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September 20, 2017 / Pastor George Fike

Heavens and Earth


5th in a series

the heavens and the earth…?   In Hebrewhashamayim we ha’ erets…

One earth? And how many heavens?

The Bible refers to “the heavens” in three different senses:

  • The first heaven is the visible “sky”, the abode of clouds and the source of rain, snow, sleet, and hail (Genesis 1:6-8Deuteronomy 11:10; Job 35:5; Psalm 104:12).
  • The second is “outer space” – (the final frontier! right, children of the 60’s?) We see through the “sky” into this heaven at night, unless hindered by clouds or nearby lights (1 Chronicles 27:23; Ezekiel 32:7; Mark 13:25).
  • The third is extra dimensional “heaven,” where God and His angels reside, sometimes referred to as “above the heavens” (Psalm 2:4; Psalm 123:1; Acts 7:56)  In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul referred to it as “the third heaven.” This heaven we refer to as transcendent, that is, beyond our experience. It can only be known to us through our spirits, the transcendent part of us. We will see that later when we discuss being made in “God’s image” and becoming a “living soul.”

So then God, outside our time and space, created the transitional abode of mankind, filling the second heaven with the resources to source the planet on which He would place mankind. Every star in our galaxy that explodes spews forth heavier elements, the kind of which make their way to earth to provide the very building blocks of life. He has encompassed us with the first heaven, with gravity-bound oxygen and water in all three states – solid, liquid, gas – that richly sustain life on this planet. He has set our tiny blue pebble in an arm of a stable spiral galaxy, from which we are sheltered from deadly radiation and which is also sparse enough that we can see the wonders of the second heaven – the best view in the universe, in my opinion! Not to spoil upcoming posts, but it thrills me when I read:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

You have set your glory in the heavens.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:1,3-4)

I was blessed to be able to spend some time in Colorado with my sister and brother-in-law, high in the Rockies. What beautiful skies! The clouds themselves are amazing, but when a storm is rolling in, the skies are awe-inspiring! But then, to be outside a cabin with no neighbors for scores of acres, on a clear night to see the stars lining the second heaven – how glorious! How small we seem in our own eyes! But in our Father’s eyes,…

We are all He sees!

And to think, because of that love,…

One day we will see the greatest glory of the third heaven! What a day that will be!

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him… (1 Corinthians 2:9)

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