Well, we have the opportunity again as we finish up this wonderful Lord’s day to look together at the precious Word of God and we’re looking at the eleventh chapter of Hebrews and the great heroes of the faith and I invite you to turn there, if you will. We’re going to be looking tonight at a man named Enoch…Enoch, a name that is perhaps familiar to you, but perhaps you know little about Enoch. So we’re going to try to fill in the blanks a little bit tonight and it will come to you in a very practical and a very dynamic way and have great and direct application to your own life.
Hebrews chapter 11, verses 5 and 6. “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. And without faith, it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Now remember that the design of this chapter which is loaded with these heroes of the faith, both by name and some in general reference, is to convince the Hebrews, the Jews to whom this letter is written, that faith is the only way to approach God. Now remember, they had for generations been exposed to a corrupted form of Judaism that had come to the conclusion that you earn your way to God, that you gain your salvation by effort, by ceremony, by works, by your morality. And the writer of Hebrews is reminding the readers, most of whom would be believers who need to know that they can rest completely on their faith for salvation, and some others who are associated with these believers who know the gospel and haven’t yet embraced Christ, and so to them it is a call to faith.
If you go to the end of chapter 10, you read in verse 38 a passage taken from the Old Testament, familiar words of Habakkuk 2:4, “My righteous ones shall live by faith,” or as we often say it, “The just shall by faith…the just shall live by faith.” Justification being made right with God, reconciliation with God comes through faith alone and not works and that’s the message. In order to illustrate that that is a pervasive reality, not a change in God’s plan, the writer of Hebrews who is unknown to us, goes back and identifies heroes who…spiritual heroes who are marked by faith, all the way back to Abel to demonstrate that salvation by faith is not something knew, as if it were by works in the Old Testament and now by faith in the New. And so, we remember that the first example was Abel and Abel showed us how one enters the life of faith and one enters the life of faith by recognition of sin and the admission that you need a sacrifice for your sin. That was the very clear testimony of Abel when he offered a blood sacrifice on the altar before God as God had instructed him to do.
So the first example of faith is Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, who demonstrated that he would come to God by faith, not by works, by confessing his own sin and realizing that he was unworthy and needed a sacrifice before he could approach God. The second example then is Enoch. If Abel tells us how you enter the life of faith, Enoch tells us how you live the life of faith, or how you walk by faith.
Now to get the story of Enoch, we need to go back to Genesis chapter 5 and it is a remarkable, remarkable story. Genesis chapter 5, so turn to that, we’re going to try to condense all of this, if we can, tonight, hopefully we’ll be able to do that. The fifth chapter of Genesis is a very interesting chapter. It’s a…if I were to title the fifth chapter of Genesis, I would call it, “The and he died” chapter. The and he died chapter, it’s a very, very interesting chapter from that perspective. If you go down the chapter, you see that it lists for us the descendants of Adam and they are given to us here with the years that they lived but in every case, such as at the end of verse 5 where it closes the book on Adam, it says, “And he died.” It closes the book of Seth in verse 8, “And he died.” And it just keeps going like that. Enosh, different than Enoch, verse 11, “And he died.” And Kenan, “And he died.” Then Mahalalel down in verse 17 lived for 895 years, “And he died.” And in verse 20, “All the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.” That’s why I call it “the and he died” chapter.
But all of a sudden in verse 21, something breaks the trend. “Enoch lived 65 years and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.” That’s different. Enoch did not die as we read in Hebrews in chapter 11 verses 5 and 6.
Now it might be interesting to you, just to make a quick note on the fact that Enoch had a son named Methuselah who, by the way, outlived him by many years, almost seven hundred. Methuselah’s name means in the Hebrew, “Man of the sending forth,” or “Man, I guess, shot out.” And it was a God-given name for a God-given prophecy. What God was saying in the name given to Methuselah was that he would not die until judgment was sent out. That’s what that name indicated. Methuselah would live until judgment came.
