Answering the question of where the dead are, we look further into Biblical fragments that can shed further light on the condition of the dead and tell us more about where those Biblical figures of antiquity are today.
Elijah taken up to Heaven
The question is sometimes asked,
“Was not Elijah taken to heaven in the chariot of fire, and so ushered, without dying, into Cod’s presence?” — 2 Kings 2:1-11.
At first sight, this narrative would seem a formidable contradiction of our Lord’s word —
“No man hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3:13),
but the solution of the apparent difficulty is at once made clear when the student remembers the variety of ways in which the word “heaven” is Scripturally used. There are the heaven in which Cod dwells (Isa. 66:1); the heaven in which the stars shine (Gen. 1:14-17) ; the heaven in which the birds fly, that is, the air (Gen. 1:20,26); and “heaven” used symbolically to represent a portion of the “world” or order of things.
From John 3:13, we are obliged to deduce that Elijah did not go up to the first of these heavens, where God dwells; and there is no reason to believe that he was taken to some place in the astronomical heavens; but it is perfectly feasible to believe that he was taken up into the air, where the fowl of heaven fly. Elisha saw Elijah thus taken away into the air, but, as our Lord’s word plainly intimates, he did not enter the Divine Presence. In order to view Elijah’s experience in harmony with other Scriptures, we must consider that he died, while being taken up, and has since been asleep. This experience of Elijah may be taken as illustrative of the taking away of the last of the joint heirs with Christ — “We who are alive and remain.” The fiery chariot and the whirlwind in which Elijah was taken are symbols of the trouble and distress of nations with which this age is closing, and in which the Lord is gathering his own to himself. (More of this in succeeding pages.)
– The New Covenant Advocate June 1909 p. 41-42
The Dead — Where Are They? 17 Enoch Translated
- Isaiah’s Book of the Messenger of Glad Tidings
- Today’s thought “What does the LORD your God require …?” (April 25)
- Our love for Jesus – A Christian Science perspective
- Today’s thought “Everyone whom the Lord calls to himself” (April 26)
- In Coronatime thinking about death
- This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
- Today’s thought “They lifted up their voices … and said” (April 27)
- 2 Kings 2
- 2 Kings 1 – 2
- Run, Elijah, Run!
- Symbolization: Keep Our Eyes Set on Jesus & We Will Cross on Dry Land
- Moses and Elijah on Mount Sinai and Mount Herman
- Getting Our Attention: Sermon on Transfiguration Sunday, Epiphany 6B
- Don’t Leave Me
- Pandemic Prayers for Transfiguration Sunday
- Scriptural Meditation- 2 Kings 2:15
- The Death and Evaluation of Elisha
- The Son of Man
- John 3:13