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What Is The Third Heaven

Paul mentions that he went to the third level of heaven. Has anyone looked into this extensively? And if so, what were the theories on it? I can't find the scripture I am referring to, so that would be helpful too.

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The cosmology of the first century included 3 "heavens." 1.) the atmospheric conditions around earth: wind,rain, clouds, lightning, thunder etc. 2.) the heavenly bodies: sun, moon, stars, planets and 3.) the spiritual or unseen realm. It was the spritual unseen realm that Paul was referring to in the story of his being caught up into the third (unseen) heaven.
---Bruce on 3/20/12

I've been taught

1st heaven directly above us
2nd heaven above that - Satan's domain
3rd heaven - where the Father resides
---cat on 2/22/12

"The Kingdom of heaven is within you".

First heaven is the physical plane (earth)
Second heaven is the sleep state (Moon)
Third heaven is between the sun and the moon (eyes)
Therefore the master Jesus says:"Let thine eye be single".
The third heaven is where the mystical marriage takes place.
"Ye are gods".

---mark on 11/22/11

I was always taught that the Third Heaven was above the waters above, which were above the Second Heaven, or just "Heaven", which were above the First Heaven. This would be where the Judgment Seat is.
---Kevin_B. on 6/12/11

Third heaven is found in 2 Cor 12:2. I am also trying to find info on it. Try googling it....I did and there are different theories..
---Debbie on 2/7/11

The scripture you are referring to is 2 Corinthians 12:2. Paul mentions that he went to the third heaven, not to the third LEVEL of heaven. The third heaven is paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4 KJV). This was a vision Paul had in which God revealed Himself to Paul in order to give Paul strength and faith to help him continue his ministry.
---Shirley on 10/1/10

That is the very abode of God. here He lives and sits on His throne.
---catherine on 8/13/10

2 Corinthians, 12:1-10 is where Paul refers to the Third Heaven...
---Mystic on 8/12/10

2 Corinthians, Chapt. 12, verse 2. Type in "the third heaven" and you will find quite a few sites
---norma on 1/20/10

Third Heaven, II Cor.12:2-
-The 1st heaven is the sky where the clouds and lightning are, and where birds fly (Genesis 7:23+ I Kings 18:45).
-The 2nd heaven is the sky where the sun and moon and stars are (Matthew 24:29).
-The 3rd heaven is Paradise where Gods home is (Deuteronomy 10:14+ John 14:2,3).
---Eloy on 1/4/10

The first heaven is the atmosphere - where birds fly. The second heaven is the universe of stars. The third heaven is the place of God's throne. Paul was speaking of a person "caught up" to heaven in VISION only - not teleported there (see 2Co 12:1).
---jerry6593 on 1/1/10

Paul is referring to Soul Travel...out of body experiences and such. The third heaven is the Mental Plane.
---Brad on 12/31/09

Look up the "secrets of enoch" book, it's also known as Enoch 2. It is in harmony with the 3rd heaven that Paul was at.

It's either symbolic, after the 1,000 year reign, or somehow literal.
---Lost_bible_books on 11/14/09

Thank you for the insight into the meaning of the "third heaven". I am familiar with the three earth ages, but not the multiple levels of heaven.
---Janie on 10/26/09

larry-- I'm not sure why a pagan wouldn't understand the term "third rail". As for Southerners...well maybe they aren't as familiar with trains as more urban folk.

The third rail in a railway is the exposed electrical conductor that carries high voltage power. Stepping on the high-voltage third rail usually results in electrocution.

