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Monday, July 30, 2012

Enoch, Moses and Elijah



I would like to introduce very useful article for deepening your understanding of the topic in the Bible. It’s a quite lengthy one though.


"WHERE are ENOCH and ELIJAH?"


Enoch was translated that he should not see death. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Yet the Bible reveals they are not in heaven today! WHERE ARE THEY? Here's the astounding truth.

Where Is Enoch?

ENOCH was "translated." Where did he go? Was he immediately taken to heaven? NO! Because Jesus Himself said: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man" (John 3:13). Here are Jesus’ own words that no man, except Himself, had ascended into heaven!

 And how did He know? Why, He came from there! Then where is Enoch? Let’s see what the Bible says.


Enoch Walked with God

At the age of 65 Enoch had a son named Methuselah. "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:22).

Here was a man that PLEASED God, a man that WALKED WITH GOD.

Enoch had to have faith, for in Hebrews 11:6 the Apostle said, "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." So Enoch walked with God. He obeyed God, and followed Him in His paths BY FAITH.

No one can walk with God unless he is in agreement with the will of God and doing it. Amos the prophet said: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3.) So in his generation Enoch was the only recorded person who followed the ways of God—even though it possibly took him sixty-five years to learn to walk with God!

But how long did Enoch walk with God? The Scripture says that he "walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years." So Enoch followed God’s ways for three hundred years. Notice that Moses did not record that Enoch is still walking with God. The Scripture says that Enoch WALKED with God for three hundred years and not one year more!

Because "all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years" (Gen. 5:23). Not just part of his days, but all his days! If Enoch did not die—if he was changed to immortality—and thus continued to walk with God, then his days would have been more than three hundred and sixty-five years. But the Bible plainly says that ALL his days were just that many, and no more!

But what about his translation? Does that mean he didn’t die? That’s what most people carelessly assume without proof.


What Really Happened at Enoch’s Translation!

Remember, Moses didn’t write that Enoch did not die. Rather Moses wrote that "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). Paul records the same event by saying that he "was not found, because God had translated him" (Heb. 11:5).

Thus the Scripture records that Enoch was not found because God took him, or "translated" him. THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THAT ENOCH WENT TO HEAVEN when he was translated. Instead it says he was not found. Certainly Enoch was "translated," but what does the word "translate" mean? Strange as it may seem, nowhere in all the Bible does "translate" mean to make immortal!

The original Greek word for "was translated" is ‘metetethe’( μετετέθη). According to Strong’s Concordance it signifies: ‘transfer’, ‘transport’, ‘exchange’, ‘change sides’.

The same Greek word is rendered "carried over" in Acts 7:16. Here we read that after Jacob DIED his body was "carried over"—transported, TRANSLATED—to Sychem WHERE HE WAS BURIED! That’s what your Bible says! Jacob was transported or TRANSLATED to the place of burial!

Notice another proof that "translate" does not mean to make immortal. It is found in Col. 1:13: the Father "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath TRANSLATED us into the kingdom of His dear Son." Here the Bible says that Christians are already translated—but Christians still die! We are not immortal bodies, but mortal flesh and blood. Although we were once part of the darkness of this world, now we are TRANSLATED, removed from darkness into the light of the kingdom of God.


Didn’t Receive the Promise

Enoch is included by Paul (in Hebrews 11) among the fathers who obtained a good report through faith; but "ALL these, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" (Heb. 11:39). What promise? The "hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2).

So Enoch therefore is one of "ALL THESE" who have not yet obtained the promise of eternal life and inheritance. Enoch and all the worthies of old will receive the promise of eternal life at the return of Christ, the same time Christians obtain it (Heb. 11:40). That is yet future!

Since Enoch has not yet inherited eternal life he must be dead! This is exactly what Paul writes in Heb. 11:13! Paul says Enoch DIED! Notice it! "These ALL died in faith, not having received what was promised” Who were these "ALL"?

Paul tells us: Abel, ENOCH, Noah, and the patriarchs and their wives. Hebrews 11:1-12 lists those who had faith and Enoch is included among them. Then in verse 13 Paul proved that they had not inherited the promises by saying: "These ALL [including Enoch] died in faith?”

But what about Paul’s saying that Enoch "should not see death"?


