8: On to the Throne

David now said, “Have you a choice of routes? Six thousand kilometers [7] are between us and the city gates.”

[7. “A thousand leagues.” That is 3,500 miles. A league being about 5.7 kilometres (3.5 miles).]

Genevive quickly spoke and said, “Let us go by way of the gorge route including the cliffs, for I remember Mr. Sodi was very fond of natural scenery and especially that of a mountainous and inspiring character.”

“I am sure, father, you will have your desire fully met,” said Mary. “I do not know what the world was like or its mountains and rivers, but I have gone this route a few times with mother and grandmother, as well as others, and I know you will be pleased.”

“Indeed, I am sure I will. And Genevive, dear, I am glad you remember my natural inclinations and have made this choice, for I still have my same preferences.”

David’s chariot began to tremble as a thing of life again. We turned to the many standing at the gateway and said good-bye, until we meet you again.

I found that Genevive had a host of friends, for thousands had gathered to see her off, and to sing a parting hymn; the chorus I still remember:

“We only say good-bye in heaven,
Assured to meet again.
God’s blessing guide you all the way
By mountain, vale, or glen.”

As the chariot moved away, they soon faded from our sight in the distance behind. Beautiful fields with teeming harvests were spread out in a great valley before us.

Mother spoke, and said, “Not a drop of human sweat was needed to produce these fields of golden harvests. There is no curse here—no weeds nor briars, but our good Father’s will makes all provision for us. Yet notwithstanding everything grows in heaven without human toil and sweat, yet men are employed to gather in these great harvests and the labor is but a kind of picnic for joy.”

“Oh, how much,” I replied, “is wrapped up in God’s love to man!” Beautiful flowers of endless varieties were lining the chariot’s pathway. “The fragrance from the fields and flowers is so exhilarating, my soul is filled with raptures of delight,” I shouted. Oh, why do men in the world put so little value on God’s revelation of this great pleasure ground of eternal delight?

Many Christian people there are who try to believe that heaven is only a state of rest and quietude of soul forever, and do not think of it as a place of such magnificent glory. Such rob themselves of the joy of expectation, and hope is not the anchor it would be if their faith and hope were after God’s ideas and revelations.

We now came in sight of beautiful buildings in the distance. So I said to Genevive, “What are those buildings we see over there?”

“Just a village of paradise,” she said. “Many of the inhabitants have mansions also in the city, but often spend much of their lime here, as these pleasure grounds are greatly appreciated.”

David reduced the speed of the chariot as we passed through its streets. Beautiful fountains were beside the driveway and so were the trees with their ripening fruit.

David stopped beside a gushing fountain; we all sprang from the chariot and with silver goblets were refreshed with the water of life. After selecting such fruit as we needed we were again in the chariot, which moved on with reduced speed, for the scenery was too grand to be so quickly passed by.

Soon the hills and mountains far in the distance before us came in view. A lovely river winding about the foothills was also plain to be seen. On we passed. Deep gorges between the hills and spurs of the mountains lent their enchantment to the scene. The roadway was now winding among this gorgeous mountain scenery. The chariot was climbing the mountain sides, so as to pass over the high mountain valleys.

David now turned to me and said, “My son, I am delighted to have this opportunity of driving through this stupendous mountain route, nor do I ever tire of it. It reminds me when I used to hide in the caves and among the rocks and mountains when fleeing from Saul, my persecutor. Those were times never to be forgotten. I have often looked but in vain hoping I might see Saul coming in a chariot along some of the great mountain roads of paradise, but I have never met him nor have I heard any word concerning his presence within the gates of paradise or the city itself.”

“Poor Saul,” I said. “He rejected God’s word and denied obedience to Him, and the penalty must be paid.”

I now looked up to the vast overhanging crags above us and again downward to the deep gorges of thousands of feet below. At different places along this roadway were beautiful pleasure grounds so whenever or wherever any desired, they could alight from the chariot and enjoy strolls among beautiful shrubbery and all manner of trees bearing fruit. At one of these David brought the chariot to a standstill, and we all gathered beneath the wide spreading branches of one of the trees of life and began to gather its fruit. I felt so full of thanksgiving to God that I practically shouted, “What has God made! Oh, David, tell me, how vast is this great paradise?”

