The Third Heaven

Apostle Paul (and apparently his friend too) believed in something called “the third heaven” which is NOT described in the Bible. Would you like to know what he was talking about?

2 Cor 12:2 I know a man in Messiah who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, YHWH knows — such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

Curious? Well, here, we find the answer – in one of the many books the Apostles knew and studied and quoted, but which are not found in our (quite Catholic) Bibles:

“And those men took me thence, and led me up on to the third heaven, and placed me there; and I looked downwards, and saw the produce of these places, such as has never been known for goodness. And I saw all the sweet-flowering trees and beheld their fruits, which were sweet-smelling, and all the foods borne by them bubbling with fragrant exhalation. And in the midst of the trees that of life, in that place whereon the Lord rests, when he goes up into paradise; and this tree is of ineffable goodness and fragrance, and adorned more than every existing thing; and on all sides it is in form gold-looking and vermilion and fire-like and covers all, and it has produce from all fruits. Its root is in the garden at the earth’s end. And paradise is between corruptibility and incorruptibility. And two springs come out which send forth honey and milk, and their springs send forth oil and wine, and they separate into four parts, and go round with quiet course, and go down into the Paradise of Eden, between corruptibility and incorruptibility. And thence they go forth along the earth, and have a revolution to their circle even as other elements. And here there is no unfruitful tree, and every place is blessed. And there are three hundred angels very bright, who keep the garden, and with incessant sweet singing and never-silent voices serve the Lord throughout all days and hours. And I said: How very sweet is this place, and those men said to me:

This place, O Enoch, is prepared for the righteous, who endure all manner of offence from those that exasperate their souls, who avert their eyes from iniquity, and make righteous judgment, and give bread to the hungering, and cover the naked with clothing, and raise up the fallen, and help injured orphans, and who walk without fault before the face of the Lord, and serve him alone, and for them is prepared this place for eternal inheritance.”

(2Enoch 8:6–7 Old Testament Pseudepigrapha)

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