Who went to heaven without dying?

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The Bible speaks of two men that were translated to heaven without dying- Enoch and Elijah.

Enoch was translated that he should not see death” (Hebrews 11:5), and “God took him” (Genesis 5:24). The translation of Enoch was designed by God, not only to reward the piety of a godly man, but to demonstrate the certainty of God’s promised deliverance from sin and death. The memory of this remarkable event has survived in Jewish tradition (Ecclesiastics 44:16), in the Christian record (Hebrews 11:5; Jude 14), and even in heathen fables. The Jewish Book of Jubilee says that he was carried into heaven, where he wrote down the judgment of all men. Arabic legends have made him the inventor of writing and arithmetic.

About Elijah, the Bible says, “Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11). The “chariots of God” were evidently the angels (Psalm 68:17). The angels are God’s messengers, “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Heavenly messengers and divine agencies are represented in different forms to human sight and in prophetic vision.

In the New Testament, Elijah appeared with Moses at the at the transfiguration (Luke 9:28–32). AT this incident, Jesus was giving a miniature demonstration of the kingdom of glory to His disciples. Peter, one of the disciples that were present at the Transfiguration, also understood it that way (2 Peter 1:16-18).

There is theological significance behind Moses and Elijah appearing on the Mount of Transfiguration. The event represented the resurrection at the end of time. Moses represented those who will die and be resurrected and go to heaven, while Elijah represented those who will go to heaven without experiencing death.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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