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?
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.
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?
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."
If you look closely, though, what the Bible actually does say is that Enoch died.
- Theseall diedin faith, not having received the promises (Hebrews 11:13, King James Version)
- 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)
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)
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
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."
- 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)
- "Three Wise Men" are never mentioned in the story of Jesus' birth, andno wise men at all are shown present at the manger scene the night Jesus was born.(They showed up later at a house when Jesus was a young child)
- 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
"Shocked by the Bible" skyrocketed to the No.1 spot in three Amazon.com categories several times since its release
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.