The following is a vision of Paradise that was shown to me when I first dedicated my life to God. I accepted God’s gift of salvation and I turned from my evil ways and accepted that Jesus Christ is the way to God. God then started speaking to me powerfully through visions, dreams and miraculous circumstances in my life. The most powerful vision I received was a vision of Heaven this happened only a few months after my initial commitment to serve God.
In this vision I seemed to be in my spirit and I seemed to be floating high above a very beautiful place. I could see a river flowing in a curved zig zag fashion, like the letter “S” continuous. I then descended into this place.
The first thing that I saw was a very beautiful park and this river that I had seen from above, was now before me. I noticed a bridge near by and decided to cross over the bridge. At this point I noticed something very different and unusual. I started to sense this incredible love and it became intensely strong. Words cannot adequately describe this love. It filled my whole being and for the first time I felt totally and utterly satisfied deep down in my heart and soul. I didn’t know that love like this existed and I remember feeling that this awesome love didn’t freak me out or feel strange at all, but rather I knew that this was the way that life should be and it was my life on Earth that seemed strange.
My existance before this vision seemed incomplete and very cold in comparison to what I was seeing, feeling and knowing. In fact it became obvious that the love of God is the most awesome experience that a person can have. It seemed easy to understand that it was possible to live forever in his love and never get bored or feel like yawning or getting tired. I knew I was being shown the answer to Life. The next thing that I noticed was this amazing feeling of being alive. I felt incredibly aware, my life on Earth felt like death in comparison. The best way to describe it would be to say that if life was a substance then I was getting a full dose and on Earth I was only getting crumbs. This incredible life also made me feel complete. I knew then what it is like to be perfect and complete and lacking nothing.
I also noticed that Gods glory was everywhere and everything was very beautiful and new looking, this observation or thought came later. I was more interested in God’s love and life. I continued on walking and I came to the river again as it crossed my path, and again there was a bridge so I crossed it. I repeatedly crossed the river and each time I could feel Gods love more and more. It seemed that I was going higher and higher in God or his love was getting stronger and everything around me seemed to be more glorious. Eventually I arrived in a place of activity and people. Their presence was awesome. The atmosphere they created by just talking to each other created the most wonderful feeling of acceptance and unity. We seemed to become one yet individuality was not lost. The Glory of God was intense and the sensation and revelation of being with these Holy Ones was a very rich experience of communication. I didn’t hear any words for some reason, but I did experience the atmosphere that was created from their presence and communication. It was like wave upon wave of joy, love and truth, with the most beautiful imagery entering my mind as they conversed. I seemed to be taken up in this experience to new heights in God as I observed what they were saying.
Human words are an inadequate way to describe such revelations, and I now cannot even comprehend what I saw, yet at the time I understood it all perfectly. All I can remember was that this communication was rich in love, life and colour with multi dimensional ways of expressing them. Next thing I saw was another vision within the vision. I saw the members of my family. God said to me that he wanted to see them all in this place. After this, the vision ended. I then opened my eyes and regretted doing so immediately, because it signified the end of the vision. I spent the next half hour staring at the wall, and trying my best to go back, but after a while I knew I couldn’t, and I had to accept that the vision had finished. I looked around me with sadness that I was back on Earth in my sinful body. I felt a real coldness about my existence here, but I was also very excited because God gave me a vision, and I had felt his wonderful love, which was far better than anything I could of imagined.
After this I tried to understand where I had been, because I was a new believer I didn’t know my Bible very well. I first thought that I saw Heaven but in my ignorance I reasoned that it may not be, because I saw grass and a river and beautiful landscapes. I just thought that Heaven wouldn’t have these things. I then thought perhaps it was the Garden of Eden, it sure looked like it, but it was obvious that the this was not Earth as I knew it. For many days I tried to figure out where I had been. When I had the experience, I remember thinking I must be in Heaven, but afterwards my intellect started me doubting this because of the natural landscapes I had seen.
During this time I went to see a preacher who was holding a meeting in a school near where I lived. The Preacher started talking about PARADISE, and he explained how many believers in the Lord had seen Paradise because they were either shown in a vision or they had a death experience. The Preacher continued by saying In Paradise, which is part of Heaven, there is a river that flows from the throne of God, and on each side of the river is the tree of life. He also said that chapter 22 of the Book of Revelations (The last book in the Bible) explains this. So I quickly turned my bible to this chapter and read:
“The Angel showed me a river filled with the water of Life, as clear as crystal. It was flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. Between the street of the city and the river there was a Tree of Life visible from both sides………
I knew then that the river I had seen was the River of Life and that I was priveledged to see and experience Paradise. In Revelation 2:7 it says
“Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches. I will give the privilege of eating from the tree of life , which stands in the Paradise of God, to everyone who wins the victory.
I have since learned that in Heaven there is a city called Heavenly Jerusalem. The city is the location for the throne room and this is where Jesus rules God’s creation. He is seated with the Father on his throne and the River of Life proceeds from this throne. This is why Jesus said he is the life. This river flows down the streets of the city, and out into Paradise, the part of Heaven outside the great city, where there is the most beautiful landscapes and even mansions. Contrary to how we think now, Man can live in perfect harmony with nature. See John 14:2 + Isaiah 11:6-8 + Isaiah 65:25.
I have also learned from my experience and others that the closer to the source of the river you are, the greater the life and the glory of God. This why there are creatures who worship at the throne day and night forever and ever (see Revelation 4:8), because they are at the very source of all life, and Gods Glory is the greatest here because the closer to the Lord the greater the glory/life.
The Earth before the fall was made in the image of heaven. The Garden of Eden was made in the image of Paradise, and this is why Eden was also called paradise. On Earth all life is sustained by water and rivers are the source for much of this life. This too is a reflection of the River of Life in heaven. My vision only encompasses a very small part of Paradise, but many others have had visions of the city, (there are a number of books available) including the Book of Revelation chapter 22 (the last book in the bible) written about 2000 years ago by the Apostle John, who was/is one of Jesus original disciples
Luke 23:39-43. records an invitation to Paradise from Jesus Christ:
One of the criminals hanging there insulted Jesus by saying
So you are really the Messiah, are you ? Well save yourself and us.
But the other criminal scolded him, Don’t you fear God at all ? Can’t you see that you are condemned in the same way that he is ? Our punishment is fair. We’re getting what we deserve. But this man hasn’t done anything wrong.
Then he said, Jesus remember me when you enter your Kingdom.
Jesus said to him, I can guarantee this truth today you will be with me in Paradise”