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IS THE CHURCH CALLED TO HEAVEN?

IS THE CHURCH CALLED TO HEAVEN?

I believe the church is called to heaven. But the heaven to which the church is called is not described in the Bible and therefore we know nothing of it. That lack of description has led some to conclude that the church cannot be called to a heaven that is never described. However, in my opinion, that lack of description is in keeping with the character of the dispensation of the mystery.  That is to say, in the previous dispensation God had performed many miracles on behalf of Israel, and that is why Israel looked for signs (I Cor. 1:22) all throughout the Acts period.  But there are no obvious miracles in the dispensation of the mystery, certainly not of the magnitude of dividing a sea or raising the dead.  In the dispensation of the mystery the church walks, not by sight, but by faith.

The following subjects will be addressed:

A Study of Heaven

The Heavens of Heavens

The Apparent Contradiction in Rev. 21:1

In Which Heaven is Christ Seated?

The Calling of the Church

Appendix I. “Our Father Which art in Heaven”

Appendix II. A Consideration of a Different View of Eph. 1:20

A Study of Heaven

We read in Gen. 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. This heaven was created on the first day as recorded in verse 5, “And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Verses 6-8 describe the creation of another heaven. We learn from verse 8 that this heaven was created on the second day, “And God called the firmament Heaven.  And the evening and the morning were the second day”. What can we learn of this heaven created on the second day?

We read in Gen. 1:6-8, “And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters’. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament…”. In verse 8 we read, “And God called the firmament heaven….on the second day”. Then in verse 9 we read, “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heaven (i.e. under the heaven of verses 6-8) be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so’”. It was the waters under the heaven of Gen. 1:6-8 that were gathered on earth to make the seas.

We have in Genesis one a clear, but not widely understood, description of the creation of two heavens, one recorded in Gen. 1:1 as being created on the first day, and the other recorded in Gen. 1:6-8 as being created on the second day. Further, we learn that the heaven created on the second day, i.e. the heaven of Gen. 1:6-8, divides the waters above it from the waters below it. So we have from the top down, the heaven of Gen. 1:1. Under that there are waters. Under those waters is the heaven of Gen. 1:6-8. And under that heaven are the waters that were gathered together to make the seas of the earth. In short we have from the top down:

The heaven of Gen. 1:1

Waters

The heavens of Gen. 1:6-8

Waters that make up the seas of earth 

“The Heavens of Heavens”

I believe a study of the phrase “the heavens of heavens” will be extremely helpful in our study of the calling of the church. Does the phrase refer to the heavens of Gen. 1:1 or does it refer to the heavens below it? To answer that question let us consider every occurrence of that phrase as it is used in the Bible.

We read in Ps. 148:4, “Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens”. There is no record of waters above the heaven of Gen. 1:1, therefore Ps. 148:4 must refer to the waters that are above the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8. In short, the phrase “heavens of heavens” in Ps. 148:4 speaks of praise from the heavens of the second day of creation as recorded in Gen. 1:6-8, i.e. those heavens that are below the heavens of Gen. 1:1.

The term “heavens of heavens” is used first in Deut. 10:14, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is”.  It should be noted that the Hebrew word translated “heaven(s) is “shamayim”, and that the suffix “im” makes it plural.  That is to say, there is no word in the Hebrew Bible for heaven, singular.  Therefore this phrase should read the same as the phrase in Ps. 148:4, i.e. “heavens of heavens”. This verse in Deut. 10 comes in the context of Moses speaking to Israel after he chiseled out the two tablets that replaced the first tablets that he had thrown down and crushed when he saw the golden calf. This was, of course, an extremely important event in the history of Israel.

The second occurrence of the term will show the same thing. It comes in the context of the dedication of Solomon’s temple, another extremely important event in Israel’s history. We read in I Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee: how much less this house that I have built”. Again, the phrase should read “heavens of heavens” (plural).

The third occurrence of the phrase “heavens of heavens” is in II Chron. 2:6 which comes in the context of the preparation of Solomon’s building of the temple. The fourth occurrence is found in II Chron. 6:18 which appears in the context of the dedication of the temple. Please note that these two occurrences of the phrase also come in the context of momentous events in Israel’s history.

The fifth occurrence is found in Ps. 148:4 discussed above.

The last occurrence of the phrase is found in the context of Israel returning to Jerusalem after their 70 year captivity, another important event in the history of Israel. We read Neh. 9:6, “Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and Thou preservest them all, and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee”.

