In the first
chapter of 1 Chronicles is an account of the family tree of Adam right down to
1. Adam, 2. Seth, 3. Enosh, 4. Cainan,
5. Mahalalel, 6. Jared, 7. Enoch. Enoch is the
seventh generation from Adam, and although he is only mentioned in four places
in the Bible, Ellen White has a lot to say about him.
“[Enoch] represents God’s loyal people in the last days who
will be separate from the world. Unrighteousness will prevail to a dreadful
extent upon the earth. Men will give themselves up to follow every imagination
of their corrupt hearts, and carry out their deceptive philosophy, and rebel
against the authority of high heaven.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 64. Enoch is actually one of
the most famous men who has ever lived, although we
don’t know a lot about him from the Bible. We do know that he was the first
person who was translated. “Enoch lived sixty five-years, and begot Methuselah.
After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had
sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three
hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not,
for God took him.” Genesis 5:21–24.
He is a
representative of the people who will be living in the last days and translated
when Jesus comes. Would you care to be one of those people?
life of Enoch is a lesson on how to be ready for that time. Let’s look at a few
things about him.
with God and spent much time in prayer. “Enoch devoted time to prayer and
communion with God, and this enabled him to escape the corruption that is in
the world through lust. It was his devotion to God that fitted him for
translation.” The Review and Herald, April
trouble, when assailed by fierce temptations, they [we] have the privilege of
prayer. What an exalted privilege! Finite beings, of dust and ashes, admitted
through the mediation of Christ, into the audience-chamber of the Most High. In
such exercises the soul is brought into a sacred nearness with God, and is
renewed in knowledge, and true holiness, and fortified against the assaults of
the enemy.” An Appeal
to Mothers, 24. Daniel also prayed at three specific times each day
in a certain place (Daniel 6:10).
everywhere, including people of all ages, are assailed by multiple temptations.
It is only through having a consistent prayer life that you will be fortified
to deal with each temptation.
[Enoch] prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of
heaven.” Gospel Workers,
52. He prayed continually. Just as you have to breathe continually, so,
if prayer is the breath of the soul, you need to be in constant communication
with God. This does not mean he knelt down all the time, for he had work to do
just like everybody else in this world. Enoch was a husband, a father and a
citizen, and he had to make a living by the sweat of his face just as was
pronounced on Adam (Genesis 3:19) and all of his posterity. He had
responsibilities and duties, but in the midst of all these things he communed
infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ,
became the subject of his meditations day and night.” Ibid.,
51. He was trying to understand the love of God that had been manifested in the
human family by the promise of sending His Son, the Saviour
of the world. Then Mrs. White says, “In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch
steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing
his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers.” Ibid.,
52. The more he had to do, the more constant, the more earnest were his
if a person starts living like that? Notice what the apostle Paul says: “But we
all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are
being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the
Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18.
look at the glory of the Lord, you will be changed to be like Him, or as Ellen
White says, “It is a law of the human mind that by beholding we become
and Prophets, 91.
If you think
about it and know what is going on in the world today, and even in the church,
this could be a subject of terror. Many people who profess to be Christians
spend much of their time looking at sin, watching it, listening to it. It is
the natural progression of things that you will think about what you look at.
What is the result? There is an interesting text in Isaiah that tells what the
result will be. It says, “Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and
darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness.” Isaiah
what you look at and what you listen to, without exception, because it is a law
of the mind. Because it is a law, we can take advantage of it. Enoch took
advantage of that law and began to commune on the character of God and His
love, and the result: “Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to
reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the
light that shineth in the face of Jesus. As he came
forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly
beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance.” Gospel Workers, 52. Would you
like to have an experience like that? There will be some people in the last
days who will have the same experience as Enoch.
“While still on earth, he dwelt by faith in the realms of light. …
hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of heart, that
he might be in harmony with heaven. …
communion God is calling us. As was Enoch’s, so must be their holiness of
character who shall be redeemed from among men at the Lord’s second coming.” Ibid., 53, 54.
beings we make plans, have goals and objectives. I say this reverently, but God
also makes plans, has goals, and has objectives. He has decided to demonstrate
to the whole universe what He can do in human beings through the Holy Spirit if
they will yield totally to Him. And He is going to do it in the last generation
of people who are the weakest generation that there has ever been. That is a
matter of prophecy. (Read Revelation 14:1–5.)
