"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
Here, John sees the heavens opened in a VISION, and Jesus Christ sitting on a white horse, followed by heavenly armies, [where are they going?] RETURNING TO THIS EARTH to "smite the nations: and "rule them with a rod of iron." It is a picture of Christ RETURNING to earth but there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Him returning to heaven with those He has called to meet Him in the air!!!
In the vision, John said he "saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army." And describes the destruction of both the beast and the false prophet on the very same day of THE SECOND COMING of Jesus Christ.
What will happen AFTER the DEAD in Christ and the living Christians are caught up together to meet the returning Christ in the air? Well The Bible says "And His feet shall stand IN THAT DAY upon the Mount of Olives!"
They are gathered from all nations, taken by powerful angels to meet Jesus Christ as He RETURNS directly to the earth: NOTHING IS SAID ABOUT HIM THEN TURNING AROUND AND GOING BACK TO HEAVEN. But it plainly says that He will go directly to the earth!!!
NOTICE! The following: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man COMING in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:30‑31)
Notice again the description of Jesus Christ RETURNING TO THIS EARTH!!! The false doctrine of Christians "going to heaven" would make completely unnecessary any second coming of Christ. If "souls" were ALREADY "in heaven" from the time they died, then: Why should Christ come back? Why should such "souls" be taken FROM heaven, placed back into decayed bodies, resurrected, and then the whole process of deciding where they belong begun all over again???
The false doctrine of the "immortality of the soul" and Christians "going to heaven" DOES AWAY with the second coming of Christ; WHICH IS THE GREATEST PROPHESIED EVENT IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE!
No, "souls" do NOT go to heaven; neither do people. Christ is COMING BACK to this earth. He is coming ALL THE WAY BACK: coming with CLOUDS, to catch the converted righteous up into the AIR with Him, and take them to a place just above Jer‑USA‑lem [The United States of America], and then, "His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives" IN [or ON] THAT SAME DAY. So, obviously, these many biblical proofs of the second coming of Christ utterly negate this false doctrine of souls going to heaven.
Read the parable of the pounds and the talents. One is found in (Matthew 25:14‑30), and another is found in (Luke 19:12‑27). In each case, those who overcome are promised of Jesus Christ RULERSHIP over many things and cities.
In the Matthew Twenty‑five parable of the talents, Jesus says, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee RULER over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
In the case of the parable of the pounds in Luke Nineteen, Jesus says, "Well, thou good servant: because thou has been faithful in a very little, have thou AUTHORITY OVER TEN CITIES."
Do these plain words of our Savior "fit" into the traditional teaching you have always hear and been taught; or perhaps just taken for granted? Anything about "heaven" here? No, but RULERSHIP OVER, MANY THINGS, CITIES, occupied by HUMAN BEINGS, during the 1,000‑year reign of Christ on earth IS offered to those who are living a life of overcoming; of QUALIFYING for such positions. Notice the following, which verifies what we have just said: "And he that OVERCOMETH, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power OVER THE NATIONS: And he shall RULE them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father." (Rev. 2:26‑27)
There is no way to "spiritualize" these plain words away. Jesus Christ means exactly what He says. Those who are living a life of overcoming the pulls and tugs of human nature; the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19‑21) and who qualify will be given actual power and authority over cities, counties, states and whole nations. Do you remember what Jesus said to His disciples just prior to His crucifixion? "...Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the REGENERATION [When will this regeneration or resurrection be?] when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:26
Again we are told: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21)
Can you not see? Jesus Christ is COMING to inherit a LITERAL THRONE. That throne is ON THIS EARTH. Not in some never‑never land far beyond the stars. How many little children have memorized the following wards at "Christmas‑time," repeating the enunciation by the angel to Mary concerning the BIRTH of Jesus Christ, and not know WHAT THEY WERE SAYING? "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:30‑33)
God made a BINDING COVENANT with David, telling him because David remained faithful to Him [God] that there would never fail a seed from David's own family to sit upon His physical throne. Believe it or not, that throne STILL EXISTS ON EARTH TODAY.
Read the prophecy of Daniel's second chapter, where you see, after the description of the four great successive world‑ruling kingdoms, a "stone cut out without hands" which SMITES the image on its FEET [the ten toes representing the ten kings of Revelation Seventeen] and which then "becomes a great mountain [nation] and fills the whole earth." Clearly, in this prophecy, we can see the RETURNING, and conquering Christ. The great image represents the successive stages of "Mystery Babylon", culminating in the BEAST depicted in Daniel Seven and Revelation Thirteen and Seventeen.
The "great mountain" is symbolic of the KINGDOM [or Nation] OF GOD which will rule over the
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Godís Kingdom to Rule on Earth
There is voluminous evidence in the Bible that the Kingdom of God will reign ON THIS EARTH.
Let's look at just a "few" of the more outstanding proofs. "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain [kingdom or nation] of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people [physical human beings will still be alive on the earth during that day.] shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it." (Micah 4:1‑4)
Here, you see the symbol of the Kingdom of God established over all the other nations, greater and lesser. Then you see representative ambassadors from all countries on earth agreeing, finally, to come to God's headquarters' city in Jerusalem [America], learning of the ways of God; learning to KEEP HIS LAWS, learning to convert weapons of war into implements of PEACE.