In politics, certain legislation is considered "third rail" since attempting to change it may lead to "political suicde"
Health Care legislation has always been a 3rd rail item.
---Donna66 on 9/19/09

I stand in agreement with Roy on 9/15/09

"What Is The Third Heaven". The heaven of the eternity.
---joseph on 9/18/09

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The first heaven is the atmosphere, Genesis 2:19, Lamentations 4:19. The second heaven is outer space, Deuteronomy 17:3, Matthew 24:29. The third heaven is Heaven, which contains Gods' throne, Deuteronomy 10:14, 2Corinthians 12:2.
John 14:2. -Glenn

Brother Glenn has it right as "third heaven" was only mentioned once in scripture 2nd Cor. 2:12.
Many believe Paul's was refering to himself on the road to Damascus where he was in a type of trance and "caught up to the third heaven." I'm not sure.
I must confess I use the term "third rail" often in alliterations though pagans are clueless as to its meaning as most southerners are clueless to my use of "third rail".
---larry on 9/17/09

The Apostles knew of the three heavens (Ouranos G3772) as being the atmosphere, the starry heavens, and The Lords' 'Heaven of Heavens'. Epi G1909 is to place something above another thing (physically, or otherwise), or it is used to intensify another word. Epouranios G2032 is only used for the starry heavens in 1Corinthians 15:40, and for the air in Ephesians 6:12 (2:2). In 2Peter 3:3-13, there is a comparison between the universe that has existed since Genesis 1, and a new / renewed universe. An important subject here is that we are to believe God, and not be scoffers.
---Glenn on 9/17/09

Sorry, but Peter is better at describing the three heavens than we are. He said the first heaven (and earth) was before the Flood, the second heaven (and earth) is the heaven that is now, and the third heaven (and earth) is in which righteousness will dwell. It's all about TIME, not DISTANCE!
Furthermore, the Greek word most often translated "heaven" is "ouranos" and refers to the sky. For outer space (where the sun moon and stars are) Paul used a different word,"epouranios," which means "of or pertaining to above-the-sky." It's the word that the author of Hebrews used for the New Jerusalem, as well.
---Roy on 9/15/09

First of all ---- Back in the day science was not very advanced. They did not have names for things like we do now. There was no atmosphere, troposphere, etc. During that time in history humans referred to the "first heaven" as what we now know as the regular sky - sun, moon, clouds, weather, etc. The "second heaven" is what we call outerspace - stars, planets, asteroids, etc. And the "third heaven" is what we now call 'Heaven'.
John was taken up PHYSICALLY. He did NOT leave his body.Most theologians believe Paul was taken up in body ALSO like Enoch of Genesis and John of Revelation were. These physical transfigurations or raptures of the physical body is a precursor to the final rapture of the body of Christ.
---Frances on 7/7/09

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The Third Heaven is where God, Jesus, and the angels dwell. It is where the Throne Room of God is. Revelation mentions it alot, though not by name.
---Leslie on 6/16/09

There are three "heavens"poken of in the Bible:
1. The atmospheric heavens where birds fly (Gen 1:20/Re.19:17)
2. The stellar heavens where the planets and stars are located. (Gen. 1:14-17, Ps. 19.1)
3. Paradise, whre God lives (2 Cor.12:2-4)
---Pierr5358 on 6/15/09

Helen_5378, Jared, SeventhSeal, are correct, and their responses actually relate to the meaning of the term "3rd heaven" to the Jews.

Ashley mis-interprets, "1 Cor 15:40,41". The verses are not about different "heavens" or "kingdoms". They are part of an explanation of the resurrection of the dead, which is expounded on in vv 15:42-50. In fact the entire chapter is about the resurrection: Christ's and ours.
---James on 4/26/09

The three heavens are as follows:

The first heaven is the atmosphere, Genesis 2:19, Lamentations 4:19. The second heaven is outer space, Deuteronomy 17:3, Matthew 24:29. The third heaven is Heaven, which contains Gods' throne, Deuteronomy 10:14, 2Corinthians 12:2.