What can we learn as we compare all these passages? I believe that, in the interest of consistency, we must conclude that the phrase refers to the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 as it obviously does in Ps. 148:4.  And we also learn that because the phrase is used in the most important events of the history of Israel, i.e. it is associated with Israel.

Most assume, with some degree of logic, that the term “heavens of heavens” refers to the highest heaven. But, as has been proved above from its usage in Ps. 148:4, that is not the case. It refers rather to the highest heaven in relation to Israel, i.e. the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8.

The Apparent Contradiction in Rev. 21:1

Let us consider one more verse which, I believe will make the point that the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 are associated with Israel. We read in Rev. 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away….”. Please note that this verse tells us that it is the first heaven that will “pass away”. The first heaven is, as proved above, the heaven of Gen. 1:1. But as we consider this more fully, we will see that it actually refers to the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8.  The seeming contradiction is made clear only if we see that the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 are the “first” in relation to Israel.

Let us begin with the Greek word translated “first”.  That Greek word is “protos”. That “protos” is correctly translated “first” is proved by its usage in, for example Rev. 1:11 and 17, where it is used of Christ in the phrase “I am the first and the last”.

Continuing, let us determine from Scripture why and when the “first” heaven of Rev. 21:1 will “pass away”. We read in II Peter 3:7, “But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment……”. This verse tells us that the heavens about which Peter wrote are reserved “against the day of judgment”. Verse 10 of this chapter explains when that judgment will take place.  That verse reads, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with the fervent heat…..”. It is clear that the heavens about which Peter wrote will be destroyed (pass away) in the day of judgment, i.e. “the day of the Lord”.

I believe we are now prepared to address the seeming contradiction in Rev. 21:1. Again, that verse seems to say that it is the heaven of Gen. 1:1 which will be destroyed. But Peter wrote that the heavens will be destroyed in judgment.  That implies that they will be destroyed  because there will be sin in those heavens. Surely a holy God does not now dwell with sin. As will be proved below, God dwells in the heavens of Gen. 1:1 and because a holy God does not dwell with sin, we may conclude that the heavens that are being held for judgment are not the heavens of Gen. 1:1 but rather the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8.

Why then did John write in Rev. 21:1 that it would be the “first” heavens that “pass away”.  I believe it was because the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 are the first heavens in relation to Israel.  That is to say, just as the term “heavens of heavens” is used of the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 because those heavens are the only ones ever referred to in relation to Israel, so too, John wrote of the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 as the “first” because it is only those heavens that are used in relation to Israel.

In Which Heaven is Christ Seated? 

One would expect that it would be the highest heaven to which Christ was raised, i.e. the heavens of Gen. 1:1 which is above the waters and above the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8. As the reader will see as we compare Heb. 4:14 with Eph. 4:10, Scripture does indeed attest to that expectation.

First let us consider Heb. 4:14 which reads, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, That is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God”. The answer to the question of which heaven Christ is seated is found, in part, in the Greek phrase “passed into”.  As will be shown below, the Greek reads, “passed through”, i.e. Christ passed through the heavens.

Dr. Robertson wrote, “Who hath passed through the heavens (διεληλυτοτα τους ουρανους — dielēluthota tous ouranous). Perfect active participle of διερχομαι — dierchomai state of completion. Jesus has passed through the upper heavens up to the throne of God”.

And Dr. Adam Clarke wrote, “Having passed through these veils, he went immediately to be our Intercessor:”

So Heb. 4:14 tells us that Christ passed through the heavens. But we know from Eph. 1:20 that Christ is seated IN heaven. That verse reads, “….set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”. (A different view of Eph. 1:20 will be discussed below in Appendix II). In other words, there seems to be a contradiction between Hebrews which tells us that Christ passed through the heavens, and Ephesians which tells us that Christ is seated in heaven. That is to say, if He had passed through the heavens, He would not be seated in heaven.

In order to address this seeming contradiction let us add Eph. 4:10 to this discussion, “He That descended is the same also That ascended up far above all heavens”. But again, we know from Eph. 1:20 that Christ is in heavenly places.  How then are we to understand the phrase that says that He is “above all heavens”? All is clear when we consider the fact that the Greek has “all the heavens”, i.e. Christ is far above all the heavens”. The definite article “the” limits the noun “heavens”.

In other words, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ passed through the heavens, and Paul tells us that Christ is seated in the heavens. As we combine these two scriptures I believe that we may conclude that Christ passed through the lower heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 and into the heaven of Gen. 1:1. That is to say, the only heavens that Christ could have passed through were the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 which means that the only heaven where Christ is now seated must be the heavens of Gen. 1:1.

