Enoch, Elijah, and their “Heavenly” Whereabouts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Enoch, Elijah, and their “Heavenly” Whereabouts

INTRODUCTION: Most mainstream Christians believe that Enoch and Elijah never physically died but were instead supernaturally transformed into non-corporeal entities and taken up into Heaven.  However, certain splinter-groups have attempted to claim that these men did not actually go up into Heaven at all but were instead simply transported to another location, much like Philip was in Acts 8:39-40, and actually lived for several more years on Earth before dying in a place where their bodies would never be found.  Five attempted arguments have been made to support this false claim, but in each of those cases, as demonstrated below, these arguments are based on certain verses being ripped out of their proper context while other verses and passages are ignored completely.

ATTEMPTED ARGUMENT #1: After Elisha informed fifty other prophets that Elijah had been taken into Heaven, they were apparently in disbelief about this.  Instead, they speculated that his physical body may actually have been carried across the heaven (i.e., the sky) and was deposited back down into a valley or mountain where he might be found again if searched for – see 2 Kings 2:16-18.  For if Elijah had really gone up into Heaven, and if this is what Elisha had literally told the other prophets, then why would they not have been able to acknowledge this right away?

REPLY:  For starters, those fifty other men are actually referred in the scriptures as “the sons of the prophets” (2 Kings 2:3,5,7,15) which suggests they were actually just followers, servants, disciples, and/or prophets-in-training, but were not yet full-fledged prophets themselves.  Secondly, their initial skepticism about Elijah being taken up into Heaven is easily comparable to the initial disbelief that the Apostles had when the women told them that Jesus had risen – see Mark 16:11-14 & Luke 24:10-11.  Hence, just because these disciple-prophets were initially skeptical toward the report about Elijah’s ascension, this should not, by any means, suggest that it didn’t actually happen – for otherwise, the initial disbelief of the disciple-Apostles could then likewise be used to suggest that Jesus was never resurrected and instead remained dead.

When taking an even closer look at the initial reaction of the disciple-prophets though, one could potentially argue that they were not necessarily in flat-out disbelief about Elisha’s report, but rather just wanted to be absolutely certain that Elijah hadn’t been returned to Earth in such a way that Elisha might not have seen.  For their use of the word “peradventure” in verse 16 (meaning “perhaps” or “maybe, just maybe”) can strongly imply that they just wanted to be absolutely, positively certain that Elijah was truly nowhere to be found on Earth.  The reason Elisha initially responded to this by telling them not to bother searching for Elijah (verse 16b) is because he knew that such a search would be futile, which is why he only allowed them to conduct a thorough search after they frustrated him with their continued insistences (verse 17).  But after they searched and found nothing, thereby confirming that Elisha was correct in his report after all, the words and tone of his response to them was clearly the equivalent of saying “I told you so” (verse 18).  In conclusion, the initial responses and desires of these disciple-prophets following Elisha’s report do not, by any means, prove that Elijah is not in Heaven.

Further evidence that Elisha did not get his story wrong, and that Elijah did indeed ascend into Heaven, can be found by examining a few other verses in the second chapter of 2 Kings.  For starters, the very first verse of this chapter begins by stating that the time had come when the Lord was going to “take UP Elijah INTO Heaven by a whirlwind” and does not say that the Lord was “going to use a whirlwind to transport Elijah across the heaven (i.e., the sky) and put him down in another area.”  Hence, any splinter-groups who claim that Elijah was not taken up in Heaven are guilty of putting their own re-interpretive spin on this verse and adding their own words.

The next piece of evidence comes from the dialogue between Elijah and Elisha in verses 9-10.  Here, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s power and is told that if he sees Elijah’s ascension, the wish would be granted, but if he does not see it, the wish would not be granted.  And of course, Elisha does indeed see the ascension in verses 11-12.  From this, we can recognize that when the two men were separated by the chariot of fire (verse 11), this was a “twinkling of an eye” moment as per 1 Corinthians 15:52 when Elijah was instantly transformed from a flesh-and-blood mortal into a supernatural entity, who, much like the angels in 2 Kings 6:16-17, could only be seen by mortals when God allowed them to.  Now if the mortal flesh-and-blood body of Elijah was instead merely whisked across the sky by a powerful wind, then there really shouldn’t be any reason why Elisha or anyone else would have failed to see this.  But, if Elijah was transformed into a supernatural being which a mere mortal could not normally see without special permission from God, then, and only then, can the words of verse 10 make any sense. 

