The Great Realities Of The Heavenly Kingdom Of Jesus Christ: Amazing Testimony Of Seneca Sodi’s Tour Of Heaven
Seneca Sodi was in a supernatural comatose state for 40 days. During this period, Jesus Christ gave Seneca a grand tour of heaven. Seneca was introduced to notable Biblical personalities from the Old Testament to New Testament era. Seneca met and spoke with Adam, Eve, Abel, Enoch, Methuselah, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Keturah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel, Ephraim, Manasseh, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Daniel, Jonah, Apostle Paul, Silas, Stephen, the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, etc.
Seneca also met and spoke with group of ministers of God who were noted and well-known in the world like John Wesley, Christmas Evans, Rowland Hill of England, Dr. Guthrie, Robert Flockhart, Dr. Adam Clark, George Fox, Peter Cartwright, Lorenzo Dow, etc.
Seneca walked on the golden streets of heaven, saw the aborted children and the children that died at infancy. All these children are hale and hearty in heaven. They are growing up under the protection and care of their guardian angels.
Seneca met and spoke with Abraham: “At this moment I turned around and to my great joy a most lovely person was coming very near me. He bore marks of great age, and yet for all that, he had an indescribable youthful appearance. He was not like the other saints that I was accustomed to seeing. The elder (Joshua) that I first met and he were very much alike.
“Is this Abraham?” I said.
“It is,” he replied.
“In the bosom of Abraham!” (Luke 16:22). I said softly, and began to bow myself down before him, for a certain feeling of awe filled my soul.
“Stand up, my son,” he said, “we are all brethren here.” Then he clasped my hand in his and with his other drew me close to him and gave me his kiss of welcome. Oh, such a freshness of love and joy which burst upon my soul, so that I fairly shouted, “Hallelujah,” and said again, “In the bosom of Abraham!”
“Do you remember that Scripture?” he said. “Well, you will realize its meaning more and more; but who is this by your side?”
“Bohemond,” I replied, “who also has just come from the world.”
He then gave him his cordial welcome and said, “The great joy and gladness which you now feel has been mine during a hundred generations of earthly lives. Someday I trust I can introduce you to Lazarus, of whom it was said by our Lord, ‘He was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom.” “I see,” said he, “you have just arrived and have much wonder and many questions to ask about this heavenly kingdom of our Lord. While we talk for a few moments let us be refreshed with a drink from this crystal river, for it flows from the great palace up at the throne. Would you like to taste its water?”
“Oh, indeed we would, I have sung hymns, and read in the Holy Scriptures concerning this very river, where the angel pointed it out to John, who in his vision saw it proceeding out of the throne of God and the lamb (Jesus).” -Revelation 22:1.
He now proceeded to the brink and with a golden goblet, he dipped and filled the cup for me, and another for Bohemond, and said: “My sons, drink of this river and you shall never thirst again, nor be faint, nor weary for its lack, for its water shall never fail.”
As I drank from the cup I said, “Oh praise God for such a supply! So sweet to the taste! How full of invigorating power! It makes me feel the joy and glow of youth.”
“You never can feel old or weary again, after drinking of this living water,” said Abraham, “for it is the water of Life. I just now gave a drink to a company of fresh arrivals before coming to you. Did you not hear them praising God? They, with that great group near them, are now learning to sing together, in which you will join them, the song which we will all sing at the city gate shortly. Some of them have it quite well now and others knew it when they came, for it is contained in the Holy Scriptures on earth. God has revealed the order so that all might be familiar with it. Do you remember the song?”
“Please repeat it for me,” I said, “that I may know which song you mean.”
He replied: “John was caught up in spirit so he heard the strains of this music and wrote: ‘I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia, salvation, and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God: And God from the throne said, Praise our God all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia: Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:1,5,6,7).
“Oh, yes,” I replied, “I remember that song so well and can join with them singing it now.” I said, “Father Abraham, shall we not soon go on to the throne? I have such a desire to see my Lord Jesus, I have loved Him these years, and then I have many loved ones beside that I feel sure are about the throne.”
“Your desires, my son,” he replied, “shall be fully met. The patience you have learned on earth is of great service to you here. So I hope you will feel that restful, quiet trust in all God’s ways.”
“Oh yes, my whole soul says, ‘Thy will be done.’”
“You will soon see the King in His beauty, and probably some of those who knew you best, may come out and meet us on the journey toward the city gates, for they certainly know you are here. Just as soon as our company is full we will be off. Twelve legions make the company, and you see they are gathering from all directions.
“Cast your eyes down the stream and you can see another company rapidly filling up. Look across to the other side and farther up the stream and you see another. The guides who welcome them soon know to what company and place each belong. Some have made but little preparation for this glory as they left the world, and now the light is too great for them; and, as you see, they fall back into the rear and content themselves among the trees, waiting for a further preparation by an application of these wonderful leaves of the trees. But all these companies you see will soon be gathering about the gates of the city.”
Seneca saw numerous angels and also spoke with Angel Gabriel. Seneca saw multitudes of saints from different nations, the great Book of Life, heavenly tree of life, the crystal clear water of life, the gates of Pearl, the 24 elders around the glorious throne of God, the transparent light of heaven without sun or moon as well as the glorious mansions in heavenly New Jerusalem (Revelation 21: 2- 27). Seneca saw the holy city (New Jerusalem) resting upon its 12-jeweled foundations with its 216 feet massive jasper wall and rising skyward, sparkling like a diamond and reflecting its brightness everywhere (Revelation 21: 11- 17).
The jasper wall being 216 feet high, signifies that no one will enter the holy city (New Jerusalem) apart from God’s grace through Jesus Christ (John 14: 6). The wall is too high to be scaled by personal or religious effort, and the only portals (doorways) are the 12 guarded gates. Seneca saw the hefty angels guarding the 12 pearly gates. The requirement for admittance to the holy city (New Jerusalem) is salvation through the redemption of Jesus Christ (John 3: 3, 16). The implication is that no one who has rejected God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ will be able to enter the holy city (New Jerusalem). Salvation is the gift of God’s grace to those who humbly acknowledge their need of forgiveness and who receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour.
According to Seneca, in the holy city (New Jerusalem), the 12 foundations supporting its 216 feet jasper wall are fully visible to all and they are indescribably beautiful. The foundations are 12 layers of different precious stones (jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth and amethyst). The radiating light of the holy city, shining out through the jasper wall and blazing through the open gates, reflects from these precious stones in splendrous colour. The jasper wall stretches all the way around the gigantic heavenly city (Revelation 21: 19- 20).
Seneca saw the magnificent beauty of the holy city (New Jerusalem) as described in (Revelation 21: 10-27). Seneca also confirmed that the names of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ were inscribed in the 12 jeweled foundation stones (Revelation 21: 14). Seneca noticed that the name of Apostle Paul was included in the inscribed names on the 12 jeweled foundations. That means the name of Apostle Paul replaced that of Judas Iscariot (the doomed traitor).
Seneca confirmed that the 12 gates of pearl in the holy city (New Jerusalem) are inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 21:12-13). Only those who come through the blessedness of Jesus Christ (“Messianic gate”) can pass through the pearly gates into heaven. The pearly gates of heaven can be entered only because the Lord Jesus was “wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53: 5). Although unbelievers wickedly rejected Jesus and crucified Him, it was through this death that salvation was made possible. Therefore, people who believe on Jesus can look forward to entering the pearly gates of heaven. Jesus emphasized: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10: 9).
Seneca testified: “Just as we were coming near the great gateway one of the elders came and met us, saying: “All welcome, ye children of God. Your Redeemer stands just inside the gate yonder at which you will soon enter.” The elder made such a lovely bow and his words were so cordial and full of love it seemed to send a thrill of gladness over every soul.
I cast my eyes up at the majestic wall. It was of great height and shone with a brightness I cannot describe. It rested on twelve massive foundations, each having the name of one of the apostles above it, and so they decreased to the twelfth and presented the appearance of a majestic stairway. The name of Peter was written on the first foundation, Paul on the second, John on the third, James on the fourth, and so on to the top. From this topmost foundation, garnished with an amethyst, the wall rose to a great height. The light streaming from these foundations was most precious. Just here I noticed Abraham passing nearby, and I asked him the mystery of the wall and its foundations.
“Oh,” said he, “this wall is the eternal security of God’s people. As long as this wall shall stand, they are eternally safe. The mighty truths of God, promulgated by the apostles, as taught by our Lord Himself, is our eternal safety. Certain of the angels many long years before my time on milk, abode not in the truth, and God cast them out and they fell into eternal darkness and shame. But now this wall, of which you can see but a very little portion, entirely encircles this giant city, and within the truths suggested by these foundations we shall ever abide, going in and out and finding everlasting comfort. You see that great Judean gate yonder? Its frame and hinges are of the purest gold and set with one great pearl. This gate always stands open for there is no restraint in heaven. Unbounded liberty is now yours forever. Moreover, the wall has respect to these without as well as to those within.
The angel at the gateway is to give direction to all who may inquire. You will further remember that there are twelve of these gates as well as twelve foundations and there are twelve angels as well as twelve gates. No man can enter these gates not fully prepared. Did you notice some who dropped back far into the rear? In the world the truth had to be observed for any advancement. This wall with its gates marks a definite experience in the career of the redeemed. It is a fuller development of the great truths suggested by the ancient tabernacle, the holy and the most holy place; has reference to the saints on earth and in heaven.
Just at this time I noticed many happy souls with the glory of God upon them, coming through the gateway toward us. They were all clothed in the purest white and each with a harp in his hand. As they drew near us, there began to be a general recognition of each other. These had been redeemed from the sections of the earth from which we had come. Many of them were old friends who had passed from the earth many years ago, yet whom we had known so well in early life and, as soldiers in the Lord’s army many of us had fought His battles together.
The recognition was so full and memories so fresh it seemed as only yesterday when we had parted from them, when they said good-bye and sailed toward the harbor. There was no attempt to restrain feelings for they could not be restrained. It was one hallelujah to God. They seemed as much delighted as we. I thought again how faintly we had believed God’s word in the earth and yet how divinely true it was. We spent a long time in shaking hands and in love’s embrace, with a conscious sense that we were now united in an eternal union. I thought again of Paul’s words: “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face” (I Corinthians 13:12). Many angels were mingling among us and seemed in great delight at witnessing our joy. One of them said to me: “We have been watching over you since your infancy in the world, looking forward to this very time. We rejoice with you and have an increasing joy as we behold your own.”
Abraham now stood up prominently before us all and with his hand beckoned for silence, and said: “I wish now to repeat to you all a portion of God’s Word which I know you will recognize: “But ye are now come unto Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born which are written in heaven; and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24).
Indeed it brought it fresh to all our memories; for our hearts were burning with great emotion; but scarcely did we know what to say, we were so over-awed at our surroundings, and the real consciousness that it was ourselves and our friends who had met in an undying state and in a sinless country, and in the presence of some who had lived thousands of years ago amid customs so different from our own, also face to face with the angels of whose birth we knew nothing, among all whom I saw none seemed aged or feeble. Some that I had known in the earth as old men now seemed young and the very picture of health and enjoyment. The angels also were clothed with youthful appearance and vigor. I said to one of them: “How is it that lapse of years does not make its mark upon you here?” “Oh,” said the angel, “one day here is as a thousand years of an earthly existence. No one ever grows older in appearance or feelings in this world. We are undying and un-decaying. We are clothed only with immortality. No one ever feels a pain or knows a sorrow here.”
We were nearing the great gateway. Every one of the new arrivals was filled with wonder and anxiety. We had heard so much about the Holy City while we lived in the world, of its many mansions, its streets of gold, its gates of pearl, its transparent light without sun or moon, so that we all felt an intense yearning to enter in. But the greatest attraction of all was to see Him (Jesus) whom our souls loved and by whom we had been redeemed and by whose blood we had been washed from our sins. We had already been told that He was waiting near the gate in one of the mansions and that the great Book of Life would be near Him and be opened to the pages bearing our names. This filled us with great anxiety; although we felt a sweet assurance that our names were there, and that we would receive His gracious welcome.
Yes we felt sure or we never would have been carried by the angels into paradise, were it not so. For we had confessed Him on earth and we knew He had already confessed us before God and the angels. This gave us comfort; and then we knew we had been eating of the tree of life and drinking of the crystal river, so with confidence we kept looking forward. We knew we had been trying to please Him, and the conscious sense that all our sins had been forgiven and our robes washed and made white, was additional consolation to us now. We felt we would soon stand before the judge of all the earth.
