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Thread: The Third Heaven

  1. #1

    The Third Heaven

    "Third heaven" is only mentioned one time in scripture. Paul is obviously referring to the revelation/vision given to John in Revelation.

    2Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
    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.
    2Co 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
    2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John. Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day...Rev_4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit...Rev_17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit...Rev_21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

    The first heaven is found in Gen 1:1. It was overthrown by water. The first heavens and earth, the second, and the future are mentioned in 2Peter 3.

    2 Peter 3:5-7 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world (kosmos) that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men...

    2 Peter 3:13: "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

    What do we know about the new heaven [the third] and the new earth? In the entire book of Revelation, there is only one verse that mentions them:

    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.

    We know that the present earth will be gone when the new heaven and earth are made. The rest of Rev 21 through Rev 22:1-5 describes the holy city that comes down out of heaven to the new earth. It is a city prepared by God. The city is a cube, the width and length and height all equal. There is no sun nor moon nor temple there and the gates of the city will stay open. The tree of life will be there. The glory of God and the Lamb will be the light.

  2. #2
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    Re: The Third Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by verity View Post
    "Third heaven" is only mentioned one time in scripture. Paul is obviously referring to the revelation/vision given to John in Revelation.

    2Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
    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.
    2Co 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth
    2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John. Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day...Rev_4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit...Rev_17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit...Rev_21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

    The first heaven is found in Gen 1:1. It was overthrown by water. The first heavens and earth, the second, and the future are mentioned in 2Peter 3.

    2 Peter 3:5-7 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world (kosmos) that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men...

    2 Peter 3:13: "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

    What do we know about the new heaven [the third] and the new earth? In the entire book of Revelation, there is only one verse that mentions them:

    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.

    We know that the present earth will be gone when the new heaven and earth are made. The rest of Rev 21 through Rev 22:1-5 describes the holy city that comes down out of heaven to the new earth. It is a city prepared by God. The city is a cube, the width and length and height all equal. There is no sun nor moon nor temple there and the gates of the city will stay open. The tree of life will be there. The glory of God and the Lamb will be the light.
    Your query seems to be TWOFOLD;
    1. What do we understand by the third heaven?
    2. What do we understand by "new" heaven and new earth?

    It would probably serve us if we answered point #2 first. The Greek word "kainos", Strong's Number: <G2537>, according to Vine, is thus described;

    "It denotes 'new' of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not "new" in time, or recent, but "new" as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old. "'The new tongues,' kainos, of Mark 16:17 are the 'other tongues,' heteros, of Acts 2:4. These languages, however, were 'new' and 'different,' not in the sense that they had never been heard before, or that they were new to the hearers, for it is plain from Acts 2:8 that this is not the case; they were new languages to the speakers, different from those in which they were accustomed to speak.
    (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words.)

    To summarize this let me put it this way. The "New" is not new in nature or time, but "new" in the sense of "pristine". That is, the old elements still remain, but the EXPERIENCE of it is all new. Concerning the earth, this is in accordance with scripture. In Psalm 78:69, 93:1, 96:10, 104:5, 119:90 and 1st Chronicles 16:30, scripture clearly says that the earth was made for ever, or to last forever. So the "new" has to do with the old elements, but made "pristine", or totally new in experience. This also ties in with scripture because when the Bible talks of the earth being purged of its old works, it reports in Hebrews 1:10-12; "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."

    In Parable, a "vesture", or a "garment" symbolizes "WORKS" (e.g. Rev.19:8). That is, the things that occurred on earth since Adam fell will be burned up and forgotten, or "perish", and the earth that emerges will be "pristine". But what about heaven (as is the title of the Thread)? Why must it be "new" or "pristine". The answer is that Satan's rebellion marred it. It was always ordained by God that earth would be ruled by heaven. Isaiah 66:1, Matthew 5:34 and 23:22, and Acts 7:49 all say that heaven is God's THRONE. A Throne is for ruling and reigning. The first ruler of this earth was Lucifer - an angel - an heavenly being. Adam, if he had eaten of the Tree of Life, would have had a "heavenly nature". But this had to wait 4,000 years till men who believed in Jesus and had the "birth from above" (lit. Gk.) in John 3:3-5, and were thus of the "heavenly calling (Heb.3:1), were set to rule with Jesus Christ of heaven (Jn.3:13) in a Kingdom which is God's and from heaven. In Matthew 6:10it is; "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." When Christ returns He sets up the "Kingdom (out) of Heaven", but on earth.

