Where are the heavens?

Question: “Where are the heavens?  How many heavens are there and where are they located?”

Bible Answers

When thinking about heaven, most people only think of one heaven that houses the Lord while others believe that the Bible refers to three celestial heavens.  However, the Bible actually refers to four separate heavens.

Hebrews 7:26 tells us that we have a high priest (Jesus) who is “exalted above the heavens”.  For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.

The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven circling the earth.

Behold the birds of the heaven (Matt 6:26).  

And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced fruit (James 5:18).

The second heaven is the heaven of the sun, moon, and stars

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matthew 24:29).

And take heed, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage (Deuteronomy 4:19).

The third heaven is the residence of our heavenly Father and Son.

The location is not known but appears to be beyond the second heaven in deeper space.

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 10:14).

Praise Him, you heaven of heavens (Psalm 148:4).

Paul tells us, I know a man in Christ … was caught up to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2).

The fourth heaven is yet to come

At the end of the End Times when the history of mankind is completed, Satan has been defeated (Rev. 20:7-10) and the Great White Thrown Judgement has occurred (Rev. 20:11-15), then the present heavens will be destroyed and the new heaven will come down to the new earth.

waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:12-13).

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind (Isaiah 65:17).

All will be replaced when the new heaven comes down to a new earth.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:1-8).

The fourth heaven will be that place where God’s children spend eternity with their Heavenly Father and Lord.

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