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Could you explain the presence of Elijah and Moses?

Submitted: 7/7/2009
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Question: To the elders of The Glorious Church, Thank you for posting the insightful and refreshing information regarding Church Polity and Collegial Eldership. The articles you have posted have greatly enriched and strengthened me spiritually. On another note, I've been grappling to understand your teaching on death and the nature of spirit/soul. As I investigate the Scriptures in the 'spirit of the Bereans' I need as much direction as possible. Since, the majority of Protestant churches maintain a different teaching on these issues and consider alternative positions to be 'anathema.' The following points sum up my deductions from reading previous articles. 1. The terms spirit/soul do not refer to an eternal, incorporeal entity, but are terms used to describe breath, life, etc. 2. Hell or Sheol (Hebrew) does not refer to a place of everlasting torment, reserved for the wicked, but refers to the grave. 3. All persons who are 'asleep' in the grave (i.e., Sheol) are and will remain unconscious until the ressurection of the dead. 4. No individual, after death, faces instant judgment, and thereby enters into a state of spiritual paradise (i.e., Heaven) or spiritual torment (i.e., Hell). Judgement will occur after the ressurection of the dead. One issue that puzzles me is the stories of Enoch, Elijah and Moses. Both Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus during his transfiguaration. However, the scripture says that Moses died. In addition, Enoch and Elijah were translated to 'Heaven', without any mention of a preceding physical death. Could you explain these instances?

Answer: We are not sure that we can explain how Elijah and Enoch were caught away without experiencing death or how Moses happened to appear with Elijah on the mount. Explanations of this sort may have to wait for the age to come. Apparently Elijah and Enoch experienced something akin to the Rapture. They were simply taken into glory. Moses, on the other hand, definitely died. Yet there he was on the Mount of Transfiguration. This would seem to suggest that at some point after he died, Moses was resurrected and taken into glory. Once a person has entered into everlasting life, it seems that he is capable of entering back into the earthly realm for special appearances such as you have noted. If anyone else can shed further light on these instances, they are welcome to post their thoughts.