"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Saturday, February 10, 2024


We learn about heaven from the very first verse of the Bible:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Scripture speaks of this heaven eventually passing away along with the Earth because they’re growing old:

PSALM 102:25-26
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed.

And they, along with everything else will be replaced with completely new and different versions:

ISAIAH 65:17
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind
(See also ISA 51:16; 66:22; 2 PET 3:13; REV 21:1).

Scripture speaks of “the third heaven” (2 COR 12:2), which conveys the idea of a first and a second heaven. What are the distinctions? How are they similar? What function and purpose do these three domains serve?

We’ll examine all of this and more in this article!
The word “heaven” is mentioned 552 times in the KJV; 314 times in the Old Testament and 238 times in the New Testament. “Heavens” is mentioned a total of 130 times in the KJV Bible.

Certainly it’s a subject that appears in the Scriptures in replete fashion. And while there seems to be a certain amount of disagreement concerning the precise definitions of the first, second, and third heaven, none who are well versed in Scripture dispute their existence.

In almost every instance in the Old Testament the word “heaven” is the Hebrew word shamayim and in some instances shamayin which is the singular form of the plural. It can refer to the sky with the visible arch in which the clouds move as well as the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve. Set apart from both of these is the dwelling place of the Most High and the angelic hosts (the third heaven; PSA 2:4; 11:4).

There are a couple of exceptions in the Hebrew:

In PSALM 77:18
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook

galgal” is used (HEB Lexicon #1534), which refers to “a wheel, a whirlwind, dust, a rolling thing, whirlwind [i.e., a vortex]. This phenomena is recurring throughout Scripture when there is a theophany, where the very presence of GOD (often accompanied by cherubim) manifests in our world.

In PSALMS 85:11; 89:37 shachaq is used (7834) meaning “a powder, a thin vapor, the firmament, cloud, sky, heaven”:

PSALM 85:11
Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven

PSALM 89:37
It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky. Selah

In the New Testament, the most common Greek word for “heaven” is ouranos (Greek Lexicon #3772). The following Greek words are used less frequently

ouranothen (3771) this can refer to either the aerial heaven (ACTS 14:7) or heaven as the uncreated sphere of GOD’s abode (ACTS 26:13).

epouranios (2032) above the sky; celestial, heaven, heavenly; it is used in regards to GOD the Father (MATT 18:35), of the place where Christ sits at the Father’s right hand (EPH 1:20), the present position of believers in relation to Christ (EPH 2:6) where they possess “every spiritual blessing” (EPH 1:3); of Christ and all those who are related to Him spiritually (1 COR 15:48); of those whose sphere of activity or existence is above or in contrast to that of the earth (“principalities and powers; EPH 3:10; spiritual hosts of wickedness; EPH 6:12; of the Holy Spirit; HEB 6:4). These notes were derived from Strong’s Concordance.

mesouranema (3321) in the midst of heaven, mid-sky, the word denotes the highest point in the heavens which the sun occupies at noon, where what is done can be seen and heard by all (REV 8:13; 14:6;19:17).

Getting back to the Old Testament, book of GENESIS 1; the Hebrew word used here:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Remember that shamayim is the plural form of shamayin, so “heavens” is the correctly translated word. The question is which two ‘heavens’ is referred to here? Since the third heaven is seen as the domain of GOD (His eternal realm), the other two in question must be that which was divided by the firmament. The first heaven which is atmospheric and surrounds our planet and the second heaven that extends beyond the firmament, in which the other planets, stars and galaxies exist.

6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day

From the Hebrew words translated into English: “firmament… midst… waters” we learn the following: the firmament is “an expanse that is the visible arch in the sky” which would include everything immediately above the Earth, the clouds, the atmosphere and all that dwells within this domain.

“… midst” means “to sever, a bisection, or a center (or middle) among that which is divided, and what is divided by this firmament are “the waters” which is a broadly defined word. Interestingly enough, it can mean juice (as that which is extracted from fruit), and also semen, besides various kinds of water, such as waste water, etc.

I don’t believe that this “water” is like the water we know today (both salt and fresh kinds) just as the “light” spoken of is the same sort of light derived from the sun or other sources. We must remember this is a primordial time of GOD creating everything.

I think both this water and that light are conducive to the production of our material universe. Scientists have discovered that if one takes a particle, and its anti-particle and collide them, they annihilate each other and throw off photons. So the order is: collision of particles, light, then nothing is left.

This would be the opposite of creation as described in Scripture: first there was nothing, then GOD created light, then the material universe came into being!

In any event, this firmament separates the water that is above (presumably that which is above our atmosphere) and that which is below – on the Earth. Once separated, GOD further divides the water that is below so that land appears. Thus the land and the bodies of water were given distinction.

