Genesis 026 – Grace Before Judgment, Pt. 1Genesis 6:4 • Dr. Andy Woods • February 14, 2021 • Genesis
Genesis 026-Grace Before Judgment
Part 1 – Dr. Andrew Woods
Well, good morning, everybody. If we could take our Bibles this morning and open them to Genesis 6:4, beginning with Genesis 6:4. The title of our message this morning is Grace Before Judgment. If you’ve been tracking with us, we’ve been moving in our main service through the book of Genesis, verse by verse. We happen to come to a very interesting part of Genesis. I don’t know if there’s really a Valentine’s Day message in there per se, but I’ll do my best.
Genesis 1-11, as you know, is about the beginning of the human race, and within that section, we’re taking our time going through it because it’s fundamental to everything we believe as Christians—early Genesis. And when you look at that section, there are basically four events:
- Creation. We’ve covered Genesis 1 and 2 and how God created a world that was perfect without sin in it. So what went wrong?
- The Fall happened (Genesis 3-5). The world is what it is today with all of its problems because of man’s rebellion against God, and we see that in Genesis 3-5. Yet, through it all, there’s a promise that there’s coming One from the seed of the woman, or Eve, who will take everything as it is and bring it back to the original design of God. That coming One, who is announced for the very first time in Genesis 3:15, is none other than Jesus Christ. In Genesis 3:15, essentially what you find is the first prophecy in the entire Bible of the coming Messiah. But Creation and the Fall are followed by the third major event…
- The Flood, which we started last time. There are events before the Flood, (Genesis 6); the Flood itself, (Genesis 7), the lowering of the waters, (Genesis 8), and events following the Flood, (Genesis 9).
So we just started Genesis 6 events before the Flood. Take Genesis 6 and divide it up into 4 parts: God’s grief (Genesis 6:1-7), and fortunately, we have number 2 there—God’s grace, something we all need (Genesis 6:8-10). God’s predicted destruction (6:11-13), and then God’s instructions to a problem; God has a solution. And the solution is the specific instructions of Noah’s Ark (6:14-22).
We just barely started part one last time: God’s grief. This is where we learn that God, in 6:6-7 actually regrets something. He regrets that He did something. He regrets and sorrows in 6:6-7, that He made man to begin with because the human race was moving in such the opposite direction of God’s original design. Well, what was humanity doing that caused the God’s sorrow, and that made God say He would bring a global judgment to destroy mankind? We have a specific sin that they were doing in 6:1-4, and then a general sin in 6:5.
We started to look at the specific sin that was happening, and we saw, number 1, the population explosion. Number 2, in 6:2, the procreation. These are, as I mentioned last time, some of the most hotly contested and debated verses in the entire Bible. But essentially what we argued last time is that fallen angels began to procreate with human women for a specific purpose, and we’ll talk about that purpose a little bit later. And through it all, in 6:3, there was the patience of God, where for 120 years, God not only allowed this insanity to take place, but He was actually striving with man. His Spirit was striving with man, which in essence is what God’s Spirit is doing right now as I speak—striving with man. And yet it was in 6:3 that God was saying, ‘My Spirit will not always strive with man forever.’ Eventually, man’s wickedness will take precedence, and God’s hand will be forced and then judgment will come.
Now we move into 6:4, which is the product, or the progeny, so to speak, of this unholy union between the sons of God and the daughters of men. Notice what 6:4 says, ”…The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Notice in 6:4, we run into this very unusual expression, “the Nephilim.” The word Nephilim actually comes from the root nefal. In Hebrew, nefal is a verb, and it means ‘to fall.’ Nephilim is in noun form, coming from the same root; it is plural. The ‘im’ ending indicates plurality in Hebrew. And who exactly were these Nephilim? Well, very simply, they were the fallen ones. It’s interesting that this word Nephilim doesn’t show up anywhere else in the Bible until you get to the book of Numbers 13:33, where you’ll recall that the children of Israel had been in Egyptian bondage for 400 years, and they were released from that in the events of the Exodus. They went to Mount Sinai, and from Mount Sinai, they made their way up north to Canaan. Then they got to a place there called Kadesh Barnea. And they looked into the land and became intimidated because of what they saw in the land of Israel: the Nephilim.
