From what I understand, the bible says that Enoch and Elijah are suppose to return to prepare the world for Jesus’ second coming. Now, does this mean they are suppose to descend from heaven or are they going to be born again? It sounded weird, but I watch this YouTube video which claimed that Pope John Paul II was the “second Elijah”. I didn’t find anything further about it so I figured it was one of those doomsdayer’s video. Thoughts?
Prophecies are often formulated in such a way that they don’t fully make sense as long as they are about the future, but when these things come to pass it will be immediately clear that this is so and what was meant.
Prophecies are not there to fortell the future. We shouldn’t be foretelling the future. This why the Church condemns things such as Tarot and Astrology. They are there so that when things happen that we have reassurance that all is still within God’s plan.
I take it to mean that those two will not come back as they were, as we know them, but rather that there will be two people in the future who will represent the same purpose as the two did in the past. Do you know how Mary is referred to as the “New Eve?” Well the two that are to come will be the new Enoch and new Elijah. That is my fairest estimation.
For some perspective you should take the time to read through this blog:
Some of the early church fathers taught that they will literally return as they never died and it is written that all men die once. They are allegedly preparing for their ministry in paradise and will oppose antichrist and his blasphemous teachings.Antichrist is said to kill them and let their bodies lie in the street.
Hmm… I’m not sure I’d agree. After all, Jesus Himself said, “if you are willing to accept it, [John the Baptist] is Elijah, the one who is to come” (Mt 11:14).
If it isn’t in the bible it must be Church tradition. I heard it from a priest.
If it’s “Sacred Tradition”, then you should be able to find it in the catechism, right? It’s not there.
On the other hand, what you’re talking about is likely a (non-Catholic) interpretation of the “two witnesses” found in Revelation 11. According to those who believe that Revelation is primarily about signs of things yet to come, this is one of those signs – two witnesses who, some believe, will be Enoch and Elijah.
There are two problems here: first, the Church doesn’t interpret this passage in this way. More fundamentally, though, the Church doesn’t interpret the book of Revelation in this way.
So, if a ‘priest’ told you this, I’d be inclined to believe either that you misunderstood what he was saying, or that he wasn’t a Catholic priest. :shrug:
Enoch and Elijah as the Two Witnesses of Revelation is a good starting point, as is Dr. Marshall’s podcast covering this chapter (though the whole series on Revelation is worth listening to): #083: Revelation Chapters 10-11 The Giant Angel and Two Witnesses (Catholic Apocalypse Part 6)
In short: some view this as a symbol of the Law and the Prophets, or as Moses and Elijah in the flesh, or as a man who totals the OT prophets and also John the Baptist; Augustine and many of the other Fathers, as well as Aquinas, held that the two witnesses were Enoch and Elijah, since they were the only men who had never known death. Further, Enoch is a great prophet to the nations (since he’s their common ancestor!), and Elijah would certainly be able to help cause the mass conversion of the Jews we’re waiting for (Rom 9-11).
From the Summa:
Reply to Objection 2. Elias (Elijah) was taken up into the atmospheric heaven (space?), but not in to the empyrean heaven, which is the abode of the saints: and likewise Enoch was translated into the earthly paradise, where he is believed to live with Elias until the coming of Antichrist. (Summa theologiae III, q. 49, a. 5)
So, it’s acceptable to disagree, but Aquinas and Augustine present the argument very well. It warrants careful consideration, not dismissal. Reincarnation is antithetical to Christianity, though, so this is a literal, bodily, return of the two from… wherever they are now.
The problem here is that we’re taking a tangential discussion in III.49.5 and weaving a story around it. Does Aquinas say what happens at “the coming of Antichrist,” with respect to Enoch and Elijah? No. So, to build a story there, and then claim that Aquinas originated that story, is not reasonable. Furthermore, Aquinas – in this very paragraph – makes a claim that doesn’t fit with Catholic doctrine: that there is some other place besides heaven for the dead (prior to the parousia, of course, but neverthess, a second place). The Catholic Church doesn’t teach this!
So, yeah: dismissal. :shrug: