John 3:13

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Patriot, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Patriot

    Patriot
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    I have a question regarding John 3:13. It says that 'no one has ascended into heaven...' What does this verse mean? I have a sort of vague idea that it means that no one has gone into heaven and come back to explain celestial things, just Jesus. The question came up as I was reading the Bible and I noted this verse. I am in constant contact with Jehovah Witnesses and I know they might use this verse to support their belief that we don't go to heaven when we die. Thanks guys.
     
  2. John Wells

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    Patriot,

    I think to properly understand John 3:13, you need to back up to verse 12:

    I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. (John 3:12-13)

    Jesus is saying no one has ever ascended into heaven in such a way as to return and talk about heavenly things. Prior to His incarnation, Jesus had His permanent abode in heaven, and only He has true knowledge and wisdom regarding heavenly things.
     
  3. Gina B

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    Two possibilities. I favor the first.
    Nobody had entered heaven because Christ hadn't died yet. Those who had died in Christ were unable to enter (remained in paradise) until the blood sacrifice that would eternally cleanse them had taken place.

    Second possibility is the same as everyone else is saying. People didn't ascend in the manner of Christ. I'd think he would have mentioned that's what he meant if that's what he meant though instead of authoring confusion and saying nobody ever went to heaven.
    Gina
     
  4. John Wells

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    Actually Gina, I would have rather quoted a different translation.

    “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.(John 3:13 NASB)

    Prior to and after this statement, many had/have "gone to heaven." No one has ascended to heaven in the manner Jesus did. Now Elijah came close:

    As they were walking along and talking together, 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. (2 Kings 2:11)

    But he did not ascend on the clouds like Jesus did.
     
  5. Gina B

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    There are different meanings of the word heaven.
    How do you explain this incident years later if Elijah was taken into the heaven where God was to stay?
    2CHRON 21:12 And there came a writing to him from [bold]Elijah the prophet,[/bold] saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
    Gina
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    Elisha has also been called Elijah because he took over for Elijah and was so filled with God's Spirit. Some authorities believe this was a transcribers error. Others believe Elijah wrote the letter and Elisha delivered it.

     
  7. John Wells

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    This event undoubtedly occurred in the early years of Jehoram’s co-reign with his father Jehoshaphat, which places its timing shortly before Elijah’s departure to heaven, ca. 848 b.c. Scripture does not say who delivered the letter (Elijah, Elisha, or someone else), but the point is Elijah penned it prior to being caught up to heaven.
     
  8. Gina B

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    How do you know that John? The timing doesn't make sense the way you put it. Does it? :confused:
    Also, the bible says that all men die once. It also says that Elijah was translated so he wouldn't die. Perhaps he still walks the earth and is one of the prophets spoken of in Revelation. If that happens, then in the end the scriptures still prove true that all men die once. [​IMG]
    I know..I'm kinda weird. :D But do you think it's possible?
    Gina
     
  9. John Wells

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    No and No! I don't think you're weird, and no Elijah is not walking the earth. Whether Elijah is literally or figuratively one of the "two witnesses" in Revelation remains to be seen. But Elijah was with Moses at Jesus' transfiguration (Matt 17:1-13). Moses died and went to heaven. Moses and Elijah departed together during the transfiguration. The natural conclusion is they were called down from heaven for that particular moment, to glorify The Christ!

    Again, the timing of the letter from him places it within his lifetime on earth.
     
  10. dianetavegia

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    GinaL said:
    Gina, those caught up to meet Jesus in the air won't die a physical death but a death to sin. Lazarus died twice. The widow's son died twice. The little girl Jesus raised from the dead died twice.....

    Diane
     

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