Now in “the and he died” chapter, Methuselah lived longer than anybody else, right? He lived more years than anybody on earth, 965 years. From his birth, his very name was a prophecy of judgment. The wicked were warned of coming judgment. They were also warned by Enoch of coming judgment and Jude refers to that, we’ll look at that later. It’s interesting to me that in the name of Methuselah you have a prophecy that judgment is coming. But you see the grace of God in the fact that Methuselah lived longer than anybody else and so his warning extended for all 969 years. And what was the judgment? Well in the year that Methuselah died, the Flood came…the Flood came. God let him live longer than anybody else in order that the message of warning against judgment might come, a gracious thing on God’s part. And when he died, the Flood came.
Now his father, Enoch, as it says, lived only 365 years and he is identified as having walked with God. It says it in verse 22, “Enoch walked with God.” It says it in verse 24, “Enoch walked with God.” And it tells us that he walked with God for 300 years, a godly man for three hundred years. I guess you could translate that into a personal question. What would your testimony be like if you were left on earth for three hundred years? Could you survive the corruption of this society and live a godly life and could it be said at the end of your three hundred years that you walked faithfully with God to such a degree that He literally took you to heaven and you skipped death?
Well you might say, you know, Enoch didn’t live in such a corrupt world as we live in. Really? I think Enoch lived in a very corrupt world, it was so corrupt that God drowned the entire civilization. And he says prior to the Flood, “All the imagination of man was only evil continually, and God regretted that He had even made man.” It didn’t take long after the Fall for there to be murder, right? It didn’t take long for there to be adultery and off it went into every other imaginable sin till it ravaged the entire planet. And we’re just about a thousand years of history, God drowned the entire globe. So if a man lived for three hundred years and walked with God, that’s a remarkable thing. Some of us find it difficult to be faithful for a brief time, let alone three centuries.
Now what you have in the story of Enoch is kind of a primeval pre-Flood spirituality lesson and I would remind you that it’s not harsh legalism, as some people would assume the Old Testament would propound that, you know, in the Old Testament it was all about legalism. No it wasn’t. God was not a distant sort of demanding deity which you appeased by sacrifices and ceremonies and morality. Spirituality in the very earliest years was a matter of walking with God. God was a companion. God was not a distant deity. And this man was in daily, intimate communion with God.
We remember others who had that, namely Adam and Eve, right? Before the Fall in the garden, they walked and talked with God, right?, in the cool of the day. They had that intimate communion. Then came the Fall, thrown out of the Garden and now, all of a sudden, we find somebody who has been reconciled and who is now walking in communion with God…a communion restored.
Another way to view this, that he walked with God, is to say that he was a saved man…he was a saved man. In fact, if you were to look at the Greek translation of this text in Genesis 5, the Septuagint it’s called, because it was done by 70 scholars, if you would look at the Greek, you would find that they translate this not that he walked with God, but that he pleased God. And perhaps they did that because that is exactly what it says in Hebrews 11, I just read it, he pleased God and therefore he did not die. So to say that he walked with God is the same as to say he pleased God, God was well-pleased with him. He is introduced to us then as a man who pleased God. He must have been a man who recognized his sin, like Abel. He must have been a man who acknowledged the need for sacrifice, like Abel. He must have been a man who offered a fitting sacrifice. He must have been a man who trusted in God in the truest and purest sense for his salvation and his forgiveness and his life. He walked with God.
In chapter 6 and verse 8 of Genesis, it says, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the records of the generations of Noah…verse 9…Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time.” Here it is again, “Noah walked with God.”
Don’t you love the fact that here we are in the earliest era of human history and it’s all about intimacy and it’s all about personal fellowship and it’s all about commune and it’s not about a distant deity and people living under some legalistic system? In the seventeenth chapter of Genesis when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty, walk before Me and be blameless. And Abraham also then was a man who though stumbling as all men do, walked with God.”