When continuing in this same second chapter of 2 Kings, we see that Elisha’s report of Elijah’s heavenly ascension had also quickly became well-known and acknowledged even among his enemies.  For when Elisha came to a certain city in verse 23, the children of his enemies there told him to “go up” which is an obvious reference to Elijah going “up” into Heaven and actually leaving the Earth.  Clearly, these children were mocking this account and telling Elisha to leave in the same manner – for if they had instead been given to understand that Elijah was merely carried away to another location, then telling Elisha to “go up” wouldn’t make much sense.  Instead, they would more likely say something to the effect of “go blow away” or “go jump in a tornado” or something to that effect.

In addition to the evidence given above, the reader can also observe that the Jewish population of the First Century A.D. likewise believed that Elijah was in Heaven as demonstrated in Luke chapter 9.  In verses 7-8, the narration states that some people believed that Jesus was actually John the Baptist who had risen from the dead, while others believed that Jesus was actually Elijah who “had appeared,” while still others believed “that one of the old prophets was risen again.”  Later in verses 18-19, Jesus inquires as to whom the people thought He was, and the disciples likewise repeat that some were saying Elijah while “others” were saying “that one of the old prophets is risen again.” 

In these verses, we clearly see that John the Baptist and the other prophets are referred to as having previously died, which would thereby require a resurrection first before they could return, whereas Elijah is mentioned separately (both times) with no reference to death and resurrection whatsoever.  This very strongly indicates that the Jews in Christ’s time believed that Elijah never died but was still alive in Heaven.  For if they believed that Elijah had died just like the other prophets, then it would have made much more sense for them to express the belief that “Elijah or one the other prophets had risen again.”

Now if this First-Century belief that Elijah never died was incorrect, then one would think that at least Jesus personally would have known better and would have set the matter straight.  For if you know that someone believes a falsehood and you say nothing to correct this, then ultimately, you are deliberately allowing that someone to continue believing the lie, which is very much the near equivalent of telling the lie directly yourself.  And since Jesus obviously never lied, the fact that He didn’t correct this belief is proof that He likewise believed, or rather knew, that Elijah was in fact in Heaven.

In short, as stated earlier, the fact that the fifty disciple-prophets desired to search for Elijah after he was taken up, does not provide automatic proof that he was actually returned to Earth afterward.  So then, to claim that those verses actually show the contrary is just a misleading misconception.

ATTEMPTED ARGUMENT #2: Elijah’s supposed ascension occurs in the second chapter of 2 Kings, but in verse 12 of 2 Chronicles 21, which is the counterpart-chapter of 2 Kings 8, a letter of reprimand from Elijah is sent to King Jehoram of Judah after he murders his brothers.  How could Elijah have sent this letter during the events of chapter 8 unless he was still on Earth following the events of chapter 2?

REPLY:  This argument depends entirely on the assumption that the events recorded in the first eight chapters of 2 Kings all occurred in the same chronological order in which they are reported.  Upon initial reading, such an assumption might naturally seem logical; but when going back to examine and compare certain various verses, we find evidence that at least a couple of these stories are in fact actually told out of chronological sequence, thereby allowing for the very real possibility that the second and eighth chapters are told out of sequence as well.

To begin, prior to the story of Elijah’s ascension in the second chapter of 2 Kings, the verse of 1 Kings 22:42 reports that Jehoram’s father, Jehoshaphat, reigned over the southern kingdom of Judah for twenty-five years.  Then, in verse 51 of that same chapter, we are told that during Jehoshaphat’s 17th year of reigning, King Ahaziah began a two-year reign over the northern kingdom of Israel.  Ahaziah’s story is then continued in the first chapter of 2 Kings which concludes with him dying and being succeeded by his brother, which, according to 2 Kings 1:17, occurred during the “second year of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.”  When comparing these verses and doing some very simple math, we see that Jehoram’s “second year” was also Jehoshaphat’s 19th year.  From this, scholars are unanimously agreed that Jehoram began a co-regency reign with his father during the last eight years of Jehoshaphat’s life before becoming sole regent over Judah and ruling for another eight years as per 2 Kings 8:17 and 1 Chronicles 21:5. 

The most important and significant detail in the above paragraph of background information is the fact the first chapter of 2 Kings concludes during the 19th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign.  With this fact established, we can then jump ahead to 2 Kings 3:1 to find that the third chapter reportedly takes place one year earlier during the 18th year.  Hence, we have our first piece of evidence that not all the stories here are told in proper chronological order. 

