Where can I find information online about the layers of heaven, hell and their names?
Q. Where can I find information online about the layers of heaven, hell and their names?
A. I’m not sure what you’re asking, but here’s what I know about heaven and hell.
There are three heavens implied in 2 Cor. 12:2, but these are based on the Greek understanding of the cosmos. In their thinking, the first heaven referred to the immediate sky, where the clouds float and where our atmosphere is contained. The second heaven is the vast expanse of the Universe where the stars and planets can be seen, and the third heaven is the Throne of God.
The place where believers go to spend eternity with Jesus is called the New Jerusalem. It’s described as coming down from heaven in Rev. 21:2. Whether they know it or not, the New Jerusalem is what believers are usually referring to when they talk about going to heaven. For now, our spirits do go to heaven when we die, but only until the New Jerusalem is unveiled and we get our resurrection bodies.
As far as hell is concerned, the word comes from the Greek word Hades, the abode of the dead. Before the cross it was divided into two compartments. One was called Paradise and was where the faithful went to wait for the Messiah to shed His blood for their sins so they could be admitted into Heaven. When Jesus died, He went to Paradise and when He came out of the tomb, he brought all those from Paradise with Him and took them to Heaven. Since then the spirits of dead believers go straight to be with the Lord.
The other part was called Torments and is where unbelievers still go to await their final judgment at the end of the Millennium. Torments is a place of excessive heat and thirst and other discomfort and is the basis for our understanding of hell. After the unsaved are judged, they go to Gehenna, also called the Lake of Fire, for their final punishment.
Peter is the only one to mention Tartarus, a place where fallen angels are kept in chains and darkness awaiting judgment. Greek philosophy held that Tartarus is as far below hell as Hell is below Earth.