Why are Christians Offended When I Teach?

So today I was teaching a little bit at our twice per month Saturday evening Bible study. I guess someone was shocked when I mentioned that the Bible's Enoch and Elijah were actually dead and unable to return as the "Two Witnesses" in the Book of Revelation. Why is that controversial? 

Sure, most of Western Christianity teaches that that Enoch and Elijah will be coming back to preach and die in Revelation chapter 11. But does saying something other than what the majority believes make me controversial? 

Does it matter that there are even some extra-Biblical books that confirm that Enoch and Elijah are dead right now, and even accepted books of the Bible that contain information confirming that these two men died?

I've been in this place a few times, where someone has accused me of reading a Bible passage out of context, then finding an extra-Biblical source to back up a theory. However, for the record, I do not teach nor believe that extra-Biblical Books or even Apocryphal books are the inspired Word of God. However, if one of these additional works confirms something that the Bible clearly says, shouldn't it be okay to at least discuss and consider the issue? Maybe God is trying to teach us something? 

Maybe I'm wrong. I've been wrong before.

I am not even going to give my teaching on Enoch and Elijah. I haven't written a book about the issue, but there is a guy who covers that subject in his own book. So I am going to do something I rarely do and encourage you to go read this guy's book. I'm not the only one teaching that Enoch and Elijah were dead in the dirt long before Jesus walked this earth.

Did the Bible's Enoch vanish into thin air?

Mystery ends right now! Find out what really became of Genesis hero ...

Posted: March 07, 2009
8:45 pm Eastern
© 2011 WND

This 1728 engraving by Gerard Hoet and Joseph Mulder depicts the common misconception that Enoch cheated death and was miraculously brought to heaven.

When some people hear the name of Enoch from the Bible, they often wonder what really happened to this Old Testament prophet.

They know the Bible says "Enoch walked with God," and that "Enoch was translated that he should not see death."

But what do these puzzling verses really mean?

Did Enoch, a champion of God from the Book of Genesis somehow cheat death and get miraculously transported to heaven? Or is there a much simpler answer, one that's actually revealed in the Bible?

After all, it is "appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27),  "as in Adam all die" (1 Corinthians 15:22), andJesus Himself said no one has gone to heaven except Himself(John 3:13).

"Some think what happened to Enoch is a huge mystery that we won't be able to solve until Jesus returns, but you can find out the truth of Scripture right now if you just crack open your own Bible and see the words on its pages," says WND Executive News EditorJoe Kovacs, author of the best-selling book,"Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told."

"I think I underestimated the public's confusion about what happened to Enoch, so I didn't focus on him in my book. But I'm very happy now to help people see with their own eyes what Scripture actually says, as well as what it doesn't say."

First of all, the King James Bible does not say Enoch never died, vanished into thin air or was somehow was whisked off into heaven, the unseen dwelling place of God. Those words are simply not on its pages.

If you look closely, though, what the Bible actually does say is that Enoch died.

Yes, it's in your Bible. Enoch died.

"In Hebrews chapter 11, there is a list of famous heroes from the Old Testament," says Kovacs. "There are great names mentioned including Abraham, Noah, Abel and Enoch. And guess what the Bible says about these outstanding characters who followed the true God of the universe. It says theyall died."
  • Theseall diedin faith, not having received the promises (Hebrews 11:13, King James Version)
Feel free to open up any translation of your own Bible right now, and you'll see that these Old Testament heroes all died.
  • All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them ... (New Living Translation)
  • All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised ... (New International Version)
The Bible clearly says Enoch and the others "all died." Now that you're aware of that, what about those puzzling verses?

Some people get confused when they read, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5).

Note what this verse does not say. It does not say Enoch went to heaven. Remember, Jesus said no one, and that includes Enoch, has gone to heaven except Jesus himself:

  • And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven (John 3:13, KJV)
  • No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man (John 3:13, NIV)
The confusion is caused by the word "translated" in Hebrews 11:5. In its original Greek language, the word is "metatithemi," and means transported, transferred, removed, taken away or carried over.

That Greek word "metatithemi" is used just four other times in the Bible, and never has anything to do with not dying or sauntering off to heaven.

For instance, in Galatians 1:6, it's rendered as "removed":

  • I marvel that ye are so soonremovedfrom him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel
OK, now back to Enoch.

Enoch was a preacher of righteousness and we're told that he "walked with God" (Genesis 5:22) and that "God took him" (5:24).