When then going back to the 17th chapter of 1 Kings, where Elijah’s character is first introduced, and reading forward to the second chapter of 2 Kings, which reports the character’s departure into Heaven and its immediately aftermath, we see that the author has told all the Elijah-centric stories first before going back and telling all the stories that center on Elisha in 2 Kings chapters 3 to 8.  And so obviously, as shall be further demonstrated below, some of those Elisha-centric stories overlap the stories of Elijah and occur prior to the events of chapter 2. 

Still on the events of chapter 3, further evidence that they pre-date the events of chapter 2 can be seen in the way Elisha’s character is viewed and addressed by the other characters in each account.  When Elisha returns from the mountain after Elijah’s ascension in 2 Kings 2:15, the other disciple-prophets instantly recognize that Elisha has inherited Elijah’s “spirit” and has thereby become his successor, and they all hail and praise him accordingly.  Yet, when Elisha is spoken of by King Jehoshaphat in 2 Kings 3:11, he is referred to as one who “poured water on the hands of Elijah” which infers that Elisha is, at this stage, still a disciple of Elijah, which in turn implies that Elijah is still actively operating on Earth.  So, in all likelihood, the third chapter of 2 Kings is telling the story of a solo mission that Elisha was sent on while Elijah was off dealing with the events reported back in chapter 1 where Elisha’s character does not appear.  [Note: The notion that Elisha was sent on solo missions prior to Elijah’s departure into Heaven is not at all unthinkable when recalling how Jesus sent the Apostles and other disciples ahead of Him on missions prior to the Crucifixion and Resurrection as per Mark 6:7-13 and Luke 9:1-6 & 10:1,17.]

It’s also most likely that the first half of 2 Kings chapter 4 likewise takes place before the events of chapter 2 because verses 16-17 of chapter 4 have Elisha promising a woman that she will conceive and bare a son, and verse 18 then suddenly jumps forward several years to when the child has not only been born, but has also now grown up.  Ergo, if the author had instead reported all the events concerning Elijah and Elisha in their proper chronological sequence, then the first and second half of chapter 4 would be separated by several other chapters of unrelated reported events.  It therefore then makes more sense for the author to instead tell the stories in theme-related sequences as opposed to interfiling them in a strictly chronological sequence which would ultimately result in them being very disjointed.

Still on the topic of 2 Kings 4, the KJV’s rendition of verse 18 specifically uses the phrase “was grown” to describe the then-state of the woman’s son, and this same phrase is also used back in Genesis 38:14 to describe Judah’s son Shelah when he had reached the age of eligibility for marriage.  The phrase “was grown” is also used in reference to the stature and status of the adult Moses when he encountered the abusive Egyptian in Exodus 2:11.  So, since this phrase appears to infer a state of adulthood, or at least young adulthood, it’s probably safe to assume that the woman’s son was now likely in his teen years if not older.  The point being that if the first 17 verses of 2 Kings 4 take place immediately after chapter 3, which occurs in the 18th year of King Jehoshaphat’s 25-year reign, then the remainder of chapter 4 would occur around the tail-end of King Jehoram’s eight-year solo reign as per 2 Kings 8:16-23 and 1 Chronicles 21:1-20.  Hence, chapters 5 to 7 of 2 Kings would then logically occur well after the events of chapter 8, thus further demonstrating that the stories of Elijah and Elisha overlap, and likely even surpass, the entire timeframe of Jehoram’s reign and life.

One last supplemental observation regarding the time-jump in 2 Kings 4:18 is that the reported events there place Elisha at Mount Carmel as per 4:25, and this is where he is reported to have gone following the aftermath of Elijah’s departure into Heaven as per 2:25.  Ergo, if all the reported events surrounding Elijah and Elisha had been placed in their proper chronological order, then it appears that the events of chapter 3 and 4:1-17 would have been interfiled with the events of chapter 1, and the events of chapter 2 would be immediately followed by the events beginning in chapter 4:18.

Having firmly established that the stories in 2 Kings are not all told in the order that they chronologically occur, we can now argue that there is absolutely no possible way to accurately determine the exact or approximated year when Elijah was taken up into Heaven.  Hence, Elijah may very well have still been on Earth when King Jehoram came into full power and murdered his brothers, thereby provoking Elijah to write the letter of reprimand prior to the events of chapter 2.  For the narration of 2 Kings does not report how much time actually passed between the verses of 1:17 and 2:1, and in fact, the opening words of that latter verse (“And it came to pass”) can actually and easily be interpreted to infer that a significant amount of time did indeed occur between Jehoram’s second year of co-regency and the event of Elijah’s eventual ascension.  So then, to insist that Elijah did not go up to Heaven but was instead deposited back on Earth prior to the murder of Jehoram’s brothers is just another misleading misconception.

