Did Enoch & Elijah go bodily to heaven?
If Enoch and Elijah were caught up to heaven, how do we explain John 3:13?
John 3:13 states: “No man hath ascended up to heaven…” Jesus spoke these words BEFORE He died and rose again.
The Bible says of Enoch that he “walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). It does not say where he was taken, but simply that he was removed.
Elijah was taken up “into heaven by a whirlwind” (2 Kings 2:1,11). Afterwards fifty men searched for three days but could not find him.
The word for “heaven” often refers to the sky and whirlwinds can’t take anybody into God’s heaven. God removed him and disposed of his body just as He buried Moses (Deuteronomy 34:6). He went to Paradise.
In the Book of Acts, we read: “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith…” (Acts 2:34). Peter spoke these words AFTER the resurrection. He was quoting a Psalm of David written a thousand years beforehand. Psalms 110:1.
“Is not ascended” is in the “past present tense” and indicates David had not ascended WHEN he spoke. It does not indicate he was not in heaven when Peter spoke. ie after Christ rose.
The souls of all Old Testament saints went to Paradise after death, as did Jesus. Paradise was a part of “sheol”, the “unseen realm” of departed souls. He told the repentant thief on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke23:43).
After Christ rose, He took Paradise into heaven. Nobody could go to heaven before Christ rose from the dead for He was the “firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20), and when He ascended “he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8). It is therefore true that until Jesus rose, no man could ascend to heaven.
The bodies of Enoch and Elijah were raised after Christ rose and ascended to heaven with Christ forty days later.