THE UNIQUENESS OF HIS ASCENSION
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:13).
There’re those who argue that “Enoch and Elijah also “ascended” to heaven; why then did Jesus say, ‘no one but Himself ever ascended to heaven?’” The truth is, Enoch and Elijah didn’t ascend to heaven. It’s important that when you study the Scriptures, you pay attention to some of the original words from where the English words are translated, because some translations can render words more mildly, thereby misleading from the real truth.
In the case of Enoch, for example, the Bible says “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). Notice it didn’t say, “Enoch walked with God: and he ascended”; rather, he was taken away; caught-up or transferred from the earth, that he should not see death. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him….” This wasn’t “ascension.”
Then, we come to the example of Elijah. When he and Elisha had crossed the River Jordan, Elisha asked him, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” Elijah responded, “…if thou see me when I’m taken from thee, it shall be unto thee…” (2 Kings Acts 1:9; Ephesians 2:5-62:10). The next verse reveals that as they journeyed further, still talking, “…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). Again, this wasn’t “ascension.”
During the rapture of the Church for example, we’re not going to “ascend” to heaven; we’re going to be “taken away” or “caught up” to heaven. To ascend is to levitate to heaven: to go into heaven of one’s own power and ability.
Only Jesus ever did that. In Acts 1:9, whilst talking to His disciples, “…he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” The word “taken” used here is the Greek “epairo,” which means to exalt or lift oneself. Jesus unlocked the power within Him and levitated from the ground right into heaven, by Himself, not by any outside force. No one ever did that. Glory to His Name forever!