What is life like in the heavenly dimension? What goes on there day by day? To ask a hundred people for an answer might very well produce a cross-section of information, based mainly on imagination, some of which might seem ludicrous, whilst others appear plausible. We have to admit that, much as we would like to know, we are for the most part quite ignorant. Furthermore we might be told that we cannot know.
However, ever as we have shown that the subject of pre-existence is found under the surface in the Bible, in a number of places, so also I believe there is more to be learned of a factual and reliable nature on the subject of the heavens than most are aware of. If we look into the matter in this part of our study, it will of course have a bearing on our theme.
Let’s have a look at Psalm 82. “A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of El. In the midst of the gods He judges. ‘How long will you judge unjustly, lifting up the faces of the lawless?’ Selah.
‘Vindicate the poor and the orphan; do justice to the afflicted and needy; deliver the poor and destitute; save them from the hand of the lawless ones. They neither know nor understand; they walk in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘I have said, you are gods; you are all sons of the Most High. But you shall die as man [i.e. a human death] and like one of the princes, you shall fall.’
Arise, O God, judge the earth, for You shall inherit in all the nations.”
I get the distinct impression that we are being told about a heavenly congregation, in which are found unjust judges. It looks as though they are earth-bound, because the Lord argues with them about their careless and unconcerned attitude towards the poor, needy, afflicted, and destitute. But a careful reading shows that God is mingling with higher dimensional beings in what is called “the congregation of El.” This is not on the earth.
Turning to Isaiah 14, we read about Babylon, and the destruction the Lord will bring upon the wicked city. But even here, the location is not on earth. Furthermore, the part about Lucifer connects with Psalm 82. “O Helel, son of the early dawn, how you are fallen from the heavens! You are cut down to the ground, you who weakens the nations. For you said in your heart, I will ascend into the heavens and raise my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit on the mount of the congregation, on the sides of the north; I will rise above the heights of the clouds; I will be likened to the Most High.’ Yet you shall be lowered to Sheol, to the sides of the Pit. (Verses 12-15)
We are now reading about “the mount of the congregation.” Furthermore its location is given as “on the sides of the north.” Lucifer is depicted first of all in the heavenly sphere, then on earth, and finally consigned to Sheol.
Another example of these gatherings is found in Job chapter 1. “A day arrived when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan also came among them. Jehovah said to Satan, ‘From whence have you come?’ Satan answered Jehovah, saying, ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking back and forth in it.'” (Job 1:6-7)
The presentation was in heaven. But Satan spoke about his perambulations on earth. The connection between the two spheres is important to our theme.
Our next reference in this connection comes from Zechariah, where the Prophet received a vision, in which he saw “Joshua the high priest standingbefore the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.” (Zech.3:1-2) Joshua would not have been aware of this. However, in the heavens it was real enough, and Zechariah was granted a “peep behind the curtain” to know and understand what was transpiring in the heavens.
Our last reference comes from Daniel. The Prophet had been mourning and fasting for three weeks. Eventually a mighty angel visited him in vision. It was possibly Gabriel, telling him that his prayers were heard on the first day he prayed, but Gabriel was delayed because “the ruler of the Kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days, but Michael, one of the chief rulers, came to my assistance, so I stayed there with the rulers of Persia. Now I have come to help you understand . . .” Later Gabriel said, “I will now return to fight with the ruler of Persia, and when I have gone out, the ruler of Greece will come . . . and no one stands courageous with me in these matters except Michael your ruler.” (Daniel 10:13 & 20-21)
A synthesis of the above passages is sufficient to tell us that in the heavenlies there are angels, rulers, and those whom the Lord calls “gods”, all of whom are related in some way to the management of people on earth, and who exercise unseen power over human activities. The congregations, assemblies, convocations which meet on certain occasions are attended by these high-up ministers, many of whom are unjust, and seek only to feather their own nests at the expense of ordinary folk. The Lord remonstrates with them, showing that He has given them freewill to act according to their own desires, but that HE ultimately controls the whole world at every level. He tells the unjust ministers that a time will come when they will have to pass through the valley of this world, and will die like anyone else. Their exalted opinions, and self-seeking luxuries will be exchanged for darkness and the pit.
Even Lucifer, “Helel the son of the early dawn” to use his proper title, will eventually be thrown down to this earth as a human being, then eventually consigned to sheol at some future stage in the development of God’s purposes.
The interchange between heaven and earth has been going on throughout all history. We see evidence of corruption in high places on earth, and know that some of these people have occupied similar positions in the heavens beforehand, and (unwittingly to them) are acting in accordance with some faint recollections buried deep in their subconscious. But nothing is of a foregone conclusion. Freewill still operates, and there are always opportunities for change, repentance, and reconciliation with God.
These snatches of insight, granted to us from the Scriptures, yield further information about our subject of pre-existence. It is my considered opinion that the truths of Universal Reconciliation, coupled with what can be learned about Pre-existence, provide us with a greater and more wholesome understanding of the great and mighty purposes of our Creator, and Redeemer God, who will ultimately wind up all His affairs with a New Heaven and a New Earth, in which righteousness will dwell.