Heaven? Sequels often suck. Get it right the first time I say.
God owes us a big apology and a better life after this one is the LEAST he can do.
Christian/Quantum physicists have a field day with the multi-universe theory using this third heaven concept. Back in the Revival Chult (church/cult) we, or some of us, had a few theories of our own. Some identified heaven with periods of time rather than physical places. The 4000 years of law was the first heaven, the 2000 years of Grace was the second heaven, while the third heaven is the age to come. Symbolicly, I thought this had a lot more spiritual significance than physical appreciations of gold streets etc.
But regarding heaven as an actual place, aren't there some who believe that the earth is the first heaven, the sky is the second heaven and the throne-room or presence of God is the third. Nah, that doesn't sound right to me though... if, that is, anything can sound 'right'. God called the firmament "Heaven", and it's a vague and interpretive word - IMO. The first heaven could be the atmosphere, the second heaven is outer space, and the third heaven is beyond space, the place where God hangs out... which is sort of ignorant and archaic though. A lot of translations interpret "Heaven" as "sky", because the Bible seems to be talking about the atmosphere.
For the open-minded explorer, there is a lot of interesting stuff to be said about NDEs (near death experiences). These tales of we mere mortals skimming along the astral planes to touch the supernatural are as common as UFO and Ghost sightings, but I'm one to tease these things with the benefit of the doubt. There's an old Chinese proverb (I think) that says if six men tell you you're sick, then lie down. I've heard enough sincere testimonies to make me wonder a little. I've got some good stuff on this subject for both sides of the argument, but not in digital form. Here's an interesting link for anyone who wants to pursue the concept: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen021.html
The Borg of Heaven
The Bible describes the city of heaven as a 1500 mile cube, similar to Star Trek's Borg
by Jim Walker - originated 31 March 1999 back to Satire & Comics
The frightful story of Heaven and Borg
I can't imagine a more frightening story than that of the Bible's heaven. Unfortunately most Christians believe heaven as a pleasant eternal vista for which their souls reside as one with their God, forever. Oh, but what they have misconstrued.
If one considers the Bible an authoritative source (and after all, that's where the idea of Christian heaven comes from) then you will find little to be desiring about the place called heaven unless you wish to become a mindless soul in a utopian world similar to the world of the Borg as presented by the Star Trek series. How many Christians realize that heaven is a 1500 mile cube city, or that violence and horror occurs from there, and that its inhabitants have little freedom of expression?
The source of my interpretation comes not from me but from the Bible and from one of the worlds best-known scholars and an authority on the New Testament: Bruce M. Metzger. He has taught for many years at Princeton Theological Seminary, the author of over 35 books and the Chairman of the NRSV Translation Committee. My only contribution is the comparison of the descriptions of heaven with the Borg from the Star Trek series (google to find this story, I lost it... funny read though... I could google it myself and put the link here, but I am THAT lazy!).
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