It is often claimed that Enoch and Elijah both went into heaven and into the presence of God.
Some even claim that they received resurrection bodies at that time.

The Bible teaches that NO ONE ascended into heaven during the Old Testament period.
Jesus said at John 3:13, “And no one has ascended into heaven,
but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man.

Jesus spoke this during His ministry, and at that time, NO ONE from the Old Testament
had ascended into heaven.

The Bible also teaches that no one has received a resurrection body except Jesus,
for He is the first fruits, and no one else will receive a resurrection body until His second coming.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23

The saints who were “raised” at Matthew 27:52-53, did not receive a resurrection body,
but were simply brought back to physical life or re-animated.
This is the same thing that happened to Lazarus as is recorded at John 11:43-44.
See Commentary: Matthew 27:52-53 for details.

It is claimed that Enoch ascended into heaven according to Genesis 5:22-24 and Hebrews 11:5.
But according to John 3:13, that is quite impossible.

Enoch had a special fellowship with God that resulted in a non-typical “death” experience.
Death is simply the removal of the soul from the body. Enoch’s soul was removed from his body
in a unique way, and his body was apparently given a special burial somewhere known only to God.

The NASB renders Hebrews 11:5 as,

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.

The translation, “taken UP” is inaccurate. The verb is metatithemi, and indicates a change of PLACE.
It means TO TRANSFER, and is used 3 times in this verse.
There is NO idea of any UPWARD direction in this transfer.

The NKJV translation renders it more accurately.

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

And the NIV as well:

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

Both translations preserve the meaning of the verb as,
to TRANSFER or remove from one place to another.

The record at Genesis 5:24 does not indicate anything to the contrary.
“And Enoch walked with God (spiritual fellowship just like Noah, Genesis 6:9),
and he was not, for God took him.”

He was removed from the presence and sight of other humans so that “he was not,”
but he was not taken into THE heaven.

The phrase at Hebrews, “did not see death” refers to the EXPERIENCE of death as others
would experience it; that is, go through a death type experience. In other words,
he did not see death as one would NORMALLY see or experience death.

The fact remains that he did not ascend into THE heaven,
and I think all of us would agree that he is not hanging out somewhere IN his body.

What agrees with all of Scripture is that this soul was removed from his body and placed in Paradise
(in Hades), deep inside the heart of the earth according to the pattern represented by the story
that Jesus told at Luke 16:19-31, and his body received a very special and private burial by God.
He was removed from the presence and sight of other humans so that “he was not,”
from THEIR perspective.

Another person who received a special, private burial by God,
although not described in the same kind of language, was Moses. Deuteronomy 34:5-6.
“So Moses the servant of Yahweh died there in the land of Moab, according to Yahweh’s word.
And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor;
but no man knows his burial place to this day.”

In fact, since God’s plan called for a special future assignment for Moses (one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11), in a RE-ANIMATED human body (not resurrection), there was a huge angelic dispute between Michael the Arch-angel and Satan. The only reason Mike could win this dispute was by
appealing to the character and plan of God, for he could not over power Satan,
and certainly saw no value in verbally accusing him.  Jude verse 9,
“But Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the devil, arguing about the body of Moses,
did not dare pronounce a judgment of accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’”

In both these cases, there souls went into paradise, known also as Abraham’s bosom,
where they experienced great peace and joy along with every other BELIEVER
of the Old Testament time period.
All of these believers remained in paradise, in the heart of the earth until Jesus took them to the
third heaven with Him at His resurrection and ascension.

See Topic: DEATH: Physical

It is also claimed that Elijah was taken into heaven based on 2 Kings 2:11-12.
“And behold there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them.
And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into the heavens . . . and Elisha . . . saw him no more.”

But once again, according to John 3:13, this is quite impossible.

What the Hebrew says is “into the heavens,” which simply means that he went up into the sky
and was taken away from Elisha. Then, just as with Enoch and with Moses,
Elijah’s soul was placed in paradise and his body was given a private burial.

And like Moses, God has a plan to use Elijah in the future as one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11.

See Topic: The Two Witnesses

For related information see Topic: The Saints in Heaven


Questions and comments are always welcome

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