Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Tag Archives: Cain

Here is what America needs in the wake of the Dallas shootings

My flag is at half staff (or half mast today)

Here is what America needs in the wake of the Dallas shootings

Dallas shootings?

It is with a heavy heart I write about an incident that happened yesterday when five police officers reported for duty in a manner they had done so many times before. The difference between today and the days previously is that they would be cut down in their prime and this would be their last day on the force of the Dallas Police Department due to a man who set out to kill them by sniper fire.

I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs of protesting against the police because I do believe in the fundamental American right to a peaceful assembly and protest should the need arise and sufficient injustice has happened. However this was not that type of protest, this was a cold blooded, pre meditated action done by someone who set out to injure and kill people because of their chosen occupation.

Let me get something straight, it is not a “race thing” or a “police brutality” thing, this would have happened at some point because it would have happened because this is the actions of a sinful man and no more and it does not matter the shade of sin the person had and although there are some racially charged statements out there and these do not help and please know I believe in race because we know from the bible that God made us all part of the human race!

Gun control?

I do not believe that gun control is the answer here; I know that President Obama went straight to that issue following this tragic event however I do not believe that stricter gun control would have prevented this tragedy for the simple reason that if we make guns contraband they will be as easy to get on the black market as say illicit drugs. The only difference in that scenario will be that the bad people who are intent on doing these things will no longer be registered or on lists and will be much harder to find should they use a “legal weapon”.

Guns themselves do not cause shootings until they are operated by someone with intentions to point them and release a bullet towards someone with a murderous intent. That I know is obvious to most people with a sensible mind and regrettably if we remove the legal guns, we will have a situation where only the bad guys have guns. I am not one to criticize our leaders but I feel the President is clouded with an agenda that this administration has had towards gun control and his comments are opportunistic at best.

Sinful nature?

We have had people murdering people as far back as Genesis four where the sinful heart that I previously discussed was displayed when brother murdered brother when the first time they were alone after Cain became jealous of Abel (Genesis 4:8) he is described as “being alone with Abel and he rose up against his brother and killed him” and at that point there was no automatic weapons at that point so we have to conclude that murder is a heart condition rather than a weapons condition.

As tragic as this even was we need to address the sin of the nation first as America needs something, something that it as a whole many people in this great nation have turned their backs on…

What does America need then?

This is difficult to type as I truly feel for the victims’ families, the everyday folks who witnessed this happening and I even pray for the shooter and pray for him as he obviously needs help. As does the country, I feel funny saying this as a non-natural born American (having been born in Scotland) but America truly needs Jesus.

I do not say this as a slur against my home but as a concern for the direction we as a country are heading. I love the USA and I love many things that make it uniquely American but I do believe that we need to return to a relationship with God and repent individually, as families, as small groups, as streets, as communities and as cities and counties and i say this because can you imagine the greatest country in the world actually being the greatest country in the world?

Imagine the country praying for one another, serving each other, preferring each other before ourselves and loving each other in an unconditional agape love, that is my prayer for America as we lick our wounds, get over this tragedy and people who are praying for the first time in ages and looking for answers, I beg you dear Christians be there for those grieving, be there for police officers, first responders and their families. You don’t have to preach, sometimes being there and being an ambassador for Jesus is enough.

If you do not know Jesus and are looking for answers then please know that although this is desolate and everything feels bad, this is not the end, please know that you have a redeemer who died on a cross 2000 years ago for your sins, life has hope and life has meaning and you can be forgiven of your sins.

If you want to know more about a relationship with Jesus then please contact me and I would be happy to converse with you and direct you to someone locally if I am not in your area. Even although I may not know many of you who read this personally, please know I love you and my desire is to have you go deeper in Jesus. It is for the good of our wounded nation!

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.




