By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith, thank you for listening today. The end-times are upon us and we must get ready for the coming of Jesus. Your salvation depends on following the counsel that He has given you. I pray that you will receive the Holy Spirit and that you will have the power of Christ to live for Him. As I watch the unfolding events in our world today, frankly, I am amazed at how accurate the Bible is, and how important it is to give the 3 Angels messages now. For the time is coming when we will not be able to do so very easily.
I have a very important message for you today. We can spend as much time as we want on watching the fulfilling prophecies, but if we don’t understand how to prepare, we will still be lost. Today we will look at the life of a man who represents those who will go through the end times, and the time of trouble, but who will come out victorious.
But before we study today, I want to say thank you for your support for Keep the Faith Ministry. It means a lot to us, especially during this difficult economic period. Anything you do to support God’s work through Keep the Faith is greatly appreciated. So far God has blessed with enough funds to keep sending you our monthly CD preachers.
Also, please don’t forget to go to our website and read the Prophetic Intelligence Briefings that are posted there. There are so many things happening that directly relate to fulfilling prophecy.
Would you like to be an overcomer? I do. I want to be translated without seeing death, if it is God’s will. But I want to be able to overcome my sins, more than anything else. I don’t want to live the low life of an addicted sinner. I want to ride on the high places of the earth and be fed with the heritage of Jacob (Isa 58:14). The Bible gives us wonderful illustrations of how to be an overcomer through the life stories of fallen human beings. One of those individuals is going to be our special study today because he is a symbol of those who are living now, just before Jesus comes in the clouds of glory. His experience is a type of what we must become under the grace and power of Jesus.
It is one thing to intellectually understand that we need to get ready for the coming of Jesus and for the crisis that the living saints must pass through before He comes, but it is quite another to actually put into practice the principles of heaven and actually be victorious over sin. We are addicted to sin. We love to sin. We love to be involved in worldly things that feed our pride. There are some things we must do to be victorious over the snares of Satan and our own cultivated and inherited tendencies to evil.
I’m not going to get into all the arguments about whether or not it is possible to overcome all your sins in this life before the close of human probation. We know that it is possible because the Bible clearly says so. For instance, Jude 24 says: “Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” If you take the Bible as it reads, then it is obvious that it can be done. If you won’t take the Bible as it reads, then you will be just like most people who claim to believe the scriptures, but ignore its plain teaching.
There is a shining example to the last generation on earth. His name was Enoch. Have you ever studied the life of Enoch? If not, you will likely be amazed at the kind of man he was. You will also be surprised how that the study of his life gives us the secrets of being an overcomer and preparing for translation. God is actually proposing that in the last days, there will be thousands of men and woman,who like Enoch, fully reflect the character of their Lord in their earthly circumstances and conflicts. In fact, there will be 144,000 of them, and they will not see death. God’s last day messenger wrote: “Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” That’s from the book Maranatha, p. 241.
The Bible has a very simple but precious statement about Enoch. Genesis 5:23, 24 says this: “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
For 365 years Enoch walked with God as he lived here on earth. He was one of the “sons of God,” as the children of Seth called themselves. They probably used this term to remind themselves of their connection to the creator and their responsibility to live by his principles. This was in contrast to the “sons of men,” who were in rebellion to God’s law and His government. But Enoch was a very special man. He was a model, an example to the last generation. Even though the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of detail about the man, yet what is given is packed with vitally important information that we can apply to ourselves.
Hebrews 11:5, 6 gives us a little more detail. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:”
So Genesis tells us that he “was not.” Hebrews 11:5 tells us that this means that he “was not found.” In other words, there were those that looked for him, perhaps thoroughly, but could not find him. He “was not.” In other words, one day he was there, the next day he was not. People looked for Enoch, but they couldn’t find him. He had been around for 365 years. They knew him. They had done business with him. They trusted him. He had talked to them about their salvation, but now, they couldn’t find him, even though they looked for him everywhere. They probably asked his neighbors and friends if they had seen him. They asked his family. But he had disappeared. He was simply gone. He “was not.” Not doubt this was a great mystery to them. What happened to him? Usually when someone dies there is a funeral. That is how most people “are not.” But no one had a funeral for Enoch. Yet simply he “was not.” Maybe they even talked about it.
“What happened to Enoch? I can’t find him anywhere.”
“Have you gone to his house and asked his wife?”
“Yes, but she doesn’t know what happened to him either.”
