Three Heavens; Not Just One
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
Most people miss it, but there is an "s" on the word "heaven" to indicate that more than one exists.
So, how many heavens are there? How does the Bible account for them?
The First Heaven
Everyone can see the first heaven. However, people might not consider it as a heaven. The first heaven is known as the atmospheric heaven that includes the air that we breathe and our surrounding on the earth.
The first heaven is actually the atmosphere that contains the things we can see such as the clouds and birds and airplanes. Whenever you fly in an airplane, you are in the first heaven. The first heaven extends about twenty miles above the earth.
Jeremiah 4:25 describes the first heaven. The major prophet says in the Old Testament, "I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled."
The banished disciple John says in the last book of the Bible in Revelation 19:17, "I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come."
The Second Heaven
The second heaven is far away, but we can see some of it. It is where the stars and planets are. The second heaven is what we call outer space where some astronauts have gone.
The second heaven is known as the celestial heaven or the stellar heaven. This heaven includes the sun, moon, and stars.
Genesis 22:17 proves there is a second heaven. God says, "In blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore."
Much attention should be given to the second heaven because that is where Satan and his demons do their best work. It is the place where spiritual warfare takes place.
A good way to believe this is true is to remember that God told Daniel He answered his prayer in the third heaven the first day he prayed, but it was delayed by conflict in the second heaven for 21 days, according to Daniel 10:12-14. Some people go on a 21-day fast because of this information.
Satan held up Daniel's prayer in the second heaven. That's where he holds up our prayers. In other words, Satan comes between us on earth and God who is in the third heaven.
The Third Heaven
The third heaven is the dwelling place of God. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:2, "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such as one caught up to the third heaven."
The Three Heavens
Atmosphere where birds and airplanes fly among the clouds
Satan and his demons fight spiritual battles; also, it is outer space where stars and planets are
Dwelling place of God and the heavenly host
People live on earth, but they are not really citizens of earth. How could that be?
Paul says in Philippians 3:20, "We are citizens of heaven." But which one? We are actually not living in our place of citizenship. Even though we have to live and have our feet planted on earth, our ultimate citizenship is in the third heaven with God. In the end, the third heaven will roll down and replace the earth.