Which Death Did Enoch Escape?

Enoch lived only three hundred sixty-five years. Then what could Paul possibly have meant by saying: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him?" This verse nowhere says that Enoch did not die. Rather, it says that Enoch "should not see death." But what does it mean?

Remember, there is more than one death mentioned in the Bible. There is a first death, and there is a second death (Rev. 20:6). Which death did Paul mean?

The first death is appointed unto men (Heb. 9:27). That death cannot be humanly evaded. It is inevitable. That death Enoch died, as we have already proved.

Did Jesus ever speak of a death that might be escaped? He certainly did! In John 8:51 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death"—shall never see— that is, suffer—the second death! And again in John 11:26, "Whoso liveth and believeth in me shall never die"—or "shall not die forever."

This death is one that can be escaped on condition that men keep the sayings of Jesus and believe Him. This death is not the first death, because Christians who keep Jesus’ sayings die this first death. Then the death which Enoch should escape must be the second death which will NEVER TOUCH THOSE WHO ARE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION (Rev. 20:6). And Enoch will be in the first resurrection because he met the conditions!


Did Elijah Go To Heaven?

You have been told that Elijah went to heaven. Yet over 900 years after Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind, Jesus Himself said. "NO MAN ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man!" (John 3:13.)

Is this a Bible contradiction? Did Elijah really ascend to the heaven where God’s throne is—even though Jesus said he didn’t? If Elijah is not in heaven today, then where did Elijah go?


Which Heaven?

There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible, not just one! And if, as Jesus said, no man, which included Elijah, had ever ascended to the heaven where He came from, then the heaven into which Elijah was taken was a different heaven!

Which one was it?

The third heaven is the heaven of God’s throne, where Jesus is today. Jesus, being the High Priest of God, is the only one who has the right to be in that heaven with the Father.

Notice why! Hebrews 8:1-5 explains that the original earthly tabernacle under the Old Covenant, with its most holy place, or compartment, was the type of the throne of God in heaven. Only the high priest—type of Christ as High Priest now—was allowed to enter!

The second heaven represents the expanse of this great universe—the space where we find the sun, moon, stars, comets and planets. How often do we find the Psalmist admiring the "heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon, and the stars, which Thou has ordained" (Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:15-17).

This first heaven, from which dew comes, means the atmosphere, where the clouds and the wind roam. Everyone of us is right now breathing the air of heaven!

Since Elijah could not have gone to the heaven of God’s throne, then to which heaven did he go?—for the Scripture reads: "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:1, 11).

The answer ought already be quite obvious! Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven"—not to the heaven of God’s throne, but into this earth’s atmosphere, the first heaven.

There could be no whirlwind in any other place but in the atmosphere surrounding this earth—in the first heaven, in which the birds fly. You certainly have seen the great lifting power of a whirlwind, haven’t you?


Why Taken Up?

What was the reason for this unusual act of God? Why did He take Elijah up into the atmosphere? Was it to make him immortal? No! The Scripture says no word about that! The ancient prophets—including Elijah—did not receive any promise of immortality prior to or apart from us. Notice it in Hebrews 11:13 and 39: "These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise!" And we shall not receive it until Christ returns (Heb. 11:40).

The purpose of God in removing Elijah was to replace him with another man who would occupy Elijah’s office in Israel for another fifty years. This work had to start under a new king, for Ahaziah had just died. And Elijah was already aging. So as not to disqualify Elijah in the sight of the people, God took him away from the sons of the prophets and the people, allowing the mantle which signified the office of Elijah to drop into the hands of Elisha. Thus God preserved the name and office of His prophet.


How Taken Up?

Having crossed Jordan near Jericho, Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind in what appeared to be a chariot and horses of fire. The violent motion of the wind pulled the mantle off the prophet as he was seen to ascend into the sky. You probably remember reading the promise of Elijah that Elisha would have a double portion of the Spirit of God if he would be allowed by God to see Elijah taken up (II Kings 2:9). All this meant that Elisha was to be the leader, the new head of the sons of the prophets.

Having ascended into the air, Elijah was borne away out of the sight of the new leader—beyond the horizon. But—



Where Did Elijah Go?

