What is ‘Heaven’ like?

Hebrew word usually translated heaven is, shamayim, is a plural noun form that literally means “the heights”. The Greek word translated heaven is ouranos. It refers to that which is raised up or lofty. Scripture uses both to refer to three different places.

First Heaven
“Atmospheric Heaven”

Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Daniel 4:12 It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.

Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.

Psalms 147:8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

In the above verses, the word heaven refers to the blanketed atmosphere surrounding the earth. This heaven contains the air that we breath.

Second Heaven
“Planetary Heaven”

Psalms 19:1 The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.

Genesis 1:14-17 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

The second heaven is where the stars, moon, and planets are.

Third Heaven
“Third Heaven”

II Corinthians 12:2 I (Paul) was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago.

I Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

This is the heaven that Paul speaks of in II Corinthians 12, it is the heaven where God dwells with His holy angels and those saints who have died. The other two heavens will pass away (2 Peter 3:10); this heaven is eternal. This heaven is NOT limited by height, width or dimension. This paradise of eternity is revealed as a magnificent kingdom where both heaven and earth unite in a glory that surpasses the limits of the human imagination and the boundaries of earthly dimensions. Heaven transcends all known and normal limits. Perhaps this is best described by saying that God inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15).

The Father is there (“ Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” Matthew 6:9) Jesus himself is at the Father’s right side, Hebrews 9:24 says “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands… but into heaven itself”. So Jesus is there as our intercessor (Hebrews 7:25) and God the Father is there.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ are there also (Hebrews 12:23).
Our names are recorded there (Luke 10:20).
This is our inheritance (I Peter 1:4)
Our citizenship is there (Philippians 3:20)
There will be no crying, tears, pain, sorrow in heaven (Revelation 21:3-7)
There will be no death there (I Corinthians 15:26)
There will be no more night (Revelation 21:23)
The walls and streets are made up of precious jewels (Revelation 21:17-21)
The river and tree of life are there (Revelation 22:1-2)
There will be no marriage there (Matthew 22:30, Luke 20:35)
There will be a great feast there (Matthew 8:11, Luke 22:30)

Posted on July 20, in Bible Study, Heaven. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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