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 Post subject: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:53 am 
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The LDS concept of three heavens, or degrees of glory, comes from D. & C. 76. The first heaven is the "telestial glory," where unbelievers and the worst kind of people go after the final judgment. The second heaven is the "terrestrial glory," where good, religious people who are not Mormons go after judgment. But, the third heaven is the "celestial glory," and is reserved for Mormons alone.

LDS claim that I Cor. 15:40-41 teaches three degrees of glory or three heavens. However, the context in I Cor. 15:35-54 is not about heavens, but about the difference between our earthly mortal body and our new immortal body given us at the resurrection. Celestial and terrestrial bodies are mentioned in v. 40, but any dictionary will show that celestial means "heavenly" and terrestrial means "earthly." The word "telestial" is not found in I Cor. 15 because it was a concept of Joseph Smith's and can only be found in Mormon teachings. The glory of the sun, moon, and stars in v. 41 is used by LDS to support their concept of three heavens, but the context refers to "bodies," not heavens! If this verse is about different "heavens," then there must be innumerable "glories" or heavens, for it goes on to say that "one star differeth from another star in glory." Furthermore, many stars are actually bigger and brighter than our sun, so if the LDS analogy is followed, the telestial heaven (represented by stars) could be better than the celestial glory (represented by the sun)! In verse 39, Paul mentions four kinds of flesh. Does this verse teach that there are four heavens? That reasoning is just as valid as what the LDS do with verses 40-41.

LDS also use II Cor. 12:2 where Paul mentioned "the third heaven." Anyone familiar with Hebrew thought (and Paul was a Hebrew) knows that they believed in the same three heavens as Christians do today. The first heaven was the atmospheric heaven of clouds, birds, planes, and so on. Second was the heaven of stars and planets. And the third heaven was where God dwelt! Paul said in II Cor. 12:2 that a man was caught up to the third heaven where God is, and v. 4 calls that place "paradise." The Bible nowhere teaches that there are three heavens where people live eternally.

1st Heaven is Rakia to a Jew it is the atmospheric heaven found in Jer 8:7, 10:13

Isa 55:10. it is were the birds fly clouds, made on 2nd day

2nd heaven shamayim to a Jew it is the starry heaven found in Jer 44:17,25; Psalm 8:3

3rd heaven shemi Hashamayim it is the heaven where God dwells found in 1 Kings 8:27, Deut. 26:15, 2 Chron 6:33 Eccl. 5:2

https://i.imgur.com/TOw0hr1.jpg

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/mclaims10.htm#three

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:52 am 
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Mittens, have you considered that Mormons believe that this understanding of three heavens was information received directly from God who has a fuller understanding than the Bible has?


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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:02 am 
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Swedenborg taught multiple heavens and some of his followers taught that various planets, within and outside our solar system, were the actual locations. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:52 pm 
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huckelberry wrote:
Mittens, have you considered that Mormons believe that this understanding of three heavens was information received directly from God who has a fuller understanding than the Bible has?


God is the Author of The Bible it it is clear 1 Cor 15 is about our natural terrestial flesh and blood body versus the upcoming heavenly, celestrail, spiritual body of flesh and bone

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Mittens , i have no reason to doubt your understanding of that letter by Paul. But that does not mean Mormons are wrong about three degrees of heaven. Paul plus the inspiration of God knows much much less than God himself knows.


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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:30 am 
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huckelberry wrote:
Mittens , i have no reason to doubt your understanding of that letter by Paul. But that does not mean Mormons are wrong about three degrees of heaven. Paul plus the inspiration of God knows much much less than God himself knows.


I feel I have lots better understanding of what Paul was teaching than some Mormon :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
Swedenborg taught multiple heavens and some of his followers taught that various planets, within and outside our solar system, were the actual locations. :wink:

Emmanuel Swedenborg even introduced the same names for the three levels of heaven, as well as the sun, moon, and stars motif.

He also introduced the concept of celestial marriage, but only for monogamous couples.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 pm 
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moksha wrote:
Maksutov wrote:
Swedenborg taught multiple heavens and some of his followers taught that various planets, within and outside our solar system, were the actual locations. :wink:

Emmanuel Swedenborg even introduced the same names for the three levels of heaven, as well as the sun, moon, and stars motif.

He also introduced the concept of celestial marriage, but only for monogamous couples.


It is claimed Joseph Smith got his ideas from Swedenborg :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:23 pm 
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To me there should be an infinite number of heavens and degrees of glory because we're all individuals faced with an infinite number of decisions.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:33 am 
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Mittens wrote:
huckelberry wrote:
Mittens, have you considered that Mormons believe that this understanding of three heavens was information received directly from God who has a fuller understanding than the Bible has?


God is the Author of The Bible it it is clear 1 Cor 15 is about our natural terrestial flesh and blood body versus the upcoming heavenly, celestrail, spiritual body of flesh and bone


That God is the author of the Bible is your assumption, premise, personal axiom, whatever you want to call it, but it's not verifiable.


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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Heavens: – The 3 heavens

The Bible uses the word ‘heavens’ referring to many heavens not one heaven. Yes! There are more than one heaven.

As we see from creation, from Genesis, God created heavens not one heaven.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Some Bible versions have got Gen 1:1 wrong. The original word is ‘heavens’ (many) not heaven (one). See Bible translations and the most accurate Bible version.

Reason chapter 2 says,

Gen 2:1: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished

See that Gen 1:1 and Gen 2:1 are in agreement with one another talking of heavens (many). In some Bible versions, these two verses are not in agreement.

Gen 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens

God created heavens (many) not heaven (one).

