Christopher was again amazed at the vastness of the city before him. He could not get over the beauty of this place. The vivid colors of the flowers and plant life scattered throughout the parks and gardens. The buildings, beautifully white and clean. The streets shone as if they were made of gold. And the people were all dressed simply and neatly. “If only a city could look this nice on earth – everyone would want to live here.” he thought to himself. But then again, some people would look at these surroundings and think it was too sterile – too bland – not enough variety – and the people were all too much alike. He shook his head at the thought. Then he remembered all those people outside the city. They didn't feel comfortable here and didn't want to do anything about it. Oh, what they are missing!
They approached a building that reminded Christopher of a larger Lincoln memorial. Tall stately columns with a large open porch surrounding the building. He couldn't get used to the fact that weather was not a consideration with the architecture here. There was no need for rain gutters, storm drains, or even doors for that matter, although these buildings did have doors – he supposed just for privacy or for sound control. But there were no locks on the door handles. Where everyone is trustworthy and there were no children to wander where they shouldn't, what would be the point? This thought made him look around even more attentively. He had not seen a single child during this entire time. Where were they? He looked at Jesus as they were walking up the steps of the building.
Jesus looked down at him and said, “Spirits are mature. Regardless of the age of the mortal body at death, the spirits are mature and all appear to be the same age. What is age anyway, but a factor of time spent in a mortal frame. Time as you know it does not apply here. Not long ago you were concerned about taking too much time here and what was going on in your mortal life. But you will go back at the around the same time you left to come here.”
Christopher's mind was reeling about time and space and its relative nature. He wondered where “here” was? He knew it was the spirit world, but where in space was it?
“Are you ready for the answer to that question?” asked Jesus.
Christopher looked at him, realizing that for the last few minutes that conversation seemed one-way. Christopher only thought, and Jesus spoke. Looking about him he noticed that some people were standing and looking at one another – like they were engaged in conversation but they were not speaking. Others were speaking normally.
Jesus smiled, “One question at a time.”
Christopher also smiled and nodded. There was so much to learn about – it was like a whole new world. Then he smiled again at the irony.
Jesus spoke. “The spirit world is not in a far off place, or 'up there' as some assume. It is on earth.”
This took Christopher by surprise. His mind began to doubt what Jesus was telling him, but those doubts left as quickly as they came. Now he just wanted to better understand rather than argue.
Jesus continued, “Everything you see around you is matter, even all spirits that reside here are matter, but it is not a type of matter you are familiar with. And because time and space are different here, we can be on the earth and occupy the same physical space, but yet not interfere with one another.”
“Like another dimension.” stated Christopher.
“In a manner of speaking.” answered Jesus.
“I had read of people who have 'near death experiences' and some have described that spirits are among us here on earth, but I had always attributed those experiences as delusional. But it is true!” exclaimed Christopher.
Jesus continued, “The separation between the two worlds is oftentimes called the veil. Depending on the worthiness or purity of a person, this veil can become very thin and communication between the two is possible. There are times when worthy spirits are allowed to comfort those who are discouraged or in despair. And there are those who are assigned to watch over and protect someone on earth. But there are strict laws that govern interaction between the two worlds. If there were angels visiting everyone on earth, there would be no need for faith. People must believe and have faith of their own free will or the purpose of life would be thwarted.”
Jesus and Christopher approached a large door. As it opened, Christopher saw a vast meeting hall – room for tens of thousands of people. At the head of the room, slightly elevated above the rest of the level of the room were three seats that were facing the rest of the seats.
“I wanted to show you this meeting hall. Within these walls is where the most valiant spirits are taught, and preparations are made for the great second coming. These grand conferences are taking place more frequently as the time is growing short and there is much that needs to be done to prepare the earth.”
Christopher marveled at the grandeur of the hall, and imagined it filled with those who have lived faithfully – who have served so diligently, some at the peril of their own lives. “They truly gave up their lives on earth so they could gain eternal life.” he thought. “And here is where they meet as a council with Jesus himself to get counsel and receive assignments.” Then he noticed the other chairs at the head of the hall, and wondered who else may sit by Jesus' side during these conferences. Would it be Adam, or Abraham, or Moses?
Jesus looked at Christopher and answered his unspoken question, “Those seats are for the Father, me, and the Holy Ghost - the Godhead.”
Christopher tore his gaze away from the three seats and looked at Jesus in bewilderment. “But I have been led to believe that you and the Father are one – the same being – or at least the same entity.”
“We are one God - one in purpose and united in all things – I am in the Father and the Father in me, but we are two separate beings. I have been seen at the right hand of the Father, and the Father has spoken on occasion to testify of this.”
Christopher was shocked – yet for some reason it rang true and seemed perfectly logical. He had always wondered about the relationship between the Father and the Son, but couldn't understand how they could be one. However there was no Christian religion of the day that taught otherwise – so he figured it must just remain a mystery – something that could not be understood. “God's ways are not our ways,” he had been told as a youth. “We are not meant to understand all things.” But he had seen plenty during his visit here to help him understand that logic does prevail. Some things cannot be understood but only because of the finiteness of our minds. Time and space cannot be fully understood. The complex process of creation cannot be comprehended. How Jesus was able to break the bonds of sin for all mankind, was beyond all understanding – however he understood enough to be able to use that atonement to change his life and become a better person. But the nature of God and Jesus had always eluded him. He had read that man was created in the image of God – this required that God had an image or form. It all made sense to him now.
Jesus explained, “Throughout the history of the world, men seem to gravitate toward gods with different purposes or agendas. A god of the sea and a god of the sky. Some gods who were good and some who were evil. These gods have come about because of man’s need to explain why things work the way they do, and a way for them to feel like they are in control by trying to appease one god or another depending on the situation.”
“During my mortal ministry, I made it clear that although the Father and I are separate beings, we are united - one God. What one of us would do, the other would do in the same situation. We don’t debate or argue about things, we are one. Does that make sense?”
Christopher nodded. “In the New Testament, you made reference that the husband and wife should be one, in the same way. And in your intercessory prayer you said in reference to those who believe, ‘That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us’.”
Jesus nodded in agreement. “But I am concerned that the misunderstanding of our nature goes beyond our oneness. Popular teachings claim that the Father and I are not physical at all but merely an influence or feeling. I am resurrected. I have an immortal and perfected body of flesh and bone, as does the Father, and man was created in our image. You can see me and touch me – I am real and I still carry the scars in my hands, wrists, feet and side as a testimony of what I have done for all mankind.”
Christopher looked at Jesus' hands as he held them out. He reached out and felt the scars and his whole person was filled with love for this person standing in front of him – love for his willingness to give his life that Christopher might have a chance to return to him. A chance to live in this beautiful place someday, and even be destined for greater things. His eyes filled with tears and for the second time Jesus opened his arms to him and they embraced. “Thank you,” he said through his tears.
“I love you Christopher. Thank you for surrendering your pride. Thank you for being willing to drink deeply of the Living Waters that I offer to all.”
 John 17:21