The Mountain Retreat

Biblical Discussions => Apologetics => Topic started by: Dryfus on August 17, 2004, 09:16:57 AM

Title: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dryfus on August 17, 2004, 09:16:57 AM
Christians believe that Elijah was transfigured, but Moses had supposedly died. Am I correct in this? So how could Moses be transfigured before Christ had first died and risen so that he was the first fruit?

The prophet and Jewish historian Josephus appears to have the answer to this contradiction. He writes that Moses didn't really die after all. He says that Moses only wrote that he died so people would not start to worship him and that might keep them from crossing into the promised land. So he believes that instead of dying, Moses was transfigured. Would you all agree that this is a much better explanation?

Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: David Knoles on August 17, 2004, 11:43:29 AM
I've heard this before and I agree Josephus could be right. This site also says that moses didn't die.

http://web.archive.org/web/20060417202657/http://beardall2000.com/ot/ot17.html

Josephus is a respected historian, and if anyone should know it would be him who was close to the situation. This also supports the literal view of a 1000 year reign of Christ.

Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: David Knoles on August 17, 2004, 11:48:55 AM

I meant to say that this supports our view that Moses and Elijah will literally come back as the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Tony Warren on August 17, 2004, 01:17:20 PM
>>>
The prophet and Jewish historian Josephus appears to have the answer to this contradiction. He writes that Moses didn't really die after all.
<<<

This well oiled myth that it is because Moses and Elijah didn't die that they will be coming back to experience death in the Tribulation, is without any biblical justification. Moreover, the vaunted words of Sir Josephus as justification is as a weight tied around the necks of the obstinate men-pleasers.

Romans 3:4

The fact is, if Moses didn’t die, then the word of man is true and the word of God a lie that should not ever to be trusted. Because you can't have it both ways.

Deuteronomy 34:5-6

Mind you, these are the alleged "literalist" Dispensationalists who are saying He didn't really die, proving yet again that in their system it is only to be taken literally when it suits their theology. Furthermore, if Moses didn't die there, then the Lord buried a living man in a sepulchre in the land of Moab. And if He didn't, then God is telling us a lie here. And those of us who are Spiritual know that this cannot be true.

Titus 1:2

But you see, these are the predicaments that all erroneous teachings, be they Premillennial, Postmillennial, or Praeterist, get themselves into when they try to privately interpret God's word to fit into their predetermined beliefs. If we let the scripture be its own commentary on itself, then the truth will always shine through.

John 4:24

Elijah and Moses are but men, like Isaac, Jacob, and Abraham. It's true that the scripture says that Elijah must come before Christ, but He did come according to God's definition of the prophesy. Christ Himself unambiguously stated that Elijah did return in John the Baptist, but because the people of his day (like the Premillennialists of today) looked for a physical return of the man Himself, they did not recognize him as the fulfillment of that prophesy. That's the "whole point" that all the literalists are missing concerning prophesy. Christ told the Apostles (and us) their mistake, that we not fall into the same snare. And yet people continue on in those very same mistake as if they cannot even hear what He is saying. e.g.:

Matthew 17:11-12

i.e., likewise as they did not recognize John as the Prophesied Elias (Elijah), so they would not (and still don't) "recognize" Jesus as the prophesied Messiah who had come to deliver Israel. And so  they did to Him the same as Herod did to John. People just are not listening, Spiritually.

1st Corinthians 2:13
Colossians 1:9

These two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 are not literally Moses and Elijah anymore than John the Baptist was literally Elijah. But "like" John the Baptist, they come in the same Spirit and power of Moses and Elijah. They come in the same Spirit and power of the "Law" and the "Prophets." Because they are endowed with the power of the Spirit of Christ to witness of God's word.

2nd Kings 2:14-15

The Spirit of Elijah unto this power is the Spirit of God. It would behoove men to start listening to God spiritually. Because Like Elisha came in the Spirit of Elijah by coming in the power of the Spirit of God, so John the Baptist did also. In fact, this is plainly illustrated in God's prophecy of John's birth. Consider wisely:

Luke 1:16-17

John came before Christ (as prophesied) not physicall Elijah, but in the Spirit and Power that Elijah came in. In other words, it wasn't Elijah's power, it was the Spirit of God in him unto his acts. Thus it's not necessary for Elijah to physically come back for us to have a "literal" fulfillment, just that John came in the same Spirit that Elijah had, to do the works of God.

Likewise, the two witnesses come in the Spirit and Power of Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) and their works are the works of the Spirit of God. The two witnesses represent the Church. These things are Spiritually discerned.

Acts 1:8
Revelation 11:3

The two witnesses receiving Power to prophesy are the same Witnesses acts chapter 1 says receive Power when the Hoily Spirit is poured out. They are the Church.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Diane Moody on August 17, 2004, 03:34:20 PM
This well oiled myth that it is because Moses and Elijah didn't die that they will be coming back to experience death in the Tribulation, is without any biblical justification. And the vaunted words of Sir Josephus as justification, is as a weight tied around the necks of the obstinate.

I agree, and think that it's so very clear that Moses died and that Elijah has already come. These people are saying Moses lied because he didn't want the people to worship him, or so they would go into Canaan, it seems like they have a deeper problem. They don't believe that scripture is the word of god. So how are they even Christian? I am just astounded at the beliefs of the premil groups. I don't want to judge, but I don't see how they can be saved and hold to believe such unsupportable things. Isn't the spirit supposed to be guiding them?

 Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Isn't calling God's word a lie blasphemy?
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: jd@ on August 17, 2004, 07:53:02 PM
Yes, Moses certainly died.  But we also have to believe, I think, that on the mount of transfiguartion Moses and Elijah really were there - not just apparitions. 

