It was once again my privilege and pleasure to speak at a Sovereign Grace Advent testimony meeting in London last night.
My subject was, "The Testimony of the Prophets to the return of Christ - the testimony of Enoch."
I sincerely trust that the message is a blessing to your soul.
Please pray for the witness of the SGAT, a somewhat unique witness in the midst of this unbelieving world and a church that is careless regarding these things.
Scripture: Hebrews 11:5, "Enoch pleased God".
I must confess that I jumped at this subject when I was invited to speak this year. I have loved the verses 14-15 of Jude since ever I first read them. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
They carry us back to the earliest days of this earth. Adam was still alive when Enoch preached this message. There is not a great deal said about Enoch in the Bible when we count the words written about him. However, as is ever with the Word of God very much is contained in the smallest statements. God calls His Word a seed. In every seed there is a million harvests and more!
So it is with God's precious Word. Psalm 33:6 states: "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." Even ungodly man acknowledges that the Universe is without boundary and we believe it all came about through the Word of God!
What is said about Enoch is small in volume yet mightily abundant in beneficial and blessed information.
I would like to highlight that best known statement of scripture regarding Enoch.
"Enoch pleased God". We find this truth regarding Enoch in Hebrews 11:5.
What a statement this is! I would like to make it the basis of our study. May we learn how it was Enoch pleased God and thereby how we may please God for what pleased God some 5000 years ago pleases Him still today and will forever.
In my daily Bible reading some time ago, (it was last month,) I read these words in John's second epistle, verses 4-5. "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another."
I thought to myself as I read the words that the directive given of God as to how we ought walk dates back to "the beginning" of the revelation of God to mankind. God's Word is unaltered and unalterable!
How foolish and wrong are those who try to tell us that God has some new revelation for us, different from that which is found inHis Word! The prophet Isaiah said: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever," Isaiah 40:8. "Change and decay in all around I see," said the hymn writer, but the great exception is the Word of God. It shall 'stand' for ever!
I. ENOCH PLEASED GOD BY WALKING IN OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD
This distinguished him from all around . The world was 'waling away from God'. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," Genesis 6:5.
1. That it is stated that Enoch walked with God suggests that others did not!
Undoubtedly, the spirit of Cain was what motivated many back in those days. Rejection of God's way of salvation, murder, polygamy and slaughter were already common, Genesis 4. There was no written Word in Enoch's day but an oral testimony of what God had revealed to His people was available. Adam would have been able to relate what he knew of God's will, though his knowledge had been greatly reduced by his fall into sin. However, he had received instructions from the Lord following that dreadful event. He was instructed in how dreadful his sin was and the dire consequences that had thus befallen all his offspring. He would also have been instructed in the means of salvation through the promised Messiah and how that God was to be worshipped through the expression of faith in the promised Messiah, that faith being manifested by the offering of a lamb.
This oral testimony of God's will was rejected even as the inspired, written Word of God is rejected today.
2. Enoch was saved at the age of 65.
"And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters," Genesis 5:21-22. How often the birth of a child brings home to the sinner that God is merciful and the Author of life.
It would appear that as Noah was warned of God "of things not seen as yet" (Hebrews 11:7) even so Enoch was warned of that same event for he named the child born at the time of his conversion, "Methuselah". According to many, the name means "when he dies there shall be an emission," or a sending forth of waters upon the earth to destroy it.
An essential aspect of walking with God today is our believing and acting upon the warnings of a coming judgment upon this earth. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" 2 Peter 3:10-12.
We must also warn our children and so teach them that daily they are reminded of this truth! How many Christian parents ever would act, when naming their children, as did Enoch. Yet this is part of pleasing God today!
3. Enoch walked with God for 300 years amidst increasing wickedness.
What we read in Genesis 6, was surely beginning to show itself before Enoch was translated. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . . . And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth," Genesis 6:5, 12. What the Lord sees as sin, man does not!!
This tells us that even in the midst of great sin and rebellion we may walk with God. As Joshua and Caleb feared God and followed Him wholly, even so may we find grace to live in victory and faithfulness to God amidst today's apostasy.
II. ENOCH PLEASED GOD BY CONTENDING WITH THE REBELS OF HIS DAY
Jude says of Enoch: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these," verse 14. We may easily identify who is referred to by the word 'these'. The reference is to those "certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ," verse 4.
Jude traces their pedigree in the subsequent verses. This spirit of apostasy in the days of Jude had manifested itself amongst the angels, Cain, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Hebrews in Egypt, Korah (Core) Balaam and in the days of Enoch.
1. Enoch preached against these apostates.
This surely is a rebuke against those 'evangelicals' who remain silent in the face of today's apostasy or, worse still, associate themselves with them in cooperation and fellowship!
2. The preaching of Enoch was most plain!
He called them 'ungodly' or ungodlike, which means 'those destitute of any likeness to God.' He spoke of their ungodly deeds and lives. He condemned their 'hard speeches' against Christ. The untameable tongue (James 3:8) is the chief weapon employed against Christ and His Word and His people!
3. He plainly declared their coming judgment.
"Behold, the Lord cometh . . . . to execute judgment upon all." I have no doubt that he spoke plainly of the Lord 'sending forth waters upon the earth to destroy it' and explaining that the flood would be but a foretaste of a future and eternal judgment.
III. ENOCH PLEASED GOD BY PROPHESYING OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Let every supporter of the SGAT note this and take heart!
1. I think that we can rightly conclude that the number of the faithful was small in the days that led up to the flood.
Approximately 1000 years passed from the conversion of Enoch and 700 years from his translation, until the flood came. It is likely that when Methuselah died in the year the flood came, he was the last of the believers on the face of the earth with the exception of Noah and his family. I believe that likewise we are destined to live in a day in which the number of the faithful will decline greatly!
Remember what the Saviour said. "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7-8. That is an ominous statement of which we need to take heed! Yet, dear Christian, what an honour to be one of this small band!
2. It was God's means of encouraging His saints in the time of trouble to have His servants preach of the Second Coming.
That glorious event has ever been the hope of the Church. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," Titus 2:11-13. The people of God need to be taught to 'look' for the 'the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ'! What a dreadful tendency there is amongst us to forget. Every Communion Table is a testimony of our forgetfulness.
How much the Church today needs the message of Enoch preached amidst the sneers of those who profess Christ yet belittle the plain teaching of the Bible on the return of Christ!
3. In these days when the return of Christ is openly denied, it pleases God to hear it preached.
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation," 2 Peter 3:3-4.
Here is the spirit of the world today and it has 'infected' so many of God's people! While they may not deny the truth of the return of Christ they deny what the Bible says about that imminent return. Instead of believing the simple truth of what God says they substitute 'spiritualisation' which in truth, denies the reality of the Second Coming as it is set forth in Holy Scripture. The whole matter becomes a vague and mystifying event about which no one can really be sure of any element of it. That is, in effect, to deny the Second Coming!
The Lord Jesus Christ 'is coming again' and He shall come again "in like manner" as He was seen to "go into heaven," Acts 1:11. Zechariah, some 2500 years ago, said: "Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee," 14:3-5. The circumstances prevailing in Jerusalem at the time of the Saviour's return were set forth by Zechariah in the chapters 12-14. The glorious event has been long planned and long revealed to God's people but sadly, unlike Enoch, so many today are slumbering and sleeping and carelessly disregarding this glorious and wonderful and long awaited event!
Dear Christian, seek to emulate the great man Enoch in these matters and thereby fulfill your highest calling - pleasing God!