I've been talking about light - We are citizens of a city of light, the heavenly Jerusalem, a city which will one day come down to earth so God can live among men.
When I went to heaven
In about 1990 I was praying in our church one afternoon and suddenly in the Spirit, and saw my angel's arm appear in the air above my left arm. I heard him say, "Take my hand", and I did so, watching in fascination as my spirit man's left hand and arm came out of my physical arm and when I grabbed his hand I was immediately taken away in the Spirit through space...
...I felt us slowing down and I turned to see us coming upon a huge city suspended before us, with bright glowing white walls about 20 stories tall and about every 300 miles or so (my eyesight was as good as I needed it to be so distance wasn't an issue) were big tall gates at the base with each side seemingly made of 1/2 a pearl or mother of pearl in appearance. I was amazed because there was no place for those gates to open to but the emptiness of space...but I didn't have time to think about it then...later I realized the city we call heaven will come to earth*, and at that time those gates will be of use. *Revelation 21:2-3, 25-27
What amazed me was the pure white light emanating from the walls of the city, yet it didn't hurt my eyes. I found when I focused on the light and looked directly at the walls, I could see myriad other colors - when I looked away or was not focused on 1 spot all I saw was white, but when I focused it was like seeing what made up that white light and all the colors of everything was suddenly seen. I suspect those colors are the rest of the light spectrum that cannot be seen with earth-eyes - thus my chart from part 1 of this series.
The walls had jewels of different colors in them and many of the jewels were huge and almost had an extruded look to them, not cuts like jewelry worn on a necklace or ring today. Many were smooth and long and of various colors and shapes imbedded in and part of the walls. Many of them at least 3 feet (1m) long. What an amazing city I was about to get a tour of! (You can read more about this in Pursuing the Seasons of God and the sequel, Knowing the Ways of God, both available as e-books)
We are that city!
"Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife*: And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and he showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God...prepared as a bride adorned for her husband..." *Revelation 21:2, 9-27
Most people don't realize when they make the decision to grow in Christ rather than succumb to their old nature, those victories carry more weight than merely making us a better and more mature person in Christ here on earth. The larger truth is the bride of Christ's lives are turned into heavenly building material, into a great heavenly city that we call heaven - and as we live our lives in Christ those decisions for God's way, those victories and sacrifices, tears and prayers, are made into heavenly material.
The apostle describes the foundation walls having the names of the apostles written on them and decorated with all kinds of precious stones. How did the sacrifices of their lives get transformed into the foundation walls of the city? We don't know, but the Lord did say He was going to prepare a place for us.
Each of the 12 gates are named for a tribe of Israel. Paul told the Corinthians* their envy, strife and divisions were wood, hay, and stubble that would be burned up (though they would make it to heaven) and told them to build things on the foundation of Jesus Christ like gold, silver, and precious stones. *I Corinthians 3:3-15
Peter said we are living stones* being built up as a spiritual house as we offer spiritual sacrifices to God, and that Jesus is the Corner stone of the construction. *I Peter 2:5-6
Consider the angel told Cornelius* his giving and prayers were 'come up as a memorial before God' - a memorial is something solid placed as a reminder of an event or events worthy of remembering. David said* God put his tears in a bottle and wrote them in His book, and John sees* vials of incense in heaven which are the prayers of the saints. *Acts 10:4, Psalm 56:8, Revelation 5:8
Paul further stated* our lives are built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and the apostles "in whom the whole building is growing up into a living temple for a place for God to live..." *Ephesians 2:19-22
He takes our tears, our sacrifices for Him, our victories over the lower elements of human nature, and turns those physical and soul-realm acts which are our lives, into spiritual material which is part of the building of the city we call heaven. Somehow the Father takes decisions in Him, acts of kindness and tears, and changes them into heavenly material. In the same way there is a link between the Father being light in the Spirit realm and physical light came from Him, there is also a link going the other way - the realms of our soul and this physical life are transformed into material in His realm.
Matter cannot be destroyed, and that includes light beams (photons)
One of the laws of the universe is that matter cannot be destroyed, it merely changes form. The body of Julius Caesar still exists in the form of dirt and minerals in the soil somewhere. The food you ate was digested to become part of you, and that which was waste has changed form yet exists in chemical form in the soil or was treated and flushed into the ground or a river or ocean...and on it goes.
Those leaves that fell from the trees that you burned last fall, changed into ash which becomes part of the soil. Much of it went flying into the air in tiny particles of smoke, around which water molecules formed to make clouds, that eventually rained onto land or sea...but they still exist.
And light - that flashlight beam you flashed into the night sky when you were a child, is still racing at the speed of light through the universe, diluted and absorbed by the rest of the light that is invisible to our eyes, having become part of the larger bright light that fills the universe. Technically speaking, the photons that made up that light beam are either absorbed and become part of what it hit when it hit something, or is reflected back into space...but those photons still exist in some form.
And that means the reflections of all the events of our lives still exist. When you skinned your knee on the sidewalk when you were a child, you saw that through the light of the day, and as such that light is still in existence, somewhere, scattered, absorbed in the universe, but still there. That's how spiritual light is and one reason we will be able to give account of our lives to the Lord - in His memory all things in Him still exist.
This gives us a clue to the fact He can save earth tears in a bottle in His realm and record the anguish in His book. This is how He turns prayers and worship into heavenly incense. This is how giving money and prayers on earth come up as a memorial before Him in heaven. This is how your sacrifice, your victories, become living material by which He builds the city and adorns her as a bride on her wedding day.
He alone has the ability by spiritual laws we can only glimpse but not yet understand, to wipe away memories of past sin, past trauma, past life before we were in Christ. He only remembers what we've built on the foundation of Jesus Christ - it all continues to exist and will either survive the day as precious stones, gold, and silver, or as Paul told the strife filled Corinthians, some will be burned as wood, hay and stubble.
Let us be over-comers, choosing the more difficult path to walk in love, to forgive, to leave past lusts and childishness in favor of love, joy, peace, consistency, godliness, faithfulness, honesty, and the other godly character traits and fruit of the Spirit/spirit. Let us build gold, silver, precious stones as we remove the wood, hay and stubble of envy, strife, divisions and loving this world and the things in it.
Let us live our lives knowing when we choose to grow in Him, those decisions are turned into heavenly material which build up the heavenly city of light. I long for the day the city will be done, for each life who will grow in Christ will be complete, that the completed city may be adorned as a bride on her wedding! Christ is all in all! God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all, and we are now light. Let us live as people of light.
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org