God’s Word seemed further comfort where He says, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city “ (Revelation 22:14). We felt such a comfort in this assurance, that if we had a right to the tree of life, and the fruit given us was by an elder’s hand, and that Abraham himself had refreshed and immortalized us from the river of God which came from the throne itself, that the angel at the gate would not debar us entering now.
By this time we were entering the massive Judean gateway. Our hearts were all filled with joy in the expectation of so soon seeing Him whom our souls loved. As we passed through the gateway the most beautiful scene met our gaze that we had ever witnessed before in heaven or on earth. Human language cannot describe it. To say the streets were pure gold or transparent glass would give the best idea by way of comparison of any object I know. The great thoroughfares leading from the gate seemed to lead off toward the center of the Holy City. On the right hand as we passed in were mighty, stupendous columns of precious stone shining with a brightness that heaven only knows.
Massive domes and great archways were overhead. Nothing showed any signs of decay or age. No rubbish or signs of wear. The light toward the mansion was exceeding great.
Our Lord now came forward to meet and welcome us. Twelve legions of happy souls had now filed in at the great gateway and stood before our King. The glory and majesty of His being can never be described. The beloved disciple on Patmos once tried to tell of His glorious appearance as He revealed Himself on earth; He was then clothed with a flowing garment down to His feet and girt about with a golden girdle; His head and hair seemed white as snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire; His feet were glowing like burnished brass; His countenance was like the sun at midday; a sharp two-edged sword was in his mouth and seven stars were in His right hand (Revelation 1:13-16). But when the disciples saw Him on the Mount of Transfiguration sixty-three years before, His garments then shone as the light and His face with the brilliancy of the sun. On Earth He was called the fairest among ten thousand and altogether lovely. But as He is now in His exaltation in heaven, the language is too tame to express His glory. He bore the marks in His hands, and above His sandals the nail prints showed distinctly. He was the very embodiment of light. It was not dazzling to our eyes as was Moses’ face to Israel of old, for we were prepared for it; since the days of our conversion on earth until we passed through this gate we were being prepared for this vision of our Lord.
Oh, how forcibly were the words of Scripture as I looked upon His face and then glanced far into the city! “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb (Jesus) is the light thereof.” He was also the embodiment of love itself. Every feature of His face spoke of love. Indeed it was the reflection of God’s infinite love. All the love in heaven or in the church on earth came from Him. He bade us welcome to Him, and as we came, by one mighty impulse we all fell on our faces and began to worship Him with adoring praise, saying, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.” The angels and the saints who met us, also joined and sang some new songs which we had never heard before. Our souls were in ecstasies of joy not to be described.
How long we remained upon our faces we could not tell for our gladness, joys and great satisfaction were so deep and blessed we took no note of eternity’s register. He now addressed us in most loving words, giving us His cordial welcome and confessing us before the multitude of angels present, and to God’s face, and without further introduction we felt perfectly acquainted.
“Come,” said He, “look into this book. I have opened it to the pages most interesting to you.” We all gathered around Him in turns as closely as we could, to look upon the pages of the great book of books (Book of Life), the heavenly records of the past and future.
Not only were our names written, but underneath them were many things bearing upon our work for God while in the earth. I then remembered what God had said by one of His prophets which I read a hundred times over. That a “book of remembrance was written before Him for them that thought upon His name; and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (Malachi 3:16-17).
We only took time to read a tithe of what was written, for our Lord said: “You now have perfect liberty to go where you will and to read at your leisure the contents of this most wonderful book.” In glancing over its pages we noticed the names of some who were with us when we first entered paradise, who had fallen back in the rear and remained far outside the gates of pearl. Without any further words of explanation we knew that they were not prepared, but were like the ancient high priest when unsanctified, unworthy of the altar, so these could not serve around the throne. Yet we knew they would be brought in, for they were somewhere along the river of life and among the trees whose fruit was their food and whose leaves were for their healing. Their present reward was all that God could give them with their present stage of grace. These leaves, we knew, were only for those whose names were in the Book of Life and that they have the same healing power in them that the sanctifying grace of God had in His kingdom on earth. The remedy indeed was around them, but they would not receive it. They never realized the deep meaning of the precious sacrifice for them; but how thankful to know that the efficacy of His blood availed for those of His people on this side of the river as well as on that. We knew also that much of our redemption is yet to follow and will be realized at the resurrection morning of the great day.
I had often wondered if we should have knowledge of the lost ones and should miss any of our friends from the Holy City, if we would not be filled with sadness and grief, although God had said, “All tears should be wiped away” (Revelation 21:4). But now I found it was all settled, I had been there long enough to pass the river of life, drink of its crystal waters, eat of the fruit of the trees upon its banks, and be greeted by thousands of the blood-washed from the chariots of God, beside entering in at the gates, and during all this time only the highest emotions of praise filled my soul. I was so completely in God’s love, and my own will was so lost in the conscious will of my blessed Redeemer, that I had never thought once of weeping about anything. In fact, I found that all my faculties and dispositions to sorrow and sadness were gone and I could see things as God sees them.
And then as I stood beside my Redeemer and Lord, and the great Book of Life lay open before me, and I could see far into the city and could see multitudes of happy souls whom I had not met nor did I know who they might be, some I did not know, but some whom I had known on earth and had feared were among the lost might be here in the city, and especially since I had been greeted by some whom I never expected to see in heaven. And in looking over the pages of the Book of Life I saw the names of many whom I thought would not be there, and I knew they must be somewhere in the great city or in the vast domains of the paradise of God.
I now felt anxious to go on and mingle with the happy souls which I saw passing in all directions. The Lord had said: “You have entire liberty. Go where you will.” I turned to see the rest of our Legions, for I had been so enraptured by what I saw and heard, that I had tarried long; but to my surprise they had scattered in many directions; some had gone with their friends to quiet places, and beneath the trees, they were sitting on the upholstery of heaven in joyous conversation; others, meeting with old friends, had boarded the chariots and with them gone to distant places of the city.
My mother was still near me and beckoned me to come with her. We walked only a short distance and sat down beside a stupendous column of what seemed jasper and sapphire, shining with the light which the eternal city only knows. The cushions were of the finest fabric, and the upholstering had been done by the hands of saints and angels, for everyone is busily employed in heaven. Compulsion is not known, but contentment of which we only knew the shadow while in our most restful moments in earth, seemed to clothe everyone here as a garment.
“Oh, how wonderfully grand this is!” I replied, “but I should like to know further, what privileges we have here in heaven, by way of going from place to place, and visiting among the beautiful mansions I see lining those great avenues and thoroughfares of the city. Our Lord has said, “Go where you will, enjoy yourselves.”
“Oh!” she said, smilingly, “go just where you please. All that you see and infinitely more are yours — yes, all are yours. Do you not remember that Scripture: “All are yours, and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s?” (I Corinthians 3:22,23). Speaking in language which you will better understand, the city is fifteen hundred miles each way and its height is the same as its length and breadth (Revelation 21:16-17). So its vastness is sufficient for you and you have the privileges of it all.”
“Oh, my mother! How wonderful are the works of God! I am simply lost in admiration and wonder!”
“Indeed,” said she, “your wonder will never come to an end. Story upon story is built and the inconceivable height and glory and vastness can never be fully comprehended by us. You see those fountains yonder gushing with their pure water of life?”
“Yes,” I replied, “I have been noticing them for quite a while and wanted to ask you concerning them, for I see so many gathering about them and drinking from golden goblets. I presume they are free for all?”
“Indeed, and they are throughout the city and even to the remotest parts of paradise. Do you remember the Scripture which I used to read to you, that the “Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters”? (Revelation 7:17).
“Sure enough, I have read it hundreds of times since, but I never thought it meant so much.”
“But when you get to the throne itself you will see the greatness of its meaning as you cannot now. You have already eaten of the trees of life, and drank of the crystal river, I am sure, for you have that privilege immediately on coming into the border lands of heaven; but did you notice there were twelve kinds of fruit on each tree?” (Revelation 22:2).
“Yes, so the elder told me. I have eaten only a very few times since entering paradise; and others have selected for me. Those lovely trees in the midst of the street, how full of fruit they are!”
“They were all planted and are growing by the immediate direction of our Lord Himself,” said mother. “You remember His words while on earth “I go to prepare a place for you,” (John 14:2) and here it is. Those fountains and trees with all their blessing are forever yours. One never tires of anything he has here, nor wishes for anything that he cannot have. The varieties of food are so abundant you can eat and be wholly satisfied.”
Just at this moment we saw one not far away, whom among the thousands we distinguished as one of the elders. I said to mother: “Would he mind stopping for a short visit with us? What do you think?”
“No doubt he would be pleased to do so.” So she beckoned him to come to us. As he was coming toward us she said: “Oh, it is Moses, sure.”
“How thankful I am,” I replied, “for I have been wishing to see him ever since we entered paradise.” But as he came nearer I felt something of an awe coming over me as I remembered his greatness while on earth. I also felt a fear that the questions which I wished to ask him might not interest him since, as I thought, he had been asked the same a thousand times.
“You need not fear,” said mother, “to ask him any questions you like, for he will take great pleasure in assisting you in any way he can.”
Meeting a group at one of the fountains nearby, he was detained for a time, in conversation with them. While waiting for him, I said: “I remember in the Scriptures it is said, “There are twenty-four elders in heaven.”
“Yes,” said mother, “twelve from former dispensations and twelve since the days of Christ.” I asked if there were the same distinctions and reverence shown here as on earth.
“Quite the same,” said she, “only on a true basis — for past fidelity and merit. The elders are greatly honored here in heaven. They have already had their resurrection which gives them superior advantages for enjoyment and service and yet their bodies are so spiritual that instead of being a hindrance to them they are a very great help and advantage. You have noticed, no doubt, how wonderfully they are in the likeness of the Lord Himself.”
“I have noticed that already in what I have seen in Abraham and Joshua, and I now remember that Scripture where the prophet said: “I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
“Indeed,” said mother, “and we are all looking toward that event with great interest. No doubt you have heard since your coming that the Lord has intimated that the time has nearly come when the general resurrection will take place. When you and I and all these multitudes of souls shall have our spiritual bodies. The great Father Himself, whose Spirit you so abundantly feel and which is the very atmosphere of the city and all paradise, has made us all to feel and know that the time is nearly here. There are some events to occur upon earth first, and then our Lord Jesus accompanied with all the angels and this mighty host of redeemed spirits made perfect, will descend to the earth, the order will be that when we are near the earth where our bodies are sleeping (for what we used to call death is only a sleep), that the archangel will give a great shout of victory and the trumpet of God will be blown with a mighty blast and the power of God will awaken and revive all our bodies and they will instantly spring from the dust and with a mighty change will be made spiritual and we will instantly be united with them and be forever in the perfect image of Jesus, and the last stroke of our redemption will be completed.”
“Oh!” I replied. “How wonderful is the plan of our redemption! God has given us, I remember, the same idea of what you have been saying as recorded in the New Testament Scripture.”
“Yes,” said mother, “and this is the hope and expectation of all the church in heaven and on earth. But I see Moses is now coming to us and we will have to leave further conversation on this subject until another time.”
Seneca met and discussed with Moses: “By this time he had come to us, and with a friendly greeting we shook hands and my mother gave us an introduction. He very cordially welcomed me, and in a moment all my feelings of backwardness at meeting with such an honored and favored servant of God as he had been and was were gone. The grace with which he met me and the welcome he gave caused an immediate yearning in me to be near him. I felt I could lean my head with great joy on his bosom.
The meekness so characteristic of his nature while on earth clothed every feature of his soul now. He did not seem like a man who had lived one hundred and twenty years on the earth under such great burdens of responsibilities as he had passed through. There were no marks of age, or wrinkles or any oldish looking appearance about him. Only his hair and beard were of flaxen whiteness. He was rather above the average in stature, and his robes were white as snow. He stood quite erect and had a most imposing dignity and yet so gentle and lovely that my soul loved him exceedingly at once.
My mother and he entered into a short conversation about a number of children who were just outside the gate, and asked me to excuse their conversation a moment. I heard him ask her if she would go and assist them in the knowledge and ways of the heavenly kingdom. We were so near the gateway, that we could distinctly hear them singing and could discern the voices — very sweet and angelic. Mother said she would be quite glad to go and spend some time among them and teach them of heavenly things. So turning to Moses she said:
“My son would be pleased for a short visit with you, as he has only recently entered the city.” “I shall be much pleased also,” said Moses, “for to assist and help each other is much of our occupation in heaven as you know yourself.” Whereupon my mother made a gentle bow, adding the words, “I will see you again,” and waving a good-bye with her hand she was gone.
