Tonight we are going to continue our study in the book of Hebrews chapter 11. For our guests and friends visiting with us, let me say that we have been studying the book of Hebrews for many months now and find ourselves in chapter 11 at verses 5 and 6. Going through this great eleventh chapter which is really the Biblical Hall of Fame or the Heroes of the Old Testament, the great examples of faith.
We come to a man tonight by the name of Enoch. Hebrews 11, verses 5 and 6. Now, if you’ve been studying with us, for any length of time, you—I’m sure by now—understand the theme of the book of Hebrews is to present Christ, to present that He’s mediator of a better covenant, a better Priest with a better priesthood, who’s made a better sacrifice by His blood, having perfected forever them that are sanctified as opposed to the repetition of the old covenant.
But in the book of Hebrews, it all boils down to the classic statement in chapter 10, verse 38, “The just shall live by faith.” The Jews were locked into a system of works, and so that had to be counteracted, and the Spirit of God designs to lay heavy stress on the fact that life is really lived not by works but by faith.
And so, verse 38 says, “Now the just shall live by faith.” The end of verse 39, He says, “But of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” And so, faith then becomes the issue by which the new covenant is appropriated. For ten chapters He shows that the new covenant is better. And then, having said that, He shows how the new covenant can be appropriated, and that is by faith. And that we find then described in chapter 11. They really were so far from faith they needed a classic definition of it. They really had practically forgotten what faith was. And so, the writer of Hebrews, in chapter 11, spends great time, 40 verses, outlining what faith really is both by definition and illustration.
Now, He first, as we saw, begins by describing the essential character of faith. If you are to apprehend the new covenant by faith, here’s what faith is, verses 1 through 3. And in those three verses, He simply identifies faith. He talks about what it is. Then He follows it up by beginning in verse 4 with a series of examples of faith. And He wants to show the Jewish reader particularly, and all men for that matter, but particularly the Jewish reader, the Hebrews, that they have always been related to God on the basis of faith, that they never had a works system. That faith has always been that which pleased God. And of course, the statement, “The just shall live by faith,” is a quote from Habakkuk, one of their own prophets who said that.
And so, He wants to reestablish in their minds the character of faith and the absolute nature of faith by which a man comes to God. And so, He does it by defining it, and then by giving illustrations from the history of Israel of men of faith.
Now, the first example of faith was Abel. We saw that last time in verse 4. The second example of faith is Enoch. We find that in verses 5 and 6. But in order to get a little bit of background on Enoch, let me read you the passage where he’s mentioned in Genesis chapter 5. The Holy Spirit, in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, begins reciting from Abel, and starts to go through the history of Israel, showing they all pleased God by faith, or they all came into a relationship to God by faith. God never intended works as a way to Himself; He intended works as a result of faith. Not as a—as a way of salvation, I should say, not as a—as a result of salvation, not as a way of salvation. God never had intended that men approach Him on the basis of works, but that works would issue from the salvation that took place when they approached Him on the basis of faith.
And so, He’s moving through the history of the men of the Old Testament to show this. He comes to Enoch, in chapter 5 of Genesis, picking the theme up there. Listen to what it says in verse 21, “And Enoch lived 60 and 5 years, and begot Methuselah. And Enoch walked with God, after he begot Methuselah, 300 years, and begot sons and daughters. And all the days of Enoch were 360 and 5 years. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
Now, here we find that Enoch lived 365 years. And it says two things about him: he walked with God; he walked with God. It repeats it twice. Now, this is a new concept in the book of Genesis. Abel didn’t really understand the concept of walking with God. Abel illustrates worship by faith; Enoch illustrates walk by faith.
Now, the revelation of Scripture is a progressive revelation. It’s not all given at any one point. And Abel got a little of it, and Enoch got a little more of it. You remember that Adam and Eve had walked and talked with God in the cool of the day, and then when they fell and were thrown out of the garden, they ceased to walk with God. And the destiny of man is reinstituted in the man Enoch, who stands as an illustration for all men of what it is to walk with God. In Enoch, then, the true destiny of man is again reached as he experiences the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve had forfeited.
So, we see in the 11th chapter of Hebrews a very direct continuity. He begins with the worship of faith or approach God by faith, and then the walk of faith in Enoch. You remember that Abel approached God by faith in bringing the right kind of sacrifice. And here Enoch illustrates where it goes from there. In Abel we see a man worshiping, bringing a sacrifice, beginning the life of faith. And you never begin the life of faith until you come on the basis of sacrifice. Right? Even today, we don’t come to God and just say, “God, I’m deciding to walk with You.” Like the song says, “I’ll walk with God/Da-da-da-da-da-da.” Well, that’s a nice sentiment. The only way you’ll ever walk with God is when you come to go to begin with on the basis of a sacrifice. And the only sacrifice that opens up the way to God is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Abel illustrates that. He came to God in worship through sacrifice.
And then we move one step further in the process and the continuity, and we find a man walking with God, but not until sacrifice is made. So, first there’s a death for sin; then there can be the walk with God. And Enoch illustrates that.
Now, I believe that Enoch’s faith included everything that Abel’s faith included, and it’s for sure that Enoch had offered a sacrifice to God. It’s for sure that he had come to God before he could ever walk with God. And you can’t come to God apart from the shedding of blood. And so, Enoch did everything that Abel did, no doubt, and took it even further. Men have to have their sin cared for before they can walk with God. And the principle hasn’t changed any from the day of Abel and Enoch until today. So, Enoch, then, picks it up where Abel left it off, and Enoch takes off from the walk.
