Did Elijah go to heaven? Well, most Christians will quickly tell you “yes.” But is this correct? What does the Bible REALLY say?
One of the most popular teachings of Christianity today is that when a righteous person dies, he will immediately go to heaven.
They will tell you that this teaching is supported in the Bible and that you can find a lot of verses to support this.
The story of Elijah
Chief among them is the story of Elijah. According to their teaching, Elijah is proof that shows us that people go to heaven and will go to heaven after their death.
We read of Elijah’s supposed ascension to heaven in 2 Kings 2:10-11:
10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
At first glance, Elijah may seem to have ascended to heaven.
This proves that people do go to heaven when they die.
Did Elijah go to heaven?
However, what if I tell you that this teaching is false?
What if I tell you that the Bible actually teaches that people die and remain in their graves until they are resurrected in the future?
What if I tell you that Elijah didn’t actually go to heaven?
Friends, don’t simply take my word for it.
In this post, I’ll share with you the 8 irrefutable proofs that Elijah didn’t go to heaven straight from the Bible!
Proof no. 1: Jesus said no one has ascended to heaven
Our Master and Savior, Yahshua the Messiah (or popularly known as Jesus Christ) told us in John 3:13:
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
So, this statement is as clear as the sun.
There’s no confusion here.
Jesus plainly says that no one has gone up to heaven yet but only Himself.
Obviously, Christ told the truth while men told you a lie about heaven.
If you want to learn more, please read or watch, “What Jesus Said About Heaven will Shock You.”
Proof no. 2: Dead people wait for the resurrection
Yahshua clearly tells us in John 5:28-29:
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are IN THE GRAVES shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
As you can see, all people who have died, whether righteous or wicked are not in heaven or hell, but they are in the grave!
All people who passed away, including Elijah, are waiting for the resurrection of the dead.
What’s the use of resurrecting people when they are already in heaven or hell?
Obviously, there’s something wrong with the popular teaching of Christianity about the afterlife.
If you wish to learn more, please read, “3 Little-Known Bible Verses Reveal One Shocking Truth about Heaven.”
Proof no. 3: The Hebrew word of heaven
If Yahshua said that no one has ascended to heaven, then how do we reconcile his statement to what we read in 2 Kings 2:11:
11 … and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
The key here is understanding what heaven means in this passage.
The Hebrew word for heaven here is shamayim, which basically means the sky!
So, from the perspective of the writer of II Kings, he was seeing Elijah being taken up from the ground into the sky and not the heavenly throne of God.
Proof no. 4: Three heavens
Unknown to most people, there are actually three types of heaven mentioned in the Bible. Understanding this truth could dramatically remove our misunderstanding of heaven.
Here are the three types of heaven:
- Third heaven – this is where the throne of God is (Hebrews 8:1; Deuteronomy 26:15). Paul called this heaven the third heaven (II Corinthians 12:2).
- Second heaven – this is the outer space (Psalm 8:3; Isaiah 13:10; Deuteronomy 1:10).
- First heaven – earth atmosphere (Genesis 7:11-12; Job 35:11).
So, we can see here that definitely, Elijah didn’t go to heaven but he was only brought up to the sky.
For a deeper explanation, please read “3 Types of Heaven Mentioned in the Bible.”
Proof no. 5: People knew Elijah didn’t go to heaven
We know that Elijah needed to find a successor to step up and become a prophet. God chose Elisha as Elijah’s successor (I Kings 19:16).
In II Kings 2:9, Elijah asked Elisha what request he may have for him. From there, Elijah was taken up to the sky _verse 11).
How do we know that it was to the sky and not to the third heaven?
Notice what the students and followers of Elijah told Elisha in 2 Kings 2:16:
16 Then they said to him, “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.”
These people exactly knew that the whirlwind simply transported Elijah to a new location on earth and NOT in heaven. They were concerned about Elijah that they sent people to look for him.
Proof no. 6: Elijah’s letter to Jehoram
Another irrefutable proof of Elijah’s stay on earth is found in 2 Chronicles 21:12-15:
12 And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying,
Thus says the LORD God of your father David:
Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot like the harlotry of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself…
14 Behold, the LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction—your children, your wives, and all your possessions; 15 and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
This letter was sent several years after the event in II Kings 2:11.
How do we know that?
After Elijah was taken up to heaven or sky, In II Kings 3:11-14, we read about Elisha’s encounter with King Jehoshaphat.
Later, in II Kings 8:16, we read about Jehoshaphat’s successor to the throne, King Jehoram.
So, we see here that Jehoram became king several years after II Kings 2:11, the time when Elijah was taken up to heaven.
Now, in II Chronicles 21:12-15, we read Elijah’s letter to Jehoram.
This clearly proves that Elijah was still alive after II Kings 2:11. He didn’t die or turn into a spirit being who is now living in heaven.
Elijah, like other faithful men and women, eventually died waiting for God’s eternal promise.
Proof no. 7: Christ is the first fruit
We read in I Corinthians 15:22-23:
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
So, there’s an order.
Who will go first? Obviously, it is Jesus Christ.
This means that it is illogical for Elijah, a sinner and mere mortal man, to precede Christ.
Proof no. 8: The transfiguration was a vision
Some people claim that Elijah is already in heaven based on transfiguration as we read in Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, and Luke 9:28-36.
We have already given seven proofs that Elijah wasn’t in heaven. So, definitely, the transfiguration can’t contradict what we have discussed so far.
Thankfully, the transfiguration doesn’t really contradict what we have read in other parts of the Bible. It is a vision of the future. This is confirmed by Yahshua Himself who said that what they saw was a 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).
It is a vision of how people would manifest when they are finally resurrected and appear in glory.
Again, at this time, Jesus haven’t died yet and wasn’t resurrected. Remember, He is the first fruit. This will be false if Elijah is already in heaven.
Elijah didn’t go to heaven
These are the 8 sure and impossible to refute proofs that Elijah didn’t go to heaven.
The clear teaching of the Bible is that no one has ascended to heaven except for Christ. He is the first fruit and those faithful servants of God who died before are waiting for their final resurrection.
I hope these pieces of biblical evidence will open your mind to God’s truth.