Art: courtesy Maxfield Parrish
at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds recorded the following experiences
when she got to visit Heaven.
NO NIGHT and NO CHURCHES IN A HEAVENLY
"....And so we talked
until twilight fell. Often the question has been asked whether
there was night there. Emphatically no! What we call day was
full of glorious radiance, a roseate golden light which was everywhere.
There is no language known to mortals that can describe this marvelous
glory. It flooded the sky. After a period much longer than our
longest earthly day, this glory mellowed and softened until it became
a glowing twilight full of peace. The children ceased their playing
beneath the trees, the little birds nestled among the vines, and all
who had been busy in various ways throughout the day sought rest and
quiet. But there was no darkness, no dusky shadows--only
a restful softening of the glory.
the lake and a view of the Heavenly City
Heavenly City, but without Churches
caught my breath, then stopped abruptly and covered my face with my
hands to shield my eyes from the glorified scene. I looked upon it as
one but half awakened. Before us spread a lake as smooth as glass,
but flooded with golden glory caught from the very heavens that made
it look like a sea of molten gold. The blossom and fruit-bearing
trees grew to its very border. Far, far away across its shining waters
arose the domes and spires of what seemed to be a mighty city.
Many people were resting upon its flowery banks, and on the surface
of the water were boats of wonderful structure, filled with happy
souls and propelled by unseen powers.
The Family Missions International (see link page
we saw a band of singing cherubs, floating high overhead. "Glory
and honor!" sang the child voices. "Dominion and power!" caught up and
answered the voices of the multitudes below, "be unto Him who sitteth
upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever!"
We stood upon the
margin of the lake; my cheeks were tear-bedewed, and my eyes
were dim with emotion. I felt weak as a little child, but, oh, what
rapture, what joy unspeakable filled and overmastered me! Was I
dreaming? Or was it indeed but another phase of the immortal life?
As we watched, groups
of children played around in joyous freedom and there were happy
shouts of laughter that echoed over the lake. No fear of harm or
danger; no dread of ill, or anxiety lest a mishap occur--security and
joy and peace! "This is a blessed life," I said as we stood watching
the sports of the happy children.
was roused from my thoughts by the boat's touching the marble terrace,
and found my brother already standing and waiting to assist me to the
shore. Passing up a slight upward slope, we found ourselves in a broad
street that led into the center of the city. The streets I found
were all very broad and smooth, and paved with marble
and precious stones of every kind. Though they were thronged
with people intent on various duties, not an atom of debris, nor
even dust, was visible anywhere. There seemed to be vast business
houses of many kinds, though I saw nothing resembling our large mercantile
establishments. There were many colleges and schools;
many book and music stores and publishing houses; several
large manufactories where, I learned, were spun the fine silken
threads of manifold colors which were so extensively used in the
weaving of the draperies I have already mentioned. There were art
rooms, picture galleries, libraries, many lecture
halls and vast auditoriums.
But I saw no churches of any kind. At first this somewhat
confused me, until I remembered that there are no creeds in Heaven,
but that all worship together in harmony and love--the children of one
and the same loving Father. "Ah," I thought, "what a pity that that
fact, if no other in the great economy of Heaven, could not be proclaimed
to the inhabitants of Earth! How it would do away with the petty
contentions, jealousies and rivalries of the church militant! No
creeds in Heaven! No controverted points of doctrine! No charges of
heresy brought by one professed Christian against another. No building
up of one denomination upon the ruins or downfall of a different sect!
But one great universal brotherhood whose head is Christ, and whose
cornerstone is love."
of the day we had listened in the great auditorium at home to
the divine address of our beloved Master; of the bowed heads
and uplifted voices of that vast multitude as every voice joined in
the glorious anthem, "Crown Him Lord of all," and I could have wept
to think of the faces that must some day be bowed in shame when they
remember how often they have in mortal life said to a brother Christian,
"Stand aside; I am holier than thou!"
no dwelling houses anywhere in the midst of the city, until we
came to the suburbs. Here they stood in great magnificence and
splendor. But one pleasing fact was that every home had its large
yard, full of trees and flowers and pleasant walks; indeed, it was
everywhere, outside of the business center of the town, like one
vast park dotted with lovely houses.
not to be disclosed!
was much that charmed, much that surprised me in this great city,
OF WHICH I MAY NOT FULLY SPEAK, but which I can never forget.
We found in one place a very large park, with walks, drives,
fountains, miniature lakes and shaded seats, but
no dwellings nor buildings of any kind, except an immense circular
open temple capable of seating many hundred; and where, my brother
told me, a seraph choir assembled at a certain hour daily to
render the oratorios written by the great musical composers
of Earth and Heaven. It had just departed, and the crowd who had
enjoyed its divine music yet lingered as though loath to leave
a spot so hallowed.
EXCERPTS COURTESY REBECCA SPRINGER's
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE BOOK "WITHIN THE GATES!"
A Famous Near-Death Vision
died in 1943 in a Texan military hospital. After meeting a Being of
light, who turned out to be Jesus, he was shown his life in just a few
seconds of time. Then Jesus took him on a spirit-trip through the spiritual
regions of this Earth, where he saw millions of the lost dead continuing
on in an endless life in spiritual form only, with no way to hide their
private thoughts and intentions to each other! After that Jesus took
him toward "the City"
Now however, we
seemed to have left the earth behind. I could no longer see it. Instead
we appeared to be in an immense void, except that I had always thought
of that as a frightening word, and this was not. Some unnamable promise
seemed to vibrate through that vast emptiness.
