Thursday, December 1, 2011

All the host of them, 3rd heaven, and the creation of angels.

You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
(Nehemiah 9:6 ESV)

This verse shows that God created the angels in the beginning. The heaven of heavens is what Paul refers to as 3rd heaven in 2nd Corinthians 12:2. We see this host of heaven worships God and the host of heaven is the angels. We see this host mentioned in Genesis.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Genesis 2:1 ESV)
 So we see the angels of the host of heaven are mentioned as being created with the heaven's and the earth in Genesis 1:1-2.

What is Paul talking about in 2nd Corinthians 12:2?
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
(2 Corinthians 12:2-3 ESV)
This is not, like Shepherd's Chapel would claim, Paul being taken to the third earth age. This is the same heaven of heavens that is spoken of throughout the Old Testament (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 2:6; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 148:4). Here is a the note on 2nd Corinthians 12:2 from the ESV Study Bible on the topic of third heaven:

This phrase does not imply belief in a simplistic “three-story universe” but reflects a commonsense distinction between (1) the atmosphere where birds can be seen to fly, (2) the higher area where the sun, moon, and stars can be seen, and (3) the unseen realm where God dwells. This third area is equated with paradise (Gk. paradeisos, a Persian loan-word used in the Septuagint to refer to the garden of Eden [see Gen. 2:8–10; 13:10; Isa. 51:3; Ezek. 28:13; 31:8–9] but in the NT to refer to a place of blessedness where God dwells [Luke 23:43; Rev. 2:7]). Both terms would be recognized by Jewish readers as references to the realm of God’s direct presence.