Now, in this walk with God, I want you to see five things about Enoch’s life of faith. Notice verse 5 of Hebrews, and let’s just read these two verses. “By faith Enoch was translated that he shouldn’t see death.” In Genesis, it says, “He was not, for God took him.” Here it says, “He was translated that he should not see death; and was not found”—I mean there weren’t any remains; he just took off—“because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Now, Enoch pleased God. Enoch lived by faith. And that’s the equivalent. In the Hebrew it says, “He walked with God.” In the Septuagint it says, “He pleased God.” They’re used interchangeably because what pleases God is when you walk by faith. Coming to God by faith and walking with God in faith pleases God. Enoch pleased God. Enoch lived in faith, believing God.
Now, there are five features, I think, that pleased God, and they’re in these two verses. First of all—the first of the five, Enoch was believing that God is. Notice verse 6, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is.” The first feature that pleased God was he was believing God is. Secondly, he was seeking God’s reward. He must believe not only that He is, but that He’s a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Thirdly, he was walking with God. Fourthly, he was preaching for God, and we’ll see that in a moment. Fifthly, he was—and this is the result of it—entering God’s presence.
So, there are five features that kind of jump out of the lesson of faith taught by Enoch. Now, let’s see if we can look at it. First of all, God is pleased when men are believing He is. Enoch illustrates this to us. It says in verse 6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” God is only pleased by faith. Faith in what? “For he that cometh to God must believe that He is”—stop right there.
To begin with, God was pleased with Enoch because he believed in God. This is where faith begins. Faith is simply believing God is to begin with. That pleases God. Now, a man can’t really count on anything else to please God. Religion doesn’t please God; for the most part, God hates it, because religion is a system developed by Satan to counteract the truth.
Nationality doesn’t please God. The Jews thought that because they were the seed of Abraham, circumcised the eighth day, and had the law, they were therefore pleasing God. They were not pleasing God. They displeased Him greatly. Good deeds don’t please God as a way to Him. Romans chapter 3 says, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.” That doesn’t please Him; it nauseates Him. God can’t stand anybody who tries to earn his way into His heaven. That kind of self-righteousness is nauseating to God. So, God’s not happy with religion, and He’s not happy with somebody’s nationality, and He’s not happy with somebody’s good deeds. Only one thing pleases God. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, which means the only thing that pleases Him is—what?—faith. That’s all. That’s the only thing that pleases God.
And a man must come believing, to begin with, that He is. That’s the first aspect of faith. You must believe that He is. God rejects every other thing. “For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is faith, not works. Faith alone pleases God. And all the people in the world running around, doing all kinds of religious rigmarole are not pleasing God. The only thing that pleases Him is faith. The only way to God is to believe.
So corrupt, the Bible says, is man’s fallen nature, that if he mustered up everything in his depravity, it would all be so polluted that he couldn’t offer God one single, solitary thing worth a nickel in terms of redemption. Romans 8:8 puts it this simply, “So that they that are in the flesh cannot”—what?—“please God.” Only one thing pleases God: faith.
And Enoch pleased Him because Enoch lived by faith. That pleases God. In fact, it pleased Him so much that one day he and God took a walk, and they just decided to keep on walking and walked right into heaven together. God gets excited about people who believe Him. Enoch pleased Him. But people from Cain on keep trying to please God by works, and they don’t realize that a bitter fountain can’t send forth sweet water; it doesn’t work. Faith alone pleases God. Don’t come to God and say, “God, I’ve done 42 little goodie things and that ought to make you happy. Enoch believed God; that pleased God.
Now, where does this faith begin? All right, it begins in the statement “believe that He is.” That He is. It is not saying, “He must believe that there is a God.” “He must believe that He is the God who is God.” See?
It doesn’t say, “Well, I believe in the Big Man upstairs.” “I believe in the holy other.” That’s Paul Tillich’s phrase, “The holy other, the ground of being.” “I believe in the Happy Hunter in the happy hunting ground.” You must believe that He is. That God, the God who claims to be God, is God. In the book Your God is Too Small, Phillips describes the gods that people manufacture. He says people manufacture the grand old man god. Have you ever seen that one? Yes, that’s the—that’s the fatherly, white-haired god who smiles down on men and overlooks their adultery, their stealing, and cheating, and lying. Just says, "Well, it’s certainly understandable." Then there’s the god who is he resident policeman, and everybody’s afraid of him. Then there’s the god in the box, the sectarian god. Then there’s the managing director, the god of the deists, who created everything, spun it, and then went away on a vacation, and he’s watching it run down.
But what pleases God is to believe that He is. That the God who claims to be God is God. Now, you know there’s only one way you can know God. You can’t know Him by sight. Why? John 1:18, “No man hath seen God”—what?—“at any time.” You can’t know God by sight.
People say, “I had a vision.”
And I always say, “What’d you eat?”
“I”—I remember I got a picture one time, and somebody sent me—a guy saw God in the clouds. And he had taken a picture of it. It was suppose to be this form of God. “No man has seen God.” The closest anybody ever got to it was Jesus Christ, “And if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” in terms of essence. But, “No man has seen God at any time.”
So, nobody’s going to come along and say, “I believe in God because I know Him, and I’ve seen Him.” The only way they’ll ever know God is not by sight; it’s by—what?—by faith. It’s the only way they’ll ever know Him.
But faith is based on evidence. It’s not like the little boy said, “Faith is believing in what you know ain’t so.” That is not faith. Faith has evidence. How can a man discover God? Never by reason; only by faith. God asks in Job 38, verses 2 to 7 this, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.” Listen to His questions. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Now, we’re not surprised that Job doesn’t say anything. It’s obvious he wasn’t around. And we really wonder whether our scientists have any right to do any better than Job does. God continues, “Who hath laid the measures thereof”—that is the measure of the universe—“if that knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof?”
