The question has to do with people dying and going on to Heaven. Do they know what's going on down here?
I'll give you the verses that are used to prove they do know what's going on. First of all, this will be Hebrews chapter 12, in one hand, and then Matthew chapter 2 in the other. And in the third hand take up Revelation chapter 19. Hebrews 12, Matthew and Revelation.
Now, these are verses to prove that people up in Heaven can know what's going on down here. And we'll see they're all stretched. They're stretched.
All right, first of all, Matthew chapter 2, verse 17: Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Rachel had been dead over fifteen hundred years by the time that thing was written. And the idea is that, when Herod had all the children killed in Bethlehem, that Rachel was weeping because of the death of all those children in Bethlehem.
But that won't work. I mean, it's obviously figurative. It's obviously not Rachel weeping for her children; all those children weren't hers in Bethlehem. So, it's obviously just talking about a prophecy that Jeremiah spoke when he said that Rachel, who typified Bethlehem--that's where her boy Benjamin was born--was going to lose a lot of ancestors when they were killed.
That isn't all. If that means Rachel is up in Heaven weeping for her children, who were dying, it would mean that after your loved ones died and went home to Heaven, they'd be miserable when they saw what was going on down here.
And that isn't the worst of it. Rachel didn't go to Heaven; she went to Abraham's bosom. So that blows that.
All right, Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight... The teaching is, that the Old Testament saints are up in Heaven watching us, and we're down here, with them looking down on us as a bunch of witnesses looking down on us. Which is interesting, but it's stretched. When Paul says, We're compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, it isn't a statement that there are a bunch of people up in Heaven watching you. He just recited the Old Testament saints, and those are the witnesses. But they aren't witnesses looking down, watching you; they're witnesses to the same thing you're going through, and they surround you in the sense that that they've all been through it, and you've got to go through it, too.
All right, the last one is Revelation 19, which is true. But Revelation 19 is a Tribulation passage. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore. And here are people up in Heaven (verse 5) around the throne saying, Praise God. Verse 6, people around the throne saying, Alleluia. So in the Tribulation the people up in Heaven know what's going on down on the earth, because they rejoice at the fall of Babylon. They rejoice because the marriage of the Lamb has come.
But to say that dead Christians in the body of Christ are sitting up there watching things now is really stretching it. Because the Tribulation is a special time with special things in it.
Now, there's one more. Turn to Matthew chapter 17, and again you have to stretch it. In Matthew 17, verse 3, here's Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration. You get a better account in Luke chapter 9, the other account of the mount of transfiguration. And in Luke chapter 9, when they're up there on the mount, we read in 9:30: And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. So, the reasoning is, if Moses and Elijah knew about Christ dying on the cross at Jerusalem and spoke about it, then Moses and Elijah in Heaven must have had some knowledge of what was going on down here--which they did. But, boy, when you make Moses and Elijah typify New Testament Christian saints, you're really stretching 'er hard. Moses and Elijah are two witnesses in the Tribulation; they represent the law and the prophets. There is no Christian in this building who represents the law and the prophets. As a matter of fact, the law and the prophets are until John.
So I would say this. I would say, if the Lord wanted anybody in Heaven to know what was going on down here, He could show them if He wanted to. I would say, however, that there is no indication that, once a person is dead and gone on with the Lord, that he'd ever fool with it. There's no indication.
Turn to Ecclesiastes. I'll show you another one. But, of course, you have to stretch this one, too. I'll get Ecclesiastes on folks dying. This is a Jehovah's Witness passage. Get Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 19: For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts: even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast. Now, couple that with Ecclesiastes 9:5: For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing.
See, now, you could use that. But that's slipping
the hitch again, because the writer is writing there about life under the
sun, and doesn't have the advanced revelation of the New Testament.
And some of the dead do know they're burning; the rich man in hell is screaming