ENOCH – Typology: Rapture (Lesson 6)

By Kathy L McFarland

“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. 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.” (Hebrews 11:5-6)

The translation of Enoch had the testimony of the LORD God and pleased Him. We understand that Enoch was living one moment and then the next he was not. He passed over the chasm that separated him from God, and he went to Heaven without experiencing death. His victory of life without ever dying is a symbolic and typological representation of the End Times Rapture that Christians look forward to with great hope.

The Greek word used in Hebrews 11:5 for “translated” is “metathesis.” It is used three times in Hebrews only, and is used three different but similar meanings. In Hebrews 11:5 it means to transfer to Heaven, Hebrews 12:27 means that God “removes things by shaking, so that things that cannot be shaken can remain” and Hebrews 7:12 means a “change in the law”. So the Greek word means transfer, removal or change.

Today, that Greek word metathesis describes an “alteration of a word from one form to another” in an effort to make it more eloquent or easier to say, like a child calling spaghetti “pasghetti”. In the “Hollow Pursuits” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lt. Commander Data explains the meaning of metathesis after Captain Picard mistakenly calls Lt. Barclay “Mr. Broccoli”. After Barclay leaves, Data says to the captain, “metathesis is one of the most common of pronunciation errors, sir; a reversal of vowel and consonant; ‘barc’ to broc’…”. (Note to audience – the creator of this lesson is a Star Trek junkie; this blurb is added to increase job satisfaction even further, while at the same time connect with the students in understanding the word “metathesis.”)

So why is understanding the deeper meaning of the word “metathesis” so important to understanding the concept of translation? It is important, because it is such a rare event, we don’t quite know how it happened, what it looked like, or how quickly it took place. Therefore, we must examine every piece of evidence surrounding the word “metathesis” to sort of grasp the supernatural translation event of Enoch.

There is one more word that might help you understand the process of “translation” a little better. Metamorphous means a change in nature and form, like a caterpillar changing to a butterfly; in contrast, Metathesis is the change of the place or condition, like the exchange of bonds in a chemical reaction!

Now we are nailing down the deeper meaning of the word. When the translation of Enoch occurred, his place of existence was changed from one place to another. His body and nature were not changed; it was only the place, translating from earth to heaven, and the condition, living one moment, and nowhere found the next.

Now that we understand the word used to express the translation of Enoch, we are closer to understanding the process that will happen to believers during the rapture of saints. Enoch’s translation was a typological shadow of the event that will happen to living believers one day.

The word “rapture” is not actually located within the Word of God; yet, it is a well-known term by both religious and secular interests. It is a word that is used to represent the End Times event where Christians alive are raised up into the air by Jesus Christ, and taken immediately to Heaven, without experiencing death. The rapture event can be found prophesized in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:13-17)

This rapture experience captures the metathesis example that was first revealed in the translation of Enoch. One day, which date is not known by anyone but the LORD God, the Lord Jesus Christ will descend from Heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. When these sounds are heard, the dead in Christ will rise first, and then all of the Christians which are alive will be caught up together in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. The body or the nature of the raptured Christians will not be changed. The change will be only the place and condition; the Christians location will be changed from earth to Heaven, and their condition of human being, will be changed to that of a risen saint.

Interestingly, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 makes further reference to this rapture event, and this reference connects to one of the deeper meanings of the word “metathesis” we studied earlier. Can you find this meaning?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” (2Thessalonians 2:1-2)

The concept of “shaken” was used with one of the three only meanings of “metathesis” in the Word of God! Remember? Hebrews 12:27 defined the word “metathesis” with the process of shaking!

Hebrews 12:26-28

“Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” (Heb 12:26-28)

The LORD God is going to be shaking the Kingdom of Heaven while He shakes mankind on earth. Those in Heaven that can be shaken, will be removed from Heaven. Only those which cannot be shaken continues to live in the restored Heaven. Now 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 tells us that when the day of Christ is at hand to not be “shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word!

So now you know what rapture will look like, feel like, sound like, and be like. From the deep study of the word, we know that rapture comes to those who cannot be shaken in mind nor troubled in spirit when the tribulations, persecutions and martyrdoms on earth begin. Stand strong and confident in the Day of Christ, and await your redemption. The translation of Enoch was the shadow of rapture, that will one day raise up believers, and change their location from earth filled with tribulation and wickedness, to Heaven in the presence of our Lord and our God!

Praise be to God!

Further Study Resources

The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish book that many believe was written by the Enoch, father of Methuselah and grandfather of Noah, around 300 B.C. Jews and Christians do not regard it as Scripture; however, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church think it is canonical in nature.

While it is absent from the sacred books of the Word of God, many scholars believe that The Book of Enoch influenced early Christianity, and thus is profitable for study. Many early Church Fathers considered 1 Enoch as Scripture, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Tertullian. In fact, Tertullian accuses that it was officially rejected by the Jews as Scripture because it contained early prophesy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are five parts to The Book of Enoch. The first part describes the fall of angels, “the Watchers,” who became the fathers of the Nephilim. The remaining four sections cover Enoch’s visits to Heaven with descriptions of his travels, visions, dreams, and revelations.

* The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1 – 36)

* The Book of Parables of Enoch (1 Enoch 37 – 71) (Also called the Similitudes of Enoch)

* The Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72 – 82) (Also called the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries or Book of Luminaries.)

* The Book of Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83 – 90) (Also called the Book of Dreams)

* The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91 – 108)

It is important to note that The Book of Enoch is also said to be referenced in the Word of God through the account of his prophecy spoken about in Jude 14,15:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken” against him. (Jude 14, 15)