If we don’t
have the experience, somebody else will take our place. There is a warning in
the book of Revelation that says, “Don’t let somebody else take your crown”
How can we
have the same experience as Enoch? “God must be ever in our thoughts. We must
hold converse with Him while we walk by the way, and while our hands are
engaged in labor. In all the purposes and pursuits of life, we must inquire,
‘What will the Lord have me to do?’ ” The
Review and Herald, May 30, 1882.
words, Enoch had a lot to do. He had a lot of responsibilities, but in the
midst of all his work, whatever he was doing, he talked to the Lord about it.
We have already seen how it had an effect on his countenance. It also had an
effect on the way he spoke. “The love of Jesus always leads to Christian
courtesy, refinement of language, and purity of expression that testify the company we are with—that like Enoch we are
walking with God. There is no storming, no harshness, but a sweet fragrance in
speech and in spirit.” That
I May Know Him, 198.
No one will
enter heaven who does not overcome the disposition to speak harshly and
unkindly. Heaven has already been ruined once, and the angels that ruined it
were cast out. God is not going to have heaven ruined again.
researching the life of Enoch in the Spirit of Prophecy, it was amazing to find
all that was written about imagination. In Genesis 6:5, notice what it says:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
It says in
verse 11 that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence, and this was a
result of corrupt imaginations.
“A study on
this subject will find that one of the principle ways the devil tempts men and
women is through the imagination. Before a person engages in open sin of some
kind, it has already been formulated in the imagination.
to the imagination Mrs. White wrote, “They should not venture on forbidden
ground, where Satan can claim control over them. If they in humility entreat
God for purity of thought, and a refined and sanctified imagination, He will
hear them, and grant their petitions. God has not left them to perish in their
sins, but will help the weak and helpless, if they cast themselves in faith
upon Him.” An Appeal to
Mothers, 22, 23.
No one is
going to enter heaven with a defiled, impure imagination. This appears to be
one of the bigger problems many Christians have. “It is your duty to control
your thoughts. You will have to war against a vain imagination. … You are
responsible to God for the indulgence of vain thoughts.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 82. “In
place of permitting the imagination to fill the mind with day-dreams and
air-castles, let the soul cultivate the habit of contemplating the world’s
Redeemer.” The Youth’s
Instructor, June 7, 1894.
Those who do
not have the prayer life and the meditations as Enoch did will never get
control of their imagination. But once a prayer life has been developed, then the Lord will give you special help. People say, “I
would like to be a Christian but I can’t. I can’t live up to what it says in
the Bible.” That is very true. In fact, it is impossible, just as it was
impossible for Peter to walk on water. But when the Holy Spirit takes control
of your life, all things are possible. Then you can walk on water!
If the Holy
Spirit is not holding you up, you are not going to stay up and will go down
immediately. “We cannot keep ourselves from sin for one moment. Every moment we
are dependent upon God.” The
Ministry of Healing, 180. Enoch understood where to go for help and
he communicated with the Lord at all times. The result was that he had power to
control his carnal imagination and develop pure thoughts.
not a hermit. He did not live in a cave somewhere separate from the rest of the
world. But he did live separately from the concentrations of wickedness that
were present in the world at that time. I am sure that we are all aware that
there are some places that have concentrated wickedness. “A separation from the
world is required of us, for we cannot remain free from its pollution unless we
follow the example of the faithful Enoch.” God’s
Amazing Grace, 304. Enoch chose to live away from the center of
concentrated wickedness even though he was living in a depraved world. “God’s
people will separate themselves from the unrighteous practices of those around
them, and will seek for purity of thought, and holy conformity to His will,
until His divine image will be reflected in them. Like Enoch, they will be
fitting for translation to Heaven.” The Signs
of the Times, February 20, 1879.
learned his lesson the hard way by falling into sin. But notice what he said:
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes … .” Why did
he say that? Because he knew that if he looked at sin, he would become like
that in character. “I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling
to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”
Psalm 101:3, 4.