Numbers 13:32-33 says, “So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. [Giants are what they saw in the land]. There also, we saw the Nephilim, (the sons of Anak are also part of the Nephilim); and we became [this is interesting], like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
This passage here is really the only passage we have other than Genesis 6 that uses this word Nephilim. Who were the Nephilim? Well, the best we can tell is they were giants—people of abnormal, unusual size and stature. Going back to 6:4, it says, [Just prior to the flood], the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and bore children to them…”
Now, the last time I was with you, I tried to explain that this expression, ‘sons of God,’ which in Hebrew is ‘Bene Elohim,’ is only used of angels elsewhere in the Bible. In fact, the only book that had been written up to this point in time when Moses penned these words, was the book of Job. And there are, as we saw last time, three references in the book of Job to the Bene Elohim, or the sons of God who are angels.
And essentially what was happening, and what I’m saying here, is very contested and hotly debated; it’s not something, I don’t think, worth starting a new church over. But at the same time, it’s one of those things that you need to understand correctly to make sense of all of God’s Word.
There are angels that fell when Lucifer rebelled. In fact, we know from the book of Revelation 12:3-8 roughly, that a third of the angels fell with Lucifer. Apparently some of those fallen angels, a subset of them, a subcategory of them here prior to the fall, began to have sexual relationships with human women. And the product of those unholy unions were the Nephilim. Because it says there in 6:4, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man, and they bore children to them.” So that’s the product, the progeny of the sin that was taking place that we went into more detail about back in Genesis 6:2. The question is, ‘Why would Satan have some of his demons involved in this sin if this interpretation that I’m bringing is correct?’ Well, it relates back to 3:15, the first messianic prophecy of a coming Messiah who will set the world right. This is what God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman [the woman here being Eve] And between your seed and her seed; [The phrase that’s needed to unravel all of this is the expression ‘her seed’]; He [that’s this coming one] shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” At that point, Satan’s days are numbered because he knows there’s coming One into the world who will take his head and crush it. And it’s very clear here that this coming One is from the seed, or a descendant of Eve. In other words, this coming One must be a human being.
Now in our doctrine of Christology, in our doctrine of Jesus Christ, we believe in what is called the incarnation, sometimes called the hypostatic union. It’s speaking of the two natures of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has always been eternally existent Deity. But at the point of the virgin conception, what was added to eternally existent Deity was humanity. And at that point, Jesus became the unique God Man, one of a kind. And so people say, ‘Well, was Jesus man or was He God?’ And the answer is yes. He was 100% God at the point of the virgin conception and 100% man in a single individual. And that’s what qualified Him to be our sin bearer. That’s why it says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” You can only have one mediator between God and man because there’s only been one God Man.
This is the insanity or the foolishness of people thinking they can get to God through some path other than Christ. They can’t because to be a mediator or a go-between between man and God requires someone to be God and man. And there has only been one of those. There only is one of those. It’s this Man, Jesus Christ. Now, Satan understands all of that. The pastor at the local church may not understand it. The elder board may not understand it, the deacons might not understand it. The seminaries might not teach it all correctly. They should, but some of them don’t. But the devil understands it, and the devil, in his darkened mind, thinks that he can prevent this prophecy from materializing, and this is why he began to have some of his demons mate or procreate with human women. What would be the product of that unholy union? It would be a group of people that aren’t fully human because their genetics or DNA has been altered. They would be partly human and partly angelic, and if he could create a group of people that are partly human and partly angelic, then he could create a situation where the human race cannot bring forth the God Man, who must be 100% God and 100% man.
Satan understood this prophecy of Genesis 3:15, very clearly, and he said, ‘Well, I’ll fix this problem. I like ruling the world. I don’t want my head crushed, so I’ll create a group of people that aren’t fully human.’ And that, I think, is who the Nephilim are. That’s why they are called the fallen ones. It is a satanic attempt and strategy to lock the human race into a permanent level of fallenness so that 3:15 can never be fulfilled, and so that the Messiah can never come.
This was a strategy that was diabolical. It was a time in history where Satan pushed the envelope, and he uses, as you go through the pages of the Old Testament, different strategies to prevent the birth of Jesus. He used one in Genesis 4, the murder of Abel by Cain. Satan reasoned that the Messiah would come from Abel’s line, so he had Cain murder Abel: the first murder in human history. God, of course, got around it through the birth of Seth.
Well, now we see a second strategy at work. The deliberate alteration or genetic tampering of the human race. God, of course, is going to get around this through His work with a man named Noah, who we’re going to read about a little bit later in our chapter.
