There are a few verses in the Bible that seem to suggest that these men are not in heaven. Starting with the following which lists men such as Enoch.
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
This verse talks about men in the context including Enoch in verse 5. But this is what it says about Enoch.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
I was recently reading from another website and the writer said “But, after he was transferred to another place, Enoch died and ceased to be.” But we are told that Enoch “should not see death” so how could he die?
Now, someone may say that verse 13 says “these all died” and some have come to the conclusion that Enoch died. “These all died in faith” does not refer to Enoch since verse 5 specifically differentiates Enoch from the rest saying that “he should not see death” unlike the others who “all died in faith”.
It is odd to me how we can say that a man who did “not see death” died. But some have come to that conclusion, and I can see why. However, the verse is very clear. Furthermore in the book of Genesis we are told the following:
Genesis 5:22-24 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: (23) And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: (24) And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
God took him where? Well we are told that “he should not see death”. So He must have took him to heaven.
2Kings_2:11 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.
Elijah went to heaven the Bible says. But according to Jesus we are told the following:
Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Does the Bible contradict itself? No. So therefore there is more to these statements than meets the eye. What is Jesus really saying? Well, if we consider the context of who Jesus is talking to. He is talking to Nicodemus. And He is speaking of the new birth. The term “man” can be translated “Human”. Which basically can mean “carnal”. Can a carnal man inherit the Kingdom of God?
In other words only divinity can inherit the Kingdom of God, not humanity. We must be translated and become sons of God, or accept the divine nature and the Holy Spirit in order to see the Kingdom of God.
Col_1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
How does this happen? By the new birth. We are translated from humanity to divinity. “Partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4) No Human (Man) can see the Kingdom.
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In other words, in order to ascend to heaven, you must not be born of man, but be born of God. No son of man can see the Kingdom of God. Only a son of God. You need to become a family member.
That is Jesus whole point in this verse. He isn’t saying that Enoch, Elijah and Moses have not ascended to heaven. Elijah was a prophet. He had the Spirit of prophecy, and therefore was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was born again. Enoch walked with God and was also a son of God. They were translated into ambassadors of the Kingdom, then finally went to the Kingdom without seeing death.
The context of John 3 needs to be read and understood with this verse. If a human or man without the Holy Spirit was to go up to heaven, he would be burnt up. “No man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18). It’s referring to the nature of man before the new birth.
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
We are told that the resurrection of God’s people is at “the voice of the archangel” Michael (1 Thess 4:16) That is at the “shout” of the Lord Jesus. In John 5 we are told:
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, (29) 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.
This voice is the resurrecting voice of Jesus. The same voice that “shouted with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43) And this is the one that disputed with the devil about the body of Moses.
Jesus contended with the devil about resurrecting Moses. And of course Moses was resurrected by the voice of the archangel. And we know that both Moses and Elijah are alive because they talked to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
Matthew 17:2-4 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. (3) And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. (4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Here we have Moses and Elijah talking with him. Some have tried to say this is just a vision by suggesting that the word “appeared” in Greek means it is a vision. However, that same term is used 57 times in the New Testament, and talks of seeing God, the son of man in his glory, the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, the second coming, seeing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, angels, Peter, etc. This word does not mean it is just a vision.
Jesus wasn’t just talking to ghosts, and this was no vision. Jesus was literally on the mount talking to people, and Peter himself says this is no fairy tale.
2 Peter 1:16-18 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (17) For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (18) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
This is not just some vision… This really happened where this voice said this with Moses and Elijah literally there.
Mark 9:5-7 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. (6) For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. (7) And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
This is the same incident, and Peter is saying that this is not just some cunningly devised fable. This is his Kingdom, and Moses and Elijah are in the Kingdom now.
In conclusion, I would say that we need to carefully study the word and be careful we are not spiritualizing away the plain meaning of the scriptures. These men such as Enoch, Elijah, and Moses are types of God’s people at the end of the world. May we be among those who live and accept, that no man out of Christ can know the things of the Spirit, see the Kingdom of God, or ascend into heaven as did Enoch, Elijah and Moses, unless they are born again.