If you have ever hoped that you could see or experience aspects of heaven while on earth, then Heaven 3.0 is the book for you! Heaven has begun reigning down God's messages, glory, and revelation as every day circumstances allow people to witness God promises about heaven. Consider just two facts matched against God's promises: 1) every day in the world, over 770 people witness a glimpse of heaven through a near death experience, and 2.) Millions of people around the world have switched their religious beliefs based on a heavenly dream they experienced. Documented stories like these, allow humanity to touch heaven, and see another generational cycle of truth about heaven.
Heaven 3.0 allows readers to realize we are entering a 3rd generation of knowledge about the greatest place know to every person who has and will walk planet earth; and that place is called heaven.
Heaven 3.0 will challenge, delight, and inform every reader about their opportunity to enter into full view of God's promises. God informs us to watch for signs and wonders in the heavens (Acts 2:19) and that the Heavens would open up and rain down righteousness (Isaiah 45:8). Heaven 3.0 allows readers to enjoy the promise of heaven, and realize that the advances of the world are not just for physical things such as technology, media, and entertainment; but also for the things that pertain to the Kingdom of Heaven. Both Heaven, as well as earth advance, and the Author of Heaven 3.0 encourages you to see and believe in the advancement, while staying connected to scriptural truth. This advancement allows anyone who is willing to 'see and believe' that the common-ground and destiny called heaven, was prepared for people of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
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HEAVEN 3.0Seeing and Believing
By Michael L. Mathews
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Michael L. Mathews
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Tribal Effect: Angel See Angel Do!
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. —Colossians 3:1–2
The one who follows the crowd will get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen. —Albert Einstein
In 2006 I was taking a flight from Dallas to Minneapolis via Chicago. I was coming off a bad month of travel experiences and sensed this was about to be one more bad experience. About thirty minutes before the flight was to land in Chicago, I started talking to a passenger next to me, who was from Bulgaria. He was staring at my nice leather Bible I was using to prepare a sermon. As we approached Chicago I asked him if he had a Bible; he said no and appeared to be admiring my Bible again.
As soon as the plane started moving down the runway, it diverted to a side area of the airport and sat there for a few minutes before the pilot spoke: "This is your captain. I know we are running late, but we were informed by air traffic control to divert to a holding area on the runway while they get our gate ready."
A million thoughts ran through my mind as I looked at my watch and knew I had only twenty minutes to catch my flight to Minneapolis. At that very moment I sensed God say, Give the Bulgarian passenger your Bible! I was hesitant at first, but I asked the Bulgarian, "How would you like my Bible, seeing you don't have one?" He said, "Oh, I couldn't take such a nice Bible; it is so nice, big, and pure leather." I insisted he take it, so he eagerly took it and started fondling the leather covers and started fanning through the pages. As soon as I saw the glow on his face, the airplane started moving toward our gate, and I sensed a great sign of relief and pleasure that my nicest Bible was in the hands of a Bulgarian traveler.
Well, my excitement stopped after the plane made it about 400 yards and came to a stop. The pilot expressed again his regrets about being late. He said it was a false alarm and we had still not been cleared to proceed to the gate. At that very instant I heard a clear whisper in my spirit saying, this plane will not budge unless you share the Gospel with the Bulgarian passenger. I took a second to make sure it was God speaking as the sweat ran down my forehead. I quickly looked at the passenger and said "Let's look at John 3:16 in your new Bible." Within three minutes I had shared the Gospel, and he smiled as if he knew exactly what was happening from the very beginning. As soon as he received the Gospel message, the plane immediately raced to the gate, and I made my flight.
As I sat on my next flight I heard the whisper again. This time it was a gentle reminder that God is in charge of all my travels, and if I spend every flight and travel experience worrying about my own personal details, I will miss the blessings and responsibilities of my spiritual walk and life.
For the next six years of travel I started focusing on divine connections within the spiritual realms of life and spent less time on my travel experiences and disappointments. This experience taught me I was far too focused on earthly things and not the heavenly things, where divine connections occur. Through those years many of my colleagues would worry and say, "Mike, how come you don't remember which hotels you are at until you're getting off the flight, and why do you never know the details of your return flight?" I would simply smile and reply that I had bigger concerns than dwelling on all the physical details of my travel. Through those years my wife and kids would wonder how I made it around, but they always appreciated the stories of divine appointments.
In essence, I knew my responsibility of being a messenger as well as being ministered to by messengers was where I wanted to spend my energies during my times of travel. Many times I would sit back and laugh and rejoice as I knew I had entered a new realm of understanding and was part of God's heavenly host or heavenly tribe of travelers. It's not easy, but I would rather mimic and follow the behaviors of heavenly hosts than mimic and follow the behavior of earthly worriers.