Quote
Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. (Matthew 17:3)

Not ones 'in the form of' Moses and Elijah, or anythign like that.  No, Moses was there bodily.

This implies some special situation for Moses - that he has already received a glorified body. And as Dryfus points out, this is a problem - Christ is the firstfruits of all who rise fromt he dead.  Other people rose from the dead before Jesus, but not with a glorified body.

So even if we reject Josephus' explanation, some other explanation seems to be in order.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Chris on August 18, 2004, 08:47:15 AM
So even if we reject Josephus' explanation, some other explanation seems to be in order.

 If we reject it? What do you mean if? I don't know what kind of Christian you are jd@, but in my church there is no if. Josephus doesn't know what he is talking about. Period! And frankly, non Christians like Josephus should not ever attempt to interpret scripture, and Christians should have better sense than to listen to them when they do.

Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dryfus on August 18, 2004, 10:15:45 AM

 And as Dryfus points out, this is a problem

So even if we reject Josephus' explanation, some other explanation seems to be in order.


You're my kind of guy JD. Can I call you JD?
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: andreas on August 19, 2004, 03:06:08 AM
<<<The prophet and Jewish historian Josephus appears to have the answer to this contradiction. He writes that Moses didn't really die after all.>>>

  "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel".Josh.1:1-2

Let the word of God be true.
andreas. 8)
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on August 31, 2004, 04:50:47 PM
We have read above, clear scripture that teaches Moses died. The Bible has spoken; and faulty church tradition and fanciful speculation is laid to rest.

However, there is also the church tradition that Elijah never died.

Let's look a minute at it biblically; though; and see if it has just as clear an explanation.  We shouldn't accept that Elijah didn't die, solely based on the popular, handed down traditional account; but rather; search the scriptures to see if it were so.

Here is the 'famous account' of Elijah's experience.

2 Kings 2:9 "And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him"

What the Bible says of this account:
1) "there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

What the Bible doesn't say of this account:
1) 'into heaven' means the third heaven, where the throne of God resides, (as opposed to the 'heaven' where the birds fiy; or the 'heaven' where the planets spin)
2) Elijah was glorified and changed from mortal to immortal, and from corruptible to incorruptible
3) Elijah remained in Heaven forevermore
4) Elijah died

Since the bible doesn't say any of those things that popular traditions presents; we must use scripture to build the biblical case of where Elijah went; and what his circumstances were afterward.

Non-Traditional Hypothesis, based on Biblical evidence; not tradition:  God merely transported Elijah into the air, the 'heavens of the birds' and later deposited him elsewhere, so that Elisha would assume Elijah's responsibilities; and come out from under his shadow.  Eventually, Elijah died; just as we all do.

Biblical Evidence #1:

Examining Elijah's trip up into heaven in 2 Kings chapter two; we find it recorded below; as well as a very important historical marker listed as well:

2 Kings 2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.  And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.  And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.  And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.  And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?  And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.  And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.  And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.  So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.  And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.  And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.  Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years."


Now remember from above, Jehoram begin to reign 'after' Elijah was taken up.  Notice below; in the account of Jehoram, and when he began to reign as describe in 2 Chronicles; we find that 'Elijah' is still alive; and writes a letter to Jehoram; who wasn't even reigning at the time of Elijah's chariot ride.

2 Chronicles 21:1 "Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.  And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.  And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.  Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.  Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.  And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.  Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.  In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.  Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.  So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.  Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.  And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, "Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself: Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day."  Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.  And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.  And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.  Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired."

Elijah rode the chariot up into Heaven during the reign of Jehosophat; and 13 years after Jehosophat died; when his son Jehoram was reigning; Jehoram receives a letter of warning and curse upon himself for idolatry from Elijah.

Therefore, Scripture shows, Elijah didn't die when he was taken up into heaven in 2 Kings 2; only relocated to another place; so that Elisha's ministry could commence.

Biblical Evidence #2:
2 Kings 2:15 "And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.  And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master (Elijah): lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.  And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.  And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not? "

The 50 servants did not believe Elijah had been taken up into the 3rd heaven, but rather, they believed the Lord had taken Elijah to a mountain or valley; out of their sight.  Even though the searched and didn't find him, we see their expectation was not as popular tradition presents....neither should ours.


Biblical Evidence #3:
Matthew 17:3, 8 "And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. ...And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead."

Some claim that Moses and Elijah appeared before Peter in resurrected, glorified bodies from heaven; but Jesus Himself tells us that they only say a vision; not resurrected flesh or translated flesh or any type of tangible body resurrected or translation from heaven.


Biblical Evidence #4:
Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Elijah was appointed to die.

Biblical Evidence #5:
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."
This cannot mean the 'heavens of the birds' for man has ascended there. (Evel Kneivel)
This cannot mean the 'heavens of the planets' for man has ascended there. (Neil Armstrong)
This can only mean, the 'heavens of God' for Christ alone, per this verse, (Christ alone)....and not Elijah.

Biblical Evidence #6:
I Corinthians 15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

Christ, not Elijah, is the firstfruits risen from the dead.

Biblical Evidence #7:
Elijah and Enoch and Moses; none ascended into heaven prior to Jesus per John 3:13, and none of them were the firstborn of the resurrection ahead of Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews comments on their deaths specifically.....

Speaking of Enoch, Moses, and all the prophets (including Elijah) we find:

Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith.."

Biblical Evidence #8:
15:22 "For as in Adam all die"

Because of Adam's sin and fall, all men die.  Point blank.  End of discussion.

Biblical Evidence #9:
I Timothy 6:16 Jesus Christ "only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."

Again, No mortal, Elijah, Enoch, Moses, or otherwise save Christ; has ascended into the 3rd Heaven.

So the traditional view that Elijah never died, and ascended up into Heaven several hundred years before Christ is biblically unfounded and untendable.


Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Oneil on September 01, 2004, 06:50:36 AM

What's to say Elijah in his body didn't die when he was taken up in the worldwind, and in his soul went into heaven like anyone else?

 Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on September 01, 2004, 08:09:50 AM
Because the Bible says he wrote a letter or warning to King Jehoram several years 'after' his whirlwind experience.

Had he died in the whirlwind, he would not have been able to write the letter years later.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: judykanova on September 02, 2004, 12:59:27 AM
Dave,

Thank you for sharing your study with us.  As you well noted, we cannot rely on the ‘traditions of men’ for truth; instead we are commanded to ‘study to show' ourselves 'approved unto God…' 
So you are to be commended.

There are however several things that I question.  I will give my reasons and you may choose to elaborate further if you think they are not valid ones.

The first concern I have is in regards to the letter that ‘Elijah’ wrote to king Jehoram, which occurred after the ‘whirlwind’ incident:

Please consider this passage:

Mat 11:9-15
9  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10  For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14  And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  

John the Baptist is a ‘study’ in and of himself, and was indeed a very special man – representing perhaps the epitomy of NT prophets, as Elijah perhaps represented the epitomy of OT prophets.  In this we can also see a link or continuum -- with Elijah, ...then Elias who came in the spirit of Elijah, ...and then John the Baptist who came in spirit of Elias.  I’m just making observations which I don’t at this point fully understand.

Mat 17:10-13
10  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. .

Joh 1:19-23
19  And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20  And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

So here again (and several more places in the NT)  we see that, even though John the Baptist was his own person (explicitly stating he was not Elias when asked by the  priests), he is nonetheless identified with Elias in spirit.

So I’m saying all this to say that when God said ‘Elijah’ wrote king Jehoram the letter, we can justifiably take this to mean Elias, who wrote ‘in the spirit of Elijah’.  We see this type of thing many places in the Bible, with Christ for example being referred to as ‘David’.


The second concern I have is that Elijah was never again seen of man after he was was caught up.  As you noted, the Bible records that men searched for him,  … yet he was not found.  I’m inclined to think this was recorded for reasons of verifying that Elijah indeed no longer inhabited the earth.


Thirdly, in the Bible, the phrase ‘into heaven’ seems to refer exclusively to the heaven that God inhabits -- versus the 'heaven’  that pertains to this earth’s atmosphere and galaxy.  Here are a couple of examples to which I could find no exception:

Luk 2:13-15
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Act 7:55-59
55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  


Fourthly,  the verse you site regarding...
Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
-- speaks more of the condition of man since sin entered the world  --  both physical and spiritual death.
However please consider that some will not experience the first (physical) death upon the Lord’s return.  So we have to weigh the above passage with this one:

Luk 9:27 
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

In the context of the 'generation' that Jesus speaks of within this passage, this refers to true believers who are still alive when He returns, and will be caught-up in the air – much like Elijah was, to join the Him in the final battle and judgment that precedes the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.

1Th 4:1617
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


Lastly, regarding this most valid passage you presented...
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."

Could this possibly be understaood to mean that no man ‘in the flesh’ can ascend into heaven?   For indeed we live in corrupt bodies that cannot possibly be accepted in the presence of a most Holy God.  But, if we consider that Elijah’s body was transformed, that may be in keeping with what this verse is saying.


I’d like to also comment on this passage which may shed some light on this question:

Heb 12:1 
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  

Notice this curious phrase ‘ cloud of witnesses’…. Referring to all true believers who inhabit heaven with the Lord.  Most in their spirit essence, but some, possibly like Elijah, in both their resurrected spirit and glorified body. 

Also I came across this most curious passage in the NT:

2Co 12:2-4
2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  

Who could this man be?  Was this written before the book of Revelations?  If so, could this possibly be referring to the apostle John?


I don’t understand why Elijah was taken, and only have a limited understanding of this issue.  But these are my views
based upon the reasons and Scriptures given above, for our consideration.  Thanks once again for sharing this most interesting study,
so that others may begin to study these things and share thoughts as well.

judy
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Oneil on September 02, 2004, 09:19:35 AM
Very well said Judy. This is what I believe also about the passage. And the reason I believe that Elijah's body died just like anyone else's when he was caught up into heaven by a whirlwind, is simply because the bible says no one in their body can go into heaven. And Elijah did go into heaven.

 1 Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Since we know for sure that flesh and blood cannot inhabit heaven, therefore it would follow (baring another explanation from God) that his body was treated like any other that would go up to heaven in a whirlwind. It would be destroyed, and in his soul he would go to be with the Lord. Unless I am shown some passages that can show something different happened, I cannot believe anything else.


Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on September 02, 2004, 11:06:45 AM
Judy, two of your points I would like to comment on.

Point 1)
Quote
So I’m saying all this to say that when God said ‘Elijah’ wrote king Jehoram the letter, we can justifiably take this to mean Elias, who wrote ‘in the spirit of Elijah’.  We see this type of things many places in the Bible, with Christ for example being referred to as ‘David’.

If I am understanding you correctly; I think you are posing the possibility that 'Elisha' wrote the letter; in the spirit of Elijah...Is that correct?

Assuming so, I think you are missing a translational boo-boo here.  One of the things I hate with the KJV, is how it is not consistent in how it translates the same persons name between the Hebrew to English of the OT; and the Greek to English of the NT.

For example; (Noah-OT = Noe-NT), and (Hosea-OT = Osee-NT), and (Isaiah-OT = Esais-NT)

If you are thinking, based on the verses you listed; that 'Elias-NT' = Elisha; then I think that is a boo-boo; caused by the inconsistency of the translation of the KJV names.