Moses now said: “You were fortunate to have had such a mother on earth. She is greatly esteemed in heaven, and very much used in the service of her Lord. But I see, my son, you are very full of questions and the inquiries and investigations of your soul are of great service to you here. Let us walk to yonder cluster of trees and take some fruit that we may be eating while we are talking. I always enjoyed the social and religious feasts while on earth, and it remains with me still. I greatly enjoy eating with my friends.” He selected from the different kinds what we wanted and said as he handed me a bunch of what seemed like large transparent grapes. These will help you in understanding the mystery of the kingdom of God — mysteries not so much connected with our redemption as our further development in heaven and growth in a knowledge of His will for the great future.”
“There have been great discussions of recent years,” I said to Moses, “over some portions of the Scripture, especially of the book of Genesis which you wrote, what was meant and what time embraced in the six days of creation, and the seventh day in which it is said, “God rested.” I used to say if ever I got to heaven I would see Moses and ask about these things. And at last, here we are, face to face.”
“Well,” said Moses, my time and knowledge are at your disposal. I have been asked very similar questions hundreds of times. But just one word of explanation will make it all clear to you. In the first place, to begin back of where I began when writing under the inspiration of God, before the beginning, the great cycles of eternity knew nothing of the earth. It was known only in the mind of God, and long before He laid the foundations of the earth, He thought of each of us. But this beginning and each successive day of creation were long periods of time. Each cycle was called a day which measured a vast period of creation under infinite laws. The same laws were in operation as they are now. God’s will was simply His law. When He said, “Let the dry land appear,” ages were occupied in developing the continents for our earthly home, and so period after period, the work was done and the earth was populated with creation of His own will. Great events are in store for the earth yet. The restitution of all things has not occurred yet. God shall cleanse, change and remodel it again by fire. His voice shall yet shake the earth as it has never been shaken. He shall prepare it for a suitable place for His bride in the great wedding tour which we will yet take.
Do you not remember His Word, written long after my day: “Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He hath promised saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only but also heaven”? (Hebrews 12:26). The renovation of the earth and the removing out of His kingdom there all things which offend and do iniquity is another great day yet to come, and nearly here. All the wise ones of earth will be ready and waiting for it.
“Well,” I said to Moses, “I am deeply interested in these great matters of creation, but may we not leave them for another visit for there are other things which I wish to ask you about.”
“Certainly,” said Moses.
“Tell me something concerning our Lord Jesus, before He was born in the world and became our sacrifice for sin.”
“Well,” said Moses, “He was always one with the Father. He was truly the Word of God. The creative energy of the Almighty Jehovah. Without Him God did nothing. “Let us make” was an expression common in all the works and creations of God. His title always was the “Word,” and until He was born on earth, He was not known as the Son, but as the Word only. He has been present in the creation of the world, and was and is the glory of the Father’s throne in this celestial kingdom. But it was a great event in heaven when the announcement was made that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It was the most exciting occasion ever witnessed in all the heavenly domain. All the angels tuned their harps, for the Lord said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” I have seen great times on earth when the millions of Israel all joined in the chorus of praise at the passage of the Red Sea, and when all the great hosts rushed from their tents at the sounding of the trumpet of God on Mount Sinai; but never was anything equal to this.
Multitudes of angels at once descended to where the infant Jesus was; but no such worship or music has ever been heard in heaven. Everything throughout all the streets and avenues of the city and even to the utmost bounds of paradise, the voice of thanksgiving was being poured forth to God. The angels were not alone in this praise, for all of us who had come from the earth knew that our salvation was through Him who had just been born into the world and you may know we all joined with them in one prolonged praise to God. It was an event which had been pondered with anxiety by all the heavenly host for long ages past.”
“Thank God,” I said to Moses, “for His birth. And I now remember a passage of the blessed word of the Lord bearing on this same subject: “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you. Searching what or what manner of time, the Spirit of God which was in them did signify when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow: Unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things which are now reported unto you, by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which things the angels desire to look into” (I Peter 1:10-12).
“You are right, my son,” said Moses, “and we all knew that the world’s redemption was connected with His birth, life and death. The angels were in constant attendance upon Him at all times and brought us detailed accounts of all that occurred in His life. Many things of which I am told there is no record upon earth are faithfully written in the Book of Life, a volume of which is at each of the twelve gates and the angel always has it in charge. If you desire,” said Moses, “we will walk at once to the Judean gateway, which is not far from here and see some of the things written therein.”
I said to him: “I entered at that gate only a short time ago and saw the book and glanced over a few of its pages and should be much pleased to look into it again, for our Lord said, “You can all read at your leisure.” As we were going, Moses said to me: “Did the book equal your expectations?” “Oh,” I said, “it far exceeded them. It is so large and grand, yet it seemed easily handled, for everything in heaven seems to be of such a spiritual character….”
Many people are eager to make heaven after death but they are not willing to obey the recommendations of the Saviour who can open the gate of heaven for them when they die. If you want to make heaven, listen to Jesus Christ: “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father (Heavenly God) except through ME” (John 14:6). Hell is for people who are deliberately rebelling against God and His only WAY of escaping the eternal torments of hell. Whether you believe it or not, that only WAY is the LORD JESUS CHRIST. No alternative saviour! No alternative way! (John 14:6).
Unbelievers and sinners are heading for hell unless they repent from their numerous sins. (Hebrews 9:27). Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and escape hell’s damnation! “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Reincarnation, the false doctrine that the soul enters, after death, into another human body, is a great satanic deception. It will be a great disaster if you die without Jesus Christ! (Mark 8:36). Hell is a place of eternal torment! “The smoke from their burning pain will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest, day or night” (Revelation 14:11). If you die without accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ, you will be tormented in hell forever! You will despair of ever having any deliverance! You will beg for death to come and take you away! However, you can only die once (Hebrews 9:27). Purgatory is a false doctrine. Reincarnation is a great satanic deception. Do not let Satan deceive you with false doctrines again.
According to Seneca, when you pass through one of the 12 pearly gates of heaven and enter the holy city (New Jerusalem), you will gaze in wonder, because before you are a golden street, a crystal river and the tree of life. One of the characteristics of the heavenly city is the abundance of gold. In the holy city (New Jerusalem), gold is so plentiful that it is used for cobblestones and building blocks, and it is like glass, possessing transparent qualities, so that the glorious light of the holy city is shining through it and being reflected by it. “The city was pure gold, like clear glass….and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21: 18-21).
The golden street of the New Jerusalem is an indication of the pure and holy walk of God’s redeemed in their eternal heavenly home. The brightness of the holy city, reflecting from the gold that abounds everywhere, will have its uncorrupted counterpart within the heart of every citizen of heaven. This means that holiness and purity will pervade the eternal heavenly city.
According to Seneca, a river clear as crystal is flowing through the New Jerusalem. The river of life begins at the throne of God and it is flowing through the entire holy city. This crystal river flowing through the holy city is of sparkling beauty and clarity beyond the purest water on earth. Seneca saw the redeemed saints of heaven walking along the banks of this glorious crystal river and drinking from it with golden goblets. They are full of blessed joy and giving praise to our Redeemer (Jesus Christ). In the New Jerusalem, a river of crystal will flow forever, reminding us for all eternity that God has graciously and abundantly provided for our every spiritual need. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Jesus)” –Revelation 22:1.
Seneca saw the “tree of life” in the New Jerusalem. The redeemed saints of heaven are freely eating the fruits that are growing on this amazing tree. The term tree of life does not refer to one single tree, but to species. There are many of such trees in the holy city. Seneca saw a multitude of these trees lining the river of life and producing magnificent fruits continuously. “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life” (Revelation 22:2).
Seneca testified about the tree of life and the river of life: “The elder, whom I found to be Joshua of olden time, and who had been taking such an interest in my introduction into the heavenly state, now said, “Let us go to those cluster of trees and sit down a moment. I noticed as we approached them that they were growing beside a great river whose water was clear as crystal and sparkling with a light of which I had but a faint idea while I was in the flesh. The trees were beautiful beyond anything I had ever seen. Their form was so symmetrical and lovely, with no dead or withered branches. The leaves had such an aroma that the fragrance spread over everything and to all parts of the kingdom of God as I was told. Everyone was brought under its influence. I had felt the power of this fragrance long before I knew the source.
The elder now said to me, “Look across to the other side of the river,” where I saw clusters and groves of these trees lining the bank as far as the eye could reach. There I saw multitudes of redeemed souls clothed in the purest white and all of them seemed filled with the same spirit of praise which I had felt so constantly since entering the portals of the kingdom.
The elder again said to me, “Let us gather some of the fruit of these trees and then we will join that company yonder.” I replied, “I would be quite glad to do so. My guide now said, “What kind of fruit would you prefer? You can have your choice of things here just as you used to in the earth. If you feel faint or weary from your long abstinence from food, this kind (pointing to a certain pear-shaped and beautifully colored fruit) is what you need, for the tree has twelve kinds, as you see, upon it.” I said with feelings of deepest praise, “Oh, how wonderfully God has provided for us! Twelve kinds of fruit on each tree, ripening their fruit every month, and the leaves never withering! Wonderful!”
“Here,” said he, “pluck from the boughs on this side of the tree and eat.” I did so, and much refreshing and enlightening grace as they imparted to me, it is beyond the comprehension of mortal man to know; it must be eaten to be understood. The taste of the fruit was delicious indeed. The earth never furnished anything like unto it for taste, not the orange, peach, nor melon. Nor would the fragrance of the rose compare with it. “When anyone eats of these trees,” said the elder, “he can never die again, grow older nor feel weary; death has no more dominion over him. One of these trees grew in the Garden of Eden. After our first parents had sinned against God, they thought to eat of the fruit of it also; but God said, “No,” for had they eaten of it they would always have lived in that sinful, dying state. So a flaming angel was sent to guard it, and so man never eats of it until he has passed the boundaries of his earthly life.”
“Now,” said Joshua, “let us cross over.” To my great astonishment, I found we could walk upon the surface of the water, which seemed like a sea of glass, it was so transparent, and yet it was gliding and rolling along as beautifully as any stream I had ever seen on earth. I quickly remembered the Word of God by His prophet: “But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33:21).
As we walked along, I asked him, “How is it that we do not sink in the water?” He said, “You seem to have forgotten that you have left your body behind you, and that you are now ready to be clothed upon with a far more excellent body than you have ever known. Your spirit cannot sink in these waters. You will soon find that you can go from place to place at will either in the air or upon the solid foundations of the celestial country.”
Prophet Daniel confirmed to Seneca that the New Jerusalem is 1500 miles long and wide and that its length, breadth, and height are equal (Revelation 21:15-16). The size of the holy city (New Jerusalem) is amazing. Daniel told Seneca: “Jesus our Lord, who was conceived by the eternal Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, is Lord of earth and heaven. While I was in the earth I knew Him long before His advent by the Virgin Mary, as the “Ancient of days, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of His head like pure wool.”
“In the revelations which God then gave me I saw Him ‘sitting on His throne in the last judgment and His throne was like a fiery flame. A fiery stream, or bands of flaming angels, issued and came forth from before Him; a thousand, thousand ministered to Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, the judgment was set and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10). “But now for you, all you see before you is for your enjoyment and comfort. The chariots are for your journeys. If you wish you can go at the speed of sound, go at your pleasure. Massive praise services of which we are all so fond here, are held in various sections of the city. If you wish to ascend to the higher or lower galleries or sections of the city, step into the elevator and press the number of the button and you may in a few moments be landed a thousand furlongs above or below as you desire. For you will remember that the city lieth four square, its length and breadth, its height and depth are equal, being like a solid cube, twelve thousand furlongs each side.
“Oh, how massive and great is our inheritance!” said Bohemond, “twelve thousand furlongs would be fifteen hundred miles of earthly measurement.”
“Sure enough,” said the elder, “and there are nearly four hundred thousand of these sections or stories of the city, beside all the vast illimitable regions of paradise. A thousand years of an earthly count will have passed before you have seen but a small portion of what is yours forever. Its vastness is beyond your ability to comprehend at present. So you see, you have ample room for the expansions of your wondering soul.”
At this, I clasped my hands and with great ecstatics of joy cried out: “Oh, Daniel, greatly beloved, is there no end to the provisions God has made for us?”
