New Hope Revival Ministries

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Smiths Station, Alabama 36877
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Across the Great River

Steven Shelley

Steven Shelley

New Hope Revival Ministries

12 min read

The first thing that I remember was the amazing sensation of traveling very swiftly in the spirit realm. Suddenly, I was again standing by the beautiful river of Heaven. An angel appeared and told me to wait there as he would soon return to help me cross the river. He said we were going into the city. I looked out over the wide expanse of water toward the city of light. The mist brooding over the water gave the river and the beautiful towers of the city a mystical brilliance.

I immediately wanted to dive into the water and swim to the other shore, but I remembered the instructions of the angel. He said not to cross the river alone. I looked up and saw the angel coming toward me, and I stared in amazement as I watched him walk across on top of the water.

He said, “All things are in order for your arrival. Come with me, and we will visit the city of your origin.”

I stepped away from the safety of the shore into the cold, swift water. As I followed the angel, the water was getting deeper and my steps were slowing. He paused and glanced over his shoulder to see if I was keeping up.

I reassured him, “I’m coming, I’m coming; slowly but surely. I would not miss this for anything!”

The water was so cold that my legs were growing numb. The angel laughed at my dilemma as I often had to stop and catch my breath from the frigid temperature. After I had paused several more times, the angel smiled again and waved his arm toward me. He touched the water with his fingers, and instantly the river became warm and relaxing.

“Some have actually turned back because of the cold and swiftly moving water. I am glad to see that you are determined to begin your visit.”

We paused briefly in the middle of the river to take in the beauty of what was waiting on the other side. I began to hear sweet, ethereal music drifting over the water. I was riveted by the beauty before me. Words could never do justice in describing the gate of Heaven: its intricately carved designs and glowing iridescence. Stretching forth in either direction were wide gleaming walls made from jasper stones, multifaceted like gemstones but stacked upon each other like bricks. The exquisite double gate began to open, first the left side and then the right.

“We must move on now; it is time for your grand welcome.” he said. A large crowd came spilling out from within the city. A welcoming band was playing trumpets, harps, and other instruments that I did not recognize. It was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. Following the band came a multitude of angels and other Heavenly beings, some with wings, some without. Most were strong and masculine in appearance, but many were decidedly feminine with flowing blonde hair.

Suddenly, four large angels appeared carrying a large banner. It was emerald green with large gold lettering. The words “W-e-l-c-o-m-e S-t-e-v-e-n” were spelled out. I was surprised and caught off guard seeing my name embroidered on the banner.

“Is all of this for me?” I quizzed the angel.

With a twinkle in his eye, he replied, “What? Did you think that I would sneak you in the back door?” He went on to explain that every son of God that enters the city is welcomed in similar fashion. “All of Heaven is welcoming you today, even Cherubim and Seraphim are aware of your appointment.” As we moved closer to the other shore, I could hear some of the words to the song that was being sung by a great crowd now flooding out of the gate. It was a love song to the Lamb. Hands clapped and wings fluttered in the anointed atmosphere. Angelic host joined into circles of dance; some dancing with steps that I recognized from Israeli celebrations.

I began to make out more of the words to their song. “The worthy Lamb will soon call home His Bride. She will stand by His side, the chosen Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.”

It was a long way across the river, but we were nearly to the other side. I could see in the distance a place where the river flowed out of the city and under the wall. Finally we stepped onto the shore where the great crowd was gathered. They acknowledged our presence by standing at attention and bowing, deeply and reverently.

“No, please no, ask them not to do that.” I protested, breaking into tears. “Please do not feel offended,” he answered, “Their deepest desire is to bring honor to the Lamb and his wife. They are showing deep respect for you because you are a part of the Lamb’s wife and they long intently for the day when His entire Bride is gathered into the city. When the Lamb’s wife has come home, some of these same angels will joyfully serve her, as they have so faithfully served the Lamb.”

“But me, I am not even worthy to be a part of His Bride,” I answered, “This thought is too glorious for me to grasp.”

He smiled and said to me, “It is not for the worthy, but for the chosen.” I then asked my angel guide if he knew why I had been summoned. He responded, “Because He knew that you would tell of all that you see and hear.” He also explained that the Heavenly host knew by my coming that greater access to Heavenly realms was being given to the Bride, which was a clear indication that the final chapter was approaching.

“The Bride will be given training, strength and supernatural wisdom as she spends time in Heavenly places.”

I knew that the Bride would gain certain things only by moving in and out of this spiritual dimension. She would learn so much more about the character and heartbeat of the Lamb by abiding in an atmosphere highly charged with Glory. This would help to prepare her for her final work. This equipping would also enable the Bride to move in greater spheres of authority, tearing down strongholds and bringing deliverance to those previously considered hard cases. The angels who had stood so still while I was learning from my guide were now encircling us and dancing again. I did not see any other humans, only angels and other created beings, some of which I could not begin to describe. A few had human-looking faces and others were more beautiful than any human I had ever seen.

I asked why there were no people. He answered by saying, “This is not the place where the saints are now living. They will arrive here when the Lamb’s wife comes home.” He explained that bridal companies of other ages were near, but in another spiritual dimension.

As we started moving toward the gate, I could still hear the rushing water of the river behind us. The angels that had been dancing around us began forming a line to follow us through the gate. As we stepped through, there were even more angels, at least three deep on either side of the avenue, as far as I could see. The avenue was certainly gold but so highly polished it was nearly transparent.

