Genesis 5 Series, Part 10, Verses 21-24

    | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 28:13 Size: 6.5 MB
  • Passages covered: Genesis 5:21-24, Hebrews 11:4-5, Hebrews 7:11-12, Acts 7:11,15-16, Hebrews 12:25-28.

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Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #10 of Genesis, chapter 5 and we are continuing to look at Genesis 5:21-24:

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: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

As I mentioned in the previous study, we do not read that Enoch died, so a reader of the Old Testament could have wondered what it meant when it said, “God took him.” And, yet, with the men that were mentioned before Enoch God very carefully revealed their lifespans and then said they died. Also, with the calendar patriarchs after Enoch, God goes back to the same language and very carefully details that they died. We will read that Methuselah died. Lamech died. Noah died. Everyone before and after Enoch in this Biblical calendar were said to have died, so based on that alone we would suspect that it meant that God took Enoch without Enoch having died. But we do not have to base our understanding on just deducing this information because God comments on Enoch in the New Testament in Hebrews, chapter 11. Hebrews 11 recounts some men of faith that were saved by the faith of Christ and they were able to do many mighty works through the faith of Christ. It says in Hebrews 11:5:

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Then God says in Hebrews 11:6:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Enoch pleased God and it is impossible to please God without faith and faith is the Person of Christ. When we read in Hebrews 11, verse 7 that by faith Noah believed God, it means that it was by the faith of Christ. It was by the grace of God and the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In every instance in Hebrews 11 faith is a Person – faith is Christ. So it is by faith, or by Christ, that Enoch was translated. God says, “For before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God,” and that is because without faith (without Christ) it is impossible to please God. No matter what man attempts to do religiously to please God, he cannot possibly please Him because God only looks favorably upon those for whom Christ died as He paid for the sins of His elect people.

It is also why Abel is spoken of in Hebrews 11:4:

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…

We talked about that earlier in our Genesis study. It was the fact that Christ had saved Abel that made both Abel and his sacrifice acceptable to God. On the other hand, it was impossible for Cain to please God because he did not have faith, the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ demonstrated and showed His faith by the work of atonement performed at the foundation of the world.

Again, in Hebrews 11, verse 5 God fills us in on what happened to Enoch: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death.” Again, the assumption we might have made (because it said of all the other men that they lived and died and it did not say that about Enoch) is that he never died, but he was taken by God. What does that mean? He was translated and God took him. Where did God take him? Where is God? He is in heaven above and man is on the earth. Enoch was on the earth. God saved him and he walked with God 300 years and then at the age of 365 God “took him.” He took him out of the world and into heaven and that would require a change of Enoch’s body. Since Enoch did not see death he was not resurrected, but it was a “translation.” His sin-cursed and corrupt body was changed into a new resurrected body and then he could enter into heaven in a complete and perfect form.

Not many people in heaven have their “full” salvation. For example, throughout the New Testament era God saved people and when they died their physical bodies went into the ground but their souls went into heaven. There are tens of millions of people that are in heaven with God in their soul existence. There are relatively few that also have their resurrected bodies. Elijah experienced this because he was taken up and we know that Moses experienced resurrection, not translation, and that is why we read in Jude that the devil argued with Michael the Archangel (Christ) concerning the body of Moses. Satan did not dispute Christ concerning Elijah or Enoch because they never died physically, so he did not argue the point that they should not be in heaven in their new resurrected bodies. However, Moses did die physically and the devil’s argument was that he should not be in heaven because it was not yet the end of the world when the resurrection of the dead would take place.

Of course, God does everything justly and perfectly and according to His Law, so God was rightly able to resurrect Moses. As a matter of fact, since Christ died and was resurrected from the foundation of the world to be the “first born from the dead,” there is nothing that says that God could not resurrect someone’s body at any point in history. However, God had a salvation plan to work out that needed to run its course over many thousands of years of history, so God worked it out that He would save the soul of an individual first and He would leave the individual in their corrupt physical bodies in this world to act as messengers of the Word of God. There is no way God could save someone in both soul and body and then leave them on the earth. We saw in the account on the mount of transfiguration – they were shining brightly as the son (or Christ was). You cannot have perfect creatures in both soul and body mingling with people in the world that are dead in both soul and body. It just would not work out for the carrying forth of the Gospel, so God kept saved mankind in their physical bodies that would see corruption and, eventually, die. He has promised that at the time of the end of the world, He will also resurrect their bodies to complete their salvation.

