In the previous article on this blog, we have learned about many popular but confusing, contradictory, and unbiblical beliefs about heaven. What then is the true biblical description of heaven? Do you know what God has in store for us?
God Has Revealed To Us Our True Destiny
But as it is written [quoting from Isaiah 64:4]: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
~1 Corinthians 2:9-10
The Third Heaven Is Not Our Promised Abode
Let’s start first with a view of the third heaven (God’s throne), shown to the apostle John [but which the apostle Paul was hindered from revealing at that time (2 Corinthians 12:4)].
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven… Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven… And He who sat there was like… and there was a rainbow around the throne… Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures… The first… like a lion, the second… like a calf, the third… had a face like a man, and the fourth … like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night… Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…
As we can read from these verses, that great palatial throne in the Third Heaven is always busy with activity day and night. It appears to be the administrative center to govern everything in the entire universe. Surprisingly, there is no dwelling place for the multiple billions of those who will eventually be redeemed from the earth! Definitely, this is not the promised abode for us — which explains exactly why there is no such verse in the Bible that says, “when we all meet (or dwell) in heaven.”
The Promise: Christ Will Prepare a Place for Us
But God has a better plan. Remember what Christ said to His disciples?
In My Father’s house [not throne in the third heaven] are many mansions [Strong’s number G3438 mone (pronounced mon-ay) meaning: staying, abiding, dwelling, abode. The KJV, NKJ, YLT translate this word as “mansions.” The ESV, NIV, NLT translate it as “rooms.” NAU renders it as “dwelling places”]… if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am [Christ was on earth then], there you may be also.
[NOTE: These verses indicate that Christ was still to prepare a proper abode for us, showing also that the Father’s throne in heaven was not the designated place.]
Consider for a moment all the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. What kept them focused? What was their goal? What were they waiting for?
By faith [Abraham — the father of the faithful] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
The patriarchs were waiting for the City — not a city, the City — the City of God. Did they receive it in their lifetime? According to the Bible, they did not. But they saw it with their eyes of faith and it drove them to live lives of faithfulness (Hebrews 11:13). Again, what did God promise them? What did He prepare for them?
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
God has prepared a City — this is the “place” Christ is preparing for us. But this is not the same thing as heaven, because this City is coming down (TO earth) FROM (or OUT OF) heaven, as we shall see later. The writer of the book of Hebrews (whom we believe was Paul) encourages the Hebrew Christians with these words — and this is what every Christian should seek:
Therefore, let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
The Fulfilment: The Holy City, New Jerusalem
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [Notice again — the Holy City is coming down OUT OF heaven. Therefore, it cannot be the same thing as heaven itself.]
That Great Holy City Is Coming Down From Heaven
Then one of the seven angels… came to me [apostle John] saying… “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone… clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates… Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations… And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth… twelve thousand furlongs [1,400-1,500 miles (2,250-2,400 kilometers)]. Its length, breadth, and height are equal… and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones…. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
The Glory of God Will Illuminate the Holy City
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light…. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there)… But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
There Will Be A River of Life, and the Tree of Life
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month… And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it… And they shall reign forever and ever.
What Is God’s Ultimate Plan for Us?
In contrast with the deceptions of Satan as taught by the major religions — though they don’t openly say or admit it, their concept of heaven is boring, vague, and unappealing (i.e., plucking on a very small harp and aimlessly floating on a cloud for all eternity!) — let’s rather read about the unheard of plan of God for humanity.
God’s Plan for Us Is to Inherit the Whole Universe!
For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one [King David in Psalms 8:4-6] testified in a certain place, saying:
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him [temporarily] a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
New Living Translation Renders It More Clearly
You gave them authority over all things.” Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority.
~Hebrews 2:8 (NLT)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?~Romans 8:32
… And to Be God’s Divine, Immortal Children!
I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.
~2 Corinthians 6:18
And if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Will It Be A Boring Existence? Far From It!
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
You just got a glimpse of your unheard of and fantastic future! Pursue it relentlessly, and hold on to the vision of that goal!
I know you have other questions related to this topic, since these concepts are new to most of our readers. But please be patient. I plan to write another article, on how all these events fall into the proper sequence and perspective in God’s master plan for mankind.
Please keep watching for more eye-opening articles on BiblicalTruths.com.