Doorkeepers in Heaven
When the Holy Spirit began to impress upon Sue and me the need to develop a prayer seminar ministry in the early 1980s, we realized that we could not do what we felt was needed by ourselves. As I prayed about the direction to take, the Lord awakened me in the early morning hours. When I began to read the Scriptures in the Living Bible that morning, I saw the answer to our need. In 1 Chronicles 9:22b, I read: “There were 212 Doorkeepers in those days … chosen because of their genealogies …and appointed because of their reliability.” We needed Doorkeepers (partners) to stand with us. What we could not do by ourselves, all of us could do together. Thus, the Doorkeeper Program came into being. It was on Thursday, July 17, 1980.
Down through the years, the Holy Spirit has impressed His children to become Doorkeepers. With their prayer and financial support, we have been able to touch lives around the world. We have seen individuals renewed and we have seen churches revived. We have seen many, many men, women, boys and girls come to Christ. Many of the Doorkeepers are now in Heaven. Soon, I want to make a Roll of Memory with each name and date of death.
Our most recent Doorkeeper to go to Heaven was Loetta Landers. She and her husband, Phil, became Doorkeepers in 1992. I want to share with you the correspondence that I shared with Phil. You might want to print this and keep it in a handy place. Sooner or later, you will be strengthened by this information. This is prepared as a tribute to all our Doorkeepers who now reside in Heaven.
October 23, 2009
Mr. Phil Landers
Route 1, Box 16
Nowata OK 74048
You have been very much in our thoughts and prayers since we received the news about Loetta’s coronation day (as Dwight L. Moody termed his day of departure to Heaven) on Monday, September 28. Sue and I counted her a special friend who was interested in our lives and in the prayer seminar ministry. As we read her name on the Doorkeeper prayer calendar month by month, I felt a strong connection. I remember quite well the hospitality that she extended the weekend of February 23, 1992 welcoming me into your home and lives.
I rejoiced to read your crisp, concise, inspiring statement of faith—“My wife Loetta departed this life Sept 28, ’09 to take up residence in heaven.” This is what God has revealed in His Word. I encourage you to spend plenty of time studying, obeying, and claiming God’s instructions 1 Peter 5:6-7—a command, a promise, and what to do in the interim while awaiting God’s exaltation.
Keep in mind God’s words: "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Faith means that we believe and trust that which we cannot see with our natural eyes, and never put a question mark where He has put a period — even though our hearts are saddened.
I have put together some thoughts related to what happens to the Christian when he/she dies. I hope that the Holy Spirit will use these words to encourage your heart. I am enclosing a copy of the April 2006 Reflector that has a article written by the late Dr. Henry Morris entitled “Question: Is Heaven a real place?” This article has comforted me many times and I know it will comfort you as well.
Keep looking up. One day there will be fullness of knowledge—which we don't have now since we see through a glass darkly. One day we will see face to face and know fully God's purposes. If there are things Sue and I can do, let us know. We would love to have you visit us in Lynchburg anytime. Thanks for your faithful partnership in the prayer seminar ministry.
The J. Gordon Henrys
Absent from the body, present with the Lord
Thoughts for Phil Landers upon the death his beloved wife, Loetta, September 28, 2009.
As I think about Loetta’s coronation move from earth to Heaven on September 28, 2009—to tale up residentce in the Father’s house with her Father, her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and loved ones who have gone before, it is encouraging to know that God's timing is His alone to decide. He knows best. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, but His are better in every way than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). In assessing the journey you are going through, I encourage you to focus on some Scriptures, that you might already know, during the days ahead.
Genesis 2:7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. A person is soul, spirit, and body. The body is the tabernacle that houses the person who is spirit-soul. Soul is mind, emotion, and will—the qualities that constitute a person. The spirit is the part where the control seat is and where the Holy Spirit makes His residence when a person comes to Christ. The spirit of man died to God when Adam sinned (Genesis 3), but comes alive when a person trusts the Lord Jesus as Savior and is born again (John 3). The body and soul are not born again, but it is possible—when we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives—for body and soul (mind, emotions, and will) to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. That is His goal for all of us. The body is not the real person, but it is the house that we live in. The real person is spirit-soul, and these two should never be separated in our thoughts. When spirit moves out, soul moves out. When soul moves out, spirit moves out.
The word "death" means separation. It is the time when the person (spirit-soul) who lives inside the body (the real person) makes his “exodus.” The Christian moves through the first heavens where the birds fly, then through the second heaven where the stars are. and on into the third heaven where Jesus is. Paul clearly tells us this in 2 Corinthians 5:1,8 when he says that when this earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved (that is, the earthly body), we have a body not made by hands eternal in the heavens (v 1). He climaxes this by revealing that to "be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord "(v 8). Glory!
On September 28, 2009, Loetta moved out of her earthly house (escorted by angels), soared through the first and second heavens, and entered into the presence of the Lord in all its glory and splendor — in fact so great it is that "eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor even entered into the minds of men the things He has laid up for His children" (1 Corinthians 2:9). At the same time, her death was "precious in the sight of the Lord" (Psalm 116:15). The real person who moves into Heaven is fully conscious and is substantive. Therefore in Heaven, she will know and be known (1 Corinthians 13:12). Not only our Lord Jesus Christ greeted her, but a host of friends and relatives also. Above all, she is now home with her Heavenly Father in fullness of joy!
But that is not the end! One day the Lord Jesus Christ will return. When He does, He will bring in the air with Him those who have already gone to Heaven. Down on earth, the "dead will rise first" (1 Thessalonians 3:13-18), which means that those bodies that have been laid aside will experience resurrection (the word "resurrection" means "stand up straight"). Those resurrected bodies will move into the air and the folks from Heaven will move back into their bodies. But that is not the end of the story. At that moment, the Lord will touch those resurrected bodies and make them glorified ones — bodies that will be just like Jesus' body (1 John 3:2-3). Thus shall we ever be with the Lord! Praise God!
Now as for those who are left behind, remember that Jesus promised that He would never leave us "comfortless," a Greek word that literally means "orphans" (John 14:18). You and I are not orphans because the Holy Spirit is the "Comforter" who came when Jesus returned to Heaven (John 14:16) to be the Paraclete (which is the Greek word translated "Comforter") and literally means One called along side to help — our Helper. Then in verse 17, Jesus explained to His disciples there in the Upper Room, just hours before His death on the cross, that when the Holy Spirit came that He would be "in" us. What more can we ask! Expect the Holy Spirit to represent the Lord Jesus Christ well to meet your every need in days ahead. You can expect the Scriptures to come alive as never before as the Holy Spirit applies those Scriptures to your hearts. I know that He will.
Phil, you and your family will continue in our minds (Philippians 1:1-6), our hearts (vv 7-8), and our prayers (vv 9-11). May His sweet benediction be felt as never before during these hours that God has brought you to in your earthly sojourn. His grace will be sufficient as you trust (lean on) Him.
October 23, 2009