Nov 26, '10 2:37 PM
By Regner Capener
Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s been a couple of years or more since I quoted from any research articles or papers on the subject of coffee, but here’s one for you to take a look at. This one deals with coffee’s ability to cancel bad breath.
Yup. That’s what I said. New research has demonstrated that certain coffee extracts actually can cancel bad breath. Read it for yourself: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132100
While you’re reading, pour yourself a good cup from the French Press – the darkest brew you can get. You’ll liiiiike it!
Before I resume my sharing on Heaven, let me first wish you all the best Thanksgiving you’ve ever had. Despite the economic woes that have hit this nation and much of the world, there aren’t any of us who don’t have things to be thankful for. 2010 has been a year of spectacular change – and a year of some of the most remarkable experiences in the Lord we’ve ever had. The presence of the Glory of the Lord surrounding us and being in and with us has increased in the past year by a quantum leap.
Despite much shaking, sifting and change taking place in us and in our fellowship we wouldn’t trade where we are in the Lord for anything! The change and the spiritual growth are worth everything it has cost thus far, and we are determined to have God’s best manifested and operational in our lives. Our objective is to be readied for the Lord Jesus Christ as His Counterpart, His Other Self – a people of whom He can joyfully say, “This is My Bride!”
Thank you, Lord, for 2010 and all that you’ve done in us, with us, for us and to us this year!
When we left off last week, I’d just shared Abraham’s comments to me where he answered my question like this: “Once you’ve heard the voice of God, there is no other voice!”
Reflecting back on the nearly sixty years that have passed since, I can attest to that statement. The call of God that comes with that audible voice – no matter whether the voice is audible in your natural ears or your spiritual ears – establishes something in you that no one can steal from you or convince you otherwise by great argument.
I grew up watching the impact of my Dad having heard the voice of God saying to him, “I want you to go to Alaska for me,” and seeing the results that came from it. Dad plowed through every conceivable obstacle and ignored the odds stacked against him. Despite religious arguments to the contrary, as well as the advice and instruction of his denominational peers and superiors, the voice of the Lord rang in his being to the day he went home! He never deviated from what God commanded.
Like my father before me, I’ve been the topic of much controversy and opposition because of the path I’ve walked in God, but having heard the voice of the Lord clearly – not once, but many times – and knowing that voice, has been the steadying factor throughout my life.
My conversation with Abraham continued as he described his trek through Canaan, his journey into Egypt, his screw-up in introducing Sarah as his sister and the way in which God turned it for a blessing in his life.
One of the things that amazed me as he described his walk with God was the revelation of much the fear of death ruled him despite the numerous experiences he had in both seeing the Lord visibly and having angels appear with messages from God. Time after time after time again he would see the Lord, hear and respond and then have Satan attack him with fear.
I said to him, “You must have received deliverance or have overcome that fear by the time you took Isaac up to Moriah to offer him up as a sacrifice.”
Once again I was permitted to see into his experiences and his emotions and feelings. I understood perhaps for the first time the Scriptures that record, “…and Jesus, knowing their thoughts…” (Matthew 9:4, Luke 11:17). There is a knowing in your being that you simply don’t question. It is as clear as anything can be.
Can I deviate for just a minute to share with you a personal example of how this worked in me many years later? During the years I was at Long Beach Christian Center we had an instance where a lady in great distress came to see Dwain (McKenzie) for counsel. After Dwain had listened to her for a few minutes he called me into his office and asked her to repeat what she had just shared.
She did so and then stepped out of the office for a minute. Dwain said to me, “OK, Brother. Give me your take on this.”
The answer was clear to me. I knew the inside of that woman almost better than she knew herself. I said to Dwain, “Brother, this woman is a practicing lesbian. In fact she takes the male role in the relationship. The conviction of the Holy Spirit is tearing her apart and she doesn’t know what to do with it because she is a professing Christian.”
Turned out she was a Sunday School teacher at a large Charismatic fellowship in the Los Angeles area. She was afraid to talk to her pastor and figured she could safely come and talk to someone else who was a fair distance away without jeopardizing her position.
When she came back into the office, Dwain said to her, “Would you like to hear what Regner just said about your situation?”
She nodded her head, and he continued. “He says you are a lesbian, and you are playing the male role in the relationship.”