“Oh,” said David, “there is plenty of room in heaven for all the millions that ever have been or ever will be born. These pleasure grounds are almost limitless. I do not know the utmost bounds of heaven: possibly Enoch, Abraham or Moses can tell. One thing I can tell: there is no sin, no sorrow, nor death here. There is no evil-minded person in all this vast domain. Nothing that works an abomination or makes a lie ever enters within the gates of the city or even paradise itself.”

At this David went to the chariot and bringing his harp said, “We must now join in a song of thanksgiving.” We quickly took our harps from our belts and tuned them with David’s. He began with the word of the thirty-third Psalm, thinking I knew it best. Then we all sang:


“Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous:
for praise is comely for the upright.

Praise the Lord with harp:
sing unto Him with the psaltery
and an instrument of ten strings.

Sing unto Him a new song:
play skillfully with a loud noise.
For the word of the Lord is right,
and all His works are done in truth.

By the word of the Lord
were the heavens made,
and all the host of them
by the breath of His mouth.”


When we had finished this song of thanksgiving, David said, “No doubt, you will meet Nehemiah, one of the dear saints of heaven, who wrote while on earth, as I remember, under divine inspiration, and said: ‘You, even you are Lord alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; the earth and all things that are therein, the sea and all that is therein, and you preserve them all, and the hosts of heaven worship you.’” (Nehemiah 9:6)

He continued, “Angels from this heavenly world visit the earth in great numbers and sometimes saints have the privilege as well, but of this I will speak to you at another time.”

“Oh, how blessed to know,” I replied, “that I belong to Him: that I was converted, became as a little child, believed in Jesus, humbled myself, was born again, received eternal life, and now have this great exaltation! Oh, hallelujah to God!” I shouted.

Genevive said, “Shall we not now go on, for there are many things yet on the way to the city?”

We were soon seated in the chariot and David touched the special button and the chariot moved along, rolling on in the mighty ascent toward the mountain summit. Off in the distance could be seen peak after peak and mountain after mountain—everything glittering with the glory of God upon it. Still we moved on and climbed higher and higher, spanning immense gorges on causeways built by the Lord of the Kingdom Himself.

To one unaccustomed, it seemed both a dizzy and dangerous route. I said to Genevive, “Are we entirely safe with such enormous heights, and such speed as we are making?”

“Safe?! Dangerous route?!” she said. “There are no dangers in heaven. Accidents, there are none. Mistakes are few as we soon learn the deeper wisdom of God.”

We passed many chariot loads going in the direction from whence we had just come. All were so cheerful and happy. We always gave and received a pleasant salute as the chariots passed each other with reduced speed. Nearly always the newcomers like myself would shout out with a wave of the hand, ‘Home at last, home at last!’

We met one chariot upon the summit of this great range, guided by Elijah, filled with men and women with a half dozen children besides new arrivals from the world, but a happier group I hardly ever saw. David threw out a signal and both chariots stood still side by side. We greeted each other with handshakes and kisses of true love. The children were so full of glee and joyous wonder. Like myself, this was their first trip over this wonderful gorge route. They asked us many questions and seemed eager to go on. No thought of fear, but with perfect confidence in their elders, and Elijah’s guiding hand, they seemed entirely satisfied. After passing them a basket of fruit which we had gathered, they thanked us and their chariot moved on.

David said, “Now we must hurry on for there are interesting things just before us.” So on we went, climbing still higher. We soon came to a most lovely park on the plateau high upon the mountain summit. Into this park David guided his chariot. We sat a moment awestruck at the lovely scenery. Groves of heavenly fruit-bearing trees, flowering shrubbery of many kinds, roadways winding in all directions, with a great number of chariots much like David’s standing here and there, with others slowly moving about filled with joyous souls—men, women and children—all happy and enjoying this heavenly pleasure ground to the full.

“Sure enough,” I said. “What has God prepared for His people!?”

