Summary: Does God still call people up to Heaven?
Ascents Into Heaven and Angel Messengers
In recent months, I have heard of two people who claim to have been to Heaven like the Apostle John. One was in the actual throne room speaking to God and Jesus while the other saw the Four Beasts and spoke to Michael the Archangel. Does this match Scripture?
Searching the Scripture, we can see God walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden. He took Enoch home with Him after one walk and brought Elijah up in a chariot. Neither has returned to tell us what they saw. Both are considered as likely candidates for the Two Witnesses in the Tribulation since neither died in the the traditional manner. When the living are translated in the Rapture they will experience instantaneous death and resurrection in a twinkling of an eye so it may not be necessary for either to return. Everyone else is on the earth when they speak with God or an angel. Isaiah got a view of Christ on the throne but he was firmly planted on the temple floor.
Indeed, we find that only John was taken to the throne room, but even he did not know if it was in the body or out of the body. Some think Paul is talking about himself in
2 Cor 12:1-5
1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. KJV
I am not absolutely sure why some theologians believe that Paul was speaking of himself when he clearly says that he “knew a man” and “of such a one” he would glory but not glory in anything himself except his infirmities. Paul gave his resume and heritage in several places. If it was him he would not suddenly get coy or some sort of backhanded humility now.
1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write : and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. KJV
Here are the unspeakable words that John was not to write and hence to not utter if they cannot be written as part of the prophecy that would be uttered for centuries. As we said, John in chapter 1 did not know if he was in the body or out of the body as Paul said of the man he knew.
I think what makes some think it is Paul is that they think because Revelation speaks of last things that it had to be written last. That is not a mandate. Daniel wrote of last days prophecy and many books were written after him. So, Paul speaking of John messes up when they think when the various books were written, but it is Paul speaking of John and not himself.
Now, can God beam people up to the throne? Yes, indeed! After all, He is God. He can do as He chooses and pleases. Have angels spoken to people in the past? Yes, they did. Are these types of things going on today? Scripture indicates no. Just because God does something once does not mean He is ever going to do it again. Everything in Scripture is there to teach us something, but it does mean it is to be a repeating pattern. Are we to march around Jericho again or cross the Red Sea? Those were one time deals. John's experience is also one of those since no one before or since has done it until these last days of iniquity.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,