It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Charisma House (March 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Book Group | Strang Communications for sending me a review copy.***
Dennis Prince, after working for nine years as a lecturer in civil engineering, attended Bible college and in 1976 assisted in planting a thriving church, the Christian Resource Centre, in Melbourne, Australia. Today he concentrates on Bible teaching and writing.
Nolene Prince earned a bachelor’s degree in music, specializing in singing, and after teaching school music also attended Bible college. The Princes live in Melbourne and have three married children and three grandchildren.
Visit the author’s website.
Nine Days in Heaven relates the vision of twenty-five-year-old Marietta Davis more than 150 years ago, where she was shown the beauties of heaven and the horrors of hell. Told in modern language, the book contains poignant quotes from the original vision, as well as biblical teaching points and testimonials from individuals whose lives have been impacted with this vision during the past 150 years. Pull-out quotes from the original vision are included, as are short testimonials from readers whose lives have been impacted by this vision. Teaching points and biblical comments appear throughout the chapters.
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (March 1, 2011)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
“What is happening to me?”
The thought exploded in my mind as I reeled at the sight of the bottomless deep beneath me.
“Am I dreaming? Am I dead? Am I alive?” A thousand questions raced through my mind as strange unidentafiable objects floated around me. I blinked, trying to clear my vision, but it was like a wild dream, with no familiar point of reference to which I could anchor my sanity.
“Help me! Help me!” My cry erupted from my deepest being as I gazed in despair at the endless, trackless space around me and struggled in vain to return to the security of my country, my home, and my family.
A brilliant light appeared far above me. Like a giant star, its shaft of light thrust back the gloom as it steadily descended. My whole being was bathed in a glorious glow.
Gingerly I moved closer as it resolved itself into the most magnificent being I had ever seen. On her head was a crown of clustered jewels of light. In her left hand she held a simple cross. A saber of light was grasped in her right hand, and as she advanced toward me, light streamed from it and touched me.
Instantly a whole new world of sensations filled my being. Fears and uncertainties were swept away, and I was filled with an overpowering desire to go with her. Yet, paralyzed with awe and wonder, I could only stand and stare. Oddly, all my mind could think of was, “What is her name?” But as I stood there gaping, she spoke.
“So, Marietta! You would like to know who I am?” She smiled. “I am the Angel of Peace.1 I have been sent to show you what happens to humans when they leave this world. If you would like to know the answer to this question, follow me.”
My mind was racing. How did I get myself into this? What had I done to bring me to this alien place?
For a long time before this I had wrestled with the great questions of life. A few things had become clearer as I had tossed them over and over in my mind, and I had reached a number of simple conclusions. These were: chasing money and fine things can never make you happy; relationships can let you down (no one is perfect); and many religious traditions are unreliable.2
As I had looked around me, I could plainly see that many people were unhappy and were craving peace. I had thought long and questioned hard, trying to learn about the human soul and why it behaves as it does. The more I had thought about these things, the more I realized that I could not find the answers by myself. I passionately wanted answers, especially to the biggest question of all: “What happens to us when we die?” But I was unable to reach any satisfying conclusions. So it was, in the midst of this turmoil, that I found myself here on this strangest of strange days.
While laboring to determine the nature and tendency of the human soul . . . my vision closed to the outer world.
It had all begun slowly and gradually. I had progressively become less and less conscious of the physical things around me. My inner self seemed to become stronger and somehow more aware. The objects in the room—the walls, ceiling, and furniture—turned to shadows and finally disappeared altogether. I then found myself in this amazing new world with the extraordinary experiences it brought me.3
Since returning, I have had many people ask me what happened. I have tried hard to tell them, because that is why I was shown all these things, but I struggle over the task. There is simply no way on earth to fully describe the things beyond earth. Our words even spoil the beauty and perfection of the heavenly things that are out there.4
For human utterance mars the beauty
and perfection of heavenly speech . . .
But I must complete the task I have been given, so I will try to describe what I saw. All I ask is that you who are reading this will look beyond my woefully inadequate words and try to see something of the true power, the graphic beauty, and divine glory of the things I saw.
“Follow me,” said the angel, “but before you do, look back and see yourself.”
I looked far below through the dark misty space and finally made out my motionless body. Gathered around me were my worried friends calling to me and frantically shaking me, trying every possible way to wake me, but without success.
“This is the human view of life,” said my angelic guide. “Look at your family. They love you and grieve for you. Every human goes through troubles and heartbreaks, and ultimately death. But the true picture of what happens after that is hidden from them.5
“Look out there at the world’s teeming millions. They are full of hope, ambition, and troubles. Then finally, death arrives. All of them are afraid of death. It is a ruthless destroyer and cuts life short. Generations come and go, one after another in rapid succession.”
Timidly I asked a question. “I know I am young and don’t know much, but I have been thinking a lot about these things. One day all these people will die. What happens to them? Do they have a place to go to? Can you take me to them? Can I go and be with my loved ones who have already died?”
I waited for her answer. I realized how incredibly much I wanted to know it. For so long this question had haunted me, day and night. Unable to share it, I had buried it deep inside me where it went round and round, the answer always elusive. Now, unexpectedly and remarkably, this Angel of Peace stood before me, sent from the next world. I was on the brink of a monumental discovery, one that would at last settle these issues that had plagued me.
the Word of God
Angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14). There are frequent references to angels in the Bible. (See Psalm 91:11; Acts 12:7; Hebrews 13:2.)
“ … many religious traditions are unreliable.” Marietta speaks here of powerless forms of religion. The apostle Paul warned of these in 2 Timothy 3:1–5: “ . . . having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” (v. 5). Churches must demonstrate the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit—not just good works done in the name of God.
Visions are a part of the Christian experience—not always plentiful, but not rare either. Paul described a similar experience to that of Marietta in 2 Corinthians 12:2–4 (see also Acts 2:17):
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
“… our words even spoil the beauty and perfection . . . ” Marietta’s story is not unique—a number of books record similar visions of heaven. Many of the authors make this same comment—human words cannot do justice to the splendors of heaven.
“ … the true picture of what happens after that is hidden from them.” God’s concealment of eternal things is related to His plan for us to be free, created in His image, like Him. We have a genuine free choice to choose God or to reject Him, to choose good or choose evil. We are free from the pressure of overt promise of reward—or threat of punishment.