John 14:2. -Glenn
---Glenn on 4/13/09

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I myself have been looking for an answer to 2Cor 12:2. But neither this blog or any on-line information refer to Isiah 65:17 & 66:22, 2 Peter 3:10 or Rev 21:1. These are a few of the passages refering to the new Heaven. So, perhaps the first Heaven is the Heaven of this and past times, the second Heaven being the new Heaven after the tribulation and the third Heaven as one we could reach out to now (as Paul states either "in or out of the body")
---Robert on 4/12/09

Hey seventhseal: good theory but wrong. In my fathers house are many mansions. And the dead were judged according to their works. Rev. There is glory telestial,stars, terrestial, moon, and celestial, sun, or three degrees of glory as talked about in the new testament. 2 Cor. 12:20 Everyone will be judged and will receive their reward based on how faithful they were in life. The celestial is where the father dwells. Many christians will receive the glory of the son or Jesus Christ in his terrestial kingdom, and others will live in the telestial kingdom, ruled by the Holy Ghost. Those following satan will receive outer darkness to live with satan. 1 Cor 15:40,41
---ashley on 2/8/09

My mother was at a conference on the Holy Spirit. This was strange to my mother. She prayed that the Lord would direct her as to its validity. In reply, God transported her to "the Third Heaven."

She was transported. As she went up she could see her body sitting in her chair - then she could see everyone in the auditorium. She soon found herself in the Third Heaven. She couldn't explain what she saw. She could only say that it was wonderful beyond words .

My mother's funeral was yesterday. It was more a time of celebration than a time of sorrow. All of us who are left behind are sad, but we have the sure hope of seeing her again and for this, we praise God.
---Carl on 2/7/09

1st heaven is the Earths atmosphere.
2nd heaven is the space beyond.
3rd Heaven is beyond all and it is where God's Throne room is located.

In Acts Stephen saw into the 3rd Heaven as he was being stoned.
---SeventhSeal on 3/21/08

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I think the he went into the real Heaven.
U see the heavnly town Jerusalm is like a cube.
I think there are several levels.
And he was at the higest and most glorius where God has His throne.
---Jan on 3/21/08

Katie, (1.)(2 Corinthians 12:2-4)says: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." ...
---Mrs._Morgan on 3/21/08

Katie - The Scripture where Paul was caught up to the third heaven is 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. The first heaven is the expanse from the earth to the sky. The second heaven is outer space. Then there is the third heaven, which is Heaven itself.
---Helen_5378 on 4/18/07

ancient understanding of the heavens: 1st heaven the atmosphere ie. the bird fly in the 1st heaven and the clouds are in heaven. 2nd heaven the stars which are above the clouds. 3rd heaven is where God lives. what paul talks about seeing a vision of the 3rd heaven, but not being able to discribe it because it is so great. John was given a vision, but it is so great that he can only discribe it in symbolism. (Heaven is greater than what is discribed in scripture we just can't imagine it or put it to words)
---Jared on 10/26/06

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Katie, (3.) There are different heavens, God is in the Main heaven. Lucifer can get into some of those heavens , but not God's main Heaven. The Bible says that Lucifer accuses the brethern before God(Revelation 12:10), this is proof that he can get into some of the heavens, for now. Michael the Arch angel and his armies will bring Lucifer down soon, during the Great Tribulation Period(Revelation 12:9), until then Lucifer is the prince to the air and has much freedom of movement.--Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/28/06

greetings ,for katie ,the mansion world that paul spoke of is third of seven mansion worlds.the third mansion world is a progressive step over the two former and as you progress to the seventh the the greater the positive educational training is in that one will have experienced intelligent comprehension on up until the seventh mansion might say these are dematerializing worlds and you will have a multitude of teachers to guide and assist you
---earl on 8/28/06

Katie,(2.) Paul was forever in and out of the Spirit, meaning that he could of been in a vision, God's visions are living reality, sometimes God's people can't tell if they are in the Natural or in the Spiritual. Remember that the Holy Spirit does wonderful and miraculous things! The Holy Spirit even physically transported Philip, after he had witnessed to a Ethiopian Eunuch(Acts 8:39,40).
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/28/06

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