In the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis, Abraham says, “The Lord before whom I have walked will send His angel with you to make your journey successful.” And near the very end of Genesis, chapter 48 and verse 15, it refers again to walking with God. The term “walk” is a very important concept. It’s talking about step-by-step fellowship, daily communion. And it’s a way, THE way, really in the early chapters of Scripture that we have someone identified as reconciled to God. And that’s what salvation means. This man was really unique because Noah walked with God, he escaped judgment. Because Abraham walked with God, he received blessing. Because Enoch walked with God, he escaped death. He was given the privilege of being an illustration.
I’m very confident that early in the chapters of Genesis, early in the history recorded in Genesis, God was revealing truth and part of the truth that God was revealing was that there was eternal life, that men could leave this world if in right relationship to Him and enter into His eternal presence. Job had that confidence, didn’t he? Didn’t Job who lived in the patriarchal period say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him?” Why? “Because I will awake and see Him and be like Him. They knew about resurrection. They knew about the afterlife. They knew that you could leave this world and go and be with God and God chose Enoch to be the illustration of that. He is the illustration of salvation’s great promise. And what is salvation’s great promise? The next life, leaving this veil of tears, this world of sin and entering in to the presence of the Lord, he illustrates that. Verse 24 puts it this way, “He was not…” he was and he wasn’t, “for God took him.”
One day during his three hundred and sixty-fifth year, he was gone, disappeared, gone, no body nothing. Fifty-seven years or so after the death of Adam, sixty-nine years before the birth of Noah, about a thousand years into the history of the world he was taken to heaven. When it says God took him in the Hebrew, the word describes a sudden inexplicable disappearance and the explanation for his disappearance is given here, “God took him.” He is a model of faith that walks with God, being rewarded with eternal life because he walked with God.
Well that’s the story as it’s laid out in Genesis. Let’s then pick up the reference to it back in our text in Hebrews chapter 11. This, by the way, as I said, is a new concept, this walking with God. Adam and Eve did it but were thrown out. But in Enoch, the true destiny of man is restored and the true destiny of man is a personal, intimate, communion with God. And this, dear friends, is what God has always desired and what God has always provided. God has never been a distant God, God has never been a demanding transcendent God, He is also an eminent personal God. Enoch is a major teacher to us here. When one comes to God in the way that Abel came, recognizing sin and realizing the need for a sacrifice which anticipates the very death of Christ, when one comes realizing that he deserves death, and the substitute is killed in his place, when one comes realizing that he can’t earn his way in like Cain tried to do, he then enters in to that relationship with God and is a very personal, personal relationship. Enoch must have understood sacrifice for sin, he must have understood repentance, but he also understands personal communion with God. He entered through the sacrifice, a means of sacrifice pointing to Christ, and he is a classic timeless illustration of the walk of faith that one day ends in entrance into glory.
Now let’s look at our text in Hebrews chapter 11 and just kind of pick a few things out of here that will give us an insight into what it means to walk with God. First of all, and we’ll find this, as you noticed when I read it, in verse 6. Verse 5 saying he was not found, nobody could find him…imagine that? Where’s Enoch? He didn’t come home for dinner. All the kids are saying, “Where’s Dad?” The wife is saying, “Where is he?” He wasn’t found because God took him up, for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God, which is the same as saying he was walking with God.
And then comes the lesson as to what it means to walk with God, or what it means to please God. Verse 6, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” There’s the first and dramatic dynamic lesson of the entire chapter. The only way to walk with God, the only way to please God is by faith. And it all starts with that. You can’t please God, you can’t be reconciled to God, you can’t walk with God, you will not enter into the glories of eternal life apart from faith. That is a statement that ought to be underlined in everybody’s mind, without faith it is impossible to please Him. I mean, do I need to remind you of everything the Bible says about the facts that worked…works won’t get you there? You cannot count on your religion. Romans chapter 2 tells us that, that the Jews who were very religious, the Apostle Paul says, gained nothing by that external religion. He is not a Jew who is one outwardly. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, says the Apostle Paul. Or the testimony of Paul in Galatians chapter 5, familiar words, verse 6, “In Christ, neither circumcision or uncircumcision that ceremony means anything, but faith working through love.” “By the deeds of the Law, no flesh will be justified,” Romans 3. Only faith pleases God.