ATTEMPTED ARGUMENT #3: The reports of the Transfiguration, wherein the Apostles see Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah, are used by mainstream Christians as evidence that Elijah never died and that the body of Moses was later resurrected after it was buried (Deuteronomy 34:5-8 / Jude 1:9).  Yet, Jesus refers to the Transfiguration as a “vision” in Matthew 17:9, thus inferring that Moses and Elijah weren’t really there at all and that the Apostles simply saw glorified projected images of those two men.

REPLY:  The success or failure of this argument is totally dependent on whether the word “vision” can be forcibly given a very restrictive and narrow definition or be allowed a more broad and extensive interpretation.  For example, if a man referred to a woman as “a vision of loveliness,” everyone hearing or reading that statement would be able to properly understand that the woman was an actual real person and was not just some projected holographic-like image. 

Now while the word “vision” is, more enough than not, used in the Bible to describe images of events or objects with symbolic meaning, it can also be used in reference to actual beings.  For instance, the word is used in Luke 24:23 to describe the angels who told the women that Jesus was alive, and yet we know that the angels were really there because one of them needed to physically roll back the stone that covered the tomb’s entrance (Matthew 28:2).  The word “vision” is also used to describe the encounter that Cornelius had with an angel in Acts 10:3, but then verse 7 has the narration referring to “when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed,” which very much sounds like the angel had been really physically there.  For if the angel was just a projected image from God, then, logically, the narration of verse 7 should have instead referred to “when the vision was over” or something with that sort of emphasis.  Later on, when Cornelius describes the angel’s visit to the Apostle Peter in Acts 10:30, he begins by saying that: “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.”  From this descriptive phrasing, the reader gets the clear impression that the angel was actually there, both in person and in real time, and was not just a projected hologram from Heaven. 

With all this in mind, a comparison can then be made to Genesis 18:2 which says that Abraham looked up “and, lo, three men stood by him.”  When reading the remainder of this chapter, it becomes very clear and obvious that one of those three men had been God/Jesus in a pre-incarnate human form and that the other two, who would enter the city of Sodom in the next chapter to rescue Abraham’s nephew, were angels.  What’s even more relevant here is that the reading of these two chapters also clearly demonstrates that God and the two angels were actually, really, physically there and were not just some projected hologram-like images or “visions” from Heaven.

So then, when the narrations of Luke 24:23 and Acts 10:3 use the word “vision” when referring to the angels, why should those appearances be any less real then the angels who appeared to Abraham or the even to the angel who came to strengthen Jesus just prior to His arrest in Luke 22:43?  For if all those aforementioned angels were really there and were not just projected holograms, then one cannot properly insist that Moses and Elijah were just holograms that weren’t really there simply because the word “vision” is applied to them too.

Now regarding the angel that comforted Jesus in Luke 22:43, when reading ahead to verse 45, we see that the Apostles had fallen asleep by this point and thus did not see the angel themselves.  Rather, they would have only learned about that angel’s appearance directly from Jesus during one of their post-resurrection meetings with Him.  With this in mind, we can then turn to Luke’s extended account of the Transfiguration to observe important details which the accounts of Matthew and Mark do not include.

When turning to Luke 9, and comparing the events of verses 30-31 to verse 32, we’ll see that Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke to Jesus about his upcoming crucifixion before the Apostles had fully woken up and saw them.  Hence, just like in the latter case of the angel, the conversation that Jesus had with Moses and Elijah was not witnessed by any of the Apostles, and they likewise were probably not told about it until after Jesus personally revealed it during another post-resurrection meeting. 

So then, if the Transfiguration was just a “vision” in the sense of being a projected holographic image from Heaven, we would need to ask what the point would have been in having Moses and Elijah arrive early to speak with Jesus before the Apostles had a chance to fully wake up and realize what was going on.  For based on how Luke chronologically reports these events, the Apostles apparently missed what was probably the most important part of the show.  The reality of course is that the discussion which Moses and Elijah had with Jesus prior to the Apostles waking up had practically the same purpose as the angel who came to Him later – namely, to help prepare and strengthen Him for His upcoming death on the cross.  Ergo, if the angels who appeared to Jesus and then later to the women and then to Cornelius were really there (and they clearly were), then there’s no legitimate reason to assume that Moses and Elijah were not.