Also, here is a graphic description of God finally FORCING upon mankind the ways of peace, happiness, prosperity, bounteous JOY. Ugly, death‑dealing tanks will be melted down, and turned into farming implements. There will be no "war colleges," or military academies, teaching the "art" of war any more.
There is a parallel scripture: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [kingdom or nation] of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:2‑4)
Again, we can clearly see the complete REHABILITATION of the earth. It is the time of "restitution" of all things. "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things [heaven must receive our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ until the time of the restitution of all things], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21)
A time for reconstruction, re‑education; a time for global REVOLUTION, when those who are BORN OF GOD by a resurrection from THE DEAD, are changed instantaneously [as you learned in 1 Corinthians 15] and who have become members of the FAMILY OF GOD, will join Jesus Christ in positions of leadership and RULERSHIP over the human, physical REMNANTS of the great global holocaust that is sure to come. But mankind will SURVIVE. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21‑22)
Christ will RETURN to THIS PHYSICAL EARTH, and will grant positions of responsibility and RULERSHIP to those who have truly QUALIFIED to be members of His Kingdom. Notice a description of conditions which exist upon earth after Christ has begun to rule: "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [kingdom or nation]: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar (Great Britain), and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:4‑12)
It is impossible to misinterpret or misunderstand this plain scripture. Obviously, the "rod out of the stem of Jesse" [Jesse was David's father and therefore of the lineage of Christ] and a "Branch" which was to grow out of his roots is a metaphorical reference to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Read verse 2, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord."
Then commencing with verse 4, we can see the description of the righteous judgments of Jesus Christ RETURNING TO THIS EARTH as the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords [read Revelation 19]. Immediately following, we see the CONDITIONS which shall prevail over ALL THE EARTH during the reign of Jesus Christ.
Are there wolves, lions, oxen and poisonous snakes in heaven? Nonsense!!!
Here, you see a description of the "time of restitution of all things" of which Peter prophesied immediately following the day of Pentecost, and the birthday of the Church. Peter said, "And he shall send Jesus Christ [this is a prediction of Jesus' SECOND coming], which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution of all things [the RESTORING of everything], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the WORLD began." (Acts 3:20‑21)
The very NATURE OF ANIMALS shall be changed. Read the entire passage slowly and carefully. You need no one to "interpret" what it says, or attempt to CHANGE its meaning. Clearly, this is a detailed description of conditions to be in existence on THIS EARTH immediately after the second coming of Jesus Christ, and in the years of His reign over His Kingdom.
Here, many of the NATIONS of the earth, identified by their ancient names, are mentioned. God says He will regather the SECOND TIME the remnant of His people from nations all over the earth, and from the "islands [which includes the coastlines] of the sea."
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Heavenly Retirement, or Hard Work?
Does it make any sense to you? What if our young men just entering the army, navy or marines underwent six weeks of primary training, then several months of additional training, literally TRANSFORMING them from civilians into military men, skilled in the use of modern weapons and military equipment, only to have their drill instructor announce to them on the moment of their graduation from "boot camp" or primary training: "Well, men, that's it. You have all done a marvelous job. You have become skilled through the rigors of physical exercise, weapons handling, running obstacle courses, learning close‑order drill and the Manual of Arms. Now, you are full‑fledged military men. Now, it is time for all of you to RETIRE.
Sounds LUDICROUS, when put that way, doesn't it? Yet, the scriptures relate that it is through MUCH TRIBULATION that we may enter into the Kingdom of God. And promises His true servants: "...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Peter cried out, "...if the righteous SCARCELY be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:18)
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus described the way into His Kingdom as the "strait," meaning DIFFICULT route. The way that leads to DESTRUCTION, He described as a broad, well‑lit avenue with glittering lights and dazzling attractions. But the way into His Kingdom He described as rutty, rocky, narrow, winding, and extremely DIFFICULT.
Frequently, the Bible used the analogy of MILITARY SERVICE when speaking of Christians. Such
as: "Put on the whole armour of God...having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith...the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." (Ephesians 6:11‑17)
Jesus said: "...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36) Why did Jesus say this? Matthew tells us why: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I [Jesus] came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)
The Apostle Paul urged Timothy to perform and endure hardness: "...as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." (2 Timothy 2:3)
On another occasion, Paul said: "...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Jesus said: "...he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron..." (Revelation 2:26‑27)
God uses these analogies to show Christians that they are involved in TRAINING, and that they are AT WAR, as if they were professional soldiers. This is because a Christian is continually at war and fighting against: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)
And against: "...so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be castaway." (1 Corinthians 9:26‑27)
A Christians is one who is continually overcoming; learning, studying, growing, gaining wisdom, knowledge, patience, love, and humility. A Christian is fighting Satan the devil, and resisting the pulls of his/her human nature, as well as against physical enemies with swords [guns and bullets]. This human life of ours is a vast TRAINING GROUND, testing us to see if we are fit for citizenship in the Kingdom of God, ON EARTH. It is a "boot camp;" primary training, for those who are to finally GRADUATE into the Kingdom and Family of God, to become qualified to RULE the world with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is why Paul said: "I have fought a good fight..." (2 Timothy 4:7)
The Christian life has great PURPOSE. God is working out a plan here below. Yet uncounted millions fail to see that great purpose; so they must remain IGNORANT of God's plan in their lives. People and nations, are not "up in heaven." There are no weapons nor factories converting swords, guns, tanks and aircraft into shovels, rakes and hoes up in heaven. This is a great, sweeping, GLOBAL picture of the beginning of the KINGDOM OF GOD ON THIS EARTH.
