About the Shamyim
by Alan Horvath | AlanHorvath.com
Shamayim is the Aramaic/Hebrew word for "heavens." Any Aramaic/Hebrew word that has "im" at the end of it is always a plural reference, so it is interesting to note that the singular "shamah" appears nowhere in Scripture. This tells us that "in the Father's house, there are many mansions" ... and that, contrary to common understanding, there is no singular place called "heaven" but, rather, many "heavens." And so, learning to use "shamayim" instead of "heaven" or "heavens" is a practice which I believe helps us to adopt a truer idea about "heaven;" so many traditional ideas and customs are based more on paganism and/or mythology rather than fact and, thus, it is very beneficial for us to embrace these new, truth-based Aramaic/Hebrew words and concepts.
The Father's Word speaks of three different shamayim. The general understanding is that the first is the atmosphere of the earth where birds fly - see Genesis 1:20-26 ... the second is what we call "space," where the sun, moon and stars are seen - see Genesis 1:14-18 and Matthew 24:29 ... and the third is the one that is "unseen" - the abode of the Father.
Yahshua (Jesus) tells us that He came from the shamayim - see John 6:38 ... and Isaiah speaks of the Father's Throne in the shamayim, which is also the abode of the Qodesh (holy) messengers - see Isaiah 6. And, of course, John was caught up to the shamayim and speaks of his experience throughout the Book of Revelation.
However, the third shamayim is only seen one time in the Scriptures and that is in 2 Corinthians 12:2, and I have a different belief about the definitions of the "first," "second," and "third" shamayim, based on 2 Peter 3:5-7 where Peter talks about how the shamayim existed and Elohim created the earth ... but then he refers to the present shamayim and earth. From this, I believe it is possible that the "first" is the shamayim that existed before Genesis 1:2 ... the "second" is the shamayim that we are presently a part of ... and that the "third" will be known after the Millenium, when Elohim creates a new shamayim and a new earth - Revelation 21:1. If that be the case, then when Paul wrote about the third shamayim in 2 Corinthians 12:2, he was talking about being taken into the future.
Abraham's Bosom / Paradise
The term Abraham's Bosom is found only in Luke 16:22-23 - where you can see, once again, that the dead are not asleep or unconscious. Abraham's Bosom implies blessedness after death and refers to the place in Sheol (Hades) which contains only the righteous (believers). It was previously located "next door" to hell (prior to Yahshua being raised from the dead), where all those there could see and hear those on either side, but none were able to cross over the gulf between - see Luke 16:26.
Paradise is a Renewed Covenant term ... however, the Aramaic/Hebrew definition of this place is "a royal park or garden" and describes the abode of the righteous (believers) after the Ascension of Yahshua when Abraham's Bosom was removed from the center of the earth and brought up to shamayim, where the Father dwells ... i.e. the place referred to as Abraham's Bosom is now located in Paradise, in the shamayim - see Luke 23:43.
Paradise is only mentioned three times in the Scriptures ... Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 and Revelation 2:7.
The New Jerusalem
There are three major passages in Scripture that tell us about the New Jerusalem: Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22-24 and Revelation 21:1 through 22:5. This Qodesh City presently exists in the shamayim and is the dwelling place of the Father and the Son, the Qodesh messengers, and the righteous (believers) who have passed on. It is also the dwelling place of the Father's Ruach (His Qodesh Spirit), however, the Father's Ruach is presently on the earth, gathering the Bride of Yahshua, until the Netchatef (aka Harpazzo, aka Rapture) occurs.
In the future, the New Jerusalem will come down to the earth ... whether it resides on the earth or is situated just above it, is a matter of conjecture ... see Revelation 21:2.
The Location of Believers Who Died Before Yahshua Ascended
All believers who died before the Ascension of Yahshua are in Paradise. They will be resurrected after the Second Coming - see Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2 - and will live in Israel, the Promised Land, in the coming Millennial reign.
The Location of Believers Who Died AfterYahshua Ascended
All believers who died after the Ascension of Yahshua are in Paradise, waiting for their bodies to be resurrected at the Netchatef (aka Harpazzo, aka Rapture) ... which, at this writing, is yet a future event. They will return with Him at the Second Coming, to co-reign with Him during the Millennium - see Revelation 20:4-6.
The Location of Believers Who Die During the Great Tribulation
All believers who die during the Great Tribulation will go to Paradise where they will joyfully wait for their bodies to be resurrected after the Second Coming, when they will co-reign with Yahshua during the Millennium.