The Opening Heavens or a Connected View of the Testimony of the Prophets and Apostles, Concerning the Opening Heavens, Compared With Astronomical Observations, and of the Present and Future Location of the New Jerusalem, the Paradise of God
The Opening Heavens
In presenting the following subject to the considerationof whom it may concern, I would here state that the twoleading motives which have actuated and guided me throughthis absorbing subject has been—first, the truth of God toencourage and strengthen the true-believer. Second, tocorrect, or "rebuke" the spiritual views, (may I not sayof almost all Christendom,) in respect to the appearing andkingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Twenty-oneyears observation and experience, but more especiallythe last seven, in pursuit of this object, has taught me thattruth is the only thing that can save the soul. But the greatmass of the professed Christian world seem to pay no moreregard to it than their great Predecessor, who said unto theSaviour "what is truth?" when he had just said to him thathe "came into the world to bear witness unto the truth, andevery one that is of the truth, heareth my voice." Jesus inhis last prayer for his disciples asks the Father to sanctifythem through the truth. "Thy word is truth." St. John.Again, he saith. "The Spirit is truth." The forerunner ofChrist said, "The law was given by Moses, but grace andtruth came by Jesus Christ." Jesus says, "I am not cometo destroy the law or the prophets; but to fulfil, for verilyI say unto you till heaven and earth pass, one jot or onetittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled."Matthew. Then of course man is required to believe "andlive by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth ofGod." Third, thousands who have been looking for thepersonal appearing of the Lord Jesus from heaven in theselast days, have in their disappointment about his coming,given up the only Scriptural view, and are now teachingthat he has come in spirit and this is all we shall ever seeof him here. One single passage from the Saviour's lastwords, when about to leave the world in the flesh, ought tohave rectified any such mistake: "And lo, I am with youalways, even unto the end of the world," meaning of course,his spirit. But I submit the subject.
Fairhaven, May 8, 1846.
[The copy right is secured with Him that sits upon theThrone in the coming Heavenly Sanctuary. The grant touse it is unlimited. Those only are punished that abusethe right.]
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see Heavenopen, and the angels of God ascending and descendingupon the son of man."—John i: 51.
Notwithstanding my incompetency to do justice to thismomentous subject, I feel constrained to throw out myviews in this public manner, for the benefit of all who feelan interest in the second coming of our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ, to set up, and establish his "everlasting kingdom,"upon this renovated earth.
I believe, according to the testimony of the "two menseen in white apparel," that "this same Jesus which wastaken up into Heaven will in like manner come again,"(Acts i: 11) from the same place, and stand in the sameplace he left. (See Zach. xiv: 4.) I believe he is in thethird Heaven, in Paradise, with God, the Father; (see 2Cor. xii: 2, 4; Rev. iii: 21; Heb. i: 3, 9 and 24) thathe is now about to come with the Holy CITY, THECAPITAL of his everlasting kingdom, and locate it in the"midst" of the promised land where he was crucified.According to this view then there is but one place in theheavens for this CITY to come from. A spiritual expositionof these glorious things, now about to be realized,beclouds the whole, and leaves no tangible ground forGod's people to stand on. Whoever attempts this wilfullywill run the risk of losing his soul, for Jesus says "if anyman shall add or take away from the words of the book ofthis prophecy, God shall take away his part (from the treeof life—margin) and out of the Holy CITY." Rev. xxii:19. Proof positive, that the Saints have a part in the City,and not in themselves.
Let us now listen to his description of this glorious viewhe sees before him, while he sits, pen in hand, all ready towrite down what transpires at the command of his guide.
