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The Bible Speaks

    by Gino Geraci

The Source of the Prophets (Jude v. 14)
Date Posted: August 2, 2007

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also. . . (Jude 14a).

Jude's quote in verse 14 comes from an extra-biblical source, a book known as 1Enoch.

Why did Jude quote from an extra-biblical or non-biblical or traditional source?

Before we answer that question--let us take a quick look at Enoch. Enoch appears number seven on the genealogy list of Gen. 5:18-24,1 Chronicles 1:3. The list goes Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch.

“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24). Most conservative Bible scholars have taken that to mean that Enoch did not die. Like Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-13), he was translated or taken from the earth. Hebrews 11:5 says, “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.” “Walked with God” is a phrase that speaks of a close, personal, intimate relationship with God.

Enoch is one of the most fascinating characters in the Bible. God’s extraordinary assessment, “he pleased God” coupled with the almost complete silence in the Scripture about him has led to some interesting ideas and claims about this prophet.

The book of 1Enoch was probably written about 164 B.C. The genre of literature is called Jewish apocalyptic. Fragments of the book have been discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It’s important to understand that simply citing a book or sourcing a book by a Biblical author does not make that book sacred Scripture. Jude provides no evidence that he considers the book as Scripture. However, the book of 1Enoch was certainly well known and respected for about a century and a half before the birth of Christ. This book had a profound influence on some New Testament writers, including John (the book of Revelation) and Peter (1 & 2Peter) and the writer of Hebrews.

Some have suggested the quote is not authoritative because it comes from an apocryphal source. Jude, however, clearly did respect the source and the citation. The moment the Holy Spirit directed Jude to write this section and it was included in the canon of Scripture, the quote became authoritative in this context. The Holy Spirit is free to use borrowed words and make them inspired words.

1Enoch 1:9 states, “Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him.”

Apparently many people were aware of Enoch's prophecy of the coming of God to judge the wicked. If this is in fact a quote of Enoch who lived before the flood, we hear a voice crying from before the flood about the return of the Messiah and judgment.

Jude says Enoch “prophesied about these men”—the false prophets. One of the reasons for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is to judge the false prophets personally.

Enoch was not simply a witness of the wickedness of his day. He peered into the future and saw the enemies of the young church. Enoch is alive at this very moment.

Some people might say, “What gives you the right to judge?” I have no right. But Jesus does. John 5:27-30 says, “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice, and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

Faithful Christians can look forward to Jesus' coming with joy! For us it brings deliverance from sin, temptation and bodily weakness.

© 2007 by Gino Geraci

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Biography Information:
Gino Geraci is the founding Pastor of Calvary South Denver.

He has served as a police chaplain for several police departments and currently serves as a Police Chaplain for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department. Gino has provided emergency service support in many national tragedies. He was a first responder at Columbine High School, Ground Zero in New York, and Platte Canyon High School.

Gino has appeared on scores of national and local radio programs as a guest, including television appearances with Lee Stroebel's Faith Under Fire. He currently hosts a daily radio program with Salem Media in Denver, Colorado area.

Gino is a much sought after conference speaker. He has conducted leadership conferences, Bible conferences, and emergency service support conferences with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans' Purse, Gospel for Asia in India and Sri Lanka, the Bible League in Africa, Food For The Poor in Jamaica, Mike McIntosh Crusades in Mexico, Somebody Loves You Bible Conferences with Raul Ries in Chile, Columbia and Peru, and pastor's conferences in much of the continental United States.

Gino is currently the pastor of Calvary South Denver where he continues to minister, preach, teach, and serve.
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