This has been the perplexing problem to so many! He did not ascend to the throne of God. Jesus said so! Yet he couldn’t remain in the air forever.

And God did not say that Elijah was to die at that time. If he were, Elisha could have assumed his new office without the removal of Elijah, for we know that Elisha died in office after fulfilling his duty (II Kings 13:14).

The sons of the prophets who knew that their master was to be removed also that Elijah was not to die then. That is why they were fearful that the Spirit of God might have allowed him to drop "upon some mountain, or into some valley" (II Kings 2:16). Elisha knew that God would preserve Elijah from falling, but at their insistence he permitted men to go in search for him—to no avail. Elijah was gone! And where to? Certainly the whirlwind used by God could not take him beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Neither does the Bible account leave Elijah in the air!


The Answer Unfolds

Let us notice the next few years and see what further events the Scripture records. The new king of Israel was another son of Ahab, Jehoram, or Joram as he is sometimes called. The beginning of his reign marked the year of the removal of Elijah (II Kings 1:18 and 3:1). During this king’s reign Elisha was the recognized prophet of God (II Kings 3:11). In the fifth year of Joram king of Israel, the son of the king of Judah began to reign along with his father in Judah (II Kings 8:16). His name also was Jehoram. The first thing he did to establish his kingdom rule was to put his relatives to the sword lest they should claim the throne from him (11 Chronicles 2 1:4). For nearly six years he followed the ways of the nations about him and did evil in God’s sight.

Almost ten years had now expired since Elijah was taken from the people. But what do you think was about to happen?


A Letter Comes from Elijah!

Yes, after this wicked rule by the Jewish king, God chose Elijah to write a letter and have it sent to the king!

The contents of the letter are found in II Chronicles 21:12-15. In part it reads:

"Because thou hast not walked in the ways of. . . thy father . - . but hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel.. . and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself. . . thou shalt have great sickness by disease."

From the wording of the letter, it is clear that Elijah wrote it after these events had occurred, for he speaks of them as past events, and of the disease as future. Two years after the king became diseased the king died—having reigned only eight short years (II Chronicles 21:18-20).

This proves that the letter was written about ten years after Elijah had been taken to another location by the whirlwind.


Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration

The only remaining texts that puzzle people are those relative to the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. The record of the event is found in Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36.

Leaving the mountain, Jesus told his disciples: "Tell the vision to no man” (Mat. 17:9). A vision is not a material reality but a supernatural picture observed by the eyes.

Moses died, and was buried (Deut. 34:5-6). Both Moses and Elijah were still dead in their graves, but in vision both they and Jesus were seen in the glory of the resurrection—an event to which Moses and Elijah have not yet attained (Heb. 11:39). The vision was granted the disciples after Jesus had spoken of the glory of immortality in the coming kingdom.

How plain the Bible is! Elijah is dead in the dust of the earth awaiting the resurrection of the just. Elijah, some years after being removed in the whirlwind, went to the grave, but will rise again to live forevermore!

Retrieved from http://www.cgom.org/Publications/Booklets/Enoch_Elijah.htm and modified to be short for posting 07/30/12

Friday, July 27, 2012

Walking With God




Genesis 5:24 records;

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

To better understand what is meant by”Enoch walked with God”, we’ll need to examine the original Hebrew text;

בראשית 5:24  Hebrew Bible
ויתהלך חנוך את האלהים ואיננו כי לקח אתו אלהים׃

Original Word: הָלַך, halak: to go, come, walk


In Genesis 3:8, the same Hebrew verb ‘הָלַך’ was used;

“Then the man(Adam) and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking (מִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ) in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

In Hebrews 11:5 Apostle Paul interprets Genesis 5:24 this way ;

“ By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away (= then he was no more, because God took him away). For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God (=Enoch walked with God)”

Now we have an answer to the question “What is walking with God?” That is “pleasing God.”

So the equation is ‘Walking with God’ = ‘Pleasing God.’

Then how can we please God? Jesus showed us an example to please God the Father in Matthew 3:15-16;

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘ This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’”

In other words, God is pleased with whom He loves. Who are the ones whom He loves? The world, you and me!

Did not God say in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


Micah 6:8 NIV reads;

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with Your God.”

