I. Introduction. 1

II. Scriptures related to heaven. 1

III. Heaven in the Nazarean Codicil 5

IV. The kingdom of heaven: 11

V. The righteous will dwell on earth forever 13

VI. "Paradise" is the abode of the righteous. 16

VII. Inheritance. 17

VIII. The Seven Heavens. 19

Wilon. 22

Rakia. 22

Shehakim.. 22

Zebul 23

Ma'on. 23

Makon. 23

Araboth. 24

IX. Hades. 25

X.  Tidbits. 26

XI. Conclusion. 26

Nazarean note: 27

 

Where do we go when we die?

 

To answer this question, we will need to discard some old ideas and begin to be oriented towards what the Torah really teaches. This will be an eye opening exercise for those who have never studied this subject from a Jewish perspective.

 

 I. Introduction

 

Definition of "heaven" according to Strong’s:

 

8064 shamayim, shaw-mah'-yim; dual of an unused singular shameh, shaw-meh'; from an unused root mean. to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perh. alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve):-air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).

 

Note that this definition tells us that Shamayim, heaven, is PLURAL. There is more than one! The Talmud (Chagigah 12b) teach us that there were seven heavens, namely:

 

Wilon, Rakia, Shehakim, Zebul, Ma'on, Makon, Araboth.

 

We shall explore these heavens a bit later in this paper. The Sages teach us that Shamayim is a combination of two words:

 

Aish (fire) and

mayim (water)

 

So, “heaven” = “fire and water”. If you are accustomed to the concept that heaven is a place of fluffy clouds, then this might be a bit of a different perspective. This concept is extremely important if we are to understand several aspects of how His Majesty King Yeshua obeyed the commands of Torah.

 

It is also intructive to know that Our Sages teach that Shamayim comes from the Hebrew word sham which mean There. This suggests that when the righteous reach the Olam HaBa, the renewed earth, they will finally be There. Thus we see that heaven has the connotation as the place where HaShem dwells.

 

II. Scriptures related to heaven

 

 Bereshit (Genesis) 14:17-24 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, And he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the HaShem, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath That I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.' I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me--to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share."

 

Heaven was created by G-d Most High:

 

 Bereshit (Genesis) 21:14-18 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."

 

The angel of God can call to earth from heaven.

 

 Bereshit (Genesis) 22:6-18 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the HaShem called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The HaShem Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the HaShem it will be provided." The angel of the HaShem called to Abraham from heaven a second time And said, "I swear by myself, declares the HaShem, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

 

To study more about the binding of Isaac, please see the study titled MERIT.

 

The Angel of the Lord can call from heaven and be heard by men on earth.

 

 Bereshit (Genesis) 24:5-8 The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?" "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said. "The HaShem, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land'--he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there."

 

Abraham served the God of heaven

 

 Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-18 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the HaShem, and he said: "I am the HaShem, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the HaShem is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."

 

Heaven has gates and stairways.

 

 Shemot (Exodus) 16:2-5 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the HaShem’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." Then the HaShem said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days."

 

The Israelites ate bread from heaven.

 

 Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:8-15 So the HaShem brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; And now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O HaShem, have given me." Place the basket before the HaShem your God and bow down before him. And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the HaShem your God has given to you and your household. When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Then say to the HaShem your God: "I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them. I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the HaShem my God; I have done everything you commanded me. Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey."

 

HaShem's holy dwelling place is heaven.

 

 I Melachim (Kings) 8:22-28 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the HaShem in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven And said: "O HaShem, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it--as it is today. "Now HaShem, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done.' And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true. "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O HaShem my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.

 

The highest heaven cannot contain HaShem.

 

 II Melachim (Kings) 2:1-15 When the HaShem was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the HaShem has sent me to Bethel." But Elisha said, "As surely as the HaShem lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the HaShem is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "but do not speak of it." Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the HaShem has sent me to Jericho." And he replied, "As surely as the HaShem lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the HaShem is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," he replied, "but do not speak of it." Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the HaShem has sent me to the Jordan." And he replied, "As surely as the HaShem lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on. Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied. "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours--otherwise not." As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the HaShem, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

 

Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

 

 Nehemiah 9:5-6 And the Levites--Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah--said: "Stand up and praise the HaShem your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting." "Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the HaShem. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

 

There are multitudes in heaven. Angels!

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 148:1-5 Praise the HaShem. Praise the HaShem from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the HaShem, for he commanded and they were created.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 123:1-4 {A song of ascents.} I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the HaShem our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, O HaShem, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.

 

HaShem's throne is in heaven.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:1-2 This is what the HaShem says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the HaShem. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

 

Heaven is HaShem's throne.

