Q. Just when I think I am getting things cleared I read your article about being awake or asleep at death and now I have a question. Paul’s statements about going and being with the Lord says nothing about being awake or aware. Is it just the breath of life as some have suggested or are we there in spirit waiting for the resurrection of our bodies to be reunited with them?
A. I don’t know what article you’re referring to, but I believe the spirits of dead believers are awake and aware and are the only ones more excited about the coming rapture than we are. I also believe they know as God knows and fully understand what we’re going through and why. This helps them maintain a certain detachment, to observe us with out becoming emotionally involved.
I base this opinion partly on Rev. 7:9 where John saw a great multitude who were apparently just arriving in heaven. They were wearing white robes and waving palm branches while praising the Lord. They’re not the Church because their destiny is to serve the Lord in His Temple. One of the elders says they’ve come out of the tribulation, so that makes them tribulation martyrs who don’t get their resurrection bodies until the 2nd Coming. Yet they’re awake and visible to others in heaven.