“Did you check in his barn or his workshop?”
“Yes, in fact, I checked all around the places where he usually goes, but I can’t find him. I even checked his place of prayer, but he wasn’t there either.”
“What did his son Methuselah have to say? Did you ask him?”
“Oh yes, but Methuselah said that he had not seen his father for several days himself, and thought that he had gone to the city. But he usually tells his family when he goes away for a few days.”
“Well, this is a mystery. Maybe he was raptured. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”
But for months and months, no one saw Enoch. He never showed up in the town. He never showed up at home. No one ever reported seeing him. Even the missing persons bureau never even heard a rumor where he might be. He was just gone. He “was not.”
Many generations later, Moses got it, because God revealed it to him. Moses simply says that “God took him.”
Enoch skipped the last part of the normal human life cycle, the part about death. And the reason was because heaven has his testimony recorded forever that he pleased God. Right here in this wicked and dark world, Enoch pleased God. He didn’t just please God after he left this world. He pleased Him so much before he left, that God took him without seeing death. And when he “was not” any longer on this earth, he was with God. In other words, he came so close to God, that God said “Ok Enoch, its time for you to come and be with me forever.” So where did Enoch go? He went to be with God.
But there is more in Hebrews 11:5, 6 about Enoch. Here it is. “For before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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.”
Do you want to please God like that? What does that mean? Listen to this statement about Enoch from Gospel Workers, p. 54. “To such a 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.”
Amos 3:3 asks the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” The obvious answer is no. To please God, means that you will have holiness of character. Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 743 says that “Holiness is agreement with God.” So, to please God means that you have the same idea, the same principles in your life that God has in His. Your life parallels the life of God in your own limited sphere. You are both going in the same direction. You know His purposes and you fulfill them completely. When God shows you something in your study time, or points out something to you by an experience, you have to take that and apply it in your life. Otherwise, you are not in agreement with God, and you can’t be holy, nor can you be an overcomer. That’s what Enoch did. That’s how Enoch came to the place where he was an overcomer. In every area of life, he was in agreement with God. And that is how you will be an overcomer. Is there anything in your life that you know is not in agreement with God? Perhaps that is the reason you are having difficulty in overcoming.
No matter how much feeling you may have, no matter how much shouting and dancing there might be, no matter how much praying there might be, if there is no agreement with God, there is no true holiness. You aren’t going in the same direction as God.
Enoch had seen the difference between Cain and Abel. Abel was righteous. Cain pretended to be righteous, but didn’t do what God said. He had his own ideas. Enoch knew that when Cain rebelled against God, and killed his brother Abel, he went out and built a city. You find that in Genesis 4:17. This city was in rebellion to God too as all cities are, except the New Jerusalem of course. And that is the one city in which I want a home, don’t you?
Earthly cities have always been built to glorify man. All you have to do is look around and that is what you see; monuments to man’s pride and arrogance. Before the flood perhaps there were other cities that other rebellious people built. They tried to make a name for themselves. But it was Enoch’s job to warn the cities of the coming destruction because of their wickedness.
Cain stands at the head of a great class of people who worship the God of this world. He left the promises of God and did not apply them to himself. Nor was he willing to obey God’s instructions. He left his father’s house, and the community and fellowship of the followers of Jesus, and went out and tilled the soil and built a city. Cain was considered a great man in the world, but not in heaven.
By contrast, Enoch was a true saint. This is not one of the fake saints that some people fabricate so that people can pray to them. Enoch was a true saint. It’s funny how nobody prays to Enoch like they pray to St. Ambrose, or St. Peter, or St. Mary. According to the Catholic Church, saints are supposed to be models of godliness for people to emulate. But here is perhaps the best example for emulation, but nobody is encouraged to do so.
Let us think for a few minutes about what we have learned so far from the story and apply it.
Did you notice the promise there for us in our opening verse? God will reward those who diligently seek him. So here is the first principle to living like Enoch and being victorious over your sins. In order to be an overcomer, you have to diligently seek God like Enoch. Each day you have to take time out of your busy schedule, take time out of your frazzled life, take time out of your secular pursuits to seek God diligently. What does diligently mean? That means you are going to seek God thoroughly, meticulously, conscientiously and attentively. In other words, you are not going to rush through your Bible study and prayer time. You are going to think about what you are reading. You are going to pray about it, and find other passages that use similar words so that you can understand better what is meant. You are going to meditate on it so that you can understand the way God thinks. This is very important if you want to be an overcomer. So many of us want to be saved, but rarely do you find people who are determined to diligently seek Him.
