In Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1, we’re told that “…we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” Courson thinks that we might be looking at “clouds in the wrong way.” He writes, “Who are these witnesses? Hebrews 11 identifies them as Abraham, Moses, Samson, Gideon, Jephthah—the heroes of faith. So perhaps when Jesus comes, it won’t be in a nimbus or a cumulus cloud. It will be, as Jude says, with ten thousand saints, in a cloud of witnesses.” He goes on to ask, “Where are these witnesses right now?” His conclusion is “They’re not ‘out there.’ They’re right here. Ask Gehazi.” He then refers to Elisha’s prayer which opened Gehazi’s eyes to see the great cloud of angelic soldiers that had surrounded the enemy armies. According to Courson, the “… Angels were there all along. It’s just that Gehazi was allowed to see a different dimension.”

This commentator goes on to refer to 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11, where Paul says, “When you come together in worship meetings where gifts are flowing, where the body is interacting, be careful about certain issues because angels are present in the midst of the congregation.” Courson asks, “Why don’t we see them?” He answers his own question, “Because they’re in a different dimension. The cloud of witnesses, heroes of faith, loved ones who have gone ahead of us are not way out there. They’re surrounding us.” This leads him to ask another very profound question, “Could it be, then, that when we … we don’t go somewhere way out there? Could it be that we simply step into the next dimension?” He further argues that Jesus gave Peter, James and John a preview of coming “dimensions.” It was at the Transfiguration. When they saw Elijah and Moses, Courson writes, “Like Gehazi before them, they were allowed to see into a different dimension and thereby made aware of the fact that Elijah and Moses were present, although unseen previously.”

If this is true we cannot miss the powerful implication for us today. Heaven is right here! Jesus promised when he left us in Matthew 28:20, “…I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Therefore, when we are praying where not reaching out into the time space continuum to find God we’re speaking to God (omnipresent) here right with us. Courson concludes, “No, the Lord is not somewhere way beyond the blue. He is with us always. The kingdom of heaven is among us. The great cloud of witnesses is presently around us. Ministering spirits are in the midst of us. Jesus Himself is in the midst of the congregation. And all of a sudden I realize that heaven isn’t that far away—not only because we’ll be there soon chronologically, but also because the kingdom surrounds us presently.” We don’t see the other dimension because we see through “a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Are our loved ones part of the great cloud of witnesses observing us? (see tomorrow!)