ENOCH’S APOCALYPSE – THE AGE TO COME

firstres
First resurrection
THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL ARISE FROM THEIR SLEEP, and wisdom shall arise and be given unto them. And after that the roots of unrighteousness shall be cut off, and the sinners shall be destroyed by the sword ... shall be cut off from the blasphemers in every place, and those who plan violence and those who commit blasphemy shall perish by the sword.  And after that there shall be another, THE EIGHTH WEEK, that of righteousness, and a sword shall be given to it that a righteous judgement may be executed on the oppressors, and sinners shall be delivered into the hands of the righteous.
 And at its close they shall acquire houses through their righteousness, and a house shall be built for the Great King in glory for evermore.  And after that, in the NINTH WEEK, the righteous judgement shall be revealed to the whole world, and all the works of the godless shall vanish from all the earth, and the world shall be written down for destruction. And all mankind shall look to the path of uprightness.  And after this, in the TENTH WEEK in the seventh part, there shall be the great eternal judgement in which He will execute vengeance amongst the angels.  And the first heaven shall depart and pass away, and a new heaven shall appear, and all the powers of the heavens shall give sevenfold light. And after that there will be MANY WEEKS WITHOUT NUMBER FOR EVER, and all shall be in goodness and righteousness, and sin shall no more be mentioned for ever. [Enoch 91:10 -17 - R H Charles’ translation]

Weeks 1-7 of Enoch’s prophecy (previous post) closed with the statement that a seven part “instruction” concerning God’s intentions towards all creation would be provided for the elect and righteous alive during the time of tribulation (En91:10 Charles translation). I linked this to the patriarch’s still more remarkable prediction that “books will be given to the righteous and the wise to become a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom – they shall believe in them and rejoice over them, and then shall all the righteous who have learnt from them all the paths of uprightness be recompensed” [En104:12-14].

The age to come

That is immediately followed by the passage quoted above, which as is well known is out of sequence within the Book of Enoch as compiled. It concerns weeks 8-10 which commence with the resurrection of the righteous followed by a culling of the wicked. As in canonical Revelation (ch20), the earth then continues for a period of time after the righteous have been resurrected, before (in Enoch’s language) being “written down for destruction” to make way for a new heaven and new earth. This is thought-provoking in itself – that the book of Revelation written towards the end of the first century AD should corroborate Enoch’s premillennial perspective (the earth continuing after the resurrection of the righteous and judgement of the wicked), given that the latter was certainly composed BC, I believe by Enoch himself.  

In comparing the two accounts, Enoch gives more detail of events in the age to come but notably makes no clear reference to the return, ongoing presence or role of the Lord Jesus Christ. But again, in view of when it was written that is not so surprising. For references to the Lord and Saviour of mankind were relatively rare and heavily veiled in the canonical Old Testament. Yet He is referred to Enoch, where the author wrote:

 And at that hour that Son of Man was called near the Lord of the spirits, and his name before the Head of days. And before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were made, his name was called before the Lord of the spirits. He will be a staff to the just and the holy, upon which they will support themselves and not fall, and he will be the light of the nations, and he will be the hope of those who are sick in their hearts. All who live upon the earth will fall down before him and bend the knee to him, and will bless and praise him and will sing psalms to the name of the Lord of the spirits. For this purpose he was chosen and hidden before him before the world was created, and he will be before him to eternity. And the wisdom of the Lord of the spirits has revealed him to the holy and the just, for he preserves the portion of the just, because they have hated and despised this world of injustice, and have hated all its deeds and ways in the name of the Lord of the spirits; for in his name they will be saved, and he will be the revenger of their lives [En48:2-7 Schodde translation – my highlighting].

The age to come is likely to spring some surprises in terms of what was foretold in the New Testament. That was certainly the case when the Old Testament age gave way to the New. And not only concerning Jesus, but also what Paul twice referred to as “my gospel” – his revelation that the Messianic community would no longer be exclusively Jewish – God’s secret plan that Paul outlines in Ephesians chapter three. Jesus had hinted along those lines in some of His parables, but the Old Testament prophets had understood that the Jews would continue to be “the children of the kingdom” even after the coming of the Messiah. They alone were God’s elect, His priesthood for the world. Gentiles would be enlightened by them and pardoned if they came to acknowledge the Lord – but it was not envisaged they would be granted “the same gift of salvation” as the Jews resulting in eternal life or have “an inheritance with those being sanctified” (Acts11:17-18 & 26:18). Note from Acts11, this was something of a surprise even to Peter, whereas the risen Lord had made the matter much clearer to Paul (see also Rom11:11,12,15).

Such unforetold developments are one reason I have no intention of trying to throw light on what either Enoch or John in Revelation indicate shall occur in the earthly age that follows this one. It is not my territory, by which I mean I have no insights on the matter. Such prophetic insights as I have received (which turned much of my earlier understanding on its head) concern God’s providential intentions for the current age and indeed for the Gentile peoples of Old Testament times. That has enabled me to demonstrate from Scripture that divine benevolence is not restricted to the Jews and the Church but to all redeemable creation, and I have set the case out in The Little Book of Providence. Some recent testimonial posts have indicated why, after many years of uncertainty, I believe I am intended such a role. Also, that such a provision is in accordance with prophetic expectations, more especially that of Enoch.

The resulting seven-part synopsis resolves many longstanding biblical tensions and doctrinal conundrums, resulting in a presentation (albeit written in an unscholarly manner) that I am convinced is unprecedentedly coherent, consistent with God’s nature as revealed in Scripture and in line with how the Church and the world has actually panned out to date. If the Lord chooses to own such a work, readers of sufficient number and influence will in due time come to share that view so that the matter can be taken forward.

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The LITTLE BOOK OF PROVIDENCE:

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Linked post: THE  APOCALYPSE OF WEEKS & ENOCH – COMPLETING THE BIBLICAL JIGSAW