 Except for the record of its creation, the heavens of Gen. 1:1 is not mentioned in the Old Testament or in the New Testament until we read in Ephesians of Christ being seated there. But we read in Matt. 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father which art in Heaven….’”. Does this verse speak of the “Father” being in the heavens of Gen. 1:1? If so, it would contradict the suggestion that the heavens of Gen. 1:1 are not mentioned until the prison epistles. So as to not get too far from the main subject of this paper this verse in Matt. 6 will be discussed in the Appendix I. below.

Ephesians 1:20

Eph. 1:20 reads, “Which (power, vs. 19) He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”.  This verse does indeed say that Christ is in heaven.  As stated above, because Heb. 4:14 tells us that He had passed through the heavens, I believe the only logical conclusion is that Christ passed through the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 and into the heaven of Gen. 1:1. (A different view is discussed below in Appendix II).

 Ephesians 4:8-10

Eph. 4:8-10 is another passage which tells us in which heaven Christ is seated. We read in Eph. 4:8-10, “Wherefore He saith, ‘When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men’. (Now that He ascended what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He That descended is the same also That ascended up far above all [the] heavens)”.

We have in this passage a clear statement that Christ has ascended far above all (the) heavens. As explained above, I believe that logic suggests that Christ ascended far above all the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 into the heaven of Gen. 1:1. But it has been suggested that, given the context of Eph. 4:10, the phrase “far above all heavens” does not speak of a place but of position, i.e. being exalted. Let us consider that suggestion.

What is the point of this passage? I believe that the main point is to emphasize Christ’s humiliation and His consequent exaltation, i.e. His position. The point is not essentially one of place, but a place is used to illuminate Christ’s humiliation and His consequent exaltation.  That is to say, Christ’s humiliation is summed up in His death and His having descended to a place, “the lower parts of the earth”. So too, His exalted position is summed up by His having ascended to a place, “far above all the heavens”. If “the lower parts of the earth” is a place, and we know that it is, then logic demands that so too is “far above all heavens” a place.

In short, to deny that Eph. 4:8-10 tells us to where Christ has ascended is to take away the very argument used by Paul through the Holy Spirit. Therefore I believe that this passage refers to where Christ is, “above all the heavens” of Gen. 1:6-8 in order to emphasize the point of His exaltation.

The Calling of the Church

 In the paragraphs above we have seen that the phrase “heavens of heavens” refers to the lower heavens of Gen. 1:6-8 and is associated with Israel. We have also seen that the writer of Hebrews speaks of Christ passing through the heavens, but he did not, through the Holy Spirit, write that Christ was in heaven. It is not, in my opinion, coincidental that the writer of Hebrews (obviously an epistle written to Israel) does not speak of where Christ is seated, i.e. in the heaven of Gen. 1:1, but rather only of the fact that He passed through the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8. That is consistent with the fact that the phrase “heavens of heavens” in the Old Testament does not speak of the heavens of Gen. 1:1 except to record the creation of it. That is to say, except to note its creation, neither in the Old Testament nor in the epistles written while Israel was God’s chosen nation, are the heavens of Gen. 1:1 mentioned or alluded to.

Why is the heavens of Gen. 1:1 never mentioned apart from its creation in the Old Testament or in the New Testament until the epistles written to the church?  I believe that it is because Israel has no association with the heavens of Gen. 1:1 and, as will be proved in the paragraphs below, it is only the church that is associated with the heaven of Gen. 1:1. 

Ephesians 2:5-6

We read in Eph.2:5-6, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved). And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. This verse clearly states that those to whom Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians are seated with Christ in heavenly places. As proved above, Christ is in the heavens of Gen. 1:1 and the church is seated with Him in the heavens of Gen. 1:1.

But some reject this truth on the basis of the fact that the verbs are in the past tense.  Let us consider that thought. As noted above, these phrases are in the past tense, i.e. “hath quickened”, “hath raised” “made us sit”. Obviously these statements cannot be taken literally as we are not yet quickened or raised or seated in heaven.  If it can not be taken literally, it must be understood as a figure of speech. Figures of speech are used in all literature, including the Bible, to enhance a truth.

The figure of speech used in Eph. 2:6 (“hath raised us up” etc.) is Heterosis which is defined by Dr. E. W. Bullinger as, “exchange of one tense……for another”. For a better understanding of this figure of speech let us consider Is. 53 which has many examples of Heterosis.  Is. 53 is a prophecy written centuries before the crucifixion of Christ but, as will be seen, several of the phrases of that prophecy having to do with Christ crucifixion are written in the present and past tenses, i.e. Heterosis. We read, for example in verse 2, “……He hath no form nor comeliness…..”. Verse 3, “He is despised and rejected of men…., we hid, as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not. We read in verse 4, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…”.

