Return from Tomorrow - by George Ritchie
In order for you to more fully grasp where I am speaking from in this volume, I want to introduce you to a book that has helped to shape my understanding of the spirit realms, of the realms of "heaven."
This book, Return from Tomorrow, is an account by George Ritchie of his experience with the Lord during the few moments that he was dead upon a hospital table. You can find a copy at Amazon.com.
Now, in an account such as this, we receive it as we do all things in this present age. That is, we view it out from what God has made real to us in the revelation of Christ, and with what God actually says in His word. Remember that what God actually says and what Christianity says are often very different things, especially concerning the realms of spirit. To be honest, I find George Ritchie's account to be much more in line with the odd things God actually says about the heavens than much that is popular Christian imagination.
But what this account gives us is a view of the heavens in three ways. First, as real. Second as all around us. And third, as a series of innumerable places and levels in which people find themselves after death. Everyone is in a waiting place; everyone experiences whatever they came to or invested themselves into, in this life.
The most remarkable thing in this account, and one I believe to be quite true, is that whatever one holds as the desire of their heart, when they leave their body, that IS what they pursue.
What we develop as the desire of our heart is of great consequence.
Jesus asked, over and over, "What do you want?"
But we also understand this, that God moves out from what we ourselves already know, and how we see things. The spirit of a prophet is always subject to that prophet. In other words, my understanding of reality will bear upon the things God shows me. If I myself see wrongly, that will affect what I "see" in the heavens. That is not a problem for God - He is a big God and reveals Himself in many "places" in His house. But we must always "interpret" other people's experiences in this way.
The critical thing for us now is to comprehend how the life of the age to come is inside us right now- and how that life is brought into full manifestation upon this earth through us. We have a spirit, a spiritual body that lives and moves in the heavens George Ritchie saw right now. Paul said, "Walk in your spirit." We must learn how to do that.