- Published: 16 December 2010
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Since most of Christendom equates salvation and going to heaven, we thought it profitable to look into the matter and see what the Scriptures have to say about it.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, two spheres. But they were overthrown in the great overthrow of Genesis 1:2, and 2 Peter 3:6.
Six days were given to the task of bringing order on the earth and establishing a new heavens or firmament (Genesis 1:6). This is what we now call the universe or creation. Some day the present heavens and earth will pass away and there will be a new creation (2 Peter 3:13). The new heavens will be the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2).
But there is another sphere which is never said to be created. It is over and above all the universe or creation. The first mention is in Deuteronomy 10:14, being mentioned only 10 times in the OT. The expression is usually heaven of heavens. It is the place of God's glory.
We know very little about the inhabitants of the heavens and earth created in Genesis 1:1.
Man was created to dwell in and rule over the present earth (Genesis 1:26). There is nothing about man ever inhabiting the firmament or heaven above us. But Satan has his headquarters there and rules there with his angels. He is the prince of the powers of the air (heaven). Some day he will lose his place there and with his angels be cast into the earth (Revelation 12:9).
Now what is the way to heaven? There is no hint in all the OT that man would ever dwell in the heaven of heavens. Satan had ambitions in that direction, but failed. See Isaiah 14:13,14.
No one has ascended to that place except the Lord (John 3:13). But as we read thru the gospels, we find no gate to heaven for man to enter. It is unheard of. We read on thru Acts, and some of the epistles and then we stop at Ephesians 1:3. Here is something new. A people chosen from before the overthrow has been chosen to be blest in the heavenlies, the heaven of heavens.
The gate to the heavenly places was opened when the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28). Since God's earth purpose was that all nations should be blest thru Israel, and Israel failed, then this earth purpose has been suspended for the time being and the secret purpose, hid from ages and generations, was put in motion.
So we are to the point of answering the question of how to get to heavenly places. It is by grace thru faith. And faith comes by hearing, and the hearing by the Word of God. Paul was entrusted with the gospel of the dispensation of the mystery after Israel were divorced at the end of Acts. And it is this gospel that one must receive and believe. And to those who believe, the Word says, Quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ .Jesus. And the hope? See Colossians 3:4.