ENOCH AND ELIJAH DID NOT ASCEND TO HEAVEN
Updated: Jun 23
The difficulty in understanding this truth is due to what we have believed for a long time without considering what Jesus said in John 3: 13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” Concerning Enoch, it was recorded that; Genesis 5: 24 “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
Hebrews 11: 5 says, " 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. The Greek word “translated” does not always mean taking somebody to heaven. It is “metatithemi” which means (to transfer, transport, exchange, carry over, remove).
Lets see another place that word was used in Acts 7: 15- 16 says, "So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, And were carried over metatithemi) into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. So, is it possible Enoch was carried over (translated) to another place so that he could not be killed because he was not found? 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, "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was NOT; for God took him." The 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 ignorantly teach. 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 throwing 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.
"And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. BUT he passing through the midst of them went his way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days."
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 8:37-40 where Philip was TRANSLATED or caught away by the Holy Spirit and found in another place. And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord CAUGHT AWAY Philip, THAT (or in such a way that) the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip was FOUND at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." 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.
"Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go, get you to them of the captivity, unto the children of your people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Then the SPIRIT TOOK ME UP, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. So the SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP, and TOOK ME AWAY, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. Then I CAME to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there ASTONISHED among them seven days."
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 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.
ENOCH AND ELIJAH ALL DIED John 3: 13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Many people have interpreted the record about the faith of Enoch in Hebrews 11: 5 to mean that Enoch was raptured to Heaven without dying. If you pay attention to that Hebrews scripture, the word heaven is even absent. The author of the book of 2 kings also recorded about Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11 that he went up by a whirlwind into heaven. This also appears to be saying that Elijah was raptured or taken to Heaven without dying.
If these people went or ascended to Heaven without dying, then it contradicts what Jesus said in our opening text. The author of the book of Hebrews who talked of the faith of these two elders emphatically said in Hebrews 11: 13 that all these died, not having received the promises. This implies all the elders mentioned in Hebrews 11 died. The author goes on to verses 39 and 40 to say that, these elders could not achieve perfection without us. This means they could not achieve resurrection or immortality before Christ who is the firstfruit of our resurrection.
This corroborates what Jesus said in our opening text. Elijah and Enoch were not raptured to Heaven. Christ is the firstfruit of our resurrection and not Enoch or Elijah. Flesh and blood or mortality cannot enter Heaven. It could be that the author of the book of Kings had partial revelation of God or our interpretation of those texts were inaccurate. There are various interpretations to these two people, but our study today is to establish the truth that Enoch and Elijah all died in faith.
Hebrews 11:13 ALL THESE GREAT OT PEOPLE DIED IN FAITH. They did not get the things that God promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future and were glad. They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth. THEY all died in the womb of Christ and they were raised [regenerated] after Jesus Rose[Matt 27:52].
When the scriptures said Enoch and Elijah never saw death it was a figurative expression of the Salvation of their souls which they foresaw in a type and shadow, Just as Jesus said anyone who believe in me and Him that sends me shall not see death but has passed from death to life [John 5:24]