However, from time to time God would save a person in their whole essence – body and soul. He did this for His own reasons and in the case of Enoch it appears that the reason was to illustrate the rapture that will come at the time of the end of the world when there will be elect living on the earth. God will take them up and they will be translated, just as Enoch was translated. In the Book of Hebrews, the Greek word that is translated as “translated” in Hebrews 11, verse 5 is Strong’s #3346 and it is also found in Hebrews 7:11-12:

If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

The word “changed” in the first part of verse 12 is our word. In other words, Christ was not of the tribe of Levi and He needed to be the High Priest and, yet, there was nothing said of the priesthood being from the tribe of Judah, so God made a necessary change in the Law through Melchisedec. God had Melchisedec enter into history. Remember, after a certain battle Abraham offered up tithes to Melchisedec. Levi was in the loins of Abraham, so God made the point that the “lesser” offers tithes to the “greater,” so the priesthood of Levi was a lesser priesthood than that of Melchisedec and Christ came “after the order of Melchisedec.” We can see how very stringent God is concerning His Law. God will not take an action without there being Scripture to support it; that is, God would not just say, “Jesus is of a different priesthood than Levi,” but if He did that we probably would not even realize it, but first God has to lay “precedent.” He has to establish a precedent for another priesthood. I do not know much about law in our modern day, but I do know that lawyers are very concerned with “precedent” when they make their legal arguments. They review past history, like the Supreme Court cases or criminal cases or civil cases and they seek to support their arguments with a “past precedent” in law that took place in another case. That is the idea. They do this to establish that there is legal reason for their argument. The Bible does recognize precedent, with God making a change of Law by having Melchisedec enter into history.

You know, when you read the historical account of Melchisedec in Genesis, chapter 14 he just “appears out of nowhere.” There is no discussion of his historical past. He just showed up and tithes were offered to Him and then he disappeared and you do not read anything else about Melchisedec until Psalm 110 and, again, in Hebrews.

Anyway, we are looking at the word “translation” that is translated here as “changed.” The priesthood was changed. Then it goes on to say, “There is made of necessity a change also of the law.” The second word “change” is Strong’s #3331 and that is also found in Hebrews 11:5:

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

The word “translation” is the word translated as change back in Hebrews 11, verse 12. So both these words are used in Hebrews 11 and in Hebrews 7, verse 12. It means “to change” something.

You know, at EBible we want something to get out into the world because the world is full of various languages. God confounded the languages of the world after the tower of Babel and there are many languages in the world. So the world speaks all these languages and when we do a Bible study or when we produce a tract, the study or the tract must be translated. That is actually a very good word for it. The words have to be “changed” from English to Spanish or English to Arabic or English to French or another language, so there is actually a “changing” of the words to appear in another form and once it is changed the people that speak that particular language can understand it. That is the very idea of what happened to Enoch and what God did to the Law – he changed it. There was a variation made.

Let us also go to Acts, chapter 7 where this word is used, but it is translated in a different way. It says in Acts 7:14:

Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,

We know that this seven-year famine is tied to the Great Tribulation because in this same chapter this period of time is referred to as “great affliction” in verse 11. They are the same two Greek words (megas – thlipsis) that are used in Matthew 24 and translated as “great tribulation.” We also know the age of Jacob when he appeared before Pharaoh when he entered into Egypt. Jacob was 130. At the same time his son Joseph was 39. With the number “39,” it can be broken down to “3 x 13” and the number “130” can be broken down to “10 x 13.” There is a focus on the number “13” because the Great Tribulation started in 1988 when the spiritual famine would occur. So the information here in Acts, chapter 7 spiritually relates to the time of the end of the world. The entry into Egypt points to the Great Tribulation. Then it goes on to say in Acts 7:15-16:

So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

The two words translated as “carried over” is the word that was translated as “translated.” They were translated from Egypt over to Sychem and Sychem is the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. The spiritual picture is of the end of the world. Jacob lived in Egypt 17 years and the number “17” identifies with heaven. He died (and the fathers) and they were “carried over” or translated from Egypt, which typifies the world, to Canaan, which often is used to typify the new heaven and new earth. So when God uses that particular word that was used to refer to Enoch being translated, God is picturing what that will represent. Enoch was in the world and then he was carried into to the kingdom of God. In the case of Jacob and his sons, the patriarchs of Israel, they died. That is the normal case for the child of God and then they go into heaven in their spirit beings, awaiting the resurrection of their bodies. But Enoch relates to the elect that are still alive and living on the earth when the final end comes and it is time to leave this world.

Let us look at one other place where the translation of this word is used in Hebrews 12:25-29:

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.

Our word is the word translated as “removing,” where it says, “signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken.” That is the word translated as “changed” or “translated.” When God speaks of destroying the world He does present the idea of “changing” it. When He creates the new heaven and new earth, it is as though it has been changed, made new and made perfect, once again. It is a restoration, in a manner of speaking, of the Garden of Eden. Of course, God will destroy this world – it will be gone forever. But, here, this word is used in connection with the removing of those things that are shaken. So, too, our physical bodies will be removed from us. I do not know how God will do it. When Christ comes and takes up His people and we go to be with the Lord, I do not know how He will change us, but He must remove the flesh and blood and the workings of sin in our physical bodies. Our bodies are diseased and seeing corruption, so He removes the body and He equips us or changes us and gives us a new spiritual body that is perfect and without sin. It is eternal in nature. It will be far superior to our old bodies that will be gone forever. They are removed from us and they are gone. God will have changed us and that is what God did with Enoch. He “changed” him when Enoch was 365 years old.