Present day signs of the end

Seth: When Men Turned To God



To Adam was given another son to be the heir of the spiritual birthright.The name Seth, given to this son, signified “appointed,” or “compensation”; “for,” said the mother, “God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” Seth resembled Adam more closely than did his other sons, a worthy character following in the steps of Abel. Yet he inherited no more natural goodness than did Cain.Seth, like Cain, inherited the fallen nature of his parents. But he received also the knowledge of the Redeemer and instruction in righteousness. He labored, as Abel would have done, to turn the minds of sinful men to revere and obey their Creator.  From Eternity Past 43.1

“To Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah.” The distinction between the two classes became more marked—an open profession of loyalty to God on the part of one, contempt and disobedience on the part of the other. EP 43.2

Before the Fall, our first parents had kept the Sabbath, which was instituted in Eden, and after their expulsion from Paradise they continued its observance. They had learned what every one will sooner or later learn, that the divine precepts are sacred and immutable and that the penalty of transgression will surely be inflicted. The Sabbath was honored by all who remained loyal to God. But Cain and his descendants did not respect the day upon which God had rested. EP 43.3

Cain now founded a city, calling it after the name of his eldest son. He had gone out from the presence of the Lord to seek his possessions and enjoyment in the earth, standing at the head of that great class of men who worship the god of this world. In that which pertains to mere earthly and material progress, his descendants became distinguished.But they were in opposition to the purposes of God for man. To the crime of murder, Lamech, the fifth in descent, added polygamy. Abel had led a pastoral life, and the descendants of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,” seeking “a better country, that is, an heavenly.” Hebrews 11:13, 16. EP 43.4

For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt.The latter, in order to escape their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains and there maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.” The children of Seth displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements constantly before them, and they lost their holy character.Mingling with the depraved, they became like them. The restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, “and they took them wives of all which they chose.” The children of Seth went “in the way of Cain.” Jude 11. They fixed their minds upon worldly prosperity and enjoyment and neglected the commandments of the Lord. Sin spread abroad in the earth. EP 44.1

Length of Adam’s Life

For nearly a thousand years Adam sought to stem the tide of evil. He had been commanded to instruct his posterity in the way of the Lord, and he carefully treasured what God had revealed to him and repeated it to succeeding generations. To the ninth generation he described man’s holy and happy estate in Paradise and repeated the history of his fall, telling them of the sufferings by which God had taught him the necessity of strict adherence to His law and explaining to them the merciful provisions for their salvation. Yet often he was met with bitter reproach for the sin that had brought such woe upon his posterity. EP 44.2

When he left Eden, the thought that he must die thrilled him with horror. Filled with remorse for his own sin and doubly bereaved in the death of Abel and the rejection of Cain, Adam was bowed down with anguish. Though the sentence of death had at first appeared terrible, yet after beholding for nearly a thousand years the results of sin, he felt that it was merciful for God to bring to an end a life of suffering and sorrow. EP 45.1

The antediluvian age was not, as has often been supposed, an era of ignorance and barbarism. The people possessed great physical and mental strength, and their advantages were unrivaled. Their mental powers were early developed, and those who cherished the fear of God continued to increase in knowledge and wisdom throughout their life.Illustrious scholars of our time would appear as greatly inferior in mental as in physical strength. As the years of man have decreased and his physical strength has diminished, so his mental capacities have lessened.EP 45.2

It is true that the people of modern times have the benefit of the attainments of their predecessors.Men of masterly minds have left their work for those who follow. But how much greater the advantages of the men of that time! They had among them for hundreds of years him who was formed in God’s image.Adam had learned from the Creator the history of creation; he himself witnessed the events of nine centuries. The antediluvians had strong memories to retain that which was communicated to them and to transmit it unimpaired to their posterity. For hundreds of years there were seven generations living upon the earth contemporaneously, profiting by the knowledge and experience of all. EP 45.3

So far from being an era of religious darkness, that was an age of great light. All the world had opportunity to receive instruction from Adam, and those who feared the Lord had also Christ and angels for their teachers. And they had a silent witness to the truth, in the garden of God, which for many centuries remained among men.Eden stood just in sight, its entrance barred by watching angels. The object of the garden, the history of its two trees, were undisputed facts.And the existence and supreme authority of God were truths which men were slow to question while Adam was among them. EP 46.1

Notwithstanding the prevailing iniquity, a line of holy men lived as in the companionship of heaven—men of massive intellect, of wonderful attainments. They had a great mission—to develop a character of righteousness, to teach a lesson of godliness, not only to men of their time, but for future generations. Only a few are mentioned in the Scriptures, but all through the ages God had faithful witnesses, true-hearted worshipers. EP 46.2

