It is written in the Book of Genesis that when God's Spirit hovered over the water at the beginning of time, all was darkness. (Gn.1:2). This means that before there was earth or sea or sky, there was water. This was not H2O per se. It was the kind of 'water' that forms the primordial substance of creation itself.
"God said, 'Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two'." (Gn.1:6). This division, the Bible says, formed the three heavens of scripture -- two made out of 'water' and another composed of a kind of deep space which the Bible calls a 'vault' or 'chasm'.
Paul confirmed the fact that there are three heavens. (2 Cor.12:2). And the Book of Genesis shows us how they are composed: "God made the vault and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault." (Gn.1:7).
As soon as He had created it, God quietly put the body of waters that lay above the vault (the substance of the third heaven) away for safe keeping. This was a crucial moment in the earliest phases of the creation. It gave God the means for our rescue later.
This hidden heaven is the place Paul described when he talked about the the highest heaven of all. It is a heaven that neither Satan nor any other angel has ever entered. It is inside this hidden and pristine 'upper waters' that God is creating the kingdom which Jesus will rule.
Hidden away by God, no further reference is given in the Old Testament to the mysterious body of creative waters that lay above the vault of heaven.
Everything else in scripture relates to objects formed below the third heaven -- to the vault itself, for instance which is the heaven in which God and all the angels currently reside (a place we might call the 'second' or 'middle' heaven).
Below that lie the lower waters -- the waters that lay beneath the vault and which now constitute our own earth and sky (Gen.1:9).
This lower heaven is termed in the Bible, the 'nether sea' ( the lower sea). Within these lower 'waters' floats the visible 'heaven' above our heads -- a vast collection of stardust that includes every planet, solar system and galaxy in our universe.
The lower sea, scripture tells us is passing away and one day will be no more, nor will it ever be rebuilt. In its place, God is fashioning a new creation in the upper waters that He kept secretly in place above the vault.
Flowing from the upper waters is a 'River of Life'. The living water which flows in this river comes to us as the Holy Spirit and it enters everyone who turns to holiness in the name of Christ. Touching each soul, it creates a new body -- the 'wedding garment' -- which allows us to be reborn into the kingdom of God.
The body that was created in the water of this earth will soon die. That is the true meaning of Armageddon. But the body created from the living water of heaven will live forever -- it is a body that never dies.
Return to 'The Clock of God', Chapter 15.
(For more on the waters of God, see 'The Clock of God', Chapter 2, "Eden - A Brief Moment in Paradise")
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E.C.S.Leavenworth III; Goodnews Christian Ministry.