Now we can know, anyone who believes in Jesus, with whom God is well pleased and so He gives an Eternal life in His Son. Therefore we must walk with Our God, Jesus Christ.

Our Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Eternal Life in Christ Jesus with Whom You are well pleased. Let us walk with Him until Our Lord Jesus takes us away from here to Your Kingdom on earth and the New Heaven and New Earth. Amen.

Longevity




In addition to the basic characteristics of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth for 1,000 years recorded in Revelation 19 and 20:1-10 before the Great White Throne Judgment of God in Revelation 20:11-15 and the Eternal Kingdom – New Heaven and New Earth in chapters 21 and 22, we have this description of the Kingdom in Isaiah 65:20-25 says;

Life Spans Increased

There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

There are many key statements in this passage. We see a great increase in life spans. Like the previously mentioned Isaiah 11 passage which says that "... the leopard shall lie down with the kid ...", many have taken what this passage says about the long life spans and tried to spiritualize (allegorically interpret) the truth away from it, saying it is not literal. However, not only will life spans literally be longer, but this too was this way before the great flood.

In the genealogy from Adam to Noah given in Genesis 5 and 9:29, there are extremely long life spans. When we exclude Enoch who was taken by God (Genesis 5:24) at the age of 365 years and Lamech who died at the age of 777 years, we find that all of the other eight lived between 895 and 969 years(. After the great flood, there was a rapid drop in life span to a little over 400 years. Around the time of the tower of Babel, life spans dropped to a little over 200 years. Then they began to slowly decrease to more modern life spans over a period of hundreds of years.

Ages of the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah

Patriarch
Age
Bible Reference
1
Adam
930
2
Seth
912
3
Enosh
905
4
Cainan
910
5
Mahalalel
895
6
Jared
962
7
Enoch
365 (translated)
8
Methuselah
969
9
Lamech
777
10
Noah
950



Of course many will say that the idea of humans having lived for more than 900 years is ridiculous. However, the following factors produced great changes in man's environment and/or lifestyle. Without speculating on the positive or negative effects these factors may have had on life span, some of them are: (1) Prior to the flood it did not rain on the earth, rather the earth was watered by mist that came up from the ground (Genesis 2:5-6). (2) As previously mentioned, it was after the great flood that man began to eat meat for the first time (Genesis 9:3). (3) The removal of the vast layer of waters above the firmament (Genesis 1:7 and 7:11) may have effected the sun's rays, the earth's magnetic field, or the air pressure. (4) After the flood, the human race was replenished through only eight people (Genesis 6:18) which required the marriage of some near relatives. These factors and others not contemplated here may have had a tremendous effect on human life. We are not capable of determining what all of the effects might be, except to say that the ramifications would be great. So we should take God at his Word (something we should do anyway) when He tells us about the life spans of those who lived before the flood and those who will live in the coming Kingdom.

Retrieved from http://www.matthewmcgee.org/millen.html 07/27/2012
 

Here is a science article about the “Life Span” for you to read;

Advances in the biology and biochemistry of aging have been remarkable, and, at the same time, they reveal that the aging process is, indeed, complex. Much remains to be learned and discovered about it. Recent discoveries do clearly indicate that aging can result from subtlety changes in the invisible realm of cosmic radiation and cellular chemistry. Given the subtly of these changes, investigators are gaining some hope and confidence that in the near future they will be able to slow the human aging process through drug treatment and dietary alteration.


Scientists’ success in altering the life span of selected organisms (such as worms, yeast, and fruit flies) and their emerging ability to increase human life expectancy through biochemical manipulation lend scientific plausibility to the long life spans recorded in Genesis 5. If humans with their limited knowledge and power can alter life spans, how much more so can God? He could have used any of four (or more) subtle alterations in human biochemistry to allow for long life spans. He could have used the Vela supernova or other astronomical events, in combination with complementary biochemical changes, to shorten human longevity.