The KJV 'Elias-NT' is the same as the OT-Elijah; not Elisha.  So when Matthew and John spoke of 'Elias-NT' they were referring to Elijah; not Elisha; So if you want to say "Elias, who wrote ‘in the spirit of Elijah’" you are saying the same person wrote on his own behalf.

So when 2 Chronicles plainly tells us that the letter was written to king Jehoram from Elijah; I think we should accept that verse for what it says...nothing in the context of that verse implies anything from Elisha.

I think it is then most probably, that Elijah didn't die in the whirlwind; but was just transported to another location; so as to allow Elisha to get out from under his shadow....and this will allow the most plain and common sense rendering of the 'letter passage'; and will also fit with the similar example we find in the NT where the Lord relocates Philip bodily from one location to another; to serve his will in that particular instance.

Point 2)
Quote
Lastly, regarding this most valid passage you presented...
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."

Could this possibly be understaood to mean that no man ‘in the flesh’ can ascend into heaven?   For indeed we live in corrupt bodies that cannot possibly be accepted  in the presence of a most Holy God.  But, if we consider that Elijah’s body was transformed, that may be in keeping with what this verse is saying.


I’d like to also comment on this passage which may shed some light on this question:

Heb 12:1 
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Notice this curious phrase ‘ cloud of witnesses’…. Referring to all true believers who inhabit heaven with the Lord.  Most in their spirit essence, but some, possibly like Elijah, in both their resurrected spirit and glorified body. 

I am fine with the premise that Elijah's spirit is in Heaven with the Lord.  However, I cannot biblically accept the idea that Elijah was bodily in heaven with the Lord.

The NT teaches us that Jesus Christ was the firstborn of creation and the first fruits of the resurrection; Acts 26 goes so far as to tell us the Jesus was 'The First Resurrection' (Protos Anastasis).
I Corinthians tells us that Jesus was the first of a kind to be change and made into an immortal, incorruptible, and glorified body.

Elijah; sorry bud; you can't ascend into Heaven bodily several hundred years before Jesus Christ....He is the first to do that.
Elijah's spirit, per Eccelesiates 12:6 'returned to God who gave it'; but his body; must have seen corruption and awaits its resurrection; as all men save Christ do; who were ever born.

And as oneil said, flesh and blood cannot enter in.

Tradition has Elijah, Enoch, and sometimes Moses sitting bodily up in Heaven; but Biblically; in accorance with the NT; it is presently an impossibility.

Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Oneil on September 02, 2004, 12:30:10 PM
Quote
I think it is then most probably, that Elijah didn't die in the whirlwind; but was just transported to another location; so as to allow Elisha to get out from under his shadow....and this will allow the most plain and common sense rendering of the 'letter passage';

But that's the stumbling block. It's a big assumption on your part that Elijah was not taken up into heaven, when scripture says he was. It didn't say he went flying around the heavens, it said into heaven. You say it's tradition that the church believes he went into heaven, but I don't follow tradition. I think the plain sense of the text is that he was taken by God up into heaven. Talk about the common sense rendering, that is what most people see as the common sense rendering. Now whether he died or not is up for debate, but most all of us agree that the common sense rendering is that he went up into heaven. And not just flew around the heaven (sky) and was dropped off somewhere. I think that falls into the category of conjecture. I think you make a mistake in saying it's just because of our tradition. I looked at the scriptures carefully, and am open for any biblical proof that he didn't go up into heaven.


Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on September 02, 2004, 05:42:41 PM
Let's look at some different angles.

Depending on 'which heaven' was the author's intent; makes a huge impact on this event.

1) The 1st heaven, home of the birds, is a reasonable choice; since we are dealing with a whirlwind...that is where they exist.  If someone was taken up into a whirlwind, then because of the storm, wind, and clouds; they would easily go out of sight.  The only contextual point that is given in the passage to which heaven is 'the whilrwind' which don't occur in Heavens #2 & #3; only the 1st Heaven.  Considering the context, I don't see this being a big assumption.
2) I think we can rule out the 2nd heaven (outerspace) since there is no context whatsoever for it.
3) If we consider the 3rd heaven, then I believe scripture is adamant that it could not have been bodily; but would have had to have been in the spirit/soul only and would have been the result of either 'a vision' or death.

While you believe #1 is not the most common sense view; I find it to be; because of where whirlwinds naturally occur (1st heaven) and it allows Elijah to remain alive bodily; and be able to write the letter of 2 Chronicles years later; which is the most natural and contextual reading of that passage.

I do not believe scripturally; the idea of Elijah not dying, is untendable.

So, we may disagree on whether or not he died at this event; and which heaven he was taken into.

What can we agree on?

Can we agree on:
1) At some point in history past, Elijah did physically die? 
2) If Elijah went to the 3rd Heaven, he had to die; and only His soul could have made the trip not his mortal body?
3) If Elijah only went up into the 1st Heaven, he could have survived the event; and written the 2 Chronicles letter later; as it states.  This would also explain why they were looking for him....If you saw your friend get sucked up into a tornado, afterwards you would probably get a group and try to look for them too; because that is the nature expectation of the event; you wouldn't have expected them to be sucked all the way to the 3rd heaven would you?
And that is just how Elisha and the other saints reacted...they put together a search in the area.

Perhaps others can share their insights and recommend some other considerations we may have not mentioned or may have missed.



Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Kenneth White on September 02, 2004, 06:31:25 PM
You all may also want to consider this. This is what I remember from a study by Tony Warren about this issue.

 2 Ki 2:8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
 9  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

This is a picture of coming into the promised land, just as the lord did with Moses when they crossed over on dry land through the red sea from Egypt. And so seeing this is the case, it would appear to me that it is more likely that Elijah did go up into heaven, as the continuation of the type.

