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Visions of Heaven

Visions of Heaven

Over the years many people have reported to have visions of parts of heaven. The visions reported below appear the be from reliable people and are not contradictory with the Bible as I understand it. The experiences of Don Piper and Roberts Liardon do not match the standard model of out-of-body experiences. They were not aware of leaving their bodies, did not go through a tunnel or meet a being of light, but immediately found themselves outside of the gate of the city of heaven.

Don Piper

The following quotes are excerpts from pages taken from Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. Don is a Baptist preacher. In 1989, he was in an automobile accident and was pronounced dead by the paramedics. Ninety minutes later he began to show signs of life and returned to his body. During those ninety minutes he found himself in heaven, standing outside of the gate, meeting family and friends. The following are quotes of some of the things he saw.

“Age expresses time passing, and there is no time there. All of the people I encountered were the same age they had been the last time I had seen them – except that all the ravages of living on earth had vanished. Even though some of their features may not have been considered attractive on earth, in heaven every feature was perfect, beautiful, and wonderful to gaze at.”

“Everything was brilliantly intense. Coming out from the gate –a short distance ahead – was a brilliance that was brighter than the light that surrounded us, utterly luminous. As soon as I stopped gazing at the people’s faces, I realized that everything around me glowed with a dazzling intensity”.

“Strange as it seems, as brilliant as everything was, each time I stepped forward, the splendor increased. The farther I walked, the brighter the light. The light engulfed me, and I had the sense that I was being ushered in the presence of God… In heaven, each of our senses is immeasurably heightened to take it all in. And what a sensory celebration!”

“Then I heard the music…..It was the most beautiful and pleasant sound I’ve ever heard, and it didn’t stop… It seemed as if I were part of the music – and it played in and through my body… Myriads of sounds so filled my mind and heart that it’s difficult to explain them. The most amazing one, however, was the angel’s wings. I didn’t see them, but the sound was a beautiful holy melody with a cadence that seemed never to stop. The swishing resounded as if it was a form of never-ending praise.”

(Note: Roberts Liadon, in his book We Saw Heaven. reports the same sounds coming from the angel wings.)

“In those minutes – and they held no sense of time for me – others touched me, and their warm embraces were absolutely real. I saw colors I would never have believed existed. I’ve never, ever felt more alive than I did then. I was home, I was where I belonged. I wanted to be there more than I had ever wanted to be anywhere on earth. Time had slipped away, and I was simply present in heaven. All worries, anxieties and concerns vanished. I had no needs, and I felt perfect.”

“Everything I experienced was like a first-class buffet for the senses. I had never felt such powerful embraces or feasted my eyes on such beauty. Heaven’s light and texture defy earthly eyes or explanation. Warm, radiant light engulfed me. As I looked around, I could hardly grasp the vivid dazzling colors. Every hue and tone surpassed anything I had ever seen.”

“With all the heightened awareness of my senses, I felt as if I had never seen, heard, or felt anything so real before. I don’t recall that I tasted anything, yet I know that if I had, that too would have been more glorious than anything I had eaten or drunk on earth. The best way I can explain it is to say that I felt as if I were in another dimension.”

“I paused just outside the gate, and I could see inside. It was like a city with paved streets. To my amazement, they had been constructed of literal gold. If you imagine a street paved with gold bricks, that’s as close as I can come to describing what lay inside the Gate. Everything I saw was bright – the brightest colors my eyes had ever beheld – so powerful that no earthly human could take in this brilliance.”

“All the people I met looked exactly as I once knew them — although they were more radiant and joyful than they’d ever been on earth.”

“My great-grandmother, Hattie Mann, was Native American. As a child I saw her only after she had developed osteoporosis. Her head and shoulders were bent forward, giving her a humped appearance. I especially remember her extremely wrinkled face. The other thing that stands out in my memory is that she had false teeth — which she didn’t wear often. Yet when she smiled at me in heaven, her teeth sparkled. I know they were her own, and when she smiled, it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.”

“Then I noticed something else — she wasn’t slumped over. She stood strong and upright, and the wrinkles had been erased from her face. I have no idea what age she was, and I didn’t even think about that. As I stared at her beaming face, I sensed that age has no meaning in heaven.”

Roberts Liardon

When Roberts Liardon was eight year old he had a vision of heaven. In his book We Saw Heaven he reports on the vision of heaven he had. He also reports on visions from others over the years. The following are excerpts from his book.

