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Author Topic: Did Moses and Elijah Die?  (Read 11717 times)

Dryfus

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Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« 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?

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David Knoles

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #1 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.


David Knoles

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #2 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.

Tony Warren

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #3 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
  • "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

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
  • "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
  • And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

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
  • "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

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
  • "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

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
  • "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
  • 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."

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
  • "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
Colossians 1:9
  • "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;"

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
  • "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."

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
  • "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
  • And he shall go before him in the Spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

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
  • "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be Witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Revelation 11:3
  • "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."

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"

Diane Moody

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #4 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?

jd@

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #5 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.

Chris

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #6 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.


Dryfus

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #7 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?
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andreas

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #8 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)
kai ean diabainhs di˘ udatos meta sou eimi kai potamoi ou sugklusousin se kai ean dielqhs dia puros ou mh katakauqhs flox ou katakausei Isaiah 43:2

Dave Taylor

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #9 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.



Oneil

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #10 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:

Dave Taylor

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #11 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.

judykanova

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #12 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
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Oneil

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #13 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.



Dave Taylor

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Re: Did Moses and Elijah Die?
« Reply #14 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.


 


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