My Vision of Heaven
On Jan 1, 1972, Marvin Ford spent 30 minutes in Heaven. Here is a portion of his testimony. Transcribed from a taped message “I went to heaven” given at Reserve Church in 1978. Marvin Ford is in the hospital after having a severe heart attack, and suffering intense pain when he comes face to face with the angel of death.
The Angel of Death
Instead of rebuking it, I said Lord I can’t take it anymore. I don’t care about the prophets, I don’t care about my job, I don’t care about my automobiles, I don’t care about my home, I don’t care about anything else. I’ve got to get this pain off…I can’t take it anymore. I had gotten so weak…I could not fight it any longer. So I remembered what Jesus said when he was hanging on the cross. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” And when I did that the lights went off. And just like that my spirit left my body and immediately …now I didn’t go through that long black tunnel that Dr. Moody writes about in his “Life after Life”,…no I didn’t. I passed by so fast those bright lights at about a 45-degree angle toward the north. You sing that song, Psalms 48:1,2, “beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King”. That’s the direction I was going in.
A View of the Heavenly City
And just like that, I was looking down on the most dazzling sight I had ever seen or even dreamed or imagined in my entire life! The beauty, the splendor, the magnificence of that city were absolutely breathtaking! The golden hues that were coming out from there and the rays of light that were coming from that city were just blinding to the eye. Only they weren’t my eyes. My spirit was seeing that. See my eyes were on the bed down there. I don’t know whether they were closed or open….
But I was looking at this…. I saw the walls of jasper! Read it in the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation. Maybe you’ve already read it and you’ve already studied it; but if you haven’t read it when you get home. They are 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles high, and they looked like they were at least 50 miles thick. Now picture that in your mind will you? And picture this, there were no shadows, inside or out. The walls were perfectly transparent because the light from inside that city was so bright that absolutely nothing could withstand it. And I saw in the foundation of those walls precious and semi-precious stones. I saw diamonds larger, much larger, maybe 10 times larger than the Empire State Building. Rubies. Pearls. The gates of pearl look like they were at least 100 miles in diameter. I saw twelve of them; twelve of those gates; three on each side. I saw rubies and sapphires, sardonyx, beryl, topaz, emeralds; the various precious and semiprecious stones.
And I saw from wall to wall, streets, millions of miles of streets of solid gold. Not paved with gold as one songwriter wrote, but those streets are solid gold, completely and perfectly transparent. But Oh the splendor and the beauty and the rays of light that were coming from those streets! And I saw on each side of those streets of gold, mansions. I saw huge mansions, and I saw little bitty mansions and I saw mansions of all sizes in between. And being a builder, I’m interested in building and I can pick out a building. I don’t care if its a dog house that’s being remodeled, I can pick it out, you know, going down the street. And I looked all over that city, all over that city to see what those mansions were being built of you know. And you know what? I couldn’t find one! They were all finished. They’re all finished! Jesus said in the 14th chapter of John “In my father’s house are many mansions.
If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I’ll come again and receive you unto myself. That where I am, there ye may be also.” And Jesus has done his thing. He’s waiting for us to do ours. He’s waiting for us to fulfill our part of the bargain He made.
Now I’m sure that Paul the Apostle saw the same thing. I’m sure it’s something equal, cause he was writing to the Corinthians in the 12th chapter of 2nd Corinthians. And he says “I knew a man fourteen years ago, whether in the body or out of the body, I know not, and he was taken up into paradise and he saw things that were unutterable, or unlawful to write. Actually there were no words to describe it. Absolutely no words! And the only way John the Revelator could describe it, it says, “It looked like a bride, as a bride adorned for her husband”. It didn’t look like a woman; it didn’t look like a woman with a white dress.