separated himself from the wickedness around him. “Those who follow the Lord
are to be firm and straightforward in obeying His directions. Any deviation to
follow human devising or planning disqualifies them for being trustworthy. Even
if they have to walk as did Enoch—with God alone—His children must separate
from those who do not obey Him, who show that they are not in vital connection
with Him.” The Youth’s
Instructor, April 28, 1898. To follow this counsel, even if they
have to walk alone, is one of the great trials that sometimes happen to people
who are trying to live for Jesus and be ready for His second coming. These
people are scattered all over the world. I often meet people who say to me
things like, “My husband [or my wife] doesn’t believe what I believe.” They are
alone at home. “My children [or my parents or both] don’t believe what I
believe …” so they are completely isolated at home. Others say, “There’s no
church anywhere near where I am that is teaching and preaching the Three
Angels’ Messages, and I work in a secular workplace, and I am all alone.”
explain why God allows different people to go through different trials. I have
learned from reading my Bible that God allows people to be in situations where
they have to develop a character, often alone. This is not some new experience.
Enoch had it; he had to walk alone, but he decided that even if there was
nobody else in the world who believed as he did, he would still believe.
Lord has been bringing revival and reformation to the second-advent movement,
there have been some interesting experiences over the past few years. We have
met people in various parts of the world who have been cast out of Adventist
churches because they stood up for what they believed was right. They thought
they were the only ones in the whole world trying to do what’s right, and we have
encouraged them by telling them there are people scattered all over the world
in the same situation.
a church that is in open sin, that will not turn
around, will cause you to be spiritually anesthetized. In time, you won’t even
know it or be bothered, leaving you in a much worse condition than you were to
start with. Enoch refused to compromise and was willing to walk alone.
being enjoys being alone. Even Jesus didn’t enjoy being alone although He had
to walk alone His whole life. His mother didn’t understand Him. His earthly
father didn’t understand Him. Neither did His brothers who criticized Him
understand Him, making His childhood hard. His disciples didn’t understand Him,
and even John the Baptist didn’t understand. There was nobody on earth who
alone. He was the first to be translated, but while on earth he had to walk
alone. Was it worth it? I think so, for Enoch is the oldest human being. He is
over 5,000 years old right now. It was worth it!
vision, Ellen White had a conversation with Enoch: “There I saw good old Enoch,
who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each
leaf was written ‘Victory.’ Around his head was a dazzling white wreath, and
leaves on the wreath, and in the middle of each leaf was written ‘Purity,’ and
around the wreath were stones of various colors, that shone brighter than the
stars, and cast a reflection upon the letters and magnified them. On the back
part of his head was a bow that confined the wreath, and upon the bow was
written ‘Holiness.’ Above the wreath was a lovely crown that shone brighter
than the sun. I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth.
He said, ‘It is not; the city is my home, and I have come to visit this place.’
He moved about the place as if perfectly at home.” Early Writings, 40.
Enoch can go
anywhere in the universe and visit places. Would you like to join him in some
of those travels some day? Every time the devil tempts you because you have to
stand alone, and it seems like nobody understands, it will not be forever.
Enoch is not alone anymore. He has far more friends than any wicked man has
ever had or will have.
In The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White
Letters, 179, is written: “We want, every one of us, to have an amiable
disposition, and unless you have a sanctified, amiable disposition, you will
lose heaven entirely.”
disposition is a part of somebody with whom it is easy to get along. There will
not be anybody in heaven with whom it is hard to get along. If I’m going to go
to heaven, I must develop an amiable disposition. “We do not glorify our
Redeemer when we complain of the difficulties of the way, and murmur at the
providences of God.” The Signs of the
Times, February 3, 1888.
involved in evangelism. He did not have a lot of success as far as converts
were concerned, but he was still involved in it. Wherever he could find two or
three people willing to listen to the word of God, he would teach them. He had
very small congregations. “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about
these men also, saying, ‘Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of His
saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them
of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of
all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’ ” Jude 14, 15.
warning to people who were living in sin. Some listened to the warning and
renounced their sins, but the multitudes mocked and made fun of him. “The
servants of God are to bear a similar message to the world in the last days,
and it also will be received by the majority with unbelief and mockery. …
witness of faith, held on his way, warning, pleading, and teaching, striving to
turn back the tide of guilt and to stay the bolts of vengeance.” Gospel Workers, 53.
to Enoch that the wickedness on the earth was so great that a flood was coming.