But that’s my best understanding of who these Nephilim were. It is interesting that it says of the Nephilim in 6:4, “…Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” I mean, you think of these genetic mutations with incredible size and stature, and you might think about the things that they could do physically. And they were treated like rock stars, celebrities. Like if an NBA basketball player walked in here. ‘Wow. Look at that.’ As a matter of fact, there’s a picture of Gabe next to Akeem The Dream Olajuwon. You can hardly see Gabe, who out here in Houston, a basketball star, and I saw his picture there, and I thought it was fake at first; I thought he doctored it, but it was the real guy. So like, whoa, where was that?…I guess, but a well-known department store. And there’s Gabe with Akeem, The Dream Olajuwon. Gabe is willing to sign some autographs on the way out if you want to do that. But, you know, you see him next to this man of incredible physical stature and athletic ability, and it’s just natural to ascribe renown to such a person, and I think that’s sort of a description of what these Nephilim were. They were prospects that were atypical, unusual, and there was something about them that made them have incredible abilities. They were people that were famous, like rock stars, sports heroes. They were the men of renown.
And there’s an interesting phrase here that I need to spend some time on because a lot of people have gone into what I would call Nephilim eschatology. Their basic belief is that if this happened at one time in history, and if Jesus says, ‘as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be again,’ then this whole thing is going to happen again in the end times. So it doesn’t take long to spend time on the Internet or YouTube, and there are a lot of people out there arguing for this Nephilim eschatology in the last days. There are people who I call the Nephilim chasers; it’s almost as if their entire presence on the Internet and their entire ministry revolves around tracking down these Nephilim, or the skeletal remains of them. They take all these pictures of giant skeletons and try to argue that these were the the Nephilim that were on the earth after the flood. And much of that mindset comes from this verse here where it says, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward,…”
So people believe that not only are the Nephilim going to come back in the last days, but there was actually a second incursion creating the Nephilim after the flood. This idea—you can track backwards to a Bible commentator from 1949, named Finis Jennings Dake, and he talks over and over again, and though he has a lot of good things to say in his book, he talks over and over again about this second eruption that took place after the flood. He says here, “There were two eruptions of the fallen angels among men. They produced races of giants on the Earth each time. [And I’m really sorry. This is not really a Valentine’s Day message, is it?] The first eruption was before the flood and the second one was after the flood. This is plainly stated in Genesis 6:4: ‘There were giants on the earth in those days [before the flood] and also after that, [after the flood], when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became the mighty men which were of old, men of renown.’ The second eruption of fallen angels was evidently smaller in number and more limited in area; they were for the most part confined to the land of Canaan, and their offspring were known as the nations of Canaan. They were known as the Rephaim (Gen. 14:5; 15:20; Deut 2:11,20,21; 3:11-13;
Josh 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 17:15; 18:16); Anakim (Num 13:22; Deut 1:28; 2:10-11,21; 9:2;
Josh 11:21-22; 14:12-15; Horim (Gen 14:6; Deut 2:12,20,21); Avim (Deut 2:23; Josh 13:3); Zanzumin (Deut 2:20); and other names. They are enumerated in Gen 15:18-21; Exod 3:8,17; Exod 23:23; Num 13:22; Deut 7:1; 20:17; Josh 12:8…”
He goes on, “These were to be utterly destroyed by the sword of Israel just as the flood had destroyed the ones who lived in the Dispensation of Conscience [pre-flood age] (Deut 7:1-5; Deut 20:17; Josh 3:10)…”
So they use God’s command to utterly eradicate the Canaanites as further proof of this second eruption. So just as the flood utterly destroyed the Nephilim prior to the flood, God, then, when the second eruption occurred, brought Joshua into the Land of Promise, the land of Canaan, to completely eradicate the Canaanites.
He goes on and says, “Israel failed in this purpose so the giants were left to test and prove the chosen people (Josh 13:13; 15:63; 16:10; 17:18; Judges 1:19-36; 2:1-5; 3:1-7). The giants made trouble for Israel until the time of David when the last of the races of the giants were killed
(1 Sam 17; 2 Sam 21:15-22; 1 Chron 20:4-8).”