We go back to where we were at the beginning, right? “For by grace are you saved, through faith, that not of yourselves, the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast.” So the only way to come to God is to believe. And we know that Abel did that, as did Enoch. Abel believed what God had said. Abel responded to the command that God had given for a proper sacrifice. Abel brought that sacrifice and thus exhibited his faith and thus entered the life of faith. And Enoch picks the story up and walked that walk of faith, continuing to put his trust in God.
So corrupt, so polluted is man’s fallen nature, even in the first generation after the Fall, that he cannot of himself do anything that is pleasing to God. Those who are in the flesh, it’s Romans 8:8, those who are in the flesh cannot please God…cannot please God. Faith alone pleases God. Enoch believed God. Enoch put his trust in God as his savior, his God and thus he was reconciled to God and received by God.
Now let’s break it down a little bit. What does it mean to put your faith in Him? Well first, “He who comes to God must believe that He is.” That is a great statement. It’s a simple statement, but it’s profound. “He who comes to God must believe that He is.”
What do you mean by that? Well if I could just extend that, if I had translated this verse in this context, I might have added some things in italics. Occasionally you see a couple of things there even in that verse. I would have added this little phrase, “He who comes to God must believe that He is who He is.” You get the same thing if you just put the emphasis on He…He who comes to God must believe that He is. That is not just saying, “Oh I believe there’s a God. Oh I believe in God, I’m very spiritual.” But that HE is who HE is, the only true God. Not just any God will do. Not just some God will do. Not just the notion of God will do. That’s not sufficient. You must believe that He is the God whom He is.
And how do you know the God who is God? By virtue of His revelation. He has revealed Himself. Even this early in human history, in that first millennium of human history, God had revealed Himself again and again and again. People knew who He claimed to be and Enoch believed that. It is not enough for anyone to believe in the concept of God, the idea of God, the notion of God, the reality of God. You must believe in the God who is God and for us, that even is further defined. You must believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the one who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You must believe in the true and living God who has revealed Himself incarnate in Christ. That is why you can’t be saved apart from Jesus Christ because that’s an incomplete view of God. It’s very popular today to say, “Well, if you just believe in the God of the Old Testament, if that’s all the information you have, that’s enough.” No, because that’s not all that God has revealed Himself to be. He is a trinitarian God in the fullness of His revelation, who manifests Himself in Jesus Christ. The New Testament writers say He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s where the testimony, the witness, as verse 5 puts it, of Enoch’s reconciliation with God begins. He believed in the true God as He had revealed Himself…a God of holiness and righteousness, a God who hated sin…that would have been eminently clear, a God who required a sacrifice, death for sin, a God who had made it clear that men can’t earn their way in. He believed all of that. He believed God to be the God that God is.
It disturbs me so much that it’s very popular today to say, “Well if you believe in God, if your concept of God is monotheistic,” and I’ve written about this and preached about this and talked about this, and so many different environments in trying to clarify for people the idea that if you’re going to be saved you have to believe in the full disclosure concerning who God is. And for us, that means you have to believe in the God who is also one with Jesus Christ.
Paul makes that clear in Acts 17 , Mars Hill. They had a statue up there to an unknown God. I guess they thought that was a noble effort just to, you know, be kind to one who might have been overlooked. And Paul says, “I’d like to introduce you to the unknown God, the God who made the world and all things in it, verse 24, Acts 17, “He’s the Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything, since He gives Himself…gives to all people life and breath and all things. He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, boundaries of their habitation.”
Now, they would have known that. Enoch would have known that God was the Creator, of course, that God was the one who created everything and sustained everything. He would have known that. He would have known that God was…was righteous and holy. He would have known that God was the source of morality and right and that God was a God of vengeance and judgment. Look, He named His Son with a prophecy of judgment. He knew all those things and that’s part of knowing the true God.