 

Zechariah 6:1-7 I looked up again--and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains--mountains of bronze! The first chariot had red horses, the second black, The third white, and the fourth dappled--all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these, my lord?" The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south." When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, "Go throughout the earth!" So they went throughout the earth.

 

There are spirits/angels in heaven.

 

III. Heaven in the Nazarean Codicil

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 6:9-11 "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.

 

HaShem's will is done in heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 19:21-26 Yeshua answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Yeshua said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Yeshua looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

 

We can store up treasure in heaven. It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:32-35 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 

Heaven will pass away.

 

Marqos (Mark) 16:19 After the Lord Yeshua had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

 

Yeshua was taken up into heaven.

 

Luqas (Luke) 2:8-15 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Mashiach the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

 

Angels can come from and go to heaven.

 

Luqas (Luke) 6:20-23 Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.

 

We can have a reward in heaven.

 

Luqas (Luke) 10:17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

 

Some names are written in heaven.

 

Yochanan (John) 3:1-21 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Yeshua at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Yeshua declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Yeshua answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. "You are Israel's teacher," said Yeshua, "and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, That everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

 

No one has ever gone into heaven - except Yeshua.

 

Yochanan (John) 13:37 - 14:9 Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Then Yeshua answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Yeshua answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Yeshua answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

 

Where is "My Father's house"?

 

II Corinthians 4:16 - 5:8 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, Because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

 

We have an immortal body in heaven.

 

Philippians 3:7 - 4:1 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Mashiach. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Mashiach Yeshua my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Mashiach And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Mashiach--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Mashiach and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, And so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Mashiach Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Mashiach Yeshua. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Mashiach. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Yeshua Mashiach, Who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

 

Our citizenship is in heaven.

 

I Tzefet (Peter) 1:1-7 Peter, an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Yeshua Mashiach and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Mashiach from the dead, And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, Who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Yeshua Mashiach is revealed.

 

Our inheritance is in heaven.

 

Revelation 4:1-2 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

 

Human spirits have visited heaven.

 

Revelation 11:3-13 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

 

The two witnesses went bodily to heaven.

 

Ephesians 2:4-10 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Made us alive with Mashiach even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Mashiach and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Mashiach Yeshua, In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Mashiach Yeshua. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- Not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Mashiach Yeshua to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

We are seated with Mashiach in the heavenly realms.

 

Yochanan (John) 17:24-26 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

 

Those who belong to the Lord will be with Him where He is.

 

Revelation 7:9-17 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, Saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

 

The tribulation saints are before HaShem's throne.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:34-35 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; Or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

 

Heaven is HaShem’s throne.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 19:17-30 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Yeshua replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Yeshua replied," 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, Honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Yeshua answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Yeshua said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Yeshua looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" Yeshua said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

 

If you want to enter life, keep the commandments. It is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. At the renewal of all things, the apostles will sit on thrones. The people who left family and things for Yeshua will inherit eternal life.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:29-31 "Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 

The elect shall be gathered from the ends of the heavens.

 

Luqas (Luke) 10:26-28 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " "You have answered correctly," Yeshua replied. "Do this and you will live."

 

If you love God and your neighbor, you will live.

 

I Thessalonians 4:13-17 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Yeshua died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Yeshua those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Mashiach will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

 

If the dead are raised first; where are they now?

 

IV. The kingdom of heaven:

 

When we talk about the British kingdom of yesteryear, we are not necessarily talking about Great Britain. We are talking about many places, including: Australia, Canada, India, and many other place. It was said that the sun never set on this kingdom.

 

This concept of a kingdom is very important. It helps us to understand the following passages:

 

Daniel 2:37-45 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; In your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. "After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands--a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

 

The kingdom of the HaShem of heaven will be set up in the time of the last kings.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 3:1-3 In those days Yochanan (John) the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea And saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah): "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

 

The kingdom of heaven is near.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

The poor in spirit and those who are persecuted because of righteousness receive the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:17-20 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Breaking the law and teaching others to do so makes you least in the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever practices and teaches the law will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. You will not enter the Kingdom of heaven unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 7:15-23 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

 

The one who does the will of God will enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 8:7-13 Yeshua said to him, "I will go and heal him." The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Yeshua heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Then Yeshua said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

 

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are in the kingdom of heaven. There will be a feast in the Kingdom of heaven.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 13:45-50 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous And throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

The Kingdom of heaven seems to happen at the end of the age.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 18:1-10 At that time the disciples came to Yeshua and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

 

To enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like little children. The greatest in the kingdom of heaven must humble himself like a child. There are angels in heaven. We enter life as we are. Consider also:

 

Yochanan (John) 20:24-29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Yeshua came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Yeshua told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

 

Does this mean that we will not have perfect bodies, initially, after we are resurrected?

