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.”
THE MAN-CHILD, THE THIRD HEAVEN IN HIS GLORY.
From the last study, we discovered that the true worship of God started with Jesus carrying the presence of God. And with His ascension into glory, He returned to the third Heaven of God called the church, God’s true temple.
So what is the Third Heaven that Paul saw? 2 Cor. 12:2-4
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows, WAS CAUGHT UP TO THE THIRD HEAVEN, And I know that this man WAS CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE…,” 2 Cor. 12:2-3a (AMP)
From the above, we can see that the third Heaven is the same thing as paradise.
SO WHAT IS PARADISE? It is the Grk. word PARADEISOS which means AS PARK; i.e. (spec), AN EDEN (a place of future happiness) an Orchard-Garden.
And so we read;
“And the LORD God planted a garden, eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed,” Gen. 2:8. And in the MIDST OF THE GARDEN, we are told grew THREE MANNERS OF TREES (v. 9). One of which is the tree of life, but that man was eventually driven from the Garden so that he could not eat of the tree of life, Gen. 3:22-24.
Symbolically, we know that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is man’s walk in his natural (soulish) senses which is satanic, rather than allowing the Spirit to control his life. Similarly, it is clear that the TREE OF LIFE is CHRIST HIMSELF, which is eternal life. But note that all these trees were in the midst of the Garden. So what is this Garden?
“A GARDEN ENCLOSED and barred is my sister, MY PROMISED BRIDE- YOU ARE GOD’S GARDEN AND VINEYARD under cultivation… to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. THAT THEY MIGHT BE CALLED TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE PLANTING OF THE LORD, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED,” (Song of Sol. 4:12a; 1 Cor. 3:9b; Isa. 61 ).
And so to the overcomer in the Church He promised;
“To him that Overcometh (cultivation – trials and processing) will I give to eat of the TREE OF LIFE, WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THE PARADISE (GARDEN) OF GOD,” Rev. 2:7b, AMP, KJV.
Where is the tree of life, Jesus Christ standing today? In the midst of the Church – His garden, Rev. 1:12-16,20, 2:7, 22:2; Col. 1:27; 2 Cor. 13:5.
Christ is now becoming the center of the activities of the overcomer’s life. So in reality, Paul was privileged to see the glory of the overcoming Church, the true Garden of God, of which Glory he lacked words to utter.
See what the Church should and ought to be right now;
Eph 1:20-23 (MSG), “20All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, 21In charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. 22He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. 23The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the Church. The CHURCH IS CHRIST’S BODY, in which he SPEAKS AND ACTS, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
Did you notice that? Christ ought to be acting and speaking today through His Body the Church, the Third Heaven. That is where His authority lies today and shall continue to increase on the earth till the earth is covered by the glory of the Father as the waters cover the sea. Don’t expect a physical Jesus to come and do this people! It is this wonder and awesomeness that Paul saw, hence He said what he saw is unspeakable, not what he can utter.
How come such an overwhelming power is now resident in the church you may ask? See it here;
Col. 2:9, “For in Him (Christ) the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. 10 And you are in Him (Church, the Third Heaven), made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power],”AMP.
Praise God! Did you see it? Just as He had the fullness of the Father resident in Him and the Father was responsible for all that He did even so today and onward, that fullness is now resident within His Body on the Earth and growing.
Friends the Church shall take over no matter what man thinks. The Anti-Christ is a nobody and will pale into oblivion compared to what is Church is made of and being prepared for us.
The Third Heaven? She is the Bride of Christ, the full grown man-child company of God.
Next will be Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”