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Tag Archives: Theology

Enoch Walked With God

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Genesis 5:24)

“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

As we walk through the graveyard of Genesis Chapter 5, we come across something rather strange. We see a headstone that tells us about Jared, how long he lived, the fact that he was Enoch’s father, and then we read that he died. Then, a few feet away, we see another headstone that tells us that beneath it is buried Methuselah. It says that Methuselah was the son of Enoch and that he himself lived 969 years (longer than anyone else in the Bible) and then he, too, died. It seems that Enoch’s grave, however, is nowhere to be found.

We are not told very much at all about this mysterious person who “walked with God.” Yet it is interesting to note that when we compare what the Bible does say about him compared with the first “Enoch” that we read about back in Genesis 4:17-18, we are really told a great deal more. Cain intended the name of his son Enoch to live on forever, naming the city that he founded after him. Though that Enoch was the namesake of an entire city and although from him would descend great pioneers of the arts and humanities, the Word of God barely gives him a passing glance.

This Enoch, however, this Enoch was different. No city bore his name nor did any great civilization descend directly from his offspring, but this Enoch is given great prominence because he “walked with God.” He was faithful to the Lord and walked with Him. This is what God considers important. It wasn’t the Christian College that he founded, it wasn’t the huge megachurch that he pastored, it wasn’t the jam-packed stadiums that he preached to. Enoch is remembered and his name is recorded forever in the Scriptures because he walked with God. I can think of no higher aspiration than one day seeing those very words written by our own names in the Lambs Book of Life.: “He walked with God.”

“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 11:5)

Enoch was not found. People looked for him, but he had vanished. There was no trace of where he had gone. We know from the Book of Jude that Enoch was a prophet who unflinchingly warned of God’s judgments (Jude 14-15). This must have garnered him many enemies in a world that had already sunk into such depravity. I wonder what they thought when they sought him out and could not find him.

“Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

I believe that the translation of Enoch is a picture of the Rapture of those who are in Christ that will occur before the Tribulation. The Tribulation shall be the final judgment of God on an unrepentant world; the Flood was the first. As God took His own out of the world before He moved His hand in judgment with the Flood, so shall He do again before the final judgment. It has been calculated that the Flood came upon the Earth the very year that Methuselah, Enoch’s son, died. I do not think that this is a coincidence. God in His wonderful Grace spared Enoch from the wrath of judgment and even waited until his son was gone before releasing the flood waters.

Some well-meaning Christians have discarded the teaching of the Rapture of the Church because they do not see any Biblical precedent where God has taken His own out of the way of harm, only that He has given them the grace to go through it. I would suggest that what He did in the life of Enoch would definitely be such a precedent. While God certainly does not shield us from the troubles that are in the world (John 17:15), He has not appointed those who trust in Christ to receive His wrath and judgment (Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:9). When we understand that the events of the Great Tribulation described in the Book of Revelation (e.g., Revelation 15:1, 16:1) are God’s judgments on an unrepentant world, we can see how the Lord will take His own out of the world before He releases His wrath upon it; just as He did with Enoch, the man who “walked with God.”

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 2, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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Men Began To Call Upon The Name Of The Lord

“Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:25-26)

The Book of Genesis briefly follows the lineage that descended from Cain, ending with the tragic account of Lamech. We are told two things about this line: they fell into awful sinfulness, and they were apparently very resourceful. Lamech is mentioned only in connection with his sinfulness and unrepentant attitude toward God. His children are mentioned only in connection with their accomplishments. Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain are commended as the “fathers” of various arts and sciences; while Lamech’s daughter, Naamah (whose name means “pleasantness” or “loveliness”), is simply mentioned without comment.

“…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b)

What a stunning contrast we have in the narrative concerning Cain’s line: people who seemed to be so filled with grace and beauty, yet with hearts that were dead to the things of God!

Seth’s Line

“For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27)

The devil may have breathed a momentary sigh of relief when Abel fell dead to the ground, thinking that the seed that was to crush his head may have been snuffed out, but God’s plans are thwarted by no one. Eve called her new son “Seth”, the “appointed“, and recognized that it would be through this son that the Son would ultimately come Who would redeem mankind from the effects of sin’s curse.

“Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord”

When exactly the calling upon the name of the Lord began to occur is not certain. I do not believe that it was intended to be understood that nobody was acknowledging God before the birth of Enos. But I think a distinction is being made here between the descendants of Cain and the descendants of Seth. By reading just a little farther, it becomes readily apparent that there certainly was not a unanimous, all-encompassing turning toward God. Only that a very small remnant from this line would do so. So it has always been that it pleases God to preserve a small remnant (apparently only two individuals from Seth to Noah: Enoch and Noah himself) who will devote themselves wholly to the Lord.

