HEAVEN – ITS NATURE
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Is heaven a place or a condition? If it is a place, where is it?
Answer: Although beings might be in a heavenly condition, that is, spiritual and invisible to human sight, and yet be near to us who are in the flesh, we cannot agree that heaven is only a condition. It must also be a place, just as truly as the earth is a place. As to its location, the Scriptures seem to identify it with the star Alcyone, one of the heavenly group known as the Pleiades. God gave us a hint that His gracious power proceeds from the Pleiades, from whence He governs the universe (Job 38: 31).
This is attested further by the fact that the Pleiades is situated in the north, where other Scriptures indicate that that is the location of God’s dwelling place. For example, Psalm 75: 6, 7, where we read: “Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” God’s dwelling place, from which His promotions come, is thus shown to be in the direction of the one main compass point not mentioned here, that is, the north. Isaiah 14: 13, 14 is another example. Here Lucifer in gross pride and self-exaltation says: “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
As evidence that heaven is a place and at a distance from the earth, and that it requires time to go there and come back, notice the fact that our Lord said that He would “go away” and “come again” (John 14: 3). This could not be true if to go to heaven means merely a change from human conditions to spiritual conditions, because He will never come again to human conditions, as at the time of His First Advent. He “took upon him the form of a servant,” “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death . . . that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Philippians 2: 7-10) (Hebrews 2: 9). He has finished that work and has no further use for the body of humiliation – He has been glorified, “highly exalted,” and is the express image of the Father’s person (Hebrews 1: 3).
Our Lord said in the parable that the Nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return (Luke 19: 12). We are also informed that the holy spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7: 39), indicating that as soon as Jesus would be glorified the holy spirit would be given to the waiting Church. And we know that from the time Jesus ascended up on high until the descent of the holy spirit was ten days. Heaven, as the home of God and all the spirit beings, must surely be a glorious place.