The elder replied: “The resources of heaven are inexhaustible, and as to the height and depth of the city, its length and breadth, you can never take it all in, but go where you will and you will find that the busy hosts of God know no fatigue and they will welcome you to any and all their banquets and feasts and services of song and praise as we have here.
“If you desire a trip to the beauties and scenery of any part of paradise, any one of the saints or angels will be glad to accompany you, for we all take pleasure in each other’s comfort here. Let us now step to the elevation at the four corners near us.” We climbed the spacious stairway. “Now, will you cast your eyes down this avenue toward the far distance yonder?”
We did so, and as we stood above the busy throngs and countless hosts, all who were once children of earth, and who, like ourselves, once shared in the toils and sweat of an earthly life, and with us had struggled against the fearful hosts of sin, but now exalted and glorified with our blessed Redeemer, the elder said, “Are you repaid for your faith and service for your Lord in the world?”
“Repaid,” I said, “what did I ever do to merit this? No, no, it is all of grace. God is love. We were nothing; we did nothing, but cling to Jesus. He was our All in All.”
“Will you now look to the north?” and he pointed with his finger the way, for we knew no north nor south, for no sun shone at noonday, nor any north star at midnight, for there is no noonday nor midnight in heaven. We needed not the light of sun, nor moon for the Lord God and the Lamb (Jesus) is our eternal light.
As we looked in the directions suggested, we saw the avenue was broad and lovely and the mansions were of exquisite beauty. The golden streets were as warm with so many happy people. Thousands of children were playing in the streets. Lovely fountains were throwing up their spray, which sparkled like beaded diamonds of light. We saw long tables of a thousand cubits each most beautifully adorned and ladened with most precious fruits and nuts of all varieties, and with such freedom everyone seemed to be eating and drinking at his ease and pleasure.
I thought in what a different sense could all this mighty throng say in the same words of many of the Jews of old, “We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence and Thou hast taught in our streets” (Luke 13:26).
“Many of these children,” said the elder, “have but recently come, but you see how completely contented they are. No change of place nor surroundings could make them happier, unless it would be to see their parents, brothers, sisters or friends here: then their cup of happiness would be complete indeed. They have no desire to go back to the earth from where they have so lately come, but they do greatly rejoice in the coming of their friends. Contentment of which we only knew the first rudiments in the world is written on every soul here.”
“Will you now look upward,” said the elder.
We cast our eyes above. To our greater wonder still, the arches and domes above us were ablaze with the sparkle of what seemed to be the most precious diamonds for beauty, and jasper stones clear as crystal.
“This,” said the elder, “is but a reflection of the glory of God which shines out from the throne and through all His works.”
Seneca met and spoke with King David: “Just at this point came two chariots sweeping along in which were seated many of the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles of Jesus. I noticed that each of them had a harp, and someone with a large stringed instrument stood up prominently among them. I said, “Who is the man with his face shining with such glory, having the stringed instrument?”
Several spoke at once and said: You have sung his hymns and Psalms a thousand times. Guess who he is.”
I did not need to be told. I knew it was David the King. Anticipating my desires, someone beckoned to the charioteer. David also called us to come and sit with him. We were soon by his side and the chariot was rolling along with noiseless but slackened speed. I said to David and the rest, as I turned toward my friend: “This is Bohemond from Northern Russia whom I met at my first introduction into paradise. I am from the opposite side of the earth, and although our homes were so remote from each other, yet we are brethren in the Lord.”
“We are glad to welcome you, my sons, to the Holy City, and also into this chariot, said David. “Of course, you are going where we all are going, up to join the great congregation in the worship and praise of our Redeemer.”
“Indeed we are and shall be glad to go along with you, for we know but little of the order of worship here.”
“Just that which springs up in your souls is most pleasing to God. I see you have your harps with you. Have you learned to use them?”
“Oh, yes, and I have been practicing some new hymns we sang at our entrance into paradise and at the gate of the city. We used to sing your Psalms of praise on earth, as well as the song of Moses, but when I heard the first strain of music in heaven I concluded we did not know how to sing at all.”
“Oh, well,” said David, “you will have no trouble in joining in with the music here. Do you not hear the orchestra now? We shall all join them soon.”
I had been so entranced at our situation and surroundings and so absorbed in the conversation that I had almost forgotten who or where I was; but turning to Bohemond, I said: “How blessed to be here, and then, just to think, we are with the old prophets of God of whom we have read so much!”
At this Bohemond again fell on his face in adoring praise to God, and poured forth such sweet strains of melodious thanksgiving, that David could not withhold his fingers from the strings of his harp. In a moment more, the whole chariot was sounding with the sweetest music of all the ages, for the sweet singer of Israel had greatly improved himself, he said, since he had been singing the songs of heaven. While we were singing, Bohemond arose and joined, and sang so loud and lovely that all eyes were turned upon him. As I scanned the faces, I caught the glimpse of one, which I soon recognized as that of Abraham, whom I had met back at the crystal river. I stepped toward him. He knew me and called my name, and shook my hand with a joyous fresh welcome and said: “Let me introduce to you my son Isaac, and Jacob as well, of whom you have often read.”
“Oh, is this your son whom you offered on Mount Moriah? And Jacob, thou chosen of God, who wrestled with the angel and prevailed. How blessed to meet you all here! How much like a dream, when we used to read the record of your lives! Oh, my soul is full of glory and praises to God. I am so happy in meeting you here; but you have been here for long ages and I have just come. There are many things I would like to ask you, and I trust in no distant day we may have a long talk. But it does seem good to be here. Just now I remember a Scripture passage which I have read so many times over, but it never had a meaning as it does now. Our Lord once said that “Many should come from the East and the West and should sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 8:11), and here it is fulfilled to us. Oh, I do bless God for His great salvation!”
“The music sounds so clear and distinct we must be near the great gathering place for the mighty hosts.”
“Indeed we are,” said David. “Cast your eyes abroad and see.”
I arose and stood upright in the chariot with one hand on David’s shoulder and with the other I held my harp. To my great astonishment, as far as the eye could reach, I saw innumerable hosts gathering and everyone robed in the purest white. The orchestra was still practicing and singing some of the most lovely songs human ears had ever heard. My soul was in a perfect state of rapture and bliss.
The place of the meeting was more like a great amphitheater. The architecture had all been designed by our Lord and is among the things He went to prepare for us. All the seats were beautifully upholstered and the floors carpeted with exquisite taste. Almost without noise or jar everyone found his place. I said to David: “Will our Lord be here among us?”
“No doubt He is here now,” answered David, “and will be seated in the center, and all the fresh arrivals will be ushered to seats near Him. This is done to give them a fresh welcome and that all may see the vast hosts of those who are being redeemed and washed by His precious blood; and yet the strangers and newcomers which will be here is only a small portion of those who have so recently entered the portals of paradise, and many of them have entered through the gates into the city.”
And true enough, for so it was. All the fresh arrivals were gathered from among the mighty concourse toward the center. Our Lord Jesus sat on a kind of elevated throne visible to all the great host. He arose and with most loving words gave us a very kind greeting. A deep sense of awe filled our minds. We knew we were standing in the presence of the Almighty Creator and Gracious Redeemer, and we felt great joy in the kind welcome He gave us. He held up His hands; and the nail prints were also seen in His feet. He did not need a sermon to arouse our feelings of praise. Before time could be given for any further introduction, we had all fallen on our faces in adoring praise, for we felt so deeply that all this glory was the purchase of His precious blood, His sufferings and death on the cross of Calvary
In a few moments, we all stood on our feet again and received another gracious welcome by our Lord. His words were most tender and loving and the welcome so sweet and full that at once we all felt perfectly at ease and at home with all the rest of the great company and we all praised God together.
Many hundreds of angels were among us who had carried us from the scenes of our earthly lives into the heavenly domain. They seemed to rejoice with great joy that we were safely home in the bosom of God. Just at this time David arose to his feet and with him many prophets, patriarchs, apostles and ancient servants of God. The song of praise was announced and the whole congregation, having harps of God in their hands, arose. They, or rather we, for we all joined, sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (Jesus), and the chorus was, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints (Revelation 15:3). David’s harp played that day as I think it had never played on earth.
Paul and Silas stood side by side and their voices could be distinctly heard above the voices of many. Oh, if only the church on earth could catch the inspiration and life of this heavenly worship, there would be few listless congregations even where there is no preacher at all!
When at last, the great congregation had broken up and we were scattering in all directions, we met several ancient men and women who had lived far back in the past ages of the world, with some of whom we had very precious visits. They welcomed us to their company. We soon found ourselves sitting in the presence of Job, Methuselah, Abel, Noah and many of the earliest ancestors of the race. They all seemed full of vigorous life with no marks of decrepit old age like we knew so much in the world. I then quickly thought of the words of God to John: “Behold I make all things new,” (Revelation 21:5) and sure enough, these were among the earliest of the race of man, made in God’s image, on whom this mighty renovating power had come. We had a long but very pleasant visit with them asking them many questions concerning the early history of man on the earth. Adam and Eve were the first creation of man in the image of God.”
Seneca met Elijah, Daniel, John, Paul and Silas: “We cast our eyes through the great archway toward the chariot and saw David beckoning us to him. We hastened through the long aisle and when near the chariot, we found it was filled with those holy men of old. David now said: “We saw you were quite alone and thought you would like to go with us to a great praise service for the children soon to be held near the Judean gate.” We gladly accepted their offer, saying, “We were on our way to the throne, but will be glad to go with you for we are but little acquainted with the city.” Paul spoke lovingly, and yet laughingly, and said: “Well, dear brethren, I have been here for more than eighteen hundred years and yet I know but little of the city, although I have been to many sections of it again and again. Our inheritance is exceeding great.” Do not hurry, eternity is before you. The vast plains of paradise,” said Paul, “and all the riches of the eternal city are yours forever.”
“Now,” said David, “step up and take a seat beside Paul and myself. Those brethren in the rear of the chariot would be glad to speak to you.” The four men arose, and we were introduced to Elias (Elijah) and Daniel, whom everyone knows, and who are famous in heaven on account of their devotion and service to God in the earth, and a man by the name of Artorious, of whom I had never heard before. David said he was from Southern Mesopotamia and a descendant from Shem and one of Abraham’s soldiers in the battle at Hobah (Genesis 14:14-17) and John, the beloved disciple, whose name is a household word in all the world.
“Well, brethren,” I said, “is it true that we are here with those who have lived so long ago? The idea of immortality and a future life, which we cherished so dearly in the world has proven more than a dream. Oh, how good it is to be here! There are so many things I want to ask you concerning a far by-gone age, but my soul is too full of glory and praises to God now, I cannot restrain my feelings.” David said: “You need not try. We will all join you in praises to God.” Silas arose from the front of the chariot and came and stood by David’s side while they sang a most lovely hymn. Bohemond and I fell on our faces in the chariot and worshipped God, blessed Giver of all this good.”
Seneca discussed with Apostle Paul: “David led in the singing of the hymn. The chariot was moving slowly along. When we finished, David said to his charioteer: “You may drive past the children’s polytechnic, and let our brethren so lately come see what our Lord has prepared for the little ones of His kingdom.” So, turning to the right, he guided the chariot, not rapidly, for we had many things to talk about on the way.
The avenue was broad and lovely. We passed many gushing fountains and groves of the trees of life. These were not for shade as no burning sun smites either the city or the blessed paradise.
On the way I said to Paul, who sat by my side: “It does seem so good to be here with you, it seems indeed too good to be true. Fancy painted many fair pictures while we were in the world which were made to glow on the canvas of our imagination in reference to the future, but none ever equaled the reality.”
“No,” said Paul, “it was impossible for man to conceive of the glory while in the flesh. The Lord once gave me just a glimpse into paradise while yet in the world. The glory was beyond my power to describe.” I replied to Paul: “I have often wondered how it occurred, for we have a brief account in the divine word on earth which you left concerning it” (II Corinthians 12:2).
“Well,” said he, “while at Lystra in Lyconia, I was stoned and dragged out of the city for dead, but God raised me up, and I, with the brethren, went back to the city (Acts 14:19). But that night I could not sleep, being restless and burdened with the word of the Lord. I arose and, all alone, went out of the city to pray. I ascended the side of old Karadogh, an extinct volcano. I seemed to be greatly helped, for an angel constantly held my hand. When some little distance up the mountain, one of the chariots of God, with a driver of light, appeared at my side. I was so enraptured by the presence and glory of God and both overawed and overcome by the royal chariot and driver that I hardly could tell whether I had died or was in a trance; but I soon found myself lying prostrate in the chariot and mounting far above the old mountain.