This is very common in Christianity today, and for whatever reason, is a very hot topic. So when I give my position on the angel view, people want to know, ‘Well, do you think there was a second eruption of the angels; creating the Nephilim a second time?’ They also want to know if I think that there’s going to be an end-time eruption again where this whole thing is going to repeat itself, because after all, Jesus says, ‘as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be again.’ The logic for this second eruption is this passage in Numbers 13:33. That is probably the primary go-to passage that people use to prove that this mating of the sons of God and the daughters of men didn’t just happen before the flood. It happened after the flood because, after all, when the nation of Israel made its way into Kadesh Barnea and looked into the land of Israel, what did they see in the land of Israel? Well, they saw the Nephilim. Now, this was long after the flood; we are in the time period of the conquest; in the time period of Joshua. So you put this verse together with the verse that says, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also afterward…” Then you throw into the mix the idea that there were giants in the land and Joshua had to kill everybody, and you’re off and running. Your YouTube channel is getting a lot of hits now because you’re moving us in the direction of a second eruption, a lot of them getting their ideas from Dake, but really not fully understanding where those ideas come from. And then you’re developing a very exciting script about how this whole thing is going to happen again. You don’t have to spend much time on Internet or YouTube or any of those platforms to see that this is just running wild, and people, for whatever reason, are very much locked into this. They’re actually out looking for the Nephilim today, or they’re trying to find skeletal remains of the Nephilim. I would simply say this: “I am a believer in the angelic eruption, but I believe this: It was a one-time event that happened in history. It’s a one-time strategy that Satan used to alter the genetics of the human race. And I am not, and I’m sorry to say this because it’s not what people want to hear. They want to hear something more popular or more sensationalistic. But I am not of the opinion that there ever was a second eruption, and I am not of the opinion that the Nephilim are going to come back in the last days because the evidence that everybody is using to argue for a second incursion is very tenuous evidence at best.” This is where the word occurs again, the Nephilim. Now we’ve read that passage earlier, but notice some key words here, “So the sons of Israel gave a bad report…”
In other words, this is what the sons of Israel thought they saw and what they felt like. But the report that they’re giving is a negative report. In fact, in Hebrew, it’s an evil report. So to build an entire theology on a report that happens to be called a negative, bad, or an evil report, is problematic.
The fact of the matter is that everything that happened in the Bible actually happened. But the Bible and its doctrine of inerrancy does not guarantee that every statement made in the Bible is true. For example, the serpent said to our forbearers, ‘If you eat from the forbidden tree, you will not die.’ The doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy guarantees that the serpent really did say that. But the statement that the serpent made is obviously incorrect because people did die. So when you’re reading the Bible and developing theology, you have to ask yourself: who is making this particular statement? This statement that we’re reading from here (Numbers 13:31-33) that everybody is using to build this second eruption mindset comes from the intimidated spies who spied out the land, saw giants in the land, fell into unbelief, and brought back a negative report to all of Israel. This caused God to pull the curtains on that generation where they were then confined to wandering in the wilderness for 40 years until they were all dead. This is an evil report. It’s not designed to be a propositional truth of theology. Context tells us this. It says, “So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ”The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants;”… [What is that there? That’s a figure of speech. It’s called a personification. The land is personified as devouring its inhabitants… We recognize that as a figure of speech. We don’t see it as actually literal land swallowing people up]… “and all the people whom we saw in it were men of great size. There also, we saw the Nephilim, [the sons of the Anak are part of the Nephilim]; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” See that word, ‘like’? What kind of figure of speech is that? That’s a simile. In other words, they’re saying, ‘we didn’t see grasshoppers; we felt like we were grasshoppers in our own sight.’ “And so we were in their site.”
And it’s in this whole context of a bad report and a bunch of figures of speech that they throw in here, these spies, the word Nephilim. So I do not believe that what the spies saw were the actual Nephilim who were created prior to the flood. What I believe that they are psyched out, so to speak, they are fearful. They’re bringing back an evil report, and analogizing their own feelings to the giants in the land. And you can have giants without them being Nephilim. I mean, some people would think I’m a giant— I stand, 6’6.” I certainly feel like a shrimp next to Akeem The Dream Olajuwon. But neither Akeem nor I are Nephilim. But you come into battle against someone that’s taller than you in terms of stature and you look at them and say, ‘It was just like the Nephilim of old.’ Not saying they are the Nephilim, but saying via hyperbole and figures of speech, that they were like the Nephilim, just like ‘we were like grasshoppers in our own eyes, just like the land devours its inhabitants.’ When you understand that context, you understand that the single passage that people use over and over and over and over and over again to argue for this second angelic eruption is really not much evidence at all.
In fact, the nation of Israel went into that land under Joshua, and they were there for 800 years before being taken into Babylonian captivity. And no one for that 800-year time period ever used the word Nephilim again. They do use the word ‘giants,’ but giants aren’t necessarily the Nephilim that I’m describing here in Genesis 6.