 2Ki 2:1  And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

No offense meant to you Dave, since I respect your study habits, but to me the common sense rendering of this seems to be he went up into heaven to be with the Lord. Also the chariots of fire seem to illustrate clearly the presence of the Lord to carry him to heaven.

 2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

It's unlikely in my opinion that the Lord sent chariots of fire symbolizing his great glory, to usher Elijah a few miles away. That's just my view on it. That's not to say your view is not valid, just to say the other view seems more valid to me from the whole context of these scriptures.

I also took the liberty of looking up every single verse that says "Into Heaven" and every single one spoke not of the sky, but of the heaven where God is. So letting scripture define scripture I would say that is pretty impressive evidence that he went into that heaven. Here are all those verses including the ones of elijah Elijah. So it would actually be deviating from the normal to say that this phrasiology does not mean the third heaven. Every word we know is divinely inspired. Notice how every one without exception speak of this heaven.

 2Ki 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
 2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
 Ps 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
 Pr 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
 Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
 Mr 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
 Lu 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 Lu 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
 Ac 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
 Ac 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
 Ac 10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
 Ac 11:10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
 Ro 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
 Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
 1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Looks like it definitely means into the heaven where God dwells.

Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on September 02, 2004, 09:52:56 PM
OK, going in that direction a bit; how do we reconcile 'the manner' of Elijah going to the 3rd heaven?

1) Did flesh and blood go into Heaven?  (I don't think that is scriptural)

2) Did his flesh and blood get translated into a glorified body?  (It isn't stated, and it would usurp Christ, which I believe scrpturally is the first of that type.)

3) Did his body rise; but only his spirit ascend into the 3rd heaven; and his body was 'dealt with' (for lack of a better phrase) so that somewhere, it returned to the dust of the ground to await the resurrection?

4) Another view we haven't considered?



Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: judykanova on September 03, 2004, 04:06:34 AM
Judy, two of your points I would like to comment on. ...


The KJV 'Elias-NT' is the same as the OT-Elijah; not Elisha.  So when Matthew and John spoke of 'Elias-NT' they were referring to Elijah; not Elisha; So if you want to say "Elias, who wrote ‘in the spirit of Elijah’" you are saying the same person wrote on his own behalf.

So when 2 Chronicles plainly tells us that the letter was written to king Jehoram from Elijah; I think we should accept that verse for what it says...nothing in the context of that verse implies anything from Elisha.

I think it is then most probably, that Elijah didn't die in the whirlwind; but was just transported to another location; so as to allow Elisha to get out from under his shadow....and this will allow the most plain and common sense rendering of the 'letter passage'; and will also fit with the similar example we find in the NT where the Lord relocates Philip bodily from one location to another; to serve his will in that particular instance.

Dave,  thanks for the correction -- I had forgotten about this translation difference between the OT Hebrew and NT Greek with regards to certain names, and also did not pay close enough attention to the spelling difference between Elisa and Elisha.  But that does not negate the point I was trying to make -- namely, that the Bible provides ample examples where certain people are used as 'types'.  Notably Elijah typifies the prophets of God, whereby we are told that John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah, just as we are told that Elijah's spirit was also given to Elisha .  So then we have both consistency and harmony if we consider that the letter written to king Jehoram was written by Elisha, particularly given the earlier account of Elijah being taken "into heaven".

Ki 2:9
9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
10  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.  And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
14  And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
15  And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
16  And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
17  And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not

Notice the 'double portion' of Elijah's spirit that Elisha was given.  Notice Elijah's mantle (covering) that Elisha assumed.  Notice how Elijah's 'spirit' was readily apparant to others who looked upon Elisha.  Why then would we not consider that the Lord would call Elisha, Elijah -- much in the same way that John the Baptist was called Elijah in the NT?  This is further supported by that view that Elijah was indeed taken "into heaven"  to be with the Lord -- letting the Bible defines it's own terms.

Also, regarding your stance that Elijah was taken just "so as to allow Elisha to get out from under his shadow"...  You realize of course that this is speculation on your part.  I don't know why the Lord took Elijah, but it would be for His purposes that go well beyond this human rationale.


Quote
Point 2)

I am fine with the premise that Elijah's spirit is in Heaven with the Lord.  However, I cannot biblically accept the idea that Elijah was bodily in heaven with the Lord.

The NT teaches us that Jesus Christ was the firstborn of creation and the first fruits of the resurrection; Acts 26 goes so far as to tell us the Jesus was 'The First Resurrection' (Protos Anastasis).
I Corinthians tells us that Jesus was the first of a kind to be change and made into an immortal, incorruptible, and glorified body.

Elijah; sorry bud; you can't ascend into Heaven bodily several hundred years before Jesus Christ....He is the first to do that.
Elijah's spirit, per Eccelesiates 12:6 'returned to God who gave it'; but his body; must have seen corruption and awaits its resurrection; as all men save Christ do; who were ever born.

And as oneil said, flesh and blood cannot enter in.

I agree with Oneil on this point and had said originally that "indeed we live in corrupt bodies that cannot possibly be accepted in the presence of a most Holy God."

But I had also raised the possibility that Elijah’s body was transformed which I no longer think is credible --  given what Oneil and subsequently you and others have noted regarding Christ being the 'first born from the dead'.  So that raises the possibility that Elijah's body was consumed, and he entered "into heaven" in his spirit essence only.

Consider again this portion of the passage you presented.

2Ki 2:11-13
11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

We know that fire often signifies judgement; but it is also associated sometimes with purification and salvation; (much like God's Word which is a two-edged sword).
Mat 3:11
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Num 31:23 
Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

Heb 12:28-29
28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29  For our God is a consuming fire.