We arose above the pillars of the skies. I soon heard the strains of music from the third heaven in the plains of paradise. They were singing some new songs, which as a mortal man, I had not power to repeat. I opened my eyes just for a moment, glanced at the crystal river and heard a loud voice proclaiming the mystery of the trees upon its banks. It was the closing words of a sermon uttered by Moses to a vast company of Jews, as I was told by the driver afterwards, giving them light upon these that they could not know while under the law and subject to an inferior experience, for you have already found that we have preaching here in heaven as we used to have on earth.
“Only an instant we remained and the chariot darted with the speed of sound toward the earth. In a few moments the old town of Lystra, lying at the foot of the mountain, with its streets and domes, shone out with their best appearance under the light of the full moon beaming upon them; but the people were fast asleep. I stepped from the chariot as the driver, with a pleasant wave of his hand, said, good-bye, and in an instant, it was gone. On the top of Karadogh, I continued my prayer and praise to God until near the break of day. I never could really tell while in my flesh whether I was loosened for the time being from my body or whether bodily I was taken to glory. Ever after this, I had a longing to go back and forever remain; to depart and be with Christ. The words of the sermon and the strains of music could never be forgotten, but were an element of strength in my life during the many afflictions God permitted to come upon me.”
“I remember the words in your Epistle,” I replied: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:21-23).
“Indeed,” said Paul, “and had I known all the bliss and glory of the celestial kingdom, as it is, I could not have been contented. I was greatly favored of God, and through so many revelations of His will and manifestations of His power, I was in great danger of being unduly exalted; but God always knows how to deal with us for our greatest good. A man of most bitter wrath was turned against me, indeed he was a thorn in the flesh to me. He was the messenger of Satan; but God’s grace then, as at all times, was entirely sufficient for me, and I always found that all things work together for good to them who love God.”
“Oh, thank you much for your words. It seems as if God directed you to give me this little bit of your experience. I have often wondered what the thorn was to which you alluded in the Epistle.”
“Yes,” said Paul, “but this messenger of Satan, as well as the prisons, scourges, beatings, betrayals by false brethren, and sufferings of earth, only worked for my good. I am so blessedly free from them all now. The contrast is so great it gives me an eternal appreciation of the blessedness of this kingdom.”
“I see,” said David, “we are coming near the children’s spiritual Polytechnic. Can you hear them singing?” “Oh, most distinctly,” and yet, the place was still out of sight. The streets were thronged with the little ones, usually in company with the angels or faithful mothers or those having care over them. They all seemed so joyous and their laugh of hilarity and joyful conversation bespoke perfect contentment and satisfaction, and yet we knew that much the larger number had left their parents in the earth; but there is no grief nor sorrow in heaven. If all mothers in earth could only see their children whom they have lost, as they really are, they would weep no more, but make every provision needed to soon follow them to those mansions of light.”
Many older people were among them. Some were parents conducting their children. Some small infants were carried by the angels, or precious women had them pressed close to their bosoms, for their infant feet had never learned to walk. At last our chariot halted just near the great entrance, where it seemed countless throngs were pouring in, and of all this great host none had been within the compass of the heavenly domain but a short time. Children soon grow to maturity in heaven. Your little babe, dear mother of earth, which left you many years ago, is now with its harp of gold singing and praising God in all the maturity of its manhood or womanhood. We now stepped out and followed the great throng where they went.
The place was most beautiful indeed. The decorations were beyond description, for everyone seemed to take an interest in the children and had brought flowers celestial, worked into bouquets and wreaths of artistic beauty, with blooming shrubbery of an unfading character and of many kinds. I thought of the Scripture, “Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” “Beautiful and grand indeed!” I whispered. The decorations overhead, the carpets underfoot, the upholstery and cushions were of the finest fabric, with tiny seats also of celestial velvet, for the little ones. A thousand golden chains sparkling with diamonds, and gems of rarest beauty were arranged for the leaders in the service. A large and beautifully arranged platform was in the center on which several thousand could sit or stand, elevated so that all could easily be seen and heard. This was for the leaders in the great public services.
Great multitudes of children were rapidly filing in, and gathering towards this great center. They had escorts guiding them to their respective places. They, like all the inhabitants of heaven, were clothed in shining garments of the purest white. They had all entered the portals of the heavenly domain at some point of paradise, for it will be remembered that all souls enter paradise first of all, and as they are prepared for the fuller enjoyment of the King and His glory, they pass on toward the throne where God Himself is seen and enjoyed in all His glory and majesty. All these children had been for a longer or shorter period in the preparatory departments of paradise; but they had now entered through the gates with greatly extended privileges.
As I glanced over the countless multitude of little ones, I was most forcibly reminded of the words of our Lord: “Let the children come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:14). I thought again that no longer was the warning needed that “Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mark 9:42). “No,” I thought, thank God, no more experiences of being cuffed about as many had been on earth. No more little heartaches and sobs. No more being falsely accused and blamed by irritated older ones!”
Everyone seemed to be so contented and happy and without that feeling of loneliness and fear which is so natural to all children on earth when absent from parents or home. They seemed to be so rational and appreciative of their situation. Some of them had died when tiny infants and had known nothing of the earth, so they seemed to be somewhat amused at the story of their former life and beginning in the world. Oh, this wonderful scene: the grandest I have ever witnessed either on earth or in heaven,” I said to Bohemond. “My whole soul is in raptures of delight.
We could hear the voices of thousands who were praising God, with loud, yet most sweet words, and with their harps of gold. The great amphitheater was simply ringing with the melodies of heaven. David’s chariot stood still on the street; but he with the remainder of our company had gone on toward the great central gathering, for our Lord Jesus was seated on the platform and blessing the multitude as they came past. His blessing was filled with such enlightening grace that the children bounded off with such intelligent praise that one might think they had been here for many years.
Just at this moment my companions of the chariot, who had gone on toward the center of the great hall, beckoned to me. We all went toward them and at a given signal, the mighty concourse fell upon their faces in adoring praise to Him who was in the midst and was fairer than the sons of men. Many of these children looked upon His blessed face for the first time. Such a welcome He gave them, which showed His great love for the little ones.
The harps were all tuned to the voice of the singer, and as we now arose, all stood, and many with outstretched hands toward Him with one great voice made the arches and domes of heaven to resound with melodious infant praises. How forcibly I again remembered the words, “Let the little children come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:14).
These meetings I found were frequently for the children in which they were taught the worship of God and instructed concerning the sad fact of sin, and that without the great atoning sacrifice of their Lord, none of them could ever have entered the blessed portals of this heavenly domain. They were taught about His sufferings and death for them; the sin and awful fall of our first parents in Eden, and how judgment came upon all to condemnation, and that an eternal night of hell would have been theirs if their Lord had not suffered for them. I noticed their intense interest in the story of the cross and their deep appreciation of what the Lord had done for them. The prints of the nails yet in His hands and feet were an object lesson to them indeed.”
Seneca met and discussed with Prophet Jonah: “Now David, tell us about the mansions of the prophets of which Genevive spoke.”
“I will be only too glad to tell you about them. Very many of the prophets and ancient men of Israel, including the patriarchs had their mansions located near together. They are so grouped that they have easy and ready access to each other. These they call their own and yet everyone has perfect privilege to go and come, as he likes. It is thought no intrusion here to come and stay as long as one desires. Everything in the city belongs to each of us; we are heirs of it all.”
“Oh,” I said, “has God prepared all these great things for me? Are they really mine?”
“As sure as you are in the city they are yours,” said David.
“I do remember the Scripture,” I replied, “where God says; “All are yours and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (I Corinthians 3:22-23).
Bohemond spoke and said, “I am wondering about a mansion for myself and its location.”
David replied and said; “Be patient, my son, God will locate you to your own satisfaction. However, remember, you have unbounded privileges in the entire kingdom of heaven, both in the city and paradise. Go where you will. Come when you please, and be forever contented.”
Like all the avenues and streets of the city, this one was most gorgeously decorated. A branch of the river was flowing in the midst of it. On either side were growing the trees of life interspersed with many varieties of most beautiful shrubbery. No earthly camera ever made a picture even to compare to this heavenly glory.
Since leaving the children’s polytechnic, our chariot had been rolling along with indescribable speed. Many hundred furlongs had been passed while Bohemond and I had been talking over the experiences of each since we had parted.
“Now,” said David, “we are coming near to the mansions of the ancients,” and slackening his speed he said, “You can recognize the names of many of the occupants no doubt, for all who are acquainted with Jewish history will be familiar with many of the names you see yonder.” Sure enough, upon the doors and posts of the verandas and other places were the names of many of the ancient saints of God.
“Now,” said David, “they are always glad to welcome all the new arrivals, as well as their old friends.”
I said to David: “Genevive spoke of Jonah the prophet, will we pass his mansion?”
“Oh, yes, indeed,” said David, and in a few minutes the chariot halted near the threshold of a beautiful palace.
“Well, I see the prophet’s name,” said Bohemond.
“To be sure,” said David, “and he is the veritable Jonah of the Bible. I am also trusting for you, dear brethren that he is now in his residence.”
We all sprang from the chariot and David leading the way, we were soon at the threshold. There are no door bells to ring in heaven, for everyone is always welcome. As well might a busy bee ask admission into its own hive as for one saint in heaven to have to ask another to admit him to his mansion, for there is an eternal brotherhood in heaven, with all things in common, as we know but little of on earth.
We rejoiced exceedingly when David said: “I see Jonah now through the hallway yonder.”
As we entered his mansion, he came toward us and David saluted him with “Good morning, my brother.”
“Good morning to you,” said Jonah, “I am always glad to have you come in. Tell me who are these brethren with you?”
“Recent arrivals. Brother Sodi is a Greek of Jewish descent but later from the Scandinavian people, and Bohemond from Northern Russia.”
“Glad to welcome you, dear brethren,” he said, as he gave us his hand. We were soon all seated in his spacious mansion, beautiful with adornments as no earthly home has ever been decorated. As I looked about me, I thought of our Lord’s words on earth: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Oh, these many mansions, prepared by an almighty hand!” Then I thought again, “If He has made such an endless variety of flowers, sweet scented and lovely shrubbery of all kinds, with so many things to please and enhance our earthly lives, what will He not provide for His saints in heaven?”
“Well, Jonah,” I said, “we are glad to meet you indeed, but tell me, are you the prophet Jonah, so conspicuous in Bible times on earth?”
“I am the Prophet Jonah, son of Amittai, reared up in Gathhelper, a town of old lower Galilee in Zebulun, more than two thousand, seven hundred years ago: but that is reckoning like we used to on earth; but, dear brethren, it has really only been about two and one-half days since I came into this heavenly kingdom, reckoning by heaven’s count.
“Well, do tell us, Jonah, of your experience with the whale. There has been a lot of skepticism about the story.”
“The story is all true,” said Jonah. “How I lived in the midst of the great fish I cannot tell. I only know I did live the three days within the fish. However, the fish was fully as sick of the job as I was myself. I have been asked these same questions thousands of times. It is an old story to me, yet ever new and ever true because God’s hand was present both to punish and to save. My continued disobedience would have meant Nineveh’s destruction, but my repentance and faithfulness meant their salvation. Yes, the story is true, whatever scoffers may say miracle indeed it was — but it was followed by the greatest revival any city ever knew. My punishment and repentance was a sign to the Ninevites. They repented, God had mercy and I was angry, oh, sinful Jonah that I was, but He had mercy on me also, and many of the Ninevites were saved and are now in heaven.”
“Oh, Jonah,” I cried, “I wish you could only go back and repeat your story on earth again. Many cavilers are ridiculing the word of God over your experience.”
“Yes,” said Jonah, “and they will do it to their own destruction. Many great and strange things have occurred and will yet occur — some of them so strange that men will still doubt and cavil as they always have; nevertheless they are true.”
“True indeed,” I replied, “we have known children and animals born with two heads on opposite ends of one body, a peculiar working of some law of God producing what we called monstrosities. When other things strange occur in the physical realm, we say a miracle has occurred, and then men cavil and deny. However, we are glad indeed to have met you and heard your story from your own lips. We have always believed God’s word was true. Our Lord made reference to you eight hundred years after your time on earth, making you a sign of His own death and resurrection.”
“Yes,” said Jonah, “and it was all true, and skeptical men who were plentiful in the days of the Lord on earth, will stand at the last judgment day with the same men of Nineveh, while the Ninevites cry out against them. So will it be with latter days cavilers, who have abundantly more light than even the men in our Lord’s time.”
