Q. It is my understanding that OT Saints went to paradise when they died and that they did not go to Heaven until after Christ’s resurrection. Yet, an OT Saint was “snatched” away (raptured). Did he go to heaven before Christ ascended to sit at the right hand of God? What about the Thief of the Cross? Did he go to Paradise or Heaven?
A. Jesus said, No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man (John 3:13). This tells us that Enoch and Elijah, the two Old Testament figures who were taken off the Earth with out dying, either went to Paradise with those who died to await the resurrection, or were transported forward to a point in time after the resurrection. According to Luke 23:43 the thief who repented accompanied Jesus to Paradise.
By the way, don’t confuse these events with the Transfiguration, where Moses and Elijah met with Jesus (Luke:9:28-31). Since all three appeared to Peter, James, and John “in glorious splendor” this had to be a visit from the future Millennial Kingdom.