Secondly, you are going to have a meaningful and earnest prayer life. And you are going to think about what you say to God when you pray. You are not going to just pray a routine prayer each morning and evening, but let your heart talk to God about everything and anything. You talk to Him about your hopes and dreams. You talk to Him about the hurts and pains in life. You talk to Him about your health and how to stay healthy. You talk to Him about what you are going to wear, what you are going to do, and how you are going to spend your time. When something happens to you or around you, talk to Him about it. Tell Him what you noticed, and how it affected you.
As you talk with him, He will remind you of Bible verses that apply to this situation. He can’t do that if you have never read them, or aren’t reading them regularly. But if you are, He will explain things to you by reminding you of what He has put in the scripture or the Spirit of Prophecy.
This is the way you walk with God. It is by the communion of prayer. Prayer is your way of telling God what is on your mind. Yes, He already knows what is on your mind, but He wants you to be able to express it so that you think about it. That way He can mold your thoughts in similar ways to His own thoughts. That way He can get you going in the same direction as He is going.
By the way, if you are diligently seeking God, and you learn to think like He thinks, then you are going to also act like God acts. That is where the proof of your relationship is going to be. When you act as God acts, then you won’t be going in a different direction from God. You will be going in the same direction.
There is a third principle in these verses. To please God, you have to have faith, faith that He is God. If God is all-powerful and if all His promises are real and can be activated by faith and are not mere fiction we can, therefore, believe and act upon them. This is a problem for some and a struggle for others. It is a problem for some because they think these verses are fiction. They will never find their way to salvation so long as they think that even one promise of God is fiction.
Here’s why. If they think that one promise of God is fiction, it will lead them to think that other promises, warnings and entreaties are fiction too.
You must accept God as God. Many people have a hard time with this, for instance, because they don’t believe that God created the earth in six literal days as the Bible says. So eventually, they come to the conclusion that God doesn’t exist and that some chaotic explosion created order and system in the universe. They have made their own God, haven’t they? They call it science, but it is really faith, faith in something fictional, a fake faith.
To please God is a struggle for most Christian people. They don’t really want to please God so badly that they will pray and anguish with God until they get the victory over their carnal desires. That is just too hard for them. So, today preachers just tell their congregations that it is ok for them not to worry about overcoming their sins, and that God loves them no matter what, and that He has forgiven them whether they repent and forsake their sins or not. Unfortunately, they will get a shocking revelation when Jesus tells them that He never knew them.
So many people have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to overcome their sins that the prevailing teaching among ministers and their congregations is that Christ is just going to save anyone who is baptized, or who has an intellectual knowledge of at least some truth, attend church, and return their tithe. I’ve actually heard this idea presented, not in these exact words, but in principle. And it is deadly. Millions will be lost because they believed a lie. When God says He is able to keep you from falling, do you believe it, or do you think we can’t take Him at face value? That is, in fact, what most teachers and preachers teach. And it is presumption, not faith. Presumption is what leads you to believe that you are pleasing God when in reality you are displeasing Him. And most Christian people think they are pleasing God while still living in sin. Presumption will never get you to Heaven, my friends.
You see, if you want to please God with all your heart and you pursue it with all your might and with all diligence, you will not be disappointed. God will surely give you what you desire, power to live like Enoch lived and please God with holiness of character. Most people aren’t willing to accept the Bible truth that God is all-powerful. Nor are they willing to comply with the conditions of receiving God’s power. It is a struggle that cannot be accomplished at the last minute. You have to train yourself to be consistent in your walk with God. You have to train yourself to be consistent in your daily Bible study. You have to train yourself to pray earnestly for the salvation of your own soul and others.
Most people just think that God will save them just as they are anyway, so long as they accept the sacrifice of Jesus. This is making God’s power of no effect and it is demeaning to all of heaven. It is actually a form of blasphemy.
One of Satan’s key arguments against God in the great controversy is that human beings cannot overcome their sins and be fully loyal and pleasing to God. To diligently seek God, we must do just like Enoch did and stretch our faith, accepting that God will apply His power to His promises, if we diligently seek Him and earnestly follow in His revealed will.
