Hundreds of years after Enoch, Moses and Elijah had
supposedly "gone to heaven," Jesus, who was WITH the Father from
the beginning(Jn.17:5, 1:1-2,14) came down from the Father (Jn.
17:4,8) as a flesh and blood human and plainly said, "NO MAN has
ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven - Son of
Jesus said that HE alone of all humans was the only one to
ascend to heaven. (For a full understanding of how Jesus
ascended to heaven, request the article "GOD OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT"). Enoch, Moses and Elijah were not IN HEAVEN! It is
written, "Enoch walked with God: and HE WAS NOT: for God took
Notice what this verse DOES NOT SAY. It does not say Enoch
went to heaven. It says he was NOT FOUND, for God TOOK
HIM. But this verse does not say WHERE God took him! To say God
took Enoch to heaven is only human conjecture that has no basis
in Biblical FACT.
Concerning this event Paul said, "By faith Enoch was
TRANSLATED 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" (Heb.11:5). Many have
just assumed again that the word "TRANSLATED" must mean "made
immortal". They have assumed WRONG! The Greek word for
"translate" is METATITHEMI. According to VINE'S Dictionary of NT
Words, this word means, "to transfer to another place."
This same Greek word is rendered "REMOVED" in Gal.1:6. In
ACT 7:16 it is rendered "CARRIED OVER" where we read that after
Jacob DIED his body was "carried over" - removed, TRANSLATED -
God took Enoch. God removed him - translated him - so that
HE WAS NOT FOUND. Nobody knew where he was! The LAMSA
translation renders Gen. 5:24 as "And Enoch found favor in the
presence of God, and DISAPPEARED; for God took him away."
(emphasis ours throughout).
In Deut. 34:6 we read also how God TOOK Moses from the
people, after which he DIED and was BURIED by God. "But no man
knows his sepulchre unto this day." God REMOVED Moses - God
translated him also - and HE WAS NOT FOUND either!
LAMSA translates the Aramaic Heb. 11:5 as, "By faith Enoch
DEPARTED and did not taste death, and was not found, because God
took him; but before he TOOK HIM AWAY, there was a testimonial
about him, that he pleased God."
Does Heb.11:5 mean that Enoch NEVER experienced PHYSICAL
death? Is this what Paul was trying to convey to us? Oh no!
For after Paul had spoken about a number of FAITHFUL people of
God (Enoch one of them), notice what he says in verse 13: "These
ALL DIED in faith - NOT HAVING RECEIVED the promises..." Later
in this same chapter, after talking about yet more of the
faithful, Paul, as if to emphasize his point, again says, "And
THESE ALL, having obtained a good report through faith, RECEIVED
NOT THE PROMISE" (verse 39). What promise? The "...hope of
ETERNAL LIFE, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED before the
world began" (Titus 1:2).
Enoch did NOT - has not, as yet - received the promise of
eternal life. Why? Paul answers in Heb. 11:40: "Because God
had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for
US, so that THEY (those heroes and heroines of faith) should not
come to PERFECTION apart from us, (that is, before we could join
them)" The AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
And when do we join them? When do we ALL come to
PERFECTION together? AT THE RESURRECTION! See 1 THES.
4:13-18, 1 COR. 15:49-54.
Paul says the faithful ALL died. Enoch was one of "all
Enoch, then, DID DIE. Jesus said only the Son of man had
evee ascended to heaven, so Enoch never went to heaven!
Now GEN. 5:24 and HEB. 11:5 should start to become plain.
Enoch was a man of God, walking with God by obeying and seeing
His maker. He was a man of whom the world was not worthy (Heb.
11:38). Evil and sin were all around him, yet he had FAITH. It
was nearing the time when the wickedness of man became so great
that only Noah and his family were found worthy to escape
destruction. Enoch would have had MANY enemies - enemies that
would want to see him DEAD. After only 365 years (relatively a
short period for the length of days they lived back then) God
REMOVED Enoch - took him away from his enemies and spared
his physical life from destruction and death at their hands.
NONE could find him. Just like Moses was removed from
Israel and died sometime after (only known to God), so too Enoch
was removed by God to live in safety and eventually DIE at some
point and place only known by God.
Enoch, like all the faithful, awaits the promise of eternal
life at the RESURRECTION.
WAS ELIJAH TAKEN TO HEAVEN IN A WHIRLWIND?
If Jesus said NO MAN had ascended to heaven except Himself,
then WHERE did Elijah go?
It may surprise many, but there are THREE heavens mentioned
in the Bible, not just ONE!
