September 25, 2001


Dear Frazier and Dimple:

             Well, it’s praise the Lord time.   It’s time to praise the Lord for taking our beloved sister Home to be with Him.  I’ve often wondered why people weep and carry on so when a Christian loved one departs for yonder shore.  They claim to be saved, to believe God’s Word, yet when one is taken from them they act as though they’re never going to that individual again.  What a discouraging testimony that must be to the unsaved looking on.

             When your beloved daughters graduated from college, everybody rejoiced. Why shouldn’t we be every bit as happy, or more happy, when a loved one graduates from a tired, worn-out, pain-ridden body into the very presence of God?  

             Of course there’s going to be a wrenching when a loved one dies; of course there’s going to be a measure of grieving; and of course there’s going to be a feeling of loss; it’s unavoidable.   But how good it is to remember that with the loss of a saint of God there is indescribable gain!

             I mentioned to you on the phone, Brother Frazier, that your mother is probably singing, dancing and fellowshipping with the saints who were awaiting her arrival.   The Scriptures strongly suggest these things.  For example:

             Psalm 149:3 (speaking of what will be going on in the earthly Kingdom Christ that is yet to be set up) “Let them praise His name in the DANCE:  let them SING praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.” 

             If that is what the saints in the earthly Kingdom are going to be experiencing during the 1000 year reign of Christ, should we expect any less to be going on in heaven?  

            Psa. 150:  “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance...” 

             We also know that David danced before the Lord.  2 Sam. 6:14.  “David danced before the Lord WITH ALL HIS MIGHT.”  I really like that.  He put his heart into it, just like we should do in our service for the Lord.    

            We know that David’s dancing was not ball-room dancing. That kind of dancing often leads to adultery.  Nor could David’s dancing have been the jumping, jiving, sensual dancing of teen-agers to the beat of rock and roll.  Instead, David’s dancing was an expression of the immeasurable joy that he felt when the Ark of the Covenant was being returned to Jerusalem.  How David reveled in the things of the Lord.   No wonder he was called “a man after God’s own heart.”  Acts 13:22.  

             Just one more verse on dancing.   Look at Jeremiah 31:12, “Therefore they shall come and SING in the height of Zion....then shall the virgin rejoice in the DANCE, both young men and old together; (Sounds a bit like square dancing, which, to me, looks quite innocent.  I’ve never engaged in it but I enjoyed watching it a couple of times) for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them.”

             Look at Israel today, beloved.  Look at the sorrow they are passing through.   They could sure use some comforting.  But if we think it’s pretty bad now for Israel, just wait until the second half of the tribulation period. It’s going to be much more severe.  It will be a period known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble.”

             “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it:  it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he (Israel) shall be saved out of it.”  Jeremiah 30:7.          

              Getting back to the subject, I also believe for the saints in heaven, the clock has been turned back so that your mother, Frazier, is young and beautiful again, perfect in every way. The ravages of time on humanity down here has no place in heaven.

             My personal view of heaven also includes the fact that your mother is enjoying a fellowship that is unequalled down here.  Just think of it: your mother is now enjoying the company of the famous and not so famous godly men and women of ancient past.  Can’t you just see her talking with Adam and Eve and getting a firsthand report of their experience in the garden?  

             She’s speaking with Noah who calls for a flash-back of the ark he built and shows your mother exactly what it looked like inside and out, and then shows her what it was like for that ship to go through the storm for 40 days and nights, until it finally settled on Mt. Ararat.

             In my mind’s eye I can see her sitting down with a large group of saints.   Let’s move a little closer and see who some of them are.  What do you know.  There’s Isaiah, that mighty prophet of God, telling of some of the victories God gave him in his own personal life, about his wife and family and how he reared his family in the midst of Israel’s apostasy that led to their captivity in Babylon.

             Next to Isaiah sits Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet of Israel,” who faithfully warned Israel for years of the desolation that was to come, but Israel wasn’t listening.   Rahab is also there, and, look, there’s Ruth and Boaz and Peter and James and John.  There’s also some in the circle I don’t recognize.

             While your mother and others are engrossed in listening to Isaiah and Jeremiah, let’s look around and see who else is close by.  Oh, oh, look over there.......  over to your right.  It’s Moses, that grand old patriarch of Israel.  He’s sharing with a very large crowd a firsthand account of Israel's marvelous exodus out of Egypt.  He’s really getting into it, vividly describing Israel’s triumphant march through the Red Sea, crossing over dry shod,  and the Sea then closing in on the enemy, the Egyptians, drowning everyone to the last man. 