“I turned around to see who had spoken to me, and there stood Jesus Christ. All the glory that was about Him began to move toward me, and it came upon me. I recognized Him immediately, although he did not look like any of the pictures I had ever seen painted of Him. This much I can say: When you are faced with the presence of Jesus, you have no doubt who He is.”

“Since that moment when I came face-to-face with Him, people have asked me repeatedly what He looks like. This is harder to answer than it might seem. In my experience, those who have seen Him are so overwhelmed by His presence that His appearance is secondary. You become so caught up in who He is that your mind doesn’t fully retain the details of what He looks like.”

“But I remember that he appeared to me to be somewhere around 5’11” to 6’1″ tall and muscular – the perfect man. I saw no scars or signs of his crucifixion. They may have been there, but I did not see them. The way He looked, talked and moved seemed the epitome or perfection and wholeness. He is God, and I sensed that. His skin was olive-tones, and He had a beard. His hair came almost to His shoulders and appeared to be sandy-brown…”

“And the glory of that presence engulfed me. I buckled to my knees, and tears began to stream from my eyes, running down my face. I could not have stopped them if I had tried. They were not provoked by any human emotion such as sadness or excitement, but by His very presence. When he spoke to me, it was as if arrows of faith propelled by love shot into me and exploded inside. My only reaction was to weep.”

“Then He spoke again, ‘I want to give you a tour through Heaven, this place I have made for all who believe, because I love you so much'” (pp 5).

Jesus then proceeded to walk and talk to Roberts in a causal manner as they entered heaven.

Liadon’s view of the city.

“Jesus escorted me through that huge gate. He didn’t ask anyone to open it, and He pushed no button, it simply opened up and we walked through to the inside of Heaven.”

“As I entered Heaven, the first thing I saw was a street, and it was made of gold. As I continued to walk through Heaven, I saw that all the streets looked as if they were literally made of pure gold. Even the curbs were made of gold. In some places the streets looked just like the gold we have on earth, which is how I recognized what it was. Yet, in other parts, the streets were transparent, and the gold looked as clear as crystal…”

“Along the curbs, the grass was a green that I cannot express, except to say it was the original essence and the very fullness of that color. In fact, all the colors there were of such a nature that the colors here on earth seem faded in comparison to the vibrancy of Heaven. The curbs were also lined with flowers in all the colors of the rainbow; and they hummed.”

“I noticed the trees as we passed. The leaves swayed back and forth, dancing and praising. You would have thought a great wind was blowing through the land. The grass was very soft and yet after we passed over it, the blades sprang back into perfect alignment, immediately erasing any footprints. I think many men will be happy to know that you never have to mow the lawn in Heaven” (pp 39).

Liadon reports on Rebecca Springer’s initial vision of life in Heaven.

“The next thing she knew, Rebecca was sitting in a sheltered area of flowering shrubs upon soft, green grass blossoming with fragrant flowers, some of which she recognized from earth and others which were new to her. She observed how perfect each plant was with smooth, glossy leaves. Stretching into the distance was a field of perfect grass, flowers and trees bearing blossoms and fruits. It reminded her of the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 that bore 12 kinds of fruit.”

“Under the trees, she saw groups of happy little children playing, catching brightly colored birds that seemed to play along with them. Older people walked through the ground bearing a tangible air of peace and happiness. Everyone she saw was wearing pure white clothing. Looking further, she saw beautiful homes of unusual design, sparkling fountains and a river clear as crystal. The walkways appeared to be made of pearl. Everything spoke to her of purity for there was no decay. The air was fresh and invigorating, and instead of sunlight, there was a golden glow similar to a summer sunset” (pp 95).”

Liardon reports on Children.

“In 1988, evangelist Jesse Duplantis was taken up into Heaven. While he was there, he saw a multitude of small children, singing and praising God as they played little harps. When he asked the angel who had brought him there who they were, he was told they were the children the earth did not want. As Duplantis watched these children, who appeared to be from three to ten years old, he realized that they were children who had been lost to abortion. The angel explained to him that these children longed to see their mothers come to Heaven and be reunited with them.”

The children continued to play their beautiful music when Jesus appeared to them. His hands reached out to them as they played their harps and sang praises to him. They hugged Him and looked up at Him in adoration. He responded by saying, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto Me… for of such is the kingdom God’ (Mark 10:14b)” (pp 17).

