When I began reading the messages, I was amazed at the composition of the Spirit World. I had only heard of Heaven and Hell, of course, and I just assumed there were only those two areas in the next world.
So what does Heaven look like? Where do we go when we pass from this earth?
This information is posted on the website in the category "Celestial and Spirit Spheres"... but it is of such interest to me, I thought others might enjoy reading in succession the description of the spheres... third, fifth, seventh, and Celestial Heavens... where those spirits who are receiving God's Divine Love have their homes and what spirit life is like for them.
The Third Sphere (Third Heaven) is the first Divine Love Sphere. In this message from John, he describes the spirits who inhabit this sphere and provides a beautiful description of all that is there:
"The appearance of this heaven to those who have this Divine Love in their souls is far excelling the capacity of your mortal language to explain, even if I had the ability to describe the same. But in one general statement, I may say that for these spirits there is everything to make them happy to the extent of their capacity to receive and enjoy.
There are trees and flowers, and hills and dales, and rivers and lakes, and beautiful landscapes, and above all the wonderful atmosphere that is created by this wonderful Love of the Father, and a glorious light that illuminates and gives life to all who live in it, which comes from this Love of the Father. It is the sun, moon and stars, and sunrise and sunset, and summer clouds, and evening shadows and morning glories. Your material sun and moon and stars do not appear in this heaven, for the effulgence of the light from the Father's love eclipses and eliminates the light of these material creations of the mortal world. And above all a wonderful atmosphere of love which makes all these spirits realize that they are the children of the Father and brothers of one another and lovers of all humanity.
The third sphere is occupied by the spirits of mortals who have received considerable of the Divine Love, as well as by those who have progressed to a great extent in the purification of their natural love and the expansion of their minds and intellects, though the latter do not remain very long in this heaven, but progress to the fourth sphere where there are more opportunities and more instructions in those things which have to do with the mind's advancement."
Helen Padgett describes her home and spirit life in the Third Sphere to her husband and soulmate, James Padgett:
Yes, my home is very beautiful and I am perfectly delighted with it. It is made of white marble and is surrounded by lawns and flowers and trees of various kinds. The grass is so very green and the flowers are so beautiful and variegated. The trees are always in foliage and have such beautiful limbs and leaves. I am most pleased with my home, I mean the building.
There are many beautiful pictures on the walls, and the walls are all frescoed and hung with fine coverings, and the floors are inlaid with beautiful mosaics. I have all the splendid furniture that I could possibly wish for, and my library is full of books of all kinds, especially of those that tell of God and His Love for man. You would be in your element if you could be with me.
I have beds on which I lie down, but I never sleep. We do not need sleep here. We only rest, for sometimes we get tired from our work and are greatly refreshed by lying on the beds and couches, which are so comfortable that we do not realize that we are tired after lying down a little while.
I have music, such as you never heard on earth, and instruments of various kinds which I am learning to play, and I sing with all my heart and soul as the days go by. No, our instruments are not like those on earth. They are not stringed instruments, but are played by our thoughts of goodness and love. We do not use fingers or lungs, but merely thoughts, and if they are pure and loving, our music is very beautiful and not discordant."
Ann Rollins, Mr. Padgett's grandmother, writes that Helen will soon be moving to the Fifth Sphere:
"Your wife is progressing very rapidly in the Way to this perfect Love, and I think that in a short time she will be with me in my sphere, for she will not let anything come between her and her efforts to possess the greatest amount of this Love that is possible to obtain.
It is wonderful how her faith has grown since she first became convinced that she must seek the Father's Love in order to become one with Him and perfectly happy. You must try to get this faith and progress with her, so that when you come over you will go forward together in soul development and conjugal love. She is now in the third [spirit] heaven, as she has told you, and she is almost in a condition of development to leave that sphere and go with your mother to the fifth [spirit] sphere, where her happiness will be so much greater.She loves you so much that you must feel that she wants you to be with her in all her happiness. She is not the same Helen as when she was on earth, but is so much changed that your mother says her appearance is as different as earth from heaven. She is not only changed in her appearance, but in her temperament and desires for those things which do not tend to retard the progress of the soul.
