The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations – Part 3


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The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations – Part 3

Heaven

2Ch 6:18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

Psa 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
Psa 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

Introduction

Here we have God himself telling us “Heaven is my throne… the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. So exactly what is it that God desires for His habitation? That is what we are seeking to understand and to ‘see’ with spiritual eyes in this study.

Here is how Strong’s Concordance defines the word ‘heaven’:
H8064
שׁמה שׁמים
shâmayim shâmeh
shaw-mah’-yim, shaw-meh’

The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): – air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).
Here are the various English words used by the King James translators for this Hebrew word ‘shawmayim’:
H8064
שׁמה / שׁמים
shâmayim / shâmeh
Total KJV Occurrences: 420
heaven, 289
Gen_1:1, Gen_1:8-9 (2), Gen_1:14-15 (2), Gen_1:17, Gen_1:20, Gen_6:17, Gen_7:11, Gen_7:19, Gen_7:23, Gen_8:2 (2), Gen_11:4, Gen_14:19, Gen_14:22, Gen_15:5, Gen_19:24, Gen_21:17, Gen_22:11, Gen_22:15, Gen_22:17, Gen_24:3, Gen_24:7, Gen_26:4, Gen_27:28, Gen_27:39, Gen_28:12, Gen_28:17, Gen_49:25, Exo_9:8, Exo_9:10, Exo_9:22-23 (2), Exo_10:21-22 (2), Exo_16:4, Exo_17:14, Exo_20:4, Exo_20:11, Exo_20:22, Exo_24:10, Exo_31:17, Exo_32:13, Lev_26:19, Deu_1:10, Deu_1:28, Deu_2:25, Deu_3:24, Deu_4:11, Deu_4:19 (3), Deu_4:26, Deu_4:32, Deu_4:36, Deu_4:39, Deu_5:8, Deu_7:24, Deu_9:1, Deu_10:14 (3), Deu_10:22, Deu_11:11, Deu_11:17, Deu_11:21, Deu_17:3, Deu_25:19, Deu_26:15, Deu_28:12, Deu_28:23-24 (2), Deu_28:62, Deu_29:20, Deu_30:4, Deu_30:12 (2), Deu_30:19, Deu_31:28, Deu_32:40, Deu_33:13, Deu_33:26, Jos_2:11, Jos_8:20, Jos_10:11, Jos_10:13, Jdg_13:20 (2), Jdg_20:40, 1Sa_2:10, 1Sa_5:12, 2Sa_21:9-10 (2), 2Sa_22:8, 2Sa_22:14, 1 Kin 8 (14), 1Ki_18:45, 1Ki_22:19, 2Ki_1:10 (2), 2Ki_1:12 (2), 2Ki_1:14, 2Ki_2:1, 2Ki_2:11, 2Ki_7:2, 2Ki_7:19, 2Ki_14:27, 2Ki_17:16, 2Ki_19:15, 2Ki_21:3, 2Ki_21:5, 2Ki_23:4-5 (2), 1Ch_21:16, 1Ch_21:26, 1Ch_29:11, 2Ch_2:6 (2), 2Ch_6:12-14 (3), 2Ch_6:18 (2), 2Ch_6:21, 2Ch_6:23, 2Ch_6:26-27 (2), 2Ch_6:30, 2Ch_7:1, 2Ch_7:13-14 (2), 2Ch_18:18, 2Ch_20:6, 2Ch_28:9, 2Ch_30:27, 2Ch_32:20, 2Ch_33:3, 2Ch_33:5, 2Ch_36:23, Ezr_1:2, Neh_1:4-5 (2), Neh_1:9, Neh_2:4, Neh_2:20, Neh_9:6 (3), Neh_9:13, Neh_9:15, Neh_9:23, Neh_9:27-28 (2), Job_1:16, Job_2:12, Job_11:8, Job_16:19, Job_20:27, Job_22:12, Job_22:14, Job_26:11, Job_28:24, Job_35:11, Job_37:3, Job_38:29, Job_38:33, Job_38:37, Job_41:11, Psa_11:4, Psa_14:2, Psa_20:6 (2), Psa_33:13, Psa_57:2-3 (2), Psa_69:34, Psa_73:25, Psa_76:8, Psa_78:23-24 (2), Psa_78:26, Psa_79:2, Psa_80:14, Psa_85:11, Psa_89:29, Psa_102:19, Psa_104:11-12 (2), Psa_105:40, Psa_107:26, Psa_113:6, Psa_115:15-16 (2), Psa_119:89, Psa_121:2, Psa_124:8, Psa_134:3, Psa_135:6, Psa_136:26, Psa_139:8, Psa_146:6, Psa_147:8, Psa_148:13, Pro_23:5, Pro_30:3-4 (2), Ecc_1:13, Ecc_2:3, Ecc_5:1-2 (2), Isa_13:5, Isa_13:10, Isa_14:12-13 (2), Isa_34:4-5 (2), Isa_37:16, Isa_40:12, Isa_55:10, Isa_63:15, Isa_66:1, Jer_7:18, Jer_7:33, Jer_8:2, Jer_8:7, Jer_16:2-4 (3), Jer_19:7, Jer_19:13, Jer_23:24, Jer_31:37, Jer_32:17, Jer_33:22, Jer_33:25, Jer_34:20, Jer_44:17-19 (3), Jer_44:25, Jer_49:36, Jer_51:9, Jer_51:15, Jer_51:48, Jer_51:53, Lam_2:1, Lam_3:50, Lam_4:19, Eze_8:3, Eze_31:5-6 (2), Eze_31:13, Eze_32:4, Eze_32:7-8 (2), Eze_38:20, Dan_8:8, Dan_8:10, Dan_9:12, Dan_11:4, Dan_12:7, Hos_2:18, Hos_4:3, Hos_7:12, Amo_9:2, Amo_9:6, Jon_1:9, Nah_3:16, Zep_1:3, Zep_1:5, Hag_1:10, Zec_2:6, Mal_3:9-10 (2)
heavens, 109
Gen_2:1, Gen_2:4 (2), Deu_10:14, Deu_32:1, Deu_33:28, Jdg_5:4, 2Sa_22:10, 1Ki_8:27, 1Ch_16:26, 1Ch_16:31, 1Ch_27:23, 2Ch_2:6, 2Ch_6:18, 2Ch_6:25, 2Ch_6:33, 2Ch_6:35, 2Ch_6:39, Neh_9:6 (2), Job_9:8, Job_14:12, Job_15:15, Job_20:6, Job_26:13, Job_35:5, Psa_2:4, Psa_8:1, Psa_8:3, Psa_18:9, Psa_18:13, Psa_19:1, Psa_33:6, Psa_36:5, Psa_50:4, Psa_50:6, Psa_57:5, Psa_57:10-11 (2), Psa_68:8, Psa_68:33 (2), Psa_73:9, Psa_89:2, Psa_89:5, Psa_89:11, Psa_96:5, Psa_96:11, Psa_97:6, Psa_102:25, Psa_103:19, Psa_104:2, Psa_108:4-5 (2), Psa_113:4, Psa_115:3, Psa_115:16, Psa_123:1, Psa_144:5 (2), Psa_148:1, Psa_148:4 (3), Pro_3:19, Pro_8:27, Isa_1:2, Isa_13:13, Isa_34:4, Isa_40:22, Isa_42:5, Isa_44:23-24 (2), Isa_45:8, Isa_45:12, Isa_45:18, Isa_49:13 (2), Isa_50:3, Isa_51:6 (2), Isa_51:13, Isa_51:16, Isa_55:9, Isa_64:1, Isa_65:17, Isa_66:22, Jer_2:12, Jer_4:23, Jer_4:25, Jer_4:28, Jer_9:10, Jer_10:12-13 (2), Jer_14:22, Jer_51:16, Lam_3:41, Lam_3:66, Eze_1:1, Hos_2:21, Joe_2:10, Joe_2:30, Joe_3:16, Hab_3:3, Hag_2:6, Hag_2:21, Zec_6:5, Zec_8:12, Zec_12:1
air, 21
Gen_1:26, Gen_1:28, Gen_1:30, Gen_2:19-20 (2), Gen_6:7, Gen_7:3, Gen_9:2, Deu_4:17, Deu_28:26, 1Sa_17:44, 1Sa_17:46, 2Sa_21:10, 1Ki_14:11, 1Ki_16:4, 1Ki_21:24, Job_12:7, Job_28:21, Psa_8:8, Ecc_10:19-20 (2)
astrologers, 1
Isa_47:13

