A Gag Order – II Corinthians 12:1-4

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We in America enjoy two important freedoms guaranteed to us by amendments to our constitution: the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. While these are vital to our way of life, it is not uncommon for a judge in a courtroom to order a “gag order” about a pending case. When so specified by the court, defendants, lawyers, victims, family members of victims, court officials, and even the press are absolutely forbidden from disseminating any information about the case. This is done to better insure a fair trial from an impartial jury.

The Apostle Paul refers to someone, presumably himself, who had been given, what amounts to, a divine gag order from the Lord. He states, “I knew a man in Christ…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” (II Corinthians 12:2-4). The word “paradise” means a park, garden, or place of future happiness. It is referred to here as the third heaven, above earth’s atmosphere and outer space. It is the dwelling place of God. Have you ever wondered why the Lord would not allow a vivid and detailed description of this place? We already know our eternal dwelling place will be in “heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6; 1:3). Once taken to heaven, we will have the utter joy to “ever be with the Lord” (Jesus, who ransomed us, I Thessalonians 4:17). We will be “raised [with] a spiritual body” (I Corinthians 15:44). We assume, like the kingdom saints in eternity, “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). I Corinthians 6:9 states plainly that sinners will not be present in heaven. Therefore, we conclude every child of God in heaven will experience freedom from the old nature and will finally be enabled to live apart from sin. We will be able to view the power, majesty, and indescribable beauty of God’s throne (Revelation 4:1-6). Yet, all this information appears to be only the proverbial tip of the iceberg regarding how wonderful heaven will be.

Why are we not permitted to know more? Perhaps it is because we might lose focus on our earthly mission of serving Christ, hasten our departure, or to hinder Satan perverting our concepts of eternity. But we know enough to rejoice in these future riches, even today.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."