Do people go to Heaven when they die?
Well some might say... If they have been good, if they have been born again... they surely are in heaven; aren't they?
What does the Bible say about heaven?
No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
Yeshua, who had come down from heaven, and who became man, said plainly that NO ONE has ascended to heaven.
Did Jesus lie? If He did, then we have no savior.
Furthermore, the bible says:
For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.' "
So David was not taken to heaven; but what about Elijah? Was he not taken to heaven?
2 Kings 2:11
As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
Here the bible says that Elijah went up into heaven. Is this a contradiction? Where did Elijah go?
Yeshua did not lie when He stated that no one had gone to heaven except Himself. Therefore, we may conclude that Elijah went to another place, but not to the throne of God.
The answer to this seeming contradiction is that the word "heaven" means more than one thing.
As stated in the Bible, there are at least 3 types of "Heaven."
2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the THIRD HEAVEN. And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
Paradise is called in the Bible the "THIRD HEAVEN." Which are the other "heavens?"
Let us look at the context in which the word "heaven" is used in the Scriptures.
Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
And makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?
The earth quaked;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
In the three examples above, we see that "heaven" is used to mean the AIR OR ATMOSPHERE above us that envelops the earth like a mantle and constitutes part of the Earth. This "first heaven" is the closer one to our Earth, and scientifically is part of our Earth. Clouds form in this "first heaven." This is where birds fly. Airplanes fly from the Earth and reach much higher altitudes than most birds; they fly among and above the clouds.
Continue to Heaven Part II
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