Bible Exposition

What Paul mean by caught up into third heavens

The text for our discussion is got from 2 Corinthians.

2Cor 12: 1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.

  1. Verse 4 shows that the third heaven is a figure of the paradise, or garden of Eden which are all symbols of the coming kingdom of God on earth.

2Co 12:4 KJV “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

Rev 2:7 KJV He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

  1. The context shows that Paul was referring to himself as having in 14 years ago had a great revelation where he found himself right in the kingdom of God.

You’ll see the confirmation in verse one

2Co 12:1 ISV I must boast, although it does not do any good. Let’s talk about visions and revelations from the Lord.

  1. This 14 years ago Revelation was so important to Paul that it seems he hinted of it elsewhere :

Gal 2:1-2 ISV 1 Then fourteen years later, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me. 2 I went in response to a revelation, and in a private meeting with the reputed leaders, I explained to them the gospel that I’m proclaiming to the gentiles. I did this because I was afraid that I was running or had run my life’s race for nothing.

  1. Me: I wish Paul wrote down this revelation to us. But unfortunately he died with it. This revelation may be the same or similar to what John saw, maybe Jesus showed it to Paul and John, maybe.
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