Question: I hear from some that when we die we stay asleep in the grave until Christ returns because of the scripture, “The dead in Christ shall rise, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to be with Jesus…” From others I am told that we go immediately to heaven when we die. Which is correct and how do our bodies fit into this scenario? Do we even have a body in heaven if we die before Christ returns and when do we get our “glorified bodies”?

Jesus is the perfect example of showing us the complete process of death, burial and resurrection. When His body died on the cross, His spirit remained alive but separated from His body. He was alive as a spirit with a spirit body. His earthly natural body was put in the grave, separated from His spirit. On the third day His body was resurrected, glorified and reunited with His spirit. This is the complete cycle that all who are in Christ will experience someday.

Although Jesus received His glorified body on the third day, we believers will receive our glorified bodies at the time of the rapture of His Church. But if we die before the rapture, then during the time between our death and the rapture, Christians are alive in Heaven in spirit form. When the Bible says, “The dead in Christ will rise first,” it is referring to the natural bodies of Christians who are already in Heaven in spirit form. When we die our spirit and soul (the real us) immediately go to Heaven with Jesus, leaving our body on earth.  Then at the time of the rapture, all believers are united with their resurrected glorified body.

Before the time of Jesus’ resurrection, when a Godly person died, they went to a place in the earth called Abraham’s bosom or Paradise. Paradise and Heaven are not the same. Paradise was the holding place for those who died trusting God, before the sacrifice of sin was fully paid. No one could enter Heaven prior to this event. While Jesus’ body lay in the grave, He preached the “good news” to those in Paradise. When Jesus ascended from the grave with a glorified body He “…became the firstfruits of them that slept.” (I Corinthians 15:20). In verses 23-24 we see the order of the resurrection to glorified bodies, “…Christ the firstfruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected] at His coming. After that comes the end, when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father….” Ever since the resurrection of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, the spirits of all Christians who have died go immediately to Heaven with the Lord.

On the other issue, when our body dies, our spirit separates and goes to be with the Lord. Our body “sleeps” but our spirit is always alive and aware. II Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” This scripture tells us that when we die we are apart from the body for a time and present with the Lord in spirit.

At the end of the age Christ will return for His own and the rapture will occur. The bodies of those who died in Christ will be raised first, glorified and reunited with their spirit. Then those who are still alive at the time will be changed, glorified and gathered to Heaven along with those bodies of the Saints that are being resurrected from the dead.

Question: Can a person who has died appear to a loved one. Many claim to have been visited. If not, how do you explain a small child talking or seeing a family member that died before they were born?

Yes, it is possible, but rare, for someone to visit heaven, see a loved one that they never knew on earth, and return with the knowledge of that person.  It is also possible, but rare, for God to give a living person a vision for some spiritual purpose. However, it would not be the actual same person. When someone dies, their spirit and soul go immediately to either heaven or hell, and there is nothing in the Bible that would give us reason to believe that they would have any ability to leave either heaven or hell to visit living family members.

A word of caution is required here. If someone is repeatedly conversing or receiving messages from another person who has died, it is most likely a demon who is imitating someone familiar to you. Although this information will frustrate those who know it has happened to them, be aware that this is a common tactic that Satan uses regularly. It is very compelling, and because we want it to be our loved one so desperately, we convince ourselves it is real. When we become focused on spiritual beings to guide us, encourage us and inspire us, we are in very dangerous territory. This is territory the Bible warns us against.  If this is happening to you, take authority when you pray. Pray “in Jesus name” so that these visitations will stop.

Hebrews 1:14 tells us that God’s angels are “…ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation….”  Angels are spiritual beings, and the Bible gives several examples of them appearing with physical bodies as God’s messengers or ministers. Angels never come as a loved one.  God is not a God of confusion. People are easily misled and confused when visited by a spirit in the image of their loved one and Satan is at the core of this.  Be cautious and take authority in the name of Jesus.

In I Samuel 28:3–25 we have an example of a person in the Bible speaking with someone familiar who had died. The prophet Samuel had been God’s voice in Israel and now was dead. The Philistines had gathered for battle against Israel and King Saul was desperate for direction. He inquired of the Lord but the Lord did not answer him.

That’s when King Saul took it upon himself to speak to Samuel. In desperation, Saul sought out a medium, a woman with a familiar spirit to try and contact Samuel. A spirit did showed up impersonating Samuel and Saul was deceived.

