WAS ENOCH AND ELIJAH
TAKEN TO HEAVEN?
DOES the BIBLE TEACH
That ENOCH and ELIJAH were
TRANSLATED to God's THRONE in
In other words, did Enoch and Elijah DIE like all other men, or were they taken to heaven without seeing death?
Now I was taught that both Enoch and Elijah never DIED, but rather that they were taken to heaven by God that they should not see death.
But is this what the whole word of God teaches us?
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:5 that Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should NOT see death.
"By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED (WHY? Why was Enoch TRANSLATED?) THAT (or so that) he should NOT see DEATH; and was NOT FOUND, because God had TRANSLATED him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Now if we stop right here in this study of God's word, then you could easily concluded that Enoch did NOT DIE, but was TRANSLATED to heaven. But before we make such a conclusion let us see what else the Bible has to say about both Enoch and Elijah. In Genesis 5:18-24 we read this about Enoch,
In verse 24 we can clearly see that Enoch WALKED WITH God and he was NOT because God TOOK him. But what does this mean in the light of the whole word of God? Does this mean that Enoch did NOT DIE, because God TRANSLATED him to heaven?
I want you to notice in verse 20 that Jared the father of Enoch lived to be 962 years old and DIED. Throughout this entire passage of scripture concerning all the other patriarchs the Bible says that they lived so long and DIED, but yet when we get to Enoch we are told that all the days of Enoch are 365, but we are not specifically told that Enoch DIED. Instead we are told that Enoch WALKED WITH God and WAS NOT, because God TOOK him.
The only other place in the Bible where Enoch is mentioned other than in the genealogy found in Luke 3:37 is in Jude 1:14, where we read these words about Enoch,
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Again if we stop right here with this study in God's word it would definitely appear that Enoch did NOT DIE, but rather Enoch was TRANSLATED to heaven by God.
However, when OTHER evidence arises from the word of God that seems to CONTRADICT what appears to be a logical conclusion that Enoch did NOT SEE DEATH, then when must consider ALL the evidence in order to come to the TRUTH of the whole word of God.
There are some who will dogmatically argue and demand that both Enoch and Elijah did NOT DIE, but rather that they were translated to heaven without seeing death. Some teach that Enoch and Elijah will be sent back to earth in the last days during the time of great tribulation to be the TWO WITNESSES that we are told about in Revelation 11:3, which says,
Now I personally do not believe that the two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah. I explain who the two witnesses in the study called "THE TWO WITNESSES: WHO ARE THEY?", but for now let us focus on the question at hand, which is did Enoch and Elijah DIE or were they taken to heaven without seeing death?
So then what other evidence am I referring to that seems to CONTRADICT that Enoch and Elijah were translated to HEAVEN without seeing death?
Well to begin with how to we reconcile the words of Jesus found in John 3:13 where Jesus clearly and plainly teaches us that NO MAN has ASCENDED to HEAVEN except Jesus himself.
Now since NO MAN has ascended UP TO HEAVEN where Jesus the Son of man is now sitting on the right hand of the THRONE of Almighty God, then HOW could have Enoch and Elijah been TRANSLATED to HEAVEN without seeing DEATH?
Also the word of God teaches us that FLESH and BLOOD shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Please read 1 Corinthians 15:50, which says,
Now some may try and argue that the word TRANSLATED means that Enoch and Elijah were CHANGED in a twinkling of an eye and given IMMORTAL BODIES before they were taken to HEAVEN.
But again, is this what the whole word of God teaches us? Please read Hebrews where we are clearly and plainly told that those prophets in the Old Testament shall NOT be made perfect or shall not receive their perfect immortal bodies UNTIL we all are made perfect TOGETHER at the second coming of Jesus.
Please notice in verse 39 that ALL the Old Testament patriarchs including Enoch have NOT yet RECEIVED the PROMISE of ETERNAL LIFE, as in, NONE of the Old Testament saints have received as yet their IMMORTAL BODIES.
So then, since Enoch and Elijah have NOT yet received their immortal bodies, and since flesh and blood bodies CANNOT go up to HEAVEN, then to WHERE was Enoch TRANSLATED and Elijah TAKEN?
Also please notice that in Hebrew 11:13 we read that ALL of these godly men DIED, which again would INCLUDE Enoch.
"These ALL DIED in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
Since there is not very much written about Enoch we will need to look at Elijah in order to answer this question of WHERE Enoch was translated if he was NOT taken to HEAVEN, as in the THIRD heaven where God sits upon his THRONE. But before we take a look at what the word of God says about Elijah let us take a look at the meaning of the Greek word that is translated by the translators as Enoch was "TRANSLATED" so that he should not see death.