But, the full picture comes when Paul says to them in Mars Hill, “Overlooking the times of ignorance in the past, when the revelation was not complete, it was true but it wasn’t complete, God overlooked the times of ignorance. But now, declares to men that all people everywhere should repent because He’s fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.
Now, you cannot come to God if you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who is God in human flesh and whose deity was manifest and validated by the resurrection from the dead.
So t he first thing that marks Enoch is that he believed in the true god as He had revealed Himself. And again, the revelation is progressive. There’s more of it after Him through the Old Testament. And the full revelation comes in Christ in the New Testament. We saw that in the beginning of Hebrews, chapter 1 verse 1, “God spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” That is the completion of he full revelation.
So Enoch believed what God had revealed to be true about Himself. He believed in the God who is who He is. Secondly, He believed that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. That is to say that He is the Redeemer, that He is the Savior. He believed that God rewards those who pursue Him. What critical truth that is.. He believed that God was a personal, forgiving, loving, gracious God who would provide salvation to those who sough Him. That’s what being a rewarder means. Enoch knew that. He did not believe in some distant cosmic cause. He believed in a personal caring God who wanted to be reconciled to Him in a personal way, a loving God with whom he could fellowship and to whom he could be restored. It wasn’t the God that Einstein talked about, the cosmic force, impersonal and unknowable, he said. That kind of thing doesn’t please God at all. Enoch believed in the God who is God as He revealed Himself and he believed that that very God was a Savior of sinners who would embrace a penitent who came by faith and sought Him.
David said to his son, Solomon, in 1 Chronicles 28:9, “If you seek Him, you’ll find Him. But if you forsake Him, He’ll cast you off forever.” That’s basically it. Psalm 119:10, David says, “With my whole heart have I sought Thee.” Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love Me and those who seek Me early will find Me.” Jeremiah 29:13, “You shall seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
I mean, this is the wonderful, wonderful truth that sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world. No other religion has a God who is a rewarder. All other religions have a God who is a punisher, who is indifferent, who is diffident, who is distant, who is to be appeased, whose primary attitude is one of anger. But the true and living God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, even though they are sinners and even though they cannot commend themselves, they cannot do anything to achieve reconciliation with Him, they cannot on their own please Him. Still as Psalm 58:11 put it, there is a reward for the righteous. Or Proverbs 11:18, “To him that seeks righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
In other words, this is to say that God is a Savior. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…those very familiar words of John 3:16. And I ought to add verse 18, “He who believes in Him is not judged…is not judged. God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” God is a Savior by nature. First Timothy 4, “God is the Savior of all men, in some sense, especially those who believe. God is the Savior of all men.” That is simply to say He puts His salvation will on display temporally by not giving the sinner what he deserves when he deserves it, by His patience, common grace. He declares Himself to be a God who withholds judgment by nature. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
In fact, He’s a lavish rewarder. What did Jesus say in those magnificent words in Matthew 6:33? “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and…what?…all these things shall be added to you.” Or perhaps even equally wonderful is Ephesians which declares this, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” He is a lavish rewarder of those who come on His terms. He grants forgiveness, He grants a new heart. He gives us the Holy Spirit, eternal life, blessing, mercy, grace, peace, joy, love, heaven, power over evil, it’s all there.
And by the way, in John 6 it says, “Whoever comes to Him, He will not turn away…He will not turn away.” But you have to come through Him. “I am the way, the truth and the life,” John 14:6, “No man comes to the Father but by Me,” Acts 4:12 tells us that there’s not salvation 8in any other name than the name of Jesus Christ.
So the walk of faith begins with believing that God is who He is and that He is a personal Savior who will reward those who seek Him. He was pleased with Enoch, not because of his works, but because of his…what?…faith in who God is.
