In this week’s study, we will conclude our lesson on the experience and life of Enoch – he who was translated to Heaven without seeing death. (To read part 1 of this study –click here–)
I want to read you something from the Spirit of Prophecy. It’s from a manuscript Sister White wrote in 1900.
Enoch did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not locate in Sodom thinking to save Sodom. – SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, pg. 1087
Ah, friends, that needs some study. I hear a great deal of talk today, or at least more than I wish I did, about the idea that you have to be in the world. After all, how are you going to save them unless you are? I suppose that Enoch heard that argument, but it didn’t faze him. He did not locate in Sodom thinking to save Sodom.
Didn’t he do any evangelism? Oh, yes. He was one of the greatest evangelists of the anti-deluvian time. Well, how does this go together? It goes together just right when we let God put it together. I am coming to the evangelism; but now I am studying the separation. Enoch did not make his abode with the wicked. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible.
–The Very Atmosphere of Heaven–
Personally, I think I need as much help as Enoch needed. In fact, if there’s a way to get it, I need more than he needed. I don’t have the strength of body or of mind or soul that Enoch had. Do you? Oh, if he needed that help to get away from the world and its wickedness and go back up into the mountains in a retreat, I need it. My soul is at stake. I must get ready for heaven, for translation.
It’s going to take something more than coming to the altar in a revival service and saying, “Yes, I believe that Jesus died for me. Now I’m saved no matter what else happens.” It’s going to take something more than that to get us ready for translation. Isn’t it? Yes, it is. Now you know I believe in revival, and I believe in the altar call, and I believe in people being saved when they accept Jesus. I believe in all that. But friends, there must be a growth in grace. There must be a development of character that reaches the point of perfection where the seal of God can be placed in the forehead. That is the experience that those who are translated will have. I must have it.
Do you know what I detect sometimes? I detect insinuations and attitudes to this effect: “It’s all very well, I suppose, if you want to get back up in something like that, but some of us have got to be out on the firing line actually working with the world and saving souls.” My dear friends, I’m going to come that – Enoch’s method of evangelism – but I say that God has not called any man or his family in these closing hours to lose their own souls in the effort to save others. No, He hasn’t.
What did Enoch do up there? Why did He go up there anyway? He went there to be separate from sinners, to get away from their influence. But that’s only half of it. The other half is, he went up there to be with God. His errand wasn’t accomplished when he got away from that ungodly influence. He went there to get something, not merely to get away from something.
Distressed by the increasing wickedness of the ungodly, and fearing that their infidelity might lesson his reverence for God, Enoch avoided constant association with them, and spent much time in solitude, giving himself to meditation and prayer. Thus he waited before the Lord, seeking a clearer knowledge of His will, that he might perform it. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul; he lived in the very atmosphere of heaven. – Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 85
He entered into communion with God. He walked with God. Oh, see him as he goes. Is he literally walking from the valley to the mountain? Yes. There weren’t any trains or automobiles or jet planes. He walked. And he walked with God. I want to walk with God, don’t you friends? A walk that separates me from the sinful influences of this age which is as the anti-deluvian age for wickedness. I want to get up with God.
I come now to the next point, Enoch’s evangelism. Enoch, we’ve already read, wasn’t a hermit. He went to the mountain, but he didn’t stay on the mountain all the time. If you don’t go to the mountain at all, you may lose your soul in the whirlpool, the cesspool, of the valleys of sin, the cities of iniquity. But if all you do is get back up into the hills, the retreats, and become a hermit, I am not even sure you will save your soul. But if you do, you will be very lonesome. God never intended that you should go out and be a hermit just with the selfish idea of saving yourself.
–The Ministry of Wining Souls–
Enoch was a preacher of righteousness. Reaching an experience with God in the country, he went down into those cities and preached the judgments of God upon a wicked world, and called men to repentance. He got the power up there with God. He carried that power down into the cities and valleys where men lived in prosperity and luxury and vice, and he proclaimed the truth of God in trumpet tones. He was an evangelist.
Do you know what Enoch did after he had been back up there in his little home in the mountains and hills and gotten an experience with God, and then came down to the cities and plains and preached the warning judgments of God, do you know what he did next?
