tedious and scripturally suspect
I received a free copy of this book through the Destiny Image Book Review program
Where to begin? Well, first, this book is tedious and repetitious. Each account of his encounters begins in roughly the same way, proceeds along the same lines, and basically seem like minor variations on each other. Whatever else may be said about Rick Joyner and his own accounts of similar encounters, at least his books make for interesting reading.
But that aspect could be accept, or at least tolerated, if Basconi's book was biblical sound in what it teaches. I don't think it is, though. A lot of what is taught seems more than a little suspect scripturally.
While he doesn't go into it much in this book, he does make mention a few times of his teaching about Melchizedek. "However, as I taught in the second book of this trilogy, you can also access the realms of Heaven as a priest after the order of Melchizedek in this lifetime. You can visit Heaven now." However, when the author of Hebrews deals with Christ being a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, it uses that in reference only to Christ, and never even hints at applying it to believers.
Plus, there is his idea that "You can visit Heaven now". "Thus also allowing you and I to have these same supernatural privileges by blazing a trail and making a way for us to be seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named among men. That is our call- ing and inheritance—and we can step into it in this lifetime (see Eph. 1:18-20, Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10)." However, these passages say nothing about us having the power or the right to visit Heaven now.
And, like any good NAR minister would, he ties his experiences to health and wealth. "Jesus took me from sickness to health. He took me from hopelessness to happiness. The Messiah transformed my mindset and took me from poverty to prosperity in the natural realm. All of these wonderful blessings unfolded in my life in a supernaturally quick and efficient manner once I began to visit Heaven. Supernatural grace and favor with both God and man are the fruit of heavenly visitations." Considering that he relates times when he would blow off his job, I guess he needed a bit of angelic assistance to get the bills paid.
Funny, though, when Paul talks about the revelations he had (I'm not so sure he was referring to himself when he talked about a man who had been to the Third Heaven, but that's a side issue at best), he doesn't seem to have gotten the health and wealth aspect of them. Instead, he got some hardships, like the much-speculated-about thorn in the flesh, and all the physical hardships he listed in II Corinthians.
Concerning Basconi's accounts of his visits to Heaven, as far as I'm concerned, he really had encounters of some kind. But I think there are a few reasons for questioning the sources of those encounters.
One of the biggies is a time when he claimed to have seen and touched the wound in one of Jesus' hands, "This was the first time that I had looked closely and studied the scars of His hands. Jesus allowed me to place my index finger into the indention where the nail pierced His palm." The problem is, very likely the nails were driven through Christ's wrists, not the palms of His hands.
At one point, he claimed that he was taken to a vault full of mantles. "I saw boxes that contained the mantles of saints of old, and I saw mantles of people who had lived in more recent times such as Smith Wigglesworth, Maria Woodworth Etter, Kathryn Kuhlman, and William Seymour." There is nothing in the Bible about such mantles.
This part about mantles gets really weird when he talks about the mantles of people who were and are not children of God, like the Beatles. Again, nothing in the Bible about these mantles. Not a word.
He relates another time, where he goes to a place with spare body parts floating around in jars. "This was the vault of spare body parts, and they would be released to people on earth who needed them." Who knew that God could only heal you if He has the right spare parts around?
And, for some reason, both the mantle vault and this place with the body parts have doors with hermetic seals, and he assures us that the spare body parts room is sterile. Didn't know Heaven had germs.
To sum it up, this book is simply not all that good. Do we need these kinds of encounters to know that Heaven is real, that God is real? I'm reminded of the story that Jesus told about the rich man and Lazarus, where Abraham told the rich man in Hell that even if one should return from the dead, the rich man's brothers would not believe. I'm reminded as well of Paul's own silence on the things seen in the Third Heaven by himself or some other man.
And far too much of what this man teaches doesn't add up biblically. The Bible nowhere tells us to try to have trips to Heaven in this life. It nowhere says that these trips to Heaven are guarateed to give us health and wealth.
There're so many better books out there that will teach you what the Bible says. Look for those, and don't bother with this one.