David now brought his chariot to a halt. Many of the great host turned toward us, recognizing David, the king. In a few moments a great company had gathered near, saluting David and us. But, who are the strangers, they wondered. We were soon introduced and greeted afresh. David now said, “Take your leisure, go where you wish.”

We took a long stroll, meeting hundreds who like myself were here for the first time. The great pleasure park was three or four kilometers [8] on each side. Numerous fountains were located at different places and were the sources of innumerable rivers and streams in paradise, and a part of the great system which flows from the city and from the Throne itself on the banks of which, both in the holy city and throughout all paradise, grow the trees of life with their twelve manner of fruit. A table in the center was literally covered with this delightful fruit of paradise of which we all ate freely, while enjoying this most interesting visit.


[8. “Fifteen or twenty furlongs.” That is about two to two and a half miles. One furlong being about 200 meters (660 feet).]



“Well, my son,” said mother, “are you repaid for your efforts and self-denial in the Lord’s service in the world?”

“Oh, mother, why do you ask me that question? I am a thousand times repaid already. Just what I see and enjoy now here in this park is ample reward for all the toil of an earth’s pilgrimage. But who are those two men coming toward us?”

Mother said, “I do not recognize them.”

Genevive said, “They are strangers, perhaps recently come into paradise.” By this time they were near us. They had locked arms and were walking together in a joyous conversation.

They attracted my attention, for I seemed to recognize them both. “Hello, good morning,” and in a moment we were embracing each other in our arms and with high praises to God we were shouting, “Glory to God in the highest!” But who were they? Only two of my friends whom I had learned to know and to love many years ago, one Mr. Fuggele of Stavanger, Norway, and the other dear soul was my friend Mr. Ransome, of London, England.

“Oh, brethren,” I shouted, “I see you are here, but I had not heard that you had left the world. Oh, Brother Fuggele, the last time we met on earth, we wept together in the railroad station in your native town, and Brother Edwin Ransome, you were a father to me when I was in your great city of London. Well, brethren, I am truly glad to meet you here. I have only been here a short time and have not yet been to the Throne, but oh, I am overwhelmed with the greatness and glory of this celestial world.”

Edwin Ransome now said, “We have been here for quite a while, but never have been to this great pleasure ground before. Isn’t it grand?”

“This beats the mountains of Norway,” said Brother Fuggele. “I thought they were grand enough, although snow covered and frozen with the ice like the frigid zone, in mid-summer, but here the enormous heights of these delightful mountains know nothing but the spring mornings of heaven. Surely, no cold blasts ever sweep over these mountain tops.”

“No,” I shouted, “for just see these trees of giant growth, hanging with their golden fruits, like the luxuriant clusters of the tropical lands of the earth. No winter ever comes here, I am sure.”

At this there came a group of happy men, precious souls, passing near us. I said, “Who are they?” and they were quickly invited to wait a moment for an introduction.

My friends Edwin Ransome and Peter Fuggele knew them well and said, “They are a group of ministers who were noted and well-known in the world, greatly beloved on earth and so they are in heaven.”

I was soon introduced to Christmas Evans and Rowland Hill of England, Dr. Guthrie also. Robert Flockhart and John Wesley stood side by side. Dr. Adam Clark and George Fox were also introduced, then there came Peter Cartwright and Lorenzo Dow, with many others.

“Oh,” I exclaimed and said, “I have heard and read of all you good men. Glad indeed, very glad I am to meet you all here. This must be the ‘preachers’ picnic party.’” I motioned to mother, Genevive and Mary, who also came and were introduced. A number of seats were brought and placed beneath the broad, spreading branches of the tree and we all sat down, when we saw David coming toward us carrying his harp. When he had come near, all these brethren arose and greeted him with a most heavenly welcome. David made a most courteous bow and with a pleasant smile was seated with us. Then standing and taking in the situation, he quickly introduced his chariot group again when they arose and gave us another welcome. At this I arose and said, “Dear brethren, my soul is so overcome with the joy and gladness of heaven, I can no longer restrain my feelings.”

