The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
June 18, 2017
1) Enoch (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
Sometimes it is just brief statements made about some individuals in
the Bible that indicate their faith and devotion toward God — but
that which can also give much encouragement to us in our own
relationship with the Lord.
One such individual that the Bible says little about, but of whom we
can infer had been a godly man, is seen in Genesis 5:18-24, along
with a most unusual statement that is made about him. It tells
of a man named Enoch who at 65 became the father of Methuselah (who
in living to be 969 years of age is the oldest recorded human in the
Bible). But though that was unique for Enoch to have a son that
lived to such a great age, yet there is something even more special
brought to our attention. For while Enoch's life of 365 years was
604 years shorter than his son Methuselah's, yet there is something
more important than the number of years one lives. Rather, it is how
one lives those years. And Enoch lived his the right way! For the
Bible declares that Enoch “walked with God” — a phrase which
indicates that Enoch believed in God, obeyed the Lord, and had
obtained His favor. This also ties in with what the Hebrew writer
says about Enoch: “...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” (Heb.
But when did Enoch live, and what was it like in his day? Was it a
time in which the world would be a challenge to his faith — a time
in which ungodliness seemed to prevail?
Based on the genealogy in Genesis 5, Enoch was born 622 years, and
in the seventh generation, after God created Adam. And since Enoch
was on earth for 365 years, 308 of those years were while that first
man Adam was still living! I wonder if they ever met? If
they ever talked? Wouldn’t that be interesting to meet and
communicate with Adam and find out how it had been for him and Eve
in the garden of Eden and of their relationship with God before the
fall and their being driven out of the garden? So soon sin had
entered this world — not even the very first couple had kept from
Enoch lived 300 years after Methuselah was born. When Methuselah was
187, he became the father of Lamech. Enoch was then 252. When Lamech
was 182, he became the father of Noah — 69 years after Enoch left
But consider Genesis 6:1,2: “Now it came about, when men began to
multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,
that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful;
and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.”
Some view these “sons of God” as being the descendants of Adam and
Eve's third son Seth and of a godly lineage, while the “daughters of
men” pertains to those descending from Cain and characterized with
According to the Pulpit Commentary, the phrase in Genesis 6:1, “And
it came to pass,” is “Literally, it was; not in immediate
sequence to the preceding chapter, but as some earlier point in the
antediluvian period; perhaps about the time of Enoch (corresponding
to that of Lamech the Cainite)...”
But regardless of how the world was in Enoch's day, he strove to
live in harmony with God, to be pleasing to Him, and to maintain
And here is a most unusual thing we read of him. After mentioning
that “Enoch walked with God,” the writer then goes on to say, “and
he was not, for God took him" (Gen. 5:24). The Hebrew writer
elucidates on this when saying, “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” (Heb. 11:5).
God can do the impossible (cf. Matt. 19:26). We are reminded of
another case, too, in which the Lord took one up who had not died
first. In knowing that the Lord would soon be taking Elijah
away, Elisha had asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit to be
upon him. Elijah then said, “You have asked a hard thing.
Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so
for you; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:10). While they
journeyed on, talking along the way, “...there appeared a chariot of
fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah
went up by a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it and cried
out...And he saw Elijah no more” (vv. 11,12).
This idea of being caught up (or supernaturally transported) by the
Spirit is also mentioned in 2 Kings 2:16. In not knowing where
Elijah had been taken, the sons of the prophets, who had now
recognized that the spirit of Elijah was on Elisha, had come to him
with the desire to search for Elijah. For they said, “perhaps
the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him on some
mountain or into some valley.”
For another instance, Obadiah had been “over the household” of Ahab;
but being one who “feared the LORD greatly,” he hid 100 prophets of
the Lord and provided for them. For Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, had
been killing the prophets. Obadiah had then run into Elijah
who wanted his whereabouts to be made known to Ahab by
Obadiah. But Obadiah expressed his concern: “It will come
about when I leave you that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you
where I do not know; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find
you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the LORD
from my youth” (1 Kings 18:12).
