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chad
Nov 16th 2008, 06:49 AM
I have a couple of questions regarding Paul and his expeience in 2 Corinthians 12:1-9.

(2 Cor 12:1 NIV) I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

(2 Cor 12:5 NIV) I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

(2 Cor 12:6 NIV) Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

(2 Cor 12:7 NIV) To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

(2 Cor 12:8 NIV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

(2 Cor 12:9 NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


Question 1) Was Paul caught up into the Third Heaven (Paradise) or was this a vision?

Question 2) If he was caught up into the third heaven either in body or vision, what did Paul See in the Third Heaven?



Chad :rolleyes:

Zack702
Nov 16th 2008, 08:06 AM
Not sure I think he was talking about his spirit receiving visions. Or if not himself possibly Daniel or other people who had heavy visions of the spirit.

There are alot of crazy theories about "third heaven".
But perhaps the third heaven is the spiritual heaven and the first two being our atmosphere and space. Meaning the sky is sometimes refered to as the heavens. Also space is sometimes refered to as heavens. And finaly the dwelling place of God which is heaven which is possibly the "third" heaven?

At any rate I suppose that he saw visions that were given to them by angels and God.

chad
Nov 16th 2008, 07:39 PM
Hi Zack702,

Yes, that would make sense. Just as John was given his visions in the book of Revelation, I guess Paul also recieved his visions and revelation of heaven as well.

Interestingly though, Pauls vision of the third heaven is recorded in the Apocrapha. Does anyone know if it is the true account of Pauls vision of the third heaven or if it is a false writing?

If it is a true account, why did Paul write it down, when in 2 Corinthians 12:4 he says he was not permitted to tell about these things.

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.


Chad :rolleyes:


Not sure I think he was talking about his spirit receiving visions. Or if not himself possibly Daniel or other people who had heavy visions of the spirit.

There are alot of crazy theories about "third heaven".
But perhaps the third heaven is the spiritual heaven and the first two being our atmosphere and space. Meaning the sky is sometimes refered to as the heavens. Also space is sometimes refered to as heavens. And finaly the dwelling place of God which is heaven which is possibly the "third" heaven?

At any rate I suppose that he saw visions that were given to them by angels and God.

markedward
Nov 16th 2008, 08:50 PM
Question 1) Was Paul caught up into the Third Heaven (Paradise) or was this a vision?

Question 2) If he was caught up into the third heaven either in body or vision, what did Paul See in the Third Heaven?1) You should pay a little more attention to what you are reading, because the answer is right there in it.

"whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know"

Paul states directly that he doesn't known if he was in the body or simply in a vision. I don't think you missed this in the text, because you bolded it... in that case, I want to know (purely out of curiosity) why you thought any of us would be able to tell you whether Paul was in the body or simply seeing a vision if Paul himself didn't know?



2) Again, Paul gives the answer, and again, you should already know the answer to your question since we see that you bolded that portion of the text. Paul says he wasn't "permitted" to tell what things he had seen. If Paul wasn't permitted to tell anyone, why do you think we should, living thousands of years later, be able to know what it was that he was not permitted to tell?

chad
Nov 16th 2008, 10:14 PM
Hi Markdward,

If Paul did not know, if he was in body or not, then How am I meant to know? But then the passage is not quite as straight forward as it seems.

Paul says in 2 Cor 12:2-4

(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Paul is talking about himself isn't he, but is writing as though it is another person?

Maybe Paul wasn't allowed to tell the Corinthians what he saw, but he wrote it down before he died. I don't know?

I guess it doesn't hurt to ask and see what other people think about this?


Chad :confused



1) You should pay a little more attention to what you are reading, because the answer is right there in it.

"whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know"

Paul states directly that he doesn't known if he was in the body or simply in a vision. I don't think you missed this in the text, because you bolded it... in that case, I want to know (purely out of curiosity) why you thought any of us would be able to tell you whether Paul was in the body or simply seeing a vision if Paul himself didn't know?



2) Again, Paul gives the answer, and again, you should already know the answer to your question since we see that you bolded that portion of the text. Paul says he wasn't "permitted" to tell what things he had seen. If Paul wasn't permitted to tell anyone, why do you think we should, living thousands of years later, be able to know what it was that he was not permitted to tell?

My heart's Desire
Nov 18th 2008, 05:56 AM
I think he was really caught up into the third heaven, but as Paul says He doesn't know if in the body or without. I'd be willing to say whatever way it was, it was so real that he knew he was there one way or the other. Weither in the body or in a vision, it was too real to tell.

chad
Nov 18th 2008, 08:06 AM
Hi My heart's desire,

Paul had other visions in Acts 16:9-10 + Acts 18:9-11. These he knew were visions, but the one experienced in 2 Cor 12:1-3 he wasn't sure. So I agree it must have been so real, it was hard for paul to distinguish if he was in body or outside of the body.


Acts 16:9-10
(Acts 16:9 NIV) During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
(Acts 16:10 NIV) After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Acts 18:9-11
(Acts 18:9 NIV) One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
(Acts 18:10 NIV) For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."
(Acts 18:11 NIV) So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

2 Cor 12:1-3
(2 Cor 12:1 NIV) I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.
(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--
(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.




I think he was really caught up into the third heaven, but as Paul says He doesn't know if in the body or without. I'd be willing to say whatever way it was, it was so real that he knew he was there one way or the other. Weither in the body or in a vision, it was too real to tell.

SoldierOfChrist
Nov 19th 2008, 06:23 PM
I easily rule out vision with his statements. The question really is, was he in his physical body or just his spirit (without his physical body). That is what I think Paul wonders.

2 Corinthians 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.

2 Corinthians 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

I think if could interpet 2 Corinthians 12:3 as possibly a vision you are ignoring 2 Corinthians 12:3 and 4 which clearly say he was caught up. It would have been easier to understand if it had been written whether in the body or in the spirit I cannot tell which is what I think he means.

My two cents.

Michael

My heart's Desire
Nov 20th 2008, 04:05 AM
I think if could interpet 2 Corinthians 12:3 as possibly a vision you are ignoring 2 Corinthians 12:3 and 4 which clearly say he was caught up.

My two cents.

Michael
Hey! That's a great point there.

David Taylor
Nov 20th 2008, 05:08 PM
I have a couple of questions regarding Paul and his expeience in 2 Corinthians 12:1-9.

(2 Cor 12:1 NIV) I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

(2 Cor 12:5 NIV) I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

(2 Cor 12:6 NIV) Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

(2 Cor 12:7 NIV) To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

(2 Cor 12:8 NIV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

(2 Cor 12:9 NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


Question 1) Was Paul caught up into the Third Heaven (Paradise) or was this a vision?

Question 2) If he was caught up into the third heaven either in body or vision, what did Paul See in the Third Heaven?



