THE APOSTOLIC MYSTERY REVEALED

Strategies of Christ that Establish His Church

Part 2

Bill Click

Faith & God's: Voice: Enoch's Unique Reward

"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" (Heb.11:5). How did He know he pleased God? Through the Voice of the Lord, Enoch was confirmed. The next verse we know so well: "but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe . . ." (Heb.11:6). So we can see that the Lord's Voice released faith to Enoch. In the same way God uses His Voice in order that what is now revealed to His own will become a reality, not just a disclosure of His desire or an abstract spiritual experience.

It was not that Enoch had been believing he wouldn't die; it was that Enoch had so walked with God in life that the Lord simply took him, similar to what would later be done with Elijah (Gen.5:22-24). What does Genesis say about Enoch? 65 years into his life, he fathered the man who lived longer than anyone: Methuselah. For the next 300 years Enoch "walked with God," obeying the initial command to "be fruitful and multiply." His relationship with God's Voice was the basis for faithfully executing his responsibility. Out of that intimacy Enoch experienced a privilege and reward so unique, none other can lay claim to it.

Faith & God's Voice: Noah & New Beginnings

Even though sin came and so thoroughly corrupted humanity that both it and the land had to be judged and destroyed, God had a strategy to begin again. How did Noah know to escape God's judgment so there could be a new beginning through Shem, Ham & Japeth? Noah knew by the Voice of the Lord.

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an Ark of gopher wood . . . And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of ever living thing (Gen.6:13-14a; 17-19a).

As he endeavored to build according to God's command, Noah preached what was to come for over 100 years (Gen.7:6). Doing so he "became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Heb.11:7).

Noah believed there a strategy of God guiding his life. In the same way that the stories of Adam, Eve, the Garden and descendants unto him had survived and been retold to each other, the focal point of their import was kept in view by those walking with God: the Voice of the Lord.

Even though the flood gave man a fresh start, there was a continual degeneration through failure to honor God's Voice. We need to realize it was not the earth God was after, it was man. God gave man the earth as a context for having relationship with him, to prepare mankind to be with Him forever. God could have done this in outer space, under the sea, or in a realm we could not describe if so desired. But regardless of where man was to reside, the essence of his life– in understanding and strategy for purpose and fulfillment– was to be in his image of God experienced through the Voice of the Lord.

After the flood, it didn't take much time for the people to (again) try to rise into equality with God. Being of one language because of being linked together by one common family, they joined together to insure they would not be subject to God's judgment (Gen.11:11:1-4). The Lord then caused them to become unable to communicate with each other as before. Their efforts thwarted, they then spread out over the earth, and were initially limited to relating to one another through their commonality of language.

God would not let the people of the earth exercise an authority that could rival His. The Lord had always intended that people live by believing and following His Voice. There was no other way to please God; there was no other way for man to be fulfilled (Hab.2:4). This no less applies today (Heb.11:6).

Even now that the gift of Christ's salvation is freely bestowed upon all who will receive, man continues to degenerate through failure to honor God's Voice. Religious man is no different than the heathen. Religious man recollects, ritualizes and remembers in order to preserve the past and continue only as before. Redeemed man is often no different, either. Redeemed man more often looks for methods, techniques and shortcuts in order to produce what God will only eternally establish through a completely circumcised heart.

Today, there is a massive failure to embrace the restoration of God's eternal purpose: to follow the Voice of the Lord (Ro.8:14). The result of this breakdown is holding back of the manifestation of God's children as the enemy seeks to fulfill its goal of destroying faith in God's Voice by paralyzing the people of God (Ro.8:13-22; Eph.3:9-12). How? The enemy works either to bring about a dearth of the "faith which comes by hearing" or to exhaust the church through efforts to produce apart from it (Ro.10:17).

It is not the earth God is ultimately after, it is mankind. God gave the earth in which we now live for surroundings in which we are to personally experience Him (Jn.4:23-24). It was not the earth that was to bear God's image, it was man. This image was broken in the Garden, but in Christ it has again become a reality of restoration through His Voice (Ro.8:13-29). Regardless of what place man may occupy in God's creation we call the Earth, the essence of his life–– in understanding, focus and fulfillment–– is always to be the Voice of the Lord. Through such intimacy mankind manifests the image of God and establishes Christ's apostolic mystery revealed in the earth.