October 8, '21 1:43 PM
By Regner Capener
Good Morning and another Best Day of Your Life!
Anyone who knows Della and me is well aware of the fact that we have for a long time partnered with Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Jesse Duplantis Ministries. They are not the only folks we partner with, but I bring this up today just because of something Jesse Duplantis recently shared at his church fellowship in Destrehan, Louisiana.(I’ll share that momentarily.)
Most of my friends and family know that I’ve been a sci-fi aficionado all of my life, and especially a fan of the whole Star Trek genre. I’ve had a lifetime interest and involvement in science (and even have a few contributions to the realm in broadcast engineering and scientific research) and especially in space travel – an interest I would attribute to the first trip I had when the Lord was taking me to Heaven where I got to see our Solar System from an astronaut’s perspective, as well as a good part of the universe. That interest resulted in my working for NASA in its early days and being able to participate in the launches of some of our first astronauts.
I said all that to say this: Jesse had an absolutely phenomenal parallel adaptation to the line heard at the end of every single Star Trek episode. That line normally begins, “Star Trek: the final frontier! These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s five-year mission is to seek out………etc.”Jesse’s adaptation was for believers who understand our commission from the Lord Jesus Christ, and his line goes as follows:
“MINISTRY: The final frontier! These are the voyages of the Children of God. Our lifelong mission is to seek out new souls for His Glory and Honor, to fill new hearts with His presence and power; to teach and preach the uncompromised Word of God; to boldly go where Jesus Christ tells us to go! Live Long and Prosper!”
Pretty cool, don’t you think? Thought you’d appreciate that!
Up to this point in sharing these experiences I have for the most part stayed in one area of Heaven. My substantive conversations began with Abraham, and then went to Isaac and Jacob. As already noted I did have a conversation with Joseph but it was not part of this visit, and I will address that conversation in a later post.
My conversations with the three major patriarchs all took place in an area of Heaven that seemed to be pretty much like an agricultural area. When I spoke with David, we moved about a bit more, and of course I saw the same temple he and Moses had seen – the same temple that became the pattern for Moses’ tabernacle and David’s “Holy of Holies” tabernacle. Although with each of these discussions we periodically “transported” (for lack of a better description) to places, or into visions of places and events where they had some rather distinctive experiences, it seemed that we pretty much stayed in the same area of Heaven.
When my conversation with Samuel concluded, Jesus now came to my side and He said, “You’ve asked to talk to some of the Old Testament prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. They are in another part of the city, so let’s take a walk. We could go there instantly as you’ve already seen possible, but let’s just walk for now. I’ll show you more of Heaven as we walk and I’ll take you to the area where they reside.”
Let me try to draw this picture for you so that you can at least have some inkling of what it was like. Jesus took my hand in His and we began to walk. I think I’ve already noted that the streets were nearly transparent. The concept of gold so pure that you can almost see through it like glass is a concept we just don’t relate to here. There were places where I could see through the streets to another tier or level below in Heaven. Being a city 1500 miles wide by 1500 miles deep by 1500 miles high makes it almost like a planet with different continents or countries – and in many respects that is what it is like.
In the same way that we have different kinds of architecture and different flavors in the styles of our towns and cities, Heaven has that – and more! This first street we began our walk on seemed to be almost like some of the older cities in Europe with fairly narrow streets and older-styled (I don’t know what to call it) architecture. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered where the Romans and the Greeks and other cultures – Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs, for example – got their architecture, they didn’t invent it! It existed here in Heaven long before Earth ever saw it.
We walked along one street where the “homes” (if you want to refer to them
that way) were domed palaces – gorgeous mansions of stupendous beauty and style with their colonnades. I made some comment to the Lord about this and asked Him if this is what He was referring to when He said to the disciples, “In My Father’s house are many mansions … I go there to prepare a place for you.”(See John 14:2)
He put His finger across His mouth to silence my question and simply responded, “Wait and see.”
If I haven’t mentioned this before, it is just an oversight but one of the most powerful things that happens in you when you are in Heaven – and probably more accurately, just being with the Lord and walking with Him – is the overpowering sense of His love. It is impossible for anyone to hang onto past hurts, resentments, offenses or differences of any kind with any person or group of people when you are blanketed by His agape love. All of that fades into nothingness. It simply doesn’t exist anymore. If you were to even stop to think about it for ten seconds, you would wonder why it was ever so important to you or consequential in any way.
