WHERE IS HEAVEN?
by Jacob Boehm
Men have always been of the opinion that heaven is many hundred, no, many thousands of miles distant above the face of the earth, and that God dwells only in that upward heaven. Some have undertaken to measure this height and distance, and have produced many strange and ghastly devices to do so. Indeed, before my knowledge and revelation of God, I believed that the only true heaven was a round circumference, very azure of a light blue color, which extended above the stars; and I supposed that God had deposited therein His peculiar Being, and that He ruled in this world only in the power of His Holy Spirit.
But when this notion had produced many problems in me and I, at last, found it repulsive, doubtless from the moving of the Spirit, which had a great longing yearning towards me, I at last fell into a very deep melancholy and heavy sadness. Then I beheld and contemplated within my spirit the immense depths and complexities within this world, and of the whole universe. And in this contemplation in myself, I found that evil and good, love and anger, are in all things simultaneously; in the inanimate creatures, in wood, stones, earth and the elements, as well as in men and beasts. And in finding that evil and good were in all things, I became very sad and greatly perplexed and troubled. The Bible could not comfort me, though I was very well acquainted with it and versed in it, and the devil was often beating me with heathenish thoughts which I will not mention here.
In this affliction, I earnestly raised my spirit up into God, wrapping my whole heart and mind and all of my thoughts and my whole will, and without ceasing I wrestled with the Love and Mercy of God, determined not to give up unless He blessed me, that is, unless He enlightened me by His Holy Spirit so that I might understand. So hard did I dig in, within the recesses of my being, towards the life of God and against the gates of Hell, that suddenly my spirit crashed through the gates of Hell and beyond even into the innermost moving of God Himself, and there I was suddenly embraced in love as a bridegroom embraces his dearly beloved bride. The sublimity of the victory within my spirit cannot be expressed either in speaking or writing, neither can it be compared to anything except the regeneration of life out of death.
In this Light, my spirit suddenly saw through all, in all, and by all. I discovered God in all of creation, even in the plants and grass; and I realized that I also had discovered the very nature of God, and that I at last knew who God is, and how God is, and what God’s will is. Then quite suddenly in that Light of illumination, my will was moved by an immense impulse to describe the Being of God.
From this Light I now have all the knowing, urging, and willing within me to write, and let God work His will in me, though in doing so I should enrage the whole world, the devil, and all the gates of Hell. Even so, I will write and look on and wait what the Lord intends with it.
Now, dear reader, observe: If you want to know about Heaven and what Heaven is and where it is, you do not need to cast your thoughts many thousands of miles off, for that place, that heaven thousands of miles away, is not your Heaven. The true Heaven is not a created place but an uncreated place, and it is not found in a particular place but everywhere, even in the very place where you are standing and going. For when your spirit within yourself is able to penetrate inward through and beyond your own flesh and life, and is able to catch hold of the innermost moving of God, then you are clearly in Heaven. Moreover, if your eyes were but opened, you should see God everywhere in His Heaven, for Heaven is found everywhere. For instance, when St. Stephen saw Heaven open and the Lord Jesus at the right hand of God, his spirit did not suddenly transport itself into outer space, but rather Stephen’s spirit had moved inward, within, into the innermost place where Heaven is found everywhere. So you must realize that this world with all of its physical properties is in union with the vast vistas of the heavenly spaces above the earth. There is only one Heart, one Being, one Will, one God, All in all.
Don’t think that God is only in some far away heaven, and that the soul, when it departs the human body, must soar aloft many hundred thousands of miles off in order to reach Heaven. No, it need not do that to reach Heaven, because when the soul in Christ departs the body, it is already present in Heaven and there the soul is with God and in God, and also with all the holy angels, and the soul can suddenly be above and suddenly beneath; it is not hindered by anything. For in the unity of God there is no separation of seeming distance. Indeed, in what place should the departed soul of man rather be than with its King and Redeemer Jesus Christ? The fact is that near and far off in God are one thing, one comprehensibility; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, everywhere.