Those who claim to have had heavenly experiences have become all too common. Many of them portray Heaven as a “spiritual fantasy land”. Some even claim to have seen God, sat in his lap, and describe his appearance as if they had looked into the face of God himself.
Modern day charlatans are claiming more and more to have had many trips to Heaven as if its a common occurrence for them, yet they are peddling lies. They have not seen God. In Colossians 2, Paul says, Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind… ~ Colossians 2:18
Their claims are not consistent with the testimony of God’s holy servants in scripture who encountered the majesty of God and his glorious throne. In scripture those who had visions of God and his majesty were overcome with awe in the presence of God.
First, I want to draw your attention to the words of the apostle Paul who tells us that God dwells in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 6:16
The phrase “whom no man hath seen” is a reference to the person of God himself. Other Biblical writers also reference the light which Paul mentions. Consider the following from the book of Ezekiel:
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. ~ Ezekiel 1:1
Notice that Ezekiel saw visions of God, and not God’s actual person, for no man can see God and live ~ Exodus 33:20.
On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there. As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. ~ v. 2-4
Notice the descriptions of brightness, fire flashing, gleaming metal in the midst of fire. These all match Paul’s statement that God dwells in light which no man can approach, and in Ezekiel’s first vision of God he describes God as coming in a cloud with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, with fire in the midst like gleaming metal.
Now notice the following descriptions elsewhere in scripture which match Ezekiel’s experience. First the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of his person ~ Hebrews 1:3. In Jesus we can behold the person of the unseen God, for Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and this is the message that Jesus gave to us about God: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ~ 1 John 1:5.
In the book of the Revelation, the apostle John describes his vision of God on the throne:
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. ~ Revelation 4:1-3
Jasper and sardine stones are reddish. John may very well be describing the brilliance of the light he saw. Both Moses and the writer of Hebrews describes God as a consuming fire which matches the truth that God dwells in light which no man approaches and whom no man hath seen. Again, some in scripture have seen the brilliance of the light emanating from the presence of God, but no man has seen God’s person who dwells within the light of his glory.
When the Bible describes God’s throne, it is with reverence and awe. For instance, Hebrews 1:3 & 8:1 tells us that Jesus is seated at the right hand majesty.
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens… ~ Hebrews 8:1
God is majestic and it’s truly telling that his majesty is absent from the testimony of those who promote their so-called Heavenly encounters. If one has truly been in the presence of God there is an awe of his beauty, splender, and holiness. That the world often has more honor for earthly Kings and rulers than some Christians seem to have for the majesty of the everlasting God speaks volumes to the infiltration of false teachers within the church.
In the book of the Revelation, John also observes lightning, thunder, and voices from the throne and seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which John says are the seven Spirits of God ~ v 6.
Lightning and lamps of fire burning are consistent with the theme of light, and in verse 7 John says, And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
The sea of glass like crystal also is consistent with the theme of God is light, and God dweling in light.
Now, let’s continue with Ezekiel’s account once again.
And from the midst of it (from the midst of the bright cloud) came the likeness of four living creatures ~ v 6a. John also saw four living creatures in the book of the Revelation.
And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. ~ 6b-7
Sparkling like burnished bronze matches the description of God dwelling in light and God being an all consuming fire. The four living creatures emanate God’s light and glory. This is consistent with Moses’s experience when he saw God’s glory.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. ~ Exodus 34:29-30
Like the four living creatures in the presence of God, Moses’s appearance was an indicator that he had been in the literal presence of God.
Let’s continue with Ezekiel’s visions:
Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. ~ v 8-13
Notice again, Ezekiel’s description of the four living creatures is consistent with the theme of light, fire, and brilliance.
And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning. Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. ~ v. 14-16
Now consider the glory of God’s throne which Ezekiel saw:
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ~ v 26-28
Consistently in scripture, those who encountered God in visions and saw his glory were overwhelmed by the power and brilliance of his majesty. Ezekiel fell on his face, and the apostle John fell to his feet like a dead man when he saw Jesus in the glory of his Father.
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. ~ Revelation 1:12-18
It would be impossible for one who has truly encountered God’s majesty in Heaven to return to life on earth to market their experiences like charlatans who make merchandise of God’s people.
If you want to know what Heaven is like, listen to the writers of scripture who testified by the Spirit of God.