Fear or Faith?

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If you’ve never read the book of Enoch, then let’s just say you’re in for a big surprise.

Before I dig into Enoch,  let’s look at one of the books that the mainstream church has canonized…Jude.

The following is taken from Jude Chapter 1, verses 14 and 15. The “these” that Jude is referencing is ungodly men and women who don’t know Jesus.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.

To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Jude 1:14-15 (KJV)

The following is taken from Enoch 1:9 (in some translations (including the one I used) it’s verse 2)

Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal [of flesh] for every- thing which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him. Enoch 2

Anyway…the point is, Jude’s reference to Enoch suggests (strongly, in my opinion) that the hearers were familiar with this text.

In spite of the fact that Enoch is pretty much ignored by Christians I was surprised to learn that according to Wikipedia, the book is considered scripture by some Orthodox Christian communities.

It is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but not by any other Christian groups.

It is wholly extant only in the Ge’ez language, with Aramaic fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and a few Greek and Latin fragments. For this and other reasons, the traditional Ethiopian belief is that the original language of the work was Ge’ez, whereas non-Ethiopian scholars tend to assert that it was first written in either Aramaic or HebrewEphraim Isaac suggests that the Book of Enoch, like the Book of Daniel, was composed partially in Aramaic and partially in Hebrew.[4]:6 No Hebrew version is known to have survived. It is asserted in the book itself that its author was Enoch, before the Biblical Flood.

Bottom line, whether or not you believe that Enoch was inspired, it gives us a lot of great information about what was happening before the flood.

I like to think of it as a backdrop to what Genesis 6 tells us was going on.

Let’s read, shall we?

I’m using an online translation which is an actual pdf of a book published in 1955. It was translated from the original Ethiopian manuscript by someone named Laurence Richard, LLD, Archbishop of Cashel. It was in the Princeton theological library.

The introduction – which is quite lengthy as was common in older books, is very informative. The following paragraphs are quoted. [emphasis mine]

“In vain we turn over the pages of the sacred Canon; not even in the Apocrypha can we trace one line from the pen of the marvellous being to whom uninterrupted immortality is assigned by apostolic interpretation of Genesis v. 24.

Were the prophecies of Enoch, therefore, accepted as a Divine revelation on that momentous day when Jesus explained the Scriptures, after his resurrection, to Jude and his apostolic brethren; and have we moderns betrayed our trust by excluding an inspired record from the Bible?

Reverting to the second century of Christianity, we find Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria citing the Book of Enoch without questioning its sacred character. Thus, Irenaeus, assigning to the Book of Enoch an authenticity analogous to that of Mosaic literature, affirms that Enoch, although a man, filled the office of God’s messenger to the angels.

Tertullian, who flourished at the close of the first and at the beginning of the second century, whilst admitting that the ” Scripture of Enoch ” is not received by some because it is not included in the Hebrew Canon, speaks of the author as ” the most ancient prophet, Enoch,” and of the book as the divinely inspired autograph of that immortal patriarch, preserved by Noah in the ark, or miraculously reproduced by him through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tertullian adds, ” But as Enoch has spoken in the same scripture of the Lord, and ‘ every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired,’ let us reject nothing which belongs to us. It may now seem to have been disavowed by the Jews like all other scripture which speaks of Christ —a fact which should cause us no surprise, as they were not to receive him, even when personally addressed by himself.”

These views Tertullian confirms by appealing to the testimony of the Apostle Jude. The Book of Enoch was therefore as sacred as the Psalms or Isaiah in the eyes of the famous theologian, on whom modern orthodoxy relies as the chief canonist of New Testament scripture.”

Wow…I did say it was lengthy, didn’t I?

Bottom line, if Enoch was good enough for Tertullian, who am I to argue?

This blog is getting way too long, but to set it up for my next blog, I’ll share a few verses from Enoch, Chapter 1.

1. The word of the blessing of Enoch, how he blessed the elect and the righteous, who were to exist in the time of trouble; rejecting all the wicked and ungodly. Enoch, a righteous man, who was with God, answered and spoke, while his eyes were open, and while he saw a holy vision in the heavens. This the angels showed me.

2. From them, I heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation, but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period, on account of the elect.

3. Upon their account, I spoke and conversed with him, who will go forth from his habitation, the Holy and Mighty One, the God of the world

4. Who will hereafter tread upon Mount Sinai; appear with his hosts; and be manifested in the strength of his power from heaven.

5. All shall be afraid, and the Watchers be terrified.

6. Great fear and trembling shall seize them, even to the ends of the earth. The lofty mountains shall be troubled, and the exalted hills depressed, melting like a honeycomb in the flame. The earth shall be immerged, and all things which are in it perish; while judgment shall come upon all, even upon all the righteous

7. But to them shall he give peace: he shall preserve the elect, and towards them exercise clemency.

8. Then shall all belong to God; be happy and blessed, and the splendour of the Godhead shall illuminate them.

Nuclear war?

While there have been many periods in history that we could call “times of trouble”, there hasn’t, to my knowledge, been a time where the hills “melted like a honeycomb in the flame”. (nuclear war???)

But we’re not to live and make our choices by succumbing to fear. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind (self-control).

He says that the righteous (we’re made righteous through Christ) shall have peace and be preserved. Whether or not that preservation means we keep our life here on this earth or we go home, the point is that without God, we’d have a lot more to fear and in fact, we’d truly have no hope.

BUT

If you’ve made the choice for Yahweh, then He will keep you, no matter what trials you might be facing now or will face when the bottom drops out and our blessed Hope returns.

If for no other reason but to avoid being deceived, dig into His Word and get closer and closer to Him. Your life and the lives of those you love depend on it.

 

 

 

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