Now look at the picture of Christ's Kingdom given in Isaiah Thirty‑five. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God...Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water...and it shall be called The way of holiness...No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there: but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:1‑10)
Next, let us read the prophecy of Ezekiel Thirty‑six: "But ye, O mountains (nations) of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates...Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel...For I will take you from among the heathen, gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk to my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." (Ezekiel 36:8‑28)
This prophecy of the coming millennial reign of Christ ‑‑ the picture of the regathering of the scattered remnants of God's people Israel from the four corners of the earth, and the picture of desert and wilderness places blossoming "as a rose"; the beginning of agrarian reform, perfect weather conditions, resettlement of the land, every individual possessing a piece of property; the picture of the regathering of families, and a time of world PEACE; this is the subject of many, many prophecies in the Word of God.
Nothing is more thoroughly proved; nothing stands more absolutely sure, in the holy Scriptures than the fact that the glorious KINGDOM OF GOD will reign ON THIS EARTH.
Now, what will you do with certain vague, seemingly contradictory, scriptures which you
think say the saints go to heaven? We have shown you but a few of the many scriptures which
ABSOLUTELY PROVE the following:
1. Jesus Christ is coming back TO THIS EARTH!
2. He will catch up the righteous living, and the righteous dead, to MEET HIM [CHRIST] IN THE AIR and descend the SAME DAY to Mount Zion.
3. He will establish His Kingdom ON THIS EARTH, in Jerusalem [which we believe is the United States of America].
4. Zion will become the CAPITAL of all the earth.
5. All nations will soon recognize Christ's rule.
6. Christ will require that all implements of war be converted to implements of peace.
7. His law, a completely new administration of justice and "equality for all," will issue forth from His capital city.
8. The "House of Israel" will be resettled in "their old estates."
9. The saints will be ruling with Christ (Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 5:10; 24).
10. The very "heaven" of God's throne will descend FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN to this earth (Revelation 21:22)
Nothing is more sure than the many, many promises and prophecies of Christ's return.
Nowhere does the Bible preach "Christian retirement." Think of it. Does only a little of the music, many of the sermons, and a great deal of so‑called "Christian" teaching portray an eternity of idleness and ease; of beautific bliss and indolent delight? Do not the envisionary "heavens" of many of the religions of the world picture virtually the same thing? One thinks of the song "The Lazy Ole Sun Got Nothing' to do But Roll Around Heaven All Day," in this context. Reference to the "heavenly rocking chair" and "heavenly mansions" are liberally sprinkled throughout some of the mythological teachings of those so‑called "Ministers" who profess to be teaching Christianity.
But the TRUTH of God is far different. The TRUTH is that Almighty God is calling a cadre of individuals [but not all the world is being called] as the advance EMISSARIES of His coming Kingdom. Even as Jesus Christ called only twelve disciples and formed them into the nucleus of His "group of called‑out ones" or His "church" [which more properly should be translated "assembly" in modern English], so that SAME Jesus Christ is calling out a select group when He call "the very elect" for rigorous training to QUALIFY to become future WORLD RULERS with Him. "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for THE ELECT'S sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)
The so‑called Clergy of Organized religion and others who profess to be evangelists simply do not teach it. What Clergy teaches that its members are now QUALIFYING to become city managers, mayors, ambassadors, princes, presidents, premiers and prime ministers, and even KINGS in the world to come? They are to be future leaders in Christ's Kingdom and they will not be hampered by years‑long "studies" by vested interests and government‑paid bureaucrats. Decisions involving hygiene, transportation, civil justice, the environment, care for the elderly, etc., will not be hampered and bogged down by years of committee studies, city council meetings, voting and elections, court trials, referendums and lawsuits. Rather, those who will rule with Jesus Christ will have wisdom far exceeding that of Solomon; they will have the mercy of Jesus Christ; with which they will be able to rule forcibly, swiftly, in mercy and righteousness, but with sternness and power when and where necessary.
After all, it is HERE ON EARTH WHERE THE PROBLEMS ARE! There are no "problems" to solve in heaven. Almighty God is not calling a group to be put through rigorous training, overcoming and growing in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; fighting themselves; having their very human nature CHANGED from that of jealousy, lust, avarice and greed to the character of Christ, of love, goodness, meekness, mercy, kindness and understanding, in order to RETIRE.
Instead, Jesus promises CO‑RULERSHIP WITH HIM! "To him that overcometh will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21)
John, after seeing a vision wrote: "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb [Christ] stood on the mount Zion [which is in Jerusalem, ON THIS EARTH], and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads...These were redeemed from among men, being the FIRST‑ FRUITS unto God and the Lamb." (Revelation 14:1‑4)
Is it possible YOU are being called, NOW, to become one of those comparatively few individuals? Could God, actually, be performing the MIRACLE OF OPENING YOUR MIND to see His TRUTH? Millions around you are in spiritual darkness. The churches and major denominations do not teach these simple truths from the Word of God. The millions believe they are "going to heaven" when they die; believe in an immortal soul, and an ever‑burning hell.
