Does John 3:13 mean that no one went to Heaven before Jesus?


John 3:13

ESV - 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
In John 3:13 Jesus says to Nicodemus, "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven-the Son of Man." This verse is somewhat difficult to interpret and is often misunderstood...

July 01 2013 14 responses Vote Up Share Report

Isabella earrings Dan Rivers Christian, Husband, Grandfather, Son, AT&T retiree
I don't believe that anyone could have gone to heaven until Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Prior to that all blood sacrifices were just temporary. No one could've been perfected until after the cross (1 John 4:17), and be "as he is"...perfected enough to be admitted into heaven...

I believe when those favored by God before the cross "died" (went to sleep), they went to be in the Paradise side of hell,.. Luk 16:22,23...and they stayed there until after the cross when Jesus leads them out...Matt 27:52, Eph 4:8, Luk 4:18, Matt 12:40 

Jesus also said that among those "born of women" there was no prophet greater than John the Baptist, but even so he was less than the least in the KOG....Luke 7:28...

Now we know that after the cross those that belong to God are "born of God", born again... and no one can enter the KOG unless the are born again...John 3:3-5...Only after the cross could anyone be born again as Jesus had to be the first, then the rest followed...Rom 8:29

And that could not have happened until Jesus was glorified and his blood was shed Heb 9:22. Until then the Holy Spirit was not made available to all...John 7:38,39 indicating that no one could be cleansed enough to be able to be admitted into Heaven. 

In conclusion I believe that no one could be "born again" and be perfect enough, cleansed, to enter "heaven" until Jesus' sacrifice...But as with Elijah and Enoch, God can always do as he pleases for reasons we may not currently understand, but that someday it will be revealed to us...

I might add that Elijah and Enoch DID NOT die before going up to heaven.
They were taken while still alive.

Everyone else has had to die before going to be with the Lord, even Jesus himself...

2Co 5:8 NKJV - {8} We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be ABSENT from the body and to be present with the Lord.

That may be the mitigating factor for the exception of Elijah and Enoch...

Praise the Lord!

December 14 2013 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

1374604641 Christabel N. Onuoha
"Verse 13. No man hath ascended] This seems a figurative expression for, No man hath known the mysteries of the kingdom of God; as in De 30:12; Ps 73:17; Pr 30:4; Ro 11:34. And the expression is founded upon this generally received maxim: That to be perfectly acquainted with the concerns of a place, it is necessary for a person to be on the spot. But our Lord probably spoke to correct a false notion among the Jews, viz. That Moses had ascended to heaven, in order to get the law. It is not Moses who is to be heard now, but Jesus: Moses did not ascend to heaven; but the Son of man is come down from heaven to reveal the Divine will. 
That came down] The incarnation of Christ is represented under the notion of his coming down from heaven, to dwell upon earth." - Adam Clarks Commentary

Yes, before the cross, no one had been in heaven... and surely even back. Therefore no one had legitimate authority of the Logos but Jesus Himself (for the issue at hand was a discuss on the legitimacy and authenticity of the Divine declarative disclosure of the mind and word of God - Jesus Himself.) it was a question of the legitimate authority of Jesus's words and works. So neither Elijah nor Moses nor any prophets of the law had that legitimacy to give or explain the new birth, because they themselves had never experienced it, but Jesus is the first "born from above". Scripture cannot be broken, The word of God is true and Truth.

December 18 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
If Elijah went to heaven as most people believe then how could he have written a letter to the king of Israel some years later?

Notice that this was written after he was taken up into the clouds and transported to some other place on this earth....

2Ch 21:12 And there comes in unto him a writing from Elijah the prophet, saying, ‘Thus said Jehovah, God of David thy father, Because that thou [Jehoram] hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, and in the ways of Asa king of Judah,

Interesting, this was some time after he was taken up, check out the time frame. He began his ministry with King Ahab... follow the time line and you will see he was not taken up to heaven the place that God inhabits. He was taken up into the atmosphere, air, and transported to another place on this earth. Much the same as Phillip was transported by the power of the holy spirit as we see in the NT.

December 14 2013 15 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image George Delmindo
John 3:13 is a plain statement of Jesus that no one has gone up to heaven except himself. How could he say that? Because he had been there! But some say Enoch did not die and was translated into heaven. And Elijah too! He was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind. But scriptures say Enoch and Elijah could not be in heaven where God's throne is. Now where are they?

Enoch was translated that he should not see death.. (Heb 11:5). Elijah went up into heaven by a whirlwind.. (2 Kings 2:11).

What really happened at Enoch's translation is the same as what happens to a person becoming a true Christian. As Col 1:13 state: "who had delivered us from the power of darkness, and had translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son." Yet Christians are not in heaven! We merely become prospective citizens of that kingdom. So Enoch was translated into the Kingdom of God as he learned to walk with God 300 years. Meaning to say, Enoch learned the way of godliness at the age of 65 and after walking with God in righteousness 300 years, God took him, meaning, he died. So Enoch lived 365 years in all and then he died. In Heb 11:5, Enoch was assured that he will not experience the second death for he will certainly join the saints in the first resurrection when Christ returns. 
Paul clearly stated in Heb 11:13 that all of the men of God [including Enoch] who walked by faith "died" not having received the promise. What promise? The promise of eternal inheritance. That includes eternal life. So Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Enoch, Noah, etc. Are still dead and waiting in their graves for the Lord to come to give them eternal life.

