Readers Question / Comment - Did Enoch die?

Shalom in great name of Jesus,
I bumped into your site and have enjoyed reading a few articles. I came across your Mat13 KoG is like leaven in a loaf.
I agree, leaven is bad stuff. I think, as you said that it displays that the church is not yet perfected. We have a lot of rubbish mixed in with truth.
Good job. And your replies to dissidents were gracious, I appreciate that.

The title caught my notice, so next I read your take about Enoch's walk, witness + wapture.
The walk and witness part were all good. But what basis do you have for the wapture? You said Enoch was ‘caught up’... ‘translated’... ‘raptured’.

Translated is an acceptable translation of metatithemi. But this is not the Greek word for 'rapture', Latin translation of harpazo.

I think Enoch died, see Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith."

Thanks Jay.

JPN Reply:

Hi Jay,

thanks for the email and for sharing your understanding on Enoch. I have a more traditional take on what happened to Enoch, even though I realise that there are difficulties on each side and there are others who express the same view as you do... that Enoch died. But I don't see that myself. To me Heb 11:5 is quite clear that he was taken up, translated and did not see death. He is a type of those that are alive at the Lord's return. Here is the verse in the Bible version I use most for personal study:

Hebrews 11:5 (NASB) 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.

A plain and simple reading of this verse teaches that he was taken up by God so that he would not see death. I believe that. The writers of the New Testament were also aware of the book of Enoch (as it is quoted in Jude 1:14-15) and this book (though not necessarily inspired by God) states that Enoch was taken into the third heaven.

I don't take Heb 11:13 as speaking about all the previous characters that the writer of Hebrews has mentioned. The 'All' in verse 13 should be read in context and it is those that he has just been talking about who lived as pilgrims in the promised land while looking and longing for the heavenly city. They didn't see the promises but welcomed them from afar. The 'All' in context is not speaking about Abel, Enoch, Noah. It is those just mentioned - ie the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob mentioned in verse 8-12.
This is commonly understood. For example, William MacDonald in the Believers Bible Commentary states

11:13 The patriarchs all died in faith. They did not live to see the fulfillment of the divine promises. For instance, Abraham never saw his numerous progeny. The Hebrew nation never occupied all the land that had been promised to it.

The MacArthur Commentary says:

These all. The reference is to the patriarchs only (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). This interpretation is supported by the fact that the promises began with Abraham (cf. Act_7:17; Rom_4:13; Gal_3:14-18) and were passed on to Isaac (Gen_26:2-5, Gen_26:24) and Jacob (Gen_28:10-15). In addition, only those individuals fit the description in verse Heb_11:15, and Enoch did not die. See note on Heb_6:15. These people of faith didn't know when they would inherit the promise. They had a life in the land, but did not possess it.

It would have been nice if the writers of both Genesis and Hebrews had written more about Enoch to make it all crystal clear!.. but that wasn't to be. From what is written I believe Enoch was taken from this life and didn't experience death as a type of the believers in the last days at the return of Jesus Christ. I don't like to speculate or add other stories about what might have happened but just go by what is written about Enoch.

All the best,
Iain.

Readers Reply:

Howdy from Texas USA Iain,
I hear your thoughts. They are very traditional. Lots of good Christians have said the same thing. But being in good company doesn't mean it is correct, we must critically think everything out for ourselves.

I respectfully suggest that perhaps your position has neglected the critical importance of the Resurrection of Jesus. Paul said that without the resurrection everything we believe is a fat lie. Without the resurrection there can be no afterlife nor eternal life. Jesus is Life. Without Him, Life is gone.

The resurrection must be historical and literal. Historical means that it must have happened past tense. In Greek we would say that it must have been fully completed in the perfect tense. That which is perfect and complete can be banked upon. Things that were yet promised but not actually occurred (eg: Abraham's promise of Land, our promise to become just like Jesus,etc) cannot be cashed in for payout until the requisite events actually occur.
There is no such thing as enjoying the fruit based on anticipation of a promise. The tree must first grow into maturity. This is a basic law of physics. God doesn't break or bend the rules. God abides by laws.

The resurrection must be literal. Some Christians allegorize the resurrection into God's spirit dwelling with us or some sort of similar figurative language. Of course, that is true God does dwell with us, but minimizing or ignoring the resurrection is wrong. Jesus physically and bodily rose from the dead. THIS is the promise and prefiguring of our future state, not whatever happened to Enoch.

I think you are ascribing to Enoch that which rightfully belongs only to Jesus. In your system Enoch becomes the first human to beat death. Jesus gets second fiddle, and Enoch moves up into the first chair of the orchestra.

"Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the first fruit of those who are reposing." (I Cor. 15:20).

I like the name of your ministry, Jesus plus NOTHING. It's all about Him. Jesus is first.
Many Christians will pay lip service to that thought. But if we truly believe it, then it will cause paradigm shifts in our thinking.