David spoke and said: “In my time many great things occurred. The hand of God was daily stretched out over me, and many deliverances He gave me — enough to fill a volume. Men in my time on earth generally accepted these special providences as God’s hand in dealing with the affairs of men.”
“Quite true,” said Jonah, “for in my time some two hundred years after your death, everybody seemed to speak of you as one whom God greatly honoured.”
“Well, Jonah, we are going on to the throne, and I am very anxious to behold the glory of that most wonderful place in heaven about which we have sung and prayed all our earthly lives, and just think, I am so near to it now! Oh, hallelujah to my God! My soul is so full of raptures I cannot contain myself longer.”
“Tune your harps,” said David.
“Sure,” I replied, and in a moment, we were singing at the top of our voices: “The wonders of our God, our King.”
“Oh, just think, we are in heaven, and really in the mansion of Jonah, the prophet, near to the throne.”
“It has been such a pleasure to me,” said Jonah, “to meet you dear brethren who have lived on earth nearly three thousand years after my time, that now we must join with you in thanksgiving to God.” Therefore, at this we all fell on our faces with adoring praises to God.
When we had arisen, Jonah said: “I hope to be at the throne during the great convocation. Millions of saints attend. I hope to meet you again at that time. So offering to us his hand, we all bade him good-bye, and were soon in David’s chariot enroute for the great center of the heavenly kingdom.
I said to David: “Are we not almost as near the throne as we were when we turned back for the trip in paradise?”
“Quite as near,” said David, “but we are approaching it from another quarter, at this time.”
The light seemed so bright, yet not dazzling, for we were being prepared for it. Thousands of happy souls were passing us. Many loads were being made up at different points arranging for the great convocation.
“Now,” said David, “we must halt, for I see an angel calling to me.” He sprang out of his chariot, and, after a few minutes interview with the angel, came and said to us that he would have to leave us here for a little season, as he was called to a distant part of the city. “I think I shall leave you for only a little time. You can enjoy yourselves in such strolls as you like. Call at any of the mansions you wish. Feel perfectly at home. All you see is yours. I have to make a hasty visit to a distant part of the city on business matters concerning the great convocation. If I do not return in time for you, step on any of the chariots and you will be taken to the throne in due time.” So saying, we stepped from the chariot, he bade us good-bye with a lovely bow and wave of his hand, and his chariot had gone.”
Seneca met and discussed with Adam and Eve: “Bohemond and I had just taken our seats in the chariot of the ancients. On inquiry, we soon found we were in the chariot and the company of the earliest generations of the earth’s population. We were soon introduced to Adam and Eve, the first parents of the chosen race. It seemed passingly strange for us to think we were side by side with those of such early date. Abel, Enoch and Methuselah were also in the chariot. Turning to Abel, I addressed him and said: “Oh, thou first-born son, born of those who never were born!”
“True,” said Adam, who overheard the conversation, “we never were born, but created. I remember so distinctly when first I opened my eyes to behold the creations about me. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I felt the breezes and saw the waving of the branches of the trees and heard the sweet voice of birds and the lowing of cattle. God spoke intelligently to me about the fruit of the trees for food. I quickly learned how to satisfy my hunger and thirst. But I longed for a mate, for I found none among all the creations of the garden. God gave me this woman as a helpmeet for me, so I found she was “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” and I have loved her ever since.” At this Eve blushingly smiled and said: “You can guess our courtship was brief. It was me or none. But we soon learned life’s lesson, which all the world has repeated after us.”
Seth and Noah were also side by side; Sarah and Rebecca, Keturah and Rachel also were grouped together, Ephraim and Manasseh must have seemed as young as when Jacob blessed them so long ago. Samuel and Aaron were also with the happy group and seemed to be rather presiding as prophet and priest over the chariot load. Caleb and Joshua were in the front assisting the charioteer in guiding the chariot. They all seemed to take a deep interest in us and asked us many questions bearing on modern times. After we had exchanged many questions both of modern and ancient life, I was so enraptured with the idea of eternal life, God’s great gift to man, that I fairly shouted and said: “Oh, what did God mean when He breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul? (Genesis 2:7). Here is the explanation before me in you dear brethren, who have survived the ravages of earth and the durations of heaven and are no older than you were four thousand or five thousand years ago. Oh, blessed eternal life!”
Bohemond now spoke and said to Methuselah: “Do tell me if your years on earth were as long as it stated in God’s book, nine hundred and sixty-nine years is the Bible record of your age. It seems to us almost incredible, as we only live such a short time now. Please tell us about it and what did you do?”
“Truly,” replied Methuselah, “we lived to a great age and the record of the inspired word is correct, for Moses has told me repeatedly what he wrote concerning the early history of the world and man. As to why we lived so long, may be easily explained. God was exceedingly good to us. No former generations having lived before us, we had no books to read nor anything previously discovered by anyone before us. We had to find out by long searching and experimenting, which required years, which in a later day one could know in a few minutes. In fact, a child of only a few years, at a later period of the world, would know as much as one of us could know after a hundred years had passed. After all the long years of our effort, we all died (except Enoch over there), and after eight hundred or nine hundred years with but little more knowledge on general lines than your children of ten or twelve years know now.
In the generations of men a little later, they would live as much in seventy-five or a hundred years as we would in eight hundred or nine hundred years. So God mercifully lengthened out our lives and gave us greater opportunities toward the end for which we were placed upon the earth for our first habitation, instead of there in this celestial world. As to what we did, well, sure enough we did nothing but till the ground and herd the cattle and sheep. Our implements were indeed of the crudest sort and we made them wholly of wood. We did the best we could. Yonder sits Adam; he can tell you, dear brethren (for so you are to us), all about his early experience.”
At that, I arose in the chariot and was introduced again to the venerable head of the race of man, and to Eve, the mother of us all.
“Oh, Adam and Eve, tell us of your early experience in the world.”
“Certainly,” said Adam, “with pleasure,” and Eve made a lovely bow of assent.
“Well to begin: The garden where we were first placed was a lovely home indeed. No grander place could ever be found upon the earth. I have had descriptions of all kinds of earthly gardens, but nothing equaled paradise. Everything was perfectly delightful. Fruits of all kinds were ripening and hanging ready to our hand. Nothing forbidden to us but one tree. But, oh, that sin I never can forget it! What penalties followed our disobedience! The shame, disgrace and alienation from God!
It was a sad day when God sent us out to till the ground and dig for ourselves. After we heard our sentence, we were very reluctant to leave, so there came two of the angels with scourges in their hands and without parleying they drove us out. Oh, the sorrow and tears of that day! The angels had already told us of the tree of life, and its marvelous imparting virtues. The whole garden was charged and filled with the aroma of this tree. The very breezes and atmosphere were surcharged with life, but death was creeping upon us. We felt the chill and pall of a terrible stroke. We were simply out of harmony with our environments. The curse of death was upon us, and God sent us out to till the ground which He had likewise cursed.”
“Did not God show you mercy and kindness and give the promise of a Redeemer for you?”
“Surely, He did, and gave us proofs of His love toward us in the garments He gave us to cover our shame.”
“Did this signify anything to you then as an offering made by blood for sin?”
“Indeed, it did,” said Adam, “for God fully explained to us the conditions of pardon. This we taught to our children and Cain knew it full well as did Abel, but Cain did not believe the details concerning the sin offering and this will explain to you why Abel brought a better sacrifice than Cain and by it though dead, yet he speaketh.”
“How was it, Abel?” I said.
“Just as father has told you,” replied Abel.
“What about Cain?” I asked.
“He was self-willed and despised God’s way. Poor boy, he sowed his seeds of unbelief and reaped his harvest among the lost.”
“Will you tell me more about the results of your early sin when God drove you from the garden?”
“A thousand times I have told the story, but will cheerfully tell it again to you. Little did I comprehend before our sin the great depth and meaning of transgression. I know all that Moses wrote concerning it, and much beside, and his words were true; so also were the words of the Apostle Paul, all of which I know, for they have been repeated to me many times over. We had unbounded liberties in the garden and should have been content, but there stood the tree of knowledge very near the tree of life. God has said, “Of every tree thou may freely eat except one.” He threatened us with death should we disobey. Why we did disobey has been the awful problem of our lives. God let the penalty fall upon us. We became mortal and subject to death. The grant of immortality was withdrawn. We were depraved, and alienated from God. We lost His image and were without hope and without God. Only through His infinite mercy were we saved, and have the privilege of these mansions of bliss.”
I thanked Adam and the rest for their kindness to us and said: “We hope we can have another such interview as this with you.”
“Oh, yes, we will be pleased at any time suitable to your convenience.”
Seneca testified further: “We now cast our eyes up the broad avenue in the direction we were going only to see it simply crowded with saints and angels bound for the Great Convocation at the throne. These were in chariots of various descriptions, or walking leisurely along, eagerly engaged in joyful conversation and pleasant visits by the way. It called to mind those great occasions in the world when ancient Israel was gathering at her great annual feast of the Lord at Jerusalem when a half million or a million souls would be gathering from cities, towns, and country throughout the Holy Land. But at this feast innumerable hosts were pouring in from all directions; those who had been gathered from all kingdoms, nations, tongues, kindreds and people of the earth, Israelites and Gentiles. No such gatherings have ever met in the world for any purpose as was gathering here.
However, this time we were so near the throne that great waves of light and glory were flashing out in all directions. An earthly sunrise on a bright June morning is but a faint picture of this glory. We were yet several leagues away, but the magnificent buildings and exquisite mansions were simply beyond description. Lovely fountains were gushing up their silvery streams of life, in the midst of the streets, and with the golden vessels of this holy sanctuary, we were constantly refreshing ourselves, for the chariot was moving very slowly and leisurely along.
Enoch now said: “We are almost to the southern entrance,” and with this signal we all arose in the chariot and stood to our feet. The newer arrivals were so overcome and overawed by the majesty and glory of our surroundings that we began a hymn of praise. When we had finished the hymn, we all knelt upon the seats of the chariot and poured forth our praise to God. Bohemond shouted and said: “Oh, throne of God, I am simply lost in the glory!”
Just at this moment David’s chariot drove by our side. It was filled mostly with strangers, but among them was Genevive, my mother, and Mary. David had returned by the way of the cathedral and found room for them. Now both chariots stood still, and we all alighted, and walked but a short distance and stood beneath the wide-spreading branches of one of the trees of life. Here we sang another hymn and again we fell on our faces with adoring praise. We were so overcome with the majesty and glory all around us that we knew not what to say or even think. Thousands of the saints were gathering about us and pressing on nearer the throne. All those ancient men and women of the chariot went forward at once. But Bohemond, Genevive, mother, Mary and myself stood a few moments to consult further with each other and with David who now came to us. With Bohemond and myself there was a fear and an awe we could not overcome. All the rest were perfectly at home, and we tried to be, but felt a shrinking in our souls. The thought of soon standing beside the throne and looking in the face of the Great Jehovah made us think deeply of our preparation.
Beyond all my power of description are the splendors of the throne itself. As we approached nearer the center of the great city and to the region of the Father’s throne, mighty waves of light and glory came constantly rolling over us, and with them came such refreshing baths of love, peace and joy, that our gladness was indescribable, having reached a degree of perfection never known before. The noiseless chariots were moving in all directions. Countless throngs of happy spirits, clothed in the purest garments and the expression of every face being that of the serenest peace and composure of soul were moving toward and from the throne.
Vast numbers like ourselves were approaching the throne for the first time, many of whom had been within the compass of the majestic wall a long time, but the entire satisfaction with all the surroundings and the perfect contentment of soul made them linger long at each new object with which they came in contact. It was well for them that they did, for the glory of the throne which excel all else would be too great for them.
I saw many who, on account of the majesty, glory and light, were so overcome, that it reminded me much of the experience of many on earth during great revival seasons, whose spiritual perceptions were greater than their nervous powers to endure, hence there followed prostrations, trances, fainting, shoutings and kindred experiences. I found even in heaven that there was a development and growth of the powers of the soul even to an endless perfection, and a strength of mental capacity unknown on earth or even at the first entrance into the heavenly state. Yes, endless perfection, and still, while approaching, yet never could reach the perfection of God.
The majesty of the throne is indeed beyond description. Notwithstanding we had been graciously prepared for it, yet we were so overawed at our surroundings and the sight before us that we did not know what to say or even think. Comparisons with earthly scenes, the richest and grandest or the greatest works of man would give but a faint idea, even human language itself is too tame to tell the story. The memories of childhood experiences were constantly rushing through our minds, so that I said to myself repeatedly, “Is this only a dream or is it real? Have I seen a vision or am I really in heaven? No dream ever came to me on earth like this; no grandeur ever equaled it; no dream of glory so enchanting.”
