We have considered the question concerning the certainty of heaven and whether there is life after death. We have examined some aspects of nature proving life after death, also using the common sense God has given us. We have looked at the fact that man is a body and has a soul and spirit. I want to speak about the location of Heaven. The Bible gives a great deal about where Heaven is located.Heaven is a place, it is not a state or condition. Now, in the text in Rev. 21:2, the apostle John says he saw the New Jerusalem coming down from God, out of heaven, this is something different from God's heaven.
The Bible speaks of three heavens:
1. The Aerial Heaven, where the birds and fowl fly, is from this heaven where rain falls (Acts14:17). This heaven is immediately above us.The airplanes fly through this heaven. Gen. 1:26 uses the word "air" and then in Gen. 1:20 we see the words "OPEN FIRMAMENT", which is the air right above us.
2. The second heaven is the Atmospheric Heaven. This is the heaven of the stars where the principalities and the powers are according to Eph. 6:12.
3. The Third Heaven is where God dwells. Paul called it the "Third Heaven" and "Paradise". Nehemiah called it the "Heaven of Heavens. Now turn to Isaiah14:13-14 and you learn that heaven is up. Satan says he will ascend "above the stars of God" and that is beyond the second heaven! The Bible says "in the sides of the north" and THAT is the direction of heaven, folks! See Psalm 48: 1-2 and you have the same phrase "THE SIDES OF THE NORTH". Turn to Ezekiel 1:4-5 and you get more information regarding this THIRD HEAVEN. THE prophet saw a whirlwind come out of the north. If you read the whole passage you see it deals with the Almighty. Ezekiel 1 in which God is speaking as to the direction of the north.
Turn to Ps. 75:6-7 and notice where the promotion comes from. The word "north" is not mentioned but the words "but God is the Judge" north is left out. Why? God is judge and the promoter and he is in the direction of north. DO YOU GET THAT? The THIRD HEAVEN where God is, in the north, is where the judging will take place. JOB KNEW THIS FACT also. (Job 37:1-13 and Job 26:7.)
Modern astronomers tell us that there is a place in the North in the constellation of the Swan. It's a place where there are no stars. They have photographed it and they tell us that the earth is in route to that space. I have heard that vast expanse is moving towards the earth also. Could that be the New Jerusalem coming down?
HEAVEN IS UP
"When Elijah was taken from this earth alive, the Bible says that "ELIJAH WENT UP BY A WHIRLWIND INTO HEAVEN".In Acts 1:9-11, when Christ ascended, it says "HE WAS TAKEN UP".True north must be the up direction if you live on the bottom of the planet. True north is the fixed point. True north is straight up and true north is never any other direction. The magnetic attraction of north by the compass needle never changes. I cannot tell you how far God's heaven is up, but I know He has it all worked out.
NEW HEAVEN, NEW EARTH
Don't confuse Rev. 21:1 with what we have already seen. Isaiah deals with Rev. 21:1 and Isaiah 65:17-22. When the great blast takes place (in II Peter ,) this will do away with the elements...then something new will take its place....hence, Rev. 21:1 and Isaiah 65-66. This new earth is for the Jew, a new heaven for the Gentile, and a new Jerusalem for the Christian.
WHAT ABOUT PARADISE
Paradise is mentioned three times in the Bible. Luke 23:43 - Christ Speaking; II Cor. 12:4 - Paul was caught up there; Rev. 2:7 - Christ went into Paradise at His death. His soul went there. His body remained in the grave. The righteous dead went to Paradise until Christ went there and took them to the third Heaven where they are now. It is believed that now when we die, in Christ, we go to the third Heaven - Paradise. Paul in his writings (II Cor. 12:1-4) calls them "Heaven and Paradise".
HOW DO WE KNOW THAT CHRIST WENT INTO THE HEART OF THE EARTH? Matthew and Eph 4:7-10 marks the point when Paradise and all its inhabitants were removed from Hell to Heaven.