But the purity, the Purity and the Beauty of that City were absolutely unmentionable. There’s no way. But I think Paul began to kind of spill the beans a little bit when he started writing to the Philippians in the 4th chapter and the 19th verse when he said “My God shall supply all your need according to” your brownie points that you marked up? No, he didn’t write that, he didn’t say that. He says “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” And that is the way God supplies our needs! And I’m here to tell you that God that I serve is very super extravagant! All those walls of jasper, the streets of solid gold, the very thing that people work their fingers to the bone to try to attain; men kill each other over, countries go to war over; … Gold; that’s the cheapest thing in Heaven. That’s what we walk on! That’s what there’s the most of, there, you see! Except, I saw through, in, around, and about, and all over that place millions of bright shining, shining shimmering scintillating lights; glistening lights, all over that city. And they were moving with such grace and such poise, and such dignity and with such beauty.
And they were all singing. Ha-ha, you talk about a song! You talk about a song! They were singing, worshipping Jesus the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world! The only thing, they weren’t singing in English, they were singing in a heavenly language! And I didn’t even have to learn it! I didn’t even have to learn it! I joined them, singing exactly what they were singing and everybody was with one accord, and everybody was on a tune.
And I was talking to Dr. Richard Eby, who has had an experience somewhat similar to mine. And he’s a musician, I’m a musician and he heard singing. He heard music! And leave it up to a doctor to ask an impossible question. He said, “Marvin, let me ask you, was that music vocal or instrumental?” Well, I had never thought of it before! I said, “Dr. Eby, really to tell you the truth, I don’t know!” I had never heard anything vocal like it before. I had never heard anything instrumental like it before! He said, “Yes, that is absolutely true! I could not distinguish it. It was coming from the spirit.” Now whether that’s vocal or instrumental, that’s beside the point, don’t make a doctrine out of it. But that’s the way it was, you know. He asked me why…. You know he saw things that I didn’t see and I saw things that he didn’t see. He saw things that were relative to his life. That was pertinent to his disposition, to his likes and to his dislikes. I saw things that were pertinent to my likes and dislikes, and to my disposition. You see the God that I serve is so versatile that He ministers to the individual according to that individuals need. According to your personality and everything. You can put God in a box! And I can’t put God in a box! Because God is very, very, very diversified, see! And he said “Well Marvin, why do you think that everybody… why doesn’t everybody see exactly the same thing?” I said, “Well Dr. Eby, I can figure that out. I can figure that out, why if any three saw the same thing, they’d try to make a doctrine out of it, and start a denomination. Now that’s one thing that we all have in common that have these out of body experiences when we go to be with the Lord. We see colors that you cannot describe! Millions of ’em! But oh the splendor and the beauty of those colors are just absolutely overwhelming. Even in your fondest thoughts or fondest imaginations! And there were just as many colors as there were spirits, you know. That’s as diversified as our father is!
Finding the Throne
And since we were worshipping Jesus, I said, “Oh, I haven’t seen Jesus yet!” I quoted to you Hebrews 1:3 when he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. And I knew if I found the majesty on high, which is God the Father, I would find Jesus. And I could personally tell him how much I love him and how much I appreciate him. Now I was going through this maze of colors there was a changing process. I don’t know why I can’t describe it or even give you any scripture for it. But there was a changing process. And presently I came out into the brightest, whitest, clearest, cleanest, purest, most intense light that I had ever even imagined in my entire life. Oh, I was seeing things that I had never dreamed of. And there, anywhere I would look in the upper level of this city 1500 miles square, with that rainbow or that oval type dome for a roof of this city, in there was the throne of God. In any direction I looked, there He was! I could not make any physical being, you know, I couldn’t make out any physical being because Hs Glory filled the throne. But I knew, I knew that Jesus was sitting at his right hand because the word of God said so.