Seneca discussed with Enoch and Moses: “We had been standing spellbound a long time, when a man whose face was beaming with a halo of light, came to us; he seemed to realize our situation and said: “Dear brethren, have you just come to the throne for the first time?” As he came near us and spoke, we thought we recognized him, but having met so many in such a short time we were not sure that he was of those in the chariot. “Indeed,” I replied, “we have been for quite a little time within the city, but have been detained with so many things and wonderful scenes, that we could not reach the throne earlier.”
“You have been wise,” said our friend, who was interesting himself in us, “for even now you are none too well prepared for the great things which are just before you. If you would like to have me, I will accompany you for just a little while in your introduction to this most blessed and exalted place in our Father’s house.” We would be much pleased to have you do so, for we are in much ignorance as to what is before us.”
I turned to Bohemond and said: “How fortunate to have such company and assistance, and yet we knew that in our Father’s house with its many mansions we need have no fears for our needs would be met at the right time.” “At this he brought us to a sparkling fountain not far from one of the great entrances to the throne, and with a golden goblet gave us a drink, then he went a little distance to a mammoth tree whose branches were everywhere hanging low and brought us each a cluster of its fruit. When we had eaten it, he pronounced a blessing upon us and suddenly our eyes and minds were prepared for the greatest glories to which a mortal man has ever been exalted, and to those scenes, we will now turn our attention. We were so entranced at the vision before us that Bohemond fell on his face and poured forth his praise to God as I had never heard him before. In fact, we all felt completely overcome in wonder and admiration.
The vastness of the various compartments of the throne is beyond all earthly comparison. For many furlongs it was spread out in all directions before us. Bohemond came close to my side and said in a low voice: “Whoever could have thought of such glory!” Light, all filled with glory, heightened beyond all human conception of earthly things revealed the splendors of the throne beyond the powers of a man to describe, so that I kept thinking of the word which I had so long heard: “That God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). We stood long in wonder and admiration. Our guide now came to us and said: “We will now go forward and see more of the greatness of this, our Father’s throne. You need have no fears, for we are all children of God and He delights in our highest enjoyment and is pleased for us to know of these treasures of His love; so come with me, and I will show you at a glance a little of what God had in mind when He laid the foundations of the earth and made man in His own image.”
“I have been here during thousands of earthly years. There were but few of earth’s inhabitants when first I came, compared to the unnumbered millions now; but a vast number of angels were about the throne when first I looked upon this glory.”
“Yes,” I said to him, “and I remember in God’s word it is said: “Ten thousand times ten thousand angels are about the throne.” “Sure,” said Bohemond, “and that is a hundred million and I think there is room for a hundred million more!”
We found that our guide was none other than Enoch of ancient birth, whom we had met in the chariot and also at our first entrance into paradise and again at one of the great praise services in this city. But we had met so many hundreds and even thousands in such a short time and then the bewilderment that came over us at the great sight, we were slow in distinguishing him from so many ancient men. His body shone like the light itself and he was the picture of health and youth and the man of all others, who never tasted death. “Oh, Enoch, thou blessed of God!”
“Come with me,” said he, and we followed him to a raised elevation many feet above the floor of the throne; from this we could see the innumerable company which John saw in his vision, or such portion of it as our eyes could reach, which no man could number. Countless throngs from all nations of earth clothed in the purest white garments. They seemed to be moving in all directions in a joyous service for their Lord. I said in a subdued voice to Bohemond: “I wonder if John is anywhere among this mighty host, for I do remember his words how he foretold this wonderful scene: “After this I beheld and lo, a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues stood before the throne and before the Lamb (Jesus) , clothed with white robes and palms in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).
Enoch now said: “Shall we now go further on, for there are wonderful scenes yet before you?” “Oh, indeed, we should like to see all.” “But,” said Enoch, “you will be here a long time before you see all.” As we passed along, we again met many whom we had seen in other parts of the city. Everyone seemed so contented and happy. They wanted nothing they did not have. There were differences in the experiences of the people, but the holy harmony was like the music of the strings of a harp; not a discord throughout the entire realm of the city or even paradise.
Enoch now led us to the throne itself. It was encircled by wonderful majestic bands of light with all the colors of the rainbow, which signified the attributes of the Almighty God and Father of us all. We seemed now to comprehend God as we never had before. I thought of the band of light that encircles the planet Saturn, the gold tinged clouds of an earthly sunset; but no comparison could describe its glory. Beneath the circle of this rainbow was the seat of the Almighty Father. For beauty, grandeur, glory and majesty, it cannot be described. It was simply upholstered glory, with all the colors of the rainbow tinging everything.
Now it will not do to think of the Almighty in His greatness and power as consisting in bulk. Every attribute of the Father was also in Jesus Christ. All power was His, both in heaven and earth, and while He is everywhere present at the same time, yet His omnipresence does suggest that He is a person and that person has a seat on His throne and from this throne issues the governing power of the universe. His Spirit and power are operating in all worlds and His throne is likewise in all celestial kingdoms. “Had you not been prepared for it,” said Enoch, “you could not have endured this exceeding glory.”
Just at this moment Moses, whom we had met at one of the fountains near the Judean gate and with whom we had such a pleasant visit, now stepped to our side, and with a pleasant bow of recognition he said: “Dear brethren, be not overawed with this glory, nor with the fear to see your Father’s face, for you are in His image now. I once wished and prayed on earth to see His face; yet I knew not for what I asked. God declared to me then that no man could see His face and live, yet He veiled His face while His glory passed before me, but I did see His back parts; but now you can look upon His face and not only live, but enjoy the vision with increasing raptures throughout eternity.”
“Oh, bless His name!” I said, “my soul is so filled with exceeding joy at the inexpressible glory of this scene, that I cannot restrain my feelings,” so with many others who were standing quite near us and who had recently come to the throne, we fell before God with adoring praise and continued long in this attitude. Suddenly, we heard a mighty chorus of voices of ten thousand times ten thousand angels, along with the innumerable company of saints, saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb (Jesus) forever and ever.”
As we arose I saw the glory of God as I never had before. His face was as the light and all His divine attributes seemed revealed and stood out in such sweet harmony that I could only think of love, goodness, mercy, power, wisdom and knowledge, and that all our needs would be supplied by Him. I looked again, and such pure and holy thoughts filled all my soul. His all-seeing eyes were eyes of love. I knew that all things in heaven and earth and in all worlds both small and great, were naked and open before these eyes. His hands, I knew, had made them all.
Enoch and Moses both stood close to us and said: “We have been here for thousands of earthly years and yet we only begin to know God. You may think you have seen those eyes, yet you have only seen one ray of light to what you will see. You may think you have seen His feet, yet the earth from which you have so lately come is only one small footstool.” “Oh, yes, indeed,” I replied, “I just now remember His word: ‘Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool.’
“His greatness,” said Moses, “you can never know. You see Him seated on His throne, but then His Almighty Spirit is everywhere. His creative skill lacks no knowledge, and His everlasting energy knows no fatigue. He is never weary in upholding all His works. His all-hearing ear listens to all rightly offered prayers. His omniscient eye sees everything. His almighty hands are quick to bless or curse. His will simply becomes almighty law.” I looked again, to scan the throne once more, and saw twenty-four seats of most exquisite beauty on both sides of the throne. I knew from the blessed word these were for the elders. I saw further that the throne consisted of a double compartment and I at first wondered. However, Enoch came, seeing my anxious curiosity, and said to us: “Our Lord Jesus who reigns both in heaven and on earth has likewise His seat on the throne, for He overcame and forever has His seat on this throne.
I quickly remembered the Scripture where in the Gospel it is declared, that “He was received up into glory and sat on the right hand of God”; and again, the blessed martyr Stephen said: “I see the heavens open and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” “Those most honored of God as His servants on earth, are greatly honored here,” said Enoch, “and are His ministers in heaven. These often take part in the expositions of eternal truth. Of course, you will not leave the throne until the great praise service is over?” Bohemond came up and said: “Well, I do not think we will ever want to leave. I feel such glory in my soul. I never even dreamed while in my earthly life that such real things were in store for us.” Then I looked again into the face of Him who is sitting on the throne and said: “Oh, my God, my Father, I praise you for ever thinking of me, an unworthy mortal man, and brought me to this exceeding glory!”
Bohemond and I now stood in wonder and with increasing praise to God for the great things we were now beholding when suddenly four mighty angels arose and were flying about the throne, having golden trumpets in their hands, and with one great blast they made the arches and domes of heaven ring. But they quickly disappeared through the great avenues of the city.
We widened the circle of our vision and behold we saw a vast number of seats both at the back and also at the right and left of the throne. They rose in terrace form like a great amphitheater. These, we soon found, were filling up with the great chorister of heaven. They filed in with beautiful order, each having a golden harp. At last the seats were all filled with those who had been the most devoted leaders in the choirs of earth, with very many also who never sang in an earthly concert, but because of heavenly musical voices trained in the praises of God on earth, they were chosen by the blessed Bishop of all souls in heaven for these great occasions.
I looked again. The elders had mostly taken their places, many of whom we had met. They gave a lovely bow of welcome. I looked again, with adoring wonder, and lo, our blessed Lord Jesus accompanied by Moses and Paul came to the throne. Our Lord took His place beside Almighty Jehovah; Moses and Paul beside the elders.
Countless throngs were pouring in from all directions. Chariots were bringing tens of thousands. The robes of the high priest of ancient times could not compare to the beautiful flowing draperies of these millions of the blood-washed. All seemed so happy and joyous. Many of our friends whom we had known on earth so well, and who had come from remote parts of the city or paradise now came to greet us. My own mother, Genevive and Mary were among them. Dear old grandfather, now so young and handsome, also stood with us. Several comrades of my youth, who had passed on many years ago also came. Among them was one whom I never expected to see in heaven, but who, like the thief on the cross, was saved in last days of his life, and although he had spent a long time in the remote regions of paradise as he afterward told me, yet now he was here. We had many congratulations and joyful unions, while the great concourse was filing in.
For thirty furlongs or more distant from our great Father’s seat was the outer circle of the mighty throng gathered beneath the great arched canopy of this imperial throne. The four angels now returned and flying in the midst of the throne, were sounding through their trumpets, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; which was, and which is, and which is to come.” When those archangels had finished this note of praise, then the twenty-four elders fell down before Him that lives forever and ever, and sitteth on the throne, and worshipped Him, saying: “Worthy art thou our Lord and our God to receive the glory and the honour and the power for thou didst create all things and because of thy will, they are and were created.”
While they were lying prostrate on their faces, the great choir of one hundred thousand voices arose and sang before the great company a new song, which for sweetness, pathos and feeling was never equaled on earth; no one discordant voice or harp was heard among them; but the music rolled up and away, and reached even with its faintest tones to those in the utmost limits of this wondrous host, for in the pure atmosphere of heaven voices can be heard for a long distance, and all the great host replied: “amen and amen.” I looked again, and behold, I saw ten thousand times ten thousand angels and heard them sing with loud voices saying: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing.” And all the elders stood and said, “Amen.”
They then announced a familiar hymn, familiar to earth as well as heaven, for I had heard it many years ago. The chorister led; but all the people sang and praised God until I certainly thought that the earth itself would resound with these praises and echo back the wonderful melody. I was so entranced that an awe and fear again took hold of me as I saw the greatness and wonderfulness of Almighty God as I never had before.
I looked again and an elder whom I had met, beckoned me with his hand to his side. I quickly obeyed and bounded up to the great gallery where the elders sat, and he said: “Look again at the great concourse beyond,” and I saw indeed the great multitude which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, having palms in their hands, and they cried and shouted with one great voice, saying: “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb,” and all the angels fell on their faces and worshipped God and said, “Amen.”
After this, at the elder’s suggestion, I descended to the floor of the throne and joined the company I had left, and in a low voice I said: “I never knew how to worship God before. Our love and zeal were so cold in the earth, and our worship so formal and lifeless.”
“Truly,” whispered Bohemond. “If I only were back to earth for one single week I would teach my people how to worship God. It does seem so passingly strange that we loved God so little while on earth.” After this little episode of conversation had passed, our Lord arose and stood and with one beck of His hand, before His august presence, profound silence reigned; and every head was bowed before Him who was our All in All.
