Why Rapture? By Pete Garcia In a theological world bent on consensus and ecumenism, you…
Enoch, Noah, the Church, and Israel
By: Pete Garcia
Have you ever wondered what happened to Enoch? Or why his mention in Genesis 5 is so remarkable, yet leaves so much to be explained? Or why his name evokes thoughts of the Rapture, Antediluvian angelic encounters, and of books he allegedly wrote lauded both by fringe and scholar. Let’s take a look first at what we know.
1. Enoch was the seventh from Adam
2. Enoch was the son of Jared, and father to Methuselah
3. Enoch lived 65 years, and then became father to Methuselah.
4. Enoch lived another 300 years walking with God, and then God took him.
5. Enoch was taken 69 years before Noah’s birth, and then 669 years before the Flood.
6. Enoch was listed in the ‘Hall of Faith’ (Hebrews 11:5-6), and confirms the Genesis account, that Enoch did not die, but was ‘translated’ from mortal to immortal.
7. Jude, half-brother of Jesus, quotes Enoch (a similar quote is also found in the Book of Enoch).
According to biblical numerology studies, the number seven signifies spiritual completion or perfection. Is it significant, that the seventh from Adam, does not see death, but experiences a pre-flood ‘Rapture’? I believe it is, and I believe that God not only uses patterns in Scriptures for our benefit, but symbolic types as well. Like Abraham willingly faithful to sacrifice his only son or Moses lifting up the bronze serpent on the pole for healing those who were bitten, Old Testament types foreshadow the reality of what was to come. I think that in Enoch’s case, a solid example of deliverance prior to global destruction is pictured here.
Side note: If Enoch had been taken up mid-flood, or post-flood, I guarantee you that Pre-Wrath, Mid-Trib, and Post-Tribulation believers would be heralding him around as their poster-boy. But since his deliverance was undeniably long before the flood, many Pre-Trib skeptics and dismiss him as a ‘type’…mainly because it conflicts with their own eschatological views.
So what is it about this man Enoch that makes him one of the most intriguing, but least talked about people from the pages of Holy Scripture? Considering what little we are told about the antediluvian era, his unexpected and seemingly premature disappearance at 365 years of age is striking considering the average lifespan then was 800-900 years old. What is also intriguing are the supposed books bearing his name, appearing around 200-100 BC…some 3000 years after Enoch’s era, in which Christ’s half brother, Jude, appears to be quoting from.
So Jude tells us…
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 1:14-15 And Peter seems to confirm this at his preaching on Solomon’s Porch
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21
What is also interesting, is the name linkage that when read together, spells out a unique statement pointing towards the coming Messiah.
Mahalalel……..The Blessed God
Jared…………Shall come down
Methuselah……His death shall bring
Noah…………..Rest, or comfort
It’s been well mentioned by Chuck Missler and others, that the proper names here spell out a sentence describing what would happen. But notice where Enoch’s name is, and what He would be teaching: His death shall bring the despairing comfort (or rest). Who did Jesus state would come when He left to back to His Father?
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; John 14:16…And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8
Certainly, it is true that Jesus predicted His own death, and that through His death, burial, and resurrection, we would find salvation. But it is also true, that after His death, the Holy Spirit came down to be our Comforter (or Helper) in the age of the Church, when we teach that it is through the death, burial, and resurrection (the finished work) of Jesus Christ, that we find rest and comfort. If the name-sentence was meant to mean anything, I think Enoch’s place in the seventh generation was no accident, nor His own ‘catching up’ to paradise. By faith Enoch was taken away 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
So if Enoch’s deliverance was a type of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, is the Church (Body of Christ) a good or fair representation of Enoch? We know that according to Jude, Enoch prophesied about the Second Coming, and that he also pleased God…but does the Church? According to the Apostle Paul, when we get saved, we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) and are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:13) God no longer sees us, but sees the ‘righteousness of God’ applied to us by the shed blood of Christ upon us. (2 Cor. 5:21) And since we are baptized into the body of Christ, we should know that when God audibly spoke to Christ, this is what He said… “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
Didn’t Noah please God, but then had to go through the Flood anyway?
