ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: HEAVEN IV: The Patriarchs, Part 3
August 20, '21 2:37 PM
By Regner Capener
Hiya, Folks! This is the
best day of your life! Sure it is. Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow isn’t here
yet. Fact is, you’re downright dangerous! Hohohohoho…….
Now wouldn’t you rather start Friday like that instead of some old cranky, wheezy, whiny, “I jus’ don’t know if I oughta get outta bed t’day or not! My bones are jus’ so tarred! Reckon, I gots to, though. Won’t get nuthin done in bed…..groan….”
See. Get your spirits livened up. Get your mind alert. Grab a good cup of that super dark-roasted French Roast in your French Press, or somethin’ like that! Wake up, sleepy!
If you’re among the new subscribers reading this for the first time, the first three parts of this series are available at http://www.AnotherCoffeeBreak.com. If you would rather have them in printable format, let me know and I’ll email them to you. My thanks, by the way, to all of the comments I’ve received from so many of you. I appreciate knowing that you are being blessed and encouraged by this sharing.
One more note: some folks have asked me how I can remember so much detail from an event that took place nearly 60 years ago. Honestly, much of what I experienced is still so vivid in me that it is almost like it happened yesterday. Other details have refreshed in my memory just by sitting back and being quiet before the Lord. Beyond that, my cousin Dawn’s request for me to have this experience actually recorded like this was the timing of the Lord. As I have thought back to the event much has come back to me, and the more I think on it and write, the more the Holy Spirit refreshes my memory. In some ways it is almost like I am re-living the event again.
We left off in the last Coffee Break just as I was meeting Jacob. We’ll pick up my conversations with him momentarily.
One of the things I’ve neglected to mention thus far is the modes of transportation experienced in Heaven during this trip. Sure, there were the walks that I took with some of those with whom I conversed as well as the hand-in-hand walks with Jesus. There were, however, those times when – as we were talking – we were suddenly “blinked” into different environments or locations. By that I mean that the image of the place being described was planted in my mind and “blink” (or faster than you can blink your eye) we were there. No, it wasn’t a vision: we were actually in the new location.
Then there were the times when walking with Jesus that we came to homes – palaces would probably be more of an accurate description – and we simply passed through the walls. Doors weren’t necessary to gain entrance, although I didn’t see any buildings or structures without doors or windows. You’ll excuse the pun, but the architecture was simply “out of this world.” In many instances what I saw defied natural understanding, and yet it all seemed so logical and simple while there in Heaven.
As an example, I saw towering buildings that seemed to be made of some kind of metallic transparent material. There were elegant and adorned paths or walks leading to where you would expect to see some kind of doorway, but people came and went from those “buildings” (Sorry! I just don’t know what else to call them.) passing through what appeared at first glance as solid walls. In one instance when I approached the “entrance” the wall dissolved into a transparent opening. It looked solid, but I could pass through it as easily as if walking through a natural open doorway.
As already noted previously in this series, I was constantly surrounded by a light that simply radiated from everywhere. Revelation 21:23-24 best describes it like this:
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.”
Thirty-odd years ago, I put a portion of the 89th Psalm to music. Psalm 89:15 describes my experience very well:
“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.”
That’s it! Not only did I walk in the literal light of the Lord, I was surrounded by the joyful sound of praise and worship – continuously – 24 hours a day (grin). Of course there was no time being measured by the clock while I was in Heaven, and yet I was aware of a passage of equivalent time during my stay. To the best of my understanding, I spent the equivalent of three days or so in Heaven (and I’ll talk more about that later.)
Like his father before him, Jacob was ready for my questions and began answering before I actually verbalized them.
My first question – and it was formed as a thought – related to Jacob’s participation in the deception that gained him the blessing of his father, Isaac, in the place of his brother, Esau.
“I know what you want to ask,” he said, “so I’ll save you the trouble of asking.
“I knew the Blessing my father had received from Grandfather Abraham. I saw what the Blessing of the Lord had done in Grandfather’s life and the extraordinary place he had with God. That Blessing had been passed on to Father and he had experienced many of the same things I’d heard of in Grandfather.