“Don’t try any longer,” said Rowland Hill, “but let us all praise God together.” We knelt, and such a praise service I hardly ever witnessed, especially of such intense feelings and raptures of joy. George Fox seemed to praise God louder and sweeter than most anyone else. At last we arose and David started a hymn, playing upon his harp. We all joined and sang with him. After much conversation we decided that all would go together to the farther side of the park. David led the way and we all followed. We soon found that many of these blessed men had not visited this place nor passed over this route for a long time so it seemed as new to them as to us.

Again I said to Genevive, “I am glad you chose this route for our return trip to the city. Oh, such glorious things as are in store for us!” We soon came to the outer limits of the park where we found ourselves on the very summit of a great mountain range in paradise. As we stood and looked off in the far distance over the foothills and down through immense valleys and plains, we seemed lost in wonder. In the beautiful clear atmosphere of heaven we could see great distances over and into the valleys a hundred kilometers [9] below us. The roadways winding down the mountain side with such a variety of trees on their borders presented a scene before us without a parallel in all creation. As I stood looking over this wonder, I said to David with the words of the Queen of Sheba, “The half has never been told me,” (1 Kings 10:7) and again, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) As we looked far down into the valley as well as along the mountain slopes we could see an innumerable number of mansions and temporary residences of those who preferred to spend much of their time in those regions. I thought again of our Lord’s words: “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there ye may be also,” (John 14:2-3) and oh, what provision He has made!

[9. “Many leagues.” That is maybe 50 miles. A league being about 5.7 kilometres (3.5 miles).]

Genevive now came and said, “Mr. Sodi, is your curiosity satisfied?”

“Satisfied! Is any soul not satisfied here? I have climbed to the top of many of the highest mountains of the earth, but they were only mole hills compared to these wonders of paradise, and then just think, these are here forever. Ours to enjoy always! No sickness! No old age! No death, sorrow nor crying! Redeemed and saved forever! Oh, Genevive, I am so glad we are here! Oh what glorious heights of elevation to which we are raised! Only a little while ago we were in the world subject to sickness, sorrow and death. Now all this is passed. No more death! But in heaven, equal to the angels, and with the saved of all ages!”

David now came and said, “We have need to be on our journey,” and so, bidding our holy brethren good-bye, we returned to the chariot. After gathering our needed supply of fruit and drinking again from the gushing fountain we were quickly seated in David’s chariot prepared for our journey to the city of the great King. We sung a hymn of praise for these great wonders. As soon as we had begun to sing many hundreds gathered quickly when they saw David standing in the chariot with his harp and joined with us in loud hallelujah’s to God.

Just at this moment came two lovely women, inviting us to wait a little and dine with them at their table nearby. They knew David well and asked concerning us; we quickly introduced ourselves, when Mary recognized them both and sprang from the chariot and embraced them in her arms, saying, “Oh, Emma dear, and Susie, how glad I am to see you!” These, I found had been her companions in their infancy in heaven. “Oh,” she says, “father, these were my chums in our girlhood experiences.” Of course, we went with them for they knew David also.

They, like ourselves, were just picnicking for a brief time on this mountain summit. They had gathered many kinds of fruit and a beautiful table was loaded with all that any soul could wish. Surely we enjoyed this feast as souls only can who have passed the boundaries of earthly lives into the new unions and fellowships of the life eternal. We thanked them for the pleasant entertainment and bidding them good-bye were soon in the chariot again.


* * * * *


So the chariot moved on leaving the mountain scenery behind us. Our route now was through a broad but beautiful valley. We could see such great distances before us in the clear light of paradise. The great orchards, orange and lemon groves of the world, were but miniature garden spots to what now opened before us.

As we made our descent from the heights behind us there was spread out as far as the eye could reach on either side immense groves of fruit-bearing trees of all kinds and descriptions, interspersed with most lovely flowers such as I had never seen before.

“Oh, where are we?” I shouted. “I am bewildered with this magnificent glory and wonderful provision of our God.” I fell on my face. Genevive and Mary both joined me and blessed aloud the God of our being. “Oh, God, Maker of all! Oh, Lord Jesus, Redeemer and Saviour, with high thanksgiving we pour out our souls to You! Eternal praise shall be Yours forever.”