Of the 420 times this Hebrew word appears in the Old Testament, it is translated as ‘heaven’ or ‘heavens’ 398 times. Of the remaining 22 entries it is translated as ‘air’, and the remaining one entry is translated as ‘astrologers’.

When I worked for the World Wide Church of God, if I did something for my boss, his way of saying ‘Thank you’ was to say, “Great is your reward in heaven…where you can’t get to it.” Like most Christians, we actually believed that heaven was a physical planet somewhere out there beyond the peering eyes of the Hubble telescope. I remember well how excited I was when one of our ministers pointed out that God held the secret of “instantaneous travel” which he proved by pointing out that Christ, right after His resurrection told the women who had come to the tomb:

Joh 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Then just minutes later, He lets them touch Him:

Mat 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
Mat 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Mat 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Christ, we were told by that minister, had gone all the way to heaven, many light years away, and back between these two events.

The point is that we obviously believed that heaven was a physical planet with a physical place to house “the kingdom of God”.

There is no end to the songs about the mansions and the pearly gates, and the streets of gold where God sits on His throne, and which, after all, we are plainly told is in ‘heaven’:

And where is heaven? Is it not very clear that ‘heaven’ is somewhere up “high above the earth?:

Job 35:5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.

2Sa 22:10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We are told that God dwells in the heavens:

2Ch 6:39 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.

Psa 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Psa 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 123:1 A Song of degrees. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Through His spirit God beautifies the heavens:

Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished [Hebrew: made fair] the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

God judges the earth from the heavens:

Psa 2:4 He that sitteth [meaning ‘sits to judge’] in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Exo 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit [judging as kings and priests – Mat 19:28] together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us [as judges, kings and priests] through Christ Jesus.

Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The heavens proclaim God’s glory and demonstrate His works:

Psa 19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament [the heavens, Gen 1:8] sheweth his handywork.

Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The heavens praise God:

Psa 89:5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

God dwells “in the heavens”, and yet we are told that the heavens are not clean and are in need of being purified:

Job 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

It is “by understanding” that God “establish[es] the heavens”:

Pro 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

We are told that God shows His mercy “in the heavens”, and notice how ‘the clouds’ are always associated with the heavens:

Psa 36:5 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Psa 57:10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

We are also told that it is the heavens which “shall declare His righteousness”.

Psa 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Psa 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

The heavens rejoice that God judges righteously:

Psa 96:10 Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
Psa 96:11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.

God “rides upon the heavens”:

Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Psa 68:33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

The foolish and the wicked speak against the heavens:

Psa 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psa 73:9 They [the wicked] set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

The heavens are contrasted with the gods of the nations and their idols:

Psa 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols [false doctrines]: but the LORD made the heavens.

It is the declaration of the righteousness of God by the heavens which causes “all the people [to] see [God’s] glory”.

Psa 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

It is by wisdom that God makes the heavens:

Pro 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Pro 8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

Pro 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I [wisdom, Christ] was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

Finally, we are told that heaven is where God “has prepared His throne”:

Psa 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

What God is doing in the heavens

When we get to the prophets, Isaiah begins to reveal to us the mighty work God is doing in the heavens and what He will do in “the heavens”:

The light is darkened in the heavens:

Isa 5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.

God is, was and will be shaking the heavens… in His wrath and in the day of His fierce anger:

Isa 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

All the host of heaven will be dissolved, shall be rolled together as a scroll and fall down. The heavens shall be changed, shall pass away and shall perish:

Isa 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
Heb 1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
Heb 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

God’s work in the heavens is for the purpose of stretching them out for a tent in which to dwell:

Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Isa 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

God calls to the heavens, and He commands their host:

Isa 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
Isa 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

It is God who clothes the heavens with blackness, and it is also God who will cause the heavens to vanish away like smoke.

Isa 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

Isa 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
It is with His word in our mouths that He plants the heavens, and calls us His people.
Isa 51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Hosea tells us that God hears the heavens:

Hos 2:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth.

Zechariah tells us the heavens give their dew, and through the heavens, God causes His people to possess all things.

Zec 8:12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

What does all of this mean?

Having considered all we are told about heaven being higher than the earth, being the place of God’s dwelling, and being the place of His throne; Being told heaven is that by which God is glorified, and praised, that it is the place which He beautifies by His spirit, the place from which He judges the earth, the place from which His glory is proclaimed, and that it is by the heavens that His works are demonstrated; Knowing all of this I ask, “What is ‘heaven’ and where is ‘heaven’?”

Now that we know that the things of the heavens themselves must be purified by better sacrifices than the blood of bulls and goats, that these heavens are “established by understanding”; Now that we know that God’s “mercy is great unto the heavens”, that it is the heavens which declare His righteousness, that the heavens rejoice that God judges righteously, that God rides upon the heavens, that the foolish and the wicked speak against the heavens, and that the heavens are contrasted with the gods of the nations and their idols; I ask, what are we talking about, and where are ‘the heavens’ which receive all this attention from God and which serve him in all these ways?

