Where are the Three Heavens?

bigstock-mystical-blue-sky-with-divine--16379492DEAR LARRY:

Where in the bible does it clearly state what and where the 3 heavens are? I’ve seen this before. I’ve shown it to other people, but, I can’t seem to find it now. – Bob

Dear Bob,

I believe the Scripture reference you may be thinking of is 2 Corinthians 12:2, where the Apostle Paul refers to a man being “caught up to the third heaven.” (NIV)

The Bible only speaks of one true heaven, where God lives. It is the place where Jesus went to prepare a place for His followers. It is the place where all of God’s people will live with Him eternally.

There isn’t any place in the Bible that I know of where it clearly states what and where the three heavens are. But if you look at the Old and New Testament references to heaven (and there are hundreds), you find a great deal of context with which to figure this out.

Whenever reading the Bible or considering the meaning of what it says, it’s always good to remember that the English language is the most complex and sophisticated language in the world – by a significant margin. Most other languages of the world have far fewer words than English does. As a result, there are often words in other languages that will have multiple translations into English.

Perhaps the most practical way to think about this is to notice that the various references to heaven throughout the Bible tend to reference three different things — for which we have multiple choices of words to describe today. They are as follows:

  1. Heaven equals a place where God lives. Its location is never revealed, and most people tend to believe that it only exists in a spiritual dimension.
  2. Heaven equals outer space, where the planets, suns, moons, stars and solar systems are found.
  3. Heaven equals the blue sky experienced by man on earth. It’s where the clouds are, where the birds fly, where smoke goes, etc.

There is a lot that can be read about heaven. Moreover, you’ll not have trouble finding seemingly credible opinions about there being more than one heaven and/or there being different levels of heaven. But don’t be deceived. There is no Biblical basis for such opinions.

The Bible only speaks of one true heaven, where God lives. It is the place where Jesus went to prepare a place for His followers. It is the place where all of God’s people will live with Him eternally.

About Larry Walker

Larry Walker loves God and loves people. He has a heart for teaching people how to follow Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. He has worked for years in a recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery, and also counsels many Pastors throughout the country. Larry answers questions and provides practical application of biblical principles in everyday life. If you've got a question....ask Larry!


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Comments

  1. Bob says

    The three Heavens you describe above are stated in the Bible. But, I can’t find it. I know it is there. I think it’s kinda funny that I have asked this same question to over a hundred people and nobody can find the scriptures that back up what you have stated. I know it’s in the Bible. I’ll keep looking. Thank you.

    • says

      2 Corinthians 12:2 Paul’s writing But to concur with Larry, Genesis 1:20, Job 12:7, and Psalm 8:8 (and other verses) speak of this first heaven. Genesis 15:5, Deuteronomy 4:19, Psalm 8:3 all speak of this second heaven. Psalm 11:4,2 Corinthians 12:2-4.,Ephesians 1:20 speak of the dwelling place of our Lord and Yeshua. The site where I found these references. http://www.psalm11918.org/Did-You-Know/scripture-describes-three-heavens.html

  2. Samanth says

    Mormonism teaches three heavens also, using this verse as their doctrinal basis. Too much emphasis is placed on it being “real”. Paul concludes he merely knows the man who claims to have visited this third heaven, but stops short at saying the man is speaking the truth. He, being one of the greatest doctrinal scholars of his day, simply doesn’t know, not being the man or God, and so leaves it between the Lord and the man–and cautions others to do the same. Curious Paul uses the word “boast”, though. I know I’m going out on the same limb I warn people from, but why would someone “boast” they were carried up to the third heaven? For what purpose? Paul doesn’t say the man gave any explanation for this happening to him. I don’t believe the Lord expects us to build a doctrinal basis for anything on one verse. What I can stand upon as “real” is, Heaven is where the Lord is, and that is where Christians will be for eternity.

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