But wait! Let us get back to our original theme of Elijah. Where we would like to point out that Elijah did not die. At least not at that time and place. Elijah didn't even have a headache; he was not ill, or anywhere near death!
He was simply walking along, TALKING with Elisha, and SUDDENLY, by a great miracle, the fiery chariot appeared, separated he and Elisha, and he was whisked away up into the air by a whirlwind.
God did not leave Elijah's "body" behind and just take some so‑called "soul!" No, the WHOLE MAN; body and all, was taken up by the whirlwind! Elijah was taken up into the "air" out of Elisha's sight!
In studying the definitions of the word "soul" in both the Old and the New Testaments, NEVER does the word "soul" mean anything which is EXTRA PHYSICAL; SPIRITUAL or IMMORTAL!
The word "immortal" appears only ONE TIME in the Bible! It is found in First Timothy: "Now unto the King eternal, IMMORTAL..." (1 Timothy 1:17)
The word "immortality" occurs only FIVE TIMES in the Bible (Romans 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:53; 15:54; 1 Timothy 6:16; and 2 Timothy 1:10), and on each occasion they show that immortality is something WHICH GOD NOW POSSESSES, and which is PROMISED to man, IN THE RESURRECTION!
Your Bible plainly says that ONLY GOD has immortality. "...until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; WHO ONLY HATH IMMORTALITY..." (1 Timothy 6:16)
Why do millions of churchgoing, professing Christians believe the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the Bible plainly says? Look at the following striking example: "For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the GIFT OF GOD is ETERNAL LIFE [how does one get this ETERNAL LIFE? There is ONLY ONE WAY] through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Therefore, it is clearly obvious that millions believe the EXACT OPPOSITE of what that scripture plainly says.
They argue, "No, the wages of sin cannot be DEATH, for man DOES NOT DIE, only his BODY DIES, but the man ‑‑ the conscious man, the personality, character, the real person; continues to live on, either in heaven or in hell!" What a bunch of Satanic bologna. In other words MAN supposedly knows more than God Almighty Himself!!! Crap! These people are arguing that the wages of sin is NOT REALLY DEATH, it is instead ETERNAL LIFE! It is ETERNAL LIFE in a DIFFERENT PLACE, but they are not really DEAD. WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE BIBLE PLAINLY SAYS!
Next, they argue, "No, eternal life is not the GIFT OF GOD. It is something with which we are ALL born with. Every one of us is born with a 'soul,' which means we have ETERNAL LIFE already dwelling within us!" Thus, these people are saying, in effect, GOD IS A LIAR!
Because your Bible, the holy Word of God, plainly says that the wages of sin WILL KILL YOU. It says the penalty for breaking God's Ten Commandments and Statutes is DEATH, not eternal life. The Bible clearly, for all to see, that the GIFT OF GOD is the OPPOSITE OF DEATH; it is ETERNAL LIFE.
The Bible insists that God ONLY has immortality; and that we can ultimately inherit immortality, but only through our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. NO ONE, I REPEAT, NO ONE HAS AN "IMMORTAL SOUL!" And all the make believe and wishing in the world will not make it so. You DO NOT HAVE an "immortal soul." You are a physical, human being, subject to DEATH. When we die, we go the GRAVE, and we are completely oblivious, UNCONSCIOUS, of the passage of time, where we await a RESURRECTION. ďIf a man DIE, shall he live AGAIN? all the days of MY APPOINTED TIME WILL I WAIT, TILL MY CHANGE [receive a new immortal body from Christ] COME. Thou [Christ] shalt call, and I WILL ANSWER THEE..." (Job 14:14‑15) No, the argument that the body may die, but "souls" go up to heaven, just DOES NOT APPLY!
Remember. Elijah DID NOT DIE. He was not even mildly ill. Whatever happened to him happened BODILY; he was taken up out of Elisha's sight into the AIR. Later we will show you that he was very much ALIVE for a number of years. You will see that he was still AWARE of what was happening in his nation; that others were communicating with him, and that HE communicated with the king who succeeded Ahab and Jezebel. Though God took Elijah into a place of protection and "retirement," he was still active enough to send a powerful letter to the king of Israel some years later.
And what is the order of events so far as dead men like Elijah are concerned? You have already read it, but read it again: "For as in Adam all die [just as Elijah DIED], even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the FIRSTFRUITS [Elijah was NOT the firstfruits; he was NOT resurrected, he was NOT taken to the heaven of God's† throne, he is NOT alive today; CHRIST is the firstfruits!]; afterward they that are Christ's [including Elijah] at his coming." (1 Corinthians 15:22‑23)
Your Bible says Elijah is DEAD. Jesus plainly says, no matter WHAT "other preachers" have told you, that "NO MAN HATH ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN."
Christ is the "firstfruits" from the dead. Jesus plainly says, no matter what "other preachers" have told you, that "no man hath ascended into heaven." Christ is the "first‑fruits" from the dead. He was to have, in all things, "the pre‑eminence." No one was resurrected to ETERNAL LIFE prior to Jesus Christ!!!
There were miracles performed, by Elijah himself, and later an individual was raised from the dead by being thrown into a grave and touching the BONES of Elisha.
