2 Corinthians 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… 4How that he was caught UP INTO PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
Paul was caught up to the Third Heaven same as paradise. Mind you this is not a rapture off the earth but a spiritual experience in which he was able to see things ahead of his age that he was living in.
Once again looking at the word “HEAVEN” in the Heb. is Shamaylm which means to be lofty, the sky, air, and in the Grk, it is “OURANOS” meaning through the idea of elevation, the sky, by extension heaven (as the abode of God), by impl. happiness, power, eternity spec. the Gospel (Christianity) air, heavenly.
That something is lofty or elevated speaks of that which is of great height, value, proud, distinguishable, consciously superior, grandeur of dignity of thoughts, aims, feelings, language, etc.
From the above we can see that the Christian life is a heavenly life.
For through the death, resurrection and the release of the Christ spirit, the true born again believer has been translated (raised, elevated), Colossians 1:13, from earthly life in Adam (darkness) to a heavenly life in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 12:22.
This translation is the spiritual elevation from this base life of our environment of this sin cursed world (order of man) into the realm of righteousness, joy, peace (of thoughts, aims) in the Holy Ghost.
This is also termed the Kingdom of God, Romans 14:17.
This is revealed in the words of the Lord to the children of Israel.
“And to make thee HIGH ABOVE ALL NATIONS which he hath made in PRAISE, and in NAME (Nature-attributes) and in HONOUR (Power) and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as He hath spoken.” Deuteronomy 26:19.
The fact that Israel will be made High, does not mean that they will be taken out of the earth but rather they will be greatly honoured among all people as a result of their covenant relationship with the Most High God; and this is a spiritual elevation to reveal the heavenly life of God as a Royal people.
And again we read, “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Jacob) the servants, to whom THOU SWAREST BY THINE OWN SELF” Exodus 32:13.
Here we see that God in making an Oath with the Patriarchs swore by His own self. Now compare Deuteronomy 32:40, “For I (God) LIFT UP MY HAND TO HEAVEN, AND SAY I (GOD) LIVE FOREVER.”
Is this not clear that God is Heaven and Heaven is God. Otherwise where will God be standing before He can lift up His hands to Heaven if Heaven is a geographical location? Even in the book of Hebrews we read, ”For when God made a promise to Abraham, BECAUSE HE COULD SWEAR BY NO GREATER, HE SWEAR BY HIMSELF” Hebrews 6:13,16. Why? Because one can only swear with an object (of worship) higher than himself and with God there is none higher than Himself which the Word says is Heaven.
Now if God swear by Himself and He is spirit, John 4:24, that means Heaven is Spirit and since spirit (air) God is everywhere, for that is what makes Him God, then HEAVEN IS EVERYWHERE, just anywhere the Spirit of God is, is Heaven and if in you, then you are God’s Heaven, for in Him (God-Heaven) we live, move and have our being (existence) Acts 17:28. This is clear enough.
So don’t confuse the spiritual world with the term heaven. This is what has given a lot of us the problem such that once the word heaven is mentioned the next thing that comes to mind is how you are going to die and go to heaven or to be raptured there. But friend that is not what the Bible says.
Capernaum in Heaven?
And thou Capernaum, which ART EXALTED (elevated, raised) to HEAVEN shall be brought down to hell: FOR IF THE MIGHTY WORKS, which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom it would have remained until this day,” Matthew 11:23.
Here we see that the presence of Christ with the mighty miracles He performed in this city made her to enjoy a heavenly presence, not that she was practically transferred up somewhere, so Christ brought Heaven to Capernaum and His departure as well because of the hardness of their heart also brought her to hell.
Even so it is with us, the presence of Christ in and with us raises us into a realm of heaven.
“For you are dead, and your life (existence) is hid with Christ in God… And he raised us with Christ and gave us a seat (Dominion) with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus… He made him ride on the high places of the earth that he might eat the increase of the fields, and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock,” Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 2:6 (NCV); Deuteronomy 32:13.
What are we saying? To be in Heaven is to be in the presence of God’s glory, to rule and reign over all the works of the enemy even now, which is a revelation of his life through the spirit by faith, not when you die.
This Christ life lifts us above poverty, sickness, sorrow, etc., into the realm of joy, peace, righteousness and the supernatural supply of all needs and so establishing God’s kingdom and terminating the kingdom of darkness.
In light of the above, Jesus said to Nicodemus in:
John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
Remember when He said this He was in Palestine, but He said He was in Heaven. How could that be?
And again He said NO MAN, meaning not even Elijah, Moses or even Enoch went to Heaven. He said no man has ascended to Heaven. He came from there and He said none of these saints of Old were there.
What was Jesus really saying? We shall explain this later on. But note the point, He came from Heaven and He was in Heaven while talking to Nicodemus. How far is Heaven?
What is the Third Heaven? And which is the first and second Heaven?
To be continued…