Because he knew what was coming, even though it was still several hundred years
away, he tried to help the people get ready so they wouldn’t have to drown. His
son, Methuselah, also warned the people of the coming judgment.
Enoch was taken away [translated] so that he did not see death, ‘and was not
found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this
testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5. How could we have a testimony
like that said about us?
“It is our
privilege to carry with us the credentials of our faith—love, joy, and peace.
When we do this, we shall be able to present the mighty arguments of the cross
of Christ. When we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have
help from God just when we need it, and His peace will come into our hearts. It
was this simple life of obedience and trust that Enoch lived. If we learn this
lesson of simple trust, ours may be the testimony that he received, that he
pleased God. Then instead of mourning and bitter repining, we shall make melody
in our hearts to the Lord.” Historical Sketches, 133.
If we live a
life of simple obedience and trust in the Lord, we can do the same.
required to improve every day. Even in this world of sin and sorrow, we may, by
earnest, persevering effort, rise to the highest spiritual efficiency. … We are
to please God. This we may do; for Enoch pleased God, though living in a
degenerate age.” Sons
and Daughters of God, 314.
walked with God and ‘had the testimony that his ways pleased God.’ This is the
privilege of every believer today. It is man dwelling with God, and God taking
up His abode with man. ‘I in them and you in Me’ [John
17:23].” The Upward
“In all the
purposes and pursuits of life we must inquire, What
will the Lord have me to do? How shall I please Him, Who has given His life a
ransom for me? Thus may we walk with God, as did Enoch of old … .” Our
High Calling, 61.
We can have
that same experience today. In Ellen White’s day the world in general was
optimistic. Because theologians and Christians are influenced by the world in
which they live, they had theories of perfectionism and believed that you could
just come to Christ and be perfect instantly. Perfectionism was a very popular
teaching 150 years ago, but Ellen White said it was a fallacy.
two world wars, a big depression and all kinds of trouble worldwide that is
increasing, everything has flipped. We are now living in a pessimistic age
where people say nobody is perfect and they do not believe anybody can be.
Christian perfection is a Biblical doctrine all through the New Testament, even
though it is a very unpopular one in our time. Jesus mentioned it in Matthew
5:48 and Paul talks about it in almost every single epistle he wrote and also
James and John make mention.
fixed our minds upon the exceeding great and precious reward; and, in order to
obtain it, we must have a perfect character. … Angels of God are weighing moral
worth; and we are to obtain a fitness here to join the society of sinless
angels. Do you expect that when Christ comes He will give you that fitness? Not at all. You must be found of Him without spot, without
blemish, or wrinkle, or anything like it [Ephesians 5:25; 11 Peter 3:14]. Now
is the watching and trying time. Now it is the time to obtain a preparation to
abide the day of His coming, and to stand when He appeareth.
Do you say that you cannot do it because around you are so much sin and
iniquity and corruption? I refer you to Enoch.” The Review and Herald, April 19, 1870.
it. If we follow the same principles and the same way of life that he followed,
we will have the same results. Remember his prayer life, his meditations, his
evangelistic efforts, his disposition, his imagination, and the fact that he
separated himself from the wickedness in the world, walking with God by living
a life of simple obedience and trust.
comes there will be a people that have the experience of Enoch, and they will
be translated. We have been given the Spirit of Prophecy so we can have
explicit instruction and know how to order our lives and be ready for Jesus to
come. The Holy Spirit earnestly waits to purify our imagination, and give us
the power to live the Christian life. You can become Christ-like.
John says that when Jesus comes we will be like Him (I John 3:2). May the Lord
help us to have that same experience of Enoch.
quoted are NKJV translation.]
Pastor John J. Grosboll is
Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Free Seventh-day
Adventist Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.