What truth is being enhanced by the figure of speech Heterosis in this passage? I believe it is rather obvious that it is used to emphasize the truth that these things will indeed happen, nothing can possibly prevent it. 

Coming back then to Eph. 2:6; in my opinion, the truth that is being enhanced by the use of verbs in the past tense in this passage is that these things will indeed come to pass, nothing can possibly prevent it.  With that in mind let us consider each phrase of Eph. 2:5-6 more fully.

Let us begin with the phrase, “hath quickened us together”. This refers, of course to being made alive in Christ. It is put in the past tense (“hath”) to say that nothing can prevent that from being fulfilled, i.e. believers will indeed be made alive. The phrase “hath raised us up together” is an obvious reference to resurrection.  Again it is put in the past tense (‘”hath”) to say that nothing can prevent that from being fulfilled, believers will indeed be raised from the dead. We are now prepared to consider the phrase, “made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.  Again, please note the past tense, (“made”). This phrase assures us by the figure of speech Heterosis that we will indeed sit in heavenly places, nothing can prevent that promise from being fulfilled.

If we reject the promise of being seated with Christ in heaven on the basis of that promise being put in the past tense, in the interest of consistency and of common sense, we must also reject the other promises put in the past tense, i.e. being made alive and being raised from the dead. I believe the reader will agree that that is an untenable thought.

Therefore, I believe that we may conclude that the church is, figuratively speaking, seated in heaven as is clearly stated in Eph. 2:6 and that nothing can prevent its literal fulfillment. 

Ephesians 1:10

We read in Eph. 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him”.

As the paper on the dispensation of the fulness of times will prove from Scripture, that dispensation is yet future, i.e. it is not, as many believe, the present dispensation. Rather, the dispensation of the fulness of times will be put into effect after the millennial reign of Christ.

Let us begin this study of the dispensation of the fulness of times with a consideration of the Greek word translated “gather together”, which is “anakephalaioomai” and is used only one other time, i.e. in Rom. 13:9. The Companion Bible tells us that the word means literally “head up”. So Eph. 1:10 tells us that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, Christ will head up all things in heaven and on earth.

As mentioned above, the Greek word translated “gather together” in Eph. 1:10 is also used in Rom. 13:9. That verse reads, “….. ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, ‘ ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’”. It is the Greek word translated here “briefly comprehended” that is the same as is translated “gather together” in Eph. 1:10. What does the phrase “briefly comprehend” mean in this context? We must bear in mind the literal meaning of the Greek word translated “head up” as we answer that question. In other words, we need to determine what the Greek word means so that it is understandable in both contexts.

What was Paul’s point in Rom. 13:9? I believe that his point was that the very essence of all the commandments is that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Does that fit its usage in Eph. 1:10? I believe it does. That is to say, Christ will head up all things so that He will be the very essence of everything that exists both in heaven and on earth. It is obvious that in the present dispensation Christ is not the very essence of all things.

Who will be the ones on earth that Christ will head up in the dispensation of the fulness of times? To answer that question let us consider Rev. 21:1-2 which reads, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven….”. This passage has to do with the preparation (please see the paper on the number of dispensations in God’s eternal purposes) of the dispensation of the fulness of times when Christ will head up all things in heaven and on earth. We see that the new Jerusalem will, at that time, come down to the new earth. I believe therefore that we may conclude that it will be those who will be in the new Jerusalem that will be the ones on earth who Christ will head up.

But who are those who Christ will head up in heaven? As always, that question must be answered from the context.

Let us consider Eph. 1:10 in context. 10) “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might head up in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him.11) In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: 12) That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13) In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory”.

Let us consider the pronouns used in this passage as they will tell us who Paul, through the Holy Spirit, had in mind when he penned these words. The pronouns “we” and “ye” and “your” and “our” refer, of course to Paul and those to whom he had written this epistle, i.e. believers (vs. 1:1). This entire passage speaks of Christ heading up all things in heaven and on earth and what He has done for believers. If we are to answer the question of to whom the ones in heaven refer from the context, we must conclude that it is believers who will be in heaven. Further, because believers of the previous dispensation will be in the new Jerusalem on the new earth, it is clear that it will be believers of the dispensation of the mystery that will be in heaven in the dispensation of the fulness of times. Please see the paper on the new Jerusalem for a further discussion of that subject).

