The Tail of the Dragon,
The Tail of the Dragon
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:26,27)
"Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven."
Explanation of the Term "Heaven"
Different heavens. The Greek language does not differentiate between the starry heavens and the Heaven of God and the angels. When we find the word "heaven" in the King James translation it often is the heaven or the heavens, in the Greek text.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven [Greek, in the heavens], Hallowed be thy name. (Matthew 6:9)
Consider the uncertainty of the following.
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10:18)
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: (Revelation 12:1)
We may view the definite article the as a Greek idiom, the idea being that Greek uses the definite article whereas English does not—no difference in meaning is intended. This may be true. However, since the Greek New Testament does not employ a different term for the sky or outer space, we have a problem when interpreting some of the passages that include the word "heaven."
When we are discussing the cleansing of the heavens it is not easy to pinpoint the indicated area. Where or what are "the heavens"? In this booklet we will capitalize Heaven when we are certain we are speaking of the Heaven of God and the angels. Otherwise we are assuming it is the sky that is being referred to, or a spiritual heaven or heavens lower than the exalted Heaven of God.
The relationships among the heavens. The question is, what are the relationships among the physical heaven, the lower spiritual heavens, and the spiritual Heaven that we think of in terms of God, the saints, and the holy angels?
Jesus commanded us to lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven so our heart would be there. The Apostle Paul commanded us to place our affection on things above.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1,2)
No such commandment appears in the Old Testament. The old covenant was oriented toward godliness and prosperity on the earth. It is after the ascended Lord Jesus led captivity captive that we find God inviting mankind to turn away from the things of earth and to seek the Presence of God in Heaven above.
However, because the Greek language does not differentiate among the spiritual Heaven where we are to place our affection, the lower spiritual heavens, and the starry firmament, it is difficult to understand which heaven a given passage is referring to!
To be continued. The Tail of the Dragon 2