What He’s saying is, “Job, you don’t know anything except you know it by faith. You weren’t around. You don’t have any answers except the answers that I give you. And you either believe them or you don’t.”
You say, “Well, is there any evidence to believe that God is? I mean is there enough evidence to believe that there’s a God?”
I think so. But let me say this; to begin with, you can’t prove God scientifically. It can’t be done. At best, all scientific evidence is only circumstantial. Paul Little says, and I’m quoting from his book, “But it can be said with equal emphasis that you can’t prove Napoleon by the scientific method either. The reason lies in the nature of history itself and in the limitations of the scientific method. In order for something to be proved by science, it must be repeatable. One cannot announce a new finding to the world on the basis of a single experiment.
“But history is, by its very nature, unrepeatable. No one can rerun the beginning of the universe or bring Napoleon back or repeat the assassination of Lincoln or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But the fact that these events can’t be proved by repetition does not disprove their reality.”
You see, the point that he’s making—end quote—the point that he’s making is you can’t apply the scientific method to everything. It doesn’t work. You can’t put love in a test tube either—or justice or anger—but it’s real. But even though you can’t prove God from science, there certainly are some things that would indicate from science that God exists. For example, the law of cause and effect that simply says every effect must have a cause. No effect can be produced without a cause. And you just keep going back. Okay, there’s a cause; there’s an effect; there’s a cause—back, back, back—and finally you come to an uncaused cause. And then you’ve arrived at God.
Hebrews 3:4—tremendous. Have you ever thought of it in this light? Listen, “Every house is builded by someone; but He that built all things is God.” You see? That’s cause and effect. And you get back to the uncaused cause. “Every house is builded by someone, but He that built all things is God.”
J. H. Sterling, a philosopher, said this, “If each link of the chain hangs on another, the whole will hang and only hang in eternity, unsupported like some stark serpent unless you find a hook for it. You add weakness to weakness in any quantity and you never get strength.” End quote.
James Jeans, the immanent scientist, said, “The universe is running down.” The law of entropy. It’s running down. If it’s running down, then it’s not self-sustaining. If it’s not self-sustaining, then it had to have a beginning. And if it had a beginning, somebody had to begin it. And you’re back to the uncaused cause. There must be a first cause. Not only the law of cause and effect, but the law of design indicates that God is.
God’s intelligence is revealed in His power. You look at plants and animals and all the intricacy, so constructed that they can appropriate the necessary food, that they can grow, that they reproduce. You look at the planets, the asteroids, the satellites, the comets, the meteors, the constellations, and they’re all kept on their courses by the great centrifugal and centripetal forces that swing everything through the universe. And all is designed so that it had to be done by a designer.
Mr. Bennett, writing concerning Dr. Einstein, gave an interesting little study on water, and part of it goes like this, “Water has a high specific heat. This means that chemical reactions within the human body will be kept rather stable. If water had a low specific heat, we would boil over with the least activity. If we raise the temperature of a solution ten degrees centigrade, we speed up the reaction by two times. Without this property of water, life would be hardly possible. The ocean is the world’s thermostat. It takes a large loss of heat for water to pass from liquid to ice. And for water to become steam quite an intake of energy is required. Hence the ocean is a cushion against the heat of the sun and the freezing blast of the winter. Unless the temperatures of the Earth’s surface were modulated by the ocean and kept within certain limits, life would either be cooked to death or frozen to death.” Now, who balanced all that out? Shows design.
The Earth itself has evidence of design. If it were much smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible—like the moon or Mars. If it was much larger, the atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter and Saturn. Its distance from the sun is absolutely correct. Even a small change would make it too hot or too cold. The tilt of the Earth’s axis ensures the seasons.” And so it goes. Now, who designed all that?
DuNouy said, quote, “The chance formulation of 1 typical protein molecule”—did you get that?—“The chance formation of 1 typical protein molecule, made of 3,000 atoms”—just 1 molecule has 3,000 atoms—“The chance of that happening by accident is 1 to 2.02 times 10 to the 231st power.”
You say, “What does that mean?”
That means there’s no chance. Just ain’t possible. You spell it N-I-L. And then he went on to say, “Even if the elements are shaken up at the speed of light, it would take 10 to the 234th billion years to get 1 protein molecule needed to produce life.” Now, who put all this together? Did you know that you can take 10 keys on your piano and play more than 3,628,000 combinations of notes? With ten keys. How much probability is there that your piano one day will just start playing the national anthem by itself? Not much. There is no way to prove God scientifically, but there’s sure a lot of evidence that somebody up there knows what He’s doing.
Then apart from scientific observation, I think there’s some rational arguments for God. Romans chapter 1 says man just has in his heart, in his breast, the feeling that God is. God has put it in him. You see, man is personal. Man is moral. And to say that a moral, thinking, personal man who can make choices and who has volition came from a piece of amoeba in some slime just doesn’t really make sense. Someone had to establish right and wrong, because man has a sense of right and wrong.
Studies by anthropologists show that man is God conscious. They go all over the world, and they find all these tribes. And everywhere they go, they find them believing in God. Somebody comes along and says, “I know a man who doesn’t believe in God.” Well, one man not believing in God doesn’t disprove the rule any more than a one-legged man proves men don’t have two legs. Of course there’ll be exceptions.