Roberts Liardon’s vision of angels.

“Jesus and I became friends as He continued to take me on a tour of Heaven”… “All the saints whom I saw were dressed in white robes… The angels I saw in Heaven were tall and strong; they appeared to be from six to eight feet tall and were dressed according to their position. Some angels I saw did not have wings – but others did. When those wings moved, a musical sound was created, the like of which we have been unable to duplicate on earth” (pp 41).

Liadon’s view of animals.

“Jesus and I continued walking, and as we crossed some hills, I noticed other things. I saw all kinds of animals, every kind you can think of from A to Z. Often, people have questioned the subject of animals in Heaven, but if you think about it, why should there not be animals in Heaven? The Bible talks about horses in heaven – and why would God have only one kind of animal? The most well-known reference, of course, is regarding Jesus returning to earth on a white horse, found in Revelation 19:11. When the prophet Elijah was taken up into Heaven, a fiery horse and chariot were sent down after him.”

“While I was in Heaven I saw a dog, a baby goat, and a lion of great strength. There were birds singing in the trees, all sizes of birds, and they seemed to be singing the same song. And I could understand what they were singing – there was no ‘communication gap.’ When they stopped singing, it seemed as if they began to talk among themselves” (pp 38).

Liadon’s reports on some Chinese boy’s vision.

“In paradise, the [Chinese] boys saw trees bearing delicious fruit, beautiful expanses of fragrant flowers, exotically colored birds with their glorious songs, and animals of all sorts, both familiar animals such as deer, lions, elephants, and rabbits, and those they had never seen before. They even climbed upon a lion’s back, ran their fingers through his mane, and put their hands in his mouth! There was no hostility or danger there” (pp 142).

Jesus took Robert’s Liadon on a tour of a mansion.

“After we finished talking, the man took us through the house. It can be described only as total perfection. The windows had curtains over them. The walls were decorated with paintings that reminded me of earth’s modern art, except they were better.”

“I saw photographs of the man’s family members, and there were plants everywhere. In addition, the mansion was filled with beautiful furniture and luxuries. There were some things, however, that I did not recognize.”

“Each mansion was suited to the person who lived there, for every child of God has his or her own mansion in Heaven, according to John 14:2. I had the impression that to some degree, your mansion or home there contains what you like and enjoy. This particular one had different rooms, such as the dining room, living room, kitchen, den and so forth. I’m sure that there were bedrooms, but I did not go upstairs.”

“The man gave me a large fruit to eat that looked somewhat like an apple, and it was delicious. Afterward, we said good-bye and left through the back door. I cannot begin to tell you why we left that way instead of the front door, but that is the way we went out. There were other people in the house, and they hugged and kissed both of us before we left” (pp 14-15).

Liadon reports on Rebecca Springer’s experience with the waters of the river of life.

“Rebecca and Frank [her departed brother-in-law] reached the river of life. It was lined with beautiful stones, but was not cold; rather, it felt very much like the surrounding air. At the moment, Rebecca looked down and was delighted to see that she, too, was clothed in the white raiment of Heaven.”

“She didn’t want to venture further into the water, exclaiming that it would cover her head and she might drown. Frank gently reminder her that there was no death in Heaven! Plunging into the river, Rebecca found she could breathe – and talk and see, just as if she were above the water. Frank encouraged her to run her hands over her face and through her hair. She did, and it was a delightful feeling, although she regretted the tangles in her long hair which she was sure to have once they left the water. Besides, what would they do for towels?”

“Emerging from the river, she soon realized that as soon as the air touched her, her skin, hair, and clothing were as dry as before they entered the water. In fact, her robe seemed even more beautiful than when she had entered the river. She felt as if she could fly and asked Frank what the water had done for her.”

“Frank replied that the river of life had washed away the last influences of life on earth and had made her ready for her new life in Heaven.” (pp 91).

Another Experience

I want to share another report about a man and his mother. Dr. Maurice Rawlings was resuscitating a man who had died on his treadmill. Every time, Dr. Rawlings would bring him back he would scream that he was in hell. After a while, he was stabilized and the man accepted Christ as his savior. Sometime later the man died again and had another out-of-the-body experience. This time it was a pleasant experience. Let’s pick up the story as Dr. Rawlings reports it.