Enoch did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not locate in Sodom thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then, at times, he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God given message. Every visit he made to the world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin. After proclaiming his message he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. – SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, pg. 1087
Oh folks, when I saw that I said, “This is it. That’s evangelism!” Isn’t it? What is evangelism? It’s soul winning. It’s proclaiming the warning message and saving some with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted by the flesh. We need to have a sense of urgency, my friends, a sense of the fact that sin is a deadly leprosy, a devouring fire, an eating cancer. As we come in contact with men, we need some earnestness, some love, some yearning, a sense that will help us to lay hold of them and pull them.
There is a word there that thrills my soul as I look at it – “always.” After proclaiming his message he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Isn’t that wonderful? Yes. He expected to take somebody back. Brother, Sister, do you? What is your job? Merely to warn people? Oh, no. Get hold of someone and get them out of that thing.
After proclaiming his message he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers and died before the flood came. Some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness. – Ibid.
They weren’t translated like Enoch. They didn’t go through the flood with Noah in the ark, but they were saved; they died before the flood came. Do you get the picture? I see Enoch. He has been out on his evangelism. He is coming home. I see his boy, little Methuselah. He says, “Oh, Daddy is coming. He’s got some folks with him.” Do you suppose Enoch’s wife and children had things ready? Yes. Do you suppose they said, “Oh my, Daddy’s always bringing people home and making more work for us.” Do you think they said that? I don’t think so, friends. I think it was understood all through that household that their job was to take hold of people that needed help to get saved out of that awful, devilish, diabolical, sinful world.
Do you think when people have that attitude that there is very much spirit in the home to want to get down there and have a good time in the valley? Oh, no. Going to town is not looked upon as a lark. It is looked upon as a dangerous mission, like going into a burning building to pull somebody out before the wall falls down and crushes them, like launching out into the deep to save a drowning man who has already gone down twice. That’s what going to these cities is today.
God help us to sense it. Enoch did, and he brings these people home. But watch. They stay there; they’re there with him for several days. And I see them as, day by day, they drink in the spirit and atmosphere of that home. They attend the family worship. They eat the meals. I wonder if the diet was just the same as they had been used to down in those cities. Was it a different diet? You know it was. Do you think that all the popular magazines were lying around for them to read? No.
There were a lot of things missing. But as some of them, as they got hold of that diet for the stomach and that diet for the mind, they began to open up and revive. They began to see that this was life. They said, “Enoch, can’t we get into this too?” “Yes, Enoch says, “you can. That’s what I pulled you out for.” They persevered, and they were saved. Even though they died, as men have died down through the years, they died in hope, and they will be resurrected when Jesus comes, and be in the city of God because Enoch pulled them out to his home in the hills.
But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness. They couldn’t take very much of it. After they’d had it a few hours or a few days, they began to get itchy and fidgety. I can hear their excuses. They come around and say, “Enoch, you know I appreciate your having me up here, and it’s just been wonderful, but there are some things I have got to take care of back where I came from.”
Enoch knows the symptoms. It’s a pitiful thing; as that man goes down the road back to the plain, what does he want? He wants a cigarette. He wants a drink of whisky. He wants some of that bloody meat. He wants some of that excitement. He wants those races, those games, that fiction. He wants that fornication and that adultery that was filling the world at that time. He wants one or all of those things. He goes back to where he can get it, because it isn’t up there where Enoch is. He can’t endure righteousness. As the dog returneth to his vomit, so the fool returneth to his folly. Like the sow that was washed goes back to her wallowing in the mire. Isn’t it pitiful? We see it happen again and again.
But it mustn’t discourage us; it must lead us to work with all the more earnestness and love. Remember, some will persevere, some even of those who seem to be the most hopeless and degenerate, if we can help them to quit looking at the things around them and look to Jesus – Jesus on the cross, Jesus in the sanctuary, and Jesus and His love revealed in the things of nature.