And, you know, it’s interesting that the very idea of God lends substance to the fact that He is. The very fact that the human mind can conceive of God is an indication that that conception came from somewhere. I can illustrate that to you. Think of something that isn’t. Go ahead. Anything you want. You got it? Well, you take a lot of things that aren’t and come up with something that never could be, but you can’t think of something that isn’t.
The very fact that a man can conceive that he has the possibility of conceiving of a God is some indication that somebody gave him that possibility of conception. But you know something? We could talk about science, and I could go on and on for hours on scientific evidence, and we could talk about a lot of things and reason, but when you come right down to it, sooner or later it boils down to faith, doesn’t it? You finally just have to say, “I just believe.” It comes to faith. And the evidence is strictly circumstantial.
But when a man believes—beloved, when we believe, then all of a sudden the proof becomes ours. Doesn’t it? Well, this is what He says; look at it, verse 5, “for before his translation”—the middle of verse 5—“for before his translation, he had this testimony.”
You say, “Where did he have it?”
In his heart. The Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we’re the sons of God. When you come to God, all of a sudden the truth is there because you know Him.” Nobody needs to prove Jesus Christ to me scientifically or rationally. I just know it.
So, to please God, you must begin by believing that He is, and that He is the God that He claims to be. All right, so, Enoch pleased God by believing He is. Second thing, Enoch pleased God by seeking God’s reward. And this is the second step. Verse 6, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is”—secondly—“and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Now, watch this one. It is not enough to believe God is; we must also believe that God is moral and God rewards the righteous who come to Him. You see? It is not enough to just say, “Well, I believe in God; I believe in God.” You must believe that God is a moral God and that men who come to Him are made righteous, are rewarded. We must recognize God as a personal, loving, gracious God to those who seek Him.
Now, Enoch knew that. Enoch didn’t believe God was some great cosmic indifference. He didn’t believe that God was some great primordial cause. He believed God was a personal, caring, loving, God with whom He fellowshipped for 300 years. See?
It’s not enough to postulate a God like Einstein. You know, Einstein said, “Certainly there’s a God. Any man who doesn’t believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know Him.” Einstein was wrong. You can know Him. In fact, in order to please God, we must believe that He’s personal, loving, caring, moral, and responds to those who come to Him with reward.
Many people believe in God, but maybe they believe in the wrong god, or maybe they believe in the right God, but they just don’t think they need anything from Him. They must believe that He’s the rewarder of them that seek Him. David said to his son Solomon these words in 1 Chronicles 28:9. He said, “If though seek Him, He will be found by thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever.”
Psalm 119 says, “With my whole heart have I sought thee.” Jeremiah 29:13—remember this one?—“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall seek for Me with”—what?—“with all your heart.” You see, it’s not enough just to believe that He is. We must believe that He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The psalmist said in Psalm 58:11, “Verily, there is a reward for the righteous.” In Proverbs 11:18 it says, “To him that seeketh righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
Men must realize that they have to come to God in a personal relationship. You see? It’s not enough to believe [vaguely about] God. That doesn’t get anybody into heaven. Men must believe that, and then they must come to God on the terms that God sets up, because that’s the only way you can come to Him anyway, and that He will reward you. You have to believe that for coming to Him on His terms.
John 3:18 puts it about as simply as any text. It says this, “He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Simply says this: you either believe and come to God, or you don’t. You’re either blessed and rewarded, or you’re condemned.
And you say, “Well, what’s the reward for those that seek Him?”
And incidentally, the only way you can really seek Him is on His own terms. So, that’s assumed. What is the reward for those that seek Him? How about this? Matthew 6:33 isn’t it? “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness”—and what are you going to get?—“all these things shall be added unto you.”
You say, “What does that mean?”
That means everything God could give is yours.
You say, “What is my reward for seeking God?”
Everything that He can give is your reward. You’re a joint heir with whom? Jesus Christ. And what has God promised Jesus Christ? Everything. God gives us forgiveness, a new heart, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, blessing, mercy, grace, peace, joy, love, heaven. Everything.
You say, “Well, what if I seek Him, and I ask Him for all that, and He doesn’t give it to me?”
That doesn’t happen. “Him that cometh unto Me”—what?—“I will in no wise cast out.” In no wise. Back in Hebrews 7—isn’t it verse 25?—“Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.” Anybody who comes. He saves them to the uttermost, all the way. You see? And so, you see, to please God, first of all, you must believe that He is, and secondly, you must believe that He’s a moral God; that He has righteous standards, and you must come on His terms, believing that there’s a reward if you do.
And you say, “I’d like to do that. I mean I believe in God. I’d like to come to Him. How do I get there?”
Only one way. Jesus said this, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father”—what?—“but by Me.” It’s the only way to come to God.
Acts 4:12, Peter says, “Neither is there salvation”—what?—“in any other.” In any other. Listen to 1 John 2:23. It says this, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also.” You see? There’s only one way to come to God, and that’s through Christ. The only way. There’s a wonderful little verse in 2 John 9. It says, “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” You see? To deny Christ is to be away from God. To come to Christ is to come into the presence of God. You see, it’s one and the same. “No man comes unto God but by Me.”
And so, Enoch pleased God, number one, because he believed that God was, and secondly because he sought God’s reward. God set a standard. Enoch said, “I’ll come to you on the basis of that standard.”
Now, God says to you tonight, He says, “Come to Me.” And He says, “There’s only way, and it’s through Jesus Christ.” He says, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I’ll give you”—what?—“rest.” He says, “Come unto Me and I’ll give you forgiveness, peace, joy, everything, heaven, eternal life.”
And you say, “Well, I’d like to come.”