Chad :rolleyes:

"If" John received the visions and revelations (that inspired the book Revelation) early in his life; but he only wrote it down to paper, so to speak, late in his life while exiled on Patmos; it is possible Paul is speaking of his apostle-brethren John.

I Corinthians was written in the late 50s, so 14 years earlier would put this vision circa mid 40s.

We know from their early church days together in the book of Acts, that Paul knew John and Peter in Jerusalem pretty early after his transformation from being Saul.

We know that John did go to the third heaven and saw many visions and revelations. Could it be that John was given the visions and revelations of heaven throughout his lifetime; and not at one point; and he had shared some of these with Paul 14 years ago?

This doesn't really get into the early-late dating debate of Revelation; because regardless of when it was written; that doesn't mean that John received all of the visions and revelations at one time, and the next day he wrote the book....he very well may have received them all throughout his life; and didn't record them until exile at Patmos.

I would think it would take many years for a little-educated commoner Galilean fisherman like John to educate himself in Greek well enough to eventually be able to pen Revelation as he did late in his life.

Will be a interesting question to ask when we get to Heaven.

chad
Nov 20th 2008, 07:23 PM
Hi David,

There seems to be differences to Pauls vision and the one John had. Paul refers to being caught up to paradise, where as Johns revelation was made known through sending an angel to John.

(Rev 1:1 NIV) The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, (Rev 1:2 NIV) who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.


Johns revelation to the 7 churches and he quite openly talks about them.

(Rev 1:4 NIV) John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

Where as Pauls vision, he says he saw and heard things he was not permitted to tell.

Paul did not know if this man was in body or not, when he had this revelation. John knew he was in the spirit.

(Rev 1:10 NIV) On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, (Rev 1:11 NIV) which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."

Johns revelation was for all and he says blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. where as pauls vision he does not speak too much about.

(Rev 1:3 NIV) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.


In my opinion, they are different visions, and I don't think Paul is speaking about johns vision.


Chad :rolleyes:


"If" John received the visions and revelations (that inspired the book Revelation) early in his life; but he only wrote it down to paper, so to speak, late in his life while exiled on Patmos; it is possible Paul is speaking of his apostle-brethren John.

I Corinthians was written in the late 50s, so 14 years earlier would put this vision circa mid 40s.

We know from their early church days together in the book of Acts, that Paul knew John and Peter in Jerusalem pretty early after his transformation from being Saul.

We know that John did go to the third heaven and saw many visions and revelations. Could it be that John was given the visions and revelations of heaven throughout his lifetime; and not at one point; and he had shared some of these with Paul 14 years ago?

This doesn't really get into the early-late dating debate of Revelation; because regardless of when it was written; that doesn't mean that John received all of the visions and revelations at one time, and the next day he wrote the book....he very well may have received them all throughout his life; and didn't record them until exile at Patmos.

I would think it would take many years for a little-educated commoner Galilean fisherman like John to educate himself in Greek well enough to eventually be able to pen Revelation as he did late in his life.

Will be a interesting question to ask when we get to Heaven.

My heart's Desire
Nov 20th 2008, 07:35 PM
"If" John received the visions and revelations (that inspired the book Revelation) early in his life; but he only wrote it down to paper, so to speak, late in his life while exiled on Patmos; it is possible Paul is speaking of his apostle-brethren John.

I Corinthians was written in the late 50s, so 14 years earlier would put this vision circa mid 40s.

We know from their early church days together in the book of Acts, that Paul knew John and Peter in Jerusalem pretty early after his transformation from being Saul.

We know that John did go to the third heaven and saw many visions and revelations. Could it be that John was given the visions and revelations of heaven throughout his lifetime; and not at one point; and he had shared some of these with Paul 14 years ago?

This doesn't really get into the early-late dating debate of Revelation; because regardless of when it was written; that doesn't mean that John received all of the visions and revelations at one time, and the next day he wrote the book....he very well may have received them all throughout his life; and didn't record them until exile at Patmos.

I would think it would take many years for a little-educated commoner Galilean fisherman like John to educate himself in Greek well enough to eventually be able to pen Revelation as he did late in his life.

Will be a interesting question to ask when we get to Heaven.
While interesting that Paul may be speaking of someone other than himself, I really don't think so.
Verse 7 says it is because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, that he is given the thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself.

My question would be is why would Paul get the thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself if John didn't get the thorn in the flesh also from seeing such great revelations? After all, Paul would only know about what John had experienced and spoke of it in veiled tones. Why should he get a thorn for knowing about it, and John didn't, even being the one who had the great revelations of the Book of Revelation?
I believe Paul is certainly speaking of himself.

Mysteryman
Nov 20th 2008, 09:27 PM
Hi Markdward,

If Paul did not know, if he was in body or not, then How am I meant to know? But then the passage is not quite as straight forward as it seems.

Paul says in 2 Cor 12:2-4

(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Paul is talking about himself isn't he, but is writing as though it is another person?

Maybe Paul wasn't allowed to tell the Corinthians what he saw, but he wrote it down before he died. I don't know?

I guess it doesn't hurt to ask and see what other people think about this?


Chad :confused
These verses have always caught me eye as well. But over time, I began to tell myself, to read what is written.

Try and not read into what it is saying.

Paul is talking about someone else other than himself - agreed ?

The next thing I noticed, was that Paul was thinking back of 14 years ago when he had remember of a man in Christ.

In verse one Paul is talking about visions and revelations. So , Paul was remembering a time , about 14 years ago, as he explains the story to others. Of a man who he knew was in Christ = a believer. Who had a vision. The part that is in parenthesis is added by the translators and that is why it is within a parnethesis. At least our translators gave us clues like this, to show what they the translators thought without adding it to scripture. So this means, we do not have to use what is said within the parenthesis. Follow so far ?

In verse 3 notice the same parenthesis.

The man Paul speaks of , was in a vision , caught up to the third heaven, and in verse 4 he was also caught up into paradise. Where he heard unspeakable words, which Paul states, is not lawful for a man to utter.

This man whom Paul speaks of could have been an angel of/from God. This man also could have been the apostle John - see the reference of what Paul is saying and what John said in the book of Revelation ! And what he saw and revealed unto Paul was not to be uttered by man. However , John was not just a man. He was a man of God. This is why I believe that this man Paul speaks of, was the apostle John.

We are told of a "New Heavens and New Earth", which Peter talked about in II Peter 3:13. But notice here as well, that that is all Peter said. In the book of Revelation we see detailed information. God wanted only John to give out the fullness of this revelation.

That is how I see it.

The Part of the vision obviously was explained by Paul. That there is a third heaven and paradise.

My heart's Desire
Nov 20th 2008, 09:33 PM
These verses have always caught me eye as well. But over time, I began to tell myself, to read what is written.