This Greek word simply means to be carried from one place to another. Now it may very well be that God carried Enoch from the place where he was on earth straight to HEAVEN like some dogmatically teach. But IF this is true, then we must reconcile these other passages of scripture that seem to CONTRADICT this teaching that Enoch and Elijah were taken to HEAVEN.
All we know for SURE is that Enoch WALKED with God and was NOT, as in, neither Enoch nor his body was ever found. Please read again Genesis 5:23,24, which simply says,
"23. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24. And Enoch walked with God: and he was NOT; for God took him."
This verse is INTERPRETED as God took Enoch to HEAVEN without DYING, but all we know for SURE is that Enoch nor his body was FOUND. However this phrase "and he was NOT" does not mean that Enoch did not die or ever see death. And the phrase "for God TOOK him" does not mean that God took Enoch to HEAVEN as some dogmatically teach.
You see, the Bible also teaches us that the BODY of Moses was NOT FOUND and no one to this day knows where the grave or tomb of Moses is located, because God took the dead body of Moses and BURIED him. Please read Deuteronomy 34:5-7, which says,
Verse 6 tells us that NO MAN KNOWS even to this day where the Lord took and BURIED the body of Moses. And I say that most likely the angels of the Lord actually did the burying of the body of Moses, because Jude 1:9 says that Michael the archangel disputed with Satan over the body of Moses.
My point is this, just because God took Enoch and he was not found does not necessarily mean that Enoch was taken to HEAVEN to be with God. In others words, God could have taken Enoch and Elijah to a place where they would be SAFE.
You see, the Jews sought to kill Jesus one time by trowing him head first down a steep hill, but Jesus simply disappeared out of their sight. Please read Luke 4:28-31, where Jesus simply passes through an angry crowd that is trying to kill him.
In other words, this whole crowd of people could not harm Jesus until his time had come after Jesus had finished his ministry.
We read in Acts 8:26-40 where Philip was TRANSLATED or caught away by the Holy Spirit and found in another place.
27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Now Enoch walked with God and WAS NOT, because God TOOK him. In other words, Enoch was not SEEN any more because Enoch was CAUGHT AWAY or TRANSLATED by God. But the question remains WHERE was Enoch taken by God.
We read in Ezekiel 3:10-15 where the prophet Ezekiel was LIFTED UP by the Spirit of God and taken to another place.
So then, we have these other men who walked with God who were TAKEN by God to another place. Please keep in mind that we are NOT specifically told that Enoch was taken to HEAVEN. This is just man's INTERPRETATION. All we know for sure is that Enoch was translated so that he would not see DEATH. Again this does NOT dogmatically demand to mean that Enoch never died. We simply are not specifically told. You see Jesus passed through the crowd of Jews who were trying to kill him. In other words, Jesus did NOT DIE that particular day, because God had OTHER PLANS for him and made it so that Jesus passed through the midst of that crowd that was trying to kill him.
In the same way it may not have been the time for Enoch to die therefore God took him or translated him to another place to keep him safe so that he should not see death at that particular time in his life. Again please keep in mind that NO MAN has ever ascended to HEAVEN except for Jesus.
Now let us take a look at Elijah to see IF he was taken to HEAVEN in his flesh and blood mortal body without dying as some dogmatically teach. Again please keep in mind that NONE of the Old Testament saints have received their new glorified IMMORTAL bodies as yet and that FLESH and blood shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Let us begin by looking at the place where Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire found in 2 Kings 2:11,12, which says,
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah WENT UP by a whirlwind into heaven.
Here in these two verses we see that Elijah WENT UP into heaven by a whirlwind most likely riding in the chariot of fire and Elisha saw Elijah NO MORE much like the eunuch saw Philip NO MORE when Philip was CAUGHT AWAY by the Spirit of God and Philip was FOUND in another place.
Now we know, or we should know that Elijah was NOT taken to the THIRD HEAVEN where God sits on his THRONE, because NO MAN has ascended to HEAVEN. All we know for SURE is that Elijah was taken up to "A" heaven by a WHIRLWIND. To me this simply means that Elijah was carried away up into the sky until he went out of the sight of Elisha and the others who were watching from a distance and Elijah was not seen any more by Elisha.
In other words, it may very well be that Elijah was taken to another place just like Philip and Ezekiel. You see, just because the EUNUCH saw Philip NO MORE does NOT mean that Philip was CAUGHT AWAY to HEAVEN without DYING and was never seen again.