 

 V. The righteous will dwell on earth forever

 

The Tanakh[1] and the Nazarean Codicil[2] are replete with references to the fact that the righteous will dwell on earth forever. It does not contain any references to suggest that they will “inherit heaven”. Here are a few of those references:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 60:20-21 Thy sun shall no more go down, Neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for HaShem shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 21  Thy people also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever; the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, wherein I glory.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 37:28-29 For the HaShem loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

 

II Tzefet (Peter) 3:1-17 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

 

The new earth is the home of righteousness.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 115:1 Not to us, O HaShem, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. O house of Israel, trust in the HaShem--he is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the HaShem--he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in the HaShem--he is their help and shield. The HaShem remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear the HaShem--small and great alike. May the HaShem make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the HaShem, the Maker of heaven and earth. The highest heavens belong to the HaShem, but the earth he has given to man. It is not the dead who praise the HaShem, those who go down to silence; It is we who extol the HaShem, both now and forevermore. Praise the HaShem.

 

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but, the earth belongs to man.

 

Luqas (Luke) 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores And longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, For I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

 

The angels carried Lazarus to Abraham's side. This still seems to be more of a description of the place rather than the name of the place.

 

Revelation 21:1-6 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

 

God will dwell with men on earth.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 65:13-25 Therefore this is what the Sovereign HaShem says: "My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit. You will leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse; the Sovereign HaShem will put you to death, but to his servants he will give another name. Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth; he who takes an oath in the land will swear by the God of truth. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the HaShem, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the HaShem.

 

the people will live on the new (renewed) earth in the city of Jerusalem. H2319 chadash, khaw-dawsh'; from 2318; new:-fresh, new thing.

 

 VI. "Paradise" is the abode of the righteous

 

The Greek word for “Paradise” is:

 

G3857 paradeisos, par-ad'-i-sos; of Oriental or. [comp. 6508]; a park, i.e. (spec.) an Eden (place of future happiness, "paradise"):-paradise.

 

This Greek word, Paradeisos, is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew: Gan Eden.

 

Gan Eden is normally translated into English as: The Garden of Eden. So Paradise = The Garden of Eden! Armed with this concept, lets examine this “Paradise”:

 

Luqas (Luke) 23:33-45 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left. Yeshua said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Mashiach of God, the Chosen One." The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar And said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Mashiach? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Yeshua, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Yeshua answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, For the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

 

The thief went to paradise when he died.

 

II Corinthians 12:1-5 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Mashiach who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows. And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows-- Was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

 

Seems to indicate either two different places or two names for the same place.

 

Revelation 2:1-7 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lamp stands: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

 

The Tree of Life started out in the Garden in Eden and it will be there when we get to eat of it. Paradise is not Heaven. These are two different places with two different names.

 

 VII. Inheritance

 

Shemot (Exodus) 15:13-18 "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia. The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; Terror and dread will fall upon them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone--until your people pass by, O HaShem, until the people you bought pass by. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance--the place, O HaShem, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. The HaShem will reign for ever and ever."

 

If this passage is viewed prophetically, then the inheritance that God will give His people will be at Mount Zion.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 32:11-13 But Moses sought the favor of the HaShem his God. "O HaShem," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.'"

 

The land that we inherit will be an eternal inheritance!

 

Leviticus 20:22-24 "'Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, "You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the HaShem your God, who has set you apart from the nations.

 

Our inheritance is the possession of land.

 

Jeremiah 12:14-17 This is what the HaShem says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them. But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the HaShem lives'--even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal--then they will be established among my people. But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the HaShem.

 

HaShem will bring us back to our inheritance.

 

Ezekiel 36:8-12 "'But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, And I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the HaShem. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.

 

The people who inherit are called Israel.

 

Ezekiel 47:21-23 "You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign HaShem.

 

The alien (ger) will have an inheritance with the tribes of Jacob.

 

Daniel 12:9-13 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."

 

We receive our inheritance at the end of the days.  This inheritance is referred to many times in the Nazarean Codicil:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 25:34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 20:32 "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

 

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

 

Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."

 

Ephesians 1:12-14 In order that we, who were the first to hope in Mashiach, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Mashiach when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

 

Ephesians 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Mashiach and of God.