“For some reason I’ve never been able to understand, my brother, Esau, didn’t see the value of anything spiritual. He easily gave up his birthright just to satisfy the hunger of his flesh for food. There is spiritual value in the birthright and I was glad he was willing to trade it away. In the years since that had taken place, I had seen nothing in Esau that desired the same walk with God that my father and grandfather knew. The Blessing was integral to that walk and there was a thirst, a craving, something I didn’t know how to put into words that cried out within me to have that same kind of relationship.
“When Mother saw that Father had decided the time had come to impart that same Blessing (and we had talked about it many times) she contrived a way for me to deceive Father. He had, as you know, told Esau to prepare him venison. It was his favorite thing to eat and Esau was good at preparing it. Mother overheard Father tell Esau that he was going to bless him after eating of his venison. She knew how to prepare goat meat so that it would taste exactly like venison.
“When I realized what was happening, despite my fear that the deception would be found out, it was unthinkable to me that Esau would get the Blessing because of all the disparaging things he had said about it in times past. I knew it was wrong to deceive Father, but the value of the relationship with God was worth too much to me and I was determined to have that.
“I guess my problem was that I didn’t realize then that God saw my heart. Had I been patient He would have seen to it that Esau wouldn’t receive something of such great spiritual impact he would disregard and treat so cavalierly.
“To tell the truth, it was many years before I realized how much deception had become a part of my character. It was ingrained in me and I just didn’t know how to do things any other way.”
As Jacob poured out his tale it was easy to see why the Lord had blessed him with the Blessing of Abraham and Isaac! I saw in him that same thing that God seeks after in His people today: the hunger and thirst for righteousness, the insatiable craving for the presence of the Lord – the desire to know the Lord in the same intimate way He knows us.
Seeing through Jacob’s eyes as he shared, I saw that Esau ultimately developed a respect for who God is but never desired a relationship with Him. He saw the Blessing of his father and grandfather as something that would make him rich and powerful in the eyes of the world around him. He wanted the benefits of the Blessing without being willing to pay the cost spiritually.
Jacob had paused momentarily in his sharing, and he continued.
“You remember when I left Laban’s house according to the Word of the Lord to return home? Remember how, on the way, I was told that Esau was coming to meet me?”
I nodded my head as the scenes flashed before me remembering what I’d read in Genesis 31 and 32.
“For the first time in my life I realized how much the fear of death had driven me and why I was such a deceiver. I had deceived repeatedly throughout my life, and I had been deceived in return. I hated what I was seeing in myself. Fear had motivated so much of my actions that it was ruling my life. It had become part and parcel of my character, my personality, my makeup.
“When the Angel of the Lord wrestled with me that night at the brook Jabbok and I realized who I was wrestling with, I saw the opportunity for my character and nature to be changed by God in an instant. I hung onto that Angel for dear life and when he said to let him go, that was the moment for me to insist on a change of nature.
“You understand, don’t you, that names are more than identifiers of a particular person? Names are prophetic pictures. They are character descriptions, character references, marks of personality and makeup. Your name is Regner, but that’s not just some name your parents gave you; it is prophetic and given by God to mark you as a king, as someone who will rule and have charge – someone who will be given great responsibility in and over the lives of people.
“My name was Jacob. It was my character. It was who I was and prophetic of what I would be. I was a supplanter, a trickster, a cheat, a deceiver. It was what I did when I first came out of my mother’s womb. I didn’t want that kind of character anymore. My personality needed change – and only the kind of change that God could give me.
“When the Angel of the Lord demanded that I let him go, it was my opportunity. My father had blessed me and given me the Blessing of Abraham – my grandfather – but it was time for me to have the Lord bless me directly. With that blessing would come change and empowerment for change in my life.
“And that’s exactly what I received! The Angel said to me, “Your name will no longer be Jacob – the deceiver, the supplanter – but Israel. Now you are a prince, and as a prince you have power with God and with men. As a prince you have prevailed with God.”
“Jacob is not my name, or my character, or my personality any longer. I’m not a Jacob: I’m an Israel – a prince, a ruler with God, under Him, and ruling by His decree!”
