Dec 14, '10 12:19 PM
By Regner Capener
Don’t remember if I’ve talked at all about our youngest granddaughter, Jasmine. She’s just shy of 2 ½ years old, our son Joshua’s daughter. Jasmine gets to spend weekends with us frequently (we don’t consider it babysitting – grin!) and she’s a real kick!
More and more she is reminding us of Jessica – who is now 8 years old – when she was that age, with her sensitivity to spiritual things. If you recall, I made reference in Heaven II to the fact that we were with the Lord in spirit form in Heaven long before we came into this world. If you missed that discussion I won’t take time to recall all of the Scriptures that back it up other than to refer you back to the second Coffee Break in this series on Heaven. My reference to that discussion will become clear momentarily.
Jasmine isn’t always talkative, and sometimes her conversation isn’t exactly clear. Like a lot of two-year-olds, she jabbers about this and that occasionally and you really have to listen closely to figure out what she’s talking about. This past Sunday afternoon she was sitting at the kitchen counter having a snack with Grandma Della.
Della periodically talks to Jasmine about spiritual things just to input these values in her life and to see her responses. Sunday, however, Della decided to pose a question to Jasmine on the spur of the moment. Jasmine hadn’t been talking or saying anything because she was focused on her snack. Della says to her, “Jasmine, did you know that you were with Jesus in Heaven before you were born here?”
Jasmine stops, looks at Della and says very clearly and matter-of-fact, “Yes, Grandma!”
Della did a double-take! Beyond the fact that both she and I can remember times and events when we were very young that we both realized we were far older than our earth years and had a very intimate knowledge of the Lord, we have both met and talked to many adults throughout the years who have nearly identical memories. This, however, was the first time either of us had heard or seen a young child who was consciously aware of it.
I know this is taking things out of sequence in terms of my experiences in Heaven but because I’ve been seeing and remembering my conversations with David it seemed appropriate to pick up with him today and talk about Joseph and then Moses in a later Coffee Break.
For whatever reason, David appeared even younger than any of the others with whom I had talked. Even today thinking back on those discussions and remembering the image still firmly planted in my memory, he appeared to me to be in his early 30’s. Although I had a chance to see him briefly in his royal robes as he appeared while reigning over Israel, he appeared to me mostly in white. My first experience, however, was with him as a shepherd.
Whether it was because I had a fascination with the Psalms, or whether it was because of my six years (at that point) of playing musical instruments, questioning began and gravitated around the subject of the Psalms.
My first question to David was, “How did you write the Psalms? How could you come out with such wonderful praise and worship in a way that no one else did?”
Again, whether I was transported there in the Spirit or simply allowed to see the events through David’s eyes, I do not know. What I do know is that I saw David sitting on the hillsides tending his father’s sheep as he began to share how the Spirit of God flowed through him.
“I fell in love with the Lord God in my early youth,” he said. “Going with my father or my older brothers out into the fields gave me time to be alone and meditate on the Lord. I learned to play a small harp and carried it with me. As more and more responsibility was given me over the care and watch of the sheep, I had more and more time to sit back on the grassy slopes, close my eyes, and just get lost in the presence of the Lord.”
In a split second we were back – or at least I was again aware of being in Heaven – and David and I were walking into a stunning section of city with palatial structures and remarkable architecture. (And, by the way, the streets were made of gold so fine it was almost transparent! I’ll talk more about this later.) The sounds of praise and worship as a sea of music had changed from that which I had been hearing and more distinct words and musical structure became apparent.
David continued. “You’ve been hearing these sounds of praise and worship and adoration since you’ve been here,” he said, “and if you pay attention you will hear some of the same words I used as I sang the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. I didn’t write those. They originated here among the angels. I’m sure you will have the chance to see the Throne and the angelic worship that surrounds it, but this kind of praise, worship and adoration was going on long before I ever came on the scene.
“The more time I spent in praise and worship of the Lord, the more opportunity I had to hear what God hears continually. He simply allowed me to transfer a tiny portion of it into the earthly realm for others to hear and share.”
With scarcely a blink of the eye we were back in David’s era and sitting on a hillside. This time he had a rather elegant but simple harp. His fingers brushed across the strings and suddenly I saw what he had been allowed to see. The words of the 8th Psalm flooded us and the presence of the Lord – really it was the Glory of the Lord – saturated the place where we were sitting. David began to sing as he had sung in his early years. The words flowed, however, with a familiarity that came from having sung them many times. I thought it was really remarkable – “cool” actually – to hear him sing those words to different melodies as he sang, sometimes hummed, almost shouted at times.
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set Thy Glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Thy Heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that Thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than God, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
It was as though Creation was unfolding all over again before our eyes. We were seeing glimpses of the genesis of the universe, the earth and man’s careful crafting in God’s own likeness and image. To say the least, it was a WOW experience!
It was an experience I didn’t want to leave. It was one of those times when you just want to bask in the presence of the Lord and saturate yourself with Him. It would leave an indelible impression in my being -- one that has never gone away. Once you have experienced that sense of the Lord’s presence, the indescribable love, the weight of His Glory… well, there is simply nothing earthly that can substitute. The greatest excitements of this earthly realm that I’ve known in the roughly sixty years since this trip to Heaven took place pale into insignificance by comparison!