Let me summarize this point for clarity. We know from the fact that Christ will head up all things in heaven and on earth, that there will be some believers on earth and some believers in heaven in the dispensation of the fulness of times. We know that those in the new Jerusalem will be on earth. The ones in heaven are those mentioned in the context of the verse that tells us that Christ will head up all things in heaven and on earth.  It is believers of the dispensation of the mystery to whom this passage refers as being in heaven.

APPENDIX I.‘Our Father Which art in Heaven”

We read in Matt. 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father Which art in Heaven….’”. As mentioned in the body of this paper, I believe that the heavens of Gen. 1:1 are not mentioned in the Bible until after Israel had been set aside and the church, whose calling is to those heavens, began. But this verse in Matthew 6 seems to contradict that suggestion in that it speaks of the Father in heaven. Is the Father in the heavens of Gen. 1:1 or in the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8? Let us consider the context in order to answer that question.

This sermon was preached to the multitude (see Matt. 5:1 and 7:28). There is no reason to assume that every person of that multitude was a believer. My point is that in this context the term “Father” is not used in the sense of God as the Father of believers.  How then are we to understand how the term is used in this prayer?

We read in Isaiah 64:8, “But now O Jehovah, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou art our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand”. And we read in Hosea 8:14, “Israel hath forgotten His Maker and Judah buildeth temples…”.  These verses tell us that God is the Father of Israel by virtue of creation. In short, the term “Father” as used in Matt. 6:9 indicates Israel’s special relationship with God as His creation. That being the case, the heavens mentioned in this verse is the heavens associated with Israel, i.e. the heaven of Gen. 1:6-8.

I do not mean to say that the Father is in the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8. I am suggesting only that in relation to Israel and in this particular context, the “Father” is in the lower heavens. In short, in terms of God the Father, the Creator of Israel, He is in the heavens of Gen. 1:6-8.

Appendix II. A Consideration of a Different View of Eph. 1:20

Eph. 1:20 reads, “Which (power, vs. 19) He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”.

Because the word “places” in the phrase “at His own right hand in the heavenly places” is not in the manuscripts, some would argue that this verse does not speak of a place. In point of fact, in the phrase, “in the heavenly” there is no noun in the manuscripts. It is also true that the Greek word translated “in” in the phrase “in heavenly places” can mean “in” as it translated in the KJV, but it can also mean “among”. It is also important to understand that “heavenly” is not a noun, but an adjective.

In short, the phrase translated “in the heavenly places” could also have been translated “among the heavenly beings”. How then can we come to a correct understanding of this verse?

Let us begin with the fact that “heavenly” is not a noun, but an adjective. Let us consider the definition of “heavenly” as given in Webster’s Dictionary. “Heavenly: adj. 1. Sublime; delightful; enchanting. 2. Relating to the firmament; celestial: the sun and other heavenly bodies. 3. Relating to the abode of God; divine”. Please note that “heavenly” sometimes relates to the firmament and/or the abode of God. That is to say, when we speak of a place we must use a noun. But when we use an adjective, which is what “heavenly” is, the adjective does not imply a place, but can be used in relation to a place. I believe an example will make this thought more easily understood.

We might say that a house is “homey”. “Homey” is, of course, an adjective. Let us apply the definition quoted above to the word “homey”. “Homey” is used to describe a home and it is used in relation to a home. But it does not mean “home” any more than “heavenly” means “heaven”. 

How then are we to understand the word “heavenly” as used in Eph. 1:20? If we understand the word “heavenly” as used in Eph. 1:20 to modify the noun “places” then the first definition would be the appropriate one, i.e.“Sublime; delightful; enchanting”. But we may also understand “heavenly” to modify the noun “beings” (again, there is no noun in the manuscripts). In that case I believe it would be the second definition, i.e. “relating to the firmament”.

In point of fact both translations could be the correct one. That is to say, there is a good argument for the translation “in heavenly places” and there is an equally good argument for the translation, “among heavenly beings”.

It has been suggested that if indeed the phrase should read “among the heavenly beings” that nullifies the thought that Christ is in heaven. That is to say, they would argue that Christ is among heavenly beings, not in heavenly places. But if we understand “heavenly beings” as relating to the firmament, I believe we may assume that they are in heaven. That is to say, heavenly beings would certainly not be on earth. Therefore if Christ is among heavenly beings, He would be among beings that are in heaven.

My point is that whether this verse tells us that Christ is in heavenly places or among heavenly beings, this verse still tells us that Christ is in heaven.

This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at:  janjoyce@aol.com

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