We have just read that it is by the heavens that God’s righteousness is declared, and the whole world is caused to see His glory; We were told that wisdom was in the heavens when the heavens were first prepared, and that the heavens are God’s throne as well as the place where God has prepared His throne because He has desired to dwell there, and to place His throne there. So I ask, what and where is God’s throne, and where are these ‘heavens’ in which He has placed His throne?

Can we be in heaven while we are still on the earth?

In the New Testament, Christ increases exponentially our knowledge and understanding of this thing called ‘heaven’. We will begin with Christ’s instructions about “heavenly things” to Nicodemus, through whom He tells us:

Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

In the book of Hebrews, we are told that Christ has now passed into the heavens, and as we saw earlier, Christ came to this earth and died so the heavens could be purified:

Heb 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Heb 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

The next chapter tells us more about “the sanctuary, and the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched”:

Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

We are informed that even while we are on this earth, there are times when the heavens open up to us:

Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he [Christ] saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

Stephen also “saw the heavens opened”:

Act 7:56 And said, Behold, I [Stephen as he was being stoned to death] see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

The heavens were opened to John when he was on the Isle of Patmos, and a throne was set in heaven:

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

When the heavens were opened to John he was told to “come up here” and he was shown “things which must be hereafter”, and he saw a throne with a king on that throne.

The discovery of what and where the scriptures reveal ‘heaven’ to be

The reason the Hubble telescope has not yet located ‘heaven’ is that it is focused in the wrong direction and in the wrong place. The fact is that as long as mankind continues to seek to discover ‘heaven’ through the lens of any telescope, even one a thousand times more powerful than the Hubble telescope and capable of going a thousand times further into space than Hubble has gone, mankind will never discover the location or even the meaning of “the heavens” of the scriptures, simply because of this fact:

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with [physical] observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you”; it is not “here or… there” because it is not a physical location. Rather “heaven” is a spiritual realm which is “far above” this physical realm we refer to as ‘the earth’. That is what all those verses from the Old Testament were telling us even though those patriarchs and prophets were not ministering to themselves and did not understand the depth of their own prophecies:

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the [spiritual] salvation of your souls [“The kingdom of God… within you”].
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Physical eyes cannot see, and physical ears cannot hear, what God has prepared for those who serve Him. Those incredible blessings will come only through the rending of our spiritual heavens, and through the melting and burning up of our old man and all of his works in his physical kingdom.

Isa 64:1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
Isa 64:2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
Isa 64:3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou comest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Paul repeats this prophecy in:

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

This is what the spirit has revealed to us about the deep things of God:

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The fire or God is His word (Jer 5:14). God’s word is the ‘fire’ of our trials in this age (1Pet 4:12) as well as the fires of “the lake of fire” of which Paul tells us “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire“. But as we have just learned God rules over all things, and He does so from His throne “in the heavens”:

Psa 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Psa 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
Psa 103:21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Now we can understand the true meaning of Christ’s words:

Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions [Greek: abodes]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Now we know what these words really mean:

Psa 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
Psa 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

Christ is preparing us a place in the new heavens which will encompass a new earth:

Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

You and I are called “the temple of God… if so be that the spirit of God dwell in [us]”:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Where are we told the temple of God is located?

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

“The ark of His testament” is the “keeping of the words of this prophecy” of His testament, which is in the lives and in the mouths of all who are “the heavens”, where the ark of His testament is seen by all who know the Christ who has come down from heaven and is at the same time “seated in heaven” in all of His saints:

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Eph 2:6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms – all because we are one with Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Job speaks of the destruction of the first heavens, but he also speaks of being raised up from the dead, without physical flesh, into a new heavens and a new earth:

Job 14:12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

Job 19:26 And, though, after my skin is struck off, this followeth , yet, apart from my flesh, shall I see GOD: (REV)

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Heaven comes “down to earth”, and heaven is “high above the earth” only because the spirit realm is superior to the physical realm. The fact is that just as the earth is merely a part of the heavens, so also the new earth is but part of the heavens, and the fact is that when Christ ascended into the clouds, those ‘clouds’ we are nothing more than a symbol of His disciples whom He told He would “never leave or forsake”. God is both omnipotent and omnipresent, and Christ did not move one inch to “enter into the heavens” because those very ‘heavens’ are His disciples.

All of mankind lies down and rises not “till the heavens be no more”. It is in this age for God’s firstfruit elect, and it will be at the great white throne judgment for all the rest of mankind, but the earth and the heavens flee away, and there is found no place for them. When that event takes place, then it is time for the dead to awake and be raised out of their sleep to this glorious end product of the work God is performing on “all in Adam”, and on all who have ever been “in Adam” (1Co 15:22):

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former
things are passed away.

[The next study in this series is here.]

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