According to scripture, God leads us with His written Word and the Holy Spirit. On occasion, God may send an angelic messenger for a specific purpose but not in the image of your loved one. God’s Word is solid truth, and the only truth in this world. Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Word will never pass away.

Q: Is Capt. Dale on FaceBook?

A: Yes. Now he is. These days, much of the world stays connected through FaceBook. We want to stay connected with you as well. Please visit us on Capt. Dale’s new FaceBook page at: http://www.facebook.com/captdaleblack?ref=hl#!/captdaleblack

We are continually posting new photos in an effort to share our lives with you. There are also often new videos posted. Watch the recent short video that Dale filmed and narrated on July 18th, the anniversary of the airplane crash, of his recent visit to “Portal of the Folded Wings”, the site of the crash. On a lighter note, check out the frequent funny aviation photos that are posted. You have an opportunity to submit a caption for the photo and win a FREE copy of “Flight to Heaven“. Click on the Facebook link above and “LIKE” us. We like you too!

     “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. Ephesians 3:20

Your brother and sister in Jesus, Dale and Paula

Q: Can Dale Black answer my questions about what he saw, heard and learned while in heaven?
Q: Regarding the Takeoff from Lusaka International Airport – How did you navigate or communicated with your next flight, as the Comms, and both dual GPS Navigation units were inoperative?

A: The publisher of Flight to Heaven had many constraints to consider when preparing a book which dealt with the technical field of jet aviation, while at the same time trying not to lose the average, non-aviation minded reader. This was accomplished by eliminating much technical jargon as well as eliminating pages of the manuscript. With all that said, the Publisher did a fine job in this difficult balancing act. Here are some questions that were not answered in the book but I attempt to answer them now.

This flight took place in 1987. Since that time technology has improved and the number of space satellites have increased. During our flight we were using GNS navigation. Now GPS is more common and widespread. From the next flight until our return to the U.S. base in Orange County, California, I made the decision not to fly at night. However, our GNS units began to operate again once we returned to the Mediterranean area. We landed in Tel Aviv, had multiple stops in Europe, and for our hop back over the Atlantic both GNS units worked fine. The problem as it turned out, was that we were not receiving enough adequate signals in the lower part of Africa. Back in 1987 that was not uncommon in certain places around the globe.

The COMM radios seemed to be working, from the cockpit, yet no one answered our calls before and during our approach into Lusaka. But then, as it turned out, no one bothered to listen. At that time of the night, actually early morning, and in that remote area, all radios were turned off—to my complete frustration. We paid good money for accurate flight planning data and normally they provided great service. This part of their information was a disaster. Our COMM radios, all three worked fine. We just had to get the military involved at Lusaka, and depart Zambia with the military permission. Our flight plan to South Africa, Port Elizabeth, was normal during the daytime and was without incident. Even in 1987 the South African air system was stellar, operated of course, by the British.

Q: Is there a mistake on Dale’s Medical Certificate displayed in the book?

A: Yes, there is a mistake on the medical certificate. Nice catch for those of you who pay close attention to detail. It’s easy to miss the caption under the medical certificate on page 137 which has always explained this error. Note: the date of the medical exam was July 18, 1970—exactly one year from the day of the crash. Dale’s actual height is 72 inches (now 73 inches), yet the doctor’s office incorrectly typed Dale’s height as 78 inches. This went unnoticed until after Dale’s next FAA medical taken 6 months later. The Publisher has promised to make a note of this in the 2nd edition printing.

Some have asked, “Why didn’t you just try for a Third Class medical certificate instead of the more stringent First Class medical?” My answer to that is if you understood the intense competiveness of pilots and airline hiring at that time, you would realize how important a First Class medical history was. A sudden downgrade from a First Class medical to a Third Class medical would likely have sent “red flags” to the Medical Examiner of a pilot’s overall health. As it turned out, thank the Good Lord, I had a 40 year track record of First Class Medical Certificates with uncorrected vision. Still to this day, I am humbled by this. Praise the Lord.

Question: Did Dale drive a million miles in trucks by age nineteen?

A: No. The wording in the book on this account can be construed as such, yet this was not the intent of the author. The Author did not reach the million miles mark until age twenty-seven.