Presently I saw him. A massive, light, shaft of light. And I seemed so small in comparison to Jesus. I worshipped Him. Now when I say I saw Jesus, I knew it was Jesus. I could not make (out) any physical form. Now Dr. Eby could see the physical forms, although he noticed that the physical forms didn’t have any muscles. They didn’t have any marks where you could tell male nor female. And their bodies were completely transparent, but they were physical. I couldn’t see that the light was so bright that I could not make out any physical being. The only way I could describe that if you were to take an about 3 million candle power searchlight, one of these arc lights, you know, that you shine way up into the heavens to advertise the grand opening of a place. During the war particularly when they were searching for planes in the heavens. (That) went way up there for miles it seemed like, in the heavens. Those same lights if you would turn one of those down on a dark night and get out there in front of it, and look at that searchlight, at that 3 million candle power arc light and try to distinguish the filaments in that light, you would have the same success in trying to distinguish the physical being of Jesus But there exuded from that being Love, Compassion, Tenderness, Purity, Power, Glory but yet so tender. There was a gaze that I sensed. Have you ever just felt somebody just gazing at you? And you looked and you saw them gazing at you. And even while they were gazing at you, you couldn’t stop it, they were there all the time? That’s the way I sensed the presence of Jesus.
And I fell down at his feet and worshipped. I know what Jesus meant when he says out of your bellies, or out of your innermost being, shall flow rivers of living water. There was a gusher of praise, and adoration and glory and honor going to Jesus that I could not stop. Nor would I have stopped it had it been possible. I was praising Jesus the Lamb of God, the one who died for my sins, the cause of my being there, the reason for my being there. The preciousness of Jesus just flooded my heart, my soul. And I was worshiping.
And I heard Him say, now it was not a verbal exchange, it was a spirit to spirit knowing, He welcomed me into his presence. And He told me to stand. And there I was standing face to face with Jesus. My Jesus, the Lamb of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I was there in His presence. I began to ask Him questions after I worshipped Him for a long time. And the first question I asked Him was “Lord,” You know his gaze never did leave me one bit, not one second. I said “Lord, how is it that there are millions of spirits here in heaven, there are billions of people on earth and there are people that are coming into your presence continually, how is it that your gaze remains continually on me. I have your undivided attention.” And in that tenderness, and in that love and compassion he says “Why don’t you know that there’s enough of me to go around?” For every individual, regardless of how insignificant you might think you are. Regardless of how undone, regardless of how little, regardless of how puny… You know you think you’re nobody, but let me tell you something, but don’t sell yourself short. You are very, very, very important to Jesus. Because He never takes His gaze from you, 24 hours a day. That’s the Jesus that we serve. Oh Hallelujah, Hallelujah! And folks, I don’t know, If I break up, you’ll have to forgive me. Sometimes I do when I get to thinking about Jesus and who he is, and who we are. And, you know, how He loves us, and how I love Him.
The next question I asked Him was “Lord, what about those prophets? Did I make false prophets out of all those people that said that I’d be going’ around the world and preaching to millions of people. Are they false prophets?” The answer Jesus gave was this. “I have everything under complete control. I have never lost a battle, nor have I ever lost a skirmish.” Hahaha Hallelujah! And I found out then and there, the Jesus that we serve, there’s one thing that he cannot do! He cannot lose! We as individuals, sometimes, we lose a skirmish here and there. We think we do, but Jesus has everything under complete control. We back up and recoup and we hit the devil right between the eyes. And he’s got to obey us. I don’t care how big, I don’t care how many. I don’t care about the power, I don’t care anything else. When the church comes together and takes the authority that rightfully belongs to us, there are not enough devils in hell, imps in hell, or demons in hell that can stand against the weakest Christian. Praise God! Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! And they’ve got to obey you! They’ve got to obey you! They are subject to you and they are subject to me! There are only two cases that I have ever come against a demon-possessed individual that they weren’t delivered. That’s because they didn’t want to be delivered. But when an individual wants to be delivered, the brother they’ve to be delivered because of the authority Son of God that He’s given us!