The first heaven is the ATMOSPHERE, the air surrounding the
earth. Birds fly "in the heaven" - certainly NOT to God's
throne. We read in Gen.l:2 of "foul that may fly ABOVE THE EARTH
in the open firmament of heaven." Jacob, when blessing Isaac,
said: "God give you of the DEW of heaven," and Moses was joyful
that the "heavens shall drop down dew" (Gen.27:28; Deut.33:28).
The DEW comes from the FIRST heaven - the atmosphere. The SECOND
heaven is the expanse of this awesome universe - where the stars,
comets, moons and planets are. The Psalmists often wrote about
the "HEAVENS, the work of Your fingers, the moon, and the stars,
which You have ordained" (Ps.8:3; Gen.1:15-17). The THIRD heaven
is where the throne of God exists, where the heavenly temple is
found and the heavenly Jerusalem. It is the heaven where Paul
and John were caught up to in vision (2 Cor.12:l-4; Rev.4:l-2).
As Elijah could not have gone to the heaven where God's
throne is found, then into which heaven did he go? We read, "and
Elijah went up by a WHIRLWIND into HEAVEN" (2 Kings 2:1,11).
The answer should be obvious! Elijah was carried by the
whirlwind into the FIRST heaven, where physical whirlwinds
WHY WAS ELIJAH TAKEN UP?
Did God intend to make Elijah IMMORTAL by taking him up
into the atmosphere? There is not one word to that affect in the
Turn to 2 Kings 2:3,5 and see for yourself WHY Elijah was
to be taken away.
Elijah had been used by God as head or leader of the sons
of the prophets. Now God wanted Elisha to assume leadership.
God wanted Elijah to by-and-large "retire" - at least in an
active and open directorship.
Elijah granted Elisha a request before he was taken away
(verse 9) and Elisha requested that "a double portion of your
spirit be upon me." If he was to see Elijah taken away it would
be granted (verse 10). Elisha DID SEE Elijah taken away and he
inherited his MANTLE (verses 12-14). The mantle had great
significance, it was, "worn by PROPHETS and PRIESTS as the simple
insignia of their office" (CLARKE'S COMMENTARY VOL. 2: p. 484).
The purpose of removing Elijah was to replace him with
another man who would assume his office in Israel as head of the
prophets. Elijah, having ascended into the AIR by a whirlwind was
carried away out of sight - beyond the horizon.
WHERE DID ELIJAH GO?
He did not go to the THIRD heaven of the throne of God.
Jesus said so! But he also could not logically remain in the air
forever either. And God did not say Elijah was to die at that
time, otherwise there would have been no need for such a
spectacular removal of him from his office of head prophet.
The sons of the prophets who KNEW Elijah was to be removed
DID NOT BELIEVE he was to DIE then or to go "to be with the
Lord." That's why they were fearful that the Spirit of God might
have allowed him to drop " upon some mountain, or into some
valley " (verse 16). Upon their hard pressed persistence Elisha
allowed 50 men to go out and try to FIND Elijah - "they sought
for three days, but found him not "(verse 17).
Now if Elijah knew it was time to go and "join the Lord" it
would have been easy for him to have told Elisha, who then would
have told the sons of the prophets. The whole happenings before
and after this miraculous event would clearly indicate that
neither Elijah, Elisha or any of the fifty prophets understood
that the removing of Elijah was to make him immortal and take him
off to the third heaven.
Where was Elijah taken? The Bible itself gives us the
Several years AFTER he was taken away, King Jehoram
received a LETTER from him! How long after? There are some
difficulties in figuring the EXACT chronology, it varies from 2
to 10 years or more. A note in JOSEPHUS (a Jewish historian of
the first century A.D.) says 4 years, while the JEWISH
ENCYCLOPEDIA figures it at 7 years.
Regardless of the exact number of years, "there came a
writing to him (Jehoram) from Elijah the prophet, saying..." (2
Chron 21:12). Now the wickedness of Jehoram, for which he was
being rebuked in the letter, took place AFTER Elijah was taken
away, yet the letter speaks of these things as PAST events, and
the punishment to come upon him as yet FUTURE. So the idea of
some, that Elijah wrote the letter BEFORE he was removed by the
whirlwind, is proved wrong..
Elijah was taken up by the whirlwind into the first heaven
and transported to another location ON EARTH. God did not see
fit in His purpose to reveal his whereabouts.
Some copies of JOSEPHUS come right out and offer this
explanation: "For he was yet upon earth" (ANTIQUITIES OF THE
JEWS, 9, 5:2).