Jesus raised the dead; Peter raised Dorcus, Paul was used to raise a young man who died when he fell out of a balcony; and some elderly people who had died were resurrected to human, physical life, at the time of Jesus' death.
None of these was resurrected to spiritual, ETERNAL LIFE. Only Jesus Christ has ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN. But Jesus will not REMAIN in heaven for much longer. Even now, He is on a "countdown" to come BACK down TO THIS EARTH, from heaven, and to RULE with a rod of iron.
What About Kind David?: Is King David, described in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart," a lesser person in God's eyes than Elijah? First, let's see what is to be David's final REWARD. After the end of the dynasty of ruling kings over the northern, 10‑tribed house of Israel, AFTER Israel had been taken captive by ancient Assyria, Babylon subjugated Judah, and in the days of King Hezekiah, the remnants of the House of Judah were deported from Jerusalem and taken to Babylon.
One of the captives was a prophet named Ezekiel. He prophesied from a, what we would call today, a "concentration camp" inside the land of Babylon more than 120 years after the captivity of Israel.
Remember, after David died, his son Solomon reigned in his stead. Following Solomon's death, the kingdom was divided, and the dynasty of kings over northern 10‑tribed Israel began, under Jeroboam.
Through hundreds and hundred of years, we read of the successive, ruling dynasties of kings over these separate, individual nations until, finally, both Israelitish kingdoms [the northern "ten tribes" with their capital city at Samaria, and the southern tribes of Judah, Simeon and Levi, with portions of Benjamin, with their capital city at Jerusalem] were taken into captivity.
Now that you have the historical setting firmly in mind, turn to and read Ezekiel's prophecy. "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it." (Ezekiel 34:23‑24)
Here is a prophecy, given from God more than 120 years after the last ruling king of 10‑tribed Israel went into captivity, hundreds of years after David DIED, plainly saying that David will be RESURRECTED.
He WILL be RAISED FROM THE DEAD to become the King over the human, physical nation of Israel in the millennial reign of Christ.
Peter spoke of David's future resurrection, and of his PRESENT STATE, in his famous sermon
on the Day of Pentecost. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both DEAD and BURIED, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day." (Acts 2:29)
Do you understand? DAVID IS DEAD!!! He is utterly UNCONSCIOUS; UNAWARE of the passage of time; he is IN HIS GRAVE!
Notice how the Apostle Paul reaffirms this: "And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon [Gideon], and of Barak [Barach], and of Samson, and of Jephthae [Jeptha]; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets." (Hebrews 11:32)
And what happened to these, together with all of the great patriarchs, such as Joseph, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who are mentioned in Hebrews the 11th chapter? "These ALL DIED in faith, not having received the promises..." (Hebrews 11:13) Notice it carefully. God tells you TWICE in this famous "faith chapter" that DAVID IS DEAD!!
They did NOT "receive the promise." What was the promise? It was the promise of ETERNAL LIFE; co‑rulership with Christ. "And these all [including Elijah and David], having obtained a good report through faith, RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:39‑40)
Think about it. Why have you not been told the truth about Elijah and David? Peter said, "FOR DAVID IS NOT ASCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS..." (Acts 2:34)
Again I ask: Will you believe the Word of God; will you believe your own eyes, and your OWN BIBLE, or will you continue to believe the oft‑repeated fables of ignorant men and deceivers.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WHAT ABOUT THE TRANSFIGURATION?
The transfiguration WAS A VISION! Notice how, just six days before the transfiguration took place, Jesus plainly said that "some" [not all] of His disciples would not "taste of death" till they "see the son of man coming IN HIS KINGDOM." "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28)
The only way you can understand this plain statement of Jesus Christ is by the transfiguration; a VISION, of "the Son of man coming in His kingdom" which took place just six days later.
Otherwise, this would be a clear error; and the very Word of God would appear to contain a colossal mistake. For every single one of the apostles DIED without having seen "the Son of man come in His kingdom." However, THREE OF THEM did see "the Son of man coming in His kingdom," IN A VISION, just six days later. Now read the account of the transfiguration of Jesus in (Matthew 17:1‑8).
Notice that Peter UNDERSTOOD that the translucent, glowing, radiant visage of Christ, Moses and Elijah was as if they were SPIRIT BEINGS, already IN God's Kingdom. And so Peter suggested that they might, "...make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." (Matthew 17:4)
He suggested this because The Feast of Tabernacles [or "booths"] foreshadowed the Kingdom of God. Peter had kept this important annual Holy Day season all of his life. So had all believing Israelites of the house of Israel.
After they heard a booming voice, they; "...fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." (Matthew 17:6‑8)
Now notice the ABSOLUTE PROOF, from the Word of God itself, that what they saw was not real;
BUT A MIRACULOUS VISION! "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." (Matthew 17:9)
Now, Peter, James and John understood that they had SEEN ONLY A VISION! They KNEW that they had not see a literal RESURRECTION; and, of course, they knew that what they had seen had taken place right there on the mountain, before their startled eyes. Knowing what the scribes said, and a fair amount of the Scriptures, they asked Jesus, "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come?" (Matthew 17:10)
Jesus answered and said: "...Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias [Elijah] 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 [the Jews]. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of JOHN THE BAPTIST." (Matt. 17:11‑13)
Note well this important discussion. The reason James and the others asked Jesus about what the scribes really meant concerning "Elijah must come first" was because they knew Elijah had NOT YET BEEN RESURRECTED! They knew that what they had seen was A VISION. For Jesus plainly TOLD THEM SO.