Now, just to show you that I’m not making things up, I would direct you to the commentary of my professor, Dr. Ronald Allen, who was an expert on the book of Numbers, and he says this in his excellent commentary on this passage. “By speaking evil concerning the land, the faithless spies were speaking evil of him. At this point, their words became exaggerations and distortions. The Anakites (who were of large size) were now said to be Nephilim, the race of giants described briefly in the mysterious context of the cohabitation of the sons of God and the daughters of men (Gen 6:4). The use of the term Nephilim [in the Book of Numbers, in other words], seems to be deliberately provocative of fear, a term not unlike the concept of bogeyman and the hobgoblins. The exaggeration of the faithless led them to their final folly: ‘We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.’ We have noted [in the book of Numbers] the possible use of rhetorical” “…exaggeration, hyperbole, in the numbers of the tribes of Israel—power numbers to bring encouragement to the nation in the confidence they must have in the fulfillment of the promises of God (see Introduction, sections on large numbers). In the report of the evil spies, we see that rhetorical exaggeration can work both ways. By describing themselves as mere grasshoppers in the sight of the fabulous Nephilim, they frightened the sandals off the people and lead a nation to grievous sin of unbelief against their caring God.”
In other words, what you have going on in Numbers 13:31-33 is not something that you would build a theological system on as related to a second angelic eruption and more Nephilim in that second angelic eruption. You’re building a theology, and this is a whole movement today where people are out looking for the Nephilim, and believe they’re going to come back in the last days. After all, it happened post-flood so it could happen again. What is the evidence for it? The only evidence is Numbers 13:31-33, which in context, is an evil report filled with exaggerations. The only thing those spies are saying is ‘we were so scared that we became like grasshoppers in their eyes, in our eyes and in theirs.’ And they reach back into history to the worst thing they could think of, which was this situation that we’re studying in Genesis 6, and they’re saying it’s just like that, but it’s not intended to be a statement in a technical sense that there was a second angelic eruption.
The thing to understand about the actual situation that I believe did happen before the flood is that it was a sin so grievous that God took all of the fallen angels that were involved in that sin, and He put them in jail. He put them in incarceration. So that’s why there are records in the New Testament about some of the demons in prison relative to what happened in the days of Noah—1 Peter 3:19-20. The same thing is in 2 Peter 2:4-5, a record of some of the fallen angels in prison relative to what happened in the days of Noah. The same thing is mentioned in Jude 6-7. Some of the demons are in prison because of what happened in the days of Noah. Now, maybe this chart will help. (See slide ons Good Angels & Evil Angels).
We know that when Satan fell, a third of the angels fell with him, which always makes me feel good because that means there’s two-thirds on our side. But a third fell. Now, some of that group; a subset of them, and I don’t know how many there were, but apparently a group of them got involved in a satanic strategy to prevent the birth of the Messiah by tampering with the genetics of the human race in Genesis 6. Those angels involved in that sin were immediately placed into incarceration. And that becomes the only explanation as to why some of the demons are in jail and some of the demons are free. We know that some demons are free today because we have to put on the full armor of God. ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of this dark world.’ (Ephesians 6). Yet the New Testament clearly says some are in prison relative to the days of Noah, and because God dealt with this immediately, that’s the reason why I don’t think it could ever be replicated. It couldn’t be replicated after the flood. It couldn’t be replicated in the end times because the rest of the demons knows what happens with bad behavior. When they leave their natural abode the way they did in Genesis 6, they would reason to themselves, ‘we’re not going to do that again because look at what happens to our colleagues who did do that. They’re jailed.’ Therefore again, I don’t think this transpired after the flood. And I don’t think that this particular angelic sin, the mixture of the human DNA to prevent the birth of the Messiah, is something that will be replicated in the end times. I’m largely seeing this particular sin as a one-time unique occurrence that happened in history, and it was so vile and evil that it can never be repeated again.
Now, that is not the most exciting and popular preaching on this subject. What everybody wants to hear is how this did happen again. That’s their explanation for Numbers 13 and how the whole thing is coming back in the end times. ‘And as long as you give me your credit card number, I can take you on a great trip. Or we can actually discover skeletal remains of Nephilim.’ I mean, when someone’s entire ministry presence is a Nephilim chaser, the only thing I would say to that is that they’re completely wasting their time. They’re involved in an activity that Jesus never commissioned the Church to do. Our function is to preach the gospel to every creature, and not to get sidetracked into all of these popular fads and fantasies. That’s why I want to be clear on this, that, yes, I do believe in the angel view of Genesis 6, but I’m not going to spend time from this pulpit preaching about Nephilim eschatology and the second eruption of the angels that did this a second time, as many do.