Her face turned dark, she stood to her feet, went out of the office and slammed the door. Moments later she came back and said, “You can’t have known that! I’ve never told anyone! How did you know that?”
I answered her, “You can’t hide anything from the Holy Spirit, and He is the revealer of all truth.”
That lady was set free that day and delivered from a spirit of sexual perversion which had tormented her for years. We baptized her the following Sunday. Her former partner, unfortunately, rejected the Word of the Lord.
Sorry for the side-trip, but I just wanted to show you what happened that day in Heaven. The revelation of what Abraham went through was nothing less than marvelous! I saw the patience of the Lord with Abraham because his heart was perfect before God. Once he’d heard God’s voice, he was going to obey the voice of the Lord, no matter what!
We talked about the time he heard the Lord tell him to take Isaac up to the hills or mountains of Moriah (his great-great (etc.)-grandfather, Shem, had his citadel not far from there) and offer him as a sacrifice. As he shared it,
“I had seen God do so many things for me throughout more than 50 years (Abraham was somewhere between 125 and 130 years of age at the time), and His covenant was so established in my being that I knew without a doubt things were going to be OK. I knew that if I killed Isaac and succeeded in offering him up as a burnt sacrifice, God was going to do a miracle and raise him back from the ashes.
“The fear of death was gone from me. I had no question that God would not fulfill His covenant with me through Isaac as He had promised. When the Angel of the Lord stayed my hand and I saw the ram, my faith was fully justified.”
Now it was time for my conversation to shift to Isaac. He was standing nearby and had listened to my conversation with his father. Once again as it was with Abraham and seeing him as a vibrant, healthy man, so it was with Isaac. Most of the pictures I’d seen up to this point (and in fact, most of the pictures today that portray Isaac) displayed him at or near the 180 years of age he was when he died. Just about any picture you look at shows him blind and feeble. The Isaac I saw was anything but. He appeared as a man in his late thirties, perhaps near forty as he was when Eliezer brought Rebekah to him, full of vim, vigor and vitality.
Thinking back my judgment of height was probably distorted because of my young age, but he wasn’t a short man by any stretch. Appearing perhaps two inches taller than his father, I’d have guessed him to be over six feet in height.
My momentary image of Abraham picking him up and laying him on the altar, arms and legs bound with ropes just didn’t fit what I was seeing. Abraham was no weakling! This guy looked like someone who worked out regularly, so his story of the events when his father awakened him that fateful morning and told him they were going to offer a sacrifice to the Lord was more than a little enlightening.
“What did you think,” I asked, “when your dad woke you up and told you that you were going to offer a sacrifice?”
“My father had told me of his many experiences of hearing the Lord, seeing the Lord, and having visitations of angels, and although we hadn’t been offering any sacrifices that I could remember, it just seemed like everything was normal.”
“What about when you asked your father where the lamb was for the burnt offering,” I continued. “What were you thinking about?”
“We were into the third day of our journey into the hills. Father was getting ready to prepare the altar, I was carrying the wood, he had a burning torch in one hand and a knife in the other. I hadn’t seen any evidence of a lamb. The two servants who accompanied us had stayed behind with the asses and the food provisions a couple of hours before.”
Isaac tilted his head back and smiled. He was obviously remembering the instant, and in that moment it was as though I’d been transported to the scene to see it in person.
“Weren’t you scared to death when your father suddenly took your hands and began to rope them together?” I asked.
“There was a momentary flicker of fear but a supernatural presence of the Lord settled over me and quieted my spirit. I had no rational explanation for what was taking place. It was like my whole being was put into a restful state. I knew without knowing why I knew that Father was being obedient to the Lord and that something miraculous was about to take place. I was able to relax as he picked me up and put me on the altar. Even the sight of his upraised hand with that knife in it didn’t rouse me. It was almost like I was looking at the event in the third person and thinking, Hmmmmm…this is interesting! I wonder what comes next. Subconsciously, I think, my body still tensed up.”
Isaac’s response obviously answered questions that were forming in my mind even before I could speak them. His face had an expression of enormous joy as he continued, “When the Angel of the Lord appeared and I heard his voice, the tension left and my whole body relaxed. Seeing that ram caught in those branches was almost funny. I just knew that God had a sense of humor in his timing. I also knew somehow that what was taking place had some kind of strong prophetic significance to it, although what that significance was escaped me at the time.”