If you are not willing to study the Bible, how will you ever know God? If you are not willing to pray earnestly for God’s power in dealing with specific things that He points out to you in your life that are not according to His will, He will not be able to help you overcome them.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” the Bible says in Romans 10:17. You will have to discipline yourself to get into a personal study and prayer time so that you will know God’s will and have His faith imparted to you so that you apply His will in your life. For instance, when God says, “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory,” (Phil 2:3), you need to exercise faith not to watch that football game, because football is all strife and vainglory. You find something else to do, even though you have a great desire to watch the game. Also, when you read that verse, you will think very carefully before you purchase your clothing, your car, or your house. Many of these things can lead to vainglory or reveal the vainglory in your soul. That is how to come into harmony with the Lord’s will. That is how you turn your life around and go in the same direction as God. You think about what you do in light of God’s word.
Enoch was a preacher. Did you know that? The apostle Jude tells us that “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. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. That’s verses 14-16.
So Enoch was a preacher and also a prophet who prophesied about the second coming of Christ, the very thing God’s people prophesy about today. He was focused on the end of the world, when Jesus will come with all the mighty angels to reward His saints and execute judgment on the wicked.
So now we know what Enoch’s work was. He was to preach about the second coming of Christ and warn the people to get their lives ready. He was to reprove sin and teach people how to live righteous lives so that they would be judged righteous. Enoch was not a hermit or a monk. He had work to do. He was very busy helping people understand the way of salvation. That’s our work too, isn’t it?
The sins he condemned were obviously the sins of pride and arrogance, selfish lusts, and discontent. These sins were obviously very prevalent in his day with all their varying manifestations. In fact, the world was so wicked that it was fast nearing the time when God would destroy the earth with a flood. Genesis 6:5 says that the people of the world back then had imaginations in their hearts that were “only evil continually.” Enoch lived among that wicked generation with a holy life, and preached against their sins. How many pastors today condemn the sins that Enoch condemned in our day? At the time when the world has almost reached the same point where the imaginations and the thoughts of men’s hearts are “only evil continually,” how many pastors earnestly plead with their flocks to live holy lives? As you probably know, it rarely happens.
There are several things that we can learn about last-day living from Enoch’s prophesy. First is that we must have humility. It is humility that matures your character. It is humility that opens the door of grace and power on your behalf.
Selflessness is another key virtue of the last generation. Those who will be overcomers will think of others first. They will look after other’s needs first before their own. This is the way Enoch was.
Thirdly, they will be content with whatever state they are in. By nature, I am a complainer and I have to pray that God will give me power so that when in adverse circumstances I will not complain. I need experiences in my life that teach me contentment and will test that contentment, so that it gets stronger. We all must have experiences that will test our characters so that they can be stronger. This is very practical overcoming, isn’t it?
Here is another principle that we learn from this story. Cain built a city. Do you think that is where the descendents of Seth lived too? Actually, the wicked descendents of Cain pushed the descendents of Seth out of their homes. Did you know that? Listen to it from Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 81. “Abel led a pastoral life, dwelling in tents or booths, and the descendents of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves ‘strangers and pilgrims on the earth,’ seeking ‘a better country, that is an heavenly.’” So while Cain built a city, Seth’s descendents were dwelling separate from them and lived in tents out under the sky.
I’ll read on. “For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from the place of their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt.”
So what happened? Cain’s people moved in on Seth’s people. Do you think they appreciated the evil influences of Cain’s people? Not at all. They were concerned that by mingling together with wicked and evil people, their own souls and their relationship with God would be damaged or even destroyed. So they took action.
Reading on, “The latter (that is, the children of Seth), in order to escape from the contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains, and there made their home.”
So where did they go? They went to the mountains to live. Then we read, “So long as this separation continued, they maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured, little by little, to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys.”
Ok, so now we see the fourth principle of overcoming very clearly. You have to be separate. You cannot live a holy life in agreement with God, if you are mingling with worldly and wicked people. That is why God calls you to separate from the world. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17.
Now let me ask you. Do you have this principle of separation in your life? This is part of the formula for victory over sin and overcoming power over the temptations of Satan. You can’t just passively go about your life and let the world surround you. You have to act to keep separate from it, because if you don’t, like the descendants of Cain, it will creep in around you until you are overcome by it.
That applies to many different things. You may have to get rid of the television, remove worldly magazines from your home, stop going to the amusement parks, refrain from public beaches where your eyes are offended by the nakedness, remove the competitive sports and other ungodly activities from your life. You may have to change your job, change your friends, change your buying habits and change the places you go. You must think about it. Think about everything. Pray about everything. Make sure that you aren’t mingling with the world. Separation is one of the keys to success in overcoming.
