Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

SECRETS OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH AND THE 8TH DAY

Recently, I read a pseudepigraphal (not accepted as canonical or Divine in origin) work called “Book of the Secrets of Enoch” This particular version I read came from a compilation of apocryphal and pseudepigraphal books in a paperback book called “Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Book of Eden”, published by LB Press, ISBN 0-529-02061-0. It lists for $9.99.

Anyway, if you would like to get some background on what Jewish sects and the Early Church considered scriptural in some cases, and in others, some valuable historical material, you might like the book.

When I read the introduction to the Book of the Secrets of Enoch (also called 2 Enoch by some), there was a curious remark that said that Enoch had been taken to heaven, and there it was revealed that AFTER the creation of the earth, the 8th day was to be an endless age of eternal life.

While I do not accept this book as scriptural in any way, it is pretty well accepted in the dating of the book that it was written sometime in the 1st century, probably before the destruction of the temple in 70AD. Its background language and cultural pedigree comes from Greek thinking, but has undoubtedly Jewish leanings. It was written in Slavonic, and was only translated to English in the 19th century. Although there is no reference to Jesus, I found it curious that there are a few sayings almost word for word taken from the words of Jesus in the New Testament. But by and large, the teachings in it are moral in nature, borrowing heavily from Jewish thought, and leaning towards a closed Jewish sect for original authorship.

All that said, I wanted to share what the book said about the “8th day” of creation. We recently had a discussion about this subject, and although the book proves nothing about the validity of that idea (that we are now living in the 8th day of eternity), it DOES validate the antiquity of such an idea. Apparently, the idea that the number 8 in scripture, is an old and well established idea interwoven into old testament thought and culture. Here are the relevant extracts, and I offer them as food for thought and discussion:

Chapter XXXIII

“ 1)And I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the first-created after my work, and that the first seven revolve in the form of the seventh thousand, and that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of not-counting, endless, with neither years nor months nor weeks nor days nor hours.”

Chapter  LXV

“ 6)There will be one aeon, and all the righteous who shall escape the Lord’s great judgment, shall be collected in the great aeon, for the righteous the great aeon will begin, and they will live eternally, and then too there will be amongst them neither labour, nor sickness, nor humiliation, nor anxiety, nor need, nor brutality, nor night, nor darkness, but great light.

 7) And they shall have a great indestructible wall, and a paradise bright and incorruptible, for all corruptible things shall pass away, and there will be eternal life.”

 

 

Views: 259

Comment by Norm on January 12, 2011 at 5:04pm

Doug,

 

Yep, it pretty well goes with what I have been uncoverning about the 8th Day in more than one place. The more I read the more it changes my way of looking at Rev 20, especially the application of living and reigning with Christ for a 1000 years. I'm leaning to the idea that verse 6 is pointing to those who live and reign in the 8th Day which is everlasting as the above writings are illustrating. Still more work to be done but what you have uncovered is just adding to the evidence that says its correct.

Comment by Richard Walter Sire on January 12, 2011 at 5:05pm
Wow, that is quite interesting indeed...
Comment by Doug on January 12, 2011 at 5:34pm
It is instructive in that we are able to know that the ideas we have discussed are not just manufactured out of thin air. They have precedence, and ancient ones at that!
Comment by Doug on January 13, 2011 at 11:35am

Norm,

I have a question for you I have not worked out. I would like your opinion (seeing as you got us started talking about it :)

 

IF we are saying that an 8th day is a time AFTER the millenial reign of Christ, then what, in your opinion could the 8th day be about? After all, the 1,000 years of Christ (symbolically the 1,000 years symbolizes salvation in that Adam and no others actually achieved a physical 1,000 years, hence, did not achieve "salvation") were prior to the fall of Jerusalem.

 

So then, if the millenium is all about salvation and coming to a relationship with Jesus, then how can the 8th day be more than that?

Comment by Norm on January 13, 2011 at 12:41pm

 

Doug,

 

First off we need to rid ourselves of thinking of Adam actually living to be 1000 physical years. It was a metaphor to describe his lack of spiritual life not physical. This gets back to how John describes those who are in Christ as reigning and living for a 1000 years as it simply indicates that they are in full spiritual relationship with God through Christ.

 

In my opinion it appears that the Day as 1000 years also indicates a metaphorical fulfillment of God’s work of salvation. If you revisit my discussion on the Six Days of creation you will see that I have discerned that each Day represented a specific epoch of time called an age in which God performed His work of bringing man through the various stages of history to the fullness of time of Christ the Messiah. These ages are also sometimes described as 1000 year Days by the ancients. They also described and divided the days under the distinction of the former Days and the latter Days meaning the ones described as ages in Gen 1. We see this language also in Hebrews and we see plainly that Christ states that God is still at work Creating even in the last Day or age.

 

Joh 5:17 ESV  But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working."

 

Heb 1:2 YLT  in these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages;

 

Heb 6:5 YLT  and did taste the good saying of God, the powers also of the coming age,

 

Heb 9:26 YLT  since it had behoved him many times to suffer from the foundation of the world, but now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through his sacrifice, he hath been manifested;

 

Heb 11:3 YLT  by faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing;

 

Doug,  I think the quotes you provided above about sums up the purpose of the 8th Day.  It is essentially what full Preterist have always said it was. Well except those who want a “fuller Preterism”. J

 

“that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of not-counting, endless, with neither years nor months nor weeks nor days nor hours.” 