My conversations with Isaac were wide-ranging and it isn’t possible to recount everything in an article like this, but let me recount two others because of their importance.
John (in Revelation 21:16) describes Heaven as a city 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long and 1500 miles high (12,000 furlongs). Obviously, I didn’t see the whole of Heaven in this visit – nor for that matter in any subsequent visits – but what I saw made it almost seem as if each tier (and there are apparently many tiers from what I saw and experienced) was like a country unto itself. Do the math. 1500 X 1500 = 2,250,000 square miles. That’s the area of each tier. I lived in Alaska for most of my life and it is easily two and a half times the size of Texas at 586,000 square miles. We think of Alaska as a vast land, but it pales in comparison to just one tier of Heaven. When you cross the Brooks Range into arctic Alaska, it is almost like being on another planet!
I said all that to say that my conversation with Isaac paused for a bit as we got up and began to walk through what seemed to be an endless field. We could just as easily have been in the same field where Isaac was meditating on the things of God when he saw the coming camel train with Rebekah silhouetted against a red-streaked sky and a setting sun, so graphic was Isaac’s description.
“Did you know that your father had sent Eliezer to find a wife for you,” I asked as we re-lived that moment.
“Yes,” he responded. “My mother and I had shared a wonderful relationship with each other. It was the only real feminine companionship I’d had for the first 37 years of my life. The servants were there of course, and there were many young maidens among them who caught my eye momentarily, but the “knowing” that comes within your spirit wasn’t there. It had been three years since Mother had passed on and I was beginning to feel the need for someone – a counterpart, an “other self” – who would fulfill me like Mother fulfilled Father and vice-versa.
“Eliezer had long been Father’s most trusted servant and faithful steward. When he left to fulfill his mission, I was aware of it; and I knew that he would choose wisely and effectively. There was great anticipation in me and excitement during the waiting time, and yet I had peace.”
Re-living the scene when Isaac first saw Rebekah was revelatory. I can’t say that I fully understood what I was seeing at that moment, not having yet reached my tenth birthday, but something was communicated in the realm of the spirit that later bore fruit. Eliezer had done his job well. In a very real sense he had served as a paraklete. When he delivered Rebekah to Isaac, Isaac saw everything in Rebekah that he had desired and expected. She was indeed his counterpart, his “other self.” What I saw take place was an instant reciprocal communication of love between the two of them, and it was a love that lasted their lifetimes.
I began to think about the two sons that came of their union – Jacob and Esau – and Isaac saw what I was thinking. “Come on,” he said, “and I’ll introduce you to Jacob – Israel!”
We met back at the bench where I’d talked with Abraham. Jacob – like Abraham and Isaac – was in the prime of life looking, I would imagine, much like he did when he went to work for Laban – tanned, outdoorsy, muscular… you get the picture.
Seeing Jacob in this way made me look around at other people. None were really close to us, other than a few passers-by. No one looked old! You understand my reference point from my youth, but there were no “gray-hairs,” no “old” people. I realized that being with the Lord and being in His presence had a powerful effect on people’s appearance. When Jesus was talking with Martha (upon the occasion of Lazarus having died) He said to her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (See John 11:25-26)
No kidding! All Jesus had to do was speak Lazarus’ name and he came forth out of the tomb alive and restored! Ditto for me when I was 41 years of age. When Della spoke life back into me and the doctor later did a complete physical, he told me that I had all the markings and youth of someone at least 20 years my junior. Gone were the traces of former diseases and sicknesses that had been resident in my body. I had all the youth of a 20-year-old. (And I still do to this day!) My last physical earlier this year pretty much said the same thing. The doctor told me that my blood work was that of someone between 25 and 40 years of age – not someone nearing age 70.
It was more of a curiosity to me 60 years ago that everyone I met in Heaven was so youthful and vibrant in their appearance. Now, all these years later, I completely understand! The presence of the Lord does that to people!
Well, I’ve run out of time for today. Guess I’ll pick up my discussions with Jacob in the next Coffee Break. See you then.
Next: Heaven III: The Patriarchs, Part 3.
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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