Hebrews

Hebrews 11:5-7 (The Faith of Enoch and Noah)

Hebrews 11 - God’s Hall of Fame.

Hebrews 11:5-7 - The Faith of Enoch and Noah

“For yet a little while, and He (Jesus Christ) who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just (by faith)shall live by faith (believing that He is coming to save us and to judge the world)”(10:37-39). 

What does it mean to LIVE BY FAITH? What is the kind of faith that pleases God - that would cause God to write a good report on you? These questions are now answered in Hebrews 11 by illustrations from the lives of the Old Testament heroes of faith who obtained a good testimony (report) from God (v2) because of their faith that was revealed and proven through their actions. Their faith made them stand out in an evil world. These Pioneers teach us the life of faith. From their example we learn what causes God to give a good report.

1. ABEL - FAITH IN THE BLOOD (v4). Abel gave us the first lesson for our life of faith. Faith must based in the Blood Atonement of Christ. Because of sin, our life and blessing in God cannot be based on our own righteousness, but only by trusting in God’s grace, available through the Blood of Christ. He paid the price in full for our salvation.

2. ENOCH - FAITH leads to a life of FELLOWSHIP with God. 
Enoch gives us our second key ingredient of a life of faith: “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. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (v5,6). 

Enoch’s faith pleased God and the main way he showed his faith was in coming to God continually, believing in God’s goodness, believing that every time he would draw close to God, God would draw close to him and reward him. Enoch shows us FAITH for FELLOWSHIP, faith to come close to God and spend time with Him. Enoch teaches us that the main purpose of faith is not for healing or miracles but to have intimate fellowship with God, for we were created for this. 

This is confirmed when we read his story in Genesis 5:21-24: “Enoch lived 65 years, and begot Methuselah (which means ‘when he dies it (the Flood) shall come (fall).’ After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years.” 
It seems that in this year Enoch had a life-changing encounter with God receiving a revelation of the coming judgements of God (Jude 14,15). His naming of Methusaleh was prophetic, for the Flood came in the very year he died! From that year on, the special thing about Enoch was that he walked with God. It was so impressive that Enoch could constantly walk with God every day for 300 years in an increasingly evil world under imminant judgement! “So all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” 

He walked with God, pleasing God by his faith by coming to God with expectancy and God showed His pleasure with Enoch by taking him to be with Him forever. Smith Wigglesworth said that Enoch walked with God every day. One day he got so far out in the Spirit that God said to him: ‘We are closer to My place than yours, so why don’t you just come home with Me.’ So Enoch said O.K. He was the first man raptured in the Bible! One day he just disappeared before their eyes. They sent out search parties but he could not be found.

Enoch is our example especially for us in this final, rapture-Generation Enoch is a type of the Rapture of the Church. By faith we are to walk in daily fellowship with God, so that when Jesus comes for us, (to take us to be with Him forever) we will be ready. We will then have the same testimony as Enoch who walked with God and was raptured. Jesus said to us (His Bride): "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (this speaks of eternal fellowship, our fellowship with God in this life is just a preparation and anticipation of our future face-to-face fellowship with the Lord)” (John 14:1). For those walking with the Lord, He will return and take them to be with Him forever so that this fellowship may be brought to fullness (consummated). 

Thus the rapture will be in a moment of great joy. “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1Thess 4:16-17). 

As Enoch warned his generation as a prophet about the judgement of God that was coming upon the whole world, so we are to warn our generation that soon the time of judgement called the Tribulation will come upon the whole earth. As Enoch was raptured before judgement fell, so we (the true Church) will be raptured before judgement falls upon an unbelieving world, for we (believers) are not appointed to endure God’s wrath but to be with Him in sweet fellowship forever. 

3. NOAH - FAITH WITNESSES TO A LOST GENERATION. 

Noah teaches us the third principle of a life of faith: 
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an Ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith”(v7).

“When the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (1Peter 3:20).

“God did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly” (2Peter 2:5). 

Noah has a good faith-report from God because believing that God’s judgement was coming, he was concerned for the salvation of the lost. He gave his life for the work of the Lord - by (1) WITNESSING  (despite the ridicule and hostility against him), and (2) by BUILDING AN ARK in obedience to God which was a PLACE OF SAFETY and SALVATION for the lost to come into and be saved (which also served as an amazing visual-aid getting people’s attention so when they asked about it he could witness to them, which would only have increased the attacks against him).   By giving them God’s Word and providing a place of salvation for them Noah removed all their excuses for rejecting God. In this way he ‘condemned the world.’

Noah is a type and example for New-Testament believers, especially for us who live in the generation just before the Rapture. 

Jesus said: "As the days of Noah were, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be (for at the Rapture believers will disappear from view as Noah did and this will be followed immediately by the Flood of the Tribulation). 

Then two men will be in the field: one (the believer) will be taken (in the Rapture) and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one (the believer) will be taken (in the Rapture) and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming (like a thief comes unannounced with the world in darkness to take the precious things (the believers) from the earth) at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:37-44).    

To the world Jesus will come in the Rapture as a thief in the night, but He is only taking what belongs to Him. In this comparison the world-wide judgements of the Tribulation are likened to Noah’s Flood. The unbelieving world continues as if there was no God, and believers (like Noah) must witness to them, warning of the coming judgement and telling them of God’s way of salvation. 

But to be like Noah we also have to help build the Ark. This corresponds today to building the Church. The Ark is firstly a type of Christ - the place of protection and salvation, for those in the Ark are protected from judgement and enter into a new-life. But secondly the Church, the body of Christ, is also called Christ because 
we are in (union with) Him. Therefore the Ark serves also as a picture of the Church. 

Like Noah, our work for the Lord involves building the Church, working to build a strong united community of love and acceptance, where people can come and be saved. By faith we know the Lord will judge the wicked but will save the righteous, removing them from judgement in the Rapture. Therefore we must warn people of sin and judgement and provide them a place of salvation. All who believe and come into the Ark (Christ & His Church) will be raptured before judgement falls. 

As God removed Noah to safety before the Flood, showing His pleasure with his faith, so God will remove believers in the Rapture before the Judgements of the Tribulation will fall. In fact the last sign the world will have before the Tribulation (the Day of the Lord) is the disappearance (removal) of believers who are lifted up high above the floods of judgement. But before God does this we must make the best use of the remaining time to witness of God’s grace and judgement and to build God’s Ark (the Church) so people have a place they can come and be saved and come under God’s shelter and provision, a place where they can dwell in His Presence with His people rather than living spiritually under the world-system. 

So Noah teaches us that a man of real faith will 
(1) witness to a world that will often reject his message, 
and (2) build the Church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:16-19). 

So, a Biblical Christian must be committed to his local Church.

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