WHERE ARE THEY SITUATED?
A THIRD HEAVEN & A PARADISE?
St. Paul says in 2 Corintians chapter 12 verse 1:
“It is doubtless not expedient for me to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ more than fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows.) Such a one caught UP to the THIRD HEAVEN. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) 4 How that he was caught UP into PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
Here St. Paul knew a Christian man, probably he is talking about himself,—whether in or out of a body he couldn’t tell—who was one time caught UP to the third Heaven and the other was caught UP into Paradise!
“Hey, wait a minute, I just read in another one of your pages that Paradise was under the Earth?”
DID PARADISE MOVE OR EXPAND UP
Well yes, but NOT ONLY? Obviously there is another one Upstairs somewhere! “Somewhere over the rainbow!” Paul wrote this epistle some 30 years after the Resurrection, mind you, and unless it had always been up there also, maybe by that time Paradise had been moved by the Lord? Out from under the Earth and placed somewhere else?—Unless they kept the old place of course! Maybe it is even still in use nowadays!–For souls that get saved in the spiritual world and are liberated into the lower Paradise, until they are ready to come up to the Upper One! Maybe at the return of Jesus?
Perhaps the Lord moved all the formerly “unsaved” from before the Great Flood of Noah, who got saved when Jesus visited and preached to them in the spirit prison in Hades, into that lower Paradise! And in order to make room there, he moved all the old Testament Saved Saints up from the lower Paradise into an upper Paradise! Because it is written even, that after the resurrection of Jesus:
Matthew 27:52 …the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Perhaps they did not even go up into the Third Heaven, where the Father may be—the wider Heavenly Realm—but someplace else! Some other section of “the Realm” of the Kingdom of God, a Second Heaven, that is still part of E=MC², our Time and Space Warp! Some kind of way-station perhaps?—Like a “Hallway to Heaven”? Where most of us who are saved, go first, before we are able to go into the Third Heaven? Let’s see if these things be so?
THE UPPER PARADISE
The Apostle Paul talks about one guy (probably himself) going UP into Paradise and another going UP into the 3rd Heaven! So they must have been different places, otherwise why call them different names? So then, there must be at least THREE Heavens!
And yes, most Bible scholars believe that there are three! The First Heaven is here within the atmospheric heavens all around our globe Earth and inside of it, the paradise below, where angels and ministering spirits as well as the demons have their work-field. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:2:
“…in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience”
That’s Satan, Lucifer, the Devil! He is the Prince of the Power of the AIR, who also causes violent weather and destructive hurricanes etc.! He and His rebel angels, that are not yet imprisoned for some reason, move throughout the earth and the atmosphere!
SECOND & THIRD HEAVEN
Next, scholars believe,–and people who went there in a Near Death Experience also testify to that– that the SECOND Heaven is somewhere out in Space, our Universe or Cosmos, and that the THIRD Heaven is outside of the Cosmos, “beyond the stars!” Not BEHIND the Cosmos, because the Cosmos doesn’t end! Space consists of nothing, and nothing can’t end, right? Perhaps we imagined that there is some enormous wall or shell around the huge Cosmos, but after that wall or shell—if it existed—there would yet be another SPACE! More nothingness! ON AND ON AND ON, ad infinitum!
Therefore we believe, that the Third Heaven cuts through all that Space and Time bit, not being subject to it at all! Not subject to our limited 4 dimensions, Length, Width, Height—Space—and Time! Because the Heavenly Realm has many more dimensions than we can even imagine! They are much greater and more versatile, not limited to 4 dimensions, and therefore not even subject to our Universe! Therefore, as Einstein believed, God’s invisible Universe cuts right through ours! It is all around, in and through us folks, and not light years away either! They are not even subject to E=MC2!!! Time will be no more here, and Time IS no more There! As Jesus said;
“before Abraham was… I am!”
NOT SUBJECT to TIME, and NEITHER to SPACE! How about? Doesn’t that blow your mind?
Just like, “kindergarten is in the World, but the world is not in Kindergarten!” Savvy? The Bible doesn’t talk any more about that 3rd Heaven than that, and as a result we don’t know more than what St. Paul said about it, and he didn’t say anymore about it, because maybe he wasn’t supposed to? So we’ll just have to wait till we get there!
4 “How that he was caught UP into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
TRUE! It doesn’t say… “the 2nd Paradise.” Although there might still be two, we don’t know that for sure! But about this UP Paradise, we know the following from Revelation 2:7:
“…To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
IS THAT 2nd PARADISE A PLACE?—A “HOUSE”?