He says, “There’s only one way: through Jesus Christ, faith in Him.” And if you seek Him with your whole heart, you’ll find Him. And so, then, he pleased God.
There was a third reason that he pleased God, and this is kind of the main thing here. He pleased God not only by believing He is and by seeking God’s reward, but by walking with God. You know, after you once believe that God is, and then you actually believe that He can save, and that you need the reward He offers, and you come to Him on His terms, that’s only the beginning. Then what He wants you to do is walk with Him. Walk with Him.
Twice it said in Genesis of Enoch, “Enoch walked with God. Enoch walked with God.” I love that. And, you see, that’s used interchangeably with the phrase in the Septuagint, “He pleased God.” And that’s what pleases God—you see?—when we walk with Him.
Now, the term “walk” is used so many times in the New Testament, that to try to do a study on the term walk would take a long, long time. But basically what it means is the manner of daily conduct. The manner of daily conduct. Every time you see it in the text, you know, the unbeliever walks—according to the things of the world, the believer walks in the Spirit. It means the manner of His daily conduct. And you know what Enoch did? He just continued in the presence of God. He just moved daily in the presence of God.
Now, there are many things implied in Enoch’s walk. Let me share with you some of them. First thing implied in his walk was reconciliation. Reconciliation. There’s a very important question asked in Amos 3:3. You remember this one? “How can two walk together, except they be”—what?—“agreed.” Now, that’s an obvious thing. Right? Two people cannot really walk together, in intimate fellowship, unless they are agreed. So, two people walking together then presupposes harmony. It presupposes agreement, which in the case of Enoch means he and God had agreed together on something.
So, when we say that a man walks with God, it implies the rebellion is over. And every man born into this world is in open rebellion against God, isn’t he? The Bible says that man is an enemy of God, that man is a man—that man is governed by Satan, that he fights God. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me. He that gathereth not together scattereth abroad.”
And so, men live in rebellions to God. But when you say that two are walking together, then the rebellion is over. That’s implied in the very fact they’re walking together; the war is over. And Enoch walked with God. What does it mean? It meant God had absolute standards; Enoch met them. It doesn’t mean that God gave in a little, and Enoch gave in a little. It doesn’t mean that God conformed to Enoch; it means Enoch conformed to God’s standards. So, reconciliation needed to take place.
In Ephesians it’s defined, I think, in a simple sense, in verse 17 of chapter 4, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as Gentiles walk”—heathen. Now, how did you use to walk? Well—“in the vanity of their mind.” The old walk was self-centered, wasn’t it? Before you knew God.
The second thing about it, “Having the understanding darkened”—it was an ignorant walk; self-centered and ignorant. The third thing, “Being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Not only ignorant, stone blind.
Verse 19, “Past feeling, given over to lewd living, uncleanness, greediness.” That’s the old walk. Ah, but look at verse 20, “But ye have not so learned Christ”—now that you’re Christians, the walk is different. You’re no longer cut off from the life of God. You’re not longer living in sin and uncleanness. That’s just changed, and you’re walking with God. Christ changed all that. So, you see, that’s what he’s saying to begin with. And a walk with God presupposes reconciliation. You can’t even begin to walk with God until you’ve come to the foot of the cross, can you? Until your sins have been forgiven, the rebellion’s over, and you move on God’s side.
There’s a second thing implied in a walk with God, and that is corresponding nature. Do you know anybody that pals around with a goldfish? I don’t know anybody that’s got a goldfish for a pal.
You say, “That’s ridiculous, MacArthur. How would you have a goldfish for a pal? Drag a bowl around? How could you do that? Goldfish.”
You couldn’t have any fellowship with a goldfish; you’re right. I’ve had a goldfish in my house; they’re no fun. They die all the time. You wake up in the morning, and they’re floating on top. But you see—
You say, “Well, you’re talking in senseless words. You could never have a fellowship with a goldfish.”
You’re exactly right. You want to know what is just as impossible? You having fellowship with God. God doesn’t pal around with sinners either. They live in a different atmosphere. He doesn’t, frankly, want to drag your bowl around either. You see, you are in a whole different world than God is. The sinner has no corresponding nature. You can’t take a goldfish for a walk. You can’t sit down in the living room and have a conversation with your goldfish. Neither can God fellowship with you. You live in two different worlds. There’s no corresponding nature. Therefore, you can’t walk together in either atmosphere. You can’t get in the bowl and talk to Him; He can’t get in the living room and talk to you. Two different spheres.
The same thing is true of a man. A man cannot have fellowship with God on the basis of his own nature, because there is no corresponding sphere in which the two of them can be agreed. Do you understand what I’m saying?
And so, to—to walk with God means that there must be a common life. That something has happened to allow the man to step into a domain where he before couldn’t exist.
Now, when you became a Christian, the Bible simply says this, “Your citizenship is no longer on Earth.” Where is it? And now where do you walk according to the book of Ephesians? In the heavenly. We don’t live in this world anymore. Do you know that when you became saved, you automatically stepped into a different sphere? And we’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings—where?—in the heavenlies. And I walk with God, and I am in a different sphere. Why? Because I was a goldfish, but God made me into something like He is. Not a God, but one who has a new nature that is capable of communing with God. Do you see?
