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Examining the 3rd Heavens

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Throughout thousands of years of biblical history, holy men have been privileged to pierce the veil of earth and enter into the dimension of angels to see the secrets of the 3rd Heavens.

The Bible teaches that there are different levels of Heaven.

The Heavens are divided into three distinct sections as established from the beginning of creation in the foreknowledge of God.

The first level is found on earth and was given to the dominion of men.

The second level is seen in the scripture that calls satan the {prince of the power of the air} {Ephesians 2: 2}.

Scholars note that the Greek word air alludes to the area from the ground on earth to the clouds.

However, all living and breathing beings can only go as high as the available oxygen… from that point, moving into the dark matter of space, the region of the sun, moon, and stars, only spirit - beings, both good {angelic} and bad {demonic} can function and operate throughout this vast space at the speed of thought.

The milky way galaxy is 100,000 light years across, giving you an idea of the expanse of God’s second heaven.

The first Heaven is given for man.

The second Heaven is presently the principality zone where an unknown number of satanic powers and chief priests have access.

This is proven when we read in revelation of a future war in Heaven between Michael and his angels and satan and his angels.

This future conflict will send satan’s dark forces spiraling from the second Heaven, thrusting them to the Earth. {Revelations 12: 7 – 10}

The term 3rd Heaven is found only once in the 66 books of the Bible.

The phrase was penned by the Apostle Paul, describing a strange experience, in which he either saw a stunning other world vision or, through an {out of the body} experience, was lifted away from the terrestrial world into a heavenly dimension somewhere in the upper celestial regions.

Paul called this region the 3rd heaven.

II Corinthians 12: 1 – 4 (Amp)

1It is necessary to boast, though nothing is gained by it; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which man is not permitted to speak [words too sacred to tell].

Paul was blessed to receive several revelations from the Lord that were hidden with God from the beginning of creation.

He wrote: even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints. Colossians 1: 26 (AKJV),

One fascinating revelation Paul received concerned a future event that would suddenly occur.

Those living on earth would hear a shout from the archangel, the blast of a loud shofar indicating Christ's return in which the living saints would instantly be changed from mortal to immortal: {see I Corinthians 15: 52}

Believers alive, at that time, will be [caught up] to meet the Lord in the air. {I Thessalonians 4: 16 - 17}

No Old Testament prophet or early Apostle received this particular revelation {except Paul.}

It was Paul himself who acknowledged {I come to visions and revelation from the Lord}.

What makes Paul’s encounter with paradise very curious is when he wrote he had {heard unspeakable words which he said was not lawful for a man to utter} in (II Corinthians 12: 4).

Theologians have dissected this statement for centuries.

It begs the question what did Paul hear that was so dramatic, mysterious, and amazing, that he was instructed not to relate what he heard.

The word unspeakable here alludes to unworthiness or undeserving… not being {lawful to utter}… simply means {it is just not right to talk in public about what I heard}.

Paul was saying, “I was not worthy to see or hear what I saw and heard”.

In the Bible we read of prophets who penned details of the heavenly temple.

They described the throne of God, revealed the types of angels, their strange wings and eyes, and detailed amazing insights to the reader of the gemstones, gates, and layers of the New Jerusalem.

With much of heaven being seen in visions that were written about, it begs the question, what did Paul see that was so gripping and amazing that he felt restrained to comment on it?

There are numerous mysteries concerning the 3rd Heaven and Paradise… God wants to reveal them to His children just as He did Paul.

The forces of darkness are always threatened by spiritual revelation.

Biblical revelation exposes the plots and strategies of God's enemies; thus, disrupting the enemies plans.

A divine revelation can change a person's earthly situation.

The intensity of Paul's visions, dreams, and revelations was so astonishing, they became a threat to God's spiritual adversaries.

In order to hinder the spread of these new truths that were exploding on the earth through the Gospel, satan commissioned a {thorn in the flesh, a messenger from satan to buffet Paul. {II Corinthians 12: 7}.

The Greek word for messenger here is aggelos.

It is found over 180 times in the Greek New Testament.

In most cases, the word is translated as angel, and in seven cases it is translated in the KJV as messenger.

It is the same Greek word used in Revelation chapters two and three, where Christ is addressing the Pastors of the Seven Churches saying, {unto the angel of the Church of Sardis} and so forth Revelation 2: 1; 2: 8; 2: 12; 2: 18}. In these passages, the {angel} was a human messenger the Pastor of each Church.

Satan always counterfeits and copycats what the Spirit of God does.

So satan sent a messenger to Paul…

Paul’s messenger was an angel of satan.

This strong demonic spirit was an authorized demonic agent sent to create adverse circumstances against Paul and his ministry.

Why the Lord permitted this entity to work against Paul should also be noted.