Try and not read into what it is saying.

Paul is talking about someone else other than himself - agreed ?

The next thing I noticed, was that Paul was thinking back of 14 years ago when he had remember of a man in Christ.

In verse one Paul is talking about visions and revelations. So , Paul was remembering a time , about 14 years ago, as he explains the story to others. Of a man who he knew was in Christ = a believer. Who had a vision. The part that is in parenthesis is added by the translators and that is why it is within a parnethesis. At least our translators gave us clues like this, to show what they the translators thought without adding it to scripture. So this means, we do not have to use what is said within the parenthesis. Follow so far ?

In verse 3 notice the same parenthesis.

The man Paul speaks of , was in a vision , caught up to the third heaven, and in verse 4 he was also caught up into paradise. Where he heard unspeakable words, which Paul states, is not lawful for a man to utter.

This man whom Paul speaks of could have been an angel of/from God. This man also could have been the apostle John - see the reference of what Paul is saying and what John said in the book of Revelation ! And what he saw and revealed unto Paul was not to be uttered by man. However , John was not just a man. He was a man of God. This is why I believe that this man Paul speaks of, was the apostle John.

We are told of a "New Heavens and New Earth", which Peter talked about in II Peter 3:13. But notice here as well, that that is all Peter said. In the book of Revelation we see detailed information. God wanted only John to give out the fullness of this revelation.

That is how I see it.

The Part of the vision obviously was explained by Paul. That there is a third heaven and paradise.
Once again, why does Paul receive the thorn in the flesh for knowing about another man's vision?

David Taylor
Nov 20th 2008, 09:35 PM
Hi David,

There seems to be differences to Pauls vision and the one John had. Paul refers to being caught up to paradise, where as Johns revelation was made known through sending an angel to John.

(Rev 1:1 NIV) The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, (Rev 1:2 NIV) who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

John says this:
4:1 "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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. "

Kinda seems similar to me.




Johns revelation to the 7 churches and he quite openly talks about them.

(Rev 1:4 NIV) John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

Where as Pauls vision, he says he saw and heard things he was not permitted to tell.

I guess the responsibility wasn't for Paul to reveal all of the Revelation at that time; but one that was reserved for John to do later...right?

If John is the person Paul mentioned; it was just a brief snippet...perhaps a setting the groundwork so that later when John gave his Revelation in full; folks would remember what Paul wrote; and say, "OK....I remember Paul once briefly touched on this stuff".




Paul did not know if this man was in body or not, when he had this revelation. John knew he was in the spirit.

(Rev 1:10 NIV) On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, (Rev 1:11 NIV) which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."

Why does it matter if Paul didn't know, and John told us later that he did know?





Johns revelation was for all and he says blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. where as pauls vision he does not speak too much about.

(Rev 1:3 NIV) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.


In my opinion, they are different visions, and I don't think Paul is speaking about johns vision.


Chad :rolleyes:

I don't think Paul's small mention of this heavenly event was suppose to compare and contrast what John would later reveal in much, much greater detail.

I just think it is possible that John and the Revelation he would later be given from God, "could be" what Paul was referring to.

David Taylor
Nov 20th 2008, 09:37 PM
While interesting that Paul may be speaking of someone other than himself, I really don't think so.
Verse 7 says it is because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, that he is given the thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself.

My question would be is why would Paul get the thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself if John didn't get the thorn in the flesh also from seeing such great revelations? After all, Paul would only know about what John had experienced and spoke of it in veiled tones. Why should he get a thorn for knowing about it, and John didn't, even being the one who had the great revelations of the Book of Revelation?
I believe Paul is certainly speaking of himself.


Maybe it was all in the Lord's timing.

The Lord didn't want Paul at his time and place and audience, to get into all of what John would later reveal to all in much depth in the Revelation.

When the Lord was ready for John to write Revelation; it wasn't a thorn in his side; because the Lord's time was ready. Paul had the weight of that unspeakable knowlege to bear as a thorn; and we probably will never know fully why; this side of Heaven.

chad
Nov 20th 2008, 09:39 PM
Hi Mysteryman,

There is an account in the apocrypha regarding pauls revelation of what he saw in the third heaven. Does anyone know where this came from and if it is an authentic writing or if it was made up?

Here's the link.

http://www.comparative-religion.com/christianity/apocrypha/new-testament-apocrypha/4/8.php (http://www.comparative-religion.com/christianity/apocrypha/new-testament-apocrypha/4/8.php)


If anyone has any ideas or opinions, it would be appreciated.


Thanks


Chad :rolleyes:

These verses have always caught me eye as well. But over time, I began to tell myself, to read what is written.

Try and not read into what it is saying.

Paul is talking about someone else other than himself - agreed ?

The next thing I noticed, was that Paul was thinking back of 14 years ago when he had remember of a man in Christ.

In verse one Paul is talking about visions and revelations. So , Paul was remembering a time , about 14 years ago, as he explains the story to others. Of a man who he knew was in Christ = a believer. Who had a vision. The part that is in parenthesis is added by the translators and that is why it is within a parnethesis. At least our translators gave us clues like this, to show what they the translators thought without adding it to scripture. So this means, we do not have to use what is said within the parenthesis. Follow so far ?

In verse 3 notice the same parenthesis.

The man Paul speaks of , was in a vision , caught up to the third heaven, and in verse 4 he was also caught up into paradise. Where he heard unspeakable words, which Paul states, is not lawful for a man to utter.

This man whom Paul speaks of could have been an angel of/from God. This man also could have been the apostle John - see the reference of what Paul is saying and what John said in the book of Revelation ! And what he saw and revealed unto Paul was not to be uttered by man. However , John was not just a man. He was a man of God. This is why I believe that this man Paul speaks of, was the apostle John.

We are told of a "New Heavens and New Earth", which Peter talked about in II Peter 3:13. But notice here as well, that that is all Peter said. In the book of Revelation we see detailed information. God wanted only John to give out the fullness of this revelation.

That is how I see it.

The Part of the vision obviously was explained by Paul. That there is a third heaven and paradise.

Mysteryman
Nov 20th 2008, 09:47 PM
One thing that can not be said with exactness. Is what latter episltes and the seven church epistles . The actual events how and when the revelation was given by God unto these men, and when it was revealed.

They could have known certain things, and God would ask them to hide them in their heart until such time that God wanted it to be known.

I think that John knew this revelation for a while. But the information which John wrote about in the book of Revelation was not to be made known until the very end of his life.

Unlike the seven church episltes, where Paul lived them and then wrote about them. There seems to be a significant period time between living it and writting about it. Most of Paul's writting came late within his life.

I believe that the church being young, like a babe in the Word, would not be able to bear this information. Much like today , if you follow what I am saying.