You notice what Finis Jennings Dake did here? Did you catch it? It’s pretty subtle. He says concerning this second eruption, “This is plainly stated in Genesis 6:4 [second eruption theory], ‘There were giants in the earth in those days [Now see what he just put into the verse there?] [“before the flood”];… He put it in brackets. Why did he put it in brackets? Because it’s not in the text. The text doesn’t say ‘before the flood.’ He just added that. “There were giants in the earth in those days [before the flood]; and also after that [after the flood],… What did he put in brackets again—‘after the flood?’ Why did he have to put that in brackets? Because that’s not what Genesis 6:4 says. Look very carefully at Genesis 6:4, and it says, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward...” It doesn’t say anything about the flood. In fact, it’s interesting that at this point in our reading, we don’t even know there’s going to be a flood. I mean, the flood is not even introduced for the first time, until you get down to 6:7, and then it starts getting more prominent beginning in 6:13. So this idea that there were giants on the earth before the flood and also after the flood as an explanation of Numbers 13, has to be completely read into the text. That’s why he put those expressions in brackets. ‘Well, if it’s not before the flood or if it’s not after the flood, Pastor Andy, what is your explanation?’ My explanation is right there in the prior verse, 6:20, where we studied last week that God allowed this to go on for 120 years; 120 years is a massive amount of time. It’s only, as I said last week, roughly half the duration of the United States of America. A lot can happen in 120 years. And so when it says ‘after that’ or ‘before that,’ it’s talking about something within that window of 120 years. ‘After that’ or ‘before that’ could fit within the 120-year time period prior to the flood. In other words, you don’t have to automatically interpret 6:4 as ‘before that’ and ‘after that’ as giants on the earth, before the flood, giants on the earth after the flood. Yet this is what this whole theory of Nephilim-chasing and popular sensationalism revolves around.
What happened here in Genesis 6 was bizarre. It was abnormal. It was unique. It was something that Satan himself tried to do to prevent the birth of the Messiah. It is one of his failed strategies. God, as we will see, got around this whole demonic incursion through His work with Noah. But it is something that is unprecedented. It is something that is non-repeatable. For reasons I’ve tried to indicate, it is something that cannot and will not be replicated again. It is not something that happened after the flood. It is not something that is going to happen in the end times. And I need to make these points clear because if you buy into what I’m saying and track with me, it will save you from a lot of insanity; chasing popular ideas and theories when you could have spent all of that time doing something productive for the things of God. Rather than arguing with the saved about the Nephilim, I would challenge you to use your time to reach the lost.
Satan would like nothing better than to take your life, and we don’t have a lot of time on the earth, by the way. Even if we’re not the Rapture generation, the book of James 4:14 is very clear that we are like mist that appears for a little while and then disappears. You don’t have a lot of time when you think about it against the backdrop of eternity, to invest your life into eternal things, and Satan would like nothing more than to distract you into the current popular theology of the day. And in our day this happens to be Nephilim eschatology. That’s why I give you this warning and exhortation.
But I will say this: what was happening in Genesis 6 was abnormal. Jude 6 and 7 brings this up, and it says, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness, for the judgment of the great day,…” The angels that were involved in this sin left what was normal. They left what was natural, and this is the reason that God sent the judgment of the global flood. God ultimately sent the judgment because what was happening by way of sin was outside of His design for the human race. In fact, it got so weird, this procreation of human women with angels and the tampering of the DNA and the progeny that came forth—the Nephilim—it got so bizarre, so off the charts weird, outside the design of the Creator, that God had to do something. So God stepped in when humanity moved in this direction and shut the whole thing down through the global deluge. God had originally established very clear issues for sexuality, and it had absolutely nothing to do with human women mating with fallen angels. God’s blueprint for sexuality is very clear. It says, “He created him; male and female…” How many genders do you see there? I only see two: male and female.
You know, if you fill out a profile on social media and you want a social media account, they give you like 40 genders to pick from. I’m only seeing two here. “…He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply,…”
In Genesis 2:24, it says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife... [Now, here’s a good one for Valentine’s Day], and they shall become one flesh.” So God’s blueprint for human sexuality is one woman for one man for one life. But nobody wants to say that today because it’s a word of condemnation, for those outside of or for those living outside of that (God’s design for sexuality). For those under condemnation, we preach God’s grace. The blood of Jesus covers any sin. But that does not subtract from the fact that there is a pattern for sexuality that God Himself designed; that God Himself created.
It’s interesting that when Jesus was questioned about marriage and divorce, He didn’t go down the rabbit trail of what the most popular rabbis at the time were talking about. It’s a debate about the indecent thing in Deuteronomy 24: what can dissolve a marriage? The indecent thing. Everybody had an opinion in the time of Christ. Well, what is that indecent thing? Hillel in his school of thought, which was very liberal, says you can divorce your wife for any reason, including if she overcooks your food or puts too much salt on your meal.
