The Message - Sermon

Heavenly Places

Heavenly Places/Realms

What are the heavenly places? Where is it? Is that the destination of the righteous? Is that the place where God lives? 

Heavenly places or heavenly realms are the places where spiritual activities take place. It s like a park but different in the atmosphere; wherein the park people go to relax, play with families, past time but it is not what we are expecting in the heavenly places, the center exclusively for spiritual movements or actions of angelic and demonic activities, where both the righteous and the wicked play the hardest games of good and evil, light against darkness and the fight for everlasting life or forever condemnation.

In Islam and Judaism believe that they have seven heavens. Why Paul mentioned that he knew someone that reached the 3rd heaven and said that whatever he heard cannot be revealed or uttered.  Many believe that this is Paul’s experience and he is not bold enough on this one to write in down that it is him. Maybe he was not allowed to see the whole picture of the third heaven that’s probably the reason why he cannot describe it.  

God is fair and just and I believe that we also have seven heavens, where the 3rd heaven is the highest place where the principalities or the spiritual forces of evil are allowed to go in and out and use their power against the defender of the kingdom.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”Ephesians 6:12

The worries of this life not to be tempted with the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire of the flesh to be subdued and other things that choke the whole world with lies remain the struggle of the body and make the defense of faith a little harder. The heavenly places are almost overtaken by these evil-minded forces and choke the word and become unfruitful in fighting back. But we have the most powerful and merciful behind us in this battle and “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:3

The end is near and they are running out of time and judgment will come upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out. These evil forces are only allowed to be in and out of the heavenly places to give them the chance to open their eyes and turn their evil work from darkness to light, for the father of lies back to become the light bearer again and surrender the power he received together with full submission to the authority and power of the One True God that they may receive the full forgiveness of their rebellious acts.

Ephesians 1:20 says that God “raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Where are these places located? Is it above the earth or within the earth? Because in Ephesians 6:12 speaks of evil forces in the same realm: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” It has been revealed many centuries ago that the third heaven is where the righteous and wicked do their things but no one can reach the 4th heaven for they are guarded by the angels of God. No flesh and blood even the spiritual being shadowed by darkness can enter this well-protected heaven.

Many well-known preachers already stop seeking the hidden truth with the admission that they already finish the race and accepted that we only have three heavens and God lives in the 3rd heaven. Revelation after revelation and no one can tell not unless you are chosen to spread the word of truth regarding this matter. As flesh and blood have very little understanding of the spirit world. We cannot use any of our senses to seek revelation. God is a spirit and He revealed the things he wants to be revealed through His Spirit.

However, since the Holy Spirit is in us we can communicate with God through His Spirit. The Bible is the only source and it has the complete guidance regarding heavens all we need is to go deeper why the Bible is here for; to study what God tells us about it. God’s home is called heaven (Acts 7:55; Isaiah 63:15), not heavens which means many levels and can be called dimensions that exist within the same space, the same time, and the same framework.  

The distinction of God’s place (heaven) must not be confused with the heavens that encompass all kinds of spirit. The abode of God in heaven above all the heavens. It is the holy of holies; His throne is there together with His faithful angels. In God’s heaven where God sits on His throne—Matthew 23:22; Hebrews 4:16, with His angels that surround Him—Revelation 7:11; Psalm 99:1; and servants (ministers) to serve God— Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 1:14; Genesis 19:1.

Heavenly Places are open spaces

Heavenly realms belong to everyone with a desire to carry their own task either good or evil. Evil spirits can challenge us and it’s been ongoing but will never challenge God again as they did in eternity past. They did it before and they lose and they will lose again if ever they will try one more time. If they will obstruct God’s plan this time it will be their last and they will meet their ultimate end. There will be no more like the earth to reign; they will totally vanish like vapor in the air and no dust to trace so that they will never exist again. They knew that and they afraid of it.

God has no counterpart in power and authority. All the power in heavens and on earth only works if God allows it to work – Luke 22:31; Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:12. God has control of everything and give power to the powerless, which is our assurance of being safe and secured under His wings.

Heavenly Places are full of Hope

Through prayer, we can bring the whole darkness into complete surrender. Just one tittle’s of light can start bringing their kingdom down to the ground because their strength is coming from total darkness. They need their recruits to be in full of submission. When Daniel needs help he prayed earnestly and the answer to his prayers was through an angel; Daniel was told that he needs the help of Michael the archangel in order to win and continue on the task assigned to him by God. God will tell us what to do.

During the time of Daniel, it was God directly involved in human affairs but on our time we have the Spirit of God. That is why it is so important to acknowledge the Holy Spirit every day like anyone that is used to use the name of Jesus every time they open their mouth. The Holy Spirit is involved in our daily activities. Jesus is seating at the right hand of God and will be in-charge once God put all his enemies under his feet including death.

We need to understand what is happening in the heavenly realms right now and be aware that include us and you will find out why and how we are involved:

1st there is a nonstop battle between good and evil at all times; days and nights.

