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The Doctrine of Heaven – Part 5

John’s Witness of the Third Heaven – Part 1

Saint John on PatmosIt pays to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day – Sunday! The entire book of Revelation was given to John on that day – Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,” The greatest revelations of our lives usually come to us when we hear “what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (See Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) This usually takes place on Sundays – Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

In this revelation we learn more of the Third Heaven. All of the following observations are from the book of Revelation unless otherwise noted:

  • There is a door in Heaven – 4:1 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” This is a type of the Rapture. The door is opened to all who hear the first audible voice and the sound of the trumpet. Trumpets are mentioned several times as being in Heaven and used by angels. God is also said to have a trumpet – 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise
    first:” The only other instrument said to be in Heaven is the harp – 5:8 “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (See also Rev. 14:2; 15:2)
  • There is a throne set in Heaven. It is the same one Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6:1.
  • God, who sits on the throne is described as being like jasper (clear crystal) and a sardine stone (dark red). This was the best way John could describe God’s glory – 4:3 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
  • There is a rainbow about the throne (4:3). Our rainbows on earth are made of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. This one appears as an emerald, which is green. Green represents life.
  • Around God’s throne are 24 seats. There are 24 elders, clothed in white raiment, sitting on the seats. They wear crowns of gold (4:4).
  • Lightning, thunder, and voices proceed from the throne of God (4:5).
  • There are 7 lamps of fire burning before God’s throne (4:5). These are the 7 Spirits of God (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). Isaiah 11:2 reveals these 7 Spirits to us:
  • The Spirit of the Lord
  • The Spirit of Wisdom
  • The Spirit of Understanding
  • The Spirit of Counsel
  • The Spirit of Might
  • The Spirit of Knowledge
  • The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
  • There is a sea of glass, like crystal, before the throne (4:6)
  • Four beasts, like the seraphim Isaiah saw, are seen (4:6-8). They continually announce the holiness of God “who was, and is, and is to come.” (Look at Isaiah 6:1-3 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” These beasts also give glory, honor, and thanks to God at times. When they do, the 24 elders fall down before God on His throne and worship Him, casting crowns before Him. They exalt the Lord who created all things for His pleasure. There is worship in the Third Heaven (4:9-11)! Things should be done on earth as they are in Heaven. We should worship God and fall down before Him. We must study Heaven to know what we should be doing on earth – Luke 11:2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”

Revelation Chapter 4:

“1   After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2   And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3   And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4   And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5   And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6   And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7   And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8   And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9   And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
10   The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Heaven – Part 3

The Third Heaven

This is the current heaven where God dwells. Although this is a glorious place, this is not the New Heaven described in Revelation 21 and 22.

golden-city-of-heavenThe third heaven is called a city. It was said of Abraham, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10) We also should be like Abraham, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

This city is described in Hebrews 12:22-24 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

The third heaven is also called a country. Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

The third heaven is called Paradise. Paradise refers to forests, orchards, preserves, and enclosed gardens. It comes from the Hebrew word pardec. Examples are found in Nehemiah 2:8 “And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” Ecclesiastes 2:5 “I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:” Song of Solomon 4:13 “Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,” Whether a person likes the city, country, forests, orchards, preserves, or gardens, Heaven will be a paradise! It will be bliss.

There may be golden streets and pearly gates in this third heaven, but we are not told that. That is the future heaven or New Heaven. It is a paradise though. Paradise is a New Testament word (Greek:Paradeisos) found in the following three texts:

  • Luke 23:43 “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
  • 2 Corinthians 12:4 “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
  • Revelation 2:7 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Because of the Tree of Life being present there, some have called the original Garden of Eden Paradise, though the Bible does not state this.

Next Entry – Paul’s and Isaiah’s Witness of the Third Heaven

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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