In some ways by now my head was almost swimming. The revelations that were coming forth from the back-to-back-to-back conversations with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel were sinking in. A very different and fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ was unfolding for me. I was beginning to see and understand the difference between people who mouth the name of God – in essence, using God’s name in vain – and those who have paid the price for a real, personal and intimate relationship with Him.
With Abraham’s obedience to that at-first-unknown voice of God, and then pursuit of a relationship with Him in an era when literally the whole earth was following after false gods – man-made gods – Isaac’s pursuit of that same relationship and obedience to the Lord under impossible circumstances, and the heart-cry of Jacob that God heard and responded to, bringing and changing Jacob into Israel, I saw the heart of the Lord for genuine intimacy, for fellowship, for communion, for an interchange of real love – not just cheap words – with mankind. I was seeing and understanding Creation like I’d never understood it before.
All of Creation came into being so that God could have intimate fellowship on His peer level with beings like Him, made in His image and likeness, whose character and personality would choose Him and fellowship with Him at all costs above everyone and everything else!
I saw for the first time that Satan’s treachery in the Garden, and his deception of Eve did not catch the Lord by surprise. He knew it was going to take place. He was ready for it. And in that knowledge He set the stage for people to choose Him over and above all the enticements that the world would offer, and over and above all the enticements that Satan would present with his wiles and deception.
It was the overcoming process! I was seeing the pattern unfold. In that instant there was an inkling of what I was likely going to hear in all of the conversations that would unfold in the time/days/period to come while I was in Heaven. If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel were any indication, this overcoming process was going to be repeated again and again and again in the stories and adventures I would hear shared from Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.,…… not to mention Peter, James, John, Paul and the other apostles.
One of the things I wanted to talk to Jacob about was his experience when he first left home and saw the staircase into Heaven with angels ascending and descending. This was of particular interest to me since I had experienced something nearly identical some four years earlier. The main difference between my experience and Jacob’s was that he saw the Lord standing at the top of the staircase; and the Lord spoke to him on that occasion to reinforce and reaffirm the Covenant he had first made with Abraham, and then Isaac.
He described the appearance of the angels as “innumerable” on a stairway – almost a circular staircase – that spiraled heavenward. Whether the Lord simply gave him telescopic vision to see into Heaven or whether He shortened the distance for the sake of Jacob’s experience (and mine, for that matter), Jacob said that his view of Heaven was as if viewing through a widening portal. He could easily see the Lord standing there.
The experience of seeing a stairway to Heaven is not unique to Jacob. Others have experienced this too. I may or may not have shared with you the experience we had at the Calgary Stampede in 1995. Lindsay Roy (now Lindsay Rempel), a young lady we consider as being among our adopted daughters, was working with us (we were helping friends use “The Country Kitchen” as a means to raise funds to send kids to summer camp) when she had an experience of seeing a stairway coming down out of Heaven and angels coming into the midst of the crowds at the Stampede fairgrounds. She was surprised to see them change appearance as their feet touched the ground, and they appeared as normal people.
It wasn’t just a dream or a vision. Lindsay saw something that was actually happening – even though to her it seemed as a dream or vision. She shared her experience with all of us. Michael and Melissa (Sharpe) were working with us and they decided to take a break and get a latte from the Starbucks’ stand a little distance away.
Michael was saying to Melissa as they walked, “I sure would like to see something like that.” A tour bus had stopped fairly close to their path and people were disembarking and mingling. Michael turned to see a lady standing close by. Without any other word of introduction, she said to Michael, “I’m one of them,” and proceeded to vanish. You can bet that Michael and Melissa beat a hasty path back to the kitchen to tell us what had just happened.
OK, it wasn’t a Jacob’s ladder experience exactly, but close enough! This was no dream. It was one of many unusual supernatural experiences we had during our Stampede adventures.
I’d originally planned to talk about Moses next, but think I’ll hold that for later. I’ve been revisiting my experiences and conversations with David. Because it is so fresh right now I think we’ll go there in our next Coffee Break.
Following next week’s sharing about David – and it may run a bit longer than the usual Coffee Breaks – I’ll be taking a break for the Christmas season, and will return early in January.
Next: Heaven V: 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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