Now as if the above information was not enough, one can still look even further into the wording of Luke 9:30-31 to find two more little tidbits of supporting evidence that Moses and Elijah were really there.  Verse 30, which introduces the two figures, simply and plainly states that: “behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elijah.”  With this wording, the verse can be compared to the already mentioned and similarly-worded narrations of Genesis 18:2 and Acts 10:30 where the angels, appearing in the form of men, were clearly and physically real.Hence, there is no reason why this verse from Luke’s Gospel should create any differing impression.

As for verse 31, the wording here states that Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” and the reason this is particularly significant is because we can compare it to 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 where the Apostle Paul refers to the “the resurrection of the dead” and states that: “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”  The verse can likewise be compared to Colossians 3:4 where Paul says that: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”  These verses can then be paired with 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 where Paul states that, on the Day of Resurrection, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”

In relation to Moses being at the Transfiguration, the above verses show that his presence there represents those who died prior to the Lord’s return and who will therefore be raised up “in glory” so as to have their corrupted, weak, and fleshly bodies transformed into powerful and incorruptible glorified bodies.  As for Elijah, his presence at the Transfiguration, along with the story of his ascension into Heaven back in 2 Kings 2:1-11, clearly has him representing those who will still be alive on the Earth when Christ returns and who will likewise have their weak earthly bodies transformed in the same “glorified” manner when they are taken up to meet Him in the clouds. 

Yet, suppose for just a moment that Elijah did not actually ascend to Heaven in the manner that Paul describes but rather died on Earth years later, and that the body of Moses was likewise never resurrected.  If this were the case, then one could legitimately ask why the “images” of Moses and Elijah were used at the Transfiguration as opposed to the images of Abraham or any other famous Old Testament figures.  Those who still maintain their opposing viewpoints might try responding with the claim that the image of Moses represented the Law/Torah and that the image of Elijah represented the Prophets.  However, this response is horribly weak for two reasons:  First, the accounts of the Transfiguration otherwise make no reference to the written Torah or the writings/teachings of the Prophets at all.  Secondly, one would need to ask why Elijah would be the one to represent the Prophets as a whole since he was neither the first prophet mentioned in scripture, nor wrote any scriptures, nor even performed the highest number of recorded Old Testament miracles (that honor would go to Moses and Elisha).  But, if Elijah is actually still alive and in Heaven along with the resurrected Moses, then having this particular duo show up to speak with Jesus makes total perfect sense in relation to Paul’s verses about resurrections.

In conclusion, the word “vision” obviously can indeed be used in broader and more extensive manners, including references to supernatural encounters with actual (and real) supernatural beings and entities, and not just to projected holographic-like images.  Elijah never died and Moses is alive once again, and to claim otherwise simply because Jesus used this particular word when referring to their appearance, is yet another misleading misconception.

ATTEMPTED ARGUMENT #4: According to Hebrews 11:5, Enoch “was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him.”  Yet, after discussing Enoch and several other Old Testament figures, the author then states in verse 13 that: “These all died in faith....”  Since this verse clearly clarifies that Enoch did in fact die, the phrase in verse 5 obviously then means that God simply transported Enoch to another location so that the enemies who sought to kill him would be unable to find him, thereby allowing Enoch to eventual die a natural death several years later.

REPLY:  The verse of Hebrews 11:13 does not actually confirm that Enoch died because the above argument is only created by ripping the first few words of this verse out of their proper context and ignoring the remaining portion of the text completely.  For the continuation of this verse clarifies that these figures “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them....”  From those additional words, we then see that the figures whom this verse refers to are those who died before God’s promises to them had been completely fulfilled.  With this observation in mind, we can then go back to review verses 4 through 13 to determine who is and who is not being included in the latter verse’s reference.

The fourth verse of this chapter discusses Cain’s brother Abel, and the fifth verse discusses Enoch, but neither of these verses mentions anything about these two figures receiving any sort of promise.  The sixth verse then makes a side-comment about how faith is mandatory in order to please God.  So then, when comparing verse 6 to verses 4-5, we can see that the author is simply demonstrating how Abel’s faith allowed him to “please” God by making “a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,” and that Enoch’s faith allowed him to be “translated that he should not see death” having previously established the “testimony” that “he pleased God.”