But what about this water that’s above the firmament? What purpose did this serve?
I believe that this water, just outside of our atmosphere served as a kind of shield composed of crystal clear frozen water that kept harmful radiation of the sun from penetrating our atmosphere. This shield would also have an effect on the global barometric pressures and condense oxygen content (this would make planet Earth a global hyperbaric chamber). All of these factors together would provide extreme longevity, robust health benefits for humanity, and extraordinary growth of life forms (animals and plants; the fossil record bears this out!).

That which resides above the firmament that encompasses our atmosphere, above the waters (turned into Earth’s shield) would be what Scripture indicates as the second heaven – or that between place of our atmosphere and the spiritual domain of GOD, where sun, moon, stars – and galaxies all reside in their magnificent splendor.

GENESIS 1:14-19
14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 "and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day

“Lights” in this case indicates luminous objects. “in the firmament of the heavens” reveals that these lights shine through the firmament that separates the atmospheric heavens from the celestial. We know this because the Hebrew word for heaven is in the plural form.

So while we see these lights in our atmosphere, they also exist in the other heaven (“the second form being dual of an unused singular” Notes from Strong’s Concordance), i.e., not the divine domain of our GOD, but the between heaven – the celestial. The light of the celestial bodies emanate from the “lights” themselves but are seen through our atmosphere. This would of course include the sun and moon.

The celestial heavens perceived through our night skies were for us a kind of calendar, to express “signs, seasons, days and years”. What sort of signs are spoken of here? One suggestion is found here:

PSALM 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork

In an abstract sense, the glory of GOD is most certainly manifest in the staggering array of beauteous stars and systems that overwhelm any sensitive soul that gazes upon them in the night sky.
I remember I was out for a nightly walk around my old neighborhood in Upstate New York, and as I prayed, I said, “Father…” and I stopped as I gazed upward and saw the stars. I remembered the verse: “He made the stars also.”

And I smiled as I thought, “My heavenly Dad made all of that! Others might brag on their Dad who is an architect, or a scientist, or an artist that created something rather impressive, but my Dad is greater than them all! No one can compete with Him!!

However, there could be more to the 19th PSALM than just this!
If you’ve never looked into the Hebrew Mazzaroth, you might find this a fascinating study! Note: Astrology and the Zodiac based on this belief system has nothing to do with the Mazzaroth as established by GOD. Zodiac comes from the Hebrew Zodi which means “road, or way”, but because of Babel and the wickedness of the people there, the Mazzaroth was perverted from GOD’s original intent!

For more on the Mazzaroth, check out Dr. Chuck Missler’s 22 min video.

But let’s move on because we have a lot to cover!

Just in a passing note here:

Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."

Birds fly “across the face of the firmament of the heavens”. Remember that the firmament is what separates what’s above from that which is below. In other words, the first and second heavens. The birds fly on the face of it – or in our skies. It’s a firmament that is fixed, unmoving – not something solid as is presumed by some (though the waters above may well have been – before the Flood of Noah, where this icy canopy could have collapsed, producing prodigious amounts of water (“the windows of heaven opened”)). The heavens are fixed in that our atmosphere remains intact always, but also the heavenly bodies in the celestial remain in fixed orbits – so that while they are in constant movement, those movements are uniform to their trajectory and predictable.

The LORD pronounced His Judgment on the Earth in GENESIS 6:17, that He would destroy all life “from under heaven”, under the skies of the first heaven.

And in GENESIS 7:11-12,19 we see the following:
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered

Up until this point, rain was something unheard of; the land was irrigated by a heavy mist that rose up out of the earth from the time of creation to the time just before the Flood of Noah (GEN 2:6). No doubt Noah was ridiculed not just because he built this immense barge in the midst of dry land, but because he warned that GOD would unleash water from the heavens (what we call rain).

Today it’s no different: nonbelievers ridicule us Christians for something As Weird As Rain!
After the Earth was totally overwhelmed in the deluge (Yes, we here at TTUF believe that the Flood was global, NOT local! Evidence for such can be found everywhere!) the LORD GOD shut the heavens and stopped the fountains of the deep (the Flood wasn’t just from rainfall, but vast reservoirs under the Earth, veritable subterranean oceans of water erupted everywhere).

Now let’s visit the scene at the Tower of Babel:

And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

When we consider the command of GOD to go forth and multiply and fill the Earth, as given both to Adam and Eve (GEN 1:27) as well as to Noah (GEN 9:1), once he and his kin left the Ark, we find here the absolute contradiction of that command:

“…lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” This was the objective of Babel, to defy the command of GOD and build a city (the political aspect of this one world order) and a tower (the religious aspect).

How do we know that there was any religious intent on this tower? Towers are not at all necessarily religious in nature; how do we know that the tower of Babel was religious in nature?

