“You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You.”
“To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.”
2 Corinthians 12:2
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago뾵hether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows뾱uch a man was caught up to the third heaven.”
As recorded in Nehemiah 9:6 which reads, “You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You,” it implies that there are heavens other than the heaven where we live. Then, how many heavens are there?
If one believes in the existence of Heaven, he can imagine there are two heavens, that is, two spaces: one is the fleshly world (the space on which we live) and the other is the spiritual world (the space where Heaven is). But the Bible tells us that there are several more heavens.
Psalm 68:33 says, “To [God] who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.” 1 Kings 8:27 says, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!”
Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago뾵hether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows뾱uch a man was caught up to the third heaven.” His being caught up to the third heaven shows us that there are the first heaven, second heaven, and third heaven and that there might be more heavens. Deacon Stephen also said in Acts 7:56, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” His remark indicates that people can see the spiritual world with their spiritual eyes open and that there are a few heavens.
Even today, some scientists acknowledge there are several heavens. For example, The Parallel Universes proposed by a well-known cosmologist in the U.S, Professor Max Tegmark, Department of Physics at MIT, says that there are other universes and they can have entirely different properties of time and space and governing laws of physics. This could substantiate the existence of other universes or ‘heavens’.
- The first heaven the Earth belongs to and the second heaven housing the Garden of Eden
First, the heavens can be largely categorized into the two: the spiritual world that is invisible to us, and the fleshly world, where we live. Our universe belongs to the fleshly world, which is the first heaven. The second heaven and the higher heavens belong to the spiritual world.
In the second heaven, there are the domain of light and the domain of darkness. The domain of light houses the Garden of Eden and the domain of darkness is for the spirits of darkness. Ephesians 2:2 speaks of the ruler of evil spirits as the ‘prince of the power of the air’. Thus, the domain of the evil spirits is also in the second heaven.
Before Adam sinned, as a living spirit, he had the authority to rule over all things in the Garden of Eden and in the first heaven. After Adam sinned, however, he was driven out of the Garden of Eden and somebody was needed to guard the Garden. So, God stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life at the east of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). This is because the east of the Garden of Eden is the border line between the world of evil spirits and the Garden of Eden that belongs to God.
The properties of the first heaven and the second heaven are totally different in terms of time and space. There is the flow of time in the second heaven, but the time in the second heaven is different from the time of this fleshly world that has limitations. In the Garden of Eden, people neither get old nor die. Nothing changes or perishes. So, even though a lot of time passed, people in the Garden of Eden feel nothing changing with the passage of time. It is as though they feel like they are living in time that is in suspension.
Unlike that of the Earth, the space of the Garden of Eden has no limitation of space. In this Earth that has limitation of time and space, if there were no one who dies and new babies were to be born continually, it would be saturated with people someday. But it is totally different in the second heaven where there is no limit for space. Even though the population keeps increasing, there is no need to worry about each one’s space becoming smaller or the space becoming full.
- The Third Heaven is the kingdom of Heaven
The third heaven refers to Heaven where God’s saved children will live forever. Apostle Paul, who saw visions and received revelations, said in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago뾵hether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows뾱uch a man was caught up to the third heaven.” In verse 4 that follows it says, “[Such a man] was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” He said that he had seen Paradise in the third heaven.
Each and every country has larger and smaller cities and countryside. Each also has its capital city housing the presidential residence. Similarly, the kingdom of Heaven has several different dwelling places ranging from Paradise, which is deemed the outskirts of Heaven, to New Jerusalem, where God’s throne is located. To the extent that we live with more love for God, achieve the heart of the truth and recover the image of God on earth, we can enter a better dwelling place in Heaven.
The third heaven is also more free of limits of time and space than the second heaven. That is, it has unlimited everlasting time and space. Thus, with their limited thinking process, people in the first heaven cannot understand the time and space of Heaven. For instance, before we blow up a balloon it is small in width and volume, but the width, volume, and size can be changed according to how much air we blow into it.
The same applies to the space in Heaven. For a house on the earth we need a certain amount of land space to build the house, and the space of land we can use is also limited. But the space of the third heaven transcends any limit in length, width, height and volume, so houses can be built without restrictions.
- The Fourth Heaven is God’s dwelling place
The fourth heaven refers to the original universe where God existed as light and sound. It is the same as the universe before God divided the universes. Time and space are meaningless in this space. In the fourth heaven everything is fulfilled as soon as God harbors it transcending space and time.
The resurrected Lord appeared to His disciples who had hidden themselves in a room with the doors locked due to fear of the Jews (John 20:19-29). No one unlocked the doors, but the Lord just appeared in the midst of them. He also appeared before His disciples at the Sea of Galilee and ate together with them (John 21:1-14). He stayed on the earth for 40 days and with around 500 people watching Him, He ascended in clouds into heaven.
What is the fourth heaven, where God the Origin existed, like? Just as God harbored and ruled over all the spaces in the form of light and sound, God is still controlling and ruling over all universes from the first, second, and third heaven today while He exists in the fourth heaven.
- For God the Creator, nothing is impossible
People live in the Earth that is a very limited space which is like a spot compared to all the vast and mysterious heavens that God the Creator rules over. They undergo many complicated and difficult things in life and at the same time they try hard to enjoy a prosperous life. For God who subdues and controls all heavens, the earthly life is not something complicated or difficult. However, for people who live in the first heaven, many things are difficult.
Suppose an ant is not able to carry something because it is too big, yet a man can carry it with a single finger. When the ant faces a big puddle, it cannot cross it, but when people encounter the ant’s problem, puddle, it can be quickly be resolved. People find it easy to do something that is impossible for an ant. In the same manner, when God the Almighty helps us, nothing is impossible for us.
God the Creator knows all our needs and He is capable of giving answers to any kind of prayer. No matter how desperate the situation you are in, I hope you will have faith that everything can be totally reversed and receive answers and blessings with God’s power.