Enoch prophesied about the Lord’s judgment – Jude 1:14-16



Enoch prophesied about the Lord’s judgment – Jude 1:14-16 – 01/08/2016
Thank you for reading this Bible study on the book of Jude. This bible study is part of a series on the book of Jude, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Jude for other studies in this book.
Let’s start in verse fourteen of the first chapter of Jude…
Jude 1:14 (ESV) It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Jude speaks straight from the Old Testament and quotes from the book of Genesis and confirms a genealogy that points back all the way from Adam. He references Enoch who we are introduced to in Genesis 5…
Genesis 5:1 (ESV) This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man  when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. 6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died. 9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died. 12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died. 15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died. 18 When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
The first thing that strikes me about that genealogy list is that Enoch lived 365 years and is not listed as dying, he stopped walking with God on this earth when God took him. So what happened? Did he vaporize? Was he raptured? Paul sheds a little more light in the book of Hebrews chapter eleven…
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
He was taken up so he did not see death, his body was not found. That really is about as much as we need to know on that score. We know from history that Enoch was a prophet and there were early writings that were revered by the Jewish people but were never accepted as inspired scripture and Jude would be referring to these works.
Is this a problem? I don’t actually believe so! I went to see a group recently called “The City Harmonic” play in a local church in Exeter (see link) and they have in one of their songs  called “Solid Rock” they use a quote from a Scottish poet called Robert Burns that states the following…
“The best laid plans of mice and men, so often go astray”
They are not basing a foundational doctrine of a church or movement on the words of a secular, winebibbing, womanizing freemason, but they do recognize that there is some truth in that statement and in the same vein Jude references something that will be well known to his audience but he also quotes the book as to avoid any loss in translation of his point or the possibility of some Gentiles coming along and having not read that book looking in and questioning what he meant. Does it mean the whole book of Enoch is inspired testimony? I don’t believe so but the quotation is to help illustrate a point, it is not the actual point itself and I prefer not to get too deep into rabbit trails that really do not help understand the true meaning and context of these Holy words!
What does floor me is the prophesy that even as far back as Enoch, there were men declaring the coming of Christ, there is no actual new information or doctrine that is mentioned only here in the bible, what is important is the earliness of that prophecy. The prophecy was in the following parts
•       The coming of Christ with ten thousand (v14)  – Jude is like a “mini book of Revelation” here when he declares triumphantly that the sinful life that these people know will come to an end and Christ will come again to redeem his people.
•       Convict the ungodly (v15) – If you are still in your sins when he comes or when you die (whichever comes first) then you will be tried according to your sins. With no reconciliation to God you will be found wanting in the scales and you will be convicted of your sins. If you are convicted prior to death you still have the option of repentance, if you wait until after then you make your own choice.
•       Execute judgment on all the ungodly (v15) – If you are convicted of your sins then what follows next is the judgment. I would urge that you check out the book of Revelation to see the alternative to Heaven and communion with God. There will be a judgment on all of the ungodly people and a decent family line or previous genealogy will not save you.
V16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Here is what trips me out, when I read this sentence I immediately feel awful because I have done most if not all of what Jude complains about here. I am a convicted whiner, I have grumbled, I have followed my desires before Gods and tried to dress it up in a holy cap and gown, I am loud mouthed, I have boasted and I have tried to leverage to gain advantages.
So why am I even typing this? I know I have been a mess up in the past, but I have also been convicted and unlike the conviction above, I learned and when I see folks like this I pray for them. Please notice that most of the issues that stem from these folks behaviors stem from one of the smallest organs in the body, the tongue! Here is how they were in error…
•       They were grumblers – They did not use their words to edify, nowadays we don’t even need to use our tongues and with the advent of smart phones and social network our grumbles or rants can go viral if it catches the mood of the people.
•       Following their own sinful desires – They had their own MO, they had their own agenda and the will of God was very low on their priority list, because they had not set their spiritual compass to a spiritual true north they were always facing away from the direction God intended them to be in. The phrase “my ways are higher than your ways” was alien to them.
•       They are loud-mouthed boasters – They had great swelling words, they were the man with the plan and nothing to back it up, they were the popular ones who were seen as the visionaries but they were looking to advance their kingdom before Gods.
•       Showing favoritism to gain advantage – They would never be seen with the people that would not gain them any advantage in ministry, they were trying to be the leaders friends, if there was a small group they would only attend the one at the pastors house because one held at just another members house would not advance them in ministry or help gain an advantage on the man next to him. They were the schmoozers of the church world; you notice them by their lack of ministry works and wanting to just be seen with the “right people” or have their name in the church bulletin being in charge of something.
If you recognize yourself in any of these then please do what I did and repent and seek forgiveness, I say this as someone who had to learn those lessons in a knucklehead fashion so please know that it can be done.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to