Many of us have heard the saying "monkey see monkey do." Why is it easier for people to come down to the level of animals versus stepping up to the level of angels? Why don't we say "angel see angel do"? Before we can answer this question we need a little background information on our human desire to be part of things we can see and touch versus those we can only imagine or read about. This understanding will also help prove the point that it is always easier to see the lowest rather than the highest common denominator from a physical and spiritual perspective.
The saying "monkey see monkey do" originated in Jamaica in the early eighteenth century and popped up in American culture in the early 1920s. The saying refers to learning a process without understanding why it works. People are prone to repeat what they see or believe within their groups, including groups of athletes, coworkers, family, churches, community organizations, hobbyists, schoolmates, and so on.
A more comprehensive concept of this reality is referred to as tribal behavior or the tribal effect. The tribal effect indicates that as humans we like to be part of groups or tribes we can feel a part of, join, and then compare ourselves to and compete against. People yearn to be part of elite groups such as the U.S. Army Rangers, the Navy Seals, or "the few the proud" Marines or attend elite colleges, be on leading committees in a company, join a fraternity or sorority or a local book or garden club, be affiliated with a religious group, join a church, become a member of a seniors club, be selected for traveling sports teams, etc.
The tribal effect is why the political groups such as the Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and the Tea Party exist. Even though voting citizens are all officially called U.S. citizens and there is little logic to fussing, fighting, arguing, and debating with each other, people are still prone to join political groups. The yearning to be part of a team or tribe that competes against other teams or tribes is what unfortunately makes many people function and find a certain cause or purpose in life. This helps explain why so many religious denominations exist yet believe in the same two, three, or four basic principles. We yearn to compete, compare, and often gloat that we are part of a better or more-enlightened tribe or group of people.
This concept manifests itself in many aspects of life, ranging from families who believe they have better pedigrees than other families, to people living on one particular side of the "tracks" thinking they are superior to those on the other side. The tribal nature influences much of our society once you step back and examine the opposing beliefs behind more groups: union versus nonunion, management versus labor, clergy versus laypeople, and evangelicals versus orthodox, and this continues all the way down to the primitive level of street gangs.
Members of tribes have the tendency to make themselves wannabes and look-alikes with people they want to look like, act like, and be part of. The key aspect is to feel familiar with or like the tribe, team, or group because familiarity brings security and a sense of normalcy. When people feel they are part of a tribe, they sense they are like other people and can relax and be themselves, and in some cases they feel they can let go of their inhibitions. This is the reason why people in the same group or tribe start acting, modeling, patterning, and even looking like each other after they associate with each other long enough.
The desire for divorce may also be attributed to the tribal idea in that we grow apart and in essence see ourselves as part of another tribe, marriage, or family. Think of the stories of couples having reached certain points in their relationships and made one of the following statements:
We've just grown apart over the years!
I don't think I love you anymore!
Now that the kids are grown and gone, I think it's time we go our separate ways!
I should have told you years ago that I had feelings for my gender!
I don't know when it all started, but I've fallen in love with a younger person!
In each of these cases a portion of the excuses are really statements that say they envision themselves in a different relationship or tribe rather than the tribe they are presently a part of. Even though one person is usually devastated in these situations, the other desires to join a different relationship, and this overpowers and overrides the painful emotions he or she is creating for the other person.
In many of these situations those who depart want to go back to their original tribes after two years or so because they realize they had false perceptions of who they wanted to hang out with. Many come back to their senses and realize that the original tribal relationship they had was not that bad after all. Two years is generally the time it takes for emotional change and any false perceptions to wear off. Unfortunately, after two years it is hard to go back to a former relationship because the other person or people have moved on.
Normalcy Perceived through Microtribes
The social media craze combined with reality television has helped drive behaviors and ideas of what is normal to a whole new level. Within social media groups, people who have certain inklings of what is normal can find a social media group or gathering for just about any type of fad, trend, or pattern of behavior imaginable. If I want to start or find a group of hairy-legged kayakers I could probably do so quickly and start communicating as if we were a great tribe with a great purpose in life (no offense to hairy-legged kayakers)! Or if I wanted to find a group of women who are over forty-five years old and have birthed twins through Caesarian sections I'm sure I could do so.
The tribal effect is also a reason reality television shows that represent a slice of a society or tribe have become so popular. Who would have imagined there would be television shows representing antique pickers, pawn shops, truck drivers on icy roads, trading spouses, the biggest losers trying to lose weight, dancing with the stars, reality shows with large families such as the Duggar family, and even Dog the Bounty Hunter. Well over fifty reality television shows have covered many walks of life that represent tribes of some sort. This is all a way to make more people feel normal no matter how few people in the world really do what they do.