All authority is given unto Him, in heaven and in the earth and He transferred that authority that God gave Jesus to the church. Take that authority! Live in that authority! Walk-in that authority! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! You’re a lot stronger than you think! Hallelujah! Because you have Jesus living in you. Living in You! Your body’s a temple of the Holy Spirit! And you do have the authority. All authority is given to the Church! Praise God! When the Church finally comes together and wakes up! I’m talking about the people that kind of pull themselves off to one side I’ve got news for them. Just like I said at the onset of this service. They’ve either got to get in, get out, or get run over! There are a lot of people that think they are going to make it, that is going to miss it so far they won’t even see it. When people will stand before him and say ‘Well Lord, didn’t I cast out demons in your name, didn’t I do these mighty works in your name? Didn’t I do this, and didn’t I do that and didn’t I do the other? What did Jesus say to them? “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity”…He didn’t say that I knew you and forgot you, he said I never knew you.
Oh thank God I know him and he knows me! You know him and he knows you. Hallelujah! That’s who you are! That’s who the Church is! And when the Church comes together in one accord. That gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit will break into a holocaust of Pentecost, and the entire world will know that Jesus is the son of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And he has everything under complete control.
I asked him another question. I asked, “Lord, when are you coming back?” You know eschatology was one of my favorite subjects. I knew all the answers, particularly when I first came out of Bible school, you know. Huh! The older I get, the less I know! But I knew all the answers then! I had everything lined right up, point after point after point. Until I asked the Lord, I said, Jesus …. Now he hasn’t changed dramatically these things but there is one thing that I didn’t realize and possibly you don’t realize. Jesus says “Before I come with my Church,” that’s the last step, he comes back with his Church, “I’m, coming for my Church”, but he says, “before I come for my Church, I’m coming to my Church, in an unprecedented visitation.” A visitation of power, A visitation of glory, a visitation of authority, a visitation of bringing together, a visitation of miracles, and that is not relegated for tomorrow or the next week, or the next…. I read the last chapter! That’s now! He is come to his Church, right now. He’s here to meet you tonight! And he will meet you according to the level of your expectancy. Are you expecting something from Jesus tonight, huhuh, you’re not going to be disappointed! Because he says where any two are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst. And we are standing on the promises that my God will supply our, all our needs. All our needs. Spirit, soul, and body according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. And Jesus is here, just anxious. If Jesus could have any anxiety at all that would be his anxiety; just anxious to supply that need. Anxious to heal your body, anxious to supply whatever your hearts desire. Hallelujah! Glory to God! Glory to God! That’s the Jesus that I serve! Now, I’ve locked horns with the premillennialists, I’ve locked horns with the post-millennialists, I’ve locked horns with the a-millennialists. And they’ve all got verses of scripture and they …. I could argue any one of them under the table. But I’ll tell you what I’ve done, I’ve started a fourth-order. I’ve become a pan-millennialist. I decided to let Jesus take care of things, and everything’s gonna pan out. Ha-ha, hallelujah! Is that good doctrine Pastor? Good, praise God. Everything’s gonna pan out. But he says I am come to my Church, right now.
We talked about a lot of things, about the kingdom; about the coming kingdom; about when we take authority, the complete authority that God intends us to take. You see. We will come back to the true state that God intended for Adam to have and to be in when he created. The very first thing he said when he created Adam, he built him, you know made him out of the dust of the earth. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. And the very first thing, he says ‘now take dominion’. Take Dominion. The second thing he says is be fruitful and multiply. But the first thing is take dominion. And that is why Jesus is leaving his Church on the earth today, is to take dominion. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And he comes to his Church this very hour.
And Jesus says, “Come, I want you to see the Church the way I see it.” And I had the privilege of seeing the Church, you notice I said The Church through the eyes of the master architect. He saw the Church even before the foundation of the world. It was in his mind, and it was in his eye. I saw one Church; in the unity of the Spirit; I saw a strong Church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. I saw a well Church; I saw a militant Church. That’s ruling, in love, in power, in glory! Hallelujah! That’s what I saw! And that’s what we’re going to see. It’s not everyone that says ‘Lord, Lord’ is going to enter into the kingdom, but he that doeth the will of the father. And as we go together in the unity of the spirit, we are going to see these things.