Exactly how God altered human life spans no one knows. However, recent discoveries in the biochemistry of aging continue to build the case for the reliability of Scripture—specifically of Genesis 5 and 6. Researchers stand on the threshold of additional breakthroughs in understanding the aging process. Further advances are anticipated in the endocrinology and hormonal control of aging, and in deciphering Werner’s syndrome (a disorder that leads to premature aging). One can look forward to these and other discoveries in the biochemistry of aging with the confidence that they will continue to lend credibility to the Biblical record.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Deserted Desert




(Image credit goes to a German couple who traveled more than 800,000km (about 500,000 miles) around the world driving the vehicle in the photo)

Desert is a desolate, dry and deserted land. Deserts take up about one third (33%) of the Earth's land surface. Oases are often the only places in deserts that support crops and permanent habitation.

When Christ reigns in His Kingdom for 1,000 years, the deserts will become fertile fields and the fields will become as forests.

Isaiah 35:1

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

Isaiah 53:1

“The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD(Ὡς παράδεισον κυρίου Hōs paradeison kuriou – literally 'As the paradise of the Lord.'). Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”

Judea is here represented as lying waste. It is to be remembered that the time to which the prophet here refers is that of the captivity in Babylon, and near its close. Of course, as that would have continued seventy years, in so long a period Judea would have become almost an extended wilderness, a wide waste.


“ They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.’”

If God had raised up so great a nation from so humble all origin, he had power to restore the waste places of Judea to more than their former beauty and prosperity. When Christ restores the waste places of Israel, He will restore the deserts in the entire world as like the Garden of Eden, I believe.

THE WEEPING MOTHER





Some believe that the statues of Our Lady reflect the consciousness of the planet, Mother Earth, our Mother. For the Catholic Christians she is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and therefore the "Mother" of us all.

It must be said that authorities of the Catholic Church have been very careful in their approach and treatment of weeping statues, and generally set very high barriers for their acceptance.

 Date  Location Claims
1949
Syracuse, New York
human tears — unverified
June 1985
tears of human blood, rejected by local bishop
April 1997 till present
statue of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart sheds a red liquid - unverified
March 2002
statue of Pio of Pietrelcina shed a red liquid, but was rejected by the Vatican
September 2002
wept scented tears, apparitions, accepted.
February 2003
unverified
September 2004
appearance of scented oil, blinked and claimed a cure — not verified
November 2005
tears of blood, called a hoax on the Paula Zahn TV show
March 2006 onwards
tears of blood, appearance of oil, honey, milk — not verified
January 2006 till present
tears of blood, appearance of oil, salt - unverified, self published claims
November 2010
appearance of oil, "smiles during the day" and excreted oil claimed to heal
July 2012
appearance of dripping blood from hairline



The Bible tells us in Luke 2:34-35;

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

 “A sword will pierce your own soul too”pobably meaning, her own Son, shall die a martyr for the truth. But as this is a metaphor used by the most respectable Greek writers to express the most pungent sorrow, it may here refer to the anguish Mary must have felt when He as frequently exposed to danger among the spiteful and malicious Jews; but never more than when she stood, most likely weeping at His cross, and saw Him, in His agonies, extended on the Cross, bleeding, gasping, and dying as recorded in John 19:25.

But we never heard from the Bible that the statues of Mary wept for the ailing world as consciousness of the planet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Maranatha!




1 Corinthians 16:22 (New International Version 1984)

If anyone does not love the Lord--a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!

Greek Text

εἴ τις οὐ φιλεῖ τὸν κύριον, ἤτω ἀνάθεμα. μαράνα θά.(ei tis ou philei ton kurion, eto anathema. marana tha)

Anathema(ἀνάθεμα).

A transliterated Greek term, meaning accursed.  It is likely that he means, if any church member love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let that member be accursed. He is not speaking of the outside world.

Maranatha(μαράνα θά).

A transliterated Greek term, of Aramic origin. This interjection means, “Our Lord comes.”


Matthew Henry exegetes the verse;

/…./ Many are Christians in name, who do not love Christ Jesus the Lord in sincerity. Such are separated from the people of God, and the favour of God. Those who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, must perish without remedy. Let us not rest in any religious profession where there is not the love of Christ, earnest desires for his salvation, gratitude for his mercies, and obedience to his commandments./…./
 

Lord Jesus, let us love YOU more than anything else in the world, including ourselves, spouse, children, gold, gemstones, money, savings, fame, education, degrees, lust, entertaining, playing golf, working out, food, beer & wine, travel, trees, pets, luxury cars, home, even our zeal for YOU!   Amen and amen.