In verse 7 Paul talks about his revealings and visions as well. And God also told him of the difficulty that comes with knowing these revelations.

Paul was not to exault himself above measure. Paul ask the Lord three times for it to be removed, but God told him that his grace is sufficent unto him.

God also told Paul, that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. So that Paul would not think more highly of himself than he ought too. That the power is of God and not of man, neither a man of God as well. You see, having been revealed revelation, one can think more highly of one's self. Obviously, God knew Paul, and this is one way in which God pointed out to Paul, for him not to be concerned with the messanger that had been sent to buffet him. This is why Paul said what he said, in verses 9 & 10.

The reason I understand this as I do. I have experieced exactly what Paul is talking about. I am powerless of myself. And I am strong when I am at my weakest point , not physically, but spiritually. It is when, one feels that no one is listening, and I feel the burden upon myself to make something known. And I fail. This becomes my weakest point spiritually.
To boil it all down. I say it, or explain it, and only God can open up the eyes of their understanding, not me ! I do my role, and let God do his role.

Not of ourselves lest any man should boast ! This is what Paul was talking about here, in II Corinth. 12.

Mysteryman
Nov 20th 2008, 09:51 PM
Hi Mysteryman,

There is an account in the apocrypha regarding pauls revelation of what he saw in the third heaven. Does anyone know where this came from and if it is an authentic writing or if it was made up?

Here's the link.

http://www.comparative-religion.com/christianity/apocrypha/new-testament-apocrypha/4/8.php (http://www.comparative-religion.com/christianity/apocrypha/new-testament-apocrypha/4/8.php)


If anyone has any ideas or opinions, it would be appreciated.


Thanks


Chad :rolleyes:

Chad

I would not venture. In my understanding, anything outside the written Word is not of God, but of man.

I hate commentaries by men.

But if a man ventures "within" the Word of God, and searches from within. I will listen and venture with this person, as long as we stay within the scriptures.

chad
Nov 20th 2008, 11:26 PM
Hi Mysteryman,

Dating of books

Ok I have been trying to figure out the dates regarding the revelation of Paul.


According to the introduction in my NIV study bible :-

Introduction for the book of Revelation
Revelation was written when Christians were entering a time of persecution. The two periods most often mentioned are the latter part of Neros reign (ad 54-68) and the latter part of Domitians reign (81096). Most scholars date the book at c.95 a few suggest a date during the reign of Vespasian (69-79).

Introduction of the book 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians. Available evidence indicates that the year 55 ad is a reasonable estimate for writing this letter.

55ad – 14 years (2 Cor 12:2) = 41 AD that Paul knew of this person who had the vision.

My NIV study bible map (pg 1672) dates Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas and John Mark to be 46-48 AD.

So if I go by the dates according to my NIV study bible, it could not be referring to Johns book of revelation, because Paul, Barnabas and Mark had not yet been on their first missionary journey.

The dates don't match up for me, to say that Paul was referring to John Marks writings in Revelation. If Paul was talking about himself, then it would refer to before he had gone on his first missionary journey.



Chad :rolleyes:


[quote=Mysteryman;1875331]These verses have always caught me eye as well. But over time, I began to tell myself, to read what is written.

Try and not read into what it is saying.

Paul is talking about someone else other than himself - agreed ?

The next thing I noticed, was that Paul was thinking back of 14 years ago when he had remember of a man in Christ.

In verse one Paul is talking about visions and revelations. So , Paul was remembering a time , about 14 years ago, as he explains the story to others. Of a man who he knew was in Christ = a believer. Who had a vision. The part that is in parenthesis is added by the translators and that is why it is within a parnethesis. At least our translators gave us clues like this, to show what they the translators thought without adding it to scripture. So this means, we do not have to use what is said within the parenthesis. Follow so far ?

Mysteryman
Nov 20th 2008, 11:43 PM
Hi Mysteryman,

Dating of books

Ok I have been trying to figure out the dates regarding the revelation of Paul.


According to the introduction in my NIV study bible :-

Introduction for the book of Revelation
Revelation was written when Christians were entering a time of persecution. The two periods most often mentioned are the latter part of Neros reign (ad 54-68) and the latter part of Domitians reign (81096). Most scholars date the book at c.95 a few suggest a date during the reign of Vespasian (69-79).

Introduction of the book 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians. Available evidence indicates that the year 55 ad is a reasonable estimate for writing this letter.

55ad – 14 years (2 Cor 12:2) = 41 AD that Paul knew of this person who had the vision.

My NIV study bible map (pg 1672) dates Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas and John Mark to be 46-48 AD.

So if I go by the dates according to my NIV study bible, it could not be referring to Johns book of revelation, because Paul, Barnabas and Mark had not yet been on their first missionary journey.

The dates don't match up for me, to say that Paul was referring to John Marks writings in Revelation. If Paul was talking about himself, then it would refer to before he had gone on his first missionary journey.



Chad :rolleyes:


[quote=Mysteryman;1875331]These verses have always caught me eye as well. But over time, I began to tell myself, to read what is written.

Try and not read into what it is saying.

Paul is talking about someone else other than himself - agreed ?

The next thing I noticed, was that Paul was thinking back of 14 years ago when he had remember of a man in Christ.

In verse one Paul is talking about visions and revelations. So , Paul was remembering a time , about 14 years ago, as he explains the story to others. Of a man who he knew was in Christ = a believer. Who had a vision. The part that is in parenthesis is added by the translators and that is why it is within a parnethesis. At least our translators gave us clues like this, to show what they the translators thought without adding it to scripture. So this means, we do not have to use what is said within the parenthesis. Follow so far ?

Hi Chad

Let me see if I can refresh your memory, which might help. The events that took place were fourty or fifty years prior to the writtings of the epislts. When Paul spoke of 14 years,, we must realize that the church epistles were written much later. So if you do the math from the realization that what was said verse when it is written is in no way close to each other.

So lets try and piece it as closely as possible. Lets take 40 years . During that 40 years, all of the events that we "read" about have already taken place. In Paul's travels, from Ephesis or Corinth or unto Galatia takes years. Years and years at times. Could be 20 or 30 years of events that took place. Once Paul makes this statement that about 14 years ago , such and such, it is not unreasonable to think that about 14 years have passed since Paul remembers this vision, of this man.

All of the written epistles were written 40 or more years later than the occurances that are within the writtings of the epistles. For the most part, it is believed, that towards the end of John's life, the writtings of John became availabel. More than likely they became available "after" his death. This means, that no man can question him on this. Paul seems to be a "witness" of this vision, as well as Peter. This is where the witnesses are important to the cannanization of the book of John "Revelation".

I do not think that God wanted anyone to question John on this revelation. I believe in my heart, that God wanted men of God in the future to give a more revealing understanding of the book of Revelation.

