How real can heaven get? Can it get so real that you live in the seen and unseen? It gets blurred into one. I believe so…
Joel and Peter spoke of a day of ‘divinely appointed appearances’ and an outpouring of engaging with God –
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams.”
That’s for today. Religion keeps putting the good stuff in the future. God puts it in the present. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. People who are fighting this truth are like those who trying to stop the wind from blowing. It’s impossible! I’ve heard well known ‘new’ ministries urging people that experiences of heaven are flaky and that people who have such things have moved away from the simplicity of the Gospel. This is the exact opposite of the truth! The Gospel’s purpose is to bring you into a continual new reality. Experiential one-ness with the One!
“Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
The outcome of being born again is that we can SEE and EXPERIENCE the Kingdom of Heaven! Yeah God! We get in on the action! One of the most shocking elements of this NEW creation reality is we get to see on an ongoing basis. We get to see God!
“And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent” John 17:3
This is eternal life. Family! Family with Jesus, Papa and the Comforter. Face-time! History is marked with those who have seen God over and over again. It’s not meant to be a one-off event or something that happens just when you die. The Mystic Quest is to experience God on earth as it is in heaven and to go up into heaven & engage with that real place. “Come up here!” still resounds. A generation like John who blur boundaries.
I believe we are now seeing a great outpouring of the Spirit on the earth. It may seem hidden but in hiddenness God is drawing near to lowly, the longing ones, the seekers to show them His Person. In these days His presence is going to be personal. We are in the day of increasing ‘divinely appointed appearances’!
I’d like to end today’s blog with a story. I love stories. This one is about a man called Frank Bartleman who along with another fella called William Seymour saw one of the biggest most powerful moves of God in any generation. Encounters birth movements and revivals and nationwide change. In 1906 in Azusa Street through a small group of people God rocked the world!
“One evening, July 3, I felt strongly impressed to go to the little Peniel Hall. There I found Brother Boehmer ahead of me. He had also been led of God to the hall. We prayed for a spirit of revival for Pasadena until the burden became well nigh unbearable. I cried out like a woman in the birth-pangs. The Spirit was interceding through us. Finally the burden left us. After a short time of quiet waiting a great calm settled down upon us. Then suddenly, without premonition, the Lord Jesus himself revealed himself to us. He seemed to stand directly between us, so close we did not dare to move. I could not even look. In fact I seemed all spirit. His presence became more real, if possible, than if I could have seen and touched Him naturally. I forgot I had eyes or ears. My Spirit recognised him. A heaven of divine love filled and thrilled my soul. Burning fire went through me. In fact my whole being seemed to flow down before Him, like wax before the fire. I lost all consciousness of time and space, being conscious only of His wonderful presence. I worshipped at His feet. It seemed a veritable “mount of transfiguration”. I was lost in the pure Spirit.
For some time He remained with us. Then slowly He withdrew His presence. We would have been there yet had He not withdrawn. I could not doubt His reality after that experience… We were almost afraid to speak when we came back to our surroundings. The Lord had said nothing to us, but only ravished our spirits by His presence… The sun was up the next morning before we left the hall. But the night had seemed but half an hour. The presence of God eliminated all sense of time. … For days the marvellous presence seemed to walk by my side. The Lord Jesus was so real. I could scarcely take up with human conversation again.
Daring to believe for more than we can ask or dare to think! Justin Abraham