 

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

 

Colossians 3:24 Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Mashiach you are serving.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 9:15 For this reason Mashiach is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

 

I Tzefet (Peter) 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua Mashiach from the dead, And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you,

 

VIII. The Seven Heavens

 

In the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), Moshe tells the Jewish people, "You have been shown in order to know that HaShem, He is the G-d! There is none beside Him" (4:35). Rashi once more quotes a Rabbinic teaching, this time to explain what it means, ‘that the Jews were shown in order to know’: "When the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave the Torah, He opened for them the seven heavens; and just as He split the upper [regions], so He split the lower, and they saw that He was alone." In other words, the Children of Israel were shown at Sinai a glimpse of the inner mechanics of the entire universe--from subatomic particles to black holes and beyond, presumably--so that they would know for certain that HaShem is the sole Ruler of all of this vast Creation.

 

The Tanakh implies the existence of multiple heavens (Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:14; Tehilim (Tehillim (Psalms)) 148:4) and this is certainly taught here as in Ephesians 4:10 and 2 Corinthians 12:2 which mentions "the third heaven." The Talmud teaches the existence of seven heavens.

 

The Tanakh has seven different designations for heaven; therefore there must be Seven heavens.[3]

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XIX:7 AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD GOD TRAVELLING IN THE GARDEN TOWARD THE COOL OF THE DAY (III, 7). R. Halapay said: We know [from here] that a voice may travel, but we do not yet know that ‘traveling’ can apply to fire; and whence do we know that? From a verse elsewhere: And the fire traveled down upon the earth (Shemot IX, 23). R. Abba b. Kahana said: Not mehallek but mith-hallek is written here, which means that it [repeatedly] leaped and ascended. The real home of the Shechinah was in the nether sphere; when Adam sinned it departed to the first rakia’ [firmament]; when Cain sinned, it ascended to the second rakia’; when the generation of Enosh sinned, it ascended to the third; when the generation of the Flood sinned, to the fourth; with the generation of the separation [of tongues], to the fifth; with the Sodomites, to the sixth, with the Egyptians in the days of Abraham, to the seventh. But as against these there arose seven righteous men: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kohath, Amram, and Moses, and they brought it down again to earth. Abraham [brought it down] from the seventh to the sixth, Isaac from the sixth to the fifth, Jacob from the fifth to the fourth, Levi from the fourth to the third, Kohath from the third to the second, Amram from the second to the first, while Moses brought it right down below. R. Isaac said: It is written, The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell (wayyishkenu) therein forever (Tehilim XXXVII, 29): then what are the wicked to do-are they to range in the air! What it means is that the wicked did not permit the Shechinah to dwell on earth.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXIX:11 All sevenths are favourites in the world. The seventh is a favourite above, for there are shamayim, sheme HaShamayim, rakia’, shehakim, zebul, ma'on, and ‘araboth, and of the last-named it is written, Extol Him that rideth upon the ‘araboth, whose name is the Lord (Tehilim LXVIII, 5)

 

Midrash Rabbah - Devarim (Deuteronomy) II:32 Another explanation: HEAR, O ISRAEL. This bears out what Scripture says, Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And beside Thee I desire none upon earth (Tehilim LXXIII, 25). Rab said: There are two firmaments, the heaven and the heavens of heavens. R. Eleazar said: There are seven firmaments: Heaven (shamayim), the Heavens of Heavens (sheme shamayim), Firmament (raki'ah), Sky (shehakim), Habitation (ma'on), Residence (zebul), Thick Cloud (’arafel); and God opened them all unto Israel in order to show them that there is no God but He. The Assembly of Israel said before God: ' Master of the Universe, whom have I in heaven but Thy glory? As in heaven I have none but Thee, so too upon earth I desire no other; as I have not associated another God with Thee in heaven, so upon earth, too, I have not associated with Thee any other God; but daily I enter the synagogues and testify concerning Thee that there is no other God but Thou, and I exclaim, HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.’

 

Pesachim 94b Now from earth to heaven is a five hundred years journey, the thickness of heaven Is a five hundred years’ journey, and between the first heaven and the next lies a five hundred years’ journey, and similarly between each heaven.

