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I Went to Heaven

Updated: Feb 3

December 4, 2022—After passing through death, Jesus Christ stood in front of His disciples and gave them instructions about what they needed to do. The instructions were for teaching people about love, mercy, and salvation. Then, Jesus Christ left them because He ascended into #heaven where He will remain until His second coming.


Who Went to Heaven

According to the Holy Bible, only a few men did not see death for God took these men. These men were #Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and #Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-17).


Enoch

There is not a lot of information in the Holy Bible, regarding Enoch. What we do know about him is his faith and his lineage. Genesis 5:24 states that God took Enoch, “and he was not, for God took him.” There are a few different men in the Holy Bible with the name of Enoch and even a city was named after one of them (Genesis 4:17). However, this is not the Enoch that was taken by God. The one that I am talking about was the son of Jared. He was also the great grandfather of Noah. In addition, Enoch is mentioned as part of Jesus’s genealogy in Luke 3:37.Now that I have differentiated the Enoch’s, let us discuss Enoch’s faith.


Faith is a spiritual gift that allows us to not only believe in God, but please Him as well. In fact, Paul says that without faith, it would be impossible to please the Lord (Hebrews 11:6). Here is what Paul said about Enoch’s faith, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5)



Other than these two things (lineage and faith) we really do not know much about Enoch. However, there are three books of Enoch that are not part of the Holy Bible. I have not read these books though an apologetic known as Frank Turek mentioned that certain books that are not part of the Holy Bible are worth reading for historical context and for perspective.[i] Turek also stated that “the cannon (which is the standard) is not required for proving the resurrection.”i My husband was concerned about reading other books that are not in the Holy Bible and he mentioned this, “imagine what you would let into our home if you read any of those books”. At the time, we were discussing the books from Mary Magdalene, Enoch, and Judas Iscariot.

Are these books worth reading? Some say yes, others say no. Here is what I think; pray to God in Jesus’s name about this and the Holy Spirit will tell you what you should and should not read.


Elijah

Unlike Enoch, the Holy Bible contains far more information on Elijah. Elijah was a Tishbite of Gilead (1 Kings 17:1). He was a prophet who performed miracles. Records of these prophecies and miracles are found in the first and second Kings, and in the first and second Chronicles. Some accounts say that Elijah performed eight miracles, others claim 16. Regardless of how many miracles he performed he is a prophet that stands out from others given his faith in God and the work that He did for God. However, being a prophet is challenging.


Part of the challenge of prophecy is calling out sin and prophesying against a group of people or even a nation. Elijah faced trouble when Ahab (king of Israel) said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah said that he was not the troubler, but the Israelites were because they “have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:18) Elijah commanded Ahab to gather all the children of Israel and the prophets of Baal together on Mount Carmel and Elijah would meet them there (1 Kings 18:19, 20). On Mount Carmel, Elijah said to them that they should either follow God or follow Baal (a demon that the Israelites were worshipping) (1 Kings 18:21).


Elijah told them to place the meat of a bull on the wood without fire and he would do the same. The prophets of Baal called on Baal to light the fire, but nothing happened. Elijah mocked them, and then prayed to God, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:36-37). According to the Holy Bible, what happened next was a miracle, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38).


When it was his time to be taken by God, the Holy Bible says that Elijah went with Elisha (Elijah’s student) from Gilgal. Elijah told Elisha to remain where he was, but Elisha would not listen and continued with Elijah. After they crossed the Jordan River, Elijah asked Elisha what he can do for him before the Lord takes him. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit on him. Elijah said that this was a difficult thing but if Elisha saw Elijah ascending to heaven, then it shall be. After this exchange, the Holy Bible says that “Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11) and Elisha saw this happen and he did receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.


Because of the incidents at Mount Carmel and at the Jordan River, some Christians believe that Elijah may be one of the two witnesses to come during the time of the Antichrist. Regardless of whether or not he returns as one of the witnesses, we do know that Elijah’s spirit has been present on this earth a few times. Once was with Elijah during his physical presence. A second time was after Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. In addition, the book of Malachi promises Elijah’s return, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4:5). Elijah’s spirit would return on earth a third time and his spirit rested upon John the Baptist. Jesus spoke to this in the Gospel of Matthew, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” (Matthew 11:13-14).


While Enoch was taken but did not return to earth, and Elijah too was taken, but his spirit returned to the earth, there is one more Man that went to heaven, but He will return as I alluded to in the introduction.



Seagulls, beach, sun, ocean, clouds
Who knows what heaven looks like? No one really does except He who has went and only He can describe it to us. One day, God gave me a vision of a jungle but it was bright not dark. There was a large fern to the right and several different plant species around a small waterfall which was in front of me. It is certainly what I would think of heaven because I have always liked the outdoors. When the church asked me to describe the vision I was given, I said "God showed me heaven, or at least it is how I picture heaven. There is no feeling of hot or cold, no wind or sun but there is light. Photo by Frank Mckenna on Unsplash.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth

The Old Testament is filled with prophecies about Jesus Christ. However, for the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on prophecies that discuss Jesus’s ascension to Heaven. There is a passage that I came across in the book of Psalms that mentions Jesus’s ascension:


You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there.

(Psalm 68:18)



Paul cites Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8, and then says this, ”Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)” (Ephesians 4:9-10). Jesus even prophesied His ascension in the gospel of John:

  1. No one ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13). (Jesus is the only one that has come down from heaven in the flesh and ascended to heaven. Enoch and Elijah while being taken by God, did not come down from heaven to then ascend.

  2. John 6:62, “What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?” Jesus was talking to many disciples who did not understand His message to them in John 6:41-59. These are the disciples that would turn away and many of them did.

  3. John 20:17. After He was laid in the tomb, Mary Magdalene and Mary went to His tomb. While Mary Magdalene wept in the tomb because Jesus was no longer there, He came behind her though she did not recognize Him. This was the start of Jesus’s resurrection. Jesus and Mary Magdalene started talking with one another and Mary Magdalene recognized Him after He called her name and said, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father.” (John 20:17)


While these passages prophesied about Jesus’s ascension, passages in the New Testament confirmed that this was fulfilled. These can be found in the gospels and the epistles:


So then, after the Lord had spoken to them,

He was received up into heaven,

and sat down at the right hand of God.

(Mark 16:19)



Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, (Luke 9:51)



“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

(Acts 1:2-3)



“Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him”

1 Peter 3:21-22



While Enoch and Elijah were taken by God, not seeing death, Jesus Christ did experience death when He was crucified. Not only did Jesus Christ experience death, but He also defeated death, living on even onto today, and He took the keys of death, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:18). No one else has done this, and no one else ever will.


Accepting Jesus

Beloved, time is short. As Christians we are watching the signs of the end of the age (not the end of the world, but of the gentile’s age). What are we to do? We must believe in Jesus Christ and repent from our sins for that was His first and constant teaching.


Jesus said that He does not do His will but the will of His father and that He will cast out no one that comes to Him, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:37-38). For Jesus is charged to keep believers and to raise them up, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:39).


If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, accept Him now by saying this prayer:


God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!




 

[i] Frank Turek, “Should we read books that are not part of the Bible” uploaded by Cross Examined, dated January 3, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_PFnjCvZrk.

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