Articles and Notes

The Three Heavens

The Bible mentions only the third heaven but the other two are indirectly referenced.

First Heaven

What we see with our naked eye. It includes the earth and about 20 miles surrounding it. (the troposphere).

[God] brought [Abram] outside and said, "Look now toward heaven [the one we see], and count the stars if you are able to number them. (Gen 15:5)

I will destroy humanity whom I have created from the face of the earth, both humans and beasts, creeping thing and birds of heaven (Genesis 6:7).

And he [Elijah] prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced fruit (James 5:18).

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather in barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:26).

The word translated "air" is ouranos, the same Greek word that is elsewhere translated "heaven".

Second Heaven

Note the Bible never directly refers to a second heaven. Since it does mention a third heaven (2 Cor 12:2) that infers there is a first and second heaven.

Celestial heaven. Includes the sun, moon, and stars.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matthew 24:29).

This verse mentions stars.

Psalm 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

Take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven [the one we see], and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. (Deuteronomy 4:19)

The second heaven is where Satan has his throne and rules over the fallen angels that followed him in the rebellion against God in the genesis of time (Rev 12:4)

Heaven of Heavens

The Scripture speaks of heavenly spheres beyond that which is visible from the earth. It is called the heaven of heavens.

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).

Praise Him, you heaven of heavens and you waters above the heavens! (Psalm 148:4).

Third Heaven

The third heaven is where God has his throne. Yet Scripture also teaches us that there is a certain geographical place where God resides. It is also designated heaven.

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. (Hebrews 8:1)

Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven [the First and Second] and the heaven of heavens [the Third] cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built. (1 Kings 8:27)

This says the Lord: "Heaven [the Third] is My throne and earth is My footstool." (Isaiah 66:1)

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know - God knows (2 Corinthians 12:2).

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).

Heaven is the presence of God.

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24).


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