 

Chagigah 12b R. Judah said: There are two firmaments, for it is said: Behold, unto the Lord thy God belongeth heaven, and the heaven of heavens.[4] Resh Lakish said: [There are] seven, namely, Wilon,[5] Rakia’,[6] Shehakim,[7] Zebul,[8] Ma’on,[9] Makon,[10] ‘Araboth.[11] Wilon serves no purpose except that it enters in the morning and goes forth in the evening[12] and renews every day the work of creation, for it is said: That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,[13] and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.[14] Rakia’ is that in which sun and moon, stars and constellations are set, for it is said: And God set them[15] in the firmament [Rakia’] of the heaven.[16] Shehakim is that in which millstones stand and grind[17] manna for the righteous for it is said: And He commanded the skies [Shehakim] above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He caused manna to rain upon them for food etc.[18] Zebul is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem[19] and the Temple and the Altar are built, and Michael, the great Prince,[20] stands and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: I have surely built Thee a house of habitation [Zebul], a place for Thee to dwell in for ever.[21] And whence do we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Look down from heaven, and see, even from Thy holy and glorious habitation.[22] Ma’on is that in which there are companies of Ministering Angels, who utter [divine] song by night, and are silent by day for the sake of Israel’s glory,[23] for it is said: By day the Lord doth command His lovingkindness,[24] and in the night His song is with me.[25]

 

Thus we learn that there are seven ‘heavens’, namely: Wilon, Rakia’, Shehakim, Zebul, Ma’on, Makon, ‘Araboth.

 

Seven Heavens are Vilon, Raki'a, Zebul, Ma'on, Machon, Araboth

 

1)   Vilon -וילון,  Isaiah 40:22 Vilon is the name of Jalon extrapolated unto Isaiah 40:22

2)   Rakia - רקיע, Genesis 1:6-8, Genesis 1:17, Genesis 1:20, and Psalm 19:1-2, Psalm 150:1, Ezekiel 1:22-23

3)   Shehakim - שחקים,  Deut 33:26, 2 Samuel 22:12, Psalm 18:11-12, Psalm 36:5-6, Psalm 57:10-11, Psalm 77:17-18, Psalms. 78:23, Psalm 89:37-38, Psalm 108:4-5, Proverbs 8:28, Job 35:5, Job 36:28, Job 38:37

4)   Zebul - זבול,  Isaiah 63:15, 1-Kings, 8:13, 2 Chronicles 6:2

5)   Ma'on - מעון, Deuteronomy 26:15,  Psalm 26:8 Psalm 71:3, Psalm 90:1, and Zechariah 2:17  { Zechariah 2:13}

6)   Makon  - מכון  Deuteronomy 28:12, 1 Kings 8:39, 2 Chronicles 6:30, Psalm 89:14-15, Psalm 97:2, Isaiah 4:5

7)   Araboth - ערבות, Psalm 68:4-5

 

This bears on what we read in the Nazarean Codicil:

 

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven (Shehakim - שְׁחָקִים).

 

Resh Lakish said: [There are] seven, namely,

 

Wilon

 

Wilon, [I.e., ‘Curtain’, from Lat. Velum.] - Wilon serves no purpose except that it enters in the morning and goes forth in the evening 

 

[According to Rashi, Wilon (‘Curtain’) draws in every morning, and thus causes the light of day to become visible; in the evening it draws out and hides the daylight. This process constitutes the renewal of the work of creation. But Tosafot. explains that Wilon produces the light of day, and when it withdraws at night darkness prevails.]

 

and renews every day the work of creation, for it is said: That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.[Yeshiyahu XL, 22.]

 

Several heavens were created, seven in fact, each to serve a purpose of its own. The first, the one visible to man, has no function except that of covering up the light during the night time; therefore it disappears every morning.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) VI:6 Where are the spheres of the sun and the moon set? In the second heaven (raki'a), as it says, AND GOD SET THEM IN THE RAKI'A OF THE HEAVEN. R. Phinehas said in R. Abbahu's name: This verse is explicit, and the men of the Great Assembly further explained, Thou art the Lord, even Thou alone; Thou hast made the heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host (Neh. IX, 6): thus where are all their hosts set? In the second ‘ raki'a ‘, which is above the heaven. From the earth to the ' raki'a ‘

 

Rakia

 

Rakia’, [I.e., ‘Expanse, firmament’.] - Rakia’ is that in which sun and moon, stars and constellations are set, for it is said: And God set them in the firmament [Rakia’] of the heaven.[26]

 

The planets are fastened to the second of the heavens;

 

Shehakim

 

Shehakim, [Lit., ‘Clouds’, from eja, ‘dust’[27].] - Shehakim is that in which millstones stand and grind manna for the righteous for it is said: And He commanded the skies [Shehakim] above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He caused manna to rain upon them for food etc.[28]

 

Why are they [the clouds] called shehakim? Resh Lakish said: Because they break up (shohakim) the [mass of] water [into rain drops].

 

in the third the manna is made for the pious in the hereafter;

 

Zebul

 

The celestial temple is situated in a region called "Zebul". This is what is known as "the place of Your eternal residence".