Now backing up a little bit, as we think about what we saw in Genesis, I want to add the result of this in the life of Enoch was that he walked with God. Twice it says, as we saw he walked with God, he walked with God. Here it says that he was pleasing to God, end of verse 5. He was pleasing to God. This was the mark of his whole life. Wow! His whole life. As I said when we started out, he lived in a very corrupt time, maybe a kind of corruption that would be inconceivable to us. Now it’s bad enough to live 70 years as a fallen being, how would you like to live 300? What kind of a record of sin would you accumulate? What kind of an exposure level would you have to corruption? I don’t know about you but the older I get, the sweeter heaven appears to be. And I really am not, you know, it’s okay, I’m not in to gold streets and jeweled hinges and pearl gates, I mean that’s kind of neat to see. But the appeal of heaven is the absence of sin. That’s the appeal. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live 300-plus years exposed to an increasingly corrupt world.
And, you say, it certainly wasn’t as bad as today. Oh yeah, because when Jesus comes it says it will be like it was in the days of Noah. So said Jesus in His own sermon on His own Second Coming. Nah, there’s really nothing, I don’t know how my kids are going to survive trying to live 70 years in this world.
Ha, how do you think Enoch felt? He’s 365 years old, he’s a kid. He’s got a whole lot of children, what do you think he said to Mrs. Enoch? Oh, how they going to last another 750 years in this corrupt culture? It’s just not going to happen. Look the way the world is going. They were probably frightened by who their leaders were, just like we’re frightened by who our leaders are. Every generation had some form of government and leadership.
As we break up his walk a little bit, and just talk about the elements of his walk, if I can do that, there’s some components at what it means to walk with God. First, it assumes reconciliation…he assumes reconciliation. Amos 3:3, “How can two walk together unless they’re agreed?” Which is picked up, isn’t it?, by Paul to his letter to the Corinthians where he says that, “How can two walk together unless they’re agreed? How can, you know, God have fellowship with Satan? That’s not possible.” So two walking together presupposes agreement, presupposes harmony, presupposes reconciliation, therefore presupposes salvation. Enoch is a saved man. I think that’s the way to say it. I think he’s been saved from his sin. He’s been given salvation. He walks with God and that implies that God is no longer his enemy, he no longer is in rebellion, he is reconciled to God, God has not been conformed to him but he has been reconciled to God. He has by God’s grace met God’s absolute condition and they walk in agreement. If you want to borrow the language of Ephesians 4, “No longer self-centered, no longer vain thinking, no longer ignorant, no longer shameless, no longer dead to God.”
The second thing that comes to mind when you talk about walking with someone, it’s not only reconciliation, but corresponding nature…corresponding nature. What do I mean by that? Look, a lot of you have dogs, I know, you get really attached to a dog. I’ve tried. There is a huge gap between me and any dog…pick your dog. I’ve never had a meaningful conversation with a dog, much less a cat. I see people who a re crazy over these kinds of animals. I mean, when I say crazy, I mean really crazy. I don’t get it. I don’t have any corresponding nature with a dog. It just demands food and cleanup, that’s it. I have no communion with a dog.
You say, “Oh, I talk to my dog.” No you don’t talk to your dog, you may talk to your dog but I promise you, your dog has no clue what you’re saying. There’s a corresponding nature. I can’t walk with God unless I possess some faculty which we share in common and that’s the marvelous reality of what salvation does, it not only reconciles us to God, but in that reconciliation God disposes to us His own nature, we become new. Light has no communion with darkness, to go back to Paul’s language. No sinner can walk with God, they have no common life. I can’t be pals with a goldfish, it’s impossible. There’s a difference in nature. It eliminates that possibility. And perhaps you need to go back and read 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 16 where all these things are laid out.
Thirdly, walking with God not only presupposes reconciliation and a corresponding nature, but it also presupposes moral fitness…moral fitness. God doesn’t just walk with anybody, and again that’s 2 Corinthians 6…maybe I should read it to you cause I’m referring to it enough times and it’s crystal clear, “Don’t be bound together with unbelievers, what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness?” Well God is absolutely righteous and sinners are absolutely unrighteous or lawless. So I can’t imagine that a lawless person or an unrighteous person is going to walk with God unless there’s something dramatically that’s happened to change is moral character. And by the way, God never deviates out of the path of holiness. He doesn’t take a side trip over to you living in unholiness. God always stays on the path of holiness. In Him is light, 1 John, and in Him is no darkness at all. He never does evil. He’s too pure to look on evil, the prophet said. He never deviates out of the way of holiness. So if we’re going to walk with God, guess what? We’ve got to get on the way to holiness.
