Moses and Elijah
“He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”Matthew 17:2, 3
The Scriptures record the fact that both Moses and Elijah are in heaven. But it is important to note that Elijah was translated to heaven without dying, “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, 12). And Moses had a special resurrection by Christ, “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9).
Moses was the great deliverer, lawgiver, and founder of the Hebrew nation. And Elijah was the one who saved it in a time of great apostasy and crisis. Here, they were living representatives to bear witness to the divinity of Jesus. And through their written records, they had testified of Him (Luke 24:44).
Moses represents the saints that will be resurrected from the dead while Elijah represents the saints that will be living when the Lord comes and will go to heaven without seeing death. These two prophets, one raised from the dead and the other translated without seeing death, appeared with Jesus, as a type of the glorious kingdom in which the ransomed of all ages will be with Him in glory (Matthew 25:31; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
The fact that Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ at this time is not to be taken to prove that all the righteous dead are in heaven. Because the Bible says that after death people: return to dust (Psalms 104:29), know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possess no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), have nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), do not live (2 Kings 20:1), wait in the grave (Job 17:13), until they are raised at the Day of Resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). For more on the state of the dead, check: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,