The agape love of the Lord Jesus Christ is simply miraculous beyond words! Once you experience this, Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question really makes sense.
Peter, you’ll recall, said to Jesus one day, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? ‘Till seven times?”Jesus’ answer was something that has befuddled many folks – and especially Christians caught in the dilemma of repetitious offenses of the same nature by the same individuals.“I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”(See Matthew 18:21-22)
Seems impossible, doesn’t it? It is! It is literally impossible to anyone who loves with phileo – human love, brotherly love. On the other hand, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ – agape – is limitless. Suddenly, the offenses seem trivial and worthless – not worth a split second’s consideration! When one is swept by the love of the Lord and lives in that overwhelming presence, so many things we consider important suddenly fade into irrelevance.
(Note: I’m not going to launch into a dissertation on agape here, but it is important to note that despite our ability to dismiss and remit those wrongs against us, those who commit the offenses still have to come to grips with the consequences of their attacks, their trespasses, misdeeds or breaches.)
OK, I’m a bit off-target here so let’s get to my meeting with Isaiah. Here was a man whose very demeanor exemplified agape. There was a softness and tenderness to his character. That’s not to say that anyone else was brittle or abrasive in any way. There just was something distinctly different about him, and that difference triggered my first question.
“Unlike any of your predecessors or successors as prophets in Israel, you seemed to have an acceptance that spanned generations. Kings sent for you, anxious to know what God was saying. It seems to me that you had access where others didn’t. How did that happen?”
“Growing up as I did in the lap of luxury and having access to the privileged life of a family already respected and held in esteem in Israel, I saw the blessing of the Lord in ways many (if not most) of my fellow-Israelites seemed to be missing. Early in life I recognized that we were a nation quickly retreating from our relationship with the Lord God.
“Many years before, God had given to King David the promise that the
long-awaited Redeemer and Messiah would come through his lineage. There was a yearning in me that was increasing with the years to find out more about this coming Messiah. As much as I could I spent more and more time in prayer, intercession and waiting on the Lord. The prophetic call on my life and the anointing for it came in the midst of that.
“My increasing heart’s desire was for our people to know the true nature of
the Lord and to embrace the Covenant He had (and has) with us. We were a nation of people set apart unto Him for the purpose of showing the world what it could have and how His Blessing could alter them for the better. With my whole heart I sought for a way to communicate the heart of the Lord – not only to our nation, but to the surrounding nations as well.”
Isaiah was a man with the bearing of one who possessed and operated freely with authority. He clearly was accustomed to exercising authority. His next comments began to fill out the picture much more plainly.
“My father was an elder in Judah. I was a part of the house of David and related to the kings of Judah so it gave me ready access to the courts of the kings. For a time during the reign of Uzziah I served as a governor in Judah.
“It was while I was serving as governor – my last year in that position, in fact – that I began to have such visions as I had never had. I began to clearly see the heart of the Lord for His people. For the first time in my life I realized how futile and how insufficient the burnt offerings and sacrifices were in God’s eyes. There was little meaning to them in the eyes of the people. They had become routine, ritualistic and without any life.
“The Lord began to give me some very strong rebukes to the nation and to the priests and leaders. Part of the rebuke came as a vivid picture of the way they treated sin and how inconsequential they considered some of their acts to be. If you remember how the Lord gave it to me, it went like this:
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool.If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”[See Isaiah 1:18-20]
“The Lord was basically saying to the people, ‘You treat your sins as though they be a redness in the skin when leprosy first begins; I’m telling you that I see your sins as the whiteness that happens when leprosy is far advanced. You see some of your sins as a dark red – such as that which happens when leprosy begins to advance to a dangerous stage – but I’m telling you that I see your sins like the fully-flourished leprosy (like wool) when flesh begins to fall off and people begin to lose parts of their body.
“It was about as graphic an illustration as I could give them! It was something they would quickly relate to, and it grieved me in my heart to have to say it to them. Nevertheless, they had to hear it, and they had to hear it in a way that quickly grip them and stop them in their tracks. It didn’t dawn on me at the time that this was a word of warning to the king, Uzziah, because of the arrogance and self-sufficiency that had developed in him towards the Lord. He was in mortal danger because of what was happening in his mind and heart. Not long thereafter, he tried to enter the Temple and offer up incense – something reserved exclusively for the priests.