I have no idea whom God has chosen for this labour. Other than myself. I fully understand the book of Revelation. However, I am not boasting, I am just telling you. Maybe we can at some point and time discuss this. But for now, I believe that Paul was not asked by God to reveal his understanding. God was telling Paul that his plate was full enough.

Love IN Christ - M M

chad
Nov 21st 2008, 02:02 AM
Hi Mystery man,

I am still trying to piece together the dates.

According to my NIV study bibe, the books of Mathew, Mark and Luke would have been written between 50-70 AD, depending on what assumption and theory you believe in.

Pauls time line.

AD 35 - Stephen was martyred
AD 35 - Saul converted
AD 46-48 - 1st Missionary Journey
AD 48/49 - Writing of Galatians
AD 50-52 - 2nd Missionary Journey
AD 50-51 - 1 Thessalonians
AD 50-52 - 2 Thessalonians
AD 53-37 - 3rd Missionary Journey
AD 55 - 1 + 2 Corinthians
AD 57 - Romans
AD 60 - Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Phillipians
AD 61 - Pauls release from Rome
AD 62-67 - Fourth missionary journey
AD 63-65 - 1 Timothy, Titus
AD 67/68 - Pauls 2nd imprisonment in Rome, 2 timothy, Trial and execution.

Even if the Gospels were written 40 years after the event, Pauls letter to the Corinthians was written 55 AD. Paul recals in 2 Corinthians 12:2 (I know a man in christ who fourteen years ago was caught up in the third heaven).


If Paul knew the year that he was writing his second letter to the Corinthians, then this would put the year that the person recieved the vision at 41 AD. According to my NIV study bible, the first missionary journey did not occur until 46-48 AD.


However in Revelation 1:10, John is instructed to write to the 7 churches. The ones in Epheses, smyra, pergamum, thyatira, sardis, philadelphia, laodicea.


So I guess what I am asking is - how could Paul be refering to Johns vision in the book of revelation, when the churches had not yet been established (Through the missionary journeys) .


I guess my question is were these churches (Epheses, smyra, pergamum, thyatira, sardis, philadelphia, laodicea ) mentioned in Revalation established before Paul, Barnabas and Mark went on thier missionary journey?




Chad. :confused



Hi Chad

Let me see if I can refresh your memory, which might help. The events that took place were fourty or fifty years prior to the writtings of the epislts. When Paul spoke of 14 years,, we must realize that the church epistles were written much later. So if you do the math from the realization that what was said verse when it is written is in no way close to each other.

So lets try and piece it as closely as possible. Lets take 40 years . During that 40 years, all of the events that we "read" about have already taken place. In Paul's travels, from Ephesis or Corinth or unto Galatia takes years. Years and years at times. Could be 20 or 30 years of events that took place. Once Paul makes this statement that about 14 years ago , such and such, it is not unreasonable to think that about 14 years have passed since Paul remembers this vision, of this man.

All of the written epistles were written 40 or more years later than the occurances that are within the writtings of the epistles. For the most part, it is believed, that towards the end of John's life, the writtings of John became availabel. More than likely they became available "after" his death. This means, that no man can question him on this. Paul seems to be a "witness" of this vision, as well as Peter. This is where the witnesses are important to the cannanization of the book of John "Revelation".

I do not think that God wanted anyone to question John on this revelation. I believe in my heart, that God wanted men of God in the future to give a more revealing understanding of the book of Revelation.

I have no idea whom God has chosen for this labour. Other than myself. I fully understand the book of Revelation. However, I am not boasting, I am just telling you. Maybe we can at some point and time discuss this. But for now, I believe that Paul was not asked by God to reveal his understanding. God was telling Paul that his plate was full enough.

Love IN Christ - M M[/quote]

My heart's Desire
Nov 21st 2008, 06:11 AM
I still think they were Paul's revelations and he was speaking of himself in the 3rd person. After all, the whole passage is about boasting or not. He was speaking of himself and yet not directly as to not to appear to be boastful.

The revelations themselves were not the thorn in his side. Paul had quite a few revelations and mysteries given to him by Christ and some of which I don't believe were given to the other apostles.

Mysteryman
Nov 21st 2008, 11:38 AM
Hi Chad

The "churches" in Revelation are not "the church" in the seven church epistles.

:o

These churches are during the sixth seal or the sixth administration. "The Church" = The body of Christ, is already "gathered up".

If you visualize this, then you will begin to understand.

I will be glad to give a further explanation if you feel it would be helpful.

Love IN Christ - M M

chad
Nov 21st 2008, 07:59 PM
Hi Mysteryman,

Yes, there seems to be different views regarding the church according to the NIV notes on Revelation 2:1-3:22.

NIV Notes 2:1-3:22
'Some take the seven letters as a preview of church history in its downward course towards Laodicean lukewarmness. Others interpret them as characteristics of various types of Christian congregations that have existed from Johns day until the present time. In either case, they were historical churches in Asia Minor (See map No. 11 at the end of the Study Bible). The general pattern in the letters is commendation, complaint and correction.'

Also in Revelation 1:4
(Rev 1:4 NIV) John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

If you could explain further it would be helpful.


Thanks


Chad.



Hi Chad

The "churches" in Revelation are not "the church" in the seven church epistles.

:o

These churches are during the sixth seal or the sixth administration. "The Church" = The body of Christ, is already "gathered up".

If you visualize this, then you will begin to understand.

I will be glad to give a further explanation if you feel it would be helpful.

Love IN Christ - M M

Mysteryman
Nov 21st 2008, 09:52 PM
Hi Chad:

I will give you an excerpt rather than a "full" explanation (take too long).

As I mentioned before, we are in the fifth administration. The fifth seal. The churches mentioned in the book of John are within the sixth seal, or sixth administration. Which is "future".

Paul's witness of this vision happened 14 years prior to him declaring that 14 years ago. Not the writtings, but the spoken word. You have 40 or more years within this time frame.

Omit the churches in the book of Revelation in your search , because they do not exist yet, because they are future.

The vision that Paul touched on, but did not explain, is fully explained within the book of Revelation. So that makes "John" the man that Paul was talking about. Peter also reference the third heavens and earth. But likewise gave no explanations.

God tells us , that he is going to make all things "new". Not renewed, but "new".

This earth and the events that have taken place are the first and the second earth. The second earth is the first earth - "renewed". Yet, the Word of God "never" mentions a "second earth". The Word of God does mention a new earth and also a third earth. But never mentions the second earth. If you go back to Genesis, you will notice that God is "renewing" the first earth.

There were humans on the first earth, but they were not created in the image of God - Gen. 1:27.

However, God explains in verse 28 , that man - "he them" (male and female), are to "replenish" the earth.