First of all, let’s consider the word “Babel” which we understand in the common vernacular as meaning “confusion”. When GOD confused the languages, people heard the speech of their fellow man as mere babble, and only those who understood each other, grouped together and hence, the birth of nations came to be based on language.

But the word Bab-EL literally means “the gate or gateway [Bab] to God or the gods [EL]”. This tower was in fact, not a tower as we know them, but a ziggurat or a pyramid structure, which in the ancient world was essential in dealing with the spiritual realm, including the realm of the dead.

Babel was abandoned once GOD confused the languages, but something interesting happened then. As people scattered over the world (which was GOD’s will) they carried with them all of the esoteric, occult and spiritual knowledge that they had acquired at Babel.

One of those places people migrated to was later known as Babylon, and there we see very much the same sort of phenomenon (“…the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers…” DAN 2:27b) where occult and spiritual knowledge in opposition to GOD was not only present, but prevalent among the leadership in their government. The same with Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome.

Occult knowledge was present in myriad secret and, or esoteric societies throughout the history of Europe and elsewhere (a very small sampling of these: The Thule Society, The Black Hand, The Rosicrucian Society, Alta Vendita, Ancient Mystical Order of Druids, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Bavarian Illuminati, and the Order of Freemasons, and more recently, the Bohemian Club, The Brotherhood of Luxor, The Theosophical Society, The Club of Rome, the Council of 300, and the Inner Circles of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and many others besides).

The purpose of these societies is to restore the one world order that was established but quickly dispatched at the Tower of Babel. The culmination of this reunification can be seen plainly displayed in REVELATION 13.1; 13.2, 17 and 18.

So “a tower whose top is in the heavens” I believe, doesn’t only mean a man-made structure that reaches up to the clouds (the first heaven; though it was probably the tallest standing building of that day), but truly a literal gateway that leads into the heavens (1st and 2nd Heavens, where “principalities, powers… [and] spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” dwell.

If one consults with works such as the book of Enoch, we read there that mankind was given all sorts of knowledge from these god-like beings whose intent was to deceive and dominate over mankind.

Who knows but that such atomic collider devices as found in CERN might well breach our spatial reality and reach into the inter-dimensional reality where evil spirits were dispatched to, and open up a Pandora’s box of perdition?

The fall of man in GENESIS 3 was the quintessential paradigm shift of the human race, but too often GENESIS 6 is neglected as another most profound paradigm shift that has and is effecting the human race with seriously detrimental effect!

Moving on from here, let’s take a quick look at the following before we conclude this introduction and the subsequent articles, three in number, each dealing with one of the three heavens:

12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 "and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 "Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it.

The KJV expresses vs. 14 as “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”

Here we have expressed the distinction of “heaven” with “the heaven of heavens”, which denotes that there is a heaven above all heavens, and that there are heavens (plural) subordinate to, that is, ‘lower’ than the highest heavens.

Again, there is the terrestrial heaven – our atmosphere that surrounds our planet (covered in PART TWO).

Then the celestial heaven – the incredible universe that stretches beyond the reach of our imaginations (our Milky Way galaxy all on its own is 100,000 light years across. When you consider that just ONE light year (the distance light can travel [at 186,000 miles per second) is about six trillion miles, that is staggering (PART THREE)!

Then there is the eternal domain of the third heaven where GOD dwells. It was ludicrous when in April of 1961, supposedly the atheistic cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin attained orbit above the Earth and declared that “GOD is not here”.

Scripture states that the LORD holds all of creation in His hand:

ISAIAH 40:12
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span [of His hand] And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?

I would say that Yuri’s perspective was enormously myopic!

PSALM 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork

Lastly we shall look at the eternal domain of GOD (PART FOUR that will conclude this series), the third Heaven where His Throne sits, where angels worship Him continuously, where we shall abide with our LORD Jesus Christ forever and ever!

Much of what is proposed here flies in the face of FLAT EARTH THEORY (FET). Rather than treat this topic here, may I suggest the following video by pastor Mike Winger who does an exceptional job of examining the Scripture for what they reveal.

Until then, remember: JESUS SAVES, Satan enslaves! JESUS RULES, Satan fools! JESUS REIGNS and Satan feigns!


Jim Haun, Jr. said...

Regarding "span of His hand," two thoughts:

Whatever the "size" of God's "hand," whatever that means, if the "Big Bang" concept has any validity with respect to His creative Act -- there had to be an infinitely short instant when the expanding explosion matched the "span of His hand."

Also, wise men in the far East once made the poetic statement: "Gad carries the Universe around like an acorn in his pocket."

- Jim Haun, Jr.

James J. Fire said...

Acorn! LoL! I like it!
But this acorn is starting to show some wear and tear! Looking forward to the new one!