After making the comment in verse 6 about pleasing God through faith, the author then moves on with a discussion about Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and finally Sarah in verses 7-12.  Yet, unlike Abel and Enoch who received no recorded promises (future-based or otherwise), these other-mentioned figures did receive promises from God regarding a future that would not be fully realized until generations after they had died.  Conclusion?  When the author of Hebrews begins verse 13 by referring to “all” those who “died” in faith, he is obviously only referring to those who were mentioned from verse 7 onward (Noah, Abraham, etc.) and is not including Enoch or even Abel in this particular instance.  So then, to say that verse 13 proves that Enoch is dead and was never taken up to Heaven, is just another misleading misconception.

ATTEMPTED ARGUMENT #5:  The claim that Enoch and Elijah never died but instead ascended into Heaven, clearly contradicts John 3:13 which states that no man has ascended into Heaven except Jesus who came down from Heaven.

REPLY:  After reviewing all the evidence presented above which completely refutes the first four arguments, there can be no doubt that Enoch, Elijah, and the resurrected Moses had been transformed into glorified supernatural entities who were taken up to dwell in Heaven.  Hence, when using the word “ascended” in this verse, Jesus was obviously referring to a different manner of ascension then the type that a reader would typically envision when reading about Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11-12.  For as a matter of fact, the Bible never uses words like “ascended” or “ascension” when describing Elijah’s or Enoch’s departure from the Earth, but rather uses the word “translated” instead (Hebrews 11:5). 

So then, to fully understand the type of “ascension” Jesus was actually referring to in John 3:13, we should examine the verse in its entirety, including the extended portion which is omitted in certain other versions, where Jesus declares that: “no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [that is] the Son of man which IS in Heaven.”  In order to fully understand the last part of this full quote, the reader must be able to comprehend the concept of the Trinity wherein God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all the same Omnipresent Supreme Being who operates in three different persons.  With this understanding in mind, we can conclude that when Jesus originally spoke these words, He was simultaneously on Earth in the person of God the Son while also sitting on the Throne of Heaven in the person of God the Father.

So then, unlike Enoch and Elijah who could only ever be in one location at any given time, even after being transformed into glorified supernatural beings, Jesus can be everywhere at once, and this, apparently, was also true during the years that He occupied His earthly virgin-born pre-crucifixion human body.  More importantly, Jesus, being God, would have the power to “ascend” to Heaven or “descend” to Earth by His own power and volition whenever he wanted.  Enoch and Elijah, by contrast, did not have the power to do this by their own accord, but were only “translated” and taken up to Heaven by the power and choice of God.  For the verse of Hebrews 11:5 clearly establishes the fact that Enoch was translated because “God had translated him” and not because he ever had the power to “translate” himself and go up to Heaven by his own will.

Conclusion?  When Jesus stated that He was the only man that ever ascended into Heaven, what He obviously meant is that no other person in human history ever had the personal power to ascend or descend by their own accord.  As for the saints and prophets of old, the only way that they were ever able to have been a witness to or receive revelations from the supernatural realm of Heaven is for God to have personally granted them such visitations and communications. 

Further evidence that such visitations to the supernatural realm are indeed possible, or at least when God grants them, can be found in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.  Here, the Apostle Paul refers to a man who was “caught up to the third heaven” and then also “caught up into paradise” – the place that Jesus refers to in Luke 23:43.  Now, in both cases, Paul states that he does not know whether the man went up “in the body or out of the body,” and this is significant in that it clearly shows Paul’s awareness of the fact that physical human bodies can indeed be taken up to Heaven and then be brought back down.  Also, the fact that Paul uses the phrase “caught up” when referring to the man’s experiences likewise clearly shows that these verses are indeed referring to a literal ascension into the supernatural realm since the same phrase is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Revelation 12:5.

With these observations made, one can now clearly see that the words which Jesus spoke in John 3:13 do not conflict with the barrage of other various verses which conclusively show that Enoch, Elijah, and the resurrection Moses were indeed transformed into supernatural glorified beings and were taken up into Heaven by the grace and power of God.  Hence, after reviewing all the abundant evidence presented throughout this entire article, any groups who continue to claim that these three men all physically died and were never resurrected, are not only guilty of deliberating promoting a misleading misconception, but are also exposing themselves as absolute liars who should never be listened to or trusted.  Amen.

Submitted: November 30, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Lt. Colonel Chad. All rights reserved.

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