(From “Visions Beyond the Veil” by H.A. Baker)
Chapter IV. A. VISIONS OF HEAVEN
The Bible tells us the heaven of the redeemed is “the third heaven.” (“I know a man in Christ ... such a one caught up even to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2. “I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2. “But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem ... and to the spirits of just men made perfect” Hebrews 12:22-23. “For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come.” Hebrews 13:14. “By faith Abraham ... looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10. “All the saints of old died desiring 'a better country that is, a heavenly': Wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16.)
The future home of the people of the Lord is a placein the third heaven. This placeis a city. The name of this city is “The New Jerusalem.” The New Jerusalem is not “a figure of speech.” It is not a combination of ideas skillfully clothed in earthly words of the Lord to give man a false conception of something it is not. The Bible says this New Jerusalem is a real city with a real foundation which God himself laid.
This celestial city is four square, one thousand five hundred miles on every side, surrounded by a wall two hundred feet high with foundations of twelve kinds of precious stones, the most beautiful precious stones known to man. The wall itself is jasper, which sends forth a brilliant jasper light. Twelve gates lead into the city, the streets of which are like burnished gold. (“And he carried me away in the Spirit ... and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God ... her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it was a jasper stone, clear as crystal, having a wall great and high; having twelve gates ... and the wall of the city had twelve foundations ... and the city lies foursquare, and the length of it is as great as the width: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs (1,500 miles): the length and the width and the height of it are equal ... Its wall a hundred and forty-four cubits (216 feet). And the building of its wall was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass; the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second sapphire; the third chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst ... The city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God did lighten it.” Revelation 21:10-23.)
In this city are the homes of the redeemed, the abode of angels, Paradise, and the throne of God.
Why should not the New Jerusalem be a real city with streets of gold and with jasper walls and with foundation stones of precious jewels? Did God so exhaust his material when he made the universe that he had no gold or jewels left for heaven? If God could make a world, could he not suspend a city in the sky beyond the stars? Here and there a little impure gold in a fissure of a distorted rock of this cursed and perverted earth - or here and there the discovery of a precious jewel hidden in the debris of earthly ruins - are only lingering reminders of the reality of which these are merely shadows. The real, the imperishable are in the city whose builder and maker is God.
What we see on this perverted, degenerated earth are only shadows.“The creation fell into subjection to failure and unreality”(Romans 8:20). The gold we cherish, the jewels we adore, the cities and mansions we build are only copies of the real in the city that is soon coming down.
The Adullam children were caught up in vision to this city of God. Howthey could see the city I do not know. HowAbraham saw it I do not know. How Paul could be caught up to Paradise, either in the body or out of the body, I do not know. These things are beyond natural order. We need not, at present, know the How. We know the Fact. John was shown the city. He was told by the Lord to write the things he had seen and send them to the Churches.
In the Spirit Adullam children were caught up to this city time after time, not as in a dream but as a living reality. Their visits were so real, in fact, that the children supposed their souls actually left their bodies to go to heaven and return, or that in some unaccountable way they had gone to heaven soul and body just as they might in daily life visit some distant place. Frequently when in Paradise the children were plucking and partaking of the heavenly fruit they gathered some extra to tuck in their garments to bring back to earth for “Muh Si and Si Mu” (Pastor and Mrs. Baker).
They knew they were only on a visit to heaven and soon to return. Upon returning, when the Spirit lifted from them, finding themselves in our Adullam rooms they proceeded at once to search in their garments for the delicious fruit they had brought back to please us. Not finding this fruit in their garments, a look of great surprise, confusion, and disappointment came over their faces. They could not, for the time, believe they had not bodily gone to heaven and come back with the fruit tucked in their garments.
Walking on the streets of the New Jerusalem was to them as real as walking on the streets of a Chinese city. One day, when walking down the street in bright sunshine, I asked the boys if the visions were as real and as clear as what we then saw. “Just as real,” they said, “but much clearer due to the light in heaven and the white garments and the cleanliness everywhere, all adding to the brightness.”
When in the Spirit, the children were usually lost to their naturalsurroundings. In many cases, although they supposed they were in heaven, they talked aloud, describing what they saw, thus carrying on conversation that we all could hear. Often they acted out before our eyes what they supposed they were doing in heaven.
Caught up to the Third Heaven
The Adullam children said they went to the third heaven. As they passed through the first heaven they felt air on their faces. Having passed the second heaven, they looked back upon the stars in their wonderful beauty, much as from a mountain height a person might gaze down upon a beautiful, light-studded city below. From this starry heaven they passed on into the third heavenuntil they
Came to the Heavenly Jerusalem
As they approached this heavenly city they saw its light in the distance. Coming nearer, they saw the beautiful wall radiating its wonderful jasper light. The foundations were of indescribable beauty, sparkling with red, yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, violet, and all the other colors of the twelve most beautiful jewels.
This city in the sky the children saw as three cities in one: one city suspended above another, the largest city below, and smallest city on top, making a pyramid. Since this city John saw is surrounded by a wall, and since the city is one thousand five hundred miles high, Bible students have supposed the heavenly city is not a cube but a pyramid.Our children, however, knew nothing of this, neither had I ever thought of the New Jerusalem as three cities, one suspended above another. God who suspends the worlds in space can suspend these cities in space. The Bible does not tell us the internal order of the city. (From visions seen by other heavenly visitors it is evident that there are also arrangements of sevens in the heavenly order. Apparently there are series of plains as well as series of arrangements on each plain. No one need suppose that in vision anyone has seen more than a fraction of heaven. See my book, “The Three World” for further visions of the New Jerusalem.)
One of our small boys in prophecy when in vision at the feet of the Lord - the Lord was talking to him. In this prophecy the Lord said that he had made heaven big enough for everybody, that he had made it in three cities one above another, and that at present his throne is in the upper city.
Since time and distance are nothing in the heavenly realm, there is nothing impossible in such an arrangement of this city of God. There are three heavens. There were three stories in the ark, where God preserved the present creation. God is three in one. Why should not the city of the Great King be three in one? Why should not the King reign from the top of the pyramid of all the universe, since “the stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner,” the capstone of the pyramid of all creation?
By the Gates into the City
Adullam entered by its pearly gates into the city of golden streets. Angels in white guarded the gates and welcomed those entering in. No beggarly reception this. Here the one-time rejected off-scourings of the earth were welcomed as kings by these angelic hosts. Had not the Savior promised the weakest and humblest of his children a kingdom where they shall reign with the King of Kings for ages and ages?
Through the gates into the city! Out of earth into heaven! Out of the mortal into the immortal! Out of death into life! All the old life behind and below! All the new life ahead and above! Inside the gates! Angels, angels everywhere. Angels talking, angels singing, angels rejoicing, angels playing harps and blowing trumpets, angels dancing and praising the King. Such a scene no mortal ever saw; such floods of inner joy flooded the whole being as no one ever knew except when filled with the Holy Spirit, the eternal life, the heavenly life of God, “the earnest,” “down payment” of heaven.
The children clapped their hands in rapture. They shouted for joy. They sometimes rolled on the floor in unrestrained laughter and jumped and danced in great delight, while their faces were so transformed by this heavenly joy that the glory of the celestial city seemed to shine upon us. There was no sorrow in this city; no mournful, long-faced religion there; no funeral dirges in the hymns. This was a city of joy, “Joy in the Holy Spirit,” “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (“The kingdom of God is ... peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17.)