Heaven’s Words 2 Cor. 12:2-4
October 17, 2023, 6:47 AM


Heaven- The Words 2 Cor 12:2-4


2 Cor 12:2-4 “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.”

The word heaven is used in the Bible both literally and figuratively. It is used often to refer to God and his judgments or decrees.

Like when it says in the Old Testament. “May they hear from heaven so their sins may be forgiven” or “I will lift my hands up to the heavens.” Or “heaven is his throne and the earth his footstool” But like all Bible reading the context helps us understand that when it speaks of heaven in a literal way; it refers generally to three levels.

First, there is the atmospheric heavens where the birds fly. This is visible to the naked eye and is mentioned by Jeremiah where he said: “The birds of the heavens have fled”. In this way God made the first heaven as the expanse over the earth.

Next, there are the stellar heavens from which shine the stars and constellations. Isaiah speaks of the Day of the Lord when “the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light” (Isaiah 13:10).

Finally, there is the third Heaven, the celestial place in the presence of God. Father. Son and Spirit. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Here our Lord was referring to the third heaven, and He says the Father is there.

The third Heaven is treated as a place. It was the dwelling of Christ before His Incarnation. He said: “I came down from Heaven” (John 6:38). Heaven was also the place to which He ascended after His resurrection as Luke says: It is the place where the glorand power of God are set forth. Jesus is there now, Our Lord said: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). When Jesus went away He must have gone somewhere to a place.

Where is heaven? If this question were asked of a small child, the answer would probably come back in the form of a finger pointing up and say, “Up there.” Heaven to almost everyone is “up.”

No matter on what part of the earth one is standing, north will always be “up.” When the prophet Ezekiel got his vision from the Lord, he wrote: “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north” (Ezekiel 1:4). It would seem reasonable to conclude that heaven is somewhere in the northern heavens beyond the reach of the astronomer’s powerful telescope, or it is just invisible to any human apparatus.

Our greatest comfort is to know wherever heaven is, God is there on earth, above the earth and in the heavenlies.

If you wish a fuller version of this, or any, devotion email me at pastordale@outlolok.com.