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Elijah was the second man to be taken to heaven in a natural body, Enoch being the first (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5). Elijah was taken up in both a chariot of fire (2Ki. 2:11- 12) and a whirlwind (2Ki. 2:1, 11). Both now reside in heaven in their natural bodies, having never died. However, they will die their own appointed death on earth as the two witnesses of the future tribulation period (Zech. 4:11- 14; Mal. 4:5- 6; Rev. 11:3- 12). Please refer my previous post covering Eighteen Facts Identifying the Two Witnesses. Since their time at least two other men have been taken to heaven and brought back (2Cor. 12:1- 5; Rev. 4:1). Christ also went to heaven and came back after His resurrection (Jn. 20:17- 19); then returned to heaven leading many resurrected men, and souls and spirits of just men whose bodies were not resurrected (Mt. 27:53- 54; Eph. 4:8- 10; Heb. 12:23). Before this, all righteous souls and spirits went into Sheol- Hades where they were fully conscious while their bodies went to qeber (H6913), the grave. Now, when a Christian dies, he no longer goes into the underworld of departed spirits to be held by the devil against his will (Heb. 2:14- 15); instead he goes immediately to heaven to await the resurrection day (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21- 24; Heb. 12:23). Bibles says in 2Ki. 2:16- 18, at least fifty men witnessed Elijah's translation and the first miracle of Elisha, and testified that the Spirit of Elijah now rested upon Elisha. He was, therefore, immediately accepted as the successor of the translated prophet, as indicated by their bowing before him. Fifty sons of the prophets begged Elisha to let them search the mountains and valleys to see if Elijah had been cast down to death. Elisha refused the request, for it showed unbelief and virtually accused God of destroying His prophet. When they kept urging him Elisha finally let them go. They returned after three days without finding Elijah (2Ki. 2:16- 18).
To Which Heavens Did Elijah Ascend? IT CAME about that as [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along, speaking as they walked, why, look! A fiery war chariot and fiery horses, and they proceeded to make a separation between them both; and Elijah went ascending in the windstorm to the heavens.”—2 Kings 2:11. What is meant by the word “heavens” in this case? The term sometimes applies to the spiritual dwelling place of God and his angelic sons. (Matthew 6:9; 18:10) “Heavens” may also denote the physical universe. (Deuteronomy 4:19) And the Bible uses this term to refer to earth’s immediate atmosphere, where birds fly and winds blow.—Psalm 78:26; Matthew 6:26. To which of these heavens did the prophet Elijah ascend? Evidently, he was transferred through earth’s atmosphere and placed on a different part of the globe. Elijah was still on earth years later, for he wrote a letter to King Jehoram of Judah. (2 Chronicles 21:1, 12-15) That Elijah did not ascend to the spiritual abode of Jehovah God was later confirmed by Jesus Christ, who declared: “No man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man,” that is, Jesus himself. (John 3:13) The way to heavenly life was first opened up to imperfect humans after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.—John 14:2, 3; Hebrews 9:24; 10:19, 20. Enoch was the first person described in the Scriptures as walking with God. The Bible record says: “After his fathering Methuselah Enoch went on walking with the true God.” (Genesis 5:22) Then, after reporting the length of Enoch’s life—which, while long compared with our life span, was short for those days—the record says: “Enoch kept walking with the true God. Then he was no more, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) Evidently, Jehovah transferred Enoch from the land of the living to the sleep of death before opposers could lay hold of him. (Hebrews 11:5, 13) The same proof that Enoch was not taken to heaven that is the spiritual heavens where Jehovah and Jesus and the angels reside was confirmed by Jesus words at John 3:13
Both Enoch and Elijah lived in times of overwhelming iniquity. Their unusual exit from the earth foreshadows the coming time of the Rapture when conditions on the earth will be similar. They are the Old Testament intimation of the future rapture of Christians. That Elijah is still alive is indicated by Mal 4: 5-6. If he were dead his body would not be preserved for his physical return. "Enoch was translated that he should not see death;" (Heb 11:5). If he did not see death, then he did not die, and his body has also not been abandoned to death to return to the dust. Neither Elijah or Enoch ascended into heaven. They left the earth only by direct divine intervention, not by their own power. Only Christ has ascended into heaven (without the aid of anyone else). Exactly which heaven Elijah and Enoch were brought to hasn't been revealed in the Bible. If the separation of the soul from the body satisfies Heb 9:27, then it is quite possible that the souls of both Enoch and Elijah were separated from their bodies only after they entered heaven. The advantage is that their bodies would be completely preserved from any corruption and able to be used again on earth.
They did not die but where changed just as Corinthians and Thessalonians describe. Revelation states there are 24 elders before the throne of God perhaps they are two of them. The last Elijah was seen was ascending and Enoch just says, he walked with God and God took him I would guess like his own personal little rapture or catching up. As we read through the scripture we know that this flesh(body) can not dwell in Gods physical presence and live. And we are sure that there are bodies terrestrial(flesh) and bodies celestial. They did not see death on this earth because they pleased God so much that He took them, I do not believe there flesh or terrestrial bodies still abide but they were given new ones via the only process described in scripture.
I would like to look at this question in a way as it applies to Eschatology. Hebrews 9:27, says it is appointed unto man once to die.So if that is a Divine statement of order then Enoch and Elijah have to experience death at some point. As one replier has already alluded, there will come a time in the seven year Tribulation, when God will send two witnesses to earth in the streets of JERUSALEM to condemn the Antichrist and false prophet of blasphemies against God. These two witnesses will be killed and there bodies left in the street for three days as the world looks on. After three days and a half they are miraculously raised to life and ascend into Heaven. So they prophesy or preach for three and one half years and they lie in the square of Jerusalem for three and one half days then are resurrected and a loud voice says " Come up here" and they are taken up in a cloud, ascended or taken into Heaven... Revelation 11:1-12. If Enoch and Elijah never died but were taken by God then it looks like they are the two witnesses and will fulfill Hebrews 9:27. Also does "come up here" sound familiar? In Revelation 4:1 John is told to come up here to see a heavenly scene.When in First and Second Thessalonians Paul describes the "Rapture" of the church could this be the shout heard. Also just speculation, but could Enoch represent the pre- flood believers and Elijah the post flood believers and Jesus the age of grace initiator, for the church believers and John the tribulation believers. All these epochs or ages could be dispensations of people translated into Heaven or "caught up".
The bible does not say it plainly, but if we study and allow the Holy Spirit to lead we can get an understanding of what God is telling us. In Genesis 5 if you count from Adam to Enoch you will find that Enoch is the seventh from Adam and also Enoch walked with God 365 years (Genesis 5:23) representing how we need to walk with God throughout the whole year. So Enoch is a type who will be translated and 7 is a perfect number. I believe there is more to that, but I won't share it at this time. For Elijah, who came to Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17 who can with Moses show us the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in the last days. We see Moses who did died but was resurrected and then taken to heaven. Which will happen when Jesus comes 1 Thess 4:16,17. The experience that Elijah went through in 1 Kings 18:40-45 is what God's people will go through before Jesus come again. Also read James 5:16-18. You can't just read it from the surface, the scriptures has lot's of gems that we need to dig for and apply God's word in our hearts. The key part is that Elija h prayed, but Elijah prayed seven times. Read verse 44. Why did Elijah kept praying? Was he doubting or faithless? No, he was examining himself checking to see if he had fallen short. The main idea is that Elijah cling to God no matter what the circumstance. I also what to mention that the two witnesses in Rev 11 has nothing to do with Moses and Elijah. Please always PRAY before studying or reading your bible.
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