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9
So why did Enoch get to escape and Noah and his family not? There wouldn’t have been anyone to continue on after the flood because everyone would have died. But Noah, a man untainted by whatever genetic and/or angelic contaminations of his day, pleased God and God spared him and his family. Ironically, the book of Enoch speaks at length on what transpired before the flood, with the ‘sons of God’ coming down and marrying the ‘daughters of men’. (See Genesis 6)
There are five instances in the Bible, in which a person or group are identified as a ‘Son(s) of God’. A quick definition first is: A being that is directly created sinless by God Himself.
So out of this group, who was around in the time of Genesis 6, that could/would have been capable of doing this?
– Adam was already dead by then.
– Israel had not yet been created.
– Christ had not yet come in the flesh.
– The Church could not come until the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
That leaves Angels. And for those who think the ‘sons of God’ is in reference to the godly line of Seth…ask yourself this question; why would God flood the world with all those godly descendants from the godly line of Seth?
Rather, Satan attempted to corrupt the seed of man, so a Redeemer could not come. And Job, being chronologically the first book written, knew that a Redeemer would come. He knew, as did Noah, as did Methuselah, as did Enoch, as did Adam…that One would come, and redeem mankind from sin.
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”….
To not be found means that someone (or a lot of people) would have been looking for him. Enoch simply disappeared, and those that were family, those that knew him, searched for him. So too will the body of Christ disappear at future point, known only to God. Corporately, we constitute one body, the body of Christ, who for the last 2,000 years, have been filling in all the blank spots like pixels on a computer image, slowly coming into focus. Romans 11:25 states that:
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Paul was the first to reveal the mystery of the Rapture (or the ‘catching up’) in either his first, or second epistle ever recorded (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). He adds here in one of his last epistles, that Israel’s partial-blindness to the Gospel is tied in with God’s pre-determined number, or divine quota for the total number of Gentiles who would be brought into the body of Christ. Remember, Paul was not discussing the Second Coming, as that was a well-known concept even in the Old Testament. The ‘catching up’ (Harpazo in the Greek) was a mystery (musterion in the Greek), meaning that it was something God had chosen to keep hidden, until he reveals it to mankind.
The Rapture remained a mystery until Paul was given that revelation. Enoch, was a mystery, until Moses (who wrote Genesis) revealed why Enoch was no more…1,400 years later. Enoch was a man wrapped in mystery, both in type, and revelation (see Jude 1:14). They are intricately linked together as much as Noah is a type of Israel, and the Ark is a type of safety (for those in Christ) who must endure global and cataclysmic tribulation.
God told Noah to build an ark, and told him to cover it with pitch (tar) both inside and out. The word Moses uses for pitch here is kaphar. The only time the word for pitch is used this way, is here. And it means: to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch. God will make atonement for, cover, purge, and make reconciliation with Israel during this time known as Jacob’s Trouble. Not so with the Church, because we aren’t promised deliverance through, but deliverance FROM the very time of wrath that is coming. (See John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:1, 2:7; Titus 2:13; 2 Tim. 4:8; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 3:10)
Like Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who walked with God and was taken by God….we who are in Christ will likewise be removed in this seventh church age. Notice that there are seven churches mentioned, and only in chapters 1-3. From chapter 4 onward, there is no mention of the church again except for in the closing remarks by Christ to John in chapter 22, to distribute the message to the churches. We know for a fact that the Tribulation is described in chapters 6-19, and not once, is the term John used for churches in chapters 1-3 (ekklesia), used anywhere in those chapters. And notice that it isn’t the churches as congregations that are saved, but only individuals out of them.
Enoch’s removal before the Flood is in keeping with the rest of Scripture as a type. Enoch delivered, Noah goes through protected. The Church is removed before the Tribulation, but Israel will go through protected. Granted, she will be purged (down to 1/3), but corporately, she will be saved. This again would confirm Enoch’s pre-flood and our Pre-Trib deliverance. There is a law of first mention, and Genesis 5 then becomes the first mention of the deliverance of the righteous before God pours out His wrath upon the earth.
Enoch’s rapture was an initial down payment by type, of the future deliverance for mankind. It was also a warning to the unrepentant age in which he lived…just as our Rapture will be a clear message to those in our age…that Judgment is coming.