Friday, 31 July 2020
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude -14
Jude now introduces a second apocryphal account into his letter, the first being that concerning Michael the archangel. He begins this next one with, “Now Enoch.”
Little is recorded in Scripture about Enoch. In fact, the Old Testament references to him total six nondescript verses and one which is somewhat vague. In the New Testament, apart from this verse from Jude, he is mentioned in Hebrews 11 – “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.”
Knowing this, we can determine that the reference in Jude’s words is a non-biblical one. Instead, it is similar to references in the Book of Enoch – a non-canonical book. From that book, we read –
“Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and to destroy the wicked, and to strive (at law) with all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him.”
Jude next says, “the seventh from Adam.” That is easily determined from Genesis 5:1-18 where the narrative records the generations of Adam. In those verses, it lists them in the following order: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch. Thus, Enoch is the seventh from Adam.
Of this person, Jude says he “prophesied about these men also.” Jude notes that Enoch “prophesied.” As noted in the introductory comments to Jude, just because Jude cites the book of Enoch, it does not mean it is inspired. Others (such as Paul citing Greek philosophers) cite non-canonical references, and that does not mean they were inspired either.
With this understanding, the words, “these men,” are still referring to the dreamers noted in verse 8. Jude says that the prophecy about these men is true. Thus, it will certainly come to pass. Jude next conveys the words of prophecy “saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.’”
Here the Greek reads, “Behold, the Lord has come in His holy myriads.” It is similar in thought to Deuteronomy 33:2 –
“The Lord came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran,
And He came with ten thousands of saints.”
Again, it is also similar to Zechariah 14:5 –
“Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.”
Taking this verse in proper context, it reveals that it will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus.
The Greek term murias, or “myriads,” once denoted a group of 10,000 soldiers, but it can also be an indefinitely large number. Whatever the exact number, it will be whopping. The “saints” are most probably those who departed at the rapture and are returning with Christ at the end of the tribulation period, although angels could be included too. However, this seems unlikely because the Bible is about the redemption of man, not angels, and the Son of Man is returning with those He has purchased with His blood.
Life application: Only two people are recorded in all of human history who didn’t die but were instead taken directly to heaven. The first is Enoch, the seventh man from Adam. The other is Elijah the great prophet of Israel.
Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say this, it is a good analysis that these are the two who serve the Lord as is recorded in Zechariah 4 – “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” They would therefore be the two witnesses of Revelation 11. Several key verses clue the reader into this fact.
However, the fact that they were taken directly to heaven without dying means that there is a precedent for such an event already recorded in Scripture. As it is so, there is no reason to then dismiss the “rapture” verses laid out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. In fact, to do so is a rather poor way of interpreting what is said there. The words are clear, precise, and really don’t leave any other option available to the reader.
In the end, those saved believers who deny the rapture will not be left behind, but they will be a bit more surprised at the event than those who long for the coming of the Lord. We will be taken out, we will be spared from the wrath to come, and we will be returning with the Lord to execute judgment on an unrepentant world. It will be an awesome experience for those who have called on Jesus!
What a glorious day it will be, Lord Jesus, when you come for us at the rapture and again when we return with You at the second coming. Surely You have done great things for Your people. Great things indeed! How awesome and splendid You are! Amen.