A marginal note found in SOME editions of the Bible
concerning Elijah's letter says this: ".. .which was written
before his death," meaning, the death of Elijah. There is a
traditional site of Elijah's TOMB near a tributary of the Jordan
River. HARPER'S BIBLE DICTIONARY (p.760), which lists various
feasts and fasts of the Jewish calendar, says the tenth day of
the second month ZN was a "fast to commemorate the DEATH of
The main proof that Elijah DIED is in the Bible itself.
Paul, speaking about the people of FAITH says, "And what shall I
more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon and of
Barak, and of Samson, and of Jeptha, of David also, and Samuel,
AND OF THE PROPHETS..." (Heb.11:32). Elijah was ONE of the
Did Elijah receive the promise of ETERNAL LIFE when taken
by the wind into the heaven? NO! "And these ALL (including the
prophets), having obtained a good report through FAITH (and faith
is the confidence of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT
SEEN: Heb.11:1) RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE." (Heb.11:39). Why?
"...that THEY without US should not be made perfect" (verse 40).
We shall all be made PERFECT together in the RESURRECTION!
Besides the verses in the book of Hebrews that show Moses
did DIE, we have also the plain statement in the book of
Deuteronomy, "So Moses the servant of the Lord DIED there in the
land of ....... And He(God) buried him in a valley in the land of
Moab... And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he DIED
There's just one remaining section of scripture that
puzzles some: Jesus' TRANSFIGURATION. Did not both ELIJAH and
MOSES appear with Christ on the mount of transfiguration? The
record of the event is found in MAT. 17:1-9; MRK.9;2-1O;
LK.9:28-36. But the ANSWER is only given by Matthew. Leaving
the mountain, Jesus told his disciples: "Tell the VISION to no
man" (Mat. 17:9). In part the DICTIONARY defined VISION as,
"...the power of perceiving some-thing not actually present to
the eye..." A VISION IS NOT A MATERIAL REALITY but a
JESUS HAS PRE-EMINENCE!!
Of all that have ever been FLESH & BLOOD - born of women -
Jesus Christ ONLY has gained IMMORTAL LIFE! So says your Bible.
He alone of all humans was RESURRECTED to receive the promise of
ETERNAL LIFE. He alone is the only one to be changed from MATTER
into SPIRIT - from human to DIVINE! Read it in your own Bible,
never forget those plain verses. A child can understand them:
"But now is Christ risen from the DEAD and become the FIRSTFRUITS
of them that slept...For as in Adam ALL die (that includes,
Enoch, Moses and Elijah), even so in Christ shall ALL be made
alive (see Jn 5:25-29 and request our article "WHITE THRONE
JUDGMENT") BUT every man in his own order: CHRIST THE
FIRSTFRUITS..." (1 Cor. 15:20-23).
It was not Moses that was first from the dead, nor was it
Elijah or Enoch that first received eternal life - IT WAS CHRIST
JESUS! "And He(speaking of Jesus) is the head of the body, the
church: who is THE BEGINNING, the FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD..."
(Col. 1:18). Jesus was "the firstborn of every creature" (Col.
1:15). Yes, the FIRST Human to be BORN into life eternal.
Christ was the FIRST to be PERFECTED as an immortal being and so,
"...being MADE PERFECT, He became the AUTHOR (the one who wrote
the book on it - who led the way) of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all
them that OBEY Him" (Heb. 5:9).
Do you see friends? It was NOT Elijah, Moses or Enoch that
led theway to eternal life. It was not Noah, nor David, nor
Abel, Sarah or Abraham. It was not ANY other human person but
JESUS that wrote the book on how to attain IMMORTALITY. He ALONE
is the author. He is the CAPTAIN, the leader into eternal
Why? "...that ALL THINGS He might have the PREEMINENCE"
Read that wonderful passage of scriptures in COLOSSIANS
1:15-19. Jesus was and is the FIRST in creating ALL things (it
wasn't Enoch, Moses or any other man). He is the FIRST, the head
of the church (it's not Elijah, Paul, Peter or any other man).
He is the FIRST from the dead (it wasn't Moses or any other man).
Jesus is FIRST in CREATING, first in the CHURCH, and first of any
human in eternal SALVATION.
All children of God in by-gone ages who "died in faith"
(including Enoch, Moses and Elijah) are awaiting the TRUMPET
SOUND - when they, together with us who shall remain and be alive
at Christ's coming, will be raised and CHANGED from MORTAL to
IMMORTAL (1 Cor.15:50-54; 1 Thes. 4:13-17). So shall we ever be
with the Lord.
God speed that glorious day!
For further study on this subject of DEATH, HELL AND
IMMORTALITY read the articles "LAZARUS & THE RICH MAN," and
"MANSIONS IN THE SKY?"
Written in 1981