The Cloud of Witnesses (cont-part 3)

(Hebrews 12:1-13:3)

 We have written of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as among the cloud of witnesses who are examples and encouragement to us.  We need to also recognize more recent men and women of faith, who also are among the cloud of witnesses.  In these days, as with others in the more recent past, some among us have had visitations from the eternal realm.  While we are naturally a skeptical people, especially in the educated and sophisticated West, these experiences are real.  Roland Baker’s grandfather, H. A. Baker has recorded some of these for us in his book, Heaven and the Angels.  It is an awesome record of visions of the heavens experienced by John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress author) and William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army).

All over the earth, spiritual activity has increased in our day.  For those with true hungry hearts, seeking God and His goodness, He is continually working to expose errors and open our eyes to see Him and His wonders.  This has increased for me personally over the last few years.  I have realized that I “entertained” angels, walking alongside and speaking with them.  They appeared as humans.  I have seen “my” angel.  The second time it quite frankly freaked me out.  He also appeared like a human and his appearing was too close and unexpected.  Afterward I realized that they work along with us in accomplishing our Father’s desire, namely that all should come to repentance.  I have also experienced awareness of some of the witnesses who have preceded us into heaven.

One Sunday during worship I saw in the spirit a man seated in heaven.  His hair was long and gray and initially the view was from behind.  He and his seat turned toward me revealing his face.  It was John Paul Jackson, a man of God who had an impactful ministry for years.  A week later I shared the experience with a young woman.  She informed me that John Paul had passed on into glory about the time of my seeing him.  I pondered the meaning of this and was encouraged by the increase of my awareness of heaven.  Similarly, other of the witnesses have been revealed to me providing encouragement that I continue to fulfill that for which the Lord chose me.  The Lord knows exactly what we need to keep us on the path He has established for us.

I have often reflected that the Lord is pulling out all the stops in our day to display His presence in so many ways in so many places.  He sends His own into places devastated by natural disasters and they help with practical needs and bringing hope and restoration.  Among Muslims in the middle east Jesus has been revealing Himself in dreams and visions.  A spine doctor, Mary Neal, nearly dies in a kayaking accident, experiences heaven, and has wonderful encounters with Jesus.  He reveals coming family circumstances to her to prepare her.  A young boy, Colton Burpo, similarly spends time in God’s heavenly realm, and his family is shaken awake to the realities of the nearness of eternity.  Many believers are walking in greater authority so that strangers are encountered, prayed for, and healed.

We pray for revival, and it is already happening. As I have written before, the river is flowing powerfully from the throne of God.  Get in and let the currents of His Spirit carry you.  Your fears will be blown away by the depth and fulness of His awesome love.

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