To "replenish" is to re-supply, or "replace".

Most people do not start reading the bible at the "beginning". They should ! And , they should read "what is written".

The new earth is the new paradise. The new Heaven replaces the - old heaven.

The thief on the cross - "Remember me when you come into your kingdom"

Jesus reply - "To - day, thou shalt be with me in paradise"

Not "today", because there is no such word in the Word. It means "In that day". Paradise is "future". So are the churches in the book of Rev.

Some day these churches will be in the past, but for now, they are future.

The church is the body of Christ, and the body of Christ is not known by these nations. Watch closely. The book of Ephesians. The church "at" Ehpesus - Ephesians 1:1 - True apostle (Paul). Revelation 2:1 - "Church "of" Ephesus. False apostles !

Rev. 2:8 - Church in Smyrna - verse 9 - "the synogogue of Satan"

Ask, and I will help you in any way that I can. I pray this helps.

Love IN Christ - M M

chad
Nov 21st 2008, 10:30 PM
Hi MysteryMan,

We obviously have 2 very different understandings of who had the vision in 2 Cor 12:2 and of Revelation. I have tried to have an open mind about what you believe and tried looking it up the scripture, but I still can not understand it.

So I will just have to leave it at that. You believe what you do according to your understanding of the scriptures, and I will have to believe what I believe.


God Bless


Chad. :rolleyes:

IamBill
Nov 22nd 2008, 05:51 AM
I think it is clear that Paul is talking about himself, as mentioned (at first in "third person") -- 4 How that he was caught up...

In v5, he tells how he "would" glory this person, but Not glory himself

but in v6 this all changes - "I", "Me"
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool;

for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
""lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.""
in other words - think of him as anything more than the 'physical' Paul

now read v7 carefully-
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
..that is an "If I should". The thorn is "the messenger of Satan" (not a revelation/vision)

I think Paul wasn't sure what(how) it happened, but knows it did.
...and can't talk about it.
:)

chad
Nov 22nd 2008, 10:27 AM
Paul was not the only one who had problems distinguishing if he was in body or not, and seeing a vision.

When the angel rescued Peter from Prison, Peter also did not know. He thought he was seeing a vision, but he was in body.

Acts 12:7-10

(Acts 12:7 NIV) Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.

(Acts 12:8 NIV) Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him.

(Acts 12:9 NIV) Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

(Acts 12:10 NIV) They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.


The New Testament also talks about Peter falling into a trance.

The definintion of a trance, from the Holman bible dictionary is:

TRANCE Translation of the Greek term which literally means a change of place.

The term came to mean a mental state of a person who experienced an intense emotional reaction to stimuli that were perceived as originating outside the person, the results of which were visual or auditory sensations or other impressions of the senses.

Trance is descriptive of an experience in which a person received a revelation by supernatural means (Acts 10:10; 11:5; 22:17).

In these instances, the author of Acts, in reference to the experiences of Peter and Paul, seemed to be interested in showing that the trance was only a vehicle for a revelation from God.

Luke illustrated that the trances that Peter and Paul experienced "happened" to them and were not self induced. The distinctions between "trance," "dream" and "vision" are not always clear.



Chad. :rolleyes:

Mysteryman
Nov 22nd 2008, 01:27 PM
I think that most of you are not focusing on exactly what is being said in II Corinth. 12:2.

Paul did not say it was himself. He said "I know a man" and that this "one' was caught up.

In verse 3 Paul mentions again, that it was not himself, that he was speaking about. Paul states that he knew such a man. Also in verse 4 - "how that "he" < not me -- but "he" , the person he is talking about.

GRyan
Jan 5th 2009, 06:44 PM
(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

(2 Cor 12:3 NIV) And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--

(2 Cor 12:4 NIV) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

(2 Cor 12:5 NIV) I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

Question 1) Was Paul caught up into the Third Heaven (Paradise) or was this a vision?

Question 2) If he was caught up into the third heaven either in body or vision, what did Paul See in the Third Heaven?



Chad :rolleyes:

Hi Chad,

This is my first time on the forum. I found it specifically by Googling on your question: "was Paul caught up into Paradise?"

I'd like to weigh in on the topic. I am familiar with the idea that it happened to Paul and he is speaking about his own experience in the third person for some reason. But I think there is a more simple explanation, and it has Paul talking in a more direct style which fits the rest of his writings.

Paul says he knows a man who was caught up into paradise. With the thief on the cross beside Jesus in Luke's gospel as a model, Paradise is where you go after you physically die. I'm wondering if Paul is talking about knowing a man who, like the lucky thief, died and went to paradise. Of course, we don't normally know by experience what happens to others after they die. But it seems in this surpassingly wonderful exception, Paul did "know" by revelation what happened to the man: Meaning, Paul was caught up together with the man who died. He had the same experience as the man who died with this difference: Paul apparently didn't die bodily (or maybe he did die bodily and came back to life) but in any case he was alive in the flesh to tell about it.

Regardless of the specific meaning of "thorn in the flesh" there is this one obvious fact that Paul had to face: he was alive "in the flesh." As such he was no longer in Paradise. The experience of being temporarily in Paradise made him want to stay apart from the body and with the Lord, like the man who died, but alas he was in the flesh to stay for a while longer, and at the point of telling the story, he had come to terms with it in a mature way; he had come to accept suffering in the world with good pleasure.

I could talk on an on about this passage, as I have studied it extensively over the past several years, but I'd now I like to hear from you Chad, about your response to what I've said so far.

GRyan

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2009, 07:51 PM
(2 Cor 12:2 NIV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.


Question 1) Was Paul caught up into the Third Heaven (Paradise) or was this a vision?

Question 2) If he was caught up into the third heaven either in body or vision, what did Paul See in the Third Heaven?



Chad :rolleyes:

Fourteen years before this, a man...

From what I understand, 2Corinthians was written in 56AD. Fourteen years prior would have put the time of this vision at 42AD or so. This happened after Christ's death and resurrection. The section of Acts which speaks of Pauls conversion on the road to Damascus happens in about 34AD or so.

I would think that Paul would know, as John did in Revelation and the prophets who experienced being "in the spirit", if it was the whole person or just their spirit if it were himself.



(2 Cor 12:5 NIV) I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

The point of Paul's mentioning this man was to say that he will not boast in himself, but in God and what God gives and bestows. He goes on to say in Chapter 12:

6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. 7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


The only thing I can come up with is Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-16. This was indeed a revelation to Peter, as it showed that the gospel was for the gentiles also.

GRyan
Jan 5th 2009, 08:25 PM
I would think that Paul would know, as John did in Revelation and the prophets who experienced being "in the spirit", if it was the whole person or just their spirit if it were himself.

Hi threebigrocks:

Thanks for your comments.