But someone may argue, “You have to be in the world. You can’t escape. Besides, you have to be with them to save them…” Yes, that is true. You have to be in the world, but you don’t have to be of the world. The separation that needs to happen is in your heart, and so far as possible in your physical surroundings. When you drive along the road you can’t help but see the billboards along the way. When you see one that suggests an unholy thought your mind must react in a negative way, in horror at the wickedness on the billboard. That is when you can pray and tell God how wicked that billboard suggestion is. When tempted to turn on the television and watch that licentious comedy, that vicious action film or the senseless game, you overcome by prayer and by cooperating with God by turning away and doing something else.
But how did Enoch walk with God? Listen “[Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not locate in Sodom, thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible.” That’s from Manuscript 42, 1900.
Someone who is thinking about this might ask, “But how can you evangelize the wicked if you never interact with them?” And that is a good question. Keep in mind that God does not call any man or his family to lose their souls in the effort to save others. The reason for separating yourself from sinners is so that you can be with God and walk with Him. Worldly people will never let you do that.
Here is what it says in that wonderful book Patriarchs and Prophets, p 85. “Distressed by the increasing wickedness of the ungodly, and fearing that their infidelity might lessen his reverence for God, Enoch avoided constant association with them, and spent much time in solitude, giving himself to meditation and prayer. Thus he waited before the Lord, seeking a clearer knowledge of His will, that he might perform it. To him, prayer was the breath of the soul: he lived in the very atmosphere of heaven.”
But Enoch was also an evangelist and preacher. Listen to what Enoch did. It is from the same manuscript of God’s messenger for the last days that we read before. “Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God-given message. Every visit he made to the world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin. After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers and died before the Flood came. But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness. They did not retain their purity of faith, but returned to their former customs and practices.”
Isn’t that interesting? Enoch lived out in the mountains and whenever he went to the city, he went for one purpose. That was to find souls and bring them home to learn how to live righteously. Some of them accepted Christ and became overcomers. Friends, if you want to strengthen your experience with God, your walk with God, start having Bible studies in someone’s home. Start working to win others to Jesus and to His last day message.
Moreover, you have to have a burden for souls and call them out. You are to call them away from their worldly lives, to follow the example of Enoch. We can’t just warn people, we have to bring them out.
Notice that Enoch always brought people home with him. And what do you think his home was like? Did he have a television there to entertain them? Did he have a Nintendo game to amuse their children? How about monopoly? I don’t think so. Enoch’s home was quiet and restful. There weren’t any noises of the city there. No distractions or amusements to tickle the senses, only the birds, flowers and the stars at night.
Each morning and evening, Enoch’s worldly guests were invited to worship where hymns were sung, and where the thoughts of God were recited. Each day, the worldly guests would sit at Enoch’s table and eat the wholesome food that his wife prepared for them. Do you think the food was like the food they had in the city? Not at all, it was simple and healthy.
Do you think Enoch’s wife and children were a part of the process of winning souls? They knew that they had to help these people learn God’s ways. I can imagine little boy Methuselah watching every move, learning how to win souls.
Enoch and his family had a strategy that they worked on together. They planned together, they strategized together, and when Enoch would bring people home, they worked together to help them understand God’s ways by submerging them in a completely different lifestyle.
Some caught on. They began to see the real life that God intended for them, not the artificial life of the city. Others could not accept it. They had to get back to the city. They had to have their beer and wine. They had to have their chicken and fish. They had to have their televisions, movies and games.
Friends, if you are going to be an overcomer, you have several things to do. First, diligently seek God. You have to meditate on God’s word. Think about the things you find in God’s word. You also have to pray about what you read, asking God to teach you how to apply it. Pray in every circumstance of the day, asking God for guidance at each step. You can learn to pray silently, even as you are talking with others or doing your work. You can ask God for wisdom to say the right things, do the right things and to teach you how to listen to the still small voice. Ask Him to show you how to yearn for God and for knowledge of His will.
Secondly, take God’s promises as literal and apply them to your life in every way you can. That requires faith. Faith is that confidence in God’s promises, that they will work, that they will come true and that God will apply them to your life, personally. That’s faith. Faith accepts what God says is true and acts upon it as a fact.
