Did Elijah Go to Heaven?

Monday, March 3, 2014 (All day)

Does the Bible contradict itself saying that Elijah was taken up to heaven?

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[Steve Myers] Timothy, one of our BT viewers, sent in a question. He asked about Elijah, "Did Elijah go to heaven?". He cited 2 Kings:2:11, where it says that Elijah was taken by a whirlwind into heaven. And then Timothy asked if it contradicted John:3:13, because in John:3:13 it says, "No one's ascended to heaven, but He who came down from heaven", talking about Jesus Christ. So what about this – did Elijah go to heaven?

Well, it really depends on what you mean, because when you examine what the Bible says about heaven, there's actually three heavens that are mentioned in the Bible. Let's look at the examples that are given in the Bible. In Deuteronomy chapter 26, we find one example of that. It's in verse 15, and it describes heaven as God's throne. And so it says there, "Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven (Deuteronomy:26:15). So God's dwelling place, His throne, is one heaven that's mentioned in the Bible.

Now, there's also a second heaven that's mentioned in the Bible, and you can find that reference in Psalm:8:3. Psalm:8:3 says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained." So that points to something different than God's throne. What is Psalm:8:3 talking about when it speaks of heaven? It's talking about outer space. So when we talk about the stars and the moon and the sun – all of those things are in outer space. Well, did Elijah go to God's throne? Or did Elijah go to outer space? Or is there another possibility? Well, there is.

There's a third example of heaven that's mentioned in the Bible. And this example – one of the places that you can find this – oh, is not in Exodus – it's in Genesis, Genesis:7:11. And this is in the account of Noah and the flood. And in Genesis:7:11 it says, "The windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was on the earth." Well, what heaven would Genesis 7 be talking about? Well, where does the rain come from? Well, it comes from our atmosphere. It comes from the sky. And so, earth's atmosphere is also called heaven in the Bible.

So, which heaven did Elijah go to?

Well, remember 2 Kings:2:11 says he was taken up in a whirlwind. Well, if you think of a whirlwind, what is it that comes to mind? Well, in my mind, it's one of those things that kind of look like this, kind of looks like a tornado. Was taken up --  would he have been taken to God's throne, outer space, or into the atmosphere? You're right. He was taken up into the atmosphere, into the sky.

Now, can we prove that, that he didn't go to God's throne? That John:3:13 is correct, that no one's ascended to God's throne? Well, there's a couple of things.  If we read just a little bit farther in 2 Kings:2:16, after Elijah was taken up into the sky, it says in verse 16, "There are fifty of us here, all strong men. Let us go and look for your master. Maybe the spirit of the Lord has carried him away and left him on some mountain or in some valley". What did the people think that were with Elijah at the time he was taken up? What did they say to Elisha? Well, they said, "Let's go look for him". You see, they didn't have the impression that he went to God's throne or that he went out to the stars or to the moon or something like that. They understood that he was carried away and put down somewhere else.

In fact, there's one other proof of that that becomes pretty specific, and that's over in 2 Chronicles. In 2 Chronicles:21:12, we find the story beginning, where the Bible records that Elijah wrote a letter to one of the kings of Judah. And the interesting part about this letter in 2 Chronicles is it was written several years after this whirlwind took Elijah to heaven.

So when you put all of these things together, you put the three different heavens that the Bible mentions – becomes very clear, John:3:13 is right. No one has ascended to God's throne except Jesus Christ. Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind, and he was placed down somewhere else – taken up into the sky, into the earth's atmosphere, and then placed down, where later he writes a letter to the king.

And so, when we put all the passages together, the Bible doesn't contradict itself. And so we can be assured that the Bible is true, and no one has ascended to heaven.

That's BT Daily . We'll see you next time.


coalman's picture

So why do almost all churches state that good people go directly to heaven when they die? "Mary is not gone , she is in a better place, floating on a cloud,looking down on us".
Who wold want to spent eternity floating on a cloud?


KARS's picture

Hi coalman,
I use to believe that too; until I started reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Most teachers of theology go to school and learn their lessons to teach their people (that follow their teachings).
Did you ever try and ask a question; only to be told something in angry because you asked? Happened to me. It's when a member begins to question the teacher that trouble begins.
That is what happened to the early Christians of the Apostles day. They were kicked out of the Synogoges because God was teaching them the truth by the Apostles after Jesus returned to heaven.
These teachers of theology have to be in agreement with each other before they can teach the doctrine that that denomination is teaching, otherwise they can't. And there are alot of differences.

So, those that are seeking the truth must pray without stopping; to find that truth. Always remember to ask God our Father for help in the name of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

linda effenberger

linda effenberger's picture

Heaven. Three different heavens? I would think that there is one heaven and there are different "sections" of heaven mentioned in the Bible. Is God's throne in just one section of heaven? The Lord declares, "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" (Jeremiah:23:24)

"He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe" (Eph:4:10).
--"who fills everything in every way" (Eph:1:23).

"Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!" (Proverbs:30:4)

God cannot be limited to just one section of heaven. He is everywhere - way beyond what mankind can imagine.


rayofsunshine4me's picture

If you read in most history books it talks about the crusades with the roman empire conquering nations under a catholic flag. If you see that flag; white flag & scarlet red cross w/outline of purple around cross then it is part of the roman catholic government controlling their beliefs & teachings of false doctrines within their ministry. Almost all churches fly this flag in their doctrine of faith. False teachings come from this so-called christian denomination within their laws coming from the roman catholic founding forefathers. Test all things including the teachings of false doctrines within your ministry. Study to see if your belief wasn't tainted by false doctrines passed down by the founding forefathers of deception from paganistic views crept in unaware by weak-minded folks. Read about the true history of paganistic views that so many denominations have accepted as their own teachings. Observe the true Sabbath day of rest & not the sungod of sunday worship. Eyes Wide Open Ministries

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