“6)There will be one aeon, and all the righteous who shall escape the Lord’s great judgment, shall be collected in the great aeon, for the righteous the great aeon will begin, and they will live eternally 

 

This is also very similar wording to what we find in the Barnabas Epistle which was probably written during the middle of the first century and before AD70. Remember to keep in focus that you can substitute the word Day here below with “age” or “aeon”. Also when it calls for six thousand years he is speaking metaphorically of six completed “ages” with God’s stamp of completion upon them.  They were currently in the Sixth Day awaiting the 7th Day Sabbath Rest in which faithful man would be given rest from their labors “spiritually”.  The Law would have ended and the new world which is the 8th Day begins which is without end and those who enter into it through faith also live and reign with God for a 1000 years of spiritual perfection. This pattern follows Christ work on the Cross at the sixth Day and then night entered and Paul says eventually the night was coming to an end and the dawn of a new Day of Rest and thus the everlasting 8th Day with no night and thus no ending. John tells us as much in Rev 21-22 also.

 

Barnabas 15:4 notice, children, what is the meaning of "He made an end in six days"? He means this: that the Lord will make an end of everything in six thousand years, for a day with him means a thousand years. And he himself is my witness when he says, "Lo, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years." So then, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything will be completed.

5 "And he rested on the seventh day." This means, when his Son comes he will destroy the time of the wicked one, and will judge the godless, and will change the sun and the moon and the stars, and then he will truly rest on the seventh day.

6 Furthermore he says, "Thou shalt sanctify it with clean hands and a pure heart." If, then, anyone has at present the power to keep holy the day which God made holy, by being pure in heart, we are altogether deceived.

7 See that we shall indeed keep it holy at that time, when we enjoy true rest, when we shall be able to do so because we have been made righteous our selves and have received the promise, when there is no more sin, but all things have been made new by the Lord: then we shall be able to keep it holy because we our selves have first been made holy.

8 Furthermore he says to them, "Your new moons and the sabbaths I cannot away with." Do you see what he means? The present sabbaths are not acceptable tome, but that which I have made, in which I will give rest to all things and make the beginning of an eighth day, that is the beginning of another world.

9 Wherefore we also celebrate with gladness the eighth day in which Jesus also rose from the dead, and was made manifest, and ascended into Heaven.

Norm

 

Comment by Doug on January 13, 2011 at 1:14pm

Norm,

So, allow me to paraphrase you..

 

You seem to be saying that the purpose of the "millenium" was to fulfill that which Adam could not. Namely, he could not live forever and died "in that day". Therefore, being that 1,000 years is symbolic of eternal life in Jesus, what comes AFTER eternal life (the thousand years) is the beginning of another world, or, the new heavens and the new earth in which we dwell?

IF I am accurately paraphrasing you, then I have a followup question:

Why was it necessary to have a period of time to destroy the works of the devil and bring in righteousness to the full? In other words, why isn't the millenium simply the start of all things new without a need for an 8th day?

I have always wondered, in the preterist model, why there had to be a time span between Jesus' ascension to heaven and His return for vengeance and judgment. True enough, it takes time to do things. But with God, all things are possible. God could have orchestrated it differently, so why didn't He? I am not questioning God, just asking what is important enough about God's overall plan that necessitates a period of time between the ascension of Christ and His return.

I always appreciate your deep thought and willing answers to our questions. Thank you.

BTW, would you be interested in some things I have found concerning covenant in the garden in apochryphal and pseudepigraphal books? Again, those books are not scripture, but they do show that our "new" ideas about prophecy aren't all that new at all. For me, these indicators make me realize that the burden of proof is actually on those who adhere to relatively newer theology (i.e., the reformation, Calvinism, Arminianism, etc.) Preterism isn't the Johnny-Come-Lately at all. It is, in my opinion, what has been preached for a very long time. So, study of ancient works, even though not scriptural, gives us a baseline from which to start that has even more authority than even scholars dating as far back as 150 AD (Origen, Augustine, etc.)

Comment by Norm on January 13, 2011 at 1:40pm

Doug,

 

You said … “Therefore, being that 1,000 years is symbolic of eternal life in Jesus, what comes AFTER eternal life (the thousand years) is the beginning of another world, or, the new heavens and the new earth in which we dwell?”

The 1000 years are used typically in two different manners in the Hebrew jargon.  It basically means ultimate eternal completion as it is a derivative of the number 10 of completion. It is 10X10X10  and exudes eternal fullness.

It’s used to describe eternal life and its used to describe eternal day or age fulfillment thus two somewhat different concepts that fall under its usage. The best example of this dual usage is found in Jubilees 4:29 describing Adam’s spiritual death and the lack of filling the 1000 year Day.  Also keep in mind that Adam also represents fallen Israel so his lack of 1000 is corporately attributed to them by Paul and John in the NT.

 

Jub 4:29 …. thereof, Adam died … And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.' For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.

 

Doug, I can’t answer your follow up question except by what scriptures state. It was a time to bring in the Gentiles and Jews in harmony and that is a pay grade above mine, although there are others here on this site who possibly have good biblical and scriptural answers and have done some work. However I’m not one inclined to go off in philosophical discussions as I find them of little use ultimately in answering questions that are not always fully understood from scripture. I have my thoughts but that again would be speculation without scriptural backing.

 

Yes I am always interested in ancient writings, especially those dated first century or before, after the first century they start to get tainted with outside views. I need to read more of the other writings but simply do not have the time to pursue all the avenues I would like. I wish I had this passion when I was 25 instead of 55 and didn’t have to play catch-up so much.

Comment by Doug on January 13, 2011 at 2:39pm

Norm,

 

Thanks for an honest answer. I respect  "I don't know" much more than specious reasoning, and I appreciate you admitting such. I don't know either. It may not be a philosophical question, however. It might be an entirely new doctrinal issue that will be explored by future generations. I can live with that. :)

You and I are about the  same age, and I too wish I was younger to have the time to pursue it all. But to borrow a quote "Now is salvation closer than when we first believed" Ro. 13:11

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