Friday, August 7, 2015

Re-post: The enduring comfort of prophecy

I posted this one year ago.
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God said in Genesis 3:15, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

Adam in Genesis 3:20, "...named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. (NIV)

Jesus tells us things in advance for many reasons. (to foretell). One reason is so that we may be on guard, be warned. (Matthew 24:25). Another is to show His holiness at judgment. (Ezekiel 2:5).

"Eye of God" Helix nebula, source Hubble Telescope
Prophetic declarations of future events also serve to comfort. Adam seemed to be comforted by God's promise of a future redeemer. Perhaps Adam wondered as they faced God, if He would smite them on the spot. Instead, Adam clung to the knowledge that there would be offspring. Adam was so trusting in God's word that Adam named his wife Eve, "because she would be the mother of all the living". Bearing a son was still in the future, (Genesis 4:1), so Adam took comfort in God's forthtelling, clung to His word, and took action because of it it.

We don't have new prophecies today that forthtell new information because the canon is closed, but we still are built up when a person reiterates them and preaches truth, which is today's prophesying. Prophesying includes referring to prophecies, as well as the bible's poetry, truths, doctrines, and history.

On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. (1 Corinthians 14:3). In this case prophesying means forthtelling.

Helix Nebula a different view, NASA
God told the first prophecy in the bible, in Genesis 3:15. Adam re-iterated that prophesy in Genesis 3:20. But who was the bible's first human prophet? Enoch.

Enoch was the 7th person born from Adam.

Genealogy from Adam, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth. (1 Chronicles 1:1-4)

Enoch lived prior to the Flood. At the Institute for Creation Research, Dr. John Morris writes,
One of the favorite characters in the Old Testament is Methuselah, who lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), longer than anyone else recorded. His father was Enoch, of whom it is said he "walked with God" (5:24) but who was taken to heaven without dying at 365 years. Methuselah's son Lamech died a few years before the Flood at 777 years (5:31) after bearing Noah.

When Methuselah was born, his godly father must have prophetically known of coming things, for his son's name means "when he dies, judgment," and interestingly enough, Methuselah died in the same year God judged the sinful world with the great Flood of Noah's day.
God took Enoch alive in a snatching away that is a typology of the rapture. Enoch was taken in Genesis 5:24. (Hebrews 11:5)
William Blake’s only known lithograph
(lithography was rather new and experimental in 1807),
illustrating Genesis 5:24 "Enoch walked with God; then was no more,
because God took him away".)

Genesis 5 records a genealogy. The repetitive language forms a pattern ... until you get to Enoch

Genesis 5:5, "Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:8, "Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:11, "Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:14, "Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:17, "Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:20, "Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died."
Genesis 5:23, "Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years."
Genesis 5:24, "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."

Who didn't die?

"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5)

Before Enoch was taken up, Enoch prophesied. His prophecy is recorded in Jude.

"It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15)

CC, Wikipedia
This is an extremely precious prophecy. It is an heirloom seed. Why? the Flood.

FLOOD

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. (Genesis 7:6-7)

Enoch's prophecy was given before the Flood. Everyone on earth died. After the Flood, only 8 people knew the prophecy. For Jude to record it, it means the prophecy was carried through the Flood in the heart and mind of Noah and his family.

What comfort it must have been for Noah to have heard Enoch prophesy before the Flood that the Lord will return with ten thousand of His holy ones to execute judgment. What torture it must have been for righteous Noah, (Genesis 6:9), one of the three declared most righteous men on earth, (Ezekiel 14:14) to live among such evil. Enoch's prophecy was a light and a pure hope amid the darkest days on earth!

When the waters receded and the family emerged onto a new earth, one where continents were split and only mud existed, Noah knew the prophecy. He told the prophecy. It was told and retold, until it became ingrained in the tradition of the Jews. Jude knew it, and the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to mention it. Though Enoch's prophecy is not recorded by Enoch in the bible, it is recorded by Jude.

In these dark days, prophecy performs the same function. The Lord WILL RETURN to execute judgment and vindicate His holy name! While we do not take delight in the death of the ungodly, we do delight in knowing Jesus will rectify all wrongs, judge the wicked, and institute peace on earth. This is ultimate comfort. The ark carried 8 precious souls. It carried every kind of animal. And it carried with it the knowledge of the One True God, and His promises to all generations: holiness in the end.


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