My angel leaned over and whispered in my ear. “On this visit you will see and experience much that you will share, but the next time you come and on your many other visits, you will receive revelations to teach others how to stand in these Heavenly realms.”

As I looked down, I saw that my feet were bare, “Where are my shoes?” I asked. “No one walks on these streets with earthly shoes.”

The air was permeated with a fragrance sweeter than I had ever known. I tried to identify what it was ­— similar to roses but spirited like incense. It was wonderful, strong but not overpowering. He explained that it was “Heaven’s perfume,” and that it had been formulated and blended exclusively for the Lamb’s wife.

I was told that this fragrance would be released on earth as the Bride pressed in to the presence of the Lamb during times of intercession and praise.

It was too much to take in. I felt tempted to run around quickly and see as much as I could — flowers and gardens, trees and shrubs like I could never have imagined.

The angels carefully watched to see my reaction to all that had been prepared. I never knew that angels laughed so much, and I commented about it to the angel serving as my guide. He explained that holy laughter is a vital part of Heaven’s atmosphere, and when expressed in the earth, it affords those who experience it a taste of Heaven’s joy.

I looked down and noticed that my street clothes were gone. Still barefooted, I now wore a beautiful white linen robe.

Without warning I began falling to my knees. The angels picked me up again and again, but the heavy presence of God’s Glory was too much for me and down I would go.

“Very soon, the level of anointing in your ministry will change and you will be allowed to stand very close to the throne and hear words and revelations for the wife of the Lamb. There will be times in these services that no one will be able to stand upright, but all will be prostrate before the Lord, resting in His Glory.”

He then added, “To rest for a few moments in the Glory is better than twelve hours of sleep.”

I was finally able to continue on, and the sounds and songs of praise got louder as we moved. Behind us I saw great celebration … dancing, jumping and running. What lively creatures dwell in these realms!

It felt as though my feet had a mind of their own, and they wanted to dance before the Lord. I had no choice but to yield, and I enjoyed the ease with which I could glide across the golden pavement.

I noticed during this entire experience that the angels were often communicating in strange and unfamiliar languages. The angel said to me, “Here we learn by the Spirit of the Lamb the languages of men, but we also have many different languages and dialects that we as the Heavenly host can use to communicate with one another.”

We began climbing a winding staircase to a balcony that overlooked a large plaza in front of the majestic throne. What a sight, what music, what Glory! I heard shouts of “Worthy! Worthy!”

The whole sky was crowded with a magnificent rainbow. Each color was vibrant and alive. Directly underneath the rainbow was the ivory throne with multiple platforms and niches. It was inlaid with precious jewels and ornate gold scrollwork. There was a heavy mist of Glory surrounding the throne. I saw colors I had never seen on earth — radiant hues of rose, amber and blue. There was great movement and swirling of light and sound — an overwhelmingly wondrous assault on my senses that I cannot begin to explain or describe. As I stood gazing at this astonishing holy place, I was suddenly gripped with fear such as I have never known. Everything that was within me wanted to see it all, to take it in, but at the same moment I was terrified to gaze any longer. Down on my face I fell, so suddenly that I did not realize I was falling in abject, holy terror.

Two strong angels were suddenly on either side of me picking me up. Again I fell, unable to stand in the overwhelming atmosphere of Glory. “Do not be afraid,” they said while lifting me again. “You have been summoned here, and the next time you will stand before the throne.”

Finally I got to my feet and the angel who had been so helpful to me sent another angel to deliver a message. “Go and tell them that we are now ready and in place.”

It began raining golden drops of oil. I was told that it was mercy rain, which was great confirmation to me as I had seen this rain several times with spiritual eyes.

Now that I was able to see farther, I realized that the river we had crossed earlier was actually flowing from under the great throne.

Multitudes of Heavenly host were standing on either side of the throne, worshipping and singing in Heavenly languages. At some point I heard them singing “Holy, Holy,” over and over.

As my eyes took in the beauty and vastness of the scene before me, suddenly I saw Him. He was not seated; he was standing just to the right of the highest part of the throne structure. I saw, even from where I was standing, that his feet shone like bronze … no, like gold.

I saw his robe, soft and glowing white, tied at the waist with a rope that appeared to be of purest gold. There was a cloud of Glory surrounding Him and I was not able to make out the features of His face, only the outline of His head within the cloud.

As the cloud was moving, I caught a glimpse of His eyes. They were fiery but not with the blaze of anger or judgment. His eyes burned with violent love and passion for his Bride. I knew in that instant I would never be the same!

On His right there was a large beautiful porch fronted with golden stairs. I saw Him raise His right arm toward this area, and as He spoke everything shook at the power and authority of His voice. “This is for my Bride; this is ALL for my Bride.” I fell again on my face and trembled inside and out. All of the hosts were prostrate before Him. I wondered just how much of the Glory I would be able to stand within my earthly body. It felt as though I would disintegrate.

I picked myself up once more. I could still see him standing in place. Somehow I managed to ask the angel, “Does he know that I am here?”

“Yes, He is the one who has called for you. He wanted you to have a glimpse and to experience this atmosphere of Glory.”

With one sweep of His hand all the Heavenly host rose up and stood before Him. It seemed as though he was going to speak to us, and then everything began to fade.

“Oh no, not yet!”

I was traveling again at the speed of light back into my body.