crazy! A police report documents the sighting and the news goes viral.
A cross necklace, the mystery of resurrection, and one young man's need for answers spin into a whirlwind of controversy that has everyone waiting for the truth to be revealed.
Not science fiction or fantasy, it’s an emotional story that demonstrates the bravery of true love in the aftermath of tragedy.
...realize the life chosen.
The Daniels men held their legacy in secret, preserved for future generations.
Levi Daniels was shot while Confederate soldiers invaded his southern Pennsylvania farm. In a small wooden box, he took his prized possession to California, seeking better fortune. But as history has it, trouble followed.
As a young boy, Darren is expected to carry the torch. From his hospital bed, Darren’s grandfather spoke reverently of the responsibility as he bypassed the birthright of the next person in line. It should have been given to Darren’s father, Joseph, but he is still missing.
Darren and his fraternal twin sister, Deidra, are able to avoid their ancestors’ haunts until engaged in the disaster. An earthquake strikes the U.S. and it falls into anarchy. Joseph returns, searching for the remnant of his family.
It is then that the secret of their past is revealed with a compelling message. America’s heritage, one of faith and unity, speaks to challenge the hearts of the faithful and the patriotic, stirring them to resist the enemy, natural and spiritual.
The future is predicted as the fictional account moves forward in time. This story challenges you to ponder the evidence of our fate. And here is realized a profound and compelling revelation - the greater purpose in it all.
"This book is meant to be shared." Tell your friends to visit UpdykeBooks.com.
Blessings! Alan Updyke, UpdykeBooks@gmail.com