The Three Types of Heaven

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on Heaven. The topic for this study is: The Three Types of Heaven. In our last study, we considered some texts in Scripture that made it clear that heaven is not a matter of speculation, but rather, a real place. We learnt from this previous study that the Lord we serve actually resides in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10; Psalm 103:19; 2 Chronicles 7:14).

Beloved, in this study, I want us to build on the knowledge we have gained so far. You see friends, besides the dwelling place of God, which is described as "the height of heaven" (Job 22:12); the Bible also mentions other types of heaven. In fact, from the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:2, we come away with the understanding that there are three types of heaven in Scripture. From 2 Corinthians 12:2, we read the following from the apostle Paul:"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" (Capital Emphasis Added).Evidently friends, this third heaven, which I believe the apostle Paul himself was taken, is actually the dwelling place of God. The apostle Paul further describes this place in relation to the condescension of Christ to our earth with these clear words: "He that descended is the same also that ascended up FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS, that he might fill all things" (Ephesians 4:10; Capital Emphasis Added).

Thus beloved, this third heaven, which is also described as far above all heavens, is the same place which Moses described as the height of heaven in the book of Job (Job 22:12).

Friends, the Bible's clear statement of fact that there is a third heaven actually implies that there is a first heaven and also a second heaven. And beloved, this is what we discover when we read about heaven in the sacred pages of Scripture.

When we open our Bible to the book of Genesis, we find right at the first chapter of the book the record of the creation of our world. From this account of the creation of our world, we read the following from the patriarch Moses in relation to the first heaven: "7 And God made the FIRMAMENT, and divided the waters which were under the FIRMAMENT from the waters which were above the FIRMAMENT: and it was so. 8 And God called the FIRMAMENT HEAVEN. And the evening and the morning were the second day" (Genesis 1:7-8; Capital Emphasis Added).Beloved, did you catch that? "God called the firmament heaven" Friends, the firmament, which is actually the open space just above our earth is the first heaven. From Genesis 1:20, this fact is well chronicled as follows: "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the OPEN FIRMAMENT OF HEAVEN" (Capital Emphasis Added).

Friends, this first heaven; that is, our firmament, as we all know, has been deeply contaminated with the virus of sin. In fact, the Bible teaches that the Lord is going to do away with the first heaven one day and create for us a new heaven. At this stage, I want us to consider some few Bible texts that make this point very clear. From the apostle Peter, we read the following in relation to what will happen to the first heaven: "10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the HEAVENS shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for NEW HEAVENS and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:10, 13; Capital Emphasis Added).Moreover, from the beloved apostle, we also read the following in relation to the first heaven: "6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

"6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

6:14 And the HEAVEN departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."

"21:1 And I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a new earth: for the FIRST HEAVEN and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

(Revelation 6:12-14; Revelation 21:1; Capital Emphasis Added)
Friends, the passages of Scripture above evidently points to the fact that God is going to do away with this earth, and the FIRST HEAVEN one day. He will then create for us a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Now beloved, besides the dwelling place of God (third heaven) and our firmament (first heaven), the Bible also mentions another type of heaven. Friends, the second heaven, as we will soon discover from Scripture is actually the atmosphere that is found beyond our firmament. From the book of Psalms, we read the following in relation to the second heaven: "3 When I consider Thy HEAVENS, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Psalm 8:3-4; Capital Emphasis Added).Friends, the second heaven is the place where the moons, the planets and the stars have been positioned by God. With the invention of the Hubble Space Telescope and other high powered magnifying devices, man has been able to capture some of the glories of the second heaven. And beloved, these wonderful images from outer space only point clearly to the work of a Creator God.

Beloved, from our study so far, we have learnt that there are three types of heaven in Scripture. These are the first heaven or the firmament where the birds fly; the second heaven where the moons, the planets, and stars are located; and the third heaven where God Himself dwells.

Friends, the Bible promises that soon and not too far away, our Lord Jesus Christ will come to redeem us from this world of suffering, sorrow and sin. He is coming to redeem us not just to the first or second heaven, but to the third heaven; to the place where He Himself dwells (John 14:1-3). Oh! What rich celestial treasures await the people of God!

Exhortation: "1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. 6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat" (Psalm 19:1-6, NKJV).

In our next study, we will consider the topic: The Paradise of God. The Bible study reference for this study is 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. Please do well to go through this study reference before the next study is released.

[Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture passages are from the King James Version of the Bible.]

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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