Let her tell you of her love for you, and you must believe what she is telling you, as she is not one who is in condition to speak anything else than the truth. Her love for you is so great that I sometimes wonder how it can be; for while we all love you, as well as our soulmates, yet she seems to have such intense love for you that we wonder. We think that her nature is so intense that she cannot do anything in a way that is not the result of her strong and earnest constitution, or rather that is not the result of a power that knows no limitation in effort or force. But while she loves you so intensely, her love for God is not interfered with in the least; for just as she gives her whole soul to loving you, she devotes it to loving God also. And when you do come over you will find such love in her heart for you as we seldom see in the spirit life for our soulmates.
But you must not think from this that we do not love intensely also, and the love that we all have for our soulmates is very great and deep as I must tell you, but she seems to be almost consumed by this love for you, and you must never do anything to hurt her or make her feel that you do not want it or deserve it."
Helen Padgett describes her home and spirit life in the Fifth Sphere to her husband and soulmate, James Padgett:
"My home here is much more beautiful than that which I had in the third sphere, and everything is beyond what I conceived when I lived there. The house and trees and flowers and fruits are very much more beautiful and delightful. No one could be anything but happy in such a home...
Well, in my home, I am so very much engaged in studying the laws of communicating with you that I have hardly time for anything else. I am now quite certain that I understand how to talk to you in an independent voice and also to materialize. So you must not be astonished anytime to hear my voice or see me in the form of a materialized spirit. I am also trying to help the spirits who are in a condition of blindness and doubt.
The power that I now have enables me to manifest myself in several ways - such as the independent voice, materialization and writing. I do not know about the slate writing, but I believe that I can do that too. At any rate, I will try to accomplish it sometime. I don't think that I will be able to manifest on the same night in an independent voice and also materialize, for each manifestation requires great power. Yes, I can knock on the table, but that does not give any special satisfaction - all earth bound spirits can do that - it is the lowest order of manifestation. We, of the higher spheres, do not care to do that if we can manifest in any other way, and I would rather not try it.
Spiritually, I am now in a sphere that enables me to know what the love of God really is, and that in His Love, I have almost complete happiness. I have gotten rid of those things, I now love everybody and am trying my best to help every soul that I possibly can; feelings of dislike or envy or hatred has no place in my heart, for which I thank God.
Ann Rollins describes her home and spirit life in the Seventh Sphere to her grandson, James Padgett:
I am in a state of contentment and have my home in the Seventh Heaven and have all the blessings that my Father promised me when I was on earth, but I had no conception of them then.
My home is a wonderful mansion, built of the most beautiful material that you can imagine. There are flowers and beautiful pictures and lovely rooms filled with all kinds of furniture that you could possibly wish for. I am not the only one that lives in my home, there is also a beautiful spirit that was on earth, a great follower of Christ and lover of her fellow man. Our home is full of the finest kind of everything that makes a home lovely. We have many friends who visit us and whom we visit.
We do the work of the Lord in helping the spirits in the lower spheres to see the truths of the Love of their Father. We are not singing all the time, but we have a great deal of beautiful music and laughter and love.
Ann Rollins briefly describes the homes, spirit clothing and the higher soul development of spirits in the Seventh Sphere:
In the Seventh Sphere, the spirits have homes just as they do in the lower spheres, only they are much more beautiful and bring more happiness and gladness, because of the great number of additional things that are provided by the Father to increase the happiness of His children.
As to our clothing in that sphere, we are clothed in what you would say a modest and comfortable way. Our clothing is not so flimsy as to permit our forms to be seen as if we had on no clothing at all. Our thoughts are all pure and free from mortal taint, and the character of our thoughts has no influence upon the character of our clothing. We wear clothes to cover our bodies because we think it proper to do so, and because we make our clothes by our own thoughts and will, and they are of the most glorious and shining appearances that you can imagine.
The Seventh Sphere is the one that divides those spirits who have merely intellectual or moral qualities which are developed, as it were, to the highest degree, from those spirits who, in addition to mental and moral development, have their souls developed by the Divine Love of the Father. No spirit who has not this Love can become an inhabitant of the Seventh Sphere, so that when you hear of any of your spirit friends or acquaintances, or of any other spirits, being in the Seventh Sphere, you will know that these spirits have received the Divine Love to an extent a little short of that which enables them to enter the first Celestial Sphere and which makes them at-one with the Father and, hence, immortal.