Note that Paul spoke in the present tense, "in the body or out, I do not know." That means that afterward, upon reflection, and 14 years later, he still did not know. It is not like Paul to admit not knowing something. Is there any other case where Paul says, "I do not know?"

I disagree that not knowing is necessarily a sign of not having the experience. I think the "I do not know" could actually be a sign of experiential authenticity. Maybe it was such a extraordinary experience that both during and afterward, he did not know something that basic. It is like saying; "it totally disoriented my body, mind perceptual frame at the time, and to this day I do not know what my relation to my body was."


[/quote] The only thing I can come up with is Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-16. This was indeed a revelation to Peter, as it showed that the gospel was for the gentiles also.[/quote]

I do not think that vision fits the scenario Paul is describing. In Peter's vision, he is not "caught up" in the sense of ascending into the clouds. Rather the sheet is lowered down from heaven to him. The verb for caught up, harpazo, is one Paul uses only twice; Here and in Thessalonians where he describes what happens to the dead and the living when the Lord comes in glory: they are " CAUGHT UP in the clouds" together to be with the Lord.

nzyr
Jan 5th 2009, 08:29 PM
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...

I believe Paul is refering to someone else.

And I believe the third heaven is where God and Jesus is. And the first heaven is the sky where the birds and clouds are. And the second heaven is where the moon and stars are.

chad
Jan 5th 2009, 09:01 PM
Hi GRyan,

I don't think Pauls vision is linked in any way to the man who died on the cross beside Jesus. :confused

Chad.


Hi Chad,

This is my first time on the forum. I found it specifically by Googling on your question: "was Paul caught up into Paradise?"

I'd like to weigh in on the topic. I am familiar with the idea that it happened to Paul and he is speaking about his own experience in the third person for some reason. But I think there is a more simple explanation, and it has Paul talking in a more direct style which fits the rest of his writings.

Paul says he knows a man who was caught up into paradise. With the thief on the cross beside Jesus in Luke's gospel as a model, Paradise is where you go after you physically die. I'm wondering if Paul is talking about knowing a man who, like the lucky thief, died and went to paradise. Of course, we don't normally know by experience what happens to others after they die. But it seems in this surpassingly wonderful exception, Paul did "know" by revelation what happened to the man: Meaning, Paul was caught up together with the man who died. He had the same experience as the man who died with this difference: Paul apparently didn't die bodily (or maybe he did die bodily and came back to life) but in any case he was alive in the flesh to tell about it.

Regardless of the specific meaning of "thorn in the flesh" there is this one obvious fact that Paul had to face: he was alive "in the flesh." As such he was no longer in Paradise. The experience of being temporarily in Paradise made him want to stay apart from the body and with the Lord, like the man who died, but alas he was in the flesh to stay for a while longer, and at the point of telling the story, he had come to terms with it in a mature way; he had come to accept suffering in the world with good pleasure.

I could talk on an on about this passage, as I have studied it extensively over the past several years, but I'd now I like to hear from you Chad, about your response to what I've said so far.

GRyan

GRyan
Jan 6th 2009, 12:55 AM
Hi GRyan,

I don't think Pauls vision is linked in any way to the man who died on the cross beside Jesus. :confused

Chad.


Hi Chad,

It is a pleasure to meet the man who started this very interesting thread.

I agree entirely: The man who died beside Jesus on the cross is not linked in any way whatsoever to Paul's vision.

To perhaps help you overcome your confusion::confused My point was about the New Testament teaching on paradise. The word paradise is used only twice. Jesus, in Luke's gospel, said the man on the cross beside him was going to paradise ("Today you will be with me in Paradise"), and Paul said he knew a man in Christ who was caught up to paradise. In scripture we know of only two people who went to paradise, Paul's "man in Christ" and the thief on the cross. I am suggesting Paul and Luke are using the word paradise in similar ways: specifically, it is a place where some go immediately after they die to be with the Lord.

That aside, what to you think of the main two ideas I was presenting?

1) What if Paul was talking in second person becasue it was another man he was talking about? The "man in Christ" Paul knew, the one that went to Paradise, might be a man Paul knew who died.

2)If so, how did Paul know? By a revelation where in he went to Paradise with the man who died.

GRyan

GRyan
Jan 6th 2009, 01:44 AM
I believe Paul is refering to someone else.




Nzyr:

Do you suppose it was someone else who had died? After all, Paradise would appear to be a place where people who die go (see Luke's story of the thief on the cross). But then if he wasn't around to tell about it, how would Paul know where he went? So could that be the content of Paul's surpassing revelation -- an experience of knowing what the man who died experienced in the Third Heaven and Paradise?

Your interpretive insights?

chad
Jan 6th 2009, 02:33 AM
Hi GRyan,

Possible on 1 and 2, but there is nothing in the bible that talks about this. In fact we really don't know much about what Paul saw in the third heaven as he said he was not allowed to talk about it.

There is something written down which describes what Paul saw in the third heaven, but most consider it a false writing or non authentic.


Chad :rolleyes:




Hi Chad,

It is a pleasure to meet the man who started this very interesting thread.

I agree entirely: The man who died beside Jesus on the cross is not linked in any way whatsoever to Paul's vision.

To perhaps help you overcome your confusion::confused My point was about the New Testament teaching on paradise. The word paradise is used only twice. Jesus, in Luke's gospel, said the man on the cross beside him was going to paradise ("Today you will be with me in Paradise"), and Paul said he knew a man in Christ who was caught up to paradise. In scripture we know of only two people who went to paradise, Paul's "man in Christ" and the thief on the cross. I am suggesting Paul and Luke are using the word paradise in similar ways: specifically, it is a place where some go immediately after they die.

That aside, what to you think of the idea main two ideas I was presenting?

1) Paul might be saying that he knew a man Christ who died and went to paradise.

2)Since the man didn't live to tell about it, maybe Paul knew the man was caught up to Paradise because he was caught up with him.

GRyan

acornel
Jan 22nd 2009, 06:46 PM
Chad,
PLease, please do a research on the NIV. The descrepancies in the translation are horrid. Many verses are omitted, many are twisted.

I, too, am trying to research 2Cor 12 and the truth behind it ,but couldn't help responding to your references to NIV. Just do a google on NIV vs KJV.

I'm leaning towards the popular belief that it was Paul, but will continue to search by way of the original language.

I thank God for people like you who are seeking truth.

angel_in_progress
Apr 3rd 2009, 04:27 PM
The speaker was Paul, talking in third person about his death. When I first read the verse it completely destroyed any preconceived notions I may have already formed in my head not only about God but also about heaven. It takes time and research. Notice in the Bible on various occasions, heaven is referred to as the "heavens". Plurral. 2 Cor 12:2 is the only verse in the Bible that so clearly addresses the issue of there being "layers". There is only one heaven, but there are layers to it. The Bible tells us of Satan going to heaven on several accounts (ex. when Satan went to heaven to ask for the body of moses). God does not allow sin in His presence, therefore satan could not reach the same third layer as Christ. He instead had to talk to Michael, the arch angel.

