The Bible presents a number of fascinating visions that permit us to peer, as it were, into the invisible heavenly realm. We invite you to take a careful look at them. Although not everything described in the visions is to be taken literally, the visions can help you not only to visualize those who dwell in the spirit realm but also to understand how they can affect you.
JEHOVAH IS THE SUPREME ONE
“A throne was in its position in heaven, and someone was seated on the throne. And the One seated had the appearance of a jasper stone and a sardius stone, and all around the throne was a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.”
“There was a brilliance all around him like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. That was how the surrounding brilliant light appeared. It was like the appearance of the glory of Jehovah.”
These visions, given to the apostle John and the prophet Ezekiel, depict the splendor of the Most High God, Jehovah, with things we can readily envision
These depictions of God harmonize with the words of the psalmist who wrote: “Jehovah is great and most worthy of praise. He is more awe-inspiring than all other gods. All the gods of the peoples are worthless gods, but Jehovah is the one who made the heavens. In his presence are majesty and splendor; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.”
Though Jehovah is the Supreme One, he invites us to approach him in prayer and assures us that he listens to us. (Psalm 65:2) God loves and cares for us so much that the apostle John could truthfully write: “God is love.”
JESUS IS WITH GOD
“[The Christian disciple Stephen], being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand, and he said: ‘Look! I see the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.’”
Shortly before Stephen had this vision, Jesus was put to death at the instigation of the very ones whom Stephen was addressing
In addition to describing his lofty position, the Scriptures show that Jesus, like Jehovah, cares deeply for humans. During his ministry on earth, Jesus healed the sick, cured the infirm, and raised the dead. By his sacrificial death, he demonstrated his deep love for God and for mankind. (Ephesians 2:4, 5) Standing at God’s right hand, Jesus will soon exercise his authority and bring great blessings to obedient humans everywhere.
ANGELS MINISTER TO GOD
“I [the prophet Daniel] kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days [Jehovah] sat down. . . . A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.”
In this vision of heaven, Daniel saw not just one angel but multitudes. What an awe-inspiring vision that must have been! Angels are glorious spirit persons, intelligent and powerful. Their ranks include seraphs and cherubs. The Bible mentions angels more than 250 times.
Angels are not former humans who had lived on earth. God created angels long before man’s appearance. At the founding of the earth, the angels were on hand to observe and to shout in applause.
One way faithful angels minister to God is by being involved in the most important work being done on earth today
SATAN MISLEADS MILLIONS
“War broke out in heaven: Michael [Jesus Christ] and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.”
Heaven has not always been peaceful. At the very dawn of human history, one of the angels, consumed by a desire to be worshipped, rebelled against Jehovah, becoming Satan, meaning “Resister.” Other angels later joined in the rebellion and became known as demons. Thoroughly evil, they bitterly oppose Jehovah and have led most humans on a course contrary to Jehovah’s loving direction.
Satan and his demons are depraved and cruel. They are enemies of mankind and have contributed to much of the suffering on earth. For example, Satan killed the livestock and the servants of the faithful man Job. Next, he killed all ten of Job’s children by causing “a great wind” to crush the house they were in. After that, Satan struck Job with “painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”
Soon, though, Satan will be done away with. Since being hurled to the vicinity of the earth, he knows that “he has a short period of time.” (Revelation 12:12) Satan is doomed, and that certainly is good news!
THOSE WHO COME FROM THE EARTH
“You [Jesus] bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”
Just as Jesus was resurrected from earth to life in heaven, others will be too. Jesus said to his faithful apostles: “I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, . . . I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
Those who go to heaven go there for a purpose. Along with Jesus, they will make up a Kingdom government that will eventually rule over the inhabitants of all the earth and bring blessings to them. This is the Kingdom that Jesus told his followers to pray for in the model prayer: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.”
WHAT THOSE IN HEAVEN WILL DO
“I [the apostle John] heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, . . . and he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’”
This prophetic vision points to the time when God’s Kingdom, made up of Jesus and those resurrected from the earth, will bring an end to Satan’s rule and make the earth a paradise. Things that have caused so much pain and sorrow to humankind will be no more. Even death will pass away.
What, though, of the billions who have died and will not be resurrected to heaven? At a future time, they will be restored to life with the prospect of living forever in that Paradise on earth.
These visions assure us that Jehovah God and his Son, Jesus Christ, as well as the faithful angels and those who have been bought from the earth, all deeply care about us and seek our welfare. To learn more about what they will do, we invite you to contact Jehovah’s Witnesses or go to our website, www.jw.org, and download the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?