Unlike millions of professing, churchgoing Christians today who ASSUME Jesus literally brought Elijah and Moses "down from heaven" to be with Him for a temporary stay, and let the startled eyes of James, Peter and John see these two great men who were allegedly already "up in heaven," the disciples KNEW THEY HAD MERELY SEEN A VISION!
They believed Christ. Do you? Or are you like all too many Christian Americans you WISH to believe that one goes to "heaven" when they die, so you do not intend to let anyone: NOT EVEN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ROB YOU OF YOUR GREAT PEARL OF FALSE TEACHINGS.
In the remainder of the discussion, we can see how Jesus revealed to them that John the Baptist was a type, a "forerunner," of the prophesied end‑time prophet who is to come in "the power and the spirit of Elijah." "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias [Elijah]..." (Luke 1:17)
The ministry of John the Baptist was one of preparing the way for the FIRST COMING of Jesus Christ. Can anything be more plain?
If you BELIEVE Christ, and NOT what you have "always assumed," or what you have "always been taught" by religious teachers, then you know, and you know that you know, that Elijah WAS NOT THEN IN HEAVEN. You know that what the disciples saw was merely A VISION.
You know that Elijah is DEAD. You know that he "received not the promise" (Hebrews 11:13;
39‑40) and that, like David, Elijah; "...IS NOT ASCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS." (Acts 2:34)
ENOCH IS DEAD! Now let's look at what the Bible says about Enoch. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5)
Please read the rest of Hebrews 11. Notice how many great men of God; sages, prophets and patriarchs, are mentioned. They include Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Gideon and Barach, Sampson and David, Samuel, and many other prophets. And that TWICE in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, God's Word says, "These ALL DIED in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off..." (Hebrews 11:13); "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise." (Hebrews 11:39)
Your Bible plainly says Enoch DIED. And as we have already read, Jesus plainly and clearly said NO MAN has ascended into heaven. The sacred Word of God insists that Enoch and Elijah are DEAD.† Then you ask: What does it mean when the bible says "Enoch was 'translated?'"
The Greek word "metatithemi" [#3346 Strong's Exhaustive Concordance] is used ONLY in (Acts 7:16; Galatians 1:6;, Hebrews 7:12; Hebrews 11:5 [twice] and Jude 4).
The word means "carried over; removed." Notice the identical Greek word as it is translated in the book of Acts, chapter 7 verse 16: "And were carried over ["metatithemi"] into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money..."
Here, the very same word which is rendered "translated" is given as "carried over" concerning the bodies of Jacob and other of the fathers. Now notice the next example: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from ["metatithemi] him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel." (Galatians 1:6) Actually, the expression should be rendered "removing," or that they were in the process of "moving away from" the original body of truth to false doctrine. Notice the force of the Greek word "metatithemi" as it is rendered in the English expression in this verse: "Remove from."
Now, note the next use of the same Greek word. "For the priesthood being CHANGED ["metatithemi], there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:12) This scripture deals† with the CHANGE between the priesthood of the sons of Aaron [the Levitical priesthood] to the divine priesthood of Jesus Christ. NONE of these expressions has anything whatsoever to do with being TAKEN UP TO HEAVEN!
One has to do with REMOVING FROM true beliefs, from the body of truth of God's church. Another has to do with the CHANGE in the priesthood. Another had to do with the TRANSPORTING OF DEAD BODIES from one place to another. Now, note the example in Jude 4. "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning [Greek ó "metatithemi"] the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." The word "turning" means CHANGING, EXCHANGING, SUBSTITUTING.
What does the word "to translate" mean to you? Please notice that we avoided its usage when we spoke of CHANGING a word from the Greek language into the English, choosing to use "rendering." This was to avoid confusion so we did not use the word "translation" twice in a row. Otherwise, we would have said, "The word 'translated' was translated as..."
When you "translate" one word into another, you are CHANGING FROM ONE LANGUAGE TO ANOTHER, but you are preserving the meaning. By no stretch of the imagination does the word "translated" in the Greek language mean that Enoch WAS TAKEN TO HEAVEN.
Now, notice that the apostle Paul said he "was not found." Why was he "not found?" Because there were those who were LOOKING FOR HIM. Enoch was called the "seventh from Adam." Actually, if you study the genealogies carefully, he was only the seventh as figured in the lineage from Seth, and was not, really, the seventh firstborn from Adam.
It was stated that Enoch "walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). There were TWO men named "Enoch" mentioned in Genesis, and the Enoch with whom we are concerned was the second, the son of Jared, and the father of Methuselah.
The Bible plainly says that, because Enoch "walked with God" [and no higher compliment could be given to this patriarch], God "took him." But where did God "take him?" That is the question. Now, remember what Jesus Christ PLAINLY SAID. He plainly said NO MAN HAD ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN.