Then thirdly, you live a holy life, separate from the worldly influences. You have Jesus in your heart. He chases away sinful thoughts and actions. If you have Jesus, you have all His promises including the ones about defeating Satan and overcoming. But this is not passive. It is active. While you are practicing a holy life, you are also involved in working for souls. Most Christian people work for bread, not for souls. They don’t know what it means to take someone through a Bible study and lead them to Christ. But that is how you learn yourself. When you help someone else find their way, you also find your own.
We are to pray without ceasing. Cultivate a prayerful life. In other words, when you go out and when you come back in, thank God for His protection. When you come to a difficulty, the first thing you do is pray. Ask God how to handle the situation. Whenever someone says something to you that is unkind, train yourself to keep your tongue silent, and pray. That’s the secret of a mature walk with God. Don’t watch anything, or listen to anything that will break your concentration on God.
Listen to this powerful statement from the book Conflict and Courage, p. 26. “If you choose to throw off the sacred, restraining influence of the truth, Satan will lead you captive at his will.”
Notice that you can throw off the sacred restraining influence of Jesus. If you want victory over sin, you must keep it. Cling to it. Hold on with all your might for Satan will try to force you to let go. Most people don’t want the restraining influence of Jesus in their lives. They want to have the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb 11:25). They want to “enjoy” Satan’s delights.
We must learn to love the society of God. That’s what Enoch did. And he did it all of his life on earth. If you are not young any more, redeem the time left by learning to love the society of God as much as you can now. Constantly, throughout the day, look for God in the things around you. Look for His teachings in the things that happen.
Jesus himself told us that “as the days of Noe were, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” Luke 17:26. When we think about this verse, we often think about the wickedness that was prevalent, which was the reason for the destruction of the flood. But there is another side to this prophecy. There were those who escaped out of the flood alive because they had faith. They took God at His word and demonstrated their faith by taking the steps to prepare. They obeyed God’s instructions and this is what preserved them from destruction.
This prophecy also tells us that at the end of time there will be a few, like Enoch and Noah, who will walk with God so closely that He will take them through the time of trouble and translate them. In other words, Jesus was also telling us that in the last days, when wickedness shall abound and the “love of many will wax cold,” (Matt 24;12), there will be men and woman like Enoch and Noah who will honor God by reproving wickedness and upholding righteousness. They will prepare themselves for the crisis, and they will have a constant communion with their Heavenly Father and with their Savior. Friend, don’t you want to be one of those?
Do you think Enoch had temptations? Of course he did. He was human like all the rest of us and Satan was especially after him because of his fidelity to God. I’m sure that Enoch was sorely tempted. But whenever Satan would come with a temptation, he would go to God, his friend, in prayer and plead for His power to overcome and be victorious. Then he would stand resolutely against any wickedness that tempted him. As time went on, and Enoch got used to this kind of living, no doubt Satan realized that he could not tempt Enoch successfully with the usual superficial temptations that he used on most people. On Enoch he had to start using increasingly subtle ones. But even in these Satan could not find access, because Enoch had become so used to listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, that whenever something didn’t seem right about certain things, he was cautious and would not proceed with out the peace of God. In other words, God warned him of the temptation.
This is a very important experience to have, my friends. The principle is that you must learn to hear the still small voice and do nothing unless you have His peace in your heart about whatever it is you are thinking of doing. The longer you go along in your close walk with God, the more He can teach you. Eventually, he will even show you things that you would never have thought were snares of Satan.
Does your spiritual life seem stagnant? Does your walk with Christ seem like it isn’t going anywhere? Here is some encouragement from Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 129. “If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. When this is in truth the experience of the Christian, there is seen in his life a simplicity, a humility, meekness, and lowliness of heart, that show to all with whom he associates that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him.”
What a precious experience you can have in being victorious! The more you love Jesus, the more you will hate sin. The more you love Jesus, the more you will long to have His mind and His thoughts. This is the secret of overcoming power.
Enoch could not live by his feelings. Feelings change and they often mislead. Enoch lived by faith. What this means is that if God said it, he was going to follow it. If it was God’s will, he was going to do it, feelings be what they may. He followed God in everything. If there was something that was uncertain, he would always avoid it. That way he never got in difficulty in his relationship with Jesus.
“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. That’s from page 31 of Conflict and Courage.
Oh friends, isn’t that the experience you want. Your life can be one long walk with God. You can have His presence at every moment if you follow Enoch’s example. You can be an overcomer. The wonderful news is that Jesus can give you that power, and like Enoch, keep you from falling.