Another example is that of Philip. Though not taken from the earth,
yet notice that after he had baptized the Ethiopian eunuch “...the
Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer
saw him... But Philip found himself at Azotus...” ( Acts
8:39,40). Though this Grecian term is found just once in the
Bible, its Hebrew form of “Ashdod,” one of the five chief Philistine
cities, is mentioned 19 times in the Old Testament (NASB) and 21
times in the KJV. But notice again that Philip was
“snatched...away” by the Spirit. The same Greek word (harpazo)
for that phrase is also used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which says,
“Then we who are alive and remain will be CAUGHT UP together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall
always be with the Lord” (emphasis mine).
Paul also speaks of being “CAUGHT UP to the third heaven” (2 Cor.
12:2), though he didn't know if it happened “in the body” or “out of
the body.” But that he “was CAUGHT UP into Paradise and heard
inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak” (v. 4,
emphases mine). Again, “caught up” is from “harpazo.”
There are also some instances, while Christ was on earth, that
appear to have been a miraculous transporting from one place to the
next. In John 6, for instance, there was a strong wind while the
disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and “had rowed about three or
four miles” (v. 19). While in the process, they saw Jesus walking on
the sea toward them and were initially frightened. Mark's account
mentions that when “He got into the boat with them...the wind
stopped; and they were utterly astonished” (Mark 6:51). So there
they were in the Sea of Galilee, which is about 13 miles from its
farthest points north to south, and 7 miles across at its widest
points in the north; and, as we saw, they had rowed only about
“three or four miles” — and now with no wind to drive them along.
But notice what John brings out about this: “...He said to them, ‘It
is I; do not be afraid. So they were willing to receive Him
into the boat, and IMMEDIATELY the boat was at the land to which
they were going” (Jn. 6:21, emphasis mine).
When Jesus appeared to His apostles again, following His
resurrection, the account says, “After eight days His disciples were
again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having
been shut, and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be with you'"
(Jn. 20:26). This appears to have been a miraculous entrance by the
Lord. But even if not in this instance, it does not take away from
His ability to do that.
When we think of Enoch being “taken up so that he would not see
death” (Heb. 11:5), perhaps this reminds us of what we saw earlier
in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 of how that “we who are alive and remain
will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord
in the air...”
Though Paul is focusing on the Christians — whether living or
deceased — in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, yet all of us (whether
Christians or not) will be caught up to give an account of ourselves
to the Lord. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat
of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the
body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor.
Enoch also knew of the Lord’s coming in judgment upon the ungodly
and prophesied of it (cf. Jude 1:14,15). Enoch had faith in
God, was wise to obey Him, and made himself ready for that great day
of reckoning — and may the same also and always be true for each of
(All Scriptures from the NASB.)
News & Notes
The open heart surgery for Wayne Teel on June 15 went
well. Though, understandably, he is very weak and hoarse, he
was moved into his own hospital room on the 17th at 7 p.m. His
family has asked to keep him in our prayers.
Cheryl Crews had a heart catheterization June 15, which
revealed “a severe heart valve problem” that will require its being
replaced through open heart surgery. Prayers are also asked
Kelli Fleeman had been in the hospital from Wednesday to
Sunday to receive inpatient chemo. Scans are still revealing
some spots on her throat. For four days she had a terrible
headache that is now gone and thought to have been due to neck
pain. They are now awaiting the results of a spinal tap to
make sure that all is okay in that area.
Also for prayer: Shirley Davis, Pat Joyner, Ronald Renfrow,
Randy Bartlett, Mary Lou Prevatt, Misty Thornton, Jim Lively, Mary
Vandevander, Cicily Thompson, Michelle Rittenhouse, Rachael
Gerbing, LaDonna Andrews, Buddy Gornto, Sunny Nichols, Billy Lowe,
Tom Haney and his wife.
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17;
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark
16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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