David was a man after God's own heart; and Peter tells us, in his inspired sermon on the Day of Pentecost, that David is both DEAD AND BURIED, that his sepulcher remains with us unto this day, and that David is NOT in the heavens. (Acts 2:29‑34)
The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us in the book of Hebrews that Enoch, together with all the other prophets and patriarchs, including David, DIED!
Obviously, since Enoch was one of those few men during that pre‑flood period who truly "walked with God," there were others, ENEMIES, GOING SATAN'S WAY, who were looking for him. Why? We are given none of the details, but it is interesting to note that, in the book of Jude, a quotation from a book written by Enoch concerning the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST is given.
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these [Satan‑inspired false prophets], saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 14‑15)
Enoch was one of God's faithful prophets. As one of the very few during that violent, sinful period, he was PREACHING THE GOSPEL as a WITNESS against evil, sinning, Satanic men. While we are given none of the details, the Bible is explicitly clear that God decided to SPARE Enoch from murder or worse at the hands of his antagonists, JUST LIKE ELIJAH. So God "took him away," and he "was not found" [by those who were looking for him].
We are not told where God took him; but we know that it was NOT "into heaven," for our Lord Jesus Christ plainly said so. Therefore, it is obvious that, at some later date, and, hopefully, under pleasant circumstances, Enoch DIED. Like David, he is "DEAD AND BURIED," and, even though we do not know the location of his grave, he "received not the promise." Not YET at any rate. The Greek word "metatithemi," which is rendered "translated" [inaccurately and confusingly] on two occasions, should have been rendered "transferred; removed; taken away; transported."
No, Enoch is NOT in heaven. David is NOT in heaven. To this date, in 1989, the ONLY human individual who has EVER walked this earth to be assumed BODILY into heaven is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Can or will you believe Jesus Christ?: It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you understand this great principle. THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTRADICT ITSELF! Do you believe this?
For, if you do not; if you believe the bible is filled with error, mistakes, inaccuracies, or outright lies; then you have no BASIS for your belief in God. You have no BASIS for you belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you have no BASIS for believing you can be Saved.
If any part of the Bible is untrustworthy, then all of the Bible is untrustworthy. Why are so many sincere, yet deceived, persons so IGNORANT of this great principle? Like the balky mule, or the horse you can "lead to water but cannot make him drink," there are people who, while seeing with their own eyes, in the pages of their own Bibles, the plain truth of God's Word, will ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to accept it, so long as there is some fuzzy, vague notion lodged in their minds which was put there by some religious leader, parent, friend, or by their own misunderstanding of the Bible.
Review, in you own mind what you have seen with your own eyes from you Bible. Look at the accurate meanings of each of the Greek words used for "soul" [#5590 Strong's Exhaustive Concordance] in the New Testament.
Review what you have read about the STATE OF THE DEAD; the RESURRECTION; the fact that Christ will RETURN TO AND RULE ON THIS EARTH; and the clear and plain statements that "NO MAN HATH ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN: given to you by Jesus Christ of Nazareth Himself. Now, please come to understand one of the primary requirements of Bible understanding.
FIRST: Jesus Christ thanked His Father that the Father had revealed these things "unto babes.' You must first become a "babe in Christ," like an innocent, wide‑eyed child, hungering and thirsting for God's word. You cannot want your own way; you cannot cling doggedly to preconceived notions, opinions or previous religious teachings. Rather, like an innocent little child (Matthew 18:2‑5), you must yield your heart and your whole being completely to GOD.† You must ask Him to be your teacher. You must confess Jesus Christ, not only as your personal Savior, but as your RULER, your KING, and as your ABSOLUTE BOSS.
SECOND: God says, "...to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit [meaning humble, not spiritually proud] AND TREMBLES AT MY WORD." (Isaiah 66:2)
Do you tremble before the divinely inspired, holy and sacred Word of God? If you do, then you would tremble in fear to reject God's truth. you would tremble in fear to doggedly cling to a preconceived notion, argument, personal point of view or opinion of your own; especially when those opinions are proven wrong by the divinely inspired Word of God.
THIRD: Jesus said, "...the scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN." (John 10:35)
Jesus Christ is absolutely SUPREME. He is untouched, aloof and inviolate; totally above the puny presumptuousness of man. Sarcasm, haughtiness, anger, rebellion at being told the truth, the petty emotions and resentments of human beings, are as meaningless and useless to Jesus Christ of Nazareth as a germ on the hind leg of a tiny spider lost in the vastness of the Mato Grosso of Brazil.
Petty, argumentative, human opinions simply do not count in God's sight. But, oh, how few are will to face the Bible with that attitude. How shockingly few are willing to read Jesus' plain statement, "No man hath ascended up to heaven" and simply, humbly believe it. Instead, they become confused. They say, "But how can this be?" The querulously say, "But what about Elijah, what about Enoch, what about all the saints who were resurrected?"
Instead of believing Christ, they place greater weight on the oft‑repeated FABLES of their religious upbringing. They remember the hoarse‑voiced preaching of the perspiring tent‑camp evangelists of their youth. They remember the hundreds of radio and television evangelists they have heard over the years. They remember their parents' teaching and the "Christian" upbringing of their church.
