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Anthony Burger died at age 44. Many feel that he is the finest gospel pianist that ever lived. He spent the last ten years playing for the Gaither Vocal Band. He last played on a cruise ship. Fifteen hundred people were on the cruise, vacationing during the day, and attending gospel concerts at night. The fourth night out, Anthony Burger had just played a piano solo of “We Shall Behold Him.” About five minutes later, during the concert, he collapsed of a massive heart attack and died instantly at the piano.

Author Becky Pippert was a guest teacher on that cruise, and she was to address the people the next morning in a Bible study. Becky said that before she got up to teach, a woman came to her and said, "Becky, I want to tell you what happened to me last night--just before Anthony Burger died."

Becky said, "Bob, you know you sometimes have people come up to you, and they want to give their testimony or they want to be on the stage; they want the spotlight. But this is not one of those ego-driven people. She's very humble and unassuming. She said, 'In the concert last night, after Anthony Burger played his solo, the spotlight went to the other side of the stage, but for some reason I kept my eyes on Anthony Burger. I felt like God was impressing me with: I'm going to show you something from my realm that will be an encouragement to people. I was troubled! And suddenly,' she said, 'I saw standing behind Anthony Burger, an angel.' She said, 'He appeared to be seven feet tall, dressed in white and gold, and he just stood there for about 30 seconds.' And she said, 'He put his hand on Anthony's shoulder, and Anthony looked up and then slumped down and died--when just minutes before, he played the song "We Shall Behold Him."

(From a sermon by Bob Russell - Heaven: How Do We Get There? - printed in Preaching Today, Issue 289)

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