In this passage  we see very similar language regarding the Lord coming with a 'chariot', 'fire', 'whirlwind', ... except in this case, the context is one of judgment:
Isa 66:15-16 
15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16  For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

I also ran across this passage:
2Ki 13:14 
Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.  

Please note this same phraseology --  'O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel' --  seems to be an idiom of that day, associated with physical death??  It's only found twice in the Bible in reference to Elijah's (probable) death, and with Elisha's (unquestionable) death.

So, I think most agree that Elijah could not have entered "into heaven" in the flesh.  And based on the feedback of others, I no longer hold to the possibility of his body being transformed; but rather I think we may also consider that his flesh was 'consumed' by God's fire, such that the only thing remaining was his 'pure' spiritual essense.

judy
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on September 03, 2004, 12:09:49 PM
Judy,
I understand and agree with the point you are making about the spirit of Elijah; as compared to John the Baptist; and then applied to Elisha.

However, when you state:
Quote
Notice the 'double portion' of Elijah's spirit that Elisha was given.  Notice Elijah's mantle (covering) that Elisha assumed.  Notice how Elijah's 'spirit' [as readily apparant to others who looked upon Elisha.  Why then would we not consider that the Lord would call Elisha, Elijah

I would think the reason the letter from Elijah should not be 'reconsidered' (which is what you are suggesting we do) to be rather from 'Elisha' is because of two things.

1) The word plainly says the letter is from Elijah, not from Elisha, not from someone in the spirit of Elijah, and no context in that passage to denote anyone other than Elijah
2) Does the writer of 2 Chronicles use this technique that you propse (Elijah really means Elisha) anywhere else in the book?  If this is a literary technique we find the writer of 2 Chronicles doing; and explaining throughout his book; then it would have precidence to stand on.  However, it appears to be this one single isolated instance; and an isolated instance that does not give any explaination or instruction to interpret it in that manner.

In 2 Kings, we see scriptures where Elisha as mentioned referred to specifically 'in the spirit of Elijah'. 
In the New Testament, we see Elijah (Elias) specifically explained as a symbolic reference with John the Baptist.

However, in 2 Chronicles; where the letter is written to the king from Elijah; we do not have this. 

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, and perhaps we will just have to leave this portion to others to discuss; but I see nothing in 2 Chronicles that instructs us to re-interpret the letter to be from Elisha instead of the stated Elijah.  (unless it was a scrible error; of which I would doubt..I checked the LXX just to be sure, and it too rendered Elijah)




I agree with your point that when I said, "to allow Elisha to get out from under his shadow" was speculation on my part.

I based that off of the scriptures that show Elisha wouldn't leave Elijah's side; "As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee" each time when Elijah went to Bethel, then Jericho, then Jordan....Elisha  didn't mind Elijah, and went with him anyway.  That was the basis for why Elijah was 'moved' to another location, via the whirlwind...so Elisha wouldn't follow, and would begin his own ministry; using that double portion of spirit.

Quote
So, I think most agree that Elijah could not have entered "into heaven" in the flesh.  And based on the feedback of others, I no longer hold to the possibility of his body being transformed; but rather I think we may also consider that his flesh was 'consumed' by God's fire, such that the only thing remaining was his 'pure' spiritual essense.

I would agree that that is a much more tendable and acceptible answer than a transformation or mortal body trip to heaven.

If that is true, then Elijah did die, and his body did return (albeit in ashes) to the ground to await the resurrection; and his spirit returned to God whom gave it.  That keeps the Elijah story back in sync with the Bible; and removes the common traditional view of bodily assumption.

The only problem I still have grief with, is the letter....I will dig some more in Kings and Chronicles and see if there is any other possibilites we may have missed.



Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: andreas on September 03, 2004, 09:11:57 PM
<<<But that's the stumbling block. It's a big assumption on your part that Elijah was not taken up into heaven, when scripture says he was. It didn't say he went flying around the heavens, it said into heaven. You say it's tradition that the church believes he went into heaven, but I don't follow tradition. I think the plain sense of the text is that he was taken by God up into heaven. Talk about the common sense rendering, that is what most people see as the common sense rendering. Now whether he died or not is up for debate, but most all of us agree that the common sense rendering is that he went up into heaven. And not just flew around the heaven (sky) and was dropped off somewhere. I think that falls into the category of conjecture. I think you make a mistake in saying it's just because of our tradition. I looked at the scriptures carefully, and am open for any biblical proof that he didn't go up into heaven.>>>


Elijah was taken by a whirlwind "into heaven",yet  some 900 years after the event, Jesus said,"no man has ascended up to heaven",John3:13,and since the word of God does not contradict itself,Elijah did not go to the third heaven.The third heaven is what Jesus calls "His father's house" John 14:2 ,Paul calls paradise,Luke 23:43,and" the heaven of heavens" Deuteronomy 10:14. He could not have gone to the second heaven,where the planets and stars are,Genesis1:14-17,15:5,22:17,for there are no whirlwinds there.Therefore he was taken to the first heaven,Genesis1:20, Lamentations 4:19.
The Hebrew word for heaven is shamayim.This same word is used to describe the sky. Genesis 7:3, "fowls of the air".also in Genesis 7:23,"fowl of the heaven".The word sky and heaven are interchanged from the same Hebrew word. Psaim 8:8.
Another word for the first heaven is shachaq.Again this is interchanged with the word sky.Psalm 89:6,as heaven and Deuteronomy 33:26,as sky.
Why was he taken away?
"knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day?"Kings 2:3.Elijah was being replaced by Elisha.
He was not killed, for we have the letter of 2 Chronicles 21:12,and surely Elijah did not send that from heaven.Elijah was simply taken to another place,and why not?
 "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, 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". Acts 8:39-40
andreas. 8)
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: judykanova on September 04, 2004, 03:07:31 AM
Judy,
I understand and agree with the point you are making about the spirit of Elijah; as compared to John the Baptist; and then applied to Elisha.