I am so glad I don’t have to read all I’ve been reading to you and simply wish there was something we could do about it… I want to read you something from the book Evangelism:
As God’s commandment keeping people, we must leave the cities. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them. – Evangelism, pg. 77
I don’t have to apply any of this, it’s all applied right here: As God’s commandment keeping people, we must leave the cities. And let’s be sure we don’t take too much of the cities along with us. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them. God help us.
The truth must be spoken whether men will hear or whether men will forebear. The cities are filled with temptation. We should plan our work in such a way as to keep our young people as far as possible from this contamination. – Ibid
Personally friends, I am not interested in any field trips to take our young people in to see the sights and hear the sounds of these cities. I am not interested in it. I don’t think that’s the kind of education they need. I think the less they have of that sort of influence the better.
“We must make wise plans to warn the cities, and at the same time live where we can shield our children and ourselves from the contaminating and demoralizing influences so prevalent in these places. . .
The cities must be worked from outposts. Said the messenger of God, ‘Shall not the cities be warned?’ Yes, not by God’s people living in them, but by their visiting them, to warn them of what is coming upon the earth.” – Ibid, pgs. 76-77
We are told plainly that there should be church buildings in the cities, but our institutions should be outside.
Repeatedly the Lord has instructed us that we are to work the cities from outpost centers. In these cities we are to have houses of worship. Houses of worship as memorials for God. – Country Living, pg. 31
Why? They are life-saving stations.
But institutions for the publication of our literature, for the healing of the sick, and for the training of workers are to be established outside the cities. Especially is it important that our youth be shielded from the temptations of city life. – Ibid
God helping us, we want to do it, don’t we? But now I come to this; this is the lesson I want to bring to your hearts. Do you see friends, that it isn’t enough to just get separated from sin and sinners and get out in the country? Do you see that it isn’t enough just to live in the country and then go out and warn people? What’s the next thing to do? Get hold of them, and bring them back! It’s the only hope that some people have. Don’t misunderstand me. There are some that may be able to be saved where they are. I’m not trying to limit God. But I’m showing you plainly, from the Word of God and the testimonies of His Spirit, that the only way to save some of these people is to pull them out. And that should be in our hearts all the while – looking for people, looking, like a shepherd is looking for his sheep.
Jesus is looking. The eye of the Lord runs to and fro through the whole earth. The first thing: get separate from sinners, get an experience with God. The second thing: go out and warn. Third: pull them in. You may not keep all of them. You’ll lose some. But you’ll keep some.
But now, this is the thing I want to lay upon your heart. What are you going to bring them to? Is that a good question? What kind of home are you going to bring them to? If you’re a father or mother, if you’re the head of a home, what kind of home are you going to bring them to? Or if you’re not the head of a home, what kind of home do you live in? Have you got any place to bring anybody? What kind of a place is it?
You remember that when Jesus came back from the wilderness, the Spirit of inspiration rested upon John the Baptist, and he said to his disciples as he saw Jesus coming, “Behold the Lamb of God.” And Andrew and John struck off after Him. Jesus walked along by the river; and knowing that they were following, He turned and said, “What do you want?” Ah, they said, Master, teacher, where do you live? “Where dwellest thou?” Where is your place of abode? We want to come and stay with you awhile. And bless the Lord, that very hour began a fellowship which never ended.
I ask you, have you got something to bring people to? All Jesus probably had was a little booth down there by the river. He didn’t have any palace. We must get entirely delivered from this idea that we’ve got to have some mansion or palace or at least some supposedly acceptable place. Anywhere where God is, and the Son of God is, is a place for somebody to get close to God. Isn’t that right?
That leads me to this: What kind of an experience have you got to share with them? Have you got one? Well, if you haven’t, get one. You can. Enoch did, and you can. And don’t think it’s something that you have to wait for years and years to get. God longs to do things for people, and to at once have them begin to share with others what God has done for them.
Let’s be so busy getting something from God and sharing it with others that we haven’t time for a lot of worries and complaining, a lot of fears and discouragements, a lot of lusts and ambitions. Let’s fill our time and our lives with this one thing – get ready for Heaven ourselves, and help get many others ready before Jesus comes.
Until our next study… Maranatha!
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.