This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Did Elijah Ascend to Heaven?

QUESTION: Reconcile the translation of Elijah [in] II Kings 2:11 (1) with John 3:13 "And no one has ascended into heaven," and (2) I  Cor. 15:20,  "Flesh and blood. cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven."

ANSWER: It is evidently an elliptical quotation from Deut. 30:12, "Who shall go for us to heaven, and bring it (God's command) unto us," etc.; also Prov. 30:3, 4, "Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One, who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended?" Christ omitted the last clause of these texts, the return from heaven with a message for men. The  context very clearly proves that this is the correct explanation. He is asserting his own sole competence to reveal heavenly truth, because he, the Son of man, is the only human teacher who has been in heaven and has brought down truths absolute and eternal. (2) Elijah's personality resides in his spirit. This certainly is in heaven. But on the mount of transfiguration he appeared in a visible form. We are taught in I Cor. 15:51, that when the dead are raised the living believers "will be changed in a moment." It is not unreasonable to suppose that Enoch and Elijah were the first fruits of this change of the living "in the twinkling of an eye."

Steele's Answers pp. 113, 114.

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