What is the Third Heaven in the Bible?
The third heaven in the bible refers, to where God dwells and this is also referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven.
The word “heaven” has three basic meanings in the Bible:
1. the visible heavenly realm,
2. the invisible heavenly realm, and
3. a symbol of authority.
In the next section of the article, Let’s discuss it from the bible.
Introduction: What Exactly is the Third Heaven?
It is a place that is reportedly inhabited by those who have passed on.
The Bible speaks of Heaven as a realm where God lives and where the souls of those who have died await Judgement Day.
The Bible makes it clear that there are three levels of heaven:
- the first heaven
- the second heaven, and
- the third heaven
The first and second heavens include those things we see with our eyes like stars and planets. The heavens are where God lives with his angels and those who have been saved from all over the world.
It is a place that was visited by the apostle Paul after his conversion to Christianity. It is often seen as a mystical or non-physical realm where people’s souls and spirits go after their bodies die.
Is there a Third Heaven in the Bible
What the Bible says about 1st heaven is true. What the Bible says about the 2nd heaven is true. Do you then deny that what the Bible says about a higher level of heaven is also true?
It is a heavenly or transcendent place, and in the Bible, it is also called the highest level.
In the Bible, it is a holy place that exists outside of this world. It has been described as being diametrically opposed to earth, on the other end of a great chain of being from God’s earthly creation.
Paul, who was caught up to God, spoke of the “3rd level of heaven”:
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).
Difference between Third Heaven and Paradise
A third heaven is a place where those who have been good in their life are rewarded with luxuries. A paradise is a place where those who have been good in their life enjoy a perfect environment.
It is the higher level of heaven, mentioned in the Bible. It is above the second level and below paradise. The highest level is where God dwells and where the saints who are alive will go when they die.
It is a spiritual place. It is heaven on a spiritual level. A paradise is a physical place – it needs to have an actual location on earth – and it is usually seen as a physical representation of what the heavenly world will be like.
It is the “heaven of heaven” (Psalm 148: 4), that is the immediate abode of God. We can think of the division of the temple and the tabernacle: after the courtyard and the holy came the holy of holies or the “holy of the holy”.
That was the place where God was enthroned and where on the great day of atonement there was atonement through the blood of the sin offering, which was brought into the sanctuary by the high priest.
Paradise (that’s a walled room, a pleasure garden) is all about the enjoyment and blessings of this place. This heavenly garden is full of the glory of God. Hence the mention of the “unspeakable words” is heard there. We will go into their meaning in a moment.
Did Paul go to the Third Heaven?
Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ. His Epistles are one of the most important parts of the New Testament. He wrote about his travels with Jesus and the time he spent in heaven, which is called “the highest heaven“.
There are different interpretations of what Paul means by “last level of heaven”.
Paul did not boast of himself about the revelations he had received, as opposed to the publicity that such Paradise experiences now sometimes get. He very rarely talked about it. It was fourteen years ago that he was caught up in the 3rd heaven.
The apostle gave Christ the honor He deserved by referring to himself only as “one man in Christ.” As a result of the work of Christ, all true believers are united with Him in heaven. The heavenly head makes his members present. Where He is we are also in the presence of God.
As “people in Christ” we are pardoned in Him and even made pleasant in the Beloved. The place of all true believers is therefore in the last level, and this will soon become a full reality when the congregation is received.
Then the apostle says that he was also admitted to paradise (2 Corinthians 12:3,4). It is about the same person (a person in Christ) and Paul is simply repeating that he does not know whether it happened in the body or outside the body.
So it was Paul who was caught up “to the last level” and “into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). The term “revelations” indicates the disclosure of something that is in the future.
What does Paul mean by it?
Paul is referring to the third heaven which is the heavenly dwelling place of God.
God is not on the 1st level. God is also not in the 2nd level. But God is on the 3rd level of heaven.
The last level includes, but is not limited to, all that God sees and knows. Paul refers to this in his letter to the church at Corinth when he says that it “surpasses everything we can imagine” (2 Corinthians – 12:2)
Paul says, but maybe we don’t know everything. I know a person-in-Christ who was caught up to the last level … God knows to this day it is not clear to me whether it took me somewhere or whether it was a purely spiritual, ecstatic experience.
When Paul spoke of the “heaven,” he probably wanted to emphasize that it was a pre-eminent, sublime form of government – the messianic kingdom with Jesus Christ and his 144,000 co-rulers.
As the apostle Peter wrote, we await the “new heavens” that God has promised (2 Peter – 3:13).
In the Bible, Paul writes about the last level. It is an eternal place of praise. The other two heavens are inferior, referring to temporary living arrangements.