I’m getting ahead of myself in saying this, but you’ll quickly understand and appreciate that I was literally captivated by that sense of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. When it came time for me to leave Heaven sometime later, I can promise you that everything inside of me screamed, “NOOOO!!! I don’t want to leave!”
Though there are times when that sense of God’s presence are more conscious and tangible than others, I can honestly say that there has never been a day in my life since when I have not been aware of His presence with me. Nothing can take it away! Even when I’ve made some serious screw-ups in my life, terrible decisions and blunders that I look back on and shake my head in wonderment, He has always been there.
I guess I relate to David as much or more than anyone else throughout history. I understand why the Lord loved him like He does and why David has always been regarded as “a man after God’s own heart” – screw-ups and all. God cared less about David’s blunders (even though David certainly reaped what he sowed) than He did about his heart and passion for the presence of the Lord – not only for himself, but for all of Israel. Ahh, but I’m getting ahead of myself again.
One of the things I’ve forgotten to mention is that although I was having these conversations with Abraham, with Isaac, with Jacob, with David – and all the others – Jesus never left. He was always nearby. Sometimes He would smile, sometimes nod His head, and sometimes just give a knowing wink of agreement. He never interfered in the conversations or added something to them, but His visible presence was a guiding factor to the course of every discussion.
As our conversation resumed, David began to talk about the visions he’d received – the impartation of instrument designs. Some of this revelation occurred while he was still tending sheep and some of it took place after he’d become King of Israel.
“The more time I spent in praise and worship to the Lord and the more I heard the sounds coming from Heaven I asked the Lord how to make those sounds. My desire was to duplicate here for men and women to hear and to respond to that realm, that sound, that presence of the Lord that comes through the re-creation of the notes, the chords, the drumbeats of the angels.”
David pointed to my hands and said, “The stringed instruments you are learning to play were derived from the psalteries I originally created from the visions received during my times of praise and worship. Stay with your practice. Become skilled as a musician so that you, too, can draw people into the presence of the Lord with your praise and worship.”
[Note: Although David’s instruction to “become skilled as a musician” kind of faded into the background over the years, those words were engraved in my spirit to the place where – as time progressed – I almost(?) became obsessed with practice and developing more and more musical skills. In a Coffee Break titled “Guitars” published several years ago, I noted how my obsession to become “the world’s greatest guitar player” brought me to the place at age 24 when my longtime-friend and fellow minister of the Gospel, Dwain McKenzie, said to me one day, “Reg, the Lord is going to require you to put that guitar on the altar.”
Not until my prized custom-made guitar was stolen from me a little over a year later did those words come to mean something; and it would still be another year before I would cry out to the Lord to do whatever it took to create the heart of David within me so that I would become that kind of spontaneous praiser and worshiper. It was during that same period that the Lord made it possible for me to purchase a rare, literally priceless Ramirez flamenco guitar. That instrument was dedicated to the Lord and has been used only for praise and worship in the 40-plus years since.]
I realized as David was talking about creating (we would call him an inventor, but from his perspective he simply duplicated what he saw in Heaven) the different musical instruments that this was something that spanned much of his life. He began creating musical instruments while still in his youth, experimenting with different woods, animal skins, coming up with varying thicknesses of strings for the psalteries, the harps and the other varied stringed instruments he worked on in order to create musical sounds.
In his later years as a soldier, then on the run for his life from Saul, and again later as King, he was more and more occupied with other activities so that he had less time to spend creating. And yet the creative juices in him never stopped. He used his time as much as possible to bring the Heavenly realm he had become so used to in the realm of praise and worship, prayer and intercession, to Israel.
I can see that I won’t have time today to get into the things he talked about as he sketched the design of the temple and planned for the day when all Israel would get to taste of what he knew, experienced and saw of the Lord. That will wait until after the Christmas holiday season when we talk about David’s experiences with the Lord as King of Israel.
It never ceases to amaze me even to this day how much was implanted in my spirit and mind and subconscious as a result of my conversations and experiences in Heaven. Looking back to the days (to me the time was roughly analogous to three earth days though there certainly was no night) I spent in conversations as well as the things that the Lord showed me, I’ve come to realize that I’ve known things about the Lord, His plan and purpose for His people, and the destiny He has designed for all of us my entire life. There have – I’m sad to say – been periods of time in which I have not thought much about those things and my focus has been in other places, but the Lord always brings me back to the central objective.
One of the things I’ve learned as a result of my experiences in Heaven is that the more time you spend in the presence of the Lord, the more He “downloads” into you. We are not always conscious of the impartations that are taking place, and sometimes we are totally oblivious to the revelations until days, weeks – even years – have passed. Things come to mind that we think of as then-current revelation, but the truth is that the Holy Spirit continually implants Himself and the knowledge of the Lord into those who entire being thirsts after an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We’ll be talking more about this in the days and weeks to come, but this is a good place to take a break. See you again early in January.
Next: Heaven VI: King David.
Never have we seen such a time in history as this! Never has there been a more urgent need for the pursuit of the presence of the Lord in our lives! Never has it been so critical that the body of Christ understand Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins!
Blessings on you!
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