It’s very interesting how people are real down on Jesus because he was anti-woman. Are you kidding me? Jesus walked into a climate on the earth that was anti-woman, and He ministered to the woman at the well who was immoral and who was not even from the proper Jewish race. She was a Samaritan. Jesus did not subjugate women. If anything, it was the fallen culture of the day that was doing that. Jesus, more than any other historical figure I can think of, has elevated women. So Hillel says, ‘too much salt on the food, you can get a divorce.’ Shammai interpreted the indecent thing as more strict. It’s got to be adultery. And so when Jesus is questioned about marriage and divorce, they want Him to take the bait and say, ‘Are you with Shammai or are you with Hillel?’
“Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” [See how they came testing him? Where do you fit in the rabbinical discussion, Jesus? And watch Jesus not take the bait, but He talked about the blueprint of God. He talked about the two verses of Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 that we just read]. Matthew 19:4, “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6SO THEY ARE NO LONGER TWO BUT ONE FLESH. WHAT THEREFORE GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NO MAN SEPARATE.”
The blueprint of God related to sexuality is important. In fact, it’s so important that when Jesus was queried about the issue, that’s what Jesus talked about. Not about what Hillel says, not about what Shammai says. And the fact of the matter is, God at the very beginning, had a standard. Genesis 4 made reference to this with Lamech who said to his wives, plural. (See Slide on II. Ungodly Line of Cain) Uh oh. We’ve got a violation of the standard. God’s standard is one man for one woman for one life. Lamech, in the wicked descending lineage of Cain’s descendants, violated the standard and that standard kept being violated. It started to get weirder and weirder until Genesis 6, where the whole standard had so been obliviated that women were actually having sexual relations with fallen angelic beings. This is why God sent the judgment.
For a parallel with our day, that’s the parallel I would draw, because the standard continues to get altered. The standard keeps getting changed. The standard is getting stranger and weirder. Regarding the whole transgender movement, I came of age as a Christian when I was in high school; in college, graduate school, there was no discussion of transgenderism. Now that’s the talk of the town, and I’m not here to attack people. What I’m here to say is the standard of God just keeps getting changed; altered. It’s to the point where people act as if there never was a standard to begin with. And when humanity reaches that level, the judgment of God is right around the corner, just as it was in the days of Noah.
There are a lot of predictions we could make about the end times. I don’t think the return of the Nephilim is one of those predictions, but I do think that one of the key signs of the last days and the end times, will be a discarding of God’s sexual morés or standards. You will see that in the events of the tribulation period itself when it says, “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, [Sin #1] and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone, and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; [Sin # 2] and they did not repent of their murders [Sin #3] nor of their sorceries [Sin #4] (pharmakeia) nor of their immorality [Sin #5] nor of their thefts.” The Greek word for immorality is porneia, from which we obviously get the English word pornography. What is pornography? It is a debased perversion of the original standard of God.
What is humanity going to be like on the eve of the judgment of God and the return of Jesus Christ? Humanity will be on the precipice of altering the standard so severely that most people won’t even know the standard ever existed at all. This is who the Nephilim were. This is why God brought the global deluge.
Now, it is very interesting to me that the highest virtue in western civilization used to be a word that begins with the letter, T. In other words, if you are pursuing this word or this virtue that begins with the letter, T, you are pursuing the highest and the greatest virtue in American history. That word, beginning with the letter, T, was truth. Everybody used to be interested in the pursuit of truth, the study of truth, the acquisition of truth, the application of truth. I’m here to tell you that there’s a new virtue. There’s a new sheriff in town. It’s a different word. It also begins with the letter, T. It’s not truth, but the word everybody is interested in, and if you’re on this path, you are at the height of virtue: tolerance. Tolerance has been exchanged for truth.
Woe to the person who would look at an alternative lifestyle and say, ‘that’s not of God because it’s outside of the design of God.’ That kind of person is in a lot of trouble today in western civilization because they are perceived as not being tolerant, whereas if you go back 50 years or more, such a person would be exalted because they were at least pursuing the truth of the matter. Yet this is what the Bible predicts will exist in the end times. And beloved, as God is my witness, we are not very far from the day that people who stand for biblical truth will find themselves on the wrong side of almost everything, whether it’s the legal system, employment, or the ability to buy and sell. All of that is now being attached to whether you are such a person that would embrace a tolerance mindset.