Let us now take a look at 2 Kings 2:11,12 in the entire CONTEXT to see that Elijah may have been TRANSLATED by God at other times other than this time recorded in 2 Kings 2:11,12. We first read about Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1-3 where Elijah commands it not to rain until he says it will rain and then is told by God to hide himself from King Ahab.
"And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Now please read 1 Kings 18:7-18 where Elijah is told by God to go show himself to King Ahab after being in hiding for 3 1/2 years and there was no rain and a great drought was upon the land.
10. As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord (speaking of king Ahab) has not sent to seek you (in other words, king Ahab tried desperately to FIND and KILL the prophet Elijah): and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found you not.
12. And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry you whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, (in other words, it appears that others may have seen Elijah during this 3 1/2 years and when they told the king and the Ahab sent to FIND Elijah he was always GONE and Obadiah feared that this would happen AGAIN when he would leave Elijah to go tell king Ahab that he found the prophet) he (king Ahab) shall slay me: but I your servant fear the LORD from my youth.
If you read the entire account of Elijah during this 3 1/2 years of his HIDING Elijah moved around at the Lord's instruction. Elijah was certainly seen by others, but whenever he was sought out by king Ahab Elijah seemed to always DISAPPEAR. Obadiah certainly believed that if he left to go tell Ahab like Elijah had told him that the SPIRIT of the LORD would CARRY Elijah AWAY were he would NOT BE FOUND.
It should be somewhat clear that Elijah may have been TRANSLATED at other times other than in 2 Kings 2:11,12. In verse 10 of 1 Kings chapter 18 we read where there was no nation or kingdom that Ahab did not search for Elijah. It may have very well been that people saw Elijah and when the king sent to find him that Elijah was carried away by the Spirit of God and was NOT FOUND. In other words, Elijah was translated to another place so that he would NOT SEE DEATH just like Enoch, because the Lord was not finished with them.
Now let us read the immediate context just before Elijah was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind. Please read 2 Kings 2:1-18, which says,
2. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel.
3. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, KNOW you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he said , Yea, I KNOW IT; hold you your peace.
4. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho.
5. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, KNOW you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he answered, Yea, I KNOW IT; hold you your peace.
9. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.
11. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah WENT UP by a whirlwind into heaven. (please remember that NO MAN has ascended to HEAVEN but Jesus)
12. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: (please remember that the EUNUCH did not see Philip any more, but other certainly did) and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
14. And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
15. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah does rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
16. And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with your servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray you, and SEEK your master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, You shall not send.
Now when Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah be given to him and Elijah said that Elisha asked a HARD THING I have to wound if it was Elijah's to give. We know that Moses was not allowed to go into the promise land because he disobey God. It may be that it was indeed Elijah's time to go home to be with the Lord as we say today about people who have died. It may be that Elijah had finished his ministry and God was taking him somewhere to be safe to live out his years. It may be that God was NOT yet finished with Elijah, but after Elijah promised Elisha his mantle if Elisha SAW the Lord take Elijah that Elijah went beyond what he had the right to do. In other words, if Elijah had not promise his mantle to Elisha, then it may have been that Elijah would have returned and continued in his ministry. We simply do not know.
But what we do know for SURE is that around seven years later AFTER Elijah had been taken up into heaven by a whirlwind that the king of Judah received a LETTER FROM the PROPHET ELIJAH. Now IF Elijah had been taken to the THIRD HEAVEN without dying as some dogmatically teach even when the word of TRUTH clearly teaches us that NO MAN has ascended to HEAVEN except Jesus, then HOW is it that Jehoram the king of Judah received a letter from the PROPHET ELIJAH nearly seven years AFTER he had SUPPOSEDLY been TRANSLATED to HEAVEN?
Please read 2 Chronicles 21:12,13 which says,
"And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says the LORD God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13. But have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also have slain your brethren of your father's house, which were better than yourself:"
You see, Elijah went up into heaven by a whirlwind in 2 Kings chapter 2. Then we read in 2 Kings chapter 8 that Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king of Judah.
Please read 2 Kings 8:16-18.
It should be clear to all seeking the TRUTH of the whole word of God that Elijah continued to live ON THE EARTH after king Ahab died. We see that king Ahab died in 2 Kings chapter 3. Then again in chapter 8 we see that the prophet Elijah wrote a letter to king Jehoram the king of Judah, which proves that Elijah did NOT ASCEND into HEAVEN in the chariot of fire as some dogmatically teach.
Some extra Biblical evidence that also supports this truth is found in the writings of Josephus in the Antiquities of the Jews.
