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Heaven: A Sneak Preview

Key References: John 14:1-3; Early Writings, chap. 1, pp. 11-20; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 9, pp. 9-14; vol. 10, pp. 205- 208; Our Beliefs, nos. 18, 28, 17

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“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

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By God’s grace we prepare to live with Him forever.

Have you ever dreamed of a new house, or a room of your own? What color would it be? What would be in it? Can you imagine Jesus designing a place just for you?

There was so much Jesus wanted to tell His disciples before He left them. He knew how much they would miss Him after He was gone. Leaning close, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). John remembered these words of comfort Jesus had spoken and included them in the Gospel that he wrote. Many centuries later a young girl named Ellen Harmon accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and Friend. One day Jesus chose to give her a vision of what heaven is like.

In her vision Ellen saw Jesus. At the sound of a trumpet He was calling to new life the saints who were dead in their graves. Jesus was coming to earth on a cloud that was wrapped in flames of fire. All His people joined Him in the cloud. They traveled for seven days. At last they arrived and assembled on the sea of glass. Jesus Himself gave a crown to each one of them. Then angels joined the multitude of saints who were redeemed and together they walked across the sea of glass to the gate of the city.

Jesus opened wide a pearly gate with shiny hinges and invited them all in. Inside they saw the magnifi cent throne of God. A pure river flowed out of the throne. On either side of this river of life was the tree of life. Even though it looked like two trees, it joined at the top and formed one tree. The fruit of this tree had the appearance of gold mixed with silver.

Ellen and others sat down on the river bank and tried to remember some of the troubles from their days on earth. But they couldn’t recall them clearly. Compared to the glorious things they were seeing and feeling, any troubles they had experienced on the earth seemed insignificant.

Then, in Ellen’s vision, she and the others went back to the new earth with Jesus. When they looked up, they saw the magnificent Holy City coming down from heaven. Outside of the city Ellen saw houses shining with the glimmer of silver, each sustained by pillars and adorned with pearls. These houses were for the human beings Jesus saved through His sacrifice. Each house had a special shelf for the crowns Jesus had given them. They set their crowns there when they wanted to go out and work in the garden. But even the work in the garden wasn’t like it had been before. It wasn’t sweaty and tiring. It was enjoyable.

In her vision Ellen saw a field full of animals—lions, lambs, leopards, and wolves—all getting along just fine. She entered woods that were not dark and scary, as woods are now. It was sunny there, bright, and very safe.

On Mount Zion Ellen saw a majestic temple that was supported by seven pillars of transparent gold and decorated with most precious pearls. Surrounding the temple were seven other mountains where roses and lilies grew. Children climbed the mountains and picked the flowers. Sometimes they used their little wings instead of climbing.

Later in her vision Ellen heard Jesus call them all back to the city for supper. When they entered, they saw a table of silver that was miles and miles long. But they could still see the other end. It was already set with fruit from the tree of life, manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and lots of other fruit.

Ellen wanted to stay and eat, but Jesus told her that she must go back to earth and tell others what she had seen. When she awoke from her vision, everything seemed dreary in comparison.

Sometimes after that she would be sad and lonely. She wanted to go back where everything had been joy and light.

Ellen saw heaven in a vision. When finally you and I see that land, we will stay and eat of the heavenly fruit. God’s grace will keep us forever.