And then I saw, infinitely far off, far too distant to be visible with
any kind of sight I knew of
a city. A
glowing seemingly endless city, bright enough to be seen over all the
unimaginable distance between.
The brightness seemed to shine from the very walls and streets of this
place, and from beings which I could now discern moving about within
it. In fact, the
city and everything in it seemed to be made of light,
even as the Figure at my side was made of light.
ART © Dan Free Beyond the Stars Productions
this time I had not yet read the Book of Revelation. I could
only gape in awe at this faraway spectacle, wondering
how bright each building, each inhabitant, must be to be seen
over so many light-years of distance.
Could these radiant beings, I wondered amazed, be those who had
indeed kept Jesus the focus of their lives? Was I seeing at last
ones, who had looked for Him in everything?--Looked so well and
so closely that they had been changed into His very likeness? -- Even
as I asked the question, two of the bright figures seemed to detach
themselves from the city and started toward us, hurling
themselves across that infinity with the speed of light.
But as fast as they came toward us, we drew away still faster. The distance
increased, the vision faded. Even as I cried out with loss,
I knew that my imperfect sight could not now sustain more than an instant's
glimpse of this real ultimate heaven. He had shown
me all He could; now we were speeding far away.
closed around us. Walls so narrow and box-like, that it was several
seconds before I recognized the little hospital room we had left what
seemed a lifetime ago. Jesus still stood beside me, otherwise
consciousness could not have sustained the transition from infinite
space to the dimensions of this cell-like room.
The glorious city still sparkled and glowed in
my thoughts, beckoning, calling. With total indifference I noticed that
there was a figure lying beneath the sheet on the bed--which nearly
filled the minuscule room.
"But incredibly Jesus was telling me that I belonged
somehow with that sheeted form, that His purpose for me involved
that lump-like thing as well. I was moving nearer to it. It was filling
my field of vision, shutting off the Light. Desperately I cried out
to Him not to leave me, to make me ready for that shining city,
not to abandon me in this dark and narrow place.
"As in a long-ago half-forgotten story I remembered
myself combing the halls and wards of this very hospital, wanting desperately
to find the figure on this bed. From that loneliest moment of my existence
I had leapt into the most perfect belonging-- I had ever known.
'The Light of Jesus had entered my life and filled
it completely, and the idea of being separated from Him was
more than I could bear,
"Even as I pleaded
I felt consciousness slipping from me. My mind began to blur. -- I no
longer knew what I was struggling for. My throat was on fire and the
weight on my chest was crashing me. I opened my eyes but there was something
in front of my face. I groped about the blankets trying to find what
was covering me, but moving my arms was like trying to lift lead bars.
At last my fingers closed upon each other. With my right hand I touched
a circular band with an oval stone on the ring finger of my left hand.
Slowly I twisted it round and round, as blackness closed over me.....
"Return from Tomorrow" by Psychiatrist Dr. George Ritchie)
George Ritchie's First
Meeting With Jesus! (1943 AD)
Before the Lord took him on the above described trip to Heaven.
At last in despair I sank down on the bed. Or did so mentally: actually
my disembodied being made no contact with it. There, right there,
was my own shape and substance, yet as distant from me as though
we inhabited separate planets. Was this what death was? This separation
of one part of a person from the rest of him?
I wasn't sure when the light in the room began to change;
suddenly I was aware that it was brighter, a lot brighter,
than it had been. I whirled to look at the night-light on the bedside
table. Surely a single 15-watt bulb couldn't turn out that much light?
I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased, coming from
nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once. All the light bulbs
in the ward couldn't give off that much light. All the bulbs in
the world couldn't! It was impossibly bright: it was like a million
welders' lamps, all blazing at once.
And right in the middle of my amazement came a prosaic thought probably
born of some biology lecture back at the university: "I'm glad I don't
have physical eyes at this moment," I thought. "This light would
destroy the retina in a tenth of a second." No, I corrected
myself, not the light. HE!
HE would be too bright to look at. For now I saw that it
was not light, but a Man who had entered the room, or rather, a
Man made out of light, though this seemed no more possible to my mind
than the incredible intensity of the brightness that made up His form.
The instant I perceived Him, a command formed itself in my mind.
"Stand up!" The words came from inside me, yet they had an authority
my mere thoughts had never had. I got to my feet, and as I did
came the stupendous certainty:
"You are in the presence of the Son of God." Again, the concept
seemed to form itself inside me, but not as thought or speculation. It
was a kind of knowing, immediate and complete.
I knew other facts about Him too. One, that this
was the most totally male Being I had ever met. If this was the Son
of God, then His name was Jesus. But
this was not
the Jesus of my Sunday School books. That Jesus was gentle,
kind, understanding--and probably a little bit of a weakling. This
Person was power itself, older than time and yet more modern
than anyone I had ever met.
Above all, with that same mysterious inner certainty, I knew
that this Man loved me. Far more even than power, what emanated
from this Presence was unconditional love. An astonishing love.
A love beyond my wildest imagining. This love knew every unlovable
thing about me--the quarrels with my stepmother, my explosive temper,
the sex thoughts I could never control, every mean, selfish thought and
action since the day I was born--and accepted and loved me just
"Return from Tomorrow by Psychiatrist Dr. George Ritchie)
IS THIS JESUS?
IS THIS ONE DIFFERENT THAN THE CHURCHIAN JESUS?