Ann Rollins' Description of Some of the Spheres Professor Joseph Salyards was James Padgett's teacher, when he attended the Polytechnic Academy Institute at Newmarket, Virginia. He first wrote to Mr. Padgett on December 18, 1914 when he was in the Third Sphere. Eight months later on August 6, 1915, Professor Salyards wrote that he had progressed to the Seventh Sphere. On October 10, 1915, he briefly describes the effect of the Divine Love on other spirits and how he has changed since his first message.
"Since I wrote you last I have been living in the Seventh Sphere with my soulmate, and in close proximity to your father and have been very happy in the love which I now enjoy.
I have seen so much of the effect of this Divine Love upon the souls of spirits who come into the possession of it, that I wonder more and more at the fact of its great power to make pure and truthful, souls who were in such darkness and torment. I have seen some very surprising conversions of souls steeped in sin and error, in souls with their sins last leaving them and happiness and Love coming to them in wonderful inflowing.
Since I have been in the Seventh Sphere, I have paid very little attention to things about which I wrote you when in the beginning of my soul development, because with me now, the soul and its Divine possibilities are the things that absorb my attention and efforts."
John describes the difference between the spirits of the Celestial
and the spirit spheres and their happiness:
As you may know these Celestial Spheres are above the spiritual spheres and are inhabited only by spirits who have received the New Birth and who believe in the Truths as taught by Jesus.
No other spirits are permitted to enter these spheres. And no other spirits could possibly find any happiness in them - for in them Divine Love is so developed in the souls of the spirits who live there, that any spirit not having that Love would find that he is in an atmosphere that is entirely foreign to his qualifications, and he would be most unhappy.
But as I say, no spirit who has not that Divine Love, which we tell you about, can possibly enter into these spheres. The walls of demarcation are just as solid and forbidding as are walls of demarcation in your prisons on earth from the outside world.
Tonight, I want to tell you of the wonderful things which God has prepared for His redeemed children in the Celestial Spheres, where only those who have received the New Birth can enter.
In these spheres are homes made of the most beautiful materials that can be imagined, and which are of a real and permanent character, and not subject to decay or deterioration of any kind, and which are made without hands, but by the soul's development, and the Love which each spirit possesses...
And the light that comes to our homes is of such a kind that I cannot describe it and can only say that - with it and in it - are the most soothing and wonderful influences that spirits can conceive of.
All these things and many more are provided by our loving Father for the happiness of His children. But above all is this, the wonderful Love of the Father, which is always with us, and which fills our souls to overflowing, and keeps us in one continuous state of happiness and peace and joy...
I cannot tell you of all these wonders because there are no words that will convey our meanings. Your capacity to understand is limited by your mental boundaries and, hence, I am at a disadvantage. But this I can tell you and, that is, that some day, if you get the Divine Love in your soul in sufficient abundance, you will see and understand for yourselves what God has in store for you. It was truly said, "that no eye has seen, or mind conceived, the wonderful things that await the true child of the Father."
No, there are no streets of gold or walls of jasper, or any of these material things that John made use of in his Apocalypse to describe the City of God. They were merely used as symbols, but they did not express the wonders of our homes.
Mary Kennedy describes her home and Celestial Spirit life in the First Celestial Sphere: When Mary writes "he," she is referring to Mr. Padgett's close friend, Dr. Leslie R. Stone, who is her soulmate. Dr. Stone was with Mr. Padgett on many occasions when messages were written and he published volumes one and two of the messages.
"My house is a beautiful one of which you might call alabaster, and in it I have many rooms suited to my various moods and conditions; all beautiful and full of the most perfect harmony, and everything to make me happy and contented...
I have no kitchen, for we cook nothing, but my dining room is fitted up in a style that would make your mouth water, as it is filled with pictures of fruit and nuts and flowers, and other things, to suggest good eating. We eat and enjoy our eating as do you mortals, but our food is nuts and fruits, and our drink is pure water, with all the life-giving qualities that spirits need.
I have the most beautiful vines and roses all over the porches of my home. And in all the rooms are flowers and plants of the most exquisite colors and delicious perfumes. And the pictures on my walls are such as he has never seen on earth; the subjects portrayed are not of scenes that lend to make inharmony or strife or mortal passions appear, but all teach by their realism the truths of love and happiness...
I have also a beautiful little lake of water in which are boats that carry one without the physical exertion that you have to exercise on earth."