“Next, I had to liken Jerusalem and its leadership to that of a prostitute who sold herself to the highest bidder. Many of the priests and the princes in Judah had abandoned their responsibilities for the sake of their own financial gain.”
As Isaiah was sharing these graphic portrayals of what God had given him to speak to the people, I couldn’t help but cringe. My mouth must have really turned down and my facial expression very sour as he was giving his descriptions, and he caught it immediately.
“You see?” he said.“You are reacting just like the people did when I delivered that word to them. It wasn’t pleasant, I know, but they needed to hear it in the same way you did. They needed to have the Word of the Lord impact them in such a way as to cause them to change their lives and alter their path before God.
“It was in Uzziah’s last year as king of Judah, however, that I began to see the Lord as never before. That was when I saw Him seated on His Throne with all of the hosts of Heaven on display, the seraphim speaking and crying out, shouting, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts! The whole earth throughout is filled with His Glory!’”
I interrupted his narrative to ask, “You mean you actually saw this? Like seeing into Heaven itself? It wasn’t just a vision?”
He nodded his head and laughed.“Are you here in Heaven with me, now, or is this a vision you’re having? Does it matter? Would this be any less real to you if you thought this was a vision as opposed to being here?”
I got it immediately. Though I’d seen my body lying in the bed as I gripped Jesus’ hand and we were soaring heavenward leaving my bedroom behind, being here in Heaven was as tangible as if being here in my physical body. And it really didn’t matter! It wouldn’t have impacted me any greater had I been there physically in flesh and blood.
Isaiah continued.“You need to see this picture, Son! The impact of the seraphim speaking was so powerful that it literally caused the doorposts and the threshold of the Temple to shake and move. That’s when I knew I was unfit to stand and speak on behalf of the Lord. Whatever I’d seen, whatever I’d learned, whatever I thought I knew just didn’t stand up to His Glory and His presence!
“That’s when one of the seraphim came down and put a hot coal on my lips and told me that my natural tendencies and character bends or flaws towards committing certain sins, as well as the sins of my past, had all been erased, blotted out, and made as though they’d never existed. For the first time in my life I suddenly felt like I could actually speak on God’s behalf without any fear of contaminating or altering His Word in any way! It was life-changing! You can understand, therefore, why when I heard the voice cry out, ‘Whom shall I send or who will go for us,’ that I felt free enough to answer, ‘Here am I, Lord. Send me!”
A vision of what Isaiah had seen flashed before me and relating to what he’d experienced was easy. My reaction was an unqualified, “WOW!”
“Whatever happened to me in that moment transcended everything in my past. I felt clean! From that day forward change took place in me. Over the years that followed there was a continual pursuit to know the heart of the Lord as I had never known. I desired to know and understand the revelation of the coming Messiah.”
“It must have been very rewarding to you, then, to have the Father reveal Jesus to you in the way that He did,” I responded.“The prophecies you were given concerning His coming were the most detailed and specific prophecies I believe I have seen anywhere in the Word. There were other prophets, of course, to whom the Lord gave revelation concerning His coming, His life and His death and resurrection, but no one that I can think of offhand who received such a revelation as you did.”
“Most of my successors received some marvelous revelations of His coming and His life, and one ought not diminish in any way that which the Father revealed to them or consider it of less importance. You are correct, however, in saying that what He gave to me was very specific and detailed. Those revelations, given over a span of some 50 years, became the very foundation of Israel’s expectation of what to look for in the years ahead.
“It was an honor that no words can properly express. That He would entrust that revelation to me and permit me to share it with the nation as the foundation of what they should be watching for…… well, you understand! Each successive revelation brought change to me and to my character.”
I would like to go into more depth in my conversations with Isaiah, but what I’ve shared here captures the most important aspects of the time I spent with him. We’ll move on and pick up in our next Coffee Break with my meeting the prophet, Jeremiah. From Jeremiah we’ll discuss the meetings and conversations with Ezekiel and Daniel before moving on to the Apostles.
Next: HEAVEN XII: Jeremiah.
Though 2011 has already been a difficult year – and it is going to get even more difficult in the weeks and months ahead-- God is going to show His hand on behalf of His people, especially those who believe His Word and trust Him implicitly!
Blessings on you!
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