And so, walking with God, then, presupposes also a corresponding nature. Put it like Paul did, “Light has no communion with”—what?—“with darkness.” And no man—a man can’t walk with God. No sinner can walk with God. There’s a difference in their nature, you see, that eliminates the possibility of communion or fellowship. Sin separates me from God. I live in a completely different atmosphere.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 6, we certainly wouldn’t want to pass this text up because it has bearing on this. Listen to what Paul says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” And what’s the answer? None. “And what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial”—or Satan—“or what part hath he that believes with an unbeliever? And what agreement”—oh, that is a very important word, a very important word. You know what the word “agreement” in its literal sense means? It means composition of nature. What common composition do we have that we could walk together? The answer is none. “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” And here he’s looking at it from the very reverse. You know what he’s saying? He’s saying, “Since you’ve been born again, and you’ve moved into God’s sphere, you no longer are able to walk in the old life. Do you see? He just reversed it.
I mean you live in a different domain. I mean you walk with God. Now that you walk in God’s sphere, what unity of composition, what agreement is there between you and the old life? There isn’t any anymore. And now, trying to pal around with the world is like trying to pal around with a goldfish. It used to be that you couldn’t do it with God. Now you just can’t seem to fit in the system anymore.
And so, you see, walking with God then presupposes a change in nature. And that’s what Paul meant when he said, “If any man be in Christ, he is a”—what?—“new creation.” He had to be. Old things are passed away, and a few things are become new. Right? What? All things. You have to have a new nature to walk with God. And so, there was a sense in which the walk with God means there’s been a change in a common kind of life.
All right, thirdly, to walk with God implies a moral fitness as well as a judicial dealing with sin. This idea of a corresponding nature has to do with God dealing with sin. Sin is what keeps us apart. He deals with sin, and therefore we move into His presence. But thirdly, there has to be a moral fitness involved in it. You see, God does not walk out of the way of holiness. You remember that in the Old Testament, before God would ever walk through the camp of Israel, God would always say, “Get everything that’s defiled out of the camp before I come in.” God will not walk in any way but the way of holiness.
Before Christ commences His walk in the millennium, all things that offend must be cast out. The holy God keeps no company with the unclean. None at all. Listen to 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.” Why? Because God doesn’t walk with darkness. “If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk with darkness, we’re liars.” God walks with no darkness at all.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship.” You see, it’s only when we’re in the light that we have fellowship. And by that he means being saved. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we are confessing our sins, He is cleansing us.” You see, it’s the saved who walk with God; it’s the unsaved who don’t. And the only ones that God ever walks with are those who are cleansed of their sin, who are confessing, who are being cleansed. God walks with them. And so, the walk with God then presupposes a moral fitness, a holiness.
Fourthly, the walk with God implies a surrendered will. When a man comes to God, that assumes a surrendered will. To walk with God means you do as He designs.
Remember in John 21—so wonderful there—Jesus is talking to Peter, and He says, “Peter, you know what’s going to happen to you at the end of your life? You’re going to get crucified.” Good news, right? It was for Peter. Best news he’d heard in a long time. Because he was so sick of blowing it, he would have been—you know, he was already such a defeated person, because every time he had the test, he failed. And the Lord says, “Peter, you know what you’re going to do? Finally you’re going to die for Me.” And I think Peter got so happy he probably jumped up and down.
“Lord, do you mean the next time the crisis comes, I’m not going to deny you? I’m going to die for you? Terrific.”
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”
Peter took off. Jesus got up and started to walk, and he started to follow Him physically. And he was walking away, and Jesus was walking, and they were walking, and Peter was thinking about dying on a cross, and boy was it exciting, because finally he was going to be able to prove his love. And he tried to tell the Lord he liked Him an awful lot there in John 21. He kept repeating it three times. And the Lord seemed not to be too sure about it. And now he was going to get to die for the Lord. He was going to prove to be faithful.
And the Lord says, “Follow Me,” and he’s up and following Him right down the beach there.
And He hears some footsteps behind him. He turns around. Of course we know who was following. John. He always followed. Nobody ever had to tell him. So he looks at John, and he says to the Lord, “What about John, Lord? I mean I’m getting crucified. What happens to him?”
I love what Jesus said, “If he lives till the Second Coming, so what?” That was a little harsh. And then He said this, “Follow thou Me.” Emphatic use of the pronoun in the Greek. “Peter, get your nose out of John’s business. If he lives till the rapture, that’s none of your business.” And then it says in the next verse, “And the saying went abroad that John would live until the rapture.” Classic example of gossip.
And so John, at the end of his gospel, says, “I want to set it straight. That’s not what He said. He said, “So what if he does? It’s none of your business.” He didn’t say he would. But you see, to follow Jesus Christ, to walk with Him implies surrendering to His leadership. That’s part of it. He had to surrender his will and follow. Follow.
So to walk with God, then, involves reconciliation. It involves coming to Him. It involves a new nature which allows us to have communion. It involves a moral fitness or a—or a characteristic holiness that is ours by which we can be in His presence and not offend Him. And it involves a surrendered will. And may I say that the surrender of our will to Him is a surrender of love. It’s not a depressing submissiveness; it’s a surrender of love.
Do you like this? Second John 6, “And this is love, that we walk after His commandments.” See? It’s love. It’s not bondage. Then, I think, to walk with God implies spiritual fellowship. To walk with God means that you’re not only moving in His sphere, sins forgiven, clean, with a new nature so that you can breathe the air that He breathes and fellowship with Him, reconciled to Him, surrendered to His will, it also means spiritual fellowship.
When it says Enoch walked with God, it means that they just had a steady kind of unbroken communion. You know how long he walked with God? Three hundred years. That’s terrific, isn’t it?
You say, “Well, I’ve walked with God for seven months you see.” Very good. Seven months. Three hundred years Enoch walked with God. Now, you want to read the account of a great life, there it is in four words, “Enoch walked with God.” Three hundred years. We’re lucky if we can make it through the week without straying away. Oh, I love that about Enoch.