The Apostle wrote, {lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, this {thorn in the flesh} was allowed {II Corinthians 12: 7}

This particular evil messenger, or angel, was given the assignment to continually buffet Paul.

According to scripture, satan has an organized kingdom consisting of {principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in Heavenly places. {Ephesians 6: 12}

The Greek word for buffet means to keep slapping or dealing one blow after another.

The imagery is a man in a boxing ring fighting an opponent, in which the opposition is continually clipping him on the ear with a blow strong enough to knock him off balance.

Paul is basically saying, when I think I am standing up doing well, I am suddenly knocked down again and again.

Paul would pick himself up, believing he was making progress, when out of nowhere, here came another blow.

In II Corinthians chapter 11, prior to revealing this thorn in the flesh, Paul listed a series of obstacles he consistently encountered that slowed down his ministry.

These obstacles caused him great pain physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The list includes 22 different trials and difficulties that Paul had to endure.

Paul was on a satanic hit list aimed to stop his ministry.

The Book of Acts details many of the narratives Paul alluded to in his list recorded in II Corinthians 11: 23 - 28.

Acts 9: His life was threatened in Damascus and he escaped over the wall in a basket.

Acts 13: Paul's message was rejected by the Jews, and he was accused of blasphemy.

Acts 14: Paul was dragged out of the city of Lystria and was stoned.

Acts 15: A strong contention arose between Paul and Barnabas that caused a division.

Acts 16: Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, and placed in prison.

Acts 17: Paul’s preaching caused an uproar at Thessalonica.

Acts 18: Paul’s message was rejected at Corinth. He was arrested and stood trial.

Acts 19: A riot broke out at Ephesus after idol worshippers were converted to christ.

Acts 21: A riot broke out in the city, and Paul was arrested.

Acts 22: Paul had to go to {court} for preaching the Gospel.

Acts 23: A group of zealous religious Jews sought to kill Paul.

Acts 27: While on his way to Rome, Paul was in a severe shipwreck yet survived.

Acts 28: Paul was bitten by a deadly viper, yet miraculously survived.

To prevent Paul from personally boasting about his amazing visitation to Heaven, Paul wrote, {I knew a man}.

Paul said he was {caught up} into the 3rd heaven.

The Greek word is harpazo and is the same Greek word Paul penned when at the Return of Christ, he said that we should be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. {I Thessalonians 4: 17}

This Greek word has several possible meanings including {to snatch out by force}, {to suddenly rescue one from danger}, and {to remove from one location to another}.

The word indicates a very quick and sudden removal of a person from one local to a new one.

Paul was {caught up}, meaning this was not a progressive or gradual snatching up but was immediate and swift.

For example, in {Luke 16: 23}. the moment the rich man died, he immediately, in Hell lifted up his eyes being in torment.

One moment he was in his home, ignoring a beggar at his gate and enjoying the easy life and the abundance acquired during his lifetime.

Then suddenly he blanked out {perhaps a heart attack} and seconds later, he lifted his head and his eyes realizing he {his soul and spirit} were in another world.

The Apostle John demonstrated the suddenness of a spiritual vision.

He was exiled on the island of Patmos, when he was suddenly overcome by the Presence of the Lord and was {in the Spirit} (Revelation 1:10), meaning his mind and eyes were alerted and open to God's presence.

He began experiencing a lengthy vision of God's plans for the future.

He was writing on parchment, and at the same time, he was seeing something otherworldly.

After receiving a message in vision form from Christ to release in writing to seven churches {Revelation chapters 2 and 3}, John heard a trumpet from heaven accompanied by a voice saying {come up here} (Revelation 4: 1).

Immediately, he was in God's eternal Heavenly throne room, seeing God, Christ {the lamb} and a multitude of worshippers with 24 elders sitting on thrones. {Revelations 4-5}

This swift and immediate earth to heaven shift is similar to the transfer of a believer from earth to heaven at the moment of death.

Perry Stone shared this story his father told him.

“When father Fred Stone was called into the ministry in his late teens, he was blessed with a remarkable spiritual experience in which he saw the very edge of the 3rd heaven.

Somewhere beyond was the abode where the souls of the righteous dwell. “He said, while sitting in a white cane back chair, I felt a surge in my heart and I suddenly slumped over.

I thought I had a heart attack and had died. Immediately, my soul came out of my body like taking a hand out of a glove my soul {or spirit} was suddenly whisked through space so fast that I was in a fetal position and could feel the pressure of myself rising.

When I stopped, I opened my eyes and I was standing in an open space on absolutely nothing. I was surrounded by the most beautiful, royal blue color, unlike anything I have seen on earth.

The blue skies on earth pale in comparison to the rich, deep blue color, surrounding the edge of heaven.”

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