    So when Lucifer rebelled against God's authority, or throne (Isa.14:13), it left a scar. Heaven too must be "made pristine".

    The answer to point #1 seems very easy to me. We have the "third heaven", and then we have scripture that says in Ephesians 4:10 that, "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." "All heavens" IMPLIES that there are a number of them. How many? I cannot say, or at least have not found scripture that says how many. But one thing is for sure, there are multiple heavens and the "third" is the "third" in number. If I may venture a guess, Paul was taken to where the men who have been resurrected and/or raptured are. My reasoning is that Paul's adventure in 2nd Corinthians 12 was to see the condition of men who had died in the favor of God - those in Paradise, under the earth, and those like Enoch, Elijah, Lazarus and the company that were resurrected "after" Christ on resurrection day (Matt.27:52-53), and who, having bodies, now wait in heaven. Note; I said "venture a guess".

  3. #3

    Re: The Third Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Your query seems to be TWOFOLD;
    1. What do we understand by the third heaven?
    2. What do we understand by "new" heaven and new earth?

    It would probably serve us if we answered point #2 first. The Greek word "kainos", Strong's Number: <G2537>, according to Vine, is thus described;
    "It denotes 'new' of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not "new" in time, or recent, but "new" as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old. "'The new tongues,' kainos, of Mark 16:17 are the 'other tongues,' heteros, of Acts 2:4. These languages, however, were 'new' and 'different,' not in the sense that they had never been heard before, or that they were new to the hearers, for it is plain from Acts 2:8 that this is not the case; they were new languages to the speakers, different from those in which they were accustomed to speak.
    (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words.)

    To summarize this let me put it this way. The "New" is not new in nature or time, but "new" in the sense of "pristine". That is, the old elements still remain, but the EXPERIENCE of it is all new. Concerning the earth, this is in accordance with scripture. In Psalm 78:69, 93:1, 96:10, 104:5, 119:90 and 1st Chronicles 16:30, scripture clearly says that the earth was made for ever, or to last forever. So the "new" has to do with the old elements, but made "pristine", or totally new in experience. This also ties in with scripture because when the Bible talks of the earth being purged of its old works, it reports in Hebrews 1:10-12; "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."

    In Parable, a "vesture", or a "garment" symbolizes "WORKS" (e.g. Rev.19:8). That is, the things that occurred on earth since Adam fell will be burned up and forgotten, or "perish", and the earth that emerges will be "pristine". But what about heaven (as is the title of the Thread)? Why must it be "new" or "pristine". The answer is that Satan's rebellion marred it. It was always ordained by God that earth would be ruled by heaven. Isaiah 66:1, Matthew 5:34 and 23:22, and Acts 7:49 all say that heaven is God's THRONE. A Throne is for ruling and reigning. The first ruler of this earth was Lucifer - an angel - an heavenly being. Adam, if he had eaten of the Tree of Life, would have had a "heavenly nature". But this had to wait 4,000 years till men who believed in Jesus and had the "birth from above" (lit. Gk.) in John 3:3-5, and were thus of the "heavenly calling (Heb.3:1), were set to rule with Jesus Christ of heaven (Jn.3:13) in a Kingdom which is God's and from heaven. In Matthew 6:10it is; "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." When Christ returns He sets up the "Kingdom (out) of Heaven", but on earth.

    So when Lucifer rebelled against God's authority, or throne (Isa.14:13), it left a scar. Heaven too must be "made pristine".

