Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Most Ancient Bible Prophecy of the 2nd coming

Jude 1:14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Bible prophecy's fascination lies in how much it points us to Jesus Christ and the purposes of God pertaining to our future.  Equally intriguing is to discover how long God has been speaking on this subject. 

Meet the man who saw our day and time - Enoch
We first encounter Enoch in Genesis 5:22-24 - "Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of MethuSelah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."  Genesis 5 is concerned with demonstrating the unbroken chain of God's bloodline of redemption that stretched from Adam to Noah.  Comprising ten generations in all, Genesis 5 represents 1656 years of time.

It is in Genesis 5 that we see the pre-flood patriarchs living for hundreds of years.  Comparitvely speaking, Enoch's age is young.  Yet he has the distinction of being the first man in the Bible to be known as "the man who walked with God".  After this first mention of Enoch in the Bible, other than the times we see him in geneaological listings, we do not hear another word about Enoch until the book of Jude - over 2500 years later!

Enoch predicted not one, but two major prophetic events
I remember preaching a sermon one time and I asked the children who the oldest man was in the Bible?  They all said "Methusaleh" (with one even saying: "He was 969 years old")!  Methusaleh of course was Enoch's son.  Now what is incredible about Mehtusaleh is not so much his long age as the meaning of his name.  In the original Hebrew, Methusaleh is a name composed of several Hebrew words which put together gives us this meaning: "the year for which it was sent".  What could the "it" be referring to? When Enoch named his son, many scholars believe he was making reference to the flood of Noah.  In fact, when you harmonize all of the birth's and deaths of the men in Genesis 5, Methusaleh's death occurs the same year of the flood!

The second event that Enoch saw is Christ's second coming.  Consider what He saw:
1. He saw the Lord in a literal, bodily return
2. The "coming with his thousands of ones" is in reference to the angelic hosts (Matthew 16:27 and Mark 8:38) and the saints who are resurrected during the event of His return. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
3. The Final Judgment of the wicked who did not trust in the Lord by grace through faith alone. (please compare to Revelation 20)

In Enoch's prophecy we see cornerstone truths that run through the hundreds of biblical prophecies, namely: The Literal bodily return of the Lord, Resurrection of the righteous and Final Judgment (with resurrection) of the unbelieving dead. 

How certainty of Christ's return is just as sure as the flood of Noah
So why would Jude make a seemingly obscure reference to an ancient prophet living before the flood?  Because in scripture we see the judgment of Noah being likened to the second coming.  Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:5-7 - "For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." Certainty is the emphasis of prophetic scripture pertaining to God's completion of His plan for the ages.  This ancient prophet saw in crystal-clear clarity two events that certainly mark out the flow and course of history - the flood and the second coming.