However, when you state:
Notice the 'double portion' of Elijah's spirit that Elisha was given.  Notice Elijah's mantle (covering) that Elisha assumed.  Notice how Elijah's 'spirit' [as readily apparant to others who looked upon Elisha.  Why then would we not consider that the Lord would call Elisha, Elijah.

I would think the reason the letter from Elijah should not be 'reconsidered' (which is what you are suggesting we do) to be rather from 'Elisha' is because of two things.

1) The word plainly says the letter is from Elijah, not from Elisha, not from someone in the spirit of Elijah, and no context in that passage to denote anyone other than Elijah
2) Does the writer of 2 Chronicles use this technique that you propse (Elijah really means Elisha) anywhere else in the book?  If this is a literary technique we find the writer of 2 Chronicles doing; and explaining throughout his book; then it would have precidence to stand on.  However, it appears to be this one single isolated instance; and an isolated instance that does not give any explaination or instruction to interpret it in that manner.

In 2 Kings, we see scriptures where Elisha as mentioned referred to specifically 'in the spirit of Elijah'. 
In the New Testament, we see Elijah (Elias) specifically explained as a symbolic reference with John the Baptist.

However, in 2 Chronicles; where the letter is written to the king from Elijah; we do not have this. 

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, and perhaps we will just have to leave this portion to others to discuss; but I see nothing in 2 Chronicles that instructs us to re-interpret the letter to be from Elisha instead of the stated Elijah.  (unless it was a scrible error; of which I would doubt..I checked the LXX just to be sure, and it too rendered Elijah)

If the passage about the letter could be viewed without knowledge of prior events -- namely Elijah being taken "into heaven" and not seen again, then I would say,...  yes -- 'Elijah' refers to the actual person of Elijah.  But before we even get to this question, one has to decide if Elijah had indeed been taken "into heaven" -- (letting the Bible define it's usage of this phraseology), or was still alive on the earth. And given what I've read and considered at this point, I believe that Elijah was taken to be with the Lord.   Therefore a symbolic use of the name 'Elijah' -- not the person, but rather what he symbolizes, would be in order. 

The prophet to the houses of Israel and Judah after Elijah was taken 'into heaven', was Elisha. 
2 King and 2 Chronicles closely mirror each other and record much of the same information regards the kings of Judah and Israel.  Consider this passage which demonstrates that Elisha was the prophet sought by king Jehoram (the king who later received the letter) when he needed counsel.

2Ki 3:1-15
1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.
2  And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.
3  Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
4  And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.
5  But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6  And king Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbered all Israel.
7  And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle? And he said, I will go up: I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.
8  And he said, Which way shall we go up? And he answered, The way through the wilderness of Edom.
So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom: and they fetched a compass of seven days' journey: and there was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed them.
10  And the king of Israel said, Alas! that the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!
11  But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him?
And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.
12  And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13  And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.
14  And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.
15  But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. ...

Here we see 3 kings -- Jehoram the king of Israel, Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and the king of Edom -- who joined forces and sought a prophet regarding the common threat of the Moabites.  And that prophet was Elisha.

Knowing that Elisha served as prophet to king Jehoram, and given the prior, well publicized event surrounding Elijah's miraculous disappearance, then, if a letter appeared out of the blue from the actual Elijah, I would think some degree of skepticism, disbelief or alarm would have been raised.  But there is no indication of this when king Jehoram received the letter near the end of his own life -- many years after the Elijah was taken into heaven and was not seen again.

Quote
The only problem I still have grief with, is the letter....I will dig some more in Kings and Chronicles and see if there is any other possibilites we may have missed.

The above passage and those mentioned previously, reconciles this for me at this point.  But whether the letter was from Elisha or Elijah, the message given and the end result of God's judgment against this king, remains unchanged.

God Bless your continued studies in His Word.

judy
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Dave Taylor on April 15, 2005, 05:41:17 PM
bumping up to the top; for those who might want to read this; and get involved in the new sister thread discussing Enoch. 

(Not to be confused with the altrusian sleestak forefather from the lost city in Sid & Marty Krofts - Land of the Lost)
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: DvilleWall on September 26, 2005, 09:04:45 PM
Christians believe that Elijah was transfigured, but Moses had supposedly died. Am I correct in this? So how could Moses be transfigured before Christ had first died and risen so that he was the first fruit?

Hello everyone
Im new to the board. Hope all here are doing well. Has anyone given thought to the idea that maybe  Jesus, Peter, James and John went and got a glimpse of the 1000 yr period of rest? Jesus was transfigured. Maybe having something to do with His glory? The way He will appear in the kingdom. It really does not say that Moses and Elijah were transfigured. There are a few other things said in that passage that lead me to believe this is true.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Melanie on April 26, 2011, 07:06:00 PM
OK, going in that direction a bit; how do we reconcile 'the manner' of Elijah going to the 3rd heaven?

1) Did flesh and blood go into Heaven?  (I don't think that is scriptural)


 Moses died, his flesh and blood were buried in the earth and has since (I assume) turned to dust.


Quote
2) Did his flesh and blood get translated into a glorified body?  (It isn't stated, and it would usurp Christ, which I believe scrpturally is the first of that type.)

 Flesh and blood did not get translated, flesh and blood were buried. Only in his soul, absent from the body, did Moses go to heaven.

 2 Corinthians 5:8
 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.'


Quote
3) Did his body rise; but only his spirit ascend into the 3rd heaven; and his body was 'dealt with' (for lack of a better phrase) so that somewhere, it returned to the dust of the ground to await the resurrection?

 Rise when?


