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2. The "third heaven"

In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, the apostle Paul speaks of a man, probably meaning himself, who had been given a vision of "the third heaven". Some think that Paul is using the pagan idea of a succession of heavens, each more glorious than the former, but it is more realistic to think that he is referring to the last of the three ages of God's relations with man, and the final age through which the world will pass, as Peter also does:

"But they deliberately forget that

[1] long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word

[2] the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…. But we in keeping with His promise are looking forward to

[3] a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." (2 Peter 3:5-13).

In these verses Peter sets out three periods of the earth's history:

[1]. The time before the flood, which was terminated by the destruction of the people on the earth, because of the universal wickedness.

[2]. The period since the flood, the world in which he, and we live, which he said would end with the judgement and destruction of ungodly men, (not the literal heavens and earth), and

[3]. The new heavens and earth to begin at the return of Jesus Christ, with his reign of peace and righteousness. This could be the third heaven, of which Paul speaks. Note that Paul refers to it as 'paradise' which is literally a beautiful garden, the earth restored.

  1. the Sky
  2. God's Home
  Heavens and Earth
  The "third heaven"
  1. The People
  2. The Language
  3. The Letter
Heresy, Heretic
Holy Land
Holy Spirit
  1. Holy Spirit in creation
  2. Holy Spirit inspires God's word
  3. Jesus was born by the power of the Holy Spirit
  4. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit
  5. The Holy Spirit given to the apostles
  6. The Holy Spirit with the church
  1. A building in which people live
  2. A 'household' or family living together
  3. The dwelling of the believer

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