When we arose, my mother said, “From these regions vast supplies are taken into the city. Look,” said she, “at those trainloads over there.”

“Wonderful,” I said, as I saw hundreds busily loading them with the choicest fruit and spiritual vegetables of all kinds.

Six hundred kilometers [10] of these groves were passed. I saw many thousands of happy spirits gathering fruit from these orchards of beauty and trainloads were frequently leaving, headed for the city.

[10. “A hundred leagues.” That is about 350 miles. A league being about 5.7 kilometres (3.5 miles).]

Genevive now said, “Do you see the light of the city over there?”

“Oh, indeed,” I shouted. “I think it must be the sunrise of a June morning in heaven.”

“How well you have judged,” said David. “The Son of God, the Lamb Himself, is the light thereof. June morning always! There is no winter here.” In a few moments the wall of the city came into view, and the gate of Simeon loomed up before us.

“Oh, David, reduce your speed, give us more time to see and consider the greatness of this mighty wall, and to read again the names of the foundations on which it stands, before we pass in at the gate of Simeon.”

The angel of the gate threw up his hands with a lovely welcome. I said to Genevive, “Why do the angels guard the gateways bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel?”

“Oh,” said she, “had it not been for the twelve tribes of ancient Israel paving this way before us and giving us the alphabet, spelling the eternal mysteries of God, we would never have known such an abundant entrance into the city. But like Israel when plodding their way to their ancient capital and the annual feasts, we would have been no better prepared than they, and with the increasing numbers gathering at these gates they would be blocked and jammed to our utter confusion. So the angel is stationed just to guide the crowds, to preserve perfect order, and to welcome all who are prepared for the blessedness of the city and the mansions. Ignorance is no bar to entrance at the gates but an unlikeness to the blessed face of Jesus is. So the angel’s presence and judgment decides.”

“So,” said Genevive, “ancient Israel opened the way and went before all of us Gentiles. God had prepared for them a city and they looked forward with longing eyes toward their inheritance.”

“Oh, indeed, Genevive dear, I remember a precious word of the Bible which we used to love so much while on earth. Speaking of Abraham, it says: ‘For he looked for a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God.’” (Hebrews 11:10)

“How true,” said Genevive, “these ancient saints died in faith, full of the promises of God, which they saw afar off. And they were persuaded of them and embraced them and so confessed they were strangers and pilgrims in the earth, desiring a better country, that was this heavenly one. So God was not ashamed to be called their God because He had built for them this city.” (Hebrews 11:13-16)

“Oh, how true!” I said. “And none but the true and eternal God could have build such a city as this for them and us.”

David’s chariot had been standing still for some time during this conversation and he had been quietly listening. He now turned to us and said, “I have been delighted with the course of your conversation. For hundreds of years before the Gentile period came in, thousands of the Jews crowded at these gates.

“We were most all Jews then, but now the Gentiles are far outnumbering us. But then the Gentiles are our brethren for they are Abraham’s seed after all and heirs of the promise. But we must now pass along.” The chariot moved slowly under the archway of the great gate. The angel waved us good-bye as we left the wondrous gate and wall behind.

Mother now spoke and said to David, “Kindly guide the chariot to the children’s cathedral.”

I said to her, “Are you eager to see the little ones again?”

“I am always delighted to be with them, but I want to assure you I have greatly enjoyed this entire trip.” We all said the same, but no one had enjoyed it like myself—everything was so new, so wonderful, never to be forgotten.

“Now, David, the avenue seems broad here, go as fast as you want to.” He reached out his hand and pressed the button again, when the chariot seemed to fly with the wings of the light. In a few moments we were slowing up beside the gateway of the Polytechnic. We all alighted and thanked David for his kind services, who turned and said, “I am always glad to do you such a favor.”

David now moved his chariot to the further side of the street and was gathering some fruit, while we were busy talking over the wonderful journey we had just completed.” m

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