"I, John, saw the holy CITY NEW JERUSALEMcoming down from God, out of Heaven, prepared as abride adorned for her husband." In the 5th v. John sawhim that "was dead and is alive forevermore," seatedupon "his throne;" and he said unto me "write, for thesewords are true and faithful." "And there came unto meone of the seven angels, saying come up hither, I willshow thee the bride, the Lamb's wife; and he carried meaway in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewedme that great CITY THE HOLY JERUSALEM, descendingout of Heaven from God, having the glory ofGod: and her light was like unto a stone most precious,even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal. And I heard agreat voice out of Heaven saying, behold, the TABERNACLEof God is with men." What a beautiful descriptionis here—please read the whole chapter. In the twofirst verses of the xxii. chapter, we learn that the walls ofthis CITY enclose "the tree of life," "which is in themidst of the Paradise of God." Moses testifies that "theLord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and therehe put the man whom he had formed. And the tree oflife also in the midst of the garden, and a river went out ofEden to water the garden, and became into four heads."Gen. xi: 8, 10; iii: 3, 17, 22, 24. Compare this withEzekiel's prophecy, xlvii: 3, 5, 12; also xlviii: 30, 35.There he speaks of waters first shallow and then deep;waters to swim in that could not be passed over, on the"banks of which shall be fruit every month, and the leavesfor medicine." He also shows the four sides or "heads"to the river. The prophet Isaiah says "Look upon Zion,the City. Jerusalem. Tabernacle, a place of broad rivers andstreams; where shall pass no galley with oars, neither shallgallant ship pass thereby,"—xxxiii: 20, 21. Surely this isthe same which Moses and Ezekiel has described; andJohn says, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat ofthe tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise ofGod. And whosoever will, let him take the water of lifefreely." Rev. xxii: 17, 2, 7. Then this "Holy City, newJerusalem, the Zion of God, the Tabernacle of God, theBride the Lamb's Wife, the Mother of us all," is a City, enclosedwith a wall one hundred and forty-four cubits high,which embraces the "garden of Eden, the Paradise ofGod." And God calls it his "SANCTUARY." I supposethat it will be conceded by all, that the Garden ofEden at the time of the fall, was a literal place, and wasplanted eastward. Yes, says one, and it is located in"Ethiopia or Assyria." How then is it, that the travellerand historian are entirely silent about it? Surely, it is amost remarkable place. Hear Moses's description of it:—"Thereforethe Lord God sent him (Adam) forth from thegarden of Eden to till the ground from whence he wastaken. So he drove out the man: and placed at the Eastof the garden of Eden, Cherubims and a flaming swordwhich turned every way, to guard the tree of life." Gen.iii: 23, 24. Now we have no account that these Cherubimsand flaming sword has ever been seen within the orbitof this planet (which is allowed to be 162 millions ofmiles in diameter) since the fall of man, but has been farremoved out of their sight. The prophet says, "Beholdthe time shall come that these tokens which I have toldthee, shall come to pass, and the Bride shall appear, andthe coming forth shall be seen that now is withdrawn fromthe earth,"—xi. Esdras: 7, 26. This shows that Paradiseis not located in this planet. But perhaps you do not believethat Esdras is a true prophet; well then, will you believeSt. Paul? He says, "I knew a man in Christ abovefourteen years ago (whether in the body I cannot tell, Godknoweth) such an one caught up to the third Heaven—Godknoweth how that he was caught up into Paradiseand heard unspeakable words which it is not (possible:margin) for a man to utter." 2 Cor. xii: 4. St. John'stestimony agrees with Paul, for he says he "saw the Bridethe Lamb's wife, coming down from God, out of Heaven,"without doubt, the same place where he had been. Butsays the objector, if John saw it coming down 1750 yearsago, it ought to have been here by this time. Very true;but John "saw things which must shortly come to pass."Rev. 1. Let us just look at a few of the things he saw,and remember at the same time how he was directed towrite them down, that every important point might be recorded.He saw the "abomination (Popery) that makethdesolate set up," four hundred and forty-five years in thefuture. Again, he saw the seven angels going forth withtheir trumpets to sound—he particularly describes the threelast. See Rev. viii: 13; ix: 17, 19. Here he shows uswhat was to be the component parts of gunpowder, andin a very peculiar and clear manner describes the musketwith the ball, (head) how they killed men 1350 years beforemuskets were used on horse-back—17th v. Further,how could he have described the second advent history sominutely as he has done in the xiv. chapter, if he had nothave seen what was to be, and has been fulfilled; and howis it possible he could have given such a lamentable pictureof "Mistery Babylon," if he had not have seen in theselast days of "perilous times," the professed children ofGod drinking from the old mother's cup of poison, while"she was drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."Rev. xvii. and xviii. Once more, how did David see thatblood thirsty mob shoot out the lip, and laugh to scorntheir Savior; and the four Roman soldiers under his crossdividing his garments and casting lots for his vesture, twelvehundred years before it took place. John xix: 23, 24.Why! just as St. John saw the Holy City coming down atthe second advent of Jesus—just as I believe, it will beseen, "Having the glory of God: and her light was likeunto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clearas crystal." Rev. xxi: 11. The most precious is thegreen, spotted with red and purple. We will now lookat the
From what part of Heaven will this glorious City appear?We answer, from where the flaming sword is"guarding the way of the tree of life," and the Cherubimsare stationed. John i: 51. Furgerson, the celebratedastronomer of the last century, in describing some of themany wonders in the Heavens, says "that the two brightclouds in the heavens at the south pole, called by marinersthe clouds of Magelen, are by astronomers called cloudystars, but the most remarkable of all the cloudy stars isthat in the middle of Orion's Sword, where seven stars(of which three are very close together) seem to shinethrough a cloud, very lucid in the middle, but faint and illdefined about the edges. It looks like a GAP in the sky,through which one may see (as it were) part