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January 9, 2016

Have you ever thought about heaven?   For several months I’ve been studying “THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” which also includes a study on the kingdom of heaven. This study has led me to take some time and think about heaven, and in this blog, I will share some of my thoughts with you.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most frequently used for heaven is samayim, signifying “heaved up things” or “the heights.” In the New Testament, the Greek word is ouranos, which means “sky” or “air.” Paul in his writing said, “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. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) and John also had a similar experience as he stated in Revelation 4:1-2, “ After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” In both of these incidents, they were not talking about the first heaven which is known as the atmosphere just above the earth where birds and planes fly, and clouds exist (Genesis 1:20). Nor are they talking about the second heaven known as interstellar/outer space, where the stars, planets, galaxies and other celestial objects exist (Genesis 1:14-18) but they are talking about what Bible scholars call the third heaven where God and other spirit being which He created abide (Psalms 2:4).

Since I am a bible believer I know, as stated in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Scientists have yet to determine when that was; however, from research, they speculate that the universe is over 13 billion years old. Who knows but God when the beginning actually was and how He created heaven? What I do understand is the third heaven expands the universe; therefore, it is vast, and to be truthful, my mind has difficulty grasping that thought. My imagination cannot even begin to imagine what heaven, which is a place entails.

In Revelation 21:1a, John stated, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” I understand the new earth but I have questions about a new heaven . Is that scripture giving reference to one of the heavens or all of them? Maybe, when I get to the third heaven, during our short time there, I may find out the answer for as David said in Psalms 115:15-16 “Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” Thus, I understand that in God’s mind He never intended for man to live eternally in the heaven; so, for now, I will occasionally think about it, knowing one day I will experience living in it.


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