SUBURBS OF THE HOLY CITY
excerpts from "Heaven and the Gracious King"
© 2010 by Joyful Star daughter of Oden Hetrick
Yehovah told Moses to be sure to make the Tabernacle according to the pattern he was shown on the mountain. (Exodus 26:30) The Tabernacle was designed with an OUTER COURT---HOLY PLACE---and MOST HOLY PLACE. Then Heaven, being the true Tabernacle, (Heb 8:2) must be the pattern and have the same design. The Bible describes in Rev 21:16, a foursquare City containing a HOLY PLACE with a MOST HOLY PLACE, or Temple, (Rev 15:5-8) in the center. Then somewhere there should be an OUTER COURT.
Surrounding the foursquare City is a wide outer expanse called suburbs, or borderlands. John tells us in Revelation that he was taken to a great and high mountain and shown the Holy City. All around the outer edge of this suburbs area are high mountains with many peaks. (Psa 68:15, 16 & SoS 2:17) These suburbs are very huge, making Heaven appear large and round, about the size of a planet, bigger than earth. It has mountains, valleys, trees, flowers, River, animals, and is very much like earth. But unlike earth, it is perfect in beauty, and there is nothing here to corrupt. (Mat 6:19 & Rev 21:4, 27)
Come with me now, into this outer court. These suburbs are the first place everyone comes after their time on earth is done. No one enters here who has not confessed and repented of sin and been washed in the blood of Yeshua/Jesus. (Heb 9:12; 10:19; Acts 4:12) When the angels bring them in, each person is placed in a group. This is where we are taught the basic principles of immortal life, and begin to experience our new existence, when corruptible has put on incorruption, and mortal has put on immortality.
Now look around and notice that the light seems to come from everywhere and it is like a soft, golden glow with no shadows. This light is the glory of Yehovah. (Rev 21:23) Taking a deep breath, you realize the air here is so pure, and so invigorating. As you take a step, you almost feel like you are floating, because you no longer have a heavy body of clay!! With our spirit having such freedom, and our senses being more acute, we feel so alive and full of energy. We can still see, hear, smell, taste and touch, because those senses belong to the soul. (see Luke 16:19-31) As you continue looking around, you will see that the landscape and colors all blend together in perfect beauty. The music, the birds singing, and the sounds from the River all join in harmonious song. Sometimes on earth we would sigh with the Psalmist "O that I had wings like a dove then I would fly away and be at rest" Well this is the land of perfect peace and rest!!
As we receive instructions about our Heavenly home, in this place, we realize that our mental capacity seems to be increased. We learn that the Spirit controls and harmonizes everything that happens in Heaven. So if on earth we haven't learned complete obedience to Yehovah's gracious and loving Spirit, we must learn it here. Even with full mental capacity, it is not true that we suddenly know everything when we get to Heaven, but we will find it very easy to understand and gain knowledge. We do however know and recognize others, as they know and recognize us. (I Cor 13:12) While we are in this outer expanse, many of our friends and loved ones come from the City to welcome and visit us. You are welcome to reach up anytime to pick and eat fruit from the Tree of Life to strengthen your spirit.
There is also the sparkling, crystal clear River. You can just get your feet 'wet' or go in till it is all the way over your head and still breathe. In Heaven there is no drowning!! It is actually the flowing of the Spirit of Yehovah. So it would be like breathing in the Holy Spirit. Job 33:4 says "The Spirit of Yehovah has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life." The River is one of the first places we go after we arrive here. It washes away the earth thoughts and scars of sin from our spirits. It helps to transform us by renewing our mind with the thoughts of Heaven. (Rom 12:2) And speaking of thoughts -- you can by taking thought go from place to place instantly. Although sometimes it is more interesting to travel slowly, and enjoy the people and scenery. And I will add that much communication is also done by thought.
But all of this beauty and peace is still just the lower level of glory in Heaven. There are many people who, while on earth, had no time for spiritual things, such as where they would spend eternity, till they were dying, or near the end of their lives, when they became interested in salvation. Yet Yehovah is so gracious, that if they truly repent, He fully forgives, and grants them everlasting life. But their soul has had no time to grow, and they have no treasure laid up in Heaven. Arriving here they realize their loss, and some even feel unworthy. But the atmosphere of love and peace in Heaven, the fruit from the Tree of Life, and spending time in the River will strengthen their spirits, and in time allow them to enter more fully into the joys of Heaven. The more we prepare ourselves on earth, by seeking Yehovah's face and studying to show ourselves approved, the faster will be our advancement when we arrive in Heaven.
Set your affections on things above,
not on things on the earth. Col 3:2