“He also recalls meeting both his mother and step-mother during one of these subsequent death episodes. The meeting place was a gorge full of beautiful colors. He also saw other relatives who had died before. This experience was very pleasurable, occurring in a narrow valley with very lush vegetation, and brilliant illumination by a huge beam of light. He ‘saw’ his mother for the first time. She had died at age twenty-one when he was fifteen months old and his father had soon remarried. The man had never seen a picture of his real mother, and yet he was able to pick her picture out of several others a few weeks later when his mother’s sister, after hearing of the experience, produced some family pictures for identification. There was no mistake. The same auburn hair, the same eyes and mouth — the face was identical to the lady he saw in his experience.”

“She was still twenty-one years old. There was no doubt it was his mother. He was astounded and so was his father” (Beyond Death’s Door, pp 5-6).

The Colton Burpo Story

In his book, Heaven is for Real, Todd Burpo, a Wesleyan Church pastor, tells the story of his son’s, Colton, visit to heaven. I highly recommend this book and I understand that Colton’s story is to be made into a movie. Colton was not quite four years old when he went to heaven and returned during surgery.

I want to share an excerpt from the book which I hope will bless all who have lost a child (pp 44-46).

One evening in October, I was sitting at the kitchen table working on a sermon. Sonja was around the corner in the living room, working on the business books, processing job tickets, and sorting through payables. Cassie played with her Barbie dolls at her feet. I heard Colton’s footsteps padding up the hallway and caught a glimpse of him circling the couch, where he then planted himself directly in front Sonja.

“Mommy, I have two sisters,” Colton said.

I put down my pen. Sonja didn’t. She kept on working.

Colton repeated himself. “Mommy, I have two sisters.”

Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. No, you have your sister, Cassie and … do you mean your cousin, Traci?”

“No.” Colton clipped off the word adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

At that moment, time stopped in the Burpo household and Sonja’s eyes grew wide. Just a few seconds before, Colton had been trying unsuccessfully to get his mom to listen him. Now, even from the kitchen table, I could see that he had her undivided attention.

“Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” Sonja said, her tone serious.

“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.”

Then Colton turned and started to walk away. He had said what he had to say and was ready to move on. But after the bomb he’d just dropped, Sonja was just getting started. Before our son could get around the couch, Sonja’s voice rang out in on all-hands-on-deck red alert. “Colton Todd Burpo, you get back here right now?”

Colton spun around and caught my eye. His face said, What did I just do?

I knew what my wife had to be feeling. Losing that baby was the most painful event of her life. We had explained to Cassie; she was older. But we hadn’t told Colton, judging the topic a bit beyond a four-year-old’s capacity to understand. From the table. I watched quietly as emotions moved across Sonja’s face.

A bit nervously, Colton slunk back around the couch and faced his mom again, this time much more warily. “It’s okay, Mommy,” he said. “She’s okay. God adopted her.”

Sonja slid off the couch and knelt down in front of Colton so that she could look him in the eyes. “Don’t you mean Jesus adopted her?” she said.

“No, Mommy, His Dad did!”

Sonja turned and looked at me. In that moment, she later told me, she was trying to stay calm, but she was overwhelmed. Our baby…was–is!–a girl, she thought.

Sonja focused on Colton, and I could hear the effect it took to steady her voice. “So what did she look like?”

“She looked a lot like Cassie,” Colton said. “She is just a little bit smaller, and she has dark hair.

Sonja’s dark hair.

As I watched , a blend of pain and joy played across by wife’s face. Cassie and Colton have my blond hair. She had even jokingly complained to me before. “I carry these kids for nine months, and they both come out looking like you.” Now there was a child who looked like her. A daughter. I saw the first hint of moisture glint in my wife’s eyes.

Now Colton went on without prompting. “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me,” he said in a tone that clearly indicated he didn’t enjoy all this hugging from a girl.

“Maybe she was just happy that someone from her family was there,” Sonja offered. “Girls hug. When we’re happy, we hug.”

Colton didn’t seem convinced.

Sonja’s eyes lit up and she asked. “What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?”

Colton seemed to forget about all the yucky girl hugs for a moment. “She doesn’t have a name. You guys didn’t name her.”

How did he know that?

“You’re right, Colton.” Sonja said. “We didn’t even know she was a she.”

The Colton said something that still rings in my ears. “Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”