What about Elijah? There are 3 heavens as there are 3 hells mentioned in the Bible. The first heaven is the one where birds fly. The second is where the moon and the stars are. The third is where God's throne is. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Certainly, that was the atmosphere. He was transported into some other place. In 2 Chron 21:12, Jehoram received a letter from Elijah warning him of what God is going to do to his people because of his evil ways. This is about 10 years later when Elijah went up into the air during the time that Jehoram's father, Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. So Elijah was not in heaven where God's throne is. 

Clearly, there is no one who has ever gone up to heaven as the Lord plainly said in John 3:13. If there is someone who could be in heaven, it is none other than David. For David is a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22). Yet Peter in his inspired sermon in Acts 2:29 said that David is both dead and buried.., and in verse 34, Peter stated that David did not ascend into heaven.

It is appointed for man once to die and then, the judgment (Heb 9:27). As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor 15:22). How plain are these verses proving that all men die. That includes Enoch and Elijah. 

What about Matt 27:52-53 which seems to say that there was a resurrection of the saints that occurred? That is a prophetic statement recorded by Matthew that the resurrection will surely come to pass now that Jesus was raised. Notice that Jesus had just died then. He said that the tombs were opened and the saints came out after his resurrection. So Matthew was only touching the resurrection chapter. God's promises are so certain they can be counted as if already accomplished. So when will the saints be raised? "For as in Adam all die. So also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order, Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ's, at his coming" (1 Cor 15:22-23). When? The Bible says, "at Christ's coming!"

February 09 2014 10 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Frederick Thomas Rom 3:4 ...let God be true...
John 3:13, “No man had ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven...” Christ uttered this statement before His death, resurrection and ascension.

It was not until His ascension that the righteous were transferred to the third heaven-paradise. At the time Christ uttered His statement no man had yet ascended to heaven.

The word “man” in the light of the context, no doubt refers to the body, and in this sense, no man has ascended to heaven in bodily form, because the resurrection of the body has not yet taken place.

July 30 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Tega Edafiogho I am a University undergraduate I am now 17 got saved at 10.
The Old Testament saints (except Elijah and Enoch) did not go to heaven, the went to a section of hell known as Abrahams Bossom.
Matthew 27:52-53
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 
The bible tells us about a man who went to the third heaven (1 Cor 12:2). So there are several heavens (probably seven). So the heaven Christ descended from was not the same Enoch and Elijah ascended to.

December 14 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jonathan Fritz
My opinion is that upon a person's death, the breath (the spirit of mankind or "nephesh") returns to our Father and the body waits in the grave for the Savoir to return: "For if we believe that the Savoir died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Him will the Father bring with him (1 Thessalonians 4:15)." 

Here, Scripture mentions the word "sleep" as a time before "waking up (a resurrection of the saints)." The Savior woke up after spending 3 days and 3 nights "asleep" in the tomb, He was dead, and did not immediately "ascend into the heavens." 

John 3:16 says that the disciple is not greater than his master. If we go to heaven the moment we die, would that not make us greater than the One who sits on the right hand of His Father? 

I believe there's one verse that clearly shows us that a person is resting in the grave after death, John 11:43. "And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." As I see this, Lazarus had not gone to heaven, he was asleep, waiting for his resurrection at the Savior's return before the Millennial Kingdom. 

If Lazarus was already in Paradise (Heaven) - my opinion - there would be no need for the Savoir to raise him from the dead, which glorified both Father and Son. In John 11:23, before raising Lazarus from the dead, our Savoir told Martha, "Thy brother shall rise again." 

Our Savoir calls death "sleep," which I would interpret as a time of waiting before resurrection. I am not a Jehovah's Witness or Seventh-Day Adventist, but I do agree with their basic views on what happens to a person at death. "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10)." 

My final opinion: No man has seen Heaven, except one, our Savior.

October 30 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Pastor Shafer
1. [ascended up] Greek: anabaino (GSN-), to go up of own power, not taken up as was Enoch (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5),
Elijah (2Ki. 2:11), Paul (2Cor. 12:1-3), and John (Rev. 4:1).

This refers to the ascension of Christ (Jn. 3:13; 6:62; Acts 1:11; Lk. 24:51; Eph. 4:8-10). Christ ascended and came back before His final ascension to heaven to stay (Jn. 20:17). 

John 3:13 (KJV) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 

2.[is in heaven] This verse proves that Jesus had already ascended when John wrote this book; that the conversation with Nicodemus ended with Jn. 3:12; and that Jesus was now in heaven.

January 30 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ben Zickefoose Retired, Kinesiology Dept. ACU, TX & traveling ministry.
John 3:13 “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. NIV

To me personally, this verse means what it says when considering the following:

Presently, before the judgment, faithful saints will not entered Heaven and the wicked will not be cast into Hell.

Following the judgment, the faithful will spend eternity in Heaven and the wicked will spend eternity in Hell (the second death). 

Before judgment, the dead will abide in Hades.

Hades has two realms: Paradise (the Bosom of Abraham) and Tartarus (the place of torment). Luke 16: 20 ff & 2 Peter 2:4 YLTB

Revelation 20 NIV
The Dead Are Judged
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

July 30 2014 22 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img808 Bartley Verner Elder Emeritus, Christ Presbyterian Church PCA
It appears that all the opinions do not consider "time" with regard to death and being in eternity with God. 

God is timeless; He has no beginning and no end. We experience "time" here in the now, the past no longer exists, and the future is yet to be. From God's perspective, every thing happens at the same moment. Adam died; Moses died; Elijah died; Christ died; & I will die; all of us temporally. Yet Christ will return, and all of us will meet at the same moment in eternity. 

This concept is difficult to mentally grasp because we experience every moment in our "time". Think about it; God placed us in "time". But He removes "time" from all the saints at the same moment as we transition into eternity with Him.

July 09 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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