These are some headlines that happened within the last 7 or 8 years. Some of them are a bit dated, but they just illustrate the mindset that we’re drifting into. This one was actually taken up by the United States Supreme Court. Jack Phillips, who by the way, is a Colorado evangelical Christian, owns a bakery. Very talented, apparently, in what he does. A same sex couple comes into that bakery and says, ‘All right, you need to make a cake for our wedding.’ And he recommends other bakers and says, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I’m an evangelical Christian because I don’t want my creative services that God has given me to be coerced to where I’m actually endorsing sin.’ So Jack Phillips starts a legal war in the state of Colorado because of that. It says here, “Jack Phillips is a baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his Christian belief is that marriage exists only between a man and woman. [Now stopping right there in the middle, if you know a little bit about this story, he also recommended several other options that this same sex couple could go to. But that wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to punish this man. We’ve got to make this man pay. We’ve got to destroy this man]. The article goes on and says, “Now a Colorado judge has ordered him to bake cakes for same sex marriages, and if Phillips refuses, he could go to jail.“
This is the late, great United States of America. This is as the days of Noah if you want an illustration or an application. I find it interesting that this same sex couple would target a Christian baker. They certainly don’t target Islamic bakers who have a standard about sexuality, too. How come they don’t target them? Why are they always targeting evangelical Bible believers? Because they’re the people that are problematic. They are the people holding to the old morality, and who keep quoting Genesis 1 and 2 much like Jesus did in Matthew 19.
“In yet another example of gay activist overreach, an Oregon official has not only burdened a Christian couple with a ridiculous fine, he has imposed a gag order on them…In one of the most egregious anti-Christian acts committed by a state official in recent memory, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian [who I don’t think is in office anymore. Praise the Lord for that], not only upheld the ridiculous $135,000 fine levied against Aaron and Melissa Klein for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian commitment ceremony, but he ordered the Kleins to ‘cease and desist’ from making any public comments about their religious convictions relative to the case.”
Is this communist China or is this the United States of America? A $135,000 fine! You know, people that think that’s nothing have never run a small business. Anybody who has run a small business knows that a fine of that magnitude can cripple a small business operation. And this business about no public comments? What happened to the First Amendment? What happened to free speech? What happened to the Bill of Rights? What happened to freedom of religion? And this is the kind of insanity that we’re moving into where members of the creative industry are being coerced against their biblical conscience to do things that God says to stay away from or not to do.
Now, do you do you honestly believe that this war will stop with members of the creative industry? Let’s say they win the battle with the bakers and all of these other groups and the artists. Well, who do you think they’re going to come for next? They’re coming right at the pulpit of a church. Sugar Land Bible Church could be an example. I bring this up just to make you aware of the things that are happening around us and in our world. Once you start understanding this, then you start understanding that as these similar things were happening in the days of Noah, the judgment of God can’t be far away. The judgment of God wasn’t far away when this sort of mind boggling envelope pushing was happening in Noah’s Day. As these kinds of things happen in our own day, the judgment of God and the discipline of God can’t be far away [either].
Well, the title of this message was Grace Before Judgment. And we haven’t even talked about Grace. Why is that? Because I honestly thought we were going to get to Genesis 6:8, which says, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” You’ll have to come back next week to learn about grace. We’ll do a part 2. This will be a part one.
But the wonderful thing about being a Christian in the year 2021 and learning about the judgment of God is learning this simple fact: the judgment of God for sin has already been taken care of in Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus was doing hanging on that cross 2,000 years ago. He was bearing in His body the judgment or the wrath of God in our place. And if we would simply receive as a free gift what He’s already done for us, we may have a lot of problems this side of eternity, but there’s one problem we won’t have. We do not have to fear the judgment and the wrath of God. So if you’re here today and some of these things are frightening you, I would say ‘praise the Lord’ because I would rather be scared into heaven than flattered into hell.
Some of these things are hard to hear, but we need to hear them. We also need to hear the other side of it—that the judgment of God has been taken care of in the person of Jesus Christ and by simply trusting, which is another word of saying believing what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago, we are spared from His coming wrath.
You can become a Christian right now within the sound of my voice, even as I am speaking, not by giving money or joining a church or walking an aisle. But it’s a simple condition of the heart where you come under conviction based on some of the things we’ve said, and you express in your heart of hearts, trust in Jesus. Not in yourself, not in your good works, but in what Jesus did for you. And in a nanosecond when that happens, you can be a reborn child of God. You can do that right now, even as I’m speaking. If it’s something that you need more explanation on, I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray?
Father, we’re grateful for this ancient history which really doesn’t look that ancient anymore because what has been is recurring. And so give us a wisdom and a proper balance between holiness and grace in these last days. I pray that you would use us this week in some way—a conversation, some sort of private encounter maybe at the store to extend this message to someone who desperately needs it. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said, Amen!