Here are more Bible verses confirming God created heavens not one heaven
Det 32:1 Give ear, O you heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth

2 Sam 22:10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet

1Chr 16:26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens

Job 9:8 Which alone spreads out the heavens, and treads upon the waves of the sea

Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork

Hag 2:6 For thus says the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land

Mk 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Since God created heavens not one heaven, how many heavens are there?

The 3 heavens
There are 3 heavens. We see Apostle Paul saying that he knew a man in Christ caught up in the third heaven.

2 Cor 12:2: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows) such a one caught up to the third heaven.

The 3 heavens are;

1st heaven
The first heaven is the earth’s atmosphere; the immediate sky. It is where birds and clouds are.

It is the heaven referred to in the Bible verses below.

Deut 11:17 And then the LORD’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit

Deut 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season

Judges 5:4 LORD, when you went out of Seir, when you marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water

Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

2nd heaven
The second heaven is where moon, sun, stars and the planets are; the outer space.

It is the heaven referred to in the following Bible verse.

Deut 17:3: who has gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded

Psalms 19:4, 6 In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. Its rising is from one end of the heaven and its circuit to the other end

Jer 8:2 and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served

Isa 13:10 for the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

3rd heaven
The third heaven is the dwelling place of God.

1 kings 8:30 …and hear you in heaven your dwelling place

Psalms 2:4 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision

Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven

The third heaven is also referred to as heaven of heavens.

Deut 10:14: Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s your God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

1 King 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?

2 Chr 2:6: But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

The third heaven is the Throne of God; the highest heaven; the paradise

2 Cor 12:2, 4: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows) such a one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter

Therefore, there are 3 heavens, God created heavens and He dwells in the third heaven

God bless


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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:14 am 
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LittleNipper, those levels seem almost academic. From a purely anecdotal standpoint, I've heard them described like:

1. A Xanadu of Pleasure with a spiritual maternity ward attached. A place of endless advancement if you toe the company line and make your quotas.

2. A place for those unwilling to make sizeable wagers at the divinely authorized Three-Card Monte Center.

3. The service industry hub keeping the Xanadu of Pleasure clean and fully stocked with many flavors of BYU Creamery treats.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:05 am 
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moksha wrote:
LittleNipper, those levels seem almost academic. From a purely anecdotal standpoint, I've heard them described like:

1. A Xanadu of Pleasure with a spiritual maternity ward attached. A place of endless advancement if you toe the company line and make your quotas.

2. A place for those unwilling to make sizeable wagers at the divinely authorized Three-Card Monte Center.

3. The service industry hub keeping the Xanadu of Pleasure clean and fully stocked with many flavors of BYU Creamery treats.

This is the perfect example where Mormon literature contradicts the Word of GOD known as the Bible.


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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:09 am 
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LittleNipper wrote:
moksha wrote:
LittleNipper, those levels seem almost academic. From a purely anecdotal standpoint, I've heard them described like:

1. A Xanadu of Pleasure with a spiritual maternity ward attached. A place of endless advancement if you toe the company line and make your quotas.

2. A place for those unwilling to make sizeable wagers at the divinely authorized Three-Card Monte Center.

3. The service industry hub keeping the Xanadu of Pleasure clean and fully stocked with many flavors of BYU Creamery treats.

This is the perfect example where Mormon literature contradicts the Word of GOD known as the Bible.


How so? Is it the Xanadu or the Three Card Monte that's the problem? Since neither are mentioned in the bible, it looks like you, Nipper, are the one mixing scripture with the teachings of men, which is, sorry buddy, Satan's way. But since Satan *is* mentioned in the bible, your allegiance to him is a-okay. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:34 am 
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Actually, the doctrine that there are multiple degrees of glory in heaven can be found in numerous ancient Jewish and Christian documents.

(Excuse me if this is a repost; my last reply seemed to go into draft mode and I can't find it!)

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:50 am 
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Smith was likely inspired by Swedenborg, who taught about degrees of heaven and was quite familiar to the people in New York and Pennsylvania. The Swedenborgians were the base for the growth of spiritualism in New York that happened in the years not long after Smith's death.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:16 pm 
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ajax18 wrote:
To me there should be an infinite number of heavens and degrees of glory because we're all individuals faced with an infinite number of decisions.

Should you be able to move around from one to another based on how you perform after you get there?

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Last edited by Themis on Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:11 am 
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ajax18 wrote:
To me there should be an infinite number of heavens and degrees of glory because we're all individuals faced with an infinite number of decisions.


What decisions will you need to make when you are all-knowing like God?

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:59 pm 
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I have a question wrote:
ajax18 wrote:
To me there should be an infinite number of heavens and degrees of glory because we're all individuals faced with an infinite number of decisions.


What decisions will you need to make when you are all-knowing like God?


Mormons teach God is not all knowing , even thou the Book of Mormon says he is :lol:


God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end." Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses Vol. 6:120

2 Nephi 9:20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:07 am 
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And here’s the other point about eternity, decision making is irrelevant. Because eternity. You literally don’t need to make any decision because there’s no time relationship. You just are, forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:40 am 
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Maksutov wrote:
Swedenborg taught multiple heavens and some of his followers taught that various planets, within and outside our solar system, were the actual locations. :wink:


That’s old and fairly standard Neoplatonic notion. It had made a big comeback and almost certainly was an influence on Swedenborg along with hermeticism and other variants. While it’s possible Swedenborg was an influence on Joseph, Steve Fleming has largely convinced me direct platonic texts are the stronger influence. (Although I’ve become more skeptical of his telestic as the source for telestial)

by the way I had a T&S post a while ago on the topic of the opening post.

https://shrtm.nu/zhra


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