Did anyone before Jesus go to Heaven and Will They Be Raised Up On the Last Day? (John 6)
”Eemaha!” That is Eskimo for maybe.
Truly Jesus died. This is a cornerstone of Christian theology. The Son of God died, but then rose from the dead three days later. However, Enoch and Elijah did not die. They were taken from earth to heaven by God. They are the only ones in recorded history to skip death.
Some Christians hold that these two Prophets will return to earth and will die as martyrs, professing the faith in Jesus as the true Christ when the Antichrist appears.
As such, they neither consumed the body or blood of Christ, as both we living prior to the establishment of the New Covenant.
In fact, Enoch lived during the time of God’s Covenant with Adam, while Elijah lived under God’s Covenant established under the Law of Moses.
Why did God take Enoch and Elijah to heaven without them dying?
According to the Bible, Enoch and Elijah are the only two people God took to heaven without them dying. Genesis 5:24 tells us, "Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." Second Kings 2:11 tells us, "Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind." Enoch is described as a man who "walked with God for 300 years" (Genesis 5:23). Elijah was perhaps the most powerful of God’s prophets in the Old Testament. There are also prophecies of Elijah’s return (Malachi 4:5-6).
Why did God take Enoch and Elijah? The Bible does not specifically give us the answer. Some speculate that they were taken in preparation for a role in the end times, possibly as the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-12. This is possible, but not explicitly taught in the Bible. It may be that God desired to save Enoch and Elijah from experiencing death due to their great faithfulness in serving and obeying Him. Whatever the case, God has His purpose, and while we don’t always understand God’s plans and purposes, we know that “His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30).
Certainly the teachings of John 6:52-59 can not pertain to those who lived under a different Covenant established under God’s will.
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. - Hebrews 11:5
22 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. - Genesis 5:22-24
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. - 2 Kings 2:11
Whether or not these two Prophets went to heaven or not; or are in fact to be the Two Witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation does not produce grounds for some contraction in St. John’s Gospel as they were both living their lives under a different set of mandates established by God during their perspective times.
The Two Witnesses
11 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Come and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, wearing sackcloth.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. 6 They have authority to shut the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have authority over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically[a] called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days members of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb; 10 and the inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to the inhabitants of the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days, the breath[b] of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and those who saw them were terrified. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Are Enoch and Elijah the Two Witnesses?
The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus (also known as Acts of Pilate) states that those two witnesses who will appear in times of Antichrist to engage in battle with him are Enoch and Elijah: "3. One of them answering, said, I am Enoch, who was translated by the word of God: and this man who is with me, is Elijah the Tishbite, who was translated in a fiery chariot. 4. Here we have hitherto been, and have not tasted death, but are now about to return at the coming of Antichrist, being armed with divine signs and miracles, to engage with him in battle, and to be slain by him at Jerusalem, and to be taken up alive again into the clouds, after 3 days and a half." - Gospel of Nicodemus, Chapter 20:3-4.
Others have proposed Moses as one of the witnesses, for his ability to turn water into blood and the power to plague the earth.
Early Christian writers such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus of Rome, have concluded that the two witnesses would be Enoch and Elijah, the two prophets who did not die because God "took" them according to other Biblical passages. - Two witnesses
Did anyone before Jesus go to Heaven and Will They Be Raised Up On the Last Day?
If there is any possibility of this I would say that the Prophets Enoch and Elijah fit the bill. The only question I have is that how diverse denominations interpret ”heaven”, in regards to these two Prophets, which is not part of this immediate posting.