Based on my last post concerning Elijah I have taken an expedition into the kingdom of God, about which some questions were raised. How was that done? — in the thread it was discussed that flesh and Blood cannot enter into heaven, and Elijah was taken into heaven. When I heard this I knew that it sounded scripturally authoritative. But I questioned it because I knew that the Apostles Paul and John were both called into the third heaven in the flesh. Which may be irrelevant as we shall see, because there is no way to prove that their’s was or was not an in body experience, but it sent me to the text in 1 Corinthians 15 for further study.
And here is what the text states.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:50 NASB
So the Kingdom Of God is what Paul tells us cannot be inhabited by flesh and blood. This I believe has far reaching implications when we consider it. It goes beyond the issue Maria raised in the past post in question, because there are men today who teach that the kingdom of God is present on earth right now, but based on this verse this cannot be. We are still flesh and blood. So the kingdom of God must still be future. In Daniel we learn when the kingdom of God is actually to be established.
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
Daniel 2:44 NASB
So first we learn that God’s kingdom is eternal from a given point in time, and that it will crush all other kingdoms. So that crushing has not yet happened. And in Daniel 7 we learn why:
Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
Daniel 7:27 NASB
So God’s kingdom is not yet established and will not be until the end of this age when these earthly kingdoms are crushed. Jesus even told us to pray for the coming of this future kingdom in what we call the Lord’s prayer.
My next question then was — was it necessary as Maria stated for Elijah to have been given an immortal body if the kingdom was not yet established? And please understand I am not putting anyone down certainly not Maria when I ask these questions, I myself was unsure after she stated her case, but I believe that when we are unsure we should study more in order to resolve the issue from scripture. Man was originally in paradise where he walked with God in a body of flesh, if he was not in a body of flesh, then he was in a Spirit Body and immortal. But not so Listen:
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul .” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49 NASB
Paul makes it clear that Adam was a natural man and we know that he walked with God. He states that the second Adam was a life giving Spirit. Jesus is that second man. Before He came the natural could not put on immortality. Elijah was taken up to heaven as a natural man. There is no reason to think that his sins were covered any sooner than Paul’s and John’s who were both called into the third heaven and remained mortal as was Adam when he walked in the Garden, which at that time was paradise, with God. But there is another verse that neither of us, Maria or I used in the first discussion. It I think makes clearer what was recorded in the first article posted about Elijah. This is Jesus speaking:
And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
Matthew 17:11-12 NASB
At the point when Jesus stated this John the Baptist was dead, and Jesus had stated elsewhere in scripture that John was Elijah, but here He states that “Elijah is” still “coming” even after John the Baptist’s death, and when he comes he “will restore all things”. I am not at all certain that I fully understand what this implies. Restoring all things is a tall order, and I believe one that only Messiah Himself will accomplish, but at least we can understand that Elijah will certainly do that which is prophesied concerning him, and possibly even more.
I hope that this further explains why the Messianic Jewish remnant of our day still point to the passover traditions of Judaism concerning Elijah as being pertinent to end time prophecy.
There are those who think and teach that Elijah is a type of the church to be Raptured. They never think through what they are saying. If Elijah is the church, who then is Elisha on whom Elijah’s mantle fell, and why was Elisha given a double portion of Elijah’s Spirit while left behind on this earth?