2 Kings 2:1 - 12
ESV - 1 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.
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What happened to Elijah? The bible says that he was taken to heaven. Some have argued that he was only translated to some other place on earth. But the Bible is clear: Elijah was taken to heaven. The verb “to take” is used in the Bible only two times to refer to a person being removed from earth to the heavenly realm. The first was the experience of Enoch, whom “God took away” (Gen 5:24; Heb. 11:5). The other is Elijah. The description of the event could hardly leave any doubts about what happen to Elijah: “Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind” (2 Kings 2:11 NIV). Moreover, to eliminate any doubts about Elijah whereabouts, the Bible describes the insistence of some of the sons of the prophets to be allowed to go look for him (2 Kings 2:16). Knowing the truth, Elisha discouraged them, but finally let them search for Elijah. They didn’t find him. Finally, in the last chapter of the OT, Malachi 4:4,5 we read: “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet.” Then in the NT, Mark 9:2-4, Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus, Peter, James and John. From Jude 9 we know that Michael the Archangel resurrected Moses - thus we can be certain that Elijah and Moses are in Heaven and they came down to earth to encourage Jesus, who within days would taste death, and also strengthen the disciples who after Jesus' arrest and crucifixion would be tempted to doubt that He was the Christ. In that very day Peter, James and John saw the Kingdom of God in the persons of Moses and Elijah (Mark 9:1).
I strongly believe that Elijah was taken up into HEAVEN as 2 Kings 2:11 says, "As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a fiery chariot pulled by fiery horses appeared. They went between Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm." (Net Bible). The King James Version (KJV) of 2 Kings 2:11 has “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.” See also Nave's Topical Bible relating references to HEAVEN: 2 Kings 2:11; Christ calls it His Father’s House” (John 14:2)-- The believer's heaven is not only a state of everlasting blessedness but also a "place", a place "prepared" for them (John 14:2).; the "eternal inheritance" (1 Pet. 1:4), a Heavenly Country, Heb. 11:16 or the "better country" (Heb. 11:14, 16); and the blessed are said to "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and to be "in Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22; Matt. 8:11).
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