Now we know, that that paradise is in the same place as where the tree of life is now, eversince Jesus’ resurrection! And that is the place we are going to explore next and where we—those of us who are saved—will go and live when we die and go to be with Jesus! Jesus said something very significant about that place in John 14:1. He said:
“Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a PLACE for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a PLACE for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.“
What did he say? In my Fathers HOUSE! So this Heaven—in the Second Heaven—Jesus describes as a HOUSE! Then He says:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.”
He says that in this House there are even many mansions, villas, big apartments! WOW! You want one? He says that if it wasn’t true, he would have told us that it wasn’t true! He is saying: “I cannot tell a lie”! In other words: “You better believe it, brother!” Getting interested? It wouldn’t surprise us!”
“So, what kind of place IS that?” you ask. Good question! Because most people assume that Heaven is not a PLACE! They think it’s some kind of ephemeral, nebulous, evanescent, fleeting cloud on some spiritual plane or something. Nothing solid, nothing fleshly, nothing real or concrete! Well they’re wrong! Jesus said it Himself! He said:
“I go to prepare a place for you.”
A WHAT? A PLACE! He said that before His resurrection! He said:
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Wow He said, He will come again and receive us unto Himself, that where He is, we may be also! “Ah”, you say, “See? We’ll have to wait until He comes back! So if we die now, we also go under the Earth! To Lower Paradise!”
Nope! We, the saved, don’t go downstairs anymore.. Anyway, we can’t prove it to you, but that’s what the Scripture indicates! And also what Near Death Experiencers tell us! We could even give you a verse that seems to go in the opposite direction: Revelation 6:9
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held!”
This is talking about a time just before the second Coming of Jesus, that the martyrs—saved people—cry out from under the altar! Now you’ll have to prove to us, that the altar means the Earth! We can’t find any scripture for that anywhere! We believe the altar is and means God’s service! And these martyrs have come down off that altar of sacrifice, and are watching the ones that are on it now! Us!
PAUL’s MAN WAS CAUGHT UP!
Remember Paul knew someone “in or out of the body“—that’s important—that was caught UP to Paradise! So why was this man caught up, and not us? Was he better than us or something? No, of course not, but we believe that Jesus meant that after His return and our coming resurrection, He will only THEN be able to receive us unto His SELF in body as He already is!—In His resurrected body! He will then resurrect us all and marry us, the Bride of Christ, which he won’t be able to do until then!
There is the “in-the-body, out-of-the-body” bit! When we die now before the resurrection, we go to that place out of the body, in spirit!—meaning our essence or spirit form! Without flesh and bones! And if we die, Jesus will also bring us back down with Him from space, at His Return to earth! Another proof that we go UP! 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep (are dead) in Jesus, will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall DESCEND from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Jude 1:14 “And Enoch also… prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints“
RECEIVE US UNTO HIMSELF!
When we die He will receive us unto Himself, as many people experienced in Near Death Experiences, that sometimes Jesus came personally to the end of the tunnel or even on Earth where the person died, and received them unto Himself! He hugged and enveloped them with His Spirit! And it felt so good that they never wanted to leave Him any more! They had to be tricked, forced or talked into going back! Ha!
So, after His resurrection, Jesus went to prepare a PLACE for us. He went to build that place! Now we personally believe that it already had foundations in those days, and that Jesus and His resurrected Old Testament Saints did have a bare floor, so to speak, to set up camp in and to start building! The writer of this article personally believes that the hull was already in place in 30 AD and even before! But it only hadn’t been interior-decorated yet! But we’ll get back to that later too!
So what and where is this place? Well when we have a question, we always do what? We always go back to His Word, to see what the Bible says about it or the prophets and even what the prophets since the Bible said that corroborates it! As Moses said: Numbers 11:29
“Do you envy for my sake? I wished God, that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
And Jesus said in Luke 11:49
“Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute!”
Jesus has sent us many post-Bible prophets throughout the ages, Augustinus, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, John Wesley, D.L.Moody, etc. and they all had all kinds of revelations about these things, like St. Paul did too. He called this place–the second Paradise Upstairs–in Galatians 4:26 ;
“…JERUSALEM WHICH IS ABOVE is free, which is the mother of us all.”
DID “JERUSALEM ABOVE” BEAR US AS OUR SPIRITUAL MOTHER?
NEW JERUSALEM ABOVE
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