You know, when you read the Old Testament, you probably remember that before God would walk through Israel’s camp, everything that was defiled had to be removed, symbolically. Before Christ commences His millennial Kingdom in the future, all things that offend will be obliterated from the earth. The holy God keeps no company with the unclean. So before we can walk with God, we have to be then before God viewed as…what?…righteous. You may think of the idea of imputed righteousness as a New Testament concept, but it would have to be an Old Testament concept because Enoch or anybody else who walked with God, Noah, or Abraham, or any of the others, would have to be covered with righteousness or God wouldn’t commune with them. God demands that all who are in His company surrender to that righteousness.
I think it also implies something else. It implies a desire for fellowship…it implies a desire for fellowship. I was watching a preacher recently who was answering questions that people had sent him and one of the questions was, from a lady who said, “You know, I haven’t been to church for years. I don’t go to church anymore and I’m a Christian but I don’t like church and it doesn’t seem to do anything for me.” And he gave an answer to that and finally the answer he gave included the right response which is to take you to Hebrews and say, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together to stimulate one another to love and good works.”
Why would you come to church? Because it’s an obligation? No. Because you want to be in an environment where you’re going to be stimulated to love and good works because you know that if your life is characterized by obedience to the Lord, then you’re going to enjoy a sweet fellowship with Him. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be at odds with the Lord. I really want to get out of the place of discipline and into the place of blessing. Don’t you want to be there?
Enoch walked with God for 300 years. He was a believer for 300 years of his life. And the implication is he was walking in communion with God. That would be true since salvation is permanent but I think it’s more than that, I think he pleased God. I think that’s something that has to be a desire in your heart. You don’t roll out of bed and end up pleasing God. It’s intentional. It’s something you pursue. It’s a passion. That’s where you get now into the disciplines of grace. The New Testament often calls it walking in the Spirit. And if you break down how we walk in the New Testament, we’re told to walk in the Spirit. Third John 4, we’re told to walk in truth. Romans 13:13 we’re told to walk in honesty. Ephesians 5:2, walk in love. Ephesians 5:8, walk in light. Ephesians 5:18, walk in wisdom. Ephesians 2:10, walk in holiness. This is the worthy walk of Ephesians 4:1. This is sweet communion with God. And we have a pattern for that and that’s none other than our Lord Jesus, right? First John 2:6, He that says he abides in Him ought himself to walk even as He walked.” And Jesus walked in perfect communion with His Father…perfect communion with His Father. This is our faith walk and Enoch was a model for this.
Now there’s something else to be said about Enoch, as we kind of wrap up our thoughts. When you’re living in a corrupt society that’s declining, that’s heading toward a devastating judgment in which the whole world is obliterated, except for eight people, and you’re a godly person, you’re going to be concerned about what’s happening around you. No question. A truly godly person doesn’t just take that and so we find out something about Enoch that’s really important for us to know and it’s in Jude…it’s in Jude, that little letter tucked under the shadow of the book of Revelation. And it’s a most interesting statement about Enoch because it tells us that he was a preacher…he was a preacher. It’s a good thing. If he was the best man of his age, he…he would be well served by being the preacher and God would be well served as well. Verse 14 of Jude, and Jude has been writing about false teachers, false prophets, and he says in verse 14, “It was also about these men,” meaning false prophets who are already around in Enoch’s day, already Satan had his operation going full blast. False teachers were all over the place. False prophets were everywhere and Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam. He is the seventh generation from Adam according to the genealogy. “Prophesied, or preached saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in ungodly way and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” He was a classic prophet, wasn’t he? I mean, in one sentence he used “ungodly” four times.
