2 Cor. 12: “2I 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.”
We have just discovered that the Ark which the children of Israel constructed was a SYMBOL OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD (Exo. 25:22), and that it was only necessary because they had lost their true sense of spiritual worship in Egypt as slaves, and that the manifestation of God’s presence on the Ark is described as His Glory which was greatest on Mt. Sinai. The Ark then was the first physical structure housing God among His people, His first Heaven.
What then was His second Heaven? What exactly is this glory of the father?
Now Stephen speaking said, Acts 7:
“47But Solomon built him an house. 48Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet.”
So we see here there was going to be a shift from that which is a physical Temple to a spiritual Temple.
JESUS – The Second Heaven of God
What exactly is the Glory of God?
Glory – Heb. Kabod and in Grk – Doxa means that which is weighty, splendor, dignity, praise, worship.
“And Moses went up into the mount and A CLOUD COVERED THE MOUNT. AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD ABODE UPON Mt. Sinai and the CLOUD covered it six days; and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud,” Exo. 24:15-16.
Here we see that God spoke out of the midst of the cloud, so THE GLORY is His PRESENCE, which is a fire clearly seen from the cloud that follows and surrounds (covers) it.
This is the same cloud from whose presence Paul was knocked down and blinded on the road to Damascus – Acts 9:3-9. This is also the same cloud that received Jesus back into Himself (Acts. 1:9, John 17:5). “A cloud RECEIVED HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT.” The bright light stands for God’s unapproachable majesty, 1 Tim. 6:16; Ps. 104:2.
This is what filled the newly erected Tabernacle in the wilderness (Exo. 40: 34-35), and filled Solomon’s Temple (1 Kg. 8:10-11). Also this is what departed from Jerusalem on the destruction of the temple (Ezek. 9:3, 10:4,18-19, 11:22-23).
So we can see clearly that wherever God chooses to dwell, He comes in His Glory, the true substance of His being.
How is Jesus The second Heaven of God?
“And understand that I am He; BEFORE ME THERE WAS NO GOD FORMED… Wherefore when He (Jesus) cometh into the world, He saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, BUT A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME… and when Jesus answered and said unto them ( Jews) DESTROY THIS TEMPLE and in three days I will raise it up… HE SPAKE OF THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY. Who being in the FORM OF GOD thought it not robbery to be equal with God, because HE IS THE IMAGE (exact likeness) OF THE INVISIBLE (the unseen) GOD,” Isa. 43:10b; Heb. 10:5; John 2:19,21; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:15a.
So what are we saying? God as Spirit has never had a form, but took form in Christ Jesus so that the unseen Spirit, God, can be seen in visible form (shape).
So Col. 2:9, “For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature],” AMP.
Even as the word says, “…Thou canst not see my face; FOR THERE SHALL NO MAN SEE ME, AND LIVE.” Therefore, no man has ever seen God at any time; The only unique Son, the only-be-gotten God, who is in the bosom (that is in the intimate presence) of the father, He has declared Him- He has revealed Him, BROUGHT HIM OUT WHERE HE CAN BE SEEN; He has interpreted Him, and He has made Him known. As the word (Christ) became flesh (human- incarnate) and tabernacled –fixed His tent of flesh, lived while –among us; and we (actually) SAW HIS GLORY – HONOUR, HIS MAJESTY,” Exo. 33:20, John 1-8,14 KJV, AMP.
So we can see that He made God personally and visibly present to mankind, no longer a mere unseen presence with fear as it used to appear in the Tent and Temple; rather the human nature (flesh) of the word (Jesus) now covers this Glory as the cloud once did so that He could be brought nearer to mankind (creature).
And it is the demonstration of this power, this Glory that pierced through the veil of the flesh of Jesus at the transfiguration, Luke 9:27-35.
It was also this Glory in Him that performed the miracles as a sign that God was resident and active in Him.
John 14: “10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” “This beginning of MIRACLES DID JESUS in Cana of Galilee and MANIFESTED FORTH HIS GLORY,” John 2:11.
“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Col. 2:9.
Friends, no man on earth had this privilege before He came into the world and He alone can reveal God to man today, Matt. 11:27.
When God said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matt. 3:17, He meant He has found a place (man) where He can reside (second Heaven) and manifest Himself among His people (creature) that His first son Adam failed to do.
Christ is the first temple of God not made with hands. And He was the second Heaven of God manifested on the face of the earth.
To be continued…