Reality television is a genre of programming that presents unscripted dramatic or humorous situations or documents actual events; it usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors. It lets us feel as if we are all ordinary people doing a combination of ordinary yet extraordinary things at the same time. We all enjoy seeing real people stumbling and processing life as we do. We have created a new level of perceived normalcy by creating microtribes of people who appear like we do. As humans we are trying to remedy the old feeling that we are not normal by changing the playing field of how normal is defined by connecting with others like us through television or the Internet. In many ways this has helped some people feel normal and take away the pressure of everyone trying to be the same "normal."
A Spiritual Shift: Up to the Level of Angels
Imagine what would happen if we could rise to a new level and actually see and act like the spiritual beings God created us to become? What if we actually believed the spiritual world was for our pleasure as well as God's good pleasure? What if our reality became a spiritual or higher reality we could start believing, seeing, and manifesting? For instance, if God told us we were born to do great things and we started seeing them through visions, imagination, faith, prayer, or meditation, we might start manifesting the behaviors that are being visualized through our imaginations, prayers, visions, dreams, etc.
Ephesians 3:18–21 encourages us to do exactly what you just read:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
According to this scripture passage, we are strongly encouraged to imagine and ask according to the power that works within us in order to see everything God has for us. Evidently we need less time on reality television and more time on imaging the greater things that could happen in life as we dream, imagine, and begin to walk out the greater things of God.
This concept of seeing and believing we are every bit as spiritual as we are physical is what Heaven 3.0 is all about: seeing the potential of heavenly realms with heavenly beings. What if I started seeing, believing, and desiring that I could be part of a spiritual tribe that could partake in supernatural activities? What if my longing were to leave the earthly nature of competitive tribes and experience the peace, power, and tranquility of heavenly thoughts and actions that change my personal world as well as the world around me for the better? In order to do this I would need to change my perception, shift my reference points, and set my sights on the highest common denominator.
According to scripture, the higher denominators are heavenly but do work between heaven and earth. In the Lord's Prayer we are asked to pray that God's will for us in heaven be accomplished on earth as well. Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:19 that He has given us the keys to the kingdom of God and that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. We are given a lot of authority on God's behalf to facilitate things between heaven and earth! However, if I can't see this authority or don't desire it, I may never see the sides of heaven that were given for us to see and interact with.
If I want this authority and claim this authority, I am making a claim or statement that I want to be part of the heavenly host or tribe. When I start acting like a host of heaven or member of this tribe, I start seeing things that average people don't get to see. This concept is no different than a member of a gang or tribe on the streets of New York getting to see things the average person doesn't get to see; it's just that one sees heavenly things and the other sees earthly things.
Our Assignment Matches that of Angels—We Are of the Same Tribe
The type of authority we have been granted is the same kind of assignment or authority angels have. The word "angel" comes from the Greek word aggelos, which means "messenger." The matching Hebrew word mal'ak has the same meaning. This indicates that we as well as angels are God's messengers to help facilitate things between heaven and earth. As part of the same tribe of hosts or heavenly focused beings we naturally would be like other group members and help each other out in times of need. Yes, this indicates that we can minister to angels and angels can minister to us. The simple act of faith can be understood by reading the following scripture passages:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. (Acts 5:19–20)
In Psalm 103, people as well as angels are referred to as God's host who do His good pleasure.
Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. (Psalm 103:20–21, NKJV)
You may never have been presented this type of teaching, yet it is the very teaching found in scripture. Many types and styles of biblical teaching are unintentionally trying to keep us separated from heavenly things on earth by following rules or commandments only. We are often trained to wait until some day in the future after we have earned the right or passage into heaven. However, this is untrue, as we cannot earn but only believe and see what has been promised. We are immediately grafted and given passage into God's family upon the very mention of salvation, Jesus's name.
Excerpted from HEAVEN 3.0 by Michael L. Mathews Copyright © 2012 by Michael L. Mathews. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsDedication and Special Thanks....................1
Introduction: The Reflections of Heaven as Time and Knowledge Advance....................11
Unit 1: Heaven 3.0 Entrance....................23
Chapter 1. The Tribal Effect: Angel See Angel Do!....................31
Chapter 2. The Door Has Been Opened; Why Not Take a Peek?....................43
Chapter 3. Coming out of the Closet: The Facts are on God's Side....................57
Chapter 4. When My Story Reflects His Story....................73
Chapter 5. Water and Blood Have Life, Memory, and Reflection....................85
Chapter 6. Light versus Love....................101
Unit 2: The Principles and Keys to Seeing Heaven 3.0....................117
Chapter 7. The Law of Refraction and Reflection....................119
Chapter 8. The Principle of Illusion of Knowledge and Time....................125
Chapter 9. The Law of Reference-Point Living: The OODA Loop....................135
Chapter 10. The Principle of the Enigma Experience....................149
Chapter 11. The Principle of the Merchant and Pearl....................157
Chapter 12. The Principle of Thanksgiving Worship....................167
Chapter 13. The Principle of Clouds: Keeping Your Head in the Clouds....................181
Chapter 14. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made....................191