Color in heaven: follow up

EPrata photo

I wrote an essay on the subject of the color green in heaven. Green as in green pastures, green things to eat the Lord gave us in Genesis 1:29, green in emerald (like the emerald rainbow surrounding the throne and in the foundation of the new city), etc.

I was thinking about "green."

I pondered the beauty of the green in Ireland. The hues there are so different than the green pastures here, and if it is that beautiful in 'The Emerald Isle', how much more beautiful will it be in heaven? I'd posted a short quote from Randy Alcorn from his book Heaven, and in the quote he quoted himself from Dominion. It's encouraging to think of what is ahead of us.

In response to my essay, a commenter gave me this really interesting comment. I had never thought of this but isn't this absolutely true:

"Elizabeth, Thanks so much for this blog! Did you ever think about how all our colors on earth are dependent on our light sources--the sun, incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, . . . But in our eternal home, according to Rev. 22:5, "They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light." Think about what effect that will have on colors! An infinitely superior LIGHT SOURCE creating colors beyond our earthly imaginations!"

Wow! I had never thought of that! The light source is all-important in the range of colors we are able to see. Colors look like they do because of the source and type of light hitting the retina. The ranges of Ultraviolet light and Infrared light are much wider than we are currently able to see. Once the Light Source is pure (Jesus) and we see through His pure and holy light, imagine what we will be able to view, including new colors!
EPrata photo
You see, you probably already know this, so pardon me if I'm repeating myself, the brain and the eye, specifically the retina and the fovea, translate light into colors. Color actually originates in light. It bounces to the object and then to our eye. What we are seeing is actually the reflection off the bounce, and the color reflected to us is only as good as the original light source.

That's why paint helpers at Sherwin-Williams tell new homeowners to paint a swatch on their wall and look at it at different times of day. The brightness and angle of the light will make the color appear different at each time.

Imagine when we are glorified and the full spectrum of light is now reflecting the purest, most holy and good light there can be! What will we see THEN?! So. Many. Colors.

It's gonna be GREAT!


"How the Eye Sees Color"
Color originates in light. Sunlight, as we perceive it, is colorless. In reality, a rainbow is testimony to the fact that all the colors of the spectrum are present in white light. As illustrated in the diagram below, light goes from the source (the sun) to the object (the apple), and finally to the detector (the eye and brain).
1. All the "invisible" colors of sunlight shine on the apple.

2. The surface of a red apple absorbs all the colored light rays, except for those corresponding to red, and reflects this color to the human eye.

3. The eye receives the reflected red light and sends a message to the brain.

The most technically accurate definition of color is:
"Color is the visual effect that is caused by the spectral composition of the light emitted, transmitted, or reflected by objects."

Impossible Colors

Train yourself to see impossible colors

How many colors are really in a rainbow?


  1. Some really neat thoughts, Elizabeth! WOW!

    We sure are going to get an awakening about physics in general... things this post got me thinking about... Christ in His resurrected body could eat a fish (Luke 24:42-43) and yet enter a locked room without using the door (John 20:19)... which is so beyond our comprehension right now, because we cannot pass into rooms without going through doors, nor can we transport ourselves to another dimension at will (Luke 24:51).

    Christ's resurrected body could be touched by the disciples, so it was clear He wasn't a "spirit" - His new body has flesh and bone (Luke 24:39). Which reminds me - Christians always like to reflect on how our bodies will be perfected when we are resurrected - no more pain, no more injuries, no more illnesses, no more deformities, yet our Lord (from before the foundation of the world) chose to spend eternity bearing the scars of His crucifixion. What a Savior!

    So yes, color - WAAAAAAY better than what we see now. Radiant and pure. Because He is the Light. I bet the most perfectly cut diamond today can't hold a candle to what awaits us.

    I also wonder the same things about sound... and our other senses, currently earth bound.

    And topping it all off, is the truth that we'll see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), and also instantly know every saint that has ever lived, without needing introductions. After all, on the mount of transfiguration, Peter knew who Moses and Elijah were (Matthew 17:4) though he had never met them.

    At the rapture: all of us, together, with our Lord, forever.

    Great post, Elizabeth, you really stirred me to think about the things which are coming... hopefully soon!


    1. "...and yet enter a locked room without using the door..."

      I usually get a few curious looks (and what's infinitely better, a few curious questions) when I tell people that Jesus was a multi-dimensional being after the Resurrection.

      Especially from New Age types. =:)

    2. It's so funny, too, they of the "duality" mindset. And yet, light IS dual, it is both a wave and a particle. If Jesus is Light, He is also multidimensional, just as the light we now know is. Light waves or light particles can co-exist. As Davies said, a light particle can be everywhere all at once. LOL. As Einstein said of the apparent contradiction,

      "It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do"

    3. "If Jesus is Light, He is also multidimensional, just as the light we now know is"

      Awesome thought!

  2. Hey Elizabeth, off the subject, but I have to share. Go to salvationbygrace. org and listen to tape 2 in Jim mcclarty's Matthew study! It is amazing teaching especially from the 35 minute mark on!!

  3. To finish on Matthew comment....
    Let me know what you think.

    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks so much! He is SO good at unpacking Old Testament history! I really enjoyed his exposition on the genealogies! Thanks again for sharing it :)

  4. I kind of recoiled at the thought of green in heaven only because of The Message "paraphrase" where Romans 15:13 "the God of Hope" in a respectable translation becomes "the God of green hope" in Petersons plaything.

    But green is pretty awesome, in New England there's always that first truly warm day of spring where the leaves explode in God's glory and the whole countryside is bathed in green.

    One more thing about seeing color: what we 'see' is actually what our brain is telling us to see. Everyone is familiar with Technicolor, but in the early process movies were shot with cameras that exposed two strips of black and white film, one strip behind a red filter, one strip behind a green filter. The film behind the green filter was tinted red, the film behind the red filter was tinted green. Those two strips were glued one atop the other then projected. The human eye just sees reds and greens on the screen because that's all their is, but the human brain fills in all the other colors because that's how our brains work. The 1925 version of Ben Hur's color sequences were filmed this way.

    How awesome will it be when God removes the filters of 'reds and greens' that we see in this fallen world and perceive His glory in its full color!

    1. Oh, what a day that was when I burned 20 something copies of "The Message." To see that nonsense go up in smoke to the green "god" was such fun. Does anyone with a brain still read that thing?

      Lee-Anne Rogers

  5. Is it not interesting that what the Lord created the rainbow and what He set it as a sign for and the color green He has a purpose in it. Both of these things along with a long list of other things, the enemy has set out to have it represent something else.
    So thank you for reminding us that the rainbow does not represent the LGBT movement or green means "environmental friendly".

  6. Jeff, your comment reminded me of something I noticed a while back that I thought was interesting. The rainbow traditionally has seven colors (God's rainbow, as it were). Of course, that's the old "Roy G. Biv" mnemonic: Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Indigo / Violet.

    The "Gay Pride" Flag currently has six: (Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Violet).

    Notice they left out indigo, sometimes known as royal blue. Its biblical significance is the fact that it represents divine grace.

    So, they took God's rainbow of seven colors (the number of divine perfection), took away God's grace, leaving them with a rainbow of six colors (the number of man).

    Glory to His holy name!

    We don't serve a fabulous God. We serve an awesome God.


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