Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 02: The Word of the Crossby Watchman Nee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The location of heaven mentioned in the Bible is above. When the people built the tower of Babel, God said, "Let us go down" (Gen. 11:7). After God spoke to Abraham, "he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham" (Gen. 17:22). God said to Moses, "And I am come down to deliver them..." (Exo. 3:8). David in praising God said, "He bowed the heavens down, and descended" (Psa. 18:9). Isaiah's prayer said, "Oh that You would rend the heavens, that You would come down..." (Isa. 64:1). The Lord Jesus Himself said, "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven" (John 3:13), "for I have come down from heaven" (6:38, 42). When the Lord Jesus ascended, the Bible says, "A cloud took Him away....And while they were looking intently into heaven as He went..." (Acts 1:9-10). Stephen, when he was about to die, saw the Son of Man standing to welcome the first martyred servant. He "looked up steadfastly into heaven" (7:55 KJV) and saw the Lord Jesus. The apostle John saw a door opened in heaven, and he heard the voice like a trumpet speaking with him, saying, "Come up here" (Rev. 4:1). When the Lord descends from heaven, all those believers who love Him "will be caught up together with them...to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thes. 4:17). There are many more verses that can be quoted. But these few are enough to prove that heaven, the dwelling place of God, is above.
Above? That is right. Yet where is above? The earth we are now living on is spherical in shape. When we say "above," at which point on earth is it "above"? If we say that heaven is above the earth, there is a big difference between whether it is above Nanking or above Kuangchow. The place above North America and the place above China are in two extremes. Naturally, any point directly above the earth must be at right angles with the horizon of the earth. Otherwise, the different points above the different places on the earth would be pointing toward different directions—east, west, north, or south. If so, heaven would not be a definite place, but would be everywhere. However, as mentioned earlier, heaven is a definite place; it is not everywhere. Therefore, "heaven above" cannot be interpreted this way.
The Bible also says, "The heavens are higher than the earth" (Isa. 55:9). "For as the heaven is high above the earth..." (Psa. 103:11). Heaven is the highest point in the universe. Christ is now in heaven. He is "far above all the heavens" (Eph. 4:10). Therefore, the heaven where He is must be above all heavens. However, "higher than the earth" does not indicate a definite place, because the shape of the earth is round and the earth is in the midst of a void. Any direction can be a place higher than the round earth. Heaven is a definite place; it is not a place that exists in all directions. Therefore, heaven being higher than the earth should be explained differently.
Let us consider a passage in the Bible which clearly declares where heaven is. Isaiah 14:12-14 says:
How you have fallen from heaven,
O Daystar, son of the dawn!
How you have been hewn down to earth,
You who made nations fall prostrate!
But you, you said in your heart:
I will ascend to heaven;
Above the stars of God
I will exalt my throne.
And I will sit upon the mount of assembly
On the sides of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High.
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