John the Baptist, yet a lesser one in the kingdom of heaven would be greater than John, indicating that John would not be in heaven. If not John, then certainly not Enoch. Further, we have Jesus’ plain words at John 3:13, that up to his day it was true that ‘no man had ascended into heaven,’ not even Enoch. Only by means of Jesus’ death was a new and living way to get to heaven opened up. Jesus has become “the one who is first in all things,” including entrance into heaven.—Col. 1:18; Heb. 10:20.
More than that, the apostle Paul, in Hebrews, chapter 11, discusses such faithful ones as Enoch, Noah and Abraham. In Heb 11 verses thirty-nine and forty of this chapter, Paul contrasts the men of faith before the Christian congregation with those who, like himself, were a part of it: “And yet all these, although they had witness borne to them through their faith, did not get the fulfillment of the promise, as God foresaw something better for us, in order that they might not be made perfect apart from us.” In other words, only after the members of the Christian congregation receive their reward will these faithful men of old receive theirs.
Therefore, since we cannot conclude that by Enoch’s being transferred is meant his being taken to heaven, to what does it have reference? Evidently in Enoch’s case death came differently than to the rest of mankind, for which reason it is written that he “was transferred so as not to see death.”
The Greek word at Hebrews 11:5 rendered “transferred” in the New World Translation has the meaning of “transfer,” “transport,” or “change the place of.” It seems that the experience of the apostle Paul throws light on this matter, since he was transferred or caught up to the third heaven; whether in the body or out of the body, he was not able to say. In this state he caught a vision of the future spiritual paradise of the Christian congregation. (2 Cor. 12:1-4) Apparently it was in a similar state of spiritual rapture or ecstasy, while having a vision of the earthly paradise (Enoch not knowing anything about a spiritual one), that God took Enoch away or put him to sleep. He did not see death in that he did not see his own death approaching, and therefore Enoch did not experience any pangs of death. In his instance the resurrection will mean a transition from his vision to the reality of the New World life he was privileged to see.
During March Jehovah’s witnesses, in loyalty to God and his kingdom, will continue to preach the good news of God’s kingdom. (Ps. 86:2, 12) As an aid to Bible study they will offer a year’s subscription for The Watchtower for only $1. All new subscribers will receive free three booklets containing timely Bible lectures.
WHY BE IN DOUBT?
Why be in doubt as to the future? Why continue to be concerned over the outcome of the present world crisis? You can have absolute assurance of security in the days ahead by acquainting yourself with God’s purpose to bring peace in our time. Learn what you must do to survive. Read both The Watchtower and Awake! regularly. Send today and receive six booklets free. Both, one year for $2.
Have you given careful consideration to the information on Courageous Ministers District Assemblies in the February 15 issue of The Watchtower? If not, do so now and start making arrangements so you will be present. For the benefit of those in the British Isles, we are now able to provide the following list of assembly cities:
June 22-24: Belfast, Northern Ireland; Plymouth.
June 29–July 1: Liverpool; Portsmouth.
July 6-8: Leeds; Southend.
July 13-15: Edinburgh, Scotland; Coventry.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
April 8: Two Pictures of Deliverance, and A Close and Precious Relationship, ¶1-4. Page 136.
April 15: A Close and Precious Relationship, ¶5-28. Page 141.