Enoch—The First Man Never to Die

Enoch lived sixty-five years and begat a son. After that he walked with God three hundred years. He was one of the preservers of the true faith, the progenitors of the promised seed. From the lips of Adam he had learned the story of the fall and of God’s grace as seen in the promise, and he relied upon the Redeemer to come. EP 46.3

But after the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience.As he saw the child’s love for its father, its simple trust in his protection, as he felt the deep tenderness of his own heart for that firstborn son, he learned a precious lesson of the wonderful love of God in the gift of His Son. The unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his meditations day and night, and he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt. EP 46.4

Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or vision, but in all the duties of daily life. As a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the unwavering servant of the Lord. EP 47.1

His heart was in harmony with God’s will; for “can two walk together except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3.And this holy walk continued for three hundred years. Enoch’s faith waxed stronger, his love more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. EP 47.2

Enoch was a man of extensive knowledge, honored with special revelations from God; yet he was one of the humblest of men. He waited before the Lord. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul; he lived in the very atmosphere of heaven. EP 47.3

Through holy angels God revealed to Enoch His purpose to destroy the world by a flood. He also opened more fully to him the plan of redemption and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. EP 47.4

Enoch had been troubled in regard to the dead. It had seemed to him that the righteous and the wicked would go to the dust together and that this would be their end. He could not see the life of the just beyond the grave. In prophetic vision he was instructed concerning the death of Christ and His coming in glory, attended by all the holy angels, to ransom His people from the grave.He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should appear the second time—that there would be a boastful, self-willed generation trampling upon the law and despising the atonement. He saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor and the wicked destroyed by fire. EP 47.5

Enoch became a preacher of righteousness, making known God’s messages to all who would hear. In the land where Cain had sought to flee from the divine presence, the prophet made known the wonderful scenes that had passed before his vision. “Behold,” he declared, “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.” Jude 14, 15. EP 47.6

While he preached the love of God in Christ, he rebuked the prevailing iniquity and warned that judgment would surely be visited upon the transgressor. It is not smooth things only that are spoken by holy men.God puts into the lips of His messengers truths that are keen and cutting as a two-edged sword. EP 48.1

Some gave heed to the warning, but the multitudes went on more boldly in their evil ways. So will the last generation make light of the warnings of the Lord’s messengers. EP 48.2

In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch steadfastly maintained his communion with God. After remaining for a time among the people, he would spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for divine knowledge. Communing with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with the light that shines in the face of Jesus. EP 48.3

As year after year passed, deeper and deeper grew the tide of human guilt, darker and darker gathered the clouds of divine judgment. Yet Enoch held on his way, warning, pleading, striving to turn back the tide of guilt.Though his warnings were disregarded by a sinful, pleasure-loving people, he had the testimony that God approved. He continued to battle against evil until God removed him from a world of sin to the pure joys of heaven. EP 48.4

Enoch Is Translated to Heaven

The men of that generation had mocked him who sought not to build up possessions here. But Enoch’s heart was upon eternal treasures. He had seen the King in His glory in the midst of Zion. His mind, his conversation, were in heaven. The greater the existing iniquity, the more earnest was his longing for the home of God. EP 48.5

For three hundred years Enoch had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. Now the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the Holy City—the first from among men to enter there. EP 49.1

His loss was felt on earth. Some, both righteous and wicked, had witnessed his departure. Those who loved him made diligent search, but without avail. They reported that he “was not,” for God had taken him. EP 49.2

By the translation of Enoch the Lord designed to teach an important lesson. There was danger that men would yield to discouragement because of the fearful results of Adam’s sin. Many were ready to exclaim, “What profit is it that we have feared the Lord and have kept His ordinances, since a heavy curse is resting upon the race, and death is the portion of us all?” Satan was urging upon men the belief that there was no reward for the righteous or punishment of the wicked, and that it was impossible for men to obey the divine statutes.But in the case of Enoch, God shows what He will do for those who keep His commandments. Men were taught that it is possible to obey the law of God, that they were able by grace to resist temptation and become pure and holy. His translation was an evidence of the truth of his prophecy concerning the hereafter, with its award of immortal life to the obedient and of condemnation and death to the transgressor. EP 49.3

By faith Enoch “was translated that he should not see death, … for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5.The godly character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be “redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:3) at Christ’s second advent. Then, as before the Flood, iniquity will prevail. Men will rebel against the authority of Heaven. But like Enoch, God’s people will seek for purity of heart and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ. Like Enoch they will warn the world of the Lord’s second coming and by their holy example will condemn the sins of the ungodly. As Enoch was translated to heaven, so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire. See 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. EP 49.4


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