May the love of Jesus pour into our lives and out of our mouths, in Him

Jay
JPN Reply:

And howdy to Texas from down-under New Zealand! I'm actually going to be in the US in one week's time. Never been before so looking forward to it. Mostly in New York state, Manhattan, Georgia, Kentucky and Washington DC. Actually I'm in Washington DC on the day of the election (wasn't planned!) so we'll see how nuts it will be! I'll try to avoid the protests... who knows what is going to come out of the crazy election : )

We'll have to disagree on the Enoch thing. I don't see Enoch taking any preeminence away from Jesus (wouldn't have even thought of it to be honest). He is simply a type of those that will be removed at the rapture. Enoch avoided death because God took him. He didn't conquer death like Jesus did. Enoch was just taken without seeing death, Jesus went into death and came out alive. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, the first to have a resurrection body because death had no power to hold him. Enoch was simply removed from the earth. Enoch didn't beat or defeat death, Jesus did. No second fiddle here for Jesus. Enoch simply avoided it as the believers at the Lord's return will do. But whether it be Enoch or believers still to come, they can only avoid it because of the One who actually defeated death!

Gen 5:24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Was just reading this again and 'He was not for God took him' does not mean that God just translated him to another place on earth to live out his days else he still would be... it wouldn't say that 'he was not'. It is clear (in my mind at least) that the writer of Hebrews states that Enoch didn't see death which is the most logical conclusion you would come to from reading Gen 5:24.

Never mind : )

Despite our little difference here I'm sure we would agree on a lot and as i said last time, there will always be some mystery surrounding the life of Enoch. Thankfully it isn't a question asked at the Pearly gates!

All the best,
Iain.
Readers Reply:

Hi Iain,
NZ is definitely on my bucket list. We did touring to Aus a few years ago, they have a lovely nation. I hear NZ is even prettier. You know, us Yanks pretty much lump Aus+NZ in same bucket. I had several people ask me that since you're going to Australia, why not pop over to NZ also? Well it is like 1500miles away, 3hr plane flight from Sydney, not exactly close by. I think Kiwi-land requires a whole dedicated trip just for itself.
Which island do you hail from?

That is quite an east coast tour of the states. You are covering some geography. Kentucky and NYC will be a little different. What brings you? Business or pleasure? Or maybe an evangelistic ministry of Jesus & Enoch plus nothing? (Sorry, bad joke, couldn't resist)

Seriously, I fully agree that this is not a soteriological issue. Very little is really able to keep us away from the grace of God when we look into His face. For example, I have Protestant friends that think Catholics are idolatrous for "praying" to Mary, and thinking that Mary was born sinless, and a list of other disqualifying doctrines. Yet, I also have Catholic friends, that I think maybe are a little shallow and confused on a few issues, but I also think their heart is in the right place. I'm pretty sure they love Jesus and are trying with the best of their befuddled brain serve and honor him.

Aren't we all a bit befuddled, and shallow and confused? If the criterion for achieving the resurrection of Life were to be having perfect clean crisp doctrine, then we'd all be in a heap of trouble.

I'm grateful that you are open enough to listen to my ideas. You even went back and re-read some Scripture at my prodding. Praise God.
We all have our biases.
I am coming from a platform of Conditional Immortality. That basis hugely influences the way I read those verses.
CI thinks that God=Life. God invented Life. He holds the patent. All life comes from God. Life is gift from God. If he revokes the gift at any point, then we turn to dust and cease to exist. See Job 34:14-15.

Sin is disobedience to God. The punishment is capital. Sin causes death, eg: lack of life.
Enoch was a sinner, thus without the gift of Jesus' resurrection being ascribed to him via substitutionary atonement, Enoch will die. Enoch lived thousands of years before Jesus, so he had a promissory note only.
The last generation at the Coming of the Lord are different because Christ has inked the contract with his own blood. They have been granted new life, new birth and are no longer dead in sin. The fulfillment of the Patriarchal promise came at Pentecost.

So, I read these verses with a different lens then yourself. I am seeing it all through Conditional Immortality. We all have our biases.

Correct me if I err, but it appears that your bias is a pre-tribulational rapture?

May the awe of Yahweh, bring reverence and fasting this day,
JPN Reply:

Hi Jay,

I'm in the North island of NZ. We've got the best beaches but the South Island is the most beautiful in terms of mountains, lakes etc. A lot of 'Lord of the Rings' was shot in the South Island.

Yeah, my trip to the US is for the 'Enoch didn't die and neither will I!' nationwide tour. I've just gotta get that message out! There is no more important message. I'm thinking big tent meetings, bus advertising, a nationwide plane carpet drop of leaflets to completely saturate the ground with this message. I'm also going to Washington DC to abseil down the White House tying a banner across it's front to proclaim this message. People just have to know that Enoch didn't die!

Well, either that or I'm catching up with a friend, a cousin and a nephew. : )

And yep, I believe in a pre-trib rapture. In brief it is the best way to reconcile God's grace and coming wrath, and His distinct purposes and promises for the Church and the nation of Israel... IMHO.

All the best,
Iain.