" Now at this time it was that Elijah disappeared from among men, and no one knows of his death to this very day; but he left behind him his disciple Elisha, as we have formerly declared. And indeed, as to Elijah, and as to Enoch, who was before the Deluge, it is written in the sacred books that they disappeared; but so nobody knew that they died." (Antiquities Of The Jews 9:2:2)
Enoch the prophet was unquestionably a righteous man. After spending such time walking with God, it is most reasonable to believe God showed him and taught him things that were incredible beyond imagination. In other words, since the book of Jude in the New Testament speaks of a prophecy given by Enoch, then should not the writings of Enoch be considered by Christians as valid texts? In Genesis chapter 5 the original Hebrew text placed the definite article in front of "God". This separates God as "the God". This may be an implication that society was beginning to worship other gods at this time. Enoch, however, lived a life in strict compliance with THE one true God. Anyway another extra Biblical support for Enoch not being translated to the THIRD HEAVEN is the book the Enoch himself wrote, which we will look at momentarily.
Another interesting and mysterious book that is also mentioned in the Bible is talked about twice in the Old Testament. It is the book of Jasher. This book is first mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and then again in II Samuel 1:18
In the Joshua passage Joshua was said to have spoken to the Lord, asking for the sun to stand still so the Israelites may claim victory. The second half of verse 13 is said to bolster the evidence that God did, in fact, halt the sun's progress across the sky.
"Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky...."
Whatever this book of Jasher is, it was apparently a written account of many of the exploits of God's people. The passage in II Samuel 1:17-18 is equally as interesting.
"Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of JASHER."
Obviously the patriarchs of the Bible read more books other than what we have in today's canonized Bible and thought it IMPORTANT enough to make reference to at least some of them. So it seems that the book of Jasher falls into the same dilemma as the book of Enoch to be considered as an APOCALYPTIC book. Therefore these Apocalyptic books never found there way into the canonized Bible that most accept as the true word of God in this present time. In other words, these books were considered apocalyptic by the Catholic Church which canonized the Bible as having 73 books. The Protestant Bible has authorized only 66 of these 73 books.
Now to me, it is quite plain these books were considered as important by the patriarchs of the Bible and the disciple of Jesus Christ, because of the mere FACT that they were mentioned and also quoted. Obviously they contained enough vital information from God, because David felt this book of Jasher contained an important enough song that he required "the sons of Judah" to learn it. And Jude thought the writings of Enoch important enough to quote.
Further more in chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Jasher we find some very interesting things that Jasher has to say about Enoch the prophet. Chapter 3 opens up with the birth of Methuselah, which agrees with what the Bible teaches us, then Enoch is said to have walked in the ways of the Lord and served the Lord, which also agrees with what the Bible teaches us. Next we can clearly see Enoch's righteousness in Jasher 3:2, which says,
"2. And the soul of Enoch was wrapped up in the instruction of the Lord, in knowledge and in understanding; and he wisely retired from the sons of men, and secreted himself from them for many days."
The book of Jasher continues in chapter 2:3,4 with Enoch the prophet faithfully serving God, and then goes on to reveal to us that Enoch was in a SECRET place being TAUGHT of the Lord about things to come, which definitely makes sense, because how could have Jude QUOTED a PROPHECY from Enoch if Enoch was never given a prophecy to write down and prophesy.
"3 And it was at the expiration of many years, whilst he was serving the Lord, and praying before him in his house, that an angel of the Lord called to him from Heaven, and he said, Here am I.
4 And he said, Rise, go forth from thy house and from the place where thou dost hide thyself, and appear to the sons of men, in order that thou mayest teach them the way in which they should go and the work which they must accomplish to enter in the ways of God."
Now I am not saying that we should rewrite the Bible or add these books back into the Bible, but what I am saying is that they should not be considered as "TABOO" to Christians in such a way that Christian are taught to fear going to hell if they were to read them.
A study I did a long time ago caused me to really consider that there is something missing from the 66 books of the Bible that is widely accepted today as being ALL that there is to understanding about God. What led me to this deep consideration was that when I was studying the feasts days of the Lord I notice how the names of the months of the Jewish calendar were scattered and somewhat hidden. In other words, they are not given in a straight forward fashion. So as I was searching for the names of these months I could NOT find the names of TWO of these months anywhere in these 66 books. This caused me to think that perhaps these other TWO names are given in another book or books. Something to consider at least.
Again I am not being dogmatic about what I teach, but rather I am just presenting to you ALL the evidence that I have found from BOTH sides of the controversial subject which I come across. I leave it up to your the reader and seeker of the truth to decide for yourself after weighing all the evidence of the whole word of God.
Thanks for reading and may God bless you as you continue to seek the truth. Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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