Where do the Dead go? When Elijah was take by whirlwind where was he taken? Which heaven? Today I’d like to talk about heaven.
We hear of people going to it. The big question is where in heaven and which heaven? Is it vital to know? I think yes.
Did Elijah go there? This might be a shocker to many in the church. Many have been taught heaven is up in the sky.
In theology, it is termed “Paradise”. The place of the afterlife. Some religions consider it to be the home of the god or gods of those religions and often the home, or one of various possible homes, of the souls of deceased people. Is this true?
We may have an opinion, but I need to articulate what is in the scriptures.
In Psalms 34:11, a psalm by King David, it says: “Come, you children, listen to me; Let me teach you the fear of יהוה.
The Almighty through David, has seen us in need.
This question we are about to delve into, has been a mystery, hidden from the beginning of the world and religious system we are in.
Ephesians 3:8 -9 ‘To me, the very least of all the set-apart ones, this favour was given, to bring the Good News of the unsearchable riches of Messiah among the nations, 9 and to make all see how this secret is administered, which for ages past has been hidden in Elohim who created all through יהושע Messiah”.
If heaven has been a mystery, then let’s create a conducive environment in which to learn. Ready?
In 2 Kings 2:11 we read this about Elijah: “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”.
What is whirlwind?
Strong’s H5591 סְעָרָה סַעַר sa‛ar se‛ârâh sah’-ar seh-aw-raw’
From H5590; a hurricane: – storm (-y), tempest,
So Elijah was carried by wind into heaven. Heaven?
שָׁמֶה שָׁמַיִם shâmayim shâmeh shaw-mah’-yim shaw-meh’
meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): – air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).
visible heavens, sky, as abode of the stars, as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc.
Was Elijah carried up to heaven – The abode of the Almighty?
Let’s ask someone else who has been there. The creator of heaven. But first hear this challenge:
Proverbs 30:4 “Who hath ascended up into heaven or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”
Now the question is, “Did Messiah Yehshua acknowledge having seen Elijah in heaven?
No. What did Messiah Yehshua say as recorded by John?
John 3:12-13 “If you do not believe when I spoke to you about earthly matters, how are you going to believe when I speak to you about the heavenly matters? 13 And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Aḏam”. (TS2009 – The Scriptures)
Only Yehshua has ever ascended to heaven. No human beings were found there as of that time.
Then which heaven did Elijah go to?
The bible mentions 3 heavens-
The area called firmament-area where clouds are found. Genesis 1:20, “And Elohim said, “Let the waters teem with shoals of living beings, and let birds fly (above the earth on the face of the expanse of the heavens)-firmament (KJV). It is the area where rain comes from 27:28, “And Elohim give you of the dew of the heavens, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine”.
Deut.33:28; “Thus Yisra’ĕl dwells in safety, the fountain of Yaʽaqoḇ alone, in a land of grain and new wine. His heavens also drop down dew”.
That is the first heaven where there are clouds ,wind, and rain.
The 2nd heaven upwards is the outer space of the stars. Psalms 19:1, “The heavens are proclaiming the esteem of Ěl; And the expanse is declaring the work of His hand”. Psalms 111:2, “Great are the works of יהוה, Searched for by all who delight in them”. Job 22:12, “Is not Eloah in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!
That is the second heaven. The area the stars are stationed. It cannot maintain life due to the lack of oxygen needed for man-kind and animals.
#3) Heaven. This is the 3rd heaven. The abode of the Almighty (His throne). Psalms 110:1, “יהוה said to my Master, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
Mark 16:19,”Then indeed, after the Master had spoken to them, He was received up into the heaven, and sat down at the right hand of Elohim”.
Hebrews 4:14,”Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens (plural of heaven is used), יהושע the Son of Elohim, let us hold fast our confession”.
This must be the heaven of the throne. It’s where Father and Messiah are currently.
In 2 kings 2:9, we read of the moment Elijah was taken by wind to the area called firmament, “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”
Later in 2 chronicles 21:12-14, we read, “And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus said יהוה Elohim of your Father Daviḏ, “Because you have not walked in the ways of Yehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa sovereign of Yehuḏah,
13 but have walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl, and have made Yehuḏah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim to commit whoring like the whorings of the house of Aḥaḇ, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself,
14 see, יהוה is going to strike with a great blow among your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions,
15 and you, with many sicknesses, with disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out because of the sickness, day by day.”
16 And יהוה stirred up the spirit of the Philistines against Yehoram, and of the Araḇians who were near the Kushites.
17 And they came up into Yehuḏah and broke into it, and captured all the possessions that were found in the sovereign’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that there was not a son left to him except Yeho’aḥaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 And after all this יהוה plagued him in his intestines with a disease for which there was no healing. 19 And it came to be in the course of time, at the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness, and he died in great pain. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers.
20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Yerushalayim, to no one’s regret, and passed away. And they buried him in the City of Dawiḏ, but not in the burial-sites of the sovereigns”.
That was a letter written by the prophet not from the 3rd or 2nd heaven. It might have come from another area on this earth.
Now in 1 kings 19:19, we are told about the calling of Elisha, “And he went from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. And Ělijah passed by him and threw his robe on him”
That spirit of Elijah to Elisha continues in John. And it’s still around even as I write this memo. Now that Elijah is not around, where is he?
Hebrews 9:27, “And …it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.
Elijah is not in heaven, but dead and buried on earth.
Messiah told us no man is in heaven. Which heaven do the dead go? It is the grave awaiting the day of resurrection for the just .
So where is Elijah? Let’s delve further into this.
Many readers assume that Elijah at that point was made immortal and taken to the heaven where God (Hebrew Elohim) resides. This was not the case. The sons of the prophets knew otherwise. They knew the whirlwind had simply removed Elijah to another location on earth. They exclaimed to Elisha: “Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley” (2 Kings 2:16).
Elijah’s disciples searched for him for three days. Why would they search if they saw him risen up to the heavens in a chariot from God Himself?
2 Kings 2:17 But they pressed upon him till he was ashamed, and he said, “Send.” So they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him.
Another passage proves conclusively Elijah was not removed from this earth. The Scriptures record that Elijah wrote a letter to Jehoram, the King of Judah, several years after this whirlwind occurrence.
A few years into Jehoram’s reign, and several years after Elijah’s so-called removal to heaven, Jehoram received a letter from Elijah warning the king of dire consequences because of his sins. This letter is recorded in 2 Chronicles 21:12-15.
2 Chronicles 21:12 And a letter came to him from Ěliyahu the prophet, saying, Thus said יהוה Elohim of your father Dawiḏ, “Because you have not walked in the ways of Yehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa sovereign of Yehuḏah, 13 but have walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’ěl, and have made Yehuḏah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim to commit whoring like the whorings of the house of Aḥaḇ, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself, 14 see, יהוה is going to strike with a great blow among your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15 and you, with many sicknesses, with disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out because of the sickness, day by day.”
This letter proves that the prophet was still alive and on earth some years after he was removed by the whirlwind and replaced by Elisha. God had chosen Elisha to succeed Elijah as His prophet, so He bodily removed Elijah to another place, where he continued to live for at least several more years—as his letter to Jehoram demonstrates.
Elijah eventually died, just like the other prophets and righteous men, and indeed as all man-kind lives and dies. He is in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the dead as Scripture tells us. He is not in heaven.
Indeed the Scriptures shows that Elijah’s removal by a fiery chariot involved transporting him to another location on earth. In fact, this happened to Philip as well.
Act 8:39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of יהוה caught Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, for he went his way, rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, was found at Ashdoḏ. And passing through, he brought the Good News in all the cities until he came to Caesarea.