    The answer to point #1 seems very easy to me. We have the "third heaven", and then we have scripture that says in Ephesians 4:10 that, "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." "All heavens" IMPLIES that there are a number of them. How many? I cannot say, or at least have not found scripture that says how many. But one thing is for sure, there are multiple heavens and the "third" is the "third" in number. If I may venture a guess, Paul was taken to where the men who have been resurrected and/or raptured are. My reasoning is that Paul's adventure in 2nd Corinthians 12 was to see the condition of men who had died in the favor of God - those in Paradise, under the earth, and those like Enoch, Elijah, Lazarus and the company that were resurrected "after" Christ on resurrection day (Matt.27:52-53), and who, having bodies, now wait in heaven. Note; I said "venture a guess".
    When God appointed the foundations of the earth, the habitable world was "stablished" or firmly fixed so that it could not be moved. I am not sure about what "they shall be changed" means. There is scripture that certainly sounds like the present earth and heaven will be disposed of.

    For instance:

    Psa 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
    Psa 102:26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
    Psa 102:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

    "perish" means ruined, utterly destroyed

    Isa 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

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

    I would like to respond concerning "paradise" but don't want to get too far afield. Yes, there are multiple heavens and the "third" is "third" in number.

    Gen 1:6-7
    And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. (This is the present heaven) 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. Compare with
    Psalms 148:4 Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

    There is our earth, with "the heaven" (firmament) around it (this includes the stars, sun, moon, planets, clouds, galaxies etc.), then waters above it, then "the heaven of heavens" above the waters. Above the heaven of heavens is "heavenly places".

    Here are a few verses that mention the heavens, both the heaven and the heaven of heavens:

    Deut 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

    Psalms 8:1O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name above all the earth! Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.

    Psalms 68:33 To Him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, He doth send out His voice, and that a mighty voice. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth.

    1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Heavenly places” ( far above all heavens) are mentioned only in Ephesians: Eph 1:3; Eph 1:19-21; Eph 2:6; Eph 3:10; Eph 4:10

    Heavenly places is where Christ ascended and is now seated at the right hand of His Father.


  4. #4
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    Re: The Third Heaven

    "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."

    The term 'third' is referring to the true believers. It is a buzzword or more aptly described as a parable word in the Bible for those who are God's people. You can see this in other verses as well, like 2 Kings 11:5 and Isaiah 19:24. When Paul talks about the 'third heaven' it does not mean that there are 3 heavens. Rather, it means the 'true believers' heaven', in other words, simply heaven. The Bible tells us that heaven is God's throne. This is the Bible's way of indicating that those who have Jesus on the throne, so to speak, in their hearts and lives are called 'heaven'. It is further shown in the fact that God sends out his angels (meaning messengers who have the gospel) to gather his elect from one end of heaven to the other. In other words, from one end of the true believers to the other.

  5. #5

    Re: The Third Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by birdy View Post
    "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."

    The term 'third' is referring to the true believers. It is a buzzword or more aptly described as a parable word in the Bible for those who are God's people. You can see this in other verses as well, like 2 Kings 11:5 and Isaiah 19:24. When Paul talks about the 'third heaven' it does not mean that there are 3 heavens. Rather, it means the 'true believers' heaven', in other words, simply heaven. The Bible tells us that heaven is God's throne. This is the Bible's way of indicating that those who have Jesus on the throne, so to speak, in their hearts and lives are called 'heaven'. It is further shown in the fact that God sends out his angels (meaning messengers who have the gospel) to gather his elect from one end of heaven to the other. In other words, from one end of the true believers to the other.
    I thank you for your response, but citing these three verses is comparing apples to oranges. 2Kings 11:5 is past history. Isaiah 19:24 is about the day of the LORD. Zech 13:9 is addressed to to the children of Israel.

    Isa 19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
    Isa 19:25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

    These verses have nothing to do with the third heaven. Neither should "the third" be singled out as only speaking about "true believers". For instance, in scripture there is mention of the third day, the third month, the third year, the third river, the third generation, the third row, the third time, the third son, the third captain, etc.

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