Derek Prince - There's More Than One Heaven
Now I want to deal with a question that comes up in many peoples' minds. They say: Well, if Satan was cast out of heaven, how can it be that he's still in the heavenlies? The answer is very simple. There is more than one heaven. The heavenlies are plural. In the first verse of the Bible heaven is presented as plural. In the beginning God created the heavens [plural],... the earth [singular]. And if you trace it all through the Bible: heaven is presented as plural.
We will just look at two Scriptures. In 2 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 2, Paul is talking about people who have had remarkable experiences in the supernatural realm, and he says: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body I do not know or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows) such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
Now before I became a preacher I was a logician. Someone once misheard me say I was a magician, but that's not so. And logic has still stuck with me and my logical mind tells me: If there is a third heaven, there has to be a first and a second; you cannot have the third of anything without the first two. So if there is a third heaven, as Paul indicates, then there are at least three heavens. Heaven is plural. One other Scripture, just to confirm that, in Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 9 and 10. Speaking about what happened between the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection and ascension, it says: Now that He ascended, what does it mean that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? [This is talking about Jesus.] He who descended is the one who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things. You notice the phrase all the heavens. Again, it is not correct to use the word all of less than three of anything. That is the minimum.
Years ago, when I was principal in a college for training African teachers in Kenya, one of my students came to me and said: All my parents have come to see me. So I said: I understand what you mean, but you cannot say that because in English you cannot use ‘all’ if there are only two. It has to be at least three. And so when Paul says, Jesus ascended far above all heavens, again, the minimum that will qualify is three. Personally, I think that is the total. That is my personal opinion. You do hear people say sometimes, not so often these days, I was in the seventh heaven. I would suggest you could probably better not use that. I understand the phrase comes from the Koran, the Islamic book, and I don't think there is any Biblical authority for more than three heavens. So if you're feeling really happy, it is all right to say, I was on cloud nine because the Bible indicates there is a lot of clouds.
Now I'll offer you an opinion. This is simply something that seems probable to me. You don't have to believe it. You can go to heaven without agreeing with me. I believe the third heaven into which this man Paul knew was caught up, is the heaven of God's Presence, God's dwelling. And there, he says, he heard unspeakable words. The very words of God Himself. Now I'm inclined to believe the first heaven is the visible heaven that we see. So the second must be between the first and the third, somewhere between our planet and the heaven of God's dwelling there is another heaven. This is again my opinion. I think there are a lot of things in the Bible that confirm it, and in our experience. So between us and God is a satanic kingdom. I think this has a lot to do with things that happen in our lives.
I'm sure you have heard the phrase praying through. Praying through what? I know, when I first sought the Lord, as a person who did not know Him, I tried to pray for an hour and could not utter a word. I was earnestly seeking. And then somehow I broke through. I believe, looking back, I broke through satanic forces that were opposing me coming into direct personal contact with Jesus. That was the turning point in my whole life. So don't laugh at the old-time Pentecostals who talk about praying through. Some of their methods may be a little bit unconventional but the truth is there. This is part of our spiritual warfare. I'll give you a few examples in just a few minutes, but I think if you begin to realize that there is an opposing kingdom between you and God, it will make a lot more sense in your spiritual experience. It will teach you lessons in prayer.