By the way, this quote does not appear in the Old Testament. It is something Enoch prophesied clearly, he prophesied this because the Holy Spirit led Jude to write it down a legitimate prophecy that came from Enoch. If it’s not in the Old Testament, how did they know about it? Well there was a lot of oral tradition, there were lots of oral tradition passed down and passed down and passed down and Enoch was a hero to the Jews. He was a man who walked with God. He was a man who walked right into heaven. They knew that. He was a man who should have been at the pinnacle of godliness in their annals. They greatly revered him. And so they protected the statement that he made that defined his prophecy and eventually through the centuries, it was passed on orally and then it was written down and it was written down in what we call a pseudepigraphal book called 1 Enoch. The Jews were familiar with it. The affirmation here indicates that it was an accurate quote, not everything recorded was accurate, but this was.
And what was his message to his generation? What did he say for 300 years? He said, “The Lord is coming and He’s coming with many thousands of His holy ones and He’s going to execute judgment and it’s going to fall on all the ungodly with all their ungodly deeds done in an ungodly way and all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” He was a judgment preacher.
I think that’s where the best of the godly ultimately end up. I suppose if Enoch were alive today, he’d be a problem, not only for the world but the church. He’d irritate the seeker-sensitive group. But here was a man whose character and walk with God showed up in the power of his preaching and his preaching was judgment. Why? Because judgment was coming. It was bound up in his own son’s name, Methuselah. It came to pass in the Flood. But the truth of the matter is, that’s not a prophecy of the Flood, that’s not a prophecy of a flood, that’s a prophecy of the final judgment when the Lord comes with many thousands of His angels. That’s a prophecy of the return of Christ. That’s a prophecy of the end of human history.
Wow! He was looking long, long down the road, wasn’t he? He preached judgment was coming. He never saw that judgment. He never saw the Flood. He certainly never would see the final judgment, but he knew it was coming and he preached it.
It is just an interesting thing to think about, that he’s a little bit like a New Testament believer. The judgment is coming but the New Testament believers will be caught up into the air before the judgment hits. He’s kind of an illustration of a pre-Tribulation Rapture and that’s going to be the experience of a generation of believers in the world just prior to the final holocaust of judgment when the Lord returns, He’ll catch up the believers from all over the world.
It might be a good place to stop in reading that passage. First Thessalonians 4:13, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep so that you’re not grieved as those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” Don’t worry about those that died, they’re going to be there in glory. “But for those of us who remain until the end, the coming of the Lord, the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, trumpet of God, the dead in Christ will rise first, the bodies will come out of the graves of those who have died, to join their spirits all ready in glory and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up, just like Enoch, they’ll be a whole generation of Enochs. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, and hear with the voice of the archangel the trump of God.” There will be millions of Enochs…pirrst…and they’ll disappear from the face of the earth. And then the judgment will come.
In a very real sense then, he’s a model of the promise of heaven and even the promise of special deliverance from judgment. How important for us to see in him primarily the model of what it means to walk with God. Join me in prayer.
We never seem to be able to even come close, Lord, to exhausting the wonders of Your Word. We again are not surprised but still stunned by its cohesiveness, its consistency, its clarity. We thank You that no matter how deeply we examine it, no matter how aggressively we challenge its words and its truths, no matter how we relate and correlate and analyze, we are inescapably led to the issue that this is written by one author, its consistency is divine. We thank You for giving us the record of a man who walked with You. We may only have three score and ten in this world, some of us a lot less, some of us haven’t come to even know You, to please You, to walk with You until later in life. For whatever time we have, may it be said of us he walked with God. May it be so obvious that it could be, as it was in Enoch’s case, repeated. May it be that we are known because we obviously walk with You, like those early disciples of whom it was said that one could tell that they had been with Jesus. We thank You that You provide this communion, this fellowship for us. Help us to enjoy the reality of Your presence in the name of Christ. Amen.