            Look, there’s another crowd.  Why, it’s the apostle Paul reviewing for his listeners some of the great victories he and the early church experienced as the gospel went forth to reach ever more Jews and Gentiles for Christ.  What a mighty man of God he was, and today he’s still the one man God has chose to be our apostle.

            By the way, let me suggest this thought:     If the angels of heaven rejoice over

one sinner that repenteth; think how much more they rejoice when that sinner arrives Home in heaven.  The angels must be out of their minds with joy.

             And, before you begin to think I’ve lost mine, let me move on to another subject. 

            You probably already know that the 7th Day Adventists teach that Christians are unconscious in death.  In other words, they are in a deep, timeless sleep until the resurrection.   This is false doctrine, of course.      

             I’m sure Frazier could give more than enough Scripture to refute this devilish doctrine, but allow me to share some of my understanding of the matter. 

             1.  We know that when the “rich man” died and went to hell, he saw Abraham afar off and they spoke one to the other.   Clearly both saved and unsaved are conscious after this life.  This means that your dear mother is alive and well in heaven.  She is fully conscious, and more alive this moment than she could ever have been while here on earth.

             2.  Moses (whom God had buried) and Elijah were on the mount of transfiguration with Christ and they didn’t look unconscious to me the last time I read the account in Matt. 17:3. 

             3.  We know that after Samuel died, he later spoke to King Saul and prophesied that Saul and his sons would die in battle.  This would have been a bit difficult if Samuel had been unconscious.  See 1 Same. 28:13-19.

            4.   In 2 Cor. 5 we read, “ for we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God (i.e., a temporary dwelling to live in until we get our own bodies back, as I understand it) an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. See also vs. 2-3.  

             My question is this,  why would we need a temporary house to live in if we were simply unconscious and would therefore have no need to move, speak, hear, sing or fellowship  

            5.  Revelation 6:9-11 tells of the saints who had died during the tribulation period but now were quite alive and able to communicate with the Lord and hear what He had to say. 

             Finally, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:”   

             This is pure speculation but, I can, in my mind’s eye, see your  dear mother now, conversing with the saints of old and those of recent centuries, having the time of her life, dancing when she feels like it, singing when she wants to fill the heavens with glorious music, eating of the bread of heaven (also referred to as “angel’s food”) when she wants to, for food and fellowship seem to go together.

              I can see your mother traveling with the speed of thought now, when she and others want to take excursions.  Earth travel is snail’s pace compared to the speed she and others are experiencing when they want to go places.

             I can also see her sitting in rapt attention at the feet of the Lord Jesus as He expounds the Word of God with His beloved children.   And believe me, when HE delves into His own Word you can know those saints in heaven are hearing  things they never dreamed were in the pages of this wonderful Book, the Bible.

             The thought of all that the Lord  has done for your mother, Frazier, and what He is doing for her now, and what He has planned for her and all the saints of God in the future, deserves a paean of praise that only the Scriptures  can supply. 

             Revelation 7: 11-12 is just such a verse.   It says, “And all the angels stood round about the throne......saying, amen, (1) BLESSING, and (2) GLORY, and (3) WISDOM, and (4) THANKSGIVING, and (5) HONOR and (6) POWER, and (7) MIGHT, be unto our God forever and ever.  Amen.” 

             It’s truly amazing, and surely beyond mere coincidence, how the number seven keeps popping up throughout Scriptures.  As you know, the number seven is God’s number for perfection. It stands for our completeness in Him and His complete provisions for  us, so that we lack for nothing.   Col. 2:10, 2:3.

             I checked into it and found that Revelation 7:11-12 is the only exaltation of Christ in the Bible that opens and closes with the word “Amen.” 

             How blest we are, dear ones.  There are not enough words in the English language, or any other earthly tongue, to describe how blest we are!  So the Lord has done it for us in Ephesians 1:3.   Quote it, brother Frazier. . 

             To me, one of the greatest joys of heaven is going to be that saints who have been separated by death are going to be reunited with their loved ones forever and forever and forever!    I am not only thinking of your mother, Frazier, but of W.O., his  beloved wife, Drusella, and Betty. 

             Sylvia and I send our sincere love to each and every one of you in the Lankford family.   May He richly bless and keep you all in the shadow of His wings.  

Bob Thompson

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