Incidentally, Scripture also says "Noah walked with God," and Noah did not vanish into thin air to dwell with God in heaven. Noah died at the ripe old age of 950 (Genesis 9:29).

As mentioned before, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

We already know that Enoch did in fact die, so what does it mean when the Bible says "God took him," "God had translated him" and that he should "not see death"?

"It means exactly what it says," Kovacs explains. "God literally took him. God transported or removed Enoch from his location so that he would not be found. Why? Because apparently there were people who wanted him dead."

More specifics about Enoch are provided in Jude 14, 15 where it mentions Enoch blasting false prophets: "And 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."

Enoch was a tough talker of his day, preaching a righteous message the ungodly of the world did not wish to hear. So it's not hard to understand that some of these wicked guys wanted to kill him.

"We're not given the details," says Kovacs, "but we are told that God transferred Enoch so that he would 'not see death,' in other words, not be slain. Remember,God also transported Elijah miraculously, airlifting that prophet to another location.Elijah did not go to the heaven of God's home, but merely to the 'first heaven,' the sky, and came back to live out the rest of his days right here on Earth. He even wrote some less-than-pleasant mail to the evil King Jehoram of Judah after his famous angelic chariot ride in the sky." (see 2 Chronicles 21:12-15)

"God took Enoch away from those looking to murder him, but the Holy Scriptures tell us outright that Enoch eventuallydied, not having received the promises. It's time to put away the fables and get back to the facts. The Bible does agree with itself when people read all of it."

Yet another "whisking away" happened in the New Testament to Philip, who was miraculously transported by God at the moment he baptized an Ethiopian eunuch.
  • And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus ... (Acts 8:39-40)
(Story continues below)

In"Shocked by the Bible,"Kovacs also explains that if people just read for themselves without any preconceived notions, they'd quickly discover:
  • The Bible doesn't outright declare the day, month, year or even season Jesus was born
  • There's no mention of a Christmas tree or any tree in the gospels recording Jesus' birth. However, there is a custom mentioned in the Old Testament that shows people decorating trees with silver and gold. You might be astounded to find out what God says about such a practice
  • The Bible never says Jesus died on a Friday orfrom the grave Sunday morning
  • Noah brought a lot more than just two of certain animals aboard the Ark
  • The word "Easter" has vanished from modern Bible translations
  • God sought to kill Moses, shortly after telling him to lead the Israelites to freedom
  • Jesus did not come to make everyone understand His message, and personally said so
  • Jesus made personal appearances in the Old Testament
And these are merely the beginning of hundreds of facts that will stun even those who thought they had a strong knowledge of the Bible.
"If you've never been into the Bible, or even if you have, there's no need to fear," says Kovacs. "I make it quick, easy and fun for you to find out the juiciest, most interesting stuff that never seems to get mentioned in church. And I'm not talking about trivial facts and difficult names no one can pronounce."
"Shocked by the Bible"has become an instant smash since its release, hitting No. 1 in three Bible-related categories several times on Amazon.com withreaders giving it high praise, and theauthor being interviewed on dozens of radio shows. Denver's No. 1 host, Peter Boyles of KHOW Radio, raves,"I'm drawn to this book. It is so well written."

"Shocked by the Bible" skyrocketed to the No.1 spot in three Amazon.com categories several times since its release 

It reached the No. 1 spot on the WND Best-Seller list several times. International demand has even led to a deal to have "Shocked"translated into the Korean language.
"If you think you really know the Bible, better think again," warns Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. "Your parents never told youthis stuffwas in the Bible," adds radio talker and author Melanie Morgan. WND founder Joseph Farah simply says, "'Shocked by the Bible' is nothing short of genius."
Kovacs, the executive news editor of WND, has written countless reports in his 25-year news career. Many have focused on biblical issues such aschariot wheels said to be found in the Red Sea, searches forNoah's Arkand theArk of the Covenant, and controversies overChristmasand Easter holidays as well as theSaturday-vs.-Sunday Sabbath.

He has received many awards for news excellence from the Associated Press and United Press International. He's run television, radio and print newsrooms in the U.S., as well as Budapest, Hungary. Kovacs is also regarded as one of the premier creative headline writers in the news business today.

To interview Joe Kovacs, author of "Shocked by the Bible," pleasecontact him.

Read more:Did the Bible's Enoch vanish into thin air?http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=88310#ixzz1WIVPde1z



Recent Posts