2nd Evil forces lead by the father of lies are working hard before they run out time to thwart the plans of God.

3rd The most they hated and wants to destroy first are all the good work we established like: ministering the goodness of God, savings lost souls, and spreading the Word of God throughout the world. They want to destroy whatever they can John 10:10 and we should never let it happen.  

4th Many humans claimed that they experienced being in heaven and the truth is they are talking about the heavenly place and they never mentioned what and who they encountered. Like Paul said the one that he knows that went to heaven is prohibited to speak about it.

5th Heavenly places or heavens are us. We always have a struggle with the knowledge that is new to us and we reject it in a second because the knowledge doesn’t fit what our mind is set to. Our mind is the arena of faith and our stronghold is the word of God. A person with a lack of knowledge is like a gladiator entering the arena without armor.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge– Hosea 4:6.  They may have the means of knowledge but did not understand what it means and how to make use of them.

6th Mind is the best device we have to win the battle and being busy with other things leads to the neglect of guarding our mind and the chance for evil to attack. It has been said that when we wasted our mind we also wasted the wisdom and when wasted the wisdom we also wasted the knowledge and understanding. Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are the three pillars of our defense against the darkness.

7th Ignorance of the word of God with the behavior of being in and out of the arena of faith put someone in an awkward if the not terrible position of losing the faith. We have to stay focus and aware that our ignorance puts us vulnerable to be snatched by the enemies of the faith.

The mind can form positive and negative thoughts, good and bad ideas, and suggestions that work and not work. We have to stay in God’s word at all times whether there is an attack or not. Our relations with God will protect us from having negative thoughts, bad ideas, and suggestions that will not work.  Stay in the light of God’s Word and avoid being a victim of their deceptions.

Though they are winning the battle in deceiving our body, with great confidence and assurance from the Almighty God, together with the mighty Son and the ever-growing members of the third persons of the godhead; winning is at hand. We are surely going to win the war and destroy whatever they have and bring them down to the bottomless pit.

During the time of the ancient believers, they are servants of God that this evil forces played into their hands the ignorance and lack of knowledge of the Old they can even detain the angels that gives messages to the Prophets (Daniel 10) But now through the work of the Son of God we became the children of God; We are sons of the highest. God does not leave us defenseless against these evil forces.

We are now totally equipped with the armor of God and with renewed Spirit and being a partaker of the Divine nature of the Father we are also equipped with the divine power that can destroy their stronghold in the heavenly places. Corinthians 10:4 says; “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”

We need to train more where they always attack us; We need to have greater faith while waiting for the help to come upon us; this is a spiritual battle and faith is our stronghold we cannot single-handedly fight this battle without support from the highest protector; Our body might not have the strength to match the devices they can use against us but one thing is their weapons is no longer unknown to us.

Weapons of faith destruction

The promise of Lies, deceitful acts, and temptations to attract attention is the exact weapon to weaken our senses; the eyes that are used for seeing and then beauty is an excuse for its own being is perfectly right but not to tempt us to do the evil works. How sweet the sound of having a good life, the sky is the limit enjoyment and luxury living all the promises can come true and can also be broken. Would you trust the promises of darkness that will snatch your soul once you are out of focus to the Holy One?

Lies can give you everything, it can even give you stars in the celestial body, it gives you the power to control anything you can imagine but it is a lie. Lies, Deceit, and Temptations are the three very effective weapons, it simple but powerful enough to put our souls down. 

We need to stand firm against these three weapons of the devil. And we need to stand firm with our faith and be aware of their devices; the influence of Money, the desire of the flesh, and perversity these are about seeing the money flows, seductive behavior which is in the mind and perversity in the heart devises evil.

The power of prayer gives strength to our souls. Through prayer, we can always feel that our souls are in constant contact with God. Since the Holy Spirit is in us when we pray we get God’s attention sooner and that His answer comes quickly. There are unknown evil forces present that may distract the help sent by God but we need to be still and trust Him that he will never leave us.

The heavenly places’ existence is as real as the earth. Heavenly realms are more spiritual and the earthly realms are more physical. In the physical world, we use our senses and in the spiritual world, we use the help of the Spirit. Our imagination is our ticket to enter the heavenly places. We will have a more challenging role in earthly living than in the heavenly places.  Life is very short and our stay here on earth is also short but when our earthly body decayed there is the hope of a new glorious body that awaits and that is forevermore—2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 John 5:11.

Be mindful that heavenly realms are real and it could be within you, besides you, or upon you. There is a song that inspired me too by Fred Astaire’s Cheek to Cheek “Heaven, I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak, and I seem to find the happiness I seek when we’re out together dancing…”

We can make heaven if we have an awareness to do it and you can make hell out of you by not doing anything. Our faithfulness can be used to utilize in making heaven. While waiting for new heavens to come. We can make our physical living like heaven right now by just being with the Spirit of God. Do not put aside knowing that the real battles are fought and won in the heavenly realms (Spiritual).

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, We submit to your glory.

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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