But this is not so with the true Christian. The true Christian approaches the study of God's Word in total subjection and humbleness. He will approach the study of God's Word in trembling and great humility. He will fear to misinterpret, misapply or attempt to read his own meaning into the Scriptures. He will realize that, even as Jesus Christ stands at the supreme position of the Lord of the Universe, so do the written Scriptures stand inviolable, untrammeled, unsullied, immutable and absolutely sure.
Therefore, when the true Christian sees his own Savior, Jesus Christ, saying, "For no man hath ascended into heaven." HE BELIEVES JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. And will believe no other. Then, armed with that belief, he approaches other, apparently nebulous or ambiguous, scriptures from the point of view of that belief. In other words, he knows the bible tells him that he needs to be a "workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Because he trembles to misinterpret or misapply the Bible, he will use the plain, incontrovertible, impossible‑to‑be‑misunderstood scriptures to assist him in understanding the vague, or ambiguous, ones. Are you such a person? Does Almighty God or the Lord Jesus Christ need to tell you something twice? three times? Twenty times? One hundred? Or are you a converted Christian and when you very Savior, Lord and Master, High Priest and soon‑coming King tells you something He need only speak once?
Donít believe that you will receive congratulations or accolades from your pastor, because you have studied something out for yourself. For he will not do that; instead he will get very angry with you, especially if you discover something that is counter to what he believes, or has been taught in the cemeteries (seminaries), where Godís word is taught falsely and with the intent only upon making money; and not teaching people the True Word of God. Oh they will tell you that is not so, but then watch them become so angry with you if you discover from Godís Word something that is alien to their belief system. They will turn from you and reject you so fast it will make your head swim. For they will not study it for themselves to see if you are right, they will simply state you are wrong and get away from them.
Carefully look up each scripture in your own bible. Underline or make a mark beside the ones that are outstandingly important. Let them sink deeply down into your mind. Believe them, and do not confuse yourself by deceiving yourself into believing you are 'disagreeing with Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert, Keneth Copeland, Mike Evans or any of the so‑called Clergy of Organized Religion, who call themselves Christian Teachers. What we think or believe or what they think or believe HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH YOUR SALVATION. Your Salvation is between you and the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, if we tell you the truth; quote it for you out of your own Bible, no amount of dogging, evading or wishful thinking; no amount of taking issue with us as a human being, ‑‑ can nullify or make void that eternal truth you have been told.
Jesus said, "...ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
When you know the truth, you become responsible for it. Each time you learn a new truth from the Sacred Word of God, it becomes DANGEROUS KNOWLEDGE. For, once you learn that new truth from God's Word, you become RESPONSIBLE for it. Because Almighty God expects you to apply it to your life and to teach others. In fact He not only expects you to learn His truths, He expects you to become so joyous at discovering new truth that you will eagerly and anxiously desire to share it with OTHERS. And you should approach all your Bible study in this fashion.
Never believe men. Always believe the Bible, but realize that the New Testament King James English edition is a modern‑day translation, and that it is sometimes necessary to obtain the precise meaning of the original Greek and other languages; it is necessary to do this so that you will do as Christ said and: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
You need to remember and believe that; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) When Paul informed the young evangelist Timothy that some false teachers were claiming the resurrection was past already, Paul said, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth SURE..." (2 Timothy 2:19)
Yes, regardless as to the petty disagreements, arguments and vanities of ignorant, deceived men, THE FOUNDATION OF GOD, the Holy Scriptures, stands SURE. Keeping in mind always, when teaching others: "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers."(2 Ti. 2:14)
Jesus did not lie. No man has ascended to the heaven of God's Throne. Elijah was taken up, by a miracle, into the AIR, and was transported safely away to some other location. Years later AFTER Elijah had been taken to a place of security, a letter was received by Jehoram, the new king in Jerusalem.
NOTICE: "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, no in the ways of Asa king of Judah..." (2 Chronicles 21:12)
How about that! ELIJAH WAS STILL ALIVE, ON THIS EARTH AFTER HE WAS TAKEN OUT OF PALESTINE TO SOME OTHER PLACE; SOME OTHER COUNTRY. This letter was delivered at the time of the death of Ahaziah and at the beginning of the reign of Jehoram. Now you know.
Elijah is DEAD. Enoch is DEAD. They are awaiting the RESURRECTION which will take place upon the RETURN OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, TO THIS WORLD!!!
Read this scripture carefully ‑‑ note it well, and remember it: "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also WHICH ARE FALLEN ASLEEP in Christ are perished [how could they perish if their so‑called "soul" has already gone to heaven?]. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came DEATH, by man came also the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD [what would be the purpose of the resurrection if the dead is already either in "heaven" or in "hell?"]. For as in Adam ALL DIE, even so in Christ shall ALL BE MADE ALIVE. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; AFTERWARD they that are Christ's AT HIS COMING [not at the time of death but at HIS ‑‑ Christ's coming back to this earth]." (1 Corinthians 15:16‑23)
There it is! Elijah and Enoch have not yet received the promises. BUT THEY WILL. When? Christ is the "firstfruits" from THE DEAD, and ‑‑ AFTERWARD ‑‑ they that are the "DEAD IN CHRIST" [which includes Elijah and Enoch] will rise from THEIR GRAVES to IMMORTALITY (1 Corinthians 15:50‑52) AT HIS COMING, AND NOT ONE SECOND BEFORE!!! "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED incorruptible, and we shall be changed."