 

Zebul, [B.D.B.: ‘Elevation, height, lofty abode’; N.H., ‘Temple’. Jastrow: ‘(place of offering or entertainment) residence, especially Temple’.] - Zebul is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem

 

‘The Holy One blessed be He, said: I shall not enter the Jerusalem which is above, until I enter the Jerusalem which is below’.[29] 

 

and the Temple and the Altar are built, and Michael, the great Prince,[30] stands and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: I have surely built Thee a house of habitation [Zebul], a place for Thee to dwell in for ever.

 

Tthe earthly Temple corresponds to the heavenly Sanctuary.[31] 

 

And whence do we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Look down from heaven, and see, even from Thy holy and glorious habitation.[32]

 

the fourth contains the celestial Jerusalem together with the Temple, in which Michael ministers as high priest, and offers the souls of the pious as sacrifices.

 

Ma'on

 

Ma'on, [I.e., ‘Dwelling, habitation’.] - Ma'on is that in which there are companies of Ministering Angels, who utter [divine] song by night, and are silent by day for the sake of Israel's glory, for it is said: By day the Lord doth command His lovingkindness, and in the night His song is with me.

 

[. I.e., by night the song of the angels joins mine (says Israel), which I uttered by day (Rashi).[33]]

 

In the fifth heaven, the angel hosts reside, and sing the praise of God, though only during the night, for by day it is the task of Israel on earth to give glory to God on high.

 

Makon

 

Makon, [I.e., ‘Fixed or established place, foundation, residence’.] - Makon is that in which there are the stores of snow

 

[For these stores cf. Job XXXVIII, 22f also Yeshiyahu XXIX, 6.]

 

and stores of hail, and the loft of harmful dews and the loft of raindrops, the chamber of the whirlwind and storm, and the cave of vapour, and their doors are of fire, for it is said: The Lord will open unto thee His good treasure, [Devarim (Deuteronomy), XXVIII, 12; implying also the existence of a bad store, i.e., of punishments; but the "Ein Jacob’ reads here Yermiyahu L, 25.] But are these to be found in the firmament? Surely, they are to be found on the earth, for it is written: Praise the Lord from the earth, ye sea-monsters, and all deeps; fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word! [Tehilim CXLVIII, 7, 8.] — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: David entreated concerning them, and caused them to come down to the earth. He said before Him: Lord of the universe, Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; let not evil sojourn with Thee; righteous art Thou, O Lord, let not evil sojourn in Thy abode. And whence do we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Then hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling place [Makon]. [I Melachim (Kings) VIII, 39]

 

The sixth heaven is an uncanny spot; there originate most of the trials and visitations ordained for the earth and its inhabitants. Snow lies heaped up there and hail; there are lofts full of noxious dew, magazines stocked with storms, and cellars holding reserves of smoke. Doors of fire separate these celestial chambers, which are under the supervision of the archangel Metatron. Their pernicious contents defiled the heavens until David's time. The pious king prayed God to purge His exalted dwelling of whatever was pregnant with evil; it was not becoming that such things should exist near the Merciful One. Only then they were removed to the earth.

 

Araboth

 

Araboth. [V. Tehilim LXVIII, 5. Levy: Perhaps from crg, ‘to be dark’ (cf. crg evening) and syn. with kprg: (thick darkness, heavy cloud, in which God dwells; cf. Shemot XX, 18).] - ‘Araboth is that in which there are Right and Judgment and Righteousness, the treasures of life and the treasures of peace and the treasures of blessing, the souls of the righteous and the spirits and the souls [Rashi explains that either ‘spirits’ and ‘souls’ are synonymous, or else ‘spirit’ means the soul that has bodily form (ectoplasm?).] which are yet to be born, and dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter revive the dead. Right and Judgment, for it is written: Right and judgment are the foundations of Thy throne. [Tehilim LXXXIX, 15.] Righteousness, for it is written: And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail.[Yeshiyahu LIX, 17] The treasures of life, for it is written: For with Thee is the fountain of life.[Tehilim XXXVI, 10] And the treasures of peace, for it is written: And called it, ‘The Lord is peace’.

 

[Shoftim VI, 24. Rashi renders: He (the Lord) called it (peace) unto Him.]

 

And the treasures of blessing, for it is written: he shall receive a blessing from the Lord. [Tehilim XXIV, 5.] The souls of the righteous, for it is written: Yet the soul of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God.[1 Sam. XXV, 29] The spirits and the souls which are yet to be born, for it is written: For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made.[Yeshiyahu LVII, 1] And the dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter revive the dead, for it is written: A bounteous rain didst Thou pour down, O God; when Thine inheritance was weary, Thou didst confirm it.

