Home
What's New
Cults directory
Escaping the Cults
Apologetics
Current Trends
Bible Doctrines
Bible Explanations
 To Discern - selah
Ecumenism
Emergent church
Prophecy
Latter Rain
Law Keepers
Word Faith
Popular Teachers
Pentecostal Issues
Trinity / Deity
World  Religions
New Age Movement
Book Reviews
Testimonies
Web Directory
Tracts for witnessing
Books
Audio 
DVD Video
Web Search
Witnessing tips
The Persecuted Church
Current Religious News

 

                            

 

 No man has ascended to heaven.

Jesus said this just before the famous passage that nearly all have heard (Jn.3:16)

John 3:12-14 Jesus explains If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

As with any scripture we need to read it in its full context and not let a certain portion be lifted out that overrides the actual meaning for our interpretation. What Jesus is saying is that No man, is qualified to speak of heavenly things, we know this is part of the answer because of the verse before says this v.12. "If I have told you earthly things, and you do not believe, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

For anyone to speak of these things in heaven requires one of seeing them; and as no one has ascended into heaven and returned, so no one is qualified to speak of them but one, He who came down from heaven to earth. This does not mean that no one had GONE to heaven, for Enoch and Elijah had been brought there without dying (Gen 5:24; compare Heb. 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11).

What it means is that no one had ascended and "returned," to be qualified to speak of the things there. There is only one, the one called the Son who descended.

[But he that came down ...] The Lord Jesus. He is represented as coming down, because, being equal with God, he took upon himself our nature, John 1:14; Phil 2:6-7. He is represented as "sent" by the Father, John 3:17,34; Gal 4:4; 1 John 4:9-10.(from Barnes' Notes)

Has ascended or "has been there." Jesus says that no one has been in heaven except the Son of man who came down out of heaven; because no man could be in heaven without having ascended thither. (from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament)

Has ascended or "has been there, or who is in heaven."  The emphasis is on He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. In other words it is his place of origin, where he resides, of which he made plain throughout his ministry. The rest of the discourse is about why God sent his Son.

Then in John 3:31-32 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies. Again referring back to what he first said about ascending and descending.

Proverbs 30:4, the writer asks a series of six questions. The first question is: Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? The fifth question is what is his name. Jesus by his statement to Nicodemaus is identifying himself to Nicodemus.

So the meaning of the passage is not of Jesus giving a definitive statement that no one has gone to heaven (ie. Enoch or Elijah).

Copyright (c) 2017 The material on our website can be copied and used in its original format. Portions lifted from articles can be reproduced  for ones personal use for witnessing teaching and apologetics. Any other use is to have the permission of Let Us Reason ministries. Thank You.      

 

We would like to hear from you. Please send us an e mail and let us know how we can be of more help. Our time is just as valuable as yours. Please keep in mind, that we only have time to answer sincere inquiries.  We will use discretion in answering any letters.                                     

 If you have trouble printing an article please copy the web page by highlighting the text         first - then click copy - and then paste the article into a word program on your computer.