Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we ponder the reason why Enoch and Elijah did not die.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Why Enoch and Elijah Did Not Die
"Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed." First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 51 and 52.
Brothers and sisters, we are told in Genesis 5:24 that "Enoch walked with God: And he was not; for
God took him," and in Hebrews 11:5 "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." Of Elijah, we are told in Second Kings, 2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still
went, 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." In Matthew 5:8, we are told the pure
in heart shall see God, and in Matthew 5:48, we are told, "Be ye therefore perfect, even your Father
which is in heaven is perfect."
It is therefore apparent that there are two ways to leave the mortal life. We can leave by the normal
dissolution of the flesh or we can be translated. Translation means to leave a lower state for a higher
state. We know that when we undergo mortal death, our souls are in the possession of our angels,
for scripture tells us: "And then shall he send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the
four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of the heaven." (Mark 13:27)
When we are translated our souls are in the possession of the Father's spirit.
As we study the life of Enoch and Elijah and-- more importantly--the life of Jesus, we see that their
lives were characterized by righteousness, which is obtained by faith. There is no other way to obtain
divine righteousness.. Consider this quote: "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that
cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
We know that the Enoch and Elijah were translated in the dispensation before Christ came to earth.
We know that the potentials for spiritual growth are different in each dispensation. Of John the
Baptist, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not arisen
one greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is
greater than he." John was of the old dispensation. His was not of the dispensation of grace, the
dispensation of the Spirit of Truth.
When Jesus came to earth as a human, this bestowal of the divine Son imparted new potentials to
the souls of mankind. One of these potentials is the potential to live the kingdom of heaven while
living the life in the flesh as Jesus did. This power of the Spirit of Truth allows the soul to grow
and develop to the point where it matures. We come into the world void of all spiritual
consciousness of God. We are void of all consciousness of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the
Father's love. As we grow and develop, we develop a consciousness of God, made possible by
the growth of ours souls. It is our souls--whose origin begins within the human mind--that
explore the infinity of God from the very beginning of consciousness throughout the endless ages
in the never-ending exploration of the infinity of the divine values and meanings of God. Our
souls have a beginning but they do not have an end. Now we are considered the least, but we
shall be the first to explore the complete infinity of the divine values and meanings of God. Only
those who are so fortunate to start at the bottom of life can know all the divine values and
meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love. So we see that the beginning of this
exploration of infinity begins in the mortal life. The exploration of infinity is the exploration of
eternal values and meanings.
Though this process of exploring infinity begins in the mortal life, it does not end there. There is
a certain limit on the values and meanings that can be explored and comprehended in the mortal
life. The mortal man or woman is given the maximum amount of time to function (mind and
soul-wise) before death terminates the opportunity. It is the maturation of the soul that allows it
to be translated; the failure of the soul to reach maturity means the soul is released by mortal
death. This termination is really the soul being released from the mortal mind so that it can
further develop and grow, and continue on with its exploration of divine values and meanings.
After deliverance from the mortal mind, this soul readily grows to such dimensions that it fuses
with the Father's spirit, the same spirit that co-created it in the beginning, and the same spirit that
revealed the divine values and meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love while
still in the flesh. This provides the eternal foundation for the soul to continue on even until
eternity. As this soul continues to grow, it becomes more like God. For those souls who could not
or did not (due to the premature termination of the life in the flesh or do to the overwhelming
dominance by the material nature) attain the necessary growth while in the flesh to fuse with their
divine spirit, remedial instruction is given in the next life, to provide all the help that the true of
purpose need in order to finalize this choosing of the Father's will. Jesus said, "In my Father's
house are many mansions. These mansions are where further instruction is given to the soul to
assist it in reaching maturity so that it can become one with the Father's spirit, so that it can fuse
with the Father's spirit.
But though mortal death is necessary to free the soul, it is not the only way of freeing the soul
from the material mind. When the soul reaches a certain level of development, exhausting all the
potential of spiritual values and meanings associated with the human state, than that soul fuses
with the divine spirit. In a sense, you can say that the soul that accomplishes this feat finishes its
course work ahead of the class and is thus qualified to go on to the next level. Now we know that
even in the material sense there are individuals who complete their educational experience before
others do, and they go on ahead of their peers to continue with their development. We all are
familiar with such students, but we are not very familiar with such spiritual students who go on
to complete their spiritual work ahead of their peers.
By the technique of submitting our wills to the Father's will in this life, we maximize our soul's
development and acquire by faith a righteous character that makes translation possible. When we
submit our wills to the Father's will, we have in effect embarked upon the journey to obey the
Father's merciful mandate: To be perfect even as he is perfect, defined spiritually as the
acquisition of a moral and spiritual character like Jesus, a righteous character. "The evidence of
true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love,
activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection
ideals of divinity." Such a one who has truly embarked upon this growth process would have an
attitude of becoming all that he can intellectually, morally and spiritually. Such a one would
establish spiritual goals as the supreme reason for living. By such an attitude one would begin to
strive to master the spiritual goals set for him while still living in the flesh and would graduate in
a similar fashion to Enoch and Elijah. Enoch and Elijah did not die simply because they achieved
the spiritual goals set for them by God while living in the flesh, thus qualifying them to begin the
next phase of their lives before mortal dissolution or mortal death.
This concludes today's message on understanding the reason why Enoch and Elijah did not die.
We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.