 

[Tehilim LXVIII, 10. The verse refers to the Revelation at Sinai, when, according to the Midrash, the souls of the children of Israel momentarily left their bodies, but God with His bounteous rain or dew of resurrection revived them. Cf. Cant. Rab. to Cant. V, 6.]

 

 There [too] are the Ofanim and the Seraphim, [V. Yeshiyahu VI, 2; in Rabbinic literature they are understood to be angels of fire, cf. Devarim (Deuteronomy) Rab.11] and the Holy Living Creatures,[V. Ezek. I, 5f.] and the Ministering Angels, [Apparently distinct from those dwelling in Ma'on] and the Throne of God; and the King, the Living God, high and exalted, dwells over them in ‘Araboth, for it is said: Extol Him that rideth upon Araboth whose name is the Lord. [Tehilim LXVIII, 5] And whence do we derive that it is called heaven? From the word ‘riding’, which occurs in two Biblical passages. Here it is written: ‘Extol Him that rideth upon Araboth’. And elsewhere it is written: Who rideth upon the heaven as thy help. [Devarim (Deuteronomy) XXXIII, 26] And darkness and cloud and thick darkness surround Him, for it is said: He made darkness His hiding-place, His pavilion round about Him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of skies.[Tehilim XVIII, 12] But is there any darkness before Heaven? For behold it is written: He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth, what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.[Dan. II, 22] — There is no contradiction: the one [verse] ‘The seventh heaven’, on the other hand, contains naught but what is good and beautiful: right, justice, and mercy, the storehouses of life, peace, and blessing, the souls of the pious, the souls and spirits of unborn generations, the dew with which God will revive the dead on the resurrection day, and, above all, the Divine Throne, surrounded by the seraphim, the ofanim, the holy Hayyot, and the ministering angels.

 

IX. Hades

 

Is Hades the same as heaven? To answer this question, lets first look at the Strong’s definition:

 

86 hades, hah'-dace; from 1 (as a neg. particle) and 1492; prop. unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls:-grave, hell.

 

Related word:

7585 she'owl, sheh-ole'; or she'ol, sheh-ole; from 7592; hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), includ. its accessories and inmates:-grave, hell, pit.

 

At first blush, heaven and Hades are not the same place, but, lets examine the Scriptures to see how they speak of this place:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

 

Luqas (Luke) 16:22-23 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 2:25-27 David said about him: "'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, Because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

 

I Corinthians 15:55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, (Hades) is your sting?"

 

Revelation 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

 

Revelation 6:8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

 

Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

 

Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

 

ANSWER: I don't think that Heaven and Hades are the same place!

 

X.  Tidbits

 

Jewish women in oriental countries took pride in baking for Shavuot a seven-layer cake called Siete Cielos (Seven Heavens), symbolic of the traditional seven celestial spheres God traversed to present the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.[8] Fashioned in seven circular tiers, one smaller than the other with the smallest on top, it was decorated with various symbols such as a star of David, the rod of Moses, the two tablets of the Law, manna, Jacob's ladder, and the ark of the covenant. Others topped the cake with a seven-rung ladder to recall Moses ascending Mount Sinai. Similar elaborate pastries called Sinai Cake alluded to the mountain. A large cake or bread with raisins, generally known as pashtudan or floden when baked for Shavuot, was also called Sinai. Some oriental Jewish women baked baklava — a very sweet cake made with nuts, sugar, and honey.

 

* * *

 

There were many different ways to tie tzitzith in the Talmudic period. The Talmud relates: 

 

What is the minimum length of a joint? It was taught: Rabbi says [In a joint] the thread must be wound once, twice and a third time. It was taught: If a man wishes to make few, he should not make less than seven, and if many, he should not make more than thirteen. If few, he should not make less than seven [joints], to correspond to the seven heavens; and if many, he should not make more than thirteen, to correspond to the seven heavens plus the six intervening spaces. [Menachot 39a]

 

XI. Conclusion

 

Heaven appears to be HaShem's abode and not men's abode. Further, we see that even though Elijah went up to heaven, we see in Yochanan (John) 3:13 that he did not go to the place where God dwells. When we die we do NOT go to Heaven!

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is not the same as the place called Heaven.

 

It appears that HaShem has designed the Garden of Eden to be the dwelling place for men. This garden was on the earth at one time. It was probably over the area that is known today as Mount Zion. II Corinthians 12:4 seems to indicate that the Garden of Eden is "up". Since we will be living on the earth in the Garden of Eden, I would expect the Garden of Eden to be part of the New Jerusalem which comes down to earth. When we die we go to the Garden of Eden which will be on Earth.

