Heaven-Earth Communication in Book of Revelation

Heaven-Earth Communication in Book of Revelation September 2, 2018

James White Contradicts Explicit Biblical Teaching on the Communion of Saints Yet Again!

Reformed Baptist anti-Catholic apologist Bishop “Dr.” [???] James White, stated in his post, “A Brief Comment on the ‘Communion of Saints’ and Catholic Blogger ‘Devman'” (7-22-09):

[T]here is a fundamental separation between those who are alive in this world, and those who are alive in the next. . . . You simply do not find the saints on earth communicating with the saints in heaven . . .

Are we seriously to believe that the unique, one-of-a-kind event of the Transfiguration itself is a meaningful foundation for communication with those who have passed from this life? Do I really need to point out that there is actually no example of communication between the apostles and Moses and Elijah, that it is limited to Jesus, and hence would not, even if it was pressed far out of its meaningful context, support such a concept? [blue highlighting added presently]

Again, in his article, “Continued Review of Armstrong and Hahn (Part 2)” (6-22-07), Bishop White confidently contends:

Where does Hahn, and by extension, Armstrong, get all the rest of these assertions? Where is the evidence that these souls have knowledge of current events on earth? Where is the evidence that they have communication with anyone on earth? They are not aware of events on earth;  . . .   So, at this point, we have examined two of the passages put forward by both Armstrong and Hahn and have yet to find any compelling reason to accept their usage of them. Ironically, the Roman Catholic apologist, who so often refers to “private interpretation” as all you can have as a Protestant, has nothing more himself, in fact. And when we examine his use of Scripture, we find it strained, even tortured, and anything but compelling. [blue highlighting added]

Those are his claims (note particularly the highlighted portions. He says that souls of those who die  don’t “have knowledge of current events on earth” and that “They are not aware of events on earth.” This is astonishing biblical ignorance. Two passages refute this notion:

Hebrews 12:1 (RSV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, [see my article about what “cloud of witnesses” means]

Revelation 6:9-10 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; [10] they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

But getting to my main point: here is what the Bible shows (in just the book of Revelation alone), with regard to St. John being communicated to by elders and angels in heaven:

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

Revelation 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Revelation 10:4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.” . . .

Revelation 17:1, 7, 15 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, . . . [7] But the angel said to me, “Why marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. . . . [15] And he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.

Revelation 19:9-10 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” [10] Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 21:9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

Revelation 22:8-10 I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; [9] but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” [10] And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

These passages decisively refute White’s taunt: “Where is the evidence that they [Dave: souls / saints] have communication with anyone on earth?” But White might retort as he has above, saying that those on earth didn’t communicate back to, or “with the saints in heaven” and that the disciples didn’t talk to Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration; only Jesus did. The following passages undoubtedly refute that claim as well, because St. John talks back to both an elder (i.e., a human in heaven) and an angel:

Revelation 7:13-14  Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” [14] I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Revelation 10:8-11 Then the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” [9] So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.”  [10] And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.  [11] And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

Additionally, we also have St. Paul’s account of his being caught up the the “third heaven” where he was told remarkable things:

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 . . . I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. [2] I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. [3] And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — [4] and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

Case closed. White almost certainly won’t reply to this. And as he likes to say, “I think there is a very good reason for that.”

Related reading:

Reply to James White on Communion of Saints [6-20-07]

My web page: Saints, Purgatory, & Penance

My book: Biblical Evidence for the Communion of Saints [available as an e-book for only $2.99]


Photo credit: Caricature of James White by his own commissioned caricaturist, Angel Contreras, posted on White’s Facebook page (8-6-15).

"The arts have powerful influence. Every dope who sees one of these things considers themselves ..."

“Amadeus” & Historical Accuracy in Biopics
"I call BS on Ann’s argument. i must question if she has even read Dr. ..."

Exchange: Conservative vs. Liberal Biblical Scholarship
"I think that you are just a little too vigorous here about the problems of ..."

Exchange: Conservative vs. Liberal Biblical Scholarship
"Hello Dave,I think you might be interested in this quote of a letter which was ..."

Dialogue #7 w 1P5 Columnist Timothy ..."

Browse Our Archives