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The Three Heavens



Angels, Demons and What Lies Ahead

Q&A With Pastor John Hagee

Question: Most people are familiar with the concept of heaven - a place beyond the natural world, but isn't there just one?

John Hagee: There are, in fact, three heavens and understanding each one is vitally important to how we should live our lives today and how we think about eternity.

Question: Is there biblical backing for the reality of The Three Heavens?

John Hagee: From the first sentence of Genesis right through to the final book of Revelations, God's authoritative Word is clear that there are "heavens" - plural. The Bible opens with "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth." Heavens - plural. David wrote of the "highest heaven." Isaiah prophesied about "the high and holy place." Jesus promised "paradise" to the thief on the cross which is the Third Heaven. The Apostle Paul visited the "Third Heaven" and couldn't find words to describe it. John, the Revelator, was taken in a vision to the same paradise Jesus spoke of. Biblical evidence for the Three Heavens is consistent and compelling.

Question: What is the First Heaven and what can we learn from it?

John Hagee: The First Heaven is the universe we see with our natural eyes: the sun, the stars, the moon and countless celestial wonders. It bears witness to God's existence, to His creative power and to His everlasting glory. We look to the First Heaven - as man has done throughout history - and we wonder "Who made this? Who has such power?" The vastness and the intricacy point us toward the all-powerful creator and Father-God, who is then more fully explained in the Bible and, finally, shown to us in the flesh by Jesus - God the Son.

I like the convenience of cars, planes and air conditioning. But science is the study of the natural world.

Question: Does the Third Heaven correspond to the highest heaven you mentioned? To paradise?

John Hagee: The Third Heaven is God's dwelling place. It's where we have been created to spend eternity. It is important enough that Jesus, God the Son, came to Earth to die and live again so that all who believe in Him can be in the Third Heaven forever. It's referred to in the Bible as the Highest Heaven, Paradise and the Third Heaven. It's a place without pain or tears. It is so wonderful that the Apostle Paul - among the greatest writers to have lived - visited there and returned unable to describe it. "No mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him," Paul wrote.

Question: Logically, if there is a First and a Third Heaven, there must be a Second. What do we learn from it?

John Hagee: The Second Heaven is the throne room of God's enemy, the fallen angel Lucifer, who is called Satan in the New Testament. It is the battleground where Satan's dark forces battle God's forces of light. This supernatural battle is real and the aim of the enemy is to keep as many of us away from belief in God's Word as possible. We learn that demons are influencing us through books we read, movies we see and games we play. We must stand against them in Christ's name, knowing that elect angels, literally, are acting to help, defend and protect us.

Question: Doesn't scientific advancement tend to move some people away from belief in heaven?

John Hagee: We should all be grateful for science. I certainly wouldn't want someone I love having an operation if science hadn't made the advances in medical care that is has. I like the convenience of cars, planes and air conditioning. But science is the study of the natural world. God created the natural world to bear witness to Him - so scientific advances confirm the grandeur of God's creation. If the First Heaven declares God's glory to the naked eye, we should expect deeper exploration of it to show even more of His creative majesty.

Question: If the heavens - plural - are declaring His glory, what is that declaration?

John Hagee: The Three Heavens declare that God exists, that His enemy exists, that God is all powerful, that He wants us with Him in paradise forever and that He loved us so much He sent His Son to die so that we might live eternally in the Third Heaven.