Once upon a time there was an elderly man who would read his Bible every evening. For several decades he had sat in his favorite chair, reading through the stories of Scripture. He had read through the entire Bible many times, over and over again.
He was a very pious man and awaited a better life with God in heaven after departing from this physical earth. That is why he read the Bible every night so diligently.
One evening, while reading God’s Holy Word, he fell asleep in his chair with the Bible in his lap.
When he finally opened his eyes, there was an angel in his room. She was glowing from a most holy light and looking at him with a warm, loving smile.
After his initial surprise, the old man gathered himself together and asked her, “why has an angel come to my humble home?”
“You have come to where I live,” she said. “You are no longer on earth. This is the spiritual world.”
“How can that be? I am still in my house,” questioned the old man.
“It just appears to be your house,” replied the angel. “When people first enter into the spiritual world we try to keep things looking the same, so that no one is disoriented or overly frightened by the transition. But things will eventually change.”
“What will change?” asked the inquisitive old man.
“Most everything you have learned about religion and God will change,” said the beautiful angel in the most comforting and reassuring way possible.
“Why?” asked the startled old man.
“You are not yet in heaven,” she returned. “There are many new things you must learn before you can enter God’s Kingdom.”
“But I have read the Bible through and through. It represents God’s revealed wisdom to humankind. What else is there for God to reveal to me?” asked the old man, who was now in great confusion.
As the old man was expressing his doubt to the angel he noticed that the room becoming somewhat darker.
“This world is different from the one you have left,” she said. “This is not a world consisting of matter or physical substance. This world consists of spiritual substances, which change according to the changes taking place in your heart and mind. Did you notice the room getting darker?”
“Yes, what does it mean?”
“This room is simply reflecting your state of mind, which is in some obscurity and darkness about what I am trying to convey to you,” she replied. “As I teach you new things about the Lord and religion, the room you are now in will change to reflect not your earthly home, but a more beautiful heavenly home. You will even start to look younger.”
“But I will only put my trust in the Lord’s Bible,” said the old man. “How can I verify what you are telling me?”
“Look at your Bible,” she said with a look of great anticipation.
The old man looked down and noticed that the Bible was still in his lap.
“Read it,” she said.
The old man opened the Bible to the first page in Genesis and began to read it. To his surprise, the story was now completely different. Instead of being a story about the creation of the physical world it now was communicating to him how God creates a new inner reality within the hearts and minds of men and women.
As the old man looked up to express his shock to the angel, he noticed that the room was now larger and more elegantly furnished.
“I am here to open your mind to new treasures of the Bible,” said the angel with a delighted look.
“How is that that all the meanings of the words in Scripture have changed?” asked the man.
“Like you, the Bible has a soul too,” answered the angel. “When you died, you left behind your physical Bible, along with the physical or literal interpretation of its words. In the spiritual world, angels only see its higher, spiritual meanings. Through these higher meanings, the Lord God can reveal to us more divine truth than is possible with a literal interpretation of the Holy Word. The Holy Word contains the depth of God’s Infinite Wisdom.”
“Shouldn’t men and women on earth have access to this deeper knowledge?” he asked.
“The Lord God is making this knowledge available to men and women at this very moment,” she said. Then with a look of sadness she sighed, “But as long as people have their hearts and minds attached to the physical things of the world they will never believe it.”