DID ELIJAH ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: 2 Kings 2: 11 (second part) reads, “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” Does
this verse prove that Elijah ascended into heaven, the place of God’s abode?
Answer: We have positive proof that Elijah did not ascend into heaven because several hundred
years later our Lord stated, “No man hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3: 13). Although the
word heaven often means the place of God’s abode, it can also mean “the air.” The Lord
evidently transported Elijah to another place by means of the whirlwind, for several years later
Elijah wrote a letter to Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 21: 12-15). The Scriptures give no
record of Elijah’s death, but perhaps the Lord buried him somewhere secretly, as He did with
Moses (Deuteronomy 34: 5, 6).
But this verse also has a deeper significance, for Elijah is typical of the Christ class (Jesus the
Head, and the Church, His body) while in the flesh. A “whirlwind” is uniformly used in the
Scriptures to represent great confusion, strife, trouble, fiery trials, severe persecutions,
ecclesiastical commotions and anarchy. This would indicate that the last members of the Church
in the flesh would be taken from the present life in the midst of severe trouble.