2 Cor.12:4 – was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

You cannot say that Paul was afraid to speak his mind. He would tell you what happened on the Damascus Road without the slightest hesitation. He told everyone who would listen to Him about how he saw Jesus that day and even described the glory that shone forth from him. But there was something about this encounter, something of what he saw and heard in heaven, that even shut Paul’s mouth. This was just too big for words. He saw something of the Eternal One that human words could never do justice so he left it there, too big and too great for words. This is how Albert Barnes describes this encounter.

“The word which is here rendered “unspeakable,” may either mean what cannot be spoken, or what ought not to be spoken. The word means unutterable, ineffable; and whichever idea we attach to it, Paul meant to say that he could not attempt by words to do justice to what he saw and heard. The use of the word “words” here would seem to imply that he heard the language of exalted praise; or that there were truths imparted to his mind which he could not hope to convey in any language spoken by men…..It is probable that if there were a full revelation of the glories of heaven, we should not be able to comprehend it; or even if we did, we should be incredulous in regard to it. So unlike what we see; so elevated above our highest comprehension; probably so unlike what we now anticipate, is heaven, that we should be slow to receive the revelation. It is always difficult to describe what we have not seen, even on earth, so that we shall have any very clear idea of it: how much more difficult must it be to describe heaven!”

That’s how it is when you start to touch the other side, there are things there that earthly words could never describe. In our interaction with the Lord this is part of the reason He has given us a heavenly language. He says when we pray in tongues we may even be praying in the language of angels. So don’t ever think that when it comes to God you will ever really have a handle on Him. Some things are just too big for words.


  1. Doesn’t this just put into perspective how lame or ordinary our worship can be. Sporting events and music events often out love the reserved output taking place in churches. Holy reverence never involves self promotion. It’s like we don’t believe or know what we are doing. Its like the tithe, too few engaged, He can’t come back because we are just not ready. This needs to change. Every great move of God involved people who wanted more of God, their hunger led to new doors being knocked on.

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