(This is a part of a blog series. I encourage you to read the preceding blogs to receive the full benefit of this most compelling vision.)
Marietta was quite overcome by this scene and the realization of human recognition in Hades. Of this she wrote: “One hideous expression closed the scene; being overcome—for I knew what I witnessed was real—I was immediately removed. When I noticed those spirits in Hades I had known on earth, I realized I knew them still. Oh, how changed they were! They were the very embodiment of sorrow and remorse.“
Marietta left this scene and was permitted to go to another section in Hades. She said, “Again I descended as from an immeasurable height into an abyss inhabited by beings whose condition I did not at first discover, but who were finally revealed as more desperate than those from whom I just escaped.”
The degree of wickedness was much worse in this section. Just as there were different levels of perfection in paradise, so there are different degrees of wickedness in hell. Like attracts like. The less wicked inhabit a certain sphere and the more desperately wicked another.
“Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Mt. 11:20-24).
In the above scripture Jesus infers that mighty works give people a greater opportunity to respond to the gospel, but also a greater condemnation on those who reject Him. To whom much is given much is required (Lk 12:48). According to Jesus, even Sodom and Gomorrah, that wicked city, would’ve repented and not been burned to the ground had they witnessed His mighty works (Mat 10:15). Therefore they will be judged less severely in the day of judgment than the cities where mighty works were done without ensuing repentance. There are different levels of judgment.
The scene in Hades served as a great object lesson to Marietta because she saw that the wages of sin is death, and it was with unspeakable gratitude when a voice from heaven spoke to her that she had seen enough and would now be taken back to paradise. Her angel guide then told her this: That those who seek peace by any other means than the Cross shall ultimately experience dreadful disappointment. But the angel also told her that they who have Christ shall never be a captive of that dark and dreadful place.
“For every willing heart has a dwelling place prepared in heaven, and whoever seeks the Lord shall find Him a present help in time of need.”
Another angel spoke to Marietta and gently admonished her for her previous lack of faith. “Why are you inclined to the scenes where evil passions reign? Why does your being vacillate between the spheres of good and evil? Learn from this, that he whose heart is not established in truth, whose nature is not controlled by the law of holy love, is exposed to the attracting influence of evil.”
The angel then explained the law which determines where a soul goes at death, and that God does not willingly send men to Hades, but at death their spirits are attracted to the region of those with whom they are in harmony with. The pure and holy naturally ascend to the realms of the righteous while the wicked, in obedience to the law of sin and death, gravitate to the region where evil prevails.
UNHOLY NATURE DISCORDANT WITH HEAVEN
At this point Marietta was allowed intimacy into the pure harmony of heaven, beyond what she was permitted before, but she was not prepared for this experience. Immediately she realized that her own nature was discordant and out of harmony with the intense holiness and purity of heaven. She was no longer able to harmonize with the prevailing law, and according to her own words, her “unholy nature was discovered”. During those moments she suffered agony and supposed that because of her discordant condition, she was lost beyond redemption.
The angel, however, reassured her and explained that it was a benevolent Creator that did not permit the wicked to enter heaven. In paradise their suffering would become infinite. The unregenerate souls could not harmonize with the purity of heaven and their sufferings would be vastly aggravated beyond what they would endure in Hades.
That is a fascinating reality that agrees with Scripture and assures us that the character of God is not at all to punish and torment people in the afterworld. It is also the reason that after the fall of man God set cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the tree of life, so that man would not partake of it and live forever in his fallen state. How tragic that would’ve been!
“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:24).
And thus is revealed why no unclean thing can enter the holy city, as John the beloved saw in the book of Revelation (Rev. 21:27).
Likewise, the angel declared that God would never permit a child of any sanctified soul to come under the deadly magnetism of evil.
“Marietta, behold the goodness of God in the law of being. How unjust it would be for a righteous Creator to permit any of these little ones to perish by being attracted to the regions of darkness and the place of the wicked. Their tender and pure natures would writhe in pain beneath the passions of evil and insatiable desires. In very deed, God might be considered unjust should His law exposed the innocent.”
Likewise, there would be a manifest lack of mercy, should any unholy and discordant spirit be allowed into the harmony and holiness of heaven, since their suffering would increase in proportion to the degree of light and supreme good that dwells in the abode of the pure. Herein is displayed the wisdom and goodness of God. Absolutely no discordant element in the spirit world mingles with the pure and harmonious.
Marietta was told not to weep, because she had found her nature was not fully in harmony with heaven. “For a ransom is prepared in a healing fountain that you may wash, and by which all the impurity of your being may be removed. In this rejoice greatly since through mercy, redemption is offered, and those who could not otherwise attain perfect joy are exalted from prisons to mansions in our Father’s kingdom. For this grace the saints in heaven praise God, and never cease continually to utter hymns of thanksgiving to Him Who is their Redeemer.”
Marietta was then permitted to return to the earth to tell her amazing story. Nine months later at a time she herself predicted, she returned to the land of paradise to be with her Redeemer forever. Marietta went to heaven for 9 days to prepare for a 9 month ministry and witness on the earth. She departed this earth at the young age of 25. That alone is amazing and unexplainable except to say it is the sovereignty of God.
Personal Comments: The most memorable thing I’ve learned from this narrative was a more thorough understanding of hell that I never received from any other source. Please read these descriptions carefully. Marietta was taught that the hell fire is actually in the person’s soul, a part of him, when he gets to hell, and something there causes the flame to ignite, whereas in the body, the flame was restrained to human limitation. So I came to understand that all the bitterness that was ever in your soul, drags the soul to the place where it can catch fire and take over. So the fire of hell is fed by the lost soul’s own bitterness and rebellion, and God has nothing to do with it. This is extraordinarily enlightening, making the reader understand that God is not a torturer, and why it seems that the torment does go on forever. Marietta really did not know that her story would educate people for more than 150 years now. What a beautiful literary treasure!
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