And what is this great distinction between Cain’s line and Seth’s? It was not that one possessed greater wisdom and insight. It was not that one had more revelation from God than the other. It was not a different background, culture, or environment that made the difference. They called upon the name of the Lord. They recognized two extremely crucial things which those in Cain’s family did not: 1.) Who God was, and 2.) who they were. They acknowledged their need for God and that He was the only One Who could remedy the problem of the sin that separated them from Him. It is only by having a real understanding of these two things that anyone will truly call upon the name of the Lord.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 28, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

 

Dwelling In The Land Of Nod

"And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." (Genesis 4:16-17)

“Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain had relations with his wife; and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.” (Genesis 4:16-17)

So, after God passed sentence on Cain and laid out what his punishment would be for killing his brother, Abel, Cain departed from the presence of the Lord. This departure was both physical and spiritual. What we read in the next few verses is a perfect picture of mankind’s endeavors apart from God.

The very first thing that we see Cain doing after God has banished him from His presence is that he continues to defy God. God said that Cain would be a “vagabond in the earth” (Gen. 3:14), and that is exactly what the term “Land of Nod” means: the land of “wandering”, or the land of “vagrancy.” So, Cain does indeed become a wandering vagabond. But verse 17 tells us that he “built a city.” Apparently Cain still did not believe that God’s Words were true. Cain was attempting to establish a place of settlement, a place for him to find residence after God Almighty had decreed that he would never find such.

Cain called his first-born son “Enoch”, meaning “one initiated” or “one dedicated.” It spoke of a new beginning, a changing of a way of life. What a horrific contrast between Cain’s son and the man who shared the same name whom we meet in Genesis 5:21-24! The second Enoch was a man dedicated to the glory of the Lord while this Enoch was dedicated to the glory of man. The second Enoch was a model of those who would walk with God while this Enoch was a model of those who would live for themselves.

Cain began a trend that would repeat itself throughout history as he named the city he set about to build after his son, calling it “Enoch”, as well. Mortal flesh has the innate desire to preserve its name and legacy for posterity, fearing that our names will not be remembered and our lives forgotten. The word translated as “built” in verse 17 denotes a sense of repairing, fixing, or continuing to build something. It is not generally associated with a completed project. Perhaps Cain’s efforts to complete the construction of his “city” were so thwarted, as God’s judgment was upheld, that he dared not assign his own name to the city he himself was perpetually building. His hope laid in his son carrying on his legacy. And, sadly, it seems that he and the rest of his descendants certainly did.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NKJV)

We are not told very much about Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, and Methusael, but we are given a little more detail about the fifth and sixth generations after Cain. Jubal,  Jabal, and Tubal-Cain, the sons of  Lamech and grandsons of Methusael, are credited as the “fathers” of animal husbandry, music, and metallurgy, respectively. Sometimes, as Christians, we have the tendency to underestimate what unredeemed mankind is indeed capable of accomplishing. While some of the most distinguished institutions of higher learning and some of the most prestigious medical facilities in the world were, in fact, originally dedicated to the glory of God and founded in His name, many were not. While the Word of God certainly teaches us that nothing that is done apart from God shall last, we are never told that humanity is incapable of monumental accomplishments on their own.

The descendants of Cain doubtlessly constructed impressive monuments, composed beautiful music, and possessed great herds of livestock. From the outward appearance, these people would have seemed to be getting along just fine without God. But, as we see in the chapters of the Book of Genesis that follow, these people were not really doing as well as they thought they were.

From God’s perspective, Cain’s descendants lived, had children, set about their business, and then died. They are very briefly even mentioned in the Word of God before the narrative returns in verse 25 to the lineage through which Christ would come. So it is for all who would separate themselves from the presence of God and choose to “dwell in the land of Nod.” Regardless of what they might accomplish in this life, only that which is done for the glory of Jesus Christ will truly last. Though they name great cities after themselves, though they found majestic halls of learning and commission magnificent monuments to be built in their own name; those who die apart from Christ will perish in their sins and spend eternity separated from the presence of God. Their only achievements will forever perish.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 23, 2009]

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

*New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

What Was Wrong With Cain’s Offering?

"And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." (Genesis 4:4-5)

“Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:4-5)

More often than not, the explanation for this particular enigmatic passage of Scripture always seems to focus on a distinction between the quality of the two offerings that the brothers gave. Most of the preaching that I have heard on this subject boils down to the idea that Abel gave of the “firstlings” and “fat” of his flock (v. 4), while Cain simply gave “an offering” unto the Lord. The interpretation is that Abel gave his best and Cain gave what was left over. The lesson inferred, of course, is that we must be careful to give our offerings (that is, money) of our “firstlings and fat” (that is, lots of money) to God (that is, to the specific ministry of the preacher giving the message).

