What Are The Three Heavens?

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Part 1

Hi C____,

Thank you for your question.

According to Romans, the things of the spiritual are ‘understood by the things that are made.’

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Now if God grants us the faith and wisdom to apply this principle as we read His Word, then we will understand the “invisible things of Him.”

The hardest thing for carnal minds to do is to let go of “the things that are made” and accept the truth that they are merely shadows of those true things which, for us while yet in the flesh, are invisible.

The first, second and third heaven are all spiritual and are all invisible. While the words ‘first heaven’ and ‘second heaven’ are not in the scriptures, they are certainly implied by the words ‘third heaven.’

2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

In this physical “things that are made” world we have a ‘heavens’ in which the “birds of the heavens” fly. Above that we have a stratosphere where God’s “treasures’ of snow and hail are formed, but they are too high for the ‘fowls of heaven’ to fly or live in. Beyond the stratosphere there are the starry skies of the heavens, with all of their limitless glory and wonders that we even now can only begin to speculate upon.

Here are the sctriptures for the three physical heavens:

First heaven:

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Second heaven:

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

Third heaven

Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Psa 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

Believe me, not one of these has anything in common with the three heavens to which Paul alludes. The invisible is understood by the visible. We are never told that the visible IS the invisible.

The first heaven in the realm of the spirit is that heaven referred to as the heaven of the minds of mankind:

Php 3:20 For our conversation [ our thoughts and way of life] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Speaking of this very ‘heaven,’ look at the words of David:

Psa 8:3 When I consider thy heavens [ be sure to read What and Wherer Is Heaven?], the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psa 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the [ second heaven] angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

The second heaven in the realm of the spirit is that heaven from which we are told God sends ‘unclean spirits.’

2Ch 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
2Ch 18:19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
2Ch 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
2Ch 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
2Ch 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. [ Read ‘After The Counsel of His Own Will,’ for dozens of examples of God’s sovereignty over both the good and the evil].
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [ Greek – the heavens].

The third heaven in the realm of the spirit is that heaven which is above all power and principalities. It is at the very right hand of the Father.

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly [ places],
Eph 1:21 Far above [ the first and second ‘heavens’] all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 2:6 And hath raised [ us] up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [ places] in Christ Jesus:

So you see, the ‘new man’ and the ‘new earth’ are both really “seated together [ with Christ] in the heavens. The word ‘places’ is never in the original. The translators have added that word, that is why it is always in brackets. The first ‘heaven is “lower than the angels.” The ‘third heaven is “Far above [ the first and second ‘heavens’] all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in [ the second heaven below the heaven which is just above man who is “a little lower than the angels] heavenly [ places] might be known by the [ firstfruits] church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Deu 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

None of this has to do with anything you can either see or feel or touch. This is the Truth of the things of God. It is especially true of this word ‘heaven.’

1Ti 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Make no mistake, God is always on His throne in every ‘heaven’ at all times. He is “working all things after the counsel of His own will.” He is simply using the visible to commuicate to us the invisible things of the spirit.

I hope I have been used of Him to help you to ‘see’ more clearly the things of the spirit; ‘heavenly things.’

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see [ the invisible] God.

I hope this has answered your question about “the third heaven”.

Mike

Part 2

Hi C____,

I am forwarding the notes I had for a talk I gave in Mobile last weekend, on the subject of ‘Heaven.’

I hadn’t sent them earlier because I didn’t know how you felt about spiritual matters. It appears that you understand that heaven is a realm.

That is right, you don’t have to physically move an inch to be spiritually “caught up” from the ‘depths of the mire’ of sin into the ‘high heavens.’ Heaven has nothing to do with geography. It is a realm. I hope these notes are of some help to your understanding on this subject.

Mike

WHAT AND WHERE IS HEAVEN?

That Heaven Is man’s Destiny Is Revealed In The Days Of Creation.

There are 551 entries for the word ‘heaven’ in the entire Bible. The very first is:

Gen 1:1 In the beginning [ Heb. 7225= reshiyth- firstfruit- Lev.23:10- Christ] God created the heaven and the earth. Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits [ same word as ‘beginning in Gen.1:1] of your harvest unto the priest:

1st Day – We See The Light

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day

God starts not with light, but with darkness:

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The shining of the gospel is the first thing we begin to see. It is the ‘first day’ of our spiritual lives.

2nd Day – We Begin To See The Difference Between Heaven And Earth

Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

‘Waters,’ ‘the sea’ in scripture, represent the masses of mankind, “the waters under the firmament.” At this point, mankind is “a little lower than the angels,” “the waters which were above the firmament.”

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

3rd Day- We Are Separated From The ‘Sea,’ And Begin To “Bring Forth Fruit.”

Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth [ The Hebrew words for Adam and earth are almost identical]; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

As God is continually “making us in His image,” continuously “conforming us to the image of His Son,” we are “separated from the waters that are under the firmament.” We are, at this point, still in the first Adam, still carnal, even though we are slightly above the ‘sea.’ At this point we begin to change our lives and “bring forth… fruit…”

Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [ is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

The 4th Day – We See That There Is A Much Greater Light Than We Have Known To This Point The ‘Called’ Church Is The ‘Lesser Light’

Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The 5th Day – Both Heaven And Earth ‘Bring Forth Abundantly’

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Notice that the ‘fowl… of the heaven’ are still earth bound, and consequently they “multiply in the earth.”

With but one exception, the dove, ‘fowl,’ in scripture, represent evil spirits, and the ‘earth’ represents the called but not chosen ‘Adam,’ who is now ‘out of the sea,’ but not yet ‘seated in heavenly places.’ So the ‘called,’ but not ‘chosen,’ are at this stage full of false doctrines, the “fowl multiplying in the earth.”

Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

The 6th Day – Man At His Zenith Is The Golden Head Of The Image, Babylon The Great-666

Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Gen 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us [ be making] make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Gen 1:27 So God created [ creates] man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Israel’s captivity in Babylon is typical of our captivity in Babylon. God Himself has determined that this is a necessary evil that we must all endure before we wii ever hear those word that all of the elect must hear: “Come out of her MY PEOPLE.” All of the elect ‘come out of Babylon.’

That this pre- flood, pre- baptism experience is but a shadow and type of the true ‘image,’ and true ‘dominion’ is demonstrated by what was given for food before the flood:

Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. [ We are not given ‘meat’ to eat until we are ready for it.]
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Man, along with “every beast of the earth,” was created of corruptible earth and was naked right from the creator’s hand. But it was all ‘very good’ in the sense that it was what God wanted at that stage of His plan. This is all explained by Joseph in Gen 50:

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Gen 50:21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

As hard as it is for us to comprehend, all “evil…[ is] meant… for good.”

Or as Paul puts it:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Earth, Not Hell, Is The Opposite of Heaven

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
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.

God Dwells In Heaven

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? [ The scriptures answer this question]
Psa 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Psa 113:6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

God Dwells In Mount Zion

Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
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.
Psa 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
Psa 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [ that of] Abel.

God Dwells Between The Cherubims

2Sa 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
2Sa 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
1Ch 13:6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, [ that is], to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.

God Dwells In The Midst Of The Four Living Creatures

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Who Are The ‘Four Beasts And The Twenty Four Elders Who Will Rule On The Earth?

Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [ who is] the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Where God Rests

Isa 18:4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
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.

What Does It Mean? Where Is Heaven?

Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [ stone];
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. [Joh 17:3; Heb 2:9-11]

So What Is Life Eternal?

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Heb 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

God Dwells In His People -‘Heaven,’ Is Not A Geographic Location But The Realm Of The Spirit Of Life

Deu 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
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 [ No more flesh].
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 [ HEAVEN] 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.

The flesh recoils at the thought of its final demise. The spirit rejoices in it! “There is no more sea… God is all in all!”

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