Quote
4) Another view we haven't considered?

 That Moses died, his flesh was put in the grave and rotted away like any other flesh. And in his soul, he went to live and reign with Christ. Just like everyone else. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord if you are elect.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Ray B on January 07, 2012, 10:14:43 AM
Christians believe that Elijah was transfigured, but Moses had supposedly died. Am I correct in this? So how could Moses be transfigured before Christ had first died and risen so that he was the first fruit?

The prophet and Jewish historian Josephus appears to have the answer to this contradiction. He writes that Moses didn't really die after all. He says that Moses only wrote that he died so people would not start to worship him and that might keep them from crossing into the promised land. So he believes that instead of dying, Moses was transfigured. Would you all agree that this is a much better explanation?

Dryfus,
The Scriptures are clear that Moses died, yet he did not die of old age or of a worn out body as it seems life was taken from him as his body was still good to go on. As GOD buries HIS servent, but still to be used again in HIS plan.

 Deuteronomy 34:5-7
 5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
 6And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
 7And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.



  Moses was to be used in other ways even after physical death, in the plan of GOD (ex: the Transfiguration) as we see dispute being made over his body by Spiritual Powers.


 Jude 1:9
 9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Chloe on September 29, 2013, 09:28:52 AM
 )nicethread( Interesting.  Has anyone found anything more on Elijah's body dying or being left on earth? )bump(
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Cecil on September 29, 2013, 12:09:07 PM
David Taylor's argument posted on August 31, 2004 in response to this topic was very thorough and irrefutable. Nothing more to say ! :ditto:
Elijah does not die at this time, nor does he go into the invisible spirit realm, but he is transferred to another prophetic assignment. (Joh 3:13) This is shown by the fact that Elisha does not hold any period of mourning for his master. A number of years after his ascension in the windstorm Elijah is still alive and active as a prophet, this time to the king of Judah. Because of the wicked course taken by King Jehoram of Judah, Elijah writes him a letter expressing God’s condemnation, which is fulfilled shortly thereafter.—2Ch 21:12-15
Title: Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
Post by: Melanie on November 18, 2018, 08:01:52 AM
Depending on 'which heaven' was the author's intent; makes a huge impact on this event.

1) The 1st heaven, home of the birds, is a reasonable choice; since we are dealing with a whirlwind...that is where they exist.

Yes, but if he was taken up in a tornado where he was never found or seen again, it's pretty much a guarantee he's dead. That would be my reasonable expectation and would fit the context perfectly. He died in the tornado and in a spiritual chariot went to be with the Lord. Not in his body, but as all believers do, in their souls existence.


Quote
If someone was taken up into a whirlwind, then because of the storm, wind, and clouds; they would easily go out of sight.

Yes, and if they went so far out of sight as to never been seen again, which would be miles upon miles, then it's reasonable to assume that they are dead, is it not? That's what we should surmise reasonably by reading the text. That this even killed him and in a chariot he went to be with the lord. I don't understand how you think that a unreasonable understanding, considering the context.


Quote
2) I think we can rule out the 2nd heaven (outerspace) since there is no context whatsoever for it.

OK.


Quote
3) If we consider the 3rd heaven, then I believe scripture is adamant that it could not have been bodily; but would have had to have been in the spirit/soul only and would have been the result of either 'a vision' or death.

It's reasonable to deduce that his body would have been destroyed by the tornado carrying him that far, just as it would be today. And since he was never seen again, it is reasonable to think that what remained of his body was either deposited miles away or obliterated so badly by debris that he was unrecognizable. But in his soul he went up into heaven on a spiritual chariot. That's reasonable.


Quote
it allows Elijah to remain alive bodily; and be able to write the letter of 2 Chronicles years later; which is the most natural and contextual reading of that passage.

I disagree. If the people had known Elijah was still alive by allegedly receiving a letter from him after they had searched and he was presumed dead, it would have been a major phenomenon and fantastic Biblical news and not just this speculation that it is today. In addition there is not one statement in scripture that shows Elisha still thought Elijah was still alive beside the letters, which you think was after the tornado. A idea that man theologians easily explain was not the case.


Quote
I do not believe scripturally; the idea of Elijah not dying, is untendable.

Your strongest and really only argument, is the letters Elijah wrote. Which can, and is easily explained by most conservative Reformed theologians.


Quote
What can we agree on?

Can we agree on:
1) At some point in history past, Elijah did physically die? 

Yes


Quote
2) If Elijah went to the 3rd Heaven, he had to die; and only His soul could have made the trip not his mortal body?

Yes


Quote
3) If Elijah only went up into the 1st Heaven, he could have survived the event; and written the 2 Chronicles letter later; as it states.  This would also explain why they were looking for him....If you saw your friend get sucked up into a tornado, afterwards you would probably get a group and try to look for them too; because that is the nature expectation of the event;

Yes, and unless he was hiding, they would have found him. If he was hiding, why did he write the 2 chronicles to the people openly? So he wasn't hiding, he messaged Elisha, which is contradictory to your idea he wanted Elisha to take over and that is why he went away. Which begs the question, why no one knew of him being alive and wrote of this great news? No scriptures speaks of him being alive and doing anything after that tornado. The two letters most studied theologians agree were written before the tornado. Why would he continued to message Elisha as if his reason for going away was no reason at all.


Quote
you wouldn't have expected them to be sucked all the way to the 3rd heaven would you?

The reaction of the people was just as we would expect. That he was not found and never seen again is also as expected, but only if he was dead. In Tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, etc., people are never found again on a routine basis. Even though people go looking for them.


Quote
And that is just how Elisha and the other saints reacted...they put together a search in the area.

And he was never found or seen again, just as we would expect if someone was taken high up in a tornado and died.