While such an interpretation might be conducive to filling collection plates, I honestly do not see that the text lends itself to such an analysis. Certainly there are no adjectives given when Cain’s offering is mentioned; the words “juiciest”, “choicest”, and “ripest” do not appear in the narrative. But the words, “And Abel, on his part also brought…” are included. The context would seem to indicate a parity between the quality of the two. I personally do not believe that it was the writer’s intention to suggest that Cain was guilty of “cherry-picking” the best fruits for himself. The deficiency with Cain’s offering wasn’t that he was giving God shriveled grapes and freckled bananas, the problem went much deeper.

They Knew What God Expected

The first, and perhaps most crucial, thing that we should understand is that the two brothers were not acting on their own initiative when they brought their offerings to the Lord. They weren’t just bringing a “gift” to God simply because they loved Him. God was not acting like a partial parent who plays favorites with their kids. “In the process of time” they brought their offerings. Process of what time? The time appointed by God to bring their offerings. God had given them specific instructions on how this was to be carried out. The writer to the Hebrews says that Abel acted out of faith when he brought a more excellent sacrifice (Heb. 11:4) to God. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), you cannot act in faith based on something that you have never been told! Even though we do not have it in the text, God must have given the brothers instructions and consequently held them accountable for obeying what He had told them.

The Problem Was With Cain Himself

We can find the first clue to why Cain and his offering were rejected if we look carefully at the very first verse that mentions him:

“Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, I have gotten a man child with the help of the LORD.” (Gen. 4:1)

God had said that from the woman would come a “seed” that would crush the devil underfoot (Gen. 3:15). Therefore, when Cain was born, she exclaimed, “I have that seed, here he is!” The name Cain itself means, “Possession.” Her thought was that she had been given the promised seed in her firstborn son. Can you imagine the doting that must have gone on in that house? I am not saying that Eve was to blame for Cain’s behavior, but I am certain that she didn’t help matters. She was so fond of Cain and so adoring of him that she named her second son Abel, meaning a “vapor” or “breath.” She really considered him to be a nobody. Cain grew up to be a man filled with pride, he saw no need for salvation himself, he thought that he was the savior!

It is interesting to note that Abel was a shepherd in a time before people had begun to eat meat (Gen. 9:3). His only purposes for keeping the sheep was for sacrifice and the wool that they provided. It is very likely that God had instructed both men to bring a sheep from Abel’s flock (it is certainly reasonable to assume that Abel ate of the fruit that Cain gathered, as well) for a burnt offering. Yet Cain brought the works of his own hands to God. He was relying on who he thought he was and his own works to make him acceptable to the Lord. God has never accepted anyone on this basis, and He still doesn’t today.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 5, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

How We Must Approach God

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3:24)

“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24)

Adam and Eve had obtained, of a sort, what they had thought they would obtain by disobeying God. In Genesis 3:22, the Lord declares that the man has indeed, “Become as one of Us, to know good and evil…” But what a wretched “god” he had become! He now  possessed within his character but one attribute of divinity, and certainly not one of the more desirable.

Knowing good and evil carried far more responsibility and burden than it did privilege and comfort. How truly wonderful a state it would be for man to forever remain ignorant of the horrors and atrocities that sinful rebellion brings! Our minds are filled with the thoughts and memories of terrible things that we wish we had never partaken of, witnessed or even knew about.

But innocence, once lost, can never be regained. Once we become aware of our nakedness, we cannot become “unaware” of it. Once humanity became stained by sin, there was no reversing the outcome. With a single act of disobedience – death, sickness, infirmity, guilt, remorse, and every type of imaginable suffering entered the world. It would have been the most deplorable act of cruelty for God to allow Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life and live forever in such a condition.

So God drove them from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24). They were now barred from the place that had been their home; the place through which they had roamed freely and without a care. They were now separated from the God with Whom they had previously directly communed. They were not denied access to God, but the way in which they must approach Him had now changed.

“And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 25:18-22)

When Moses was later given these instructions for constructing the Ark of the Covenant, it must have reminded him of this picture from the Garden of Eden. The Cherubims stood guard over the holiness of God, which must be approached in the prescribed manner. The sin that stains us prohibits us from coming to God on any other terms than those which He lays out. After Adam and Eve’s sin, man must first deal with his sin before he can enjoy communion with God. He must offer a sacrifice, a substitution on his behalf; that his sin might be covered before he can meet with God “between the Cherubims.” God would kill an animal Himself in order to make coats of hide, so that the man and woman would be covered (Gen. 3:21). In so doing, God would show the way in which man must approach Him thereafter.

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14)

For man today, the prescribed manner in which we must come to God is through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not offer the blood of animals for the covering of our sins, but the blood of Christ for the remission of them. He is the perfect Sacrifice, given once and for all, that allows us to come into the presence of God. There is no other way that we can approach Him.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 3, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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