****The First Heaven: Earth Atmosphere

Deut. 11:17 -- Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce....
Deut. 28:12 -- The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
Judges 5:4 -- "O LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water.
Acts 14:17 -- "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons;...

****The Second Heaven: Outer Space

Psalm 19:4,6 -- In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun... It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;...
Jeremiah 8:2 -- They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens which they have loved and served....
Isaiah 13:10 -- The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light.

****The Third Heaven: God's Dwelling Place

1 Kings 8:30 (phrase repeated numerous times in following verses) -- then hear from heaven, your dwelling place...
Psalm 2:4 -- The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The LORD scoffs at them.
Matthew 5:16 -- In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


****The highest heaven, the third heaven is indicated by the reference to the Throne of God being the highest heaven:

1 Kings 8:27 -- "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.
Deut. 10:14 -- To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

CommanderRobey
Apr 5th 2009, 02:27 PM
I do not believe it was Paul who was caught up into the third heaven. He never said it was him and gave indication that it was not him.

"I knew a man..." "How he was caught up..." "Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory,"

He will boast of that man being caught up, but not of himself. Looks to me like Paul was speaking of someone else other than himself.

As to the second question: Those things that were seen could not be uttered, so we will not know until we too, are caught up.

EagleWatch
Apr 6th 2009, 08:39 PM
Third Heaven
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Third Heaven, also known as Sagun or Shehaqim,[1] is a spiritual division of the universe within Judeo-Christian cosmology. In some traditions it is considered the abode of God,[2] and in others a lower level of Paradise, commonly one of seven.[3]

Contents [hide]
1 References in the Bible
1.1 The Old Testament
1.2 The New Testament
2 References in other Hebrew literature
2.1 Location and geography
2.2 Residents
3 References in Islam
4 See also
5 References
6 External links



[edit] References in the Bible

[edit] The Old Testament
References to distinct concepts known as "Heaven" occur in the very earliest books of the Old Testament.[2] The first use of the word heaven, in Genesis 1:9 and 20 refers to the atmosphere over the earth in which birds fly. The second, mentioned in Genesis 1:14, is the setting for the celestial lights, later identified (Genesis 1:16) as the sun, moon and stars.

A third concept of Heaven, also called shamayi h'shamayim (ם‎שמי‎ה‎ שמי: the "Heaven of Heavens") is mentioned in such passages as Genesis 28:12, Deuteronomy 10:14 and 1 Kings 8:27 as a distinctly spiritual realm containing (or being traveled by) angels and God Himself.[4]

Due to the ambiguity of the term "Heaven" as it is used in the Old Testament books, and the fact that the word in Hebrew, shamayim, (ם‎שמי‎) is plural, a number of interpretations have been offered for various texts involving its nature, notably the assumption of the prophet Elijah.


[edit] The New Testament
An Epistle of the Apostle Paul, included in the New Testament, contains an explicit reference to the Third Heaven. In a letter to the Corinthian church he writes, "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

The apparent parallelism of the passage equates the Third Heaven with "Paradise"[2] the traditional destination of redeemed humans and the general connotation of the term "Heaven" in mainstream Christianity.[5]


[edit] References in other Hebrew literature

[edit] Location and geography
In the Pseudopigraphal Book of the Secrets of Enoch, the Third Heaven is described as a location "between corruptibility and incorruptibility" (2 Enoch 8:5) containing the Tree of Life, "whereon the Lord rests, when he goes up into paradise." (verse 3) Two springs in the Third Heaven, one of milk and the other of honey, along with two others of wine and oil, flow down into the Garden of Eden, which is also located there. (verse 6)

In contrast with the common concept of Paradise, 2 Enoch also describes a place of torment existing in the Third Heaven, "a very terrible place" with "all manner of tortures" in which merciless angels torment "those who dishonour God, who on earth practice sin against nature," including sodomites, sorcerers, enchanters, witches, the proud, thieves, liars and those guilty of various other transgressions. (2 Enoch 10:1-3) In the Slavonic version of the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, also known as 3 Baruch, the author is shown a Phoenix, and a dragon residing there is said to eat the bodies of "those that have spent their lives in evil."[6][7]

In The Legends of The Jews by Louis Ginzberg, this third division of Paradise is said to be, like the other six, "twelve myriads of miles in width and twelve myriads of miles in length," built of silver and gold, and containing "the best of everything there is in heaven."[3]


[edit] Residents
Aside from the redeemed, the transgressors and various angels mentioned in the Bible and other Hebrew literature, a number of specific figures and spirits are mentioned as residing in the Third Heaven. These include, by source,

The Apocalypse attributed to James:[8]
John the Baptist
The Legends of The Jews by Louis Ginzberg:[3]
Abraham
Isaac
Jacob
Moses
Aaron
the Israelites of the Exodus
the kings of Judah (notably David, but "with the exception of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, who presides in the second division, over the penitents")

[edit] References in Islam
According to Islamic legend, Muhammad's journey into Paradise included an admission to the Third Heaven by the angel Gabriel, in which he met Joseph, who received him warmly.[9]

Islamic tradition also places Azrael, the angel of death, in the Third Heaven.[8]


[edit] See also
Celestial kingdom
Empyrean
Heaven
Paradise
Seventh Heaven

[edit] References
^ Angels A-Z at sarahsarchangels.com
^ a b c Henry, Matthew, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc6.viii.xiii.html Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation): Second Corinthians Chap. XII], Public domain, Library of Congress call no: BS490.H4, at Christian Classics Ethereal Library
^ a b c Ginzberg, Louis (1909) The Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1, at sacred-texts.com
^ van der Toorn, Becking, van der Horst (1999), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in The Bible, Second Extensively Revised Edition, Entry: Heaven, pp. 388-390, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-2491-9
^ "Is heaven located in the northern sky?" at christiananswers.net
^ Baruch, Apocalypse of at jewishencyclopedia.com
^ 3 Baruch at The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
^ a b Davidson, Gustav (1967), A Dictionary of Angels, Including The Fallen Angels, Entry: Third Heaven, p. 288, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-19757
^ Mi'raj at the Canadian Society of Muslims Website

[edit] External links
What is the "third heaven", Douglas Ward, 2006 at The Voice
2 Corinthians, Chapter 12 (KJV) at blueletterbible.org
The Book of the Secrets of Enoch - II at The Bible and History
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Heaven"
Categories: Jewish mysticism | Christian eschatology | Life after death | Concepts of




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