As our Lord arose to speak, all heads were deeply bowed for a few moments and then most earnest attention was given. We all hung on His words as when He spoke the sermon on the mount on earth. The theme was: “The coming dispensation, now about to be ushered in, when He shall once more descend to the earth taking with Him all this mighty host of saints and angels, when will occur the resurrection of the bodies of all His saints.”
The great host listened with profound attention and received the word with great gladness, for everyone was deeply interested personally in the matter. Thousands of saints shouted aloud with joy at the thought that so soon would occur the “redemption of the purchased possession.”
The angels themselves were dancing for joy, for our Lord had said that they should take a most prominent part in the great event. Very many, indeed, of the unnumbered and countless host had been waiting for this even for thousands of years, and waiting for their spiritual bodies which we knew would be given us at that time. Then we should be equal to the angels themselves, which the elders now are, and are preferred before them, for the place of the elders indicated this, being near the throne.
The pathos and feeling which our Lord manifested during this sermon was beyond anything we were accustomed to on earth. We were melted into deep emotion. He enlarged at great length on the ideas which Paul had advanced so long ago while writing under divine inspiration when he said: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of time, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth even in Himself.” He called attention to the superior advantage the elders now have on account of their resurrection. He described to the mighty host the order of events in connection with the closing history of His spiritual reign on earth, the events of the last times, the great political changes, and devastating wars of the closing period. He declared also that in the last times great effort would be made among the leading civilized nations to bring about a peaceful settlement of national troubles. That much had been done and much remained to be done.
How quickly I thought of the words of the prophets when he wrote concerning this same theme: “They shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4).
He went on to speak of the worldly character of many of the churches on earth, their loss of spiritual power, and the very great slowness of making disciples of all nations, many of the churches having almost forgotten their real mission in bringing the world back to God, as He repeated again some of His words uttered so long ago: “The church is the salt of the earth; but if the salt hath lost its savor wherewith shall it be salted?” (Matthew 5:13). As He spoke upon this point a holy fervor and deep pathos clothed His words until the mighty throng most solemnly bowed their heads with the very impressive thought that His words had a deep meaning suited to many thousands of us only a little while ago.
Oh, how many of us whispered to ourselves and to those about us, “If I only could go back even for a brief time, how differently I would live and labor for the great end for which our Lord suffered and died.”
He spoke also of the fearful formalities in so many of the Protestant and Catholic churches, of the corruptions and whoredoms so extant throughout the world. As He was speaking of the degeneracy of His church on earth, I most deeply felt the force of His words uttered nearly two thousand years ago, “When the son of man shall come, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). “But,” said He, “there is a very great throng of blood-washed souls who are looking for His return and faithfully toiling while waiting for their adoption into this mighty host above.” He hinted again that the time was drawing near when He, with all this great host, with millions in paradise and all parts of the celestial city, should again go back to celebrate the earth’s great Sabbath.
Mighty angels with their trumpet voices should lead the hosts until the thousands of thousands of chariots should slacken their speed and slow to a halt in the regions of a terrestrial world. Then the great trumpet of God should be sounded, of which the blast of Sinai was but a little hint, and awaken all the dead saints who should instantly rise with spiritual bodies and each soul of us should have our own.
When He had thus spoken, all this mighty host led by the angels, shouted, “Hallelujah! the Lord omnipotent reigneth!” “And further,” He said, “the living saints who have never died will never die. Death shall have no dominion over them, but from thenceforth is destroyed forever, and with them we shall be joined in one great united church, world without end.” Again the great host said, “Hallelujah!”
But the most solemn and pathetic of all His utterances from the throne before the great assembly was His reference to a present condition of the church on earth. He referred to a new and most cunning device of Satan, the old enemy of man, to introduce into the church of all Christendom a most destructive criticism of the Holy Scriptures. “This,” He declared, “is a revelation of the man of sin — the son of perdition, only in a new form in the last days. The mystery of iniquity was at work in the early days of the church in the various forms of the spirit of anti-Christ, but it was withheld until the Gentile world should have their opportunity of salvation. But now that wicked one is being revealed whose coming is after the working of Satan and with all deceivableness in them that perish because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. So they are denying much of the Holy Scriptures of God, nearly all the Old Testament saints and all that is miraculous, even assailing His own divine origin, miracles and atonement. And so God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. (II Thessalonians 2:11) “Oh, Satan,” he cried, “thy doom will soon be sealed in the vortex of hell.”
I can only repeat a tithe of His sermon. When He closed, a number of the elders followed Him with brief expositions of truth along some lines on which He had touched.
Many, like ourselves thought how clearly the blessed Book of God on earth has told us many of these things, and what comfort, as well as sorrow, to the saints to know the great things which are yet before us!
Far in the distance as our eyes could reach we saw the seats glittering like the purest gold, raised amphitheater like, to a great elevation which entirely encircled the majestic throne.
Many responsive hymns were sung, those in the distance responding with choruses, which seemed like great waves of the sea that rolled in splendor over the great throngs of the redeemed. At last, the great convocation was drawing toward its close. Our Lord now arose and with a voice distinctly heard to the utmost bounds of the throne, invited us to a royal banquet given by Himself in honor of the last arrivals. The doxology of heaven was sung by the great host. Our Lord’s benediction and dismissal followed. We all repaired to a great pleasure ground adjoining the throne on the east. Many hundreds of rows of tables, more than twenty-four furlongs in length, were spread before us. These were loaded with the richest viands that paradise ever knew. A hundred varieties of the tree of life grow everywhere in the city, but especially in the valleys and upon the hillside of paradise. Twelve kinds of fruit grow on each tree. From these the tables were most gorgeously furnished. The angels were waiters at the tables and surely we lacked for nothing.
As we were eating, Bohemond arose and said: “My brother, Seneca, look at what is before us.” I arose and looked across the great sea of human spirits interspersed with many thousands of angels whose delight it was to serve these honored guests. Far toward the center of this great dining hall was a stupendous fountain, a fountain of fountains. It was indeed immense in its dimensions and the height of its spray. The royal gardens, fountains and palaces of the kings of the earth could in no wise be compared to it. From this fountain we were all refreshed and also from the river of life from which its multitude of branches have their source.
While eating and drinking with the saints of all ages, and in the presence of our King, we certainly thought of the words of the Book (Bible) and how truly the beloved disciple had written concerning these great occasions. “And the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:17). Indeed I thought to myself, “and who can ever cry again but those of the lost ones who shall lift up their eyes, being in torment.”
During the banquet the great chorister sang many new and beautiful hymns of praise. While our Lord gave everyone such a glad welcome, and especially those who had so recently entered the doorways of paradise and passed through the gates of the city and were now forever at home. Many of the ancient men and women also took part in short words of welcome.
David also tuned his harp and sang the words of the beloved disciple, which nearly everybody in heaven knows. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said: Behold I make all things new. And He said unto me write, for these words are true and faithful. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is thirsty, of the fountain of the water of life freely, and he that overcometh shall inherit all things and I will be his God and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:4-7). Again the congregation shouted, “Hallelujah,” and the chorister sang the dismissal.
We were now soon scattering for distant points of the city. A hundred thousand chariots were filled with the busy hosts of heaven. Salutations and momentary good-byes were heard everywhere. Smiling happy faces knew no limit to the joyful expressions and greetings with which every soul overflowed. Not one jar or discord or ruffled feeling or disappointed look was to be seen anywhere. Oh, this was heaven indeed!”
Seneca met and spoke with Angel Gabriel: “At this the chariot stood still and the angel arose and turning himself about he laid his hands upon our heads with the blessings of the chief angel of God and said: “Oh, ye saints of the Most High, I was present when the morning stars sang together and tuned my harp to that sacred melody of the skies. I am the same now as I was then. But before you is an endless progression, an eternal destiny, with exaltations, honors, and blessings of which you know but little now.”
“Now,” said Gabriel, “we must be going, for soon we must join others at Benjamin’s gate.”
The chariot moved on with great speed. The scenery was all new to Bohemond and myself, and Genevive said it was almost new to her. The mansions were beautiful with all the decorations that any soul in heaven could wish. Thousands of saints were coming and going, like a hive of busy bees.
“I see David’s chariot,” said the angel, “coming down that broad avenue yonder.” In a little while, we were side by side, with greetings and congratulations, for his chariot was now filled with ancient men and women; saints of renown.
On the chariots moved, side by side, we went, till at last the shining of the wall began to appear and the great gate of Benjamin loomed up before us and as we were slackening our speed, we noticed the most beautiful chariot we had yet seen standing just near the gate. It glittered with the gold of heaven, set with diamonds of beauty. Our Lord Jesus was in that chariot. His twelve apostles also were with Him. Such a halo of light, almost with dazzling brightness, shown all about that chariot. In a few moment, the three chariots stood side by side. We all bowed our heads, saints and angels together, before Him who had prepared this city for us.
David’s harp was of great proportions. He stood before us all and announced a hymn. We all arose and sang again; while standing in the chariot, the praises of our Lord and Redeemer. The angel, Gabriel, sang with loud hosannas an ancient solo. Daniel, who was in David’s chariot, and who was a friend of the angel, said: “Sing it again,” and surely the sweetest music to which we had ever listened rolled from his hallowed lips.
“Now,” said the angel, “look through this gateway,” and behold, there was an immense company of new arrivals standing just outside, and singing some new songs. This company had been escorted here from different places in paradise much the same as we had been only a short time ago. Stephen, the martyred saint, had led this company. While he was getting them ready to pass through the gateway into the presence of their Lord Jesus, who now beckons us all to a raised elevation close beside the gateway, He laid His hand gently on my head and said: “Son, be of good cheer, thy earthly mission is not yet completed, but as I once called Moses and Elias from these shining gates, so now I send thee to make known what thou hast seen and heard, which is but a tithe of what thou shall yet see, but this is all they will receive at thy hand now. True unfeigned faith in many sections of the earth is waning. Thou will find a faithful helper, on whose head my blessings shall rest. When thou has completed thy journey to the earth, I shall confer the elder’s blessing upon thee — an earlier inheritance of the “purchased possession.” All heads were now bowed, while He prayed and committed me to the angel’s care.
Bohemond and the women came close to my side and said:
“Is it true we must part?”
“Only for a time, yes, only for a time.” And with an exaltation, I cried: “I shall soon see you again.”
The Lord said: “Hasten to thy mission, I must welcome these outside the gate, for I have redeemed them by my blood.” So saying, He called Gabriel to His side and gave him a charge concerning me. I bade my kindred and all those who came to see me off good-bye, saying: “I will see you again,” and I mounted the angel’s chariot…..”
Heaven is very beautiful and glorious. It will be a great disaster if you end up in hell despite reading the amazing testimony of Seneca Sodi about the blessings and glories of heaven. Jesus Christ revealed the great realities of heaven and Biblical truths to Seneca Sodi in order to convince unbelievers and unrepentant sinners to accept His great salvation offer.
You have no more excuse again to die as an unbeliever or unrepentant sinner. Where will you spend your eternity after death? Heaven or hell? Decide today! Tomorrow may be too late! Accept the great salvation offer of Jesus Christ today!
The testimony of Seneca Sodi will challenge your life and give you hope and encouragement to set aside all hindrances and press on into the glory of God. As Seneca relates his experiences to Elwood Scott, you will feel as though you are right with him, seeing the many different scenes of the CelestialKingdom, escorted by King David. You will wonder at the glory and immensity of what God has prepared for us. Your heart will be stirred at the description of the Holy Convocation around the Throne as Jesus Christ speaks an end-time message of preparation for His coming. Your mind and heart will be enlarged as you look into a world beyond the veil and knowing that it will be worth it all!
Jesus Christ used the testimony of Seneca Sodi to confirm to the unbelieving world what the Bible tells us about our eternal heavenly home (New Jerusalem). Through Seneca’s testimony, you can envision the beauty of the holy city, its gleaming jasper wall, its jeweled foundations and its gates of pearl as well as its glory, the street of gold, the crystal river and the tree of life. This wonderful glimpse of the heavenly city should create in you a renewed determination to make heaven after your exit from earth by trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. You should make Jesus Christ a topmost priority in your life and serve Him willingly. The thought of heaven should cheer you when you become discontented with life and discouraged about the future. No matter how badly things may be going or how difficult the struggles, the prospect of that wonderful heavenly abode awaiting us should be a source of encouragement and hope always. In heaven, you will live forever in the presence of our loving Saviour (Jesus Christ). Your life will be immortal and you will know a purity, bliss, and love such as could never be experienced on earth.
Click the link below to download the full testimony of Seneca Sodi about the blessings and glories of the heavenly kingdom (PDF Version).