 

This “garden”, PaRDeS in Hebrew, is a place of sublime reward. This PaRDeS, though, is a very big subject. Therefore, we will have to wait till another time to examine this in greater depth.

 

Some one once asked, “What is the difference between what the wicked will do versus what the righteous will do?”

 

The wicked will HAVE TO study Torah all day long and they will never GET TO stop to eat or sleep.

 

The Righteous will GET TO study Torah all day long and will never HAVE TO stop to eat or sleep!

 

There is one final concept that is worth understanding. The Sages (Sanhedrin 97a) teach that the ages of this world are divided into four groups, namely:

 

  1. The 2000 years of desolation.
  2. The 2000 years of Torah.
  3. The 2000 years of Messiah.

 

After these periods, there will be a 1000 year period when Mashiach will rule with a rod of iron. After this final millennium, the righteous will enter the Olam HaBa. The Olam HaBa is a time when we are no longer physical, we will become real.

 

To understand this state of reality, consider: Does HaShem have an arm? How is His arm different from ours? The answer is that His arm is REAL while ours is merely PHYSICAL.

 

Nazarean note:

 

After Messiah rose, He told the woman not to touch Him for He had not yet ascended to His Father. When He Ascended, He went through the seven heavens. He was sprinkled with fire and water seven times.

 

The Torah teaches us that when a person comes in contact with a grave or with the dead, he must be sprinkled with the water and ashes of the red heifer, on the third and on the seventh day. The red heifer is also a picture of fire and water.

 

We can conclude, therefore, that Mashiach ascended on the third day and descended on the seventh day. By doing this He was sprinkled with fire and water.

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 



[1] Tanakh is an acronym for Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings), and is how Jews refer to the so called Old Testament.

[2] The Nazarean Codicil is how we will refer to the so called New Testament which is neither new, nor a testament.

[3] Chagigah 12b-13a

[4] Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:14.

[5] I.e., ‘Curtain’, from Lat. Velum.

[6] I.e., ‘Expanse, firmament’.

[7] Lit., ‘Clouds’, from שחק, ‘dust’ (cf. Isa. XL, 15).

[8] B.D.B.: ‘Elevation, height, lofty abode’; N.H., ‘Temple’. Jastrow: ‘(place of offering or entertainment) residence, especially Temple’.

[9] I.e., ‘Dwelling, habitation’.

[10] I.e., ‘Fixed or established place, foundation, residence’.

[11] V. Ps, LXVIII, 5. Levy: Perhaps from ערב, ‘to be dark’ (cf. ערב evening) and syn. with ערפל: (thick darkness, heavy cloud, in which God dwells; cf. Ex. XX, 18).

[12] According to Rashi, Wilon (‘Curtain’) draws in every morning, and thus causes the light of day to become visible; in the evening it draws out and hides the daylight. This process constitutes the renewal of the work of creation. But Tosaf. explains that Wilon produces the light of day, and when it withdraws at night darkness prevails.

[13] Thus there is a curtain-like heaven.

[14] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:22.

[15] I.e., the heavenly luminaries.

[16] Beresheet (Genesis) 1:17.

[17] There is probably a play here on the meaning of שחק (the root of shehakim), which means ‘to rub away, pulverize, grind’ (cf. Ex. XXX, 36 and Job, XIV, 19).

[18] Tehillim (Psalms) 78:23, 24.

[19] Cf. Ta’an. 5a: ‘The Holy One blessed be He, said: I shall not enter the Jerusalem which is above, until I enter the Jerusalem which is below’.

[20] Michael is Israel’s Guardian Angel; cf. Dan. XII, 1 and Yoma 77a. Num. Rab. s. 2, Hul. 40a.

[21] I Kings 8:13; the earthly Temple corresponds to the heavenly Sanctuary.

[22] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 63:15.

[23] Because Israel utters God’s praise by day.

[24] By silencing the angels by day. God shows lovingkindness to the children of Israel, who are thus permitted to win divine grace by their prayer. Cf. also A.Z. 3b on the same verse.

[25] Tehillim (Psalms) 42:9. I.e., by night the song of the angels joins mine (says Israel), which I uttered by day (Rashi).

[26] Bereshit (Genesis) 1:17

[27] cf. Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) 40:15

[28] Tehilim (Psalms) 78:23- 24

[29] Cf. Ta’anith. 5a

[30] Michael is Israel's Guardian Angel; cf. Daniel 12:1 and Yoma 77a. Num. Rab. s. 2, Hul. 40a.

[31] I Melachim (Kings) 8:13

[32] Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) 63:15

[33] Tehilim (Psalms)42:9