The term “walk” means continuous. Three hundred years of steady, sweet communion. Man, no wonder he just took a walk one day and kept right on walking into heaven. God liked him so much. His fellowship was so sweet for all those years.
In the New Testament we have the term “walking in the Spirit,” which is the same thing, isn’t it? The Spirit of God is God Himself. And the believer is to walk in the Spirit, which means we’re to just move in the atmosphere of the Spirit’s presence. See? Just continually being bathed in a consciousness of God’s presence. Continual fellowship with Him, expression—expression of fellowship in prayer, sensing His presence.
I love what it says in—of course every Christian possesses the Holy Spirit, but in Galatians 5—I love this—verse 25, it says this—if I can find it here—oh, no wonder; I’m in Ephesians; that won’t help—Galatians 5:25. I thought I was in the wrong column on the wrong side of the page there—Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit”—and we do, right? Romans 8 says that we live in the Spirit, read it, verse 9—“If we live in the Spirit, let us also”—what?—“walk in the Spirit.” Let’s order our steps, walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit.
You say, “Well, why do you want to do that?”
Oh, it’s very important. Because if you walk in the Spirit, you’ll not fulfill—what?—the lust of the flesh. And if you walk in the Spirit, you will see this in your life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. So, you need to walk in the Spirit. What does that mean? That means you just commune. Communion. Communion. I’ve always said—I’ve said it many times—walk in the Spirit is nothing more than just letting the Spirit of God pervade your thoughts. You get up in the morning, “Good morning Holy Spirit, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of God. It’s your day.” You know?
And life is a matter of decisions, just one decision after the next. You get up in the morning; you decide whether you’re going to wear your blue dress, your red dress, your brown tie. It’s just one decision. You go to the kitchen, decide whether you’re going to have Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch. You go from there. You know? One after another.
And all—really all living in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit is is just yielding those decisions to the Spirit of God as you go. You simply say, “Holy Spirit, here’s another decision. I want to just go the way You’re walking.”
And at any point in your life, somebody ought to be able to stop you and say, “Hey, what are you doing here?”
You say, “Well, I’ve been walking along with the Holy Spirit, and this is where we’ve arrived.” It’s practical, isn’t it? Walking in the Spirit. Three hundred years that man walked with God. Oh, that’s terrific, isn’t it? Couldn’t you imagine what kind of a man he must have been? I mean I would have liked to just hang around Enoch. Just hang around and let a little of that rub off on me.
You know, I’ve walked with God, I think, in a commitment kind of a thing, and I’ve failed so many times, but I really look at my life, and I think I’ve walked with God maybe five, maybe six years. And I love it. I mean it is fantastic. And every day, and every week is just a little bit sweeter. Just think how it would be after 300 years walking with God. And you know something? Going to heaven wasn’t much of a step. I mean he was so far into communion with God, that that was a little tiny step into heaven. And so, he walked with God.
You know, walking in the Spirit is a wonderful thing. In the New Testament, it describes it under many terms. 3 John 4 says it’s the truth walk. Romans 13:13 says it’s an honest walk. Ephesians 5:2 says it’s a love walk. Ephesians 5:8 says it’s a light walk. Ephesians 5:15 says it’s a wise walk. Ephesians 2:10 says it’s a good works walk. And I like what Paul calls it. He says it’s a worthy walk. It’s the only one that makes sense. It’s the only one worthy of your life. Why would you want to walk in the way of Satan? Why would you want to walk in the way of the world? Walk in the Spirit.
Well you say, “I’d like to have somebody I could follow. Who could I look at that walks with God?”
Well, you could look at Enoch, or maybe you could look at Noah. He walked with God. I’ll tell you somebody else you could look at. Look at Jesus. He walked with God, didn’t He? I love what it says in 1 John 2:6. Remember this verse? “He that saith he abides in Him ought himself so to walk even as” what?—“He walked.” Isn’t that good? “He that says he abides in Him ought himself so to walk even as He walked.”
You want to know how to walk with God? Just look at Jesus. Always in communion with the Father. Every night everybody’d go to his own house. John 8, everybody went to his own home. Talk about no room. It wasn’t only in the inn. He never had any room in His whole life. It says in John—end of chapter 7, “Everybody went to his own home,” and it says, “And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” See? That’s where He went every night, and He just communed all night with the Father.
And, you know, He just talked to the Father all day long. He got to the tomb of Lazarus, and He said, “Well, Father, it’s going to be wonderful what we’re going to see here now. Let’s do it.” And Lazarus rose from the dead. And He continually talked to the Father all through His life. He just lived constantly walking with God.
And above all, all of these facets of the walk in the Spirit, it’s a faith walk. Second Corinthians 5:7 puts it that simply. Listen to what it says, “For we walk by faith, not”—what?—“by sight.” Do you like this verse? Colossians 2:5 and 6, “As you have received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him.” How’d you receive Him? By faith. How do you walk? By faith.
Enoch just believed God. He never saw God. He just believed that He was there. Do you believe that? So, He pleased God. What pleases God? Believing God is, seeking God’s reward, walking with God. That’s what pleases God.
And there’s another thing that old Enoch did that pleased God, and it’s not in Genesis, and it’s not in Hebrews. It’s tucked away in a nice little spot in the fourteenth verse of Jude. You know what he did? He preached for God. Look at Jude 14. This is interesting. He was some kind of hell-fire and damnation preacher. I’ve heard a lot of guys, and I’ve been accused of being repetitious, but this is the most repetitious sermon I ever heard, and it’s inspired, and don’t you ever forget it. We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. Repetition’s how we remember.
But listen to what he says, verse 14. Here’s Enoch preaching for God. This is what marked him. Isn’t it wonderful when the walk in the Spirit’s not just—not just an experience, but it also—it also affects the way you affect others? It’s one thing to say, “Well, I walk with the Lord.”
Well, does it affect anybody?
“Well, no. we just do it in secret. Private, see?”
Well, Enoch walked with God, plus he affected everybody. Now watch, verse 14, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these”—now, the word “these”—refers back to false teachers. Jude is really letting the false teachers have it in this little book. And old Enoch recognized false teachers in his day, and God gave him a sermon against them.
“Enoch prophesied saying, ‘Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints’”—here’s Enoch, the seventh man from Adam, predicting the coming of Christ. Long way off. And listen to this—“‘to execute judgment upon all, and to convert all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed’”—told you it was repetitious—“‘and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’” Now, that’s some kind of preaching.
He says, “God’s going to come in judgment, and He’s going to convict all the ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Boy, that’s some heavy stuff.
Now, why does Jude bring this up? Well, Jude is trying to show how God hates false teachers. And to prove how much God hates them, and how much He’s always hated them, he pulls a prophesy right out of Enoch, the seventh man from Adam. God that far back hated false teachers.
But you say, “What was Enoch preaching about?”
Enoch was batting against his own generation. He lived in a crummy generation.
You say—somebody might say, “Well, it was easy for him to walk with God; look when he lived.”
No, it was tough to walk with God when he lived. The Cainite civilization had already corrupted. Enoch was in the midst of a polluted situation, and he was preaching. And I mean he let them have it, didn’t he? He let them know they were ungodly. And he let them know God was going to judge him. I think God was pleased with Enoch because his faith wasn’t just something that he kind of felt in his heart; it was something that he put on his lips. He pleased God because his faith was active. He was fearless. He confronted the ungodly. And he did it by faith.
Do you think Enoch really had seen the judgment of God on sinners? No. Do you think he could say, “Well, I was there”? No. He preached the judgment of God on sinners because God told him to preach it, and he believed it would happen. He did it by faith. He was pleasing God. He pleased God by believing, by seeking, by walking, and by preaching. All by faith.
Lastly, what happened as a result? We’ll close with this. By faith he entered into God’s presence. He pleased God so much that God just took him. Genesis 5:24—don’t you love that?—says this, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” And his body was never found.
People were like, “I wonder what happened to Enoch? The last thing he said was he was going for a walk with God. Three hundred years ago he told me that.”
Hebrews 11:5, what does it say? It’s rich, listen, “By faith Enoch was translated”—what did that mean? Literally he crossed over—“that he shouldn’t see death”—he never died—“and he was never found, because God translated him”—why?—“for before his translation, he had this testimony, he pleased God.” God just wanted him because he just loved him. He pleased God.
Some commentators say, and I think it’s probably true, that God took him because He didn’t want him to ever get polluted by the corruptions of this world. He had been so faithful for so many years that God just thought, “There’s no sense in leaving a man like this in this world.” And He just took him on out.
And the other side of the thing is that He took him up because He loved him so much. Do you know that God enjoys the fellowship of his saints? I love what it says in the Old Testament, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Isn’t that terrific?
You say, “Why is it so precious?”
Because God loves His saints. And Enoch didn’t die, but he was precious to God. He never died; God just took him. And, you know, he’s a wonderful picture of the believers who will be alive on the earth when our Lord descends in the air to catch His bride with a shout. Just as Enoch was translated to heaven without seeing death, so also will those of God’s people alive at the rapture, according to 1 Thessalonians 4, be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. So, Enoch is an ancient picture of the rapture. And it shows that God has the prerogative over death.
Well, Enoch died young, poor fellow, 365. Didn’t really die; he passed from the scene very young. His son lived, oh, 600 years longer. That’s really strange, isn’t it?
You say, “It’s a shame about Enoch dying at only 365. Wonder why?”
It’s because he pleased God. You know who goes into the presence of God? Only those who—what?—please Him. Only those who please Him.
You say, “I’d like to go into God’s presence.”
Very easy. Do you believe that He is? Good. That pleases Him. Do you believe that He rewards those who come to Him on His terms? Good, that pleases Him. Have you committed your life to walk with Him? That pleases Him. Have you opened your mouth to speak for Him? That pleases Him. And some day you’ll enter His presence. And that pleases Him most of all.
Father, we thank You for the fact that without faith it’s impossible to please You. And, Father, we thank You that it’s only faith, that we don’t have to be some kind of intelligent, or some kind of wise, or some kind of artistic, or some kind of moral or good in ourselves. All we just—all we have to do is just believe. God, we see a man like Enoch, and he pleased You. And, Father, we see his example, and oh how we would desire to be like him.
Lord, tonight there might be some people here who don’t please You. And we know that You Yourself have said you have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; that, Father, they don’t please You, and nor does their death, for they go out of Your presence forever.
Father, we pray that these who have not exercised faith and thus find it impossible to please You might tonight believe. Give them the faith. Stir up within them that truth, which they know by Your Holy Spirit, that they might believe. That in believing they might please You.
And, Father, for those of us who are Christians, may you be yet doubly pleased with us because we walk with You, because we speak for You in the face of an ungodly world. And oh, God, we wait for that wonderful day, Lord, if it’s Your will, when we will not die, but when we will ascend with Christ and please you most of